How and why Zappos works.
How and why Zappos works.
An insider history of the fall of Myspace; from Rupert Murdoch calling Facebook a mere “communications utility” to the disastrous 2006 deal with Google that demanded huge pageviews and ads everywhere, and finally the present day ruins of a titan.
A site for handcrafts flirts with an IPO.
A profile of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.
I love combing through The Atlantic’s archives. There’s almost no better way of grasping the strangeness of the past than to flip through a general interest magazine from 1960. Here, we find Fred Hapgood grappling with what human intelligence meant in the light of new machines that could do something like thinking. Intelligence was being explored in a new way: by finding out what was duplicable about how our minds work. Hapgood's conclusion was that if you could automate a task, it would lose value to humans. What tremendous luck! Humans value that which only humans can do, he argued, regardless of the difficulty of the task. And that because computers were so good at sequential logic problems, we'd eventually end up only respecting emotional understanding, which remained (and remains) beyond the reach of AI.
Steven Levy’s piece on cypherpunks and Internet libertarians could not feel more relevant in the wake of WikiLeaks’ rise and the heavily scrutinized role of online organizing in recent revolutions. During Wired’s first year, I’d just gotten an Internet account and had somehow stumbled on the magazine. It became my guide to this hybrid life that we all live now, half-online, half-offline.
"I have the sensation, as do my friends, that to function as a proficient human, you must both 'keep up' with the internet and pursue more serious, analog interests."
An essay on technology’s reach into daily life.
Last summer, when she thought nobody was looking, Mary Bale put a cat in the trash. The act was caught on video, and Bale was quickly tried and convicted online. The aftermath of a viral crime.
The closest thing that the international network of hackers Anonymous has to an organizer lives in a 378 sq. ft apartment in Dallas and, at the time of this interview, was on his fourth day of opiate withdrawal.
A story written about Twitter and one its founders, Evan Williams, when the company’s chief source of revenue was subletting desks in their partially filled office.
An artifact from the era when MySpace was king.
How smartphones are changing a continent.
A technical, thrilling account of how Pinboard, a tiny bookmarking service, dealt with the fire hose of new users after news leaked that Yahoo would discontinue Pinboard’s massive rival, Delicious.
“If 4chan sounds trivial, that’s because it is. The site certainly doesn’t make much money…In fact, you could say that 4chan has cornered the market on the trivial on the Internet, which is no small feat (the trivial usually spreads by accident on the Web, according to no logic).”
The next frontier of search is… everything. Voice recognition, image recognition, and why Google’s data set is one of the most valuable scientific tools of our age.
Inside the most ubiquitous distraction of its era.
The definitive story of a ubiquitous software. PowerPoint’s origins, its evolution, and its mind-boggling impact on corporate culture.
A profile of Jack Dorsey, co-founder (and displaced CEO) of Twitter. Dorsey’s latest venture, a mobile credit card system called Square that only officially launched in February 2011, already processes more than a million transactions per day.
“While its source remains something of a mystery, Stuxnet is the new face of 21st-century warfare: invisible, anonymous, and devastating.”
The challenges facing the historians of the internet.
How a journalism professor named Dan Sinker became the most entertaining part of the Chicago mayoral race.
A grandmother from Chicago, she’s one of those people who knows everybody. And those people who know everybody, the connectors, make the world work. A study of the power of (offline) social networking.
When Conan O’Brien left NBC, he agreed to stay off TV for months and stay quiet about the network and its executives. The agreement contained no mention of social media, however. On the origins of a digital renaissance.
Ray Kurzweil and the Singularity; when will our minds meld with the machine?
A requiem for the ‘content portal’ era.