Journalism

  • Brave New World of Digital Intimacy

    New York Times Magazine, September 5, 2008

    An investigation of how online status-updates are creating a new, ESP-like form of contact between people: “Ambient awareness”.

  • How to Keep the NSA Out of Your Computer

    Mother Jones, September/October 2013

    Sick of government spying, corporate monitoring, and overpriced ISPs? There’s a cure for that — “mesh networks.”

  • Vision Quest: Doug Aitken’s tech-fueled, all-night, glow-in-the-dark, cross-country, pop-art train ride

    Wired, September 2013

    The artist Doug Aitken has spent his life producing gorgeous, unsettling works that explore our rootless, digital modern life. This fall he’ll do his biggest, weirdest one yet: An exhibit that crosses the country — on a train.

  • What is IBM’s Watson?

    New York Times Magazine, June 16, 2010

    Going inside IBM to find out how they created the ultimate “question-answering” machine: A computer that can play Jeopardy! better than anyone on the planet.

  • Is the Khan Academy Changing the Rules of Education?

    Wired, July 2011

    With free videos and software that lets students learn at their own pace, the Khan Academy is helping public-school teachers flip their classroom around.

  • If You Liked This, You’re Sure to Love That

    New York Times Magazine, November 21, 2008

    Netflix offered a $1 million prize to anyone who could make their “recommendation engine” better. But how well can computers grasp the vagaries of human taste?

  • Google’s China Problem (and China’s Google Problem)

    New York Times Magazine, April 23, 2006 — Winner of an Overseas Press Council Award

    A report on how Google decided to set up shop in China — and how the Internet is, and isn’t, changing the fabric of Chinese society and politics.

  • The Pen That Never Forgets

    New York Times Magazine, September 16, 2010

    Can a high-tech pen keep handwriting alive in a digital age?

  • Why New Yorkers Are Living Longer

    New York, August 13, 2007

    Decades ago, New Yorkers lived shorter lives than everyone else in the country. Beginning in the 1990s, that changed — and now they’re living longer and longer than the average American. What is it about a huge city that makes people healthy?

  • The Instagram Effect

    Wired, December 2012

    Instagram isn’t just giving us a cutesy way to make photos look retro. It’s training us in “photographic seeing” — looking at the world in a whole new way.

  • The Glory of the Gif

    Wired, January 2013

    Why the first “animated gif” was invented 130 years ago — and why tiny loops of video are still keeping us entranced today.

  • The Death of the Phone Call

    Wired, July 2010

    The unexpected, out-of-the-blue phone call is dying — and good riddance. It was always a terribly designed technology.

  • How to Stop Kids From Texting While Driving

    Wired, February 2010

    It’s simple — just stop them from driving. Why have we built a country more suited to cars than to communication?

  • Print Shop

    Wired, November 2011

    “Print on demand” machines can crank out books for an audience of one. Now that they’re arriving, the future of the printed books is looking brighter — and weirder — than ever.

  • Why Introverts Love the Web

    Wired, March 2012

    With texting, social-networking, and status updates, the Internet has been a boon to introverts — letting them stay in contact on their own terms.

  • Why Johnny Can’t Search

    Wired, November 2011

    In the 50s, we worried why Johnny couldn’t read. Now we’re learning that “digital natives” are too easily hoodwinked by Google. Why “search literacy” needs to become part of everyday schooling.