The Unhackable Email Service
Ladar Levison built an encrypted email service called Lavabit that counted a prominent figure among its users: Edward Snowden. When the FBI demanded Levison decrypt Snowden’s communications, he had two options, either hand over the encryption key or destroy his servers. He chose the latter.
How Global Trade Runs On U.S. Dollars
Nearly 90% of international transactions in 2019 were in U.S. dollars, giving the U.S. extraordinary power over nearly every entity that imports or exports anything anywhere. Here’s how the global economy runs on the U.S. dollar — and why some countries are trying to chip away at its dominance.
‘Enough’, Animated Film About Moments Of Lost Self-Control
Anna Mantzaris’ animated film ‘Enough’ captures instantly relatable moments of emotional exasperation that offer a glimpse into the anarchy of our inner desires. The Swedish filmmaker set her film in a joyless world where every mundane routine feels like an oppressive act.
Charity: How Effective Is Giving?
Philanthropists are putting record sums into tackling the world’s most pressing problems. And unlike the mega-donors of the past today’s philanthropists want to see the results in their lifetimes. But how altruistic is this new golden age of giving? Have these mega-donors become too powerful?
Inside Google’s Civil War
With its “Don’t be evil” mantra, Google was a central player in creating the rosy optimism of the tech boom. Some employees say Google is losing touch with that motto. What happens when an empowered tech workforce rebels?
One Last Job: The Unlikely Story Behind The Hatton Garden Heist
The Hatton Garden Heist is one of the highest value burglaries ever to have taken place in Britain. The plot reads like a Hollywood movie and involved millions of pounds of diamonds and a group of ageing villains.
The Floating Utopia Of Salesforce Park
Salesforce Park, in downtown San Francisco, sits atop the Salesforce Transit Center. It is a lush, five-and-a-half-acre rooftop arcadia of rolling meadows and meticulously landscaped, climatically harmonious, drought-tolerant flora. San Francisco’s newest public space reflects Big Tech’s influence—and a city’s anxieties.
Silicon Valley Is Listening To Your Most Intimate Moments
For $12 an hour, “data associates” listened to snippets of random conversations and jotted down every word on their laptops. Amazon would only say the work was critical to a top-secret speech-recognition product. The clips included recordings of intimate moments inside people’s homes.
“I Live Alone In An Island Paradise”
In 1989, Mauro Morandi’s boat docked on Budelli Island off the northern coast of Sardinia, Italy. Discovering that the island’s caretaker was retiring within the next two days, Mauro decided to extend his stay indefinitely and step into the role himself.
Studies Shoot Down Tech’s Harmful Effects on Kids—So Now What?
It looks like grownups can disregard the fear-mongering about the ill effects of digital media on kids. A 2017 study in Child Development found “little or no support for harmful links between digital screen use and young people’s psychological well-being.”
The Most Extreme Railway In The World
At 430 miles long, the formidable Mauritania Railway, nicknamed the “backbone of the Sahara,” boasts some of the longest and heaviest trains in the world. Its journey begins in Zouerat, Mauritania, and runs across the searing desert to the port city of Nouadhibou, on Africa’s Atlantic coast.
Habitat 67 Stacks 354 Prefabs That Get Urban/Suburban Balance
Habitat 67 was a 1960s experiment in dense, downtown housing that tried to combine the best of urban and suburban living. Architect Moshe Safdie wanted to integrate the qualities of a suburban home- the access to nature and views- into a high-rise.
What Happened To MoviePass?
MoviePass tried to change the moviegoing experience altogether, with a simple idea. For a monthly fee, subscribers could go to the cinema once a day, every day. Ironically, too many subscribers would eventually be a bad thing. MoviePass went from being a hit to entirely collapsing, in just 3 days. How?
Life Against The Odds In Australia’s Underground Town
Coober Pedy is at the center of Australia’s opal mining industry. Now the town, where 60% of its residents live underground, is becoming a leader in sustainable living.
The City Where They Murdered Yugoslavia
The Bosnian War happened because a war criminal in waiting didn’t care where his ideology led him. Ratko Mladic did not believe in Yugoslavia. But he did believe in the unity of his people. And in his attempt to get to that natural dead end, he would destroy the dream of Gavrilo Princip. He would destroy all the work of Tito.
Skinny Home In Toronto As Prototype For Parking-Space Homes?
When Cyril Borovsky bought a 16-foot-wide strip of land in Toronto sandwiched between two bungalows, he knew the only way to fit more than one bedroom on the tiny footprint was to think cubically. Using a steel frame and performing much of the work himself- with just a boom lift and makeshift pulley-, he went up four floors.
How You End Up In And Survive A Cult
How do well-meaning, intelligent people end up in a cult? EnlightenNext was an organization, founded by self-styled guru Andrew Cohen, that aimed to facilitate spiritual awakening. Cohen’s most devoted students meditated for hours—at times, months—on end, were often celibate, and lived together.
Former Secret Service Agent Explains How to Detect Counterfeit Money
Former Secret Service Agent Jonathan Wackrow explains how the Service keeps counterfeit currency out of circulation. The Secret Service was installed to combat counterfeit money during the Civil War, and the Service still to this day works tirelessly to suppress counterfeits.
What’s Actually The Plane Of The Future
Supersonic speed, modular cabin design, all electric power, transparent cabin walls, pilotless planes, personal jets for everyone—that all sounds great, but what’s actually the plane of the future. In the next 15-20 years, what will be the next major aircraft release to make an impact on the industry?
I Lost My Identity To A Fraudster, And It Took Six Years To Clean Up The Mess
This essay is going to scare you. There is a better-than-average chance that, at some point in the last several years, your personal information was stolen. Not something small like a credit card account, but the good stuff, your Social Security number coupled with your birthdate.
How Governments Shut Down The Internet
Governments around the world are shutting down the internet, saying it’s needed to prevent protests or cheating on exams. But critics say blocking expression and access to information violates human rights. Here’s how internet shutdowns work.