Welcome to Airspace

How the same design language — “the neutered Scandinavianism of HGTV” — took over coffee shops and Airbnbs from Brooklyn to Osaka.

Source: The Verge
Published: Aug 3, 2016
Length: 14 minutes (3,601 words)

Inside the Renegade Republican Movement for Tackling Climate Change

The number of Republicans who believe in climate change is increasing, yet the GOP stance is to deny and avoid the issue. These conservative advocates are talking to conservative voters about how a warming planet effects the things they value: economics, hunting and fishing and national security.

Source: The Verge
Published: Apr 7, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,955 words)

The Empathy Layer

Koko offers peer-to-peer support to promote emotional well-being. Can the app—which lets strangers and bots become amateur therapists—create a safer internet?

Author: Ben Popper
Source: The Verge
Published: Mar 2, 2017
Length: 17 minutes (4,357 words)

Speak, Memory: Can Artificial Intelligence Ease Grief?

“It has been less than a year since Mazurenko died, and he continues to loom large in the lives of the people who knew him. When they miss him, they send messages to his avatar, and they feel closer to him when they do. ‘There was a lot I didn’t know about my child,’ Roman’s mother told me. ‘But now that I can read about what he thought about different subjects, I’m getting to know him more. This gives the illusion that he’s here now.'”

Source: The Verge
Published: Oct 6, 2016
Length: 20 minutes (5,083 words)

The Secret Rules of the Internet

A look behind the scenes of the messy, complicated world of web content moderation — and its effects on free speech online.

Source: The Verge
Published: Apr 13, 2016
Length: 39 minutes (9,862 words)

A History of the Windows Start Menu

The twenty-year transformation of Microsoft’s most identifiable product.

Author: Tom Warren
Source: The Verge
Published: Feb 11, 2016
Length: 9 minutes (2,454 words)

My Brother’s Keeper

Guy-Ryan visits TROSA, a therapeutic community for addicts where her brother has admitted himself as a resident.

Source: The Verge
Published: Sep 2, 2015
Length: 15 minutes (3,773 words)

Website, Profiled

The Awl finally gets the profile it has long deserved. How the independent, bootstrapped publication has remained one of the most influential sites for editors and writers since 2009. “By staying aloof from the content cycle, they’ve succeeded in creating a series of publications with coherent identities and distinct sensibilities. Those traits can be hard to maintain today, when stories are encountered alone and out of context on social platforms, and when there are huge incentives for covering viral stories that lie outside of a publication’s wheelhouse.”

Source: The Verge
Published: Jul 9, 2015
Length: 18 minutes (4,677 words)

This Is Uber’s Playbook for Sabotaging Lyft

How startups play dirty to gain any advantage in the exploding taxi app market.

Source: The Verge
Published: Aug 26, 2014
Length: 6 minutes (1,600 words)

Meet the Godfather of Wearables

Alex Pentland has carved a career path somewhere between the social sciences and science fiction, spearheading the development of everything from Google Glass to fitness trackers.

It all started with beavers. When Alex Pentland was three years into his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, in 1973, he worked part-time as a computer programmer for NASA’s Environmental Research Institute. One of his first tasks — part of a larger environmental-monitoring project — was to develop a method for counting Canadian beavers from outer space. There was just one problem: existing satellites were crude, and beavers are small. “What beavers do is they create ponds,” he recalls of his eventual solution, “and you can count the number of beavers by the number of ponds. You’re watching the lifestyle, and you get an indirect measure.”

The beavers were soon accounted for, but Pentland’s fascination with the underlying methodology had taken root. Would it be possible, the 21-year-old wondered, to use the same approach to understand people and societies, or use sensors to unravel complex social behavior? And in so doing, could we find a way to improve our collective intelligence — to create, in a sense, a world that was more suited to human needs, where cities and businesses alike were developed using objective data to maximize our happiness and productivity?

Source: The Verge
Published: May 16, 2014
Length: 14 minutes (3,535 words)