How the Apple Store Lost Its Luster

This is what happens when a company concerns itself more with marketing than with retail service.

Published: May 7, 2019
Length: 7 minutes (1,957 words)

Facebook’s Crisis Management Algorithm Runs on Outrage

The lucrative social media platform claims that it has improved the way it handles dangerous, harmful content, but its reliance on personal data harvesting has made it unwilling to effectively police its 2.7 billion users.

Published: Mar 14, 2019
Length: 11 minutes (2,992 words)

The Coffin Business Is Booming in Central America Due to Gang Violence

How the Pacheco family business pivoted from bread baking to burying bodies in El Salvador, which has the highest murder rate per capita on the planet, “enough for the World Health Organization to classify it as an epidemic.”

Published: Mar 6, 2019
Length: 11 minutes (2,774 words)

‘I Hereby Confess Judgement’

Small business owners across the U.S. are being driven into bankruptcy by usurious loans advanced by predatory lenders that are making a lot of other people very, very rich. It’s perfectly horrifying, and perfectly legal.

Published: Nov 20, 2018
Length: 17 minutes (4,422 words)

Cancer-linked Chemicals Manufactured by 3M Are Turning Up in Drinking Water

Studies have shown that 3M-made “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (or PFAS, pronounced ‘PEE-fas’)” found in Teflon, Scotchgard, and fire-fighting foam have been linked to a weakened immune response and cancer. The chemicals contaminate the ground water around the 3M plant in Cotton Grove, Minnesota creating an “underground plume” of pollution that’s 100 square miles in size. The biggest problem? 3M knew of the dangers and has been covering it up for decades.

Published: Nov 2, 2018
Length: 23 minutes (5,908 words)

The Unsolved Murder of an Unusual Billionaire

Everyone in Canadian high society knew the Shermans, who owned a lucrative generic drug company and were some of the country’s most active philanthropists. But Barry Sherman also sued a lot of people, battled his cousins, made questionable business relationships, didn’t use a bodyguard, and kept their one home security camera off.

Published: Oct 24, 2018
Length: 26 minutes (6,568 words)

Dying Alone in Japan: The Industry Devoted to What’s Left Behind

Companies that deal with the belongings left behind after you die are in demand in Japan, “where each year more people die with no one to mourn them.”

Published: Jul 17, 2018
Length: 10 minutes (2,731 words)

The New Startup South

Greenville, South Carolina has discovered a way to revitalize its postindustrial spaces: by incubating start-ups and joining the knowledge economy. Can other mid-size Southern cities do the same?

Published: Jun 21, 2018
Length: 7 minutes (1,800 words)

The Legend of Nintendo

How can a perennial blockbuster like Nintendo fall down for more than a century, innovate continuously from that prone position, and rise up, as if on cue, to master the art of fairytale comebacks time and time again? Felix Gillette tries to crack the code behind the gaming giant’s success, which remains as mysterious and unlikely as lucking into a banana bunch in the depths of an abandoned mineshaft.

Published: Jun 21, 2018
Length: 13 minutes (3,349 words)

The Gambler Who Cracked the Horse-Racing Code

Bill Benter did the impossible: He wrote an algorithm that couldn’t lose at the track. Close to a billion dollars later, he tells his story for the first time.

Published: May 3, 2018
Length: 25 minutes (6,447 words)