A man decides to divide himself into 100,000 shares and sell himself on the open market, allowing investors to decide what he should do with his life:
"Then, on August 10, 2008, Merrill asked the shareholders to decide whether he should get a vasectomy. He didn’t tell McCormick that he was going to bring them in on it. As the CEO of himself, he simply wrote a note to his shareholders explaining his position on the subject. 'Children are a financial drain,' Merrill wrote. 'The time investment of raising a child is immense. The responsibility is epic. The impact on future projects would be drastic. In light of these factors, it makes sense to reduce the chances to nearly zero and have a vasectomy performed.'"
"McCormick was furious and embarrassed. 'He made our personal life public without consulting me,' she says. It got worse when the ballots came in. Schroeder voted yes. Josh Berezin, a grade-school friend and political consultant, voted yes. To McCormick, it wasn't just a referendum on the vasectomy. It was also a referendum on whether Merrill’s friends thought he should have kids with her. It was, she says, 'a judgment on me.'"
PUBLISHED: March 28, 2013
LENGTH: 13 minutes (3291 words)
A man who installs secret compartments in cars—which are used to conceal things like jewelry, handguns, and drugs—finds himself in legal trouble:
"On November 18, as Anaya drove his Ford F-350 through a Home Depot parking lot, he noticed a dark sedan that seemed to be shadowing him in an adjacent aisle. He thought the car might belong to friends. But when the sedan stopped in front of him, the men who got out were strangers to Anaya. They identified themselves as DEA agents and ordered him out of his truck. 'You know why we're here,' one agent said to Anaya, who was bewildered to be in handcuffs for the first time in his life. 'Your compartments.'"
PUBLISHED: March 19, 2013
LENGTH: 25 minutes (6264 words)
What happened when the author re-reported Bob Woodward's book on John Belushi:
"Of all the people I interviewed, SNL writer and current Sen. Al Franken, referencing his late comedy partner Tom Davis, offered the most apt description of Woodward’s one-sided approach to the drug use in Belushi’s story: 'Tom Davis said the best thing about Wired,' Franken told me. 'He said it’s as if someone wrote a book about your college years and called it Puked. And all it was about was who puked, when they puked, what they ate before they puked and what they puked up. No one read Dostoevsky, no one studied math, no one fell in love, and nothing happened but people puking.'"
PUBLISHED: March 12, 2013
LENGTH: 13 minutes (3279 words)
Scientists track down a killer superbug by sequencing its genome:
"In late August, as word of the outbreak circulated among the NIH staff, Snitkin and his boss, Julie Segre, approached the Clinical Center with an unusual offer. In their jobs at the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute, the two scientists had previously sequenced genomes from a bacterial outbreak long after it had died out. But today, sequencing technology had become so fast and so cheap. Why not analyze the bacteria in the middle of an outbreak? By tracking the bug’s transmission route through the hospital, they might be able to isolate it and stop its lethal spread. They put this question to the center’s top brass, who immediately accepted their offer. 'It was a no-brainer,' says Tara Palmore, the center’s deputy epidemiologist, who headed up its fight against KPC."
PUBLISHED: Jan. 17, 2013
LENGTH: 21 minutes (5433 words)
Wired's Occupy Wall Street correspondent reflects on her year of covering the movement:
"Standing next to an older officer after one eviction, telling him what I’d seen and listening to him worry about how he was going to send his kids to college, I overheard the police talk to each other. Of the protestors they kept saying the same thing, the same three words to each other and walked away: 'They’ll be back.' Some said it with scorn, lips curled. Some said it with fear, some excited for the action. Some said it with the watery voices of drowning hope: 'They’ll be back.'
"Please, let something matter again, let something change.
"The policing of protest in America makes it clear that protest has become mere ritual, a farce, and that, by definition, it becomes illegal if it threatens to change anything or inconvenience anyone. In time, all the police announcements came to say the same thing to me. 'You may go through your constitutional ritual,' they intoned, 'but it must stop before anything of consequence happens.' We must, above all, preserve everything as it is."
PUBLISHED: Dec. 12, 2012
LENGTH: 29 minutes (7476 words)
PUBLISHED: Dec. 3, 2012
LENGTH: 4 minutes (1244 words)
A writer goes to New Zealand to visit Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload, who is fighting criminal charges from the U.S. Department of Justice for committing copyright infringement, among other allegations:
"Police led Kim to the lawn, where most of the household was gathered. 'I was so worried about Mona—she was pregnant with the twins. I kept asking where she was, where the kids were.' Kim couldn’t see the kids, but he saw Ortmann. He and Batato had flown in for the birthday Kim shared with his son, Kimmo. It promised to be an epic event, complete with A-list entertainers from the US. The bouncy castle hadn’t even been blown up yet.
"The police found Batato by the back of the house with his laptop; he was still in his robe. Ortmann was in bed when the tactical team burst in. He looked freaked out and shattered. He wasn’t the sort who pretended at the gangsta stuff. He didn’t even play shooter videogames.
"Kim asked a police officer, 'What are the charges?' He imagined that, with more than 50 staff members from around the world, maybe one of them was mixed up in something.
"The answer surprised him: 'Copyright infringement.'
"As the cops led him to a police van, Kim passed Mona. She seemed frightened. 'All this for copyright?' he said to her. 'Bullshit.'"
PUBLISHED: Oct. 22, 2012
LENGTH: 42 minutes (10554 words)
An in-person encounter with a hacker named Cosmo, who has infiltrated accounts on Amazon, Apple, AOL, PayPal, and AT&T. In real life he's a 15-year-old high school dropout:
"Cosmo explained exactly how it is done.
"'You have to add a bank account. You can make a virtual bank account on eTrade.com with info from FakeNameGenerator.com.'
"Wired verified that it’s possible to create online bank accounts with automatically generated information–although we were also required to enter a driver’s license number, which we got via a second site, using the information from FakeNameGenerator.
"'You call PayPal, and you have to have the last four of a payment method. You can get that from Amazon or you can impersonate a PayPal agent. They access your account from the last four. You tell them you want to add a phone number, and you add a Google Voice number. And then you say, I also want to add a new bank account I just got. And they add that for you."
PUBLISHED: Sept. 11, 2012
LENGTH: 17 minutes (4414 words)
Why are cats so big on the Internet? A writer goes to Japan, "where the Internet-feline market began," to find out:
"Marx and I watch a few new cat videos, some of the up-and-comers, those challenging or exceeding Maru’s pageviews. 'An interesting thing, here in Japan, is that it’s not just the cat partners who post cat stuff. It’s everybody.' Soezimax, for example, is an action-film maker, one of the most popular partners in Japan, with millions of views. But some of his most popular videos are the ones he posts of the fights he has with his girlfriend’s vicious cat, Sashimi-san, who regularly puts Soezimax to rout. He’s the anti-Maru, the standard-bearer of uncute Internet cat aggression. The videos are slightly alarming, especially when we’re all so used to anodyne felinity. Then Marx brings up Japan’s most popular Internet comedian, who used to post regular videos of himself in a cat café. (In Japan, they have cafés where you go to pet cats.)
"'It’s like,' Marx says, 'no matter how successful you are here on the Internet on your own terms, it’s de rigueur that you still have to do something with a cat.' In a culture of Internet anonymity, bred of island claustrophobia and immobility, the Japanese Internet cat has become a crucial proxy: People who feel inhibited to do what they want online are expressing themselves, cagily, via the animal that only ever does what it wants."
PUBLISHED: Aug. 31, 2012
LENGTH: 25 minutes (6493 words)