An Iowa dad’s surprisingly short path from commentor to screenwriter.
Tuesday, March 20
Friday, March 16
After years of avoiding the uncomfortable truths about how his gadgets are made, a Mac fanboy travels to Foxconn to see for himself.Update 3/16/12: This American Life retracted this story today after it was revealed to have "contained significant fabrications."
Tuesday, March 13
A report from Austin, Texas as it turns into a dot-com hotspot.
Sunday, March 11
The beginnings of the best-selling video game, from a chapter of David Kushner’s new book on the subject.
Thursday, March 8
In which the author’s wife attempts to break the world record in Tetris.
Saturday, March 3
The artist discusses her latest record, Biophilia, science and music education.
Up until she developed a vocal-cord nodule a few years ago, Björk made a point of not investigating how that instrument worked. “With arrangements and lyrics,” she says, squinting over her coffee, “I work more with the left side of my brain. But my voice has always been very right brain. I didn’t try to analyze it at all. I didn’t even know until I started all this voice work, two years ago, what my range was. I didn’t want to let the academic side into that—I worried the mystery would go.”
Thursday, March 1
When computer science legend Jim Gray disappeared, his friends and colleagues – including Bill Gates and Larry Ellison – used every technological tool at their disposal to try to find him.
Tuesday, February 28
He was fired from the company he helped create, YouSendIt. Then the cyberattacks started.
Thursday, February 16
Dotcom didn’t look like a criminal genius. With his ginger hair, chubby cheeks, and odd fashion sense—he often wore black suits and white-on-black wingtip shoes—he looked like he should be setting up a magic table.
How Kim Schmitz, the proprietor of Megaupload, made his fortune and landed in a New Zealand prison.
Sunday, February 12
On the popular iPhone app.
Just the day before, President Barack Obama had signed on and begun sending out photos. This seemed like a real sign that Instagram had arrived. Obama already has accounts on Flickr and Facebook. He (or his people) must have seen something unique and wonderful in Instagram's audience, some way to reach people via that channel that it couldn't through others. When the President joins your network, it's news. And while it's great news, it can be the kind of thing a company isn't prepared for. But as it turns out, Obama is a fractional compared to Justin Bieber.
Wednesday, February 1
On a U.S. soldier burned to the verge of death and the virtual-reality video game doctors used as treatment when he came home.
Sunday, January 29
The autonomous car of the future is here:
I was briefly nervous when Urmson first took his hands off the wheel and a synthy woman’s voice announced coolly, “Autodrive.” But after a few minutes, the idea of a computer-driven car seemed much less terrifying than the panorama of indecision, BlackBerry-fumbling, rule-flouting, and other vagaries of the humans around us—including the weaving driver who struggles to film us as he passes.