longreads

The Race to Rebuild the World’s Coral Reefs

In the late 1990s, Vaughan learned that Aqua Life, an ornamental-fish-breeding operation on a small island in the Bahamas, was shutting down. Harbor Branch made a bid to buy what was left, and a month later, 22,000 orange and...

The Deadly Cyclone That Changed the Course of the Cold War

Frustrated, Frank got back in the Vauxhall to get to his next meeting. The car inched with the traffic past walls full of political slogans splashed in red paint in the Bengali script. Frank had no idea what they...

Is Russia’s Largest Tech Company Too Big to Fail?

Arkady Yurievich Volozh seemed to be in good spirits. It was February 11, his birthday, and the 58-year-old billionaire CEO and cofounder of Yandex, the Russian tech behemoth, was in the sort of open, engaging mood that could be...

It’s Like GPT-3 but for Code—Fun, Fast, and Full of Flaws

Code pours from Feross Aboukhadijeh’s fingers.As a devotee of the open source software movement, he has written immensely popular web apps, peer-to-peer file exchanges, and more than 100 other pieces of code that he has given away, all in...

The Infinite Reach of Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s Man in Washington

Kaplan’s “paternalistic” jab, Harbath says, matched her recollection of how conservatives at Facebook saw the project—as an effort by a retinue of left-leaning engineers. “What I think Joel was trying to hold was this very small bit of ground,...

The Internet Is Not as New as You Think

When Kant proclaimed in the Critique of the Power of Judgment that there will never be a “Newton for the blade of grass”—that is, that no one will account for the generation and growth of grass in terms of...

Jacques Vallée Still Doesn’t Know What UFOs Are

On a white restaurant tablecloth in San Francisco, under the glow of a stained-glass dome ceiling with images of laurels, fleur-de-lis, and a ship, rested a portion of metal the size of a shallot. Around it, three men were...

Driving While Baked? Inside the High-Tech Quest to Find Out

“You're not sober,” Guy says.“I'm as sober as you'll get me in the next week or two.”“Well,” Guy laughs, “it's all relative.”For many of the subjects, their motivation to participate in the trial is about more than just saving...

How Telegram Became the Anti-Facebook

Since January 6, 2021, meanwhile, the app's position among the Trump movement has continued to consolidate. Channels owned by far-right figures are mushrooming: Trump lawyer turned election conspiracy theorist Lin Wood is nearing a million subscribers; former 8chan administrator...

They Were ‘Calling to Help.’ Then They Stole Thousands

When the call ended, my parents huddled around her phone and thumbed through the unfamiliar payment apps. They eventually zeroed in on changing their passwords. They turned to the password packet, but neither she nor my dad could decipher...
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