Defining the Future: With Great Responsibility Comes Great Opportunity

How We Got Here One hallmark of disruptive companies is that they keep on disrupting. For instance, an electric car company soon finds that its business leads it to compete in ride-sharing, autonomous vehicles, and even the energy category as it provides batteries for the home. Online retailers, social networks, and telcos, meanwhile, are all […]

Homelessness in the Living Rooms of the Rich

When photographer Jana Sophia Nolle moved to San Francisco three years ago, she met a lot of people. Some inhabited multimillion-dollar houses with pristine Victorian architecture and fancy furniture. Others lived in cardboard boxes. The contrast between their dwellings plagued Nolle, who hails from Kassel, Germany, where income inequality is less stark. While San Francisco […]

404: The City Left Behind by China’s Nuclear Ambitions

Li Yang grew up in what he thought was a boring town. It was called 404, like the error code, and sat a couple hours from the nearest city in the sun-beaten Gobi Desert of western China. There was no commercial movie theater—just a zoo with a handful of cages, several small videogame arcades, and […]

Germany Rejected Nuclear Power—and Deadly Emissions Spiked

On New Year’s Eve, while the rest of the world was preparing to ring in a new decade, employees of the German energy company EnBW were getting ready to pull the plug on one of the country’s few remaining nuclear power plants. The license to operate the two reactors at the Philippsburg nuclear facility expired […]

CollegeHumor Helped Shape Online Comedy. What Went Wrong?

On a cloudy morning the week after New Year’s Day, at CollegeHumor’s headquarters in West Hollywood, everyone braced for bad news. “We all knew what was about to happen,” writer and actor Katie Marovitch said. “My face was covered in hives, which happens to me when I’m very anxious, which is a lot.” Sam Reich, […]

Meet the Guy Who Invented the Oomphalapompatronium

The oomphalapompatronium. That’s the name Len Solomon gave to the instrument that he started building roughly 15 years ago. It still vexes him to this day. “It took over part of my work bench and it’s still there,” Solomon says, “and I have long-range plans to refine it and make it portable and that may […]

Cisco Flaws Put Millions of Workplace Devices at Risk

Workplace phones and routers have a long, storied history of very bad vulnerabilities. Now it’s time again to add to the list: Researchers say that a crop of recently discovered flaws in Cisco enterprise products—like desk phones, web cameras, and network switches—could be exploited to penetrate deep into corporate networks. Because Cisco dominates the network […]

Investors Hit the Brakes on Automotive Startups

Last year, Ted Serbinski called his accelerator, Techstars Detroit, the “‘comeback city’s’ startup ecosystem.” Since 2015, the accelerator had supported and mentored 54 transportation-related companies, with funding from some big transportation names, like Ford, Honda, AAA, and Nationwide. Success stories included Cargo, a startup that helps ride-hail drivers make supplemental income by running rider-friendly “convenience […]

‘Utopia Falls’ Is a Bold Attempt to Make a Better YA Dystopia

Watching Hulu’s latest science fiction drama, Utopia Falls, feels like tripping headfirst into the young adult shelf at your local bookstore. The heroes are teens—spunky, rebellious teens even. They live in a futuristic utopia (or is it a dystopia?). The entirety of their short lives has been leading up to this moment, which is a […]

Hundreds of Millions of PC Components Still Have Hackable Firmware

That laptop on your desk or that server on a data center rack isn’t so much a computer as a network of them. Its interconnected devices—from hard drives to webcams to trackpads, largely sourced from third parties—have their own dedicated chips and code. That represents a serious security problem: Despite years of warnings, those computers […]