By Kellen Browning
Annette Carlin feels trapped.
Before the pandemic, Carlin, who is 84, loved to go on walks in Novato, California, with her grandchildren and dance at the senior center. Since March, though, she has been stuck indoors. She has been eager to sign up for a vaccine and begin returning to normal life.
But booking an appointment has been a technological nightmare. Carlin cannot afford to buy a computer and would not know how to navigate the internet in search of a shot even if she could. …
By Thomas Fuller
SAN FRANCISCO — Weary of being cooped inside during the pandemic, Vicha Ratanapakdee was impatient for his regular morning walk. He washed his face, put on a baseball cap and face mask and told his wife he would have the coffee she had prepared for him when he returned. Then, on a brisk and misty Northern California winter morning last month, he stepped outside.
About an hour later, Vicha, an 84-year-old retired auditor from Thailand, was violently slammed to the ground by a man who charged into him at full speed. It was the type of forceful…
By Kashmir Hill
Though police have been using facial recognition technology for the last two decades to try to identify unknown people in their investigations, the practice of putting the majority of Americans into a perpetual photo lineup has gotten surprisingly little attention from lawmakers and regulators. Until now.
Lawmakers, civil liberties advocates and police chiefs have debated whether and how to use the technology because of concerns about both privacy and accuracy. But figuring out how to regulate it is tricky. So far, that has meant an all-or-nothing approach. City Councils in Oakland, California; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, Minneapolis…
By Ben Smith
“Ninety Day Fiancé” is, on some Sunday nights, the most-watched show on television. And in the latest innovation in streaming, Discovery+ includes a channel that lets you watch it for four days straight without seeing the same episode twice.
If you’re not familiar with the 6-year-old show, as a surprisingly large share of New Yorkers (my editors here, shamefully, included) are, the 90 days of the title refers to the period in which the noncitizen holder of a K-1 visa may remain in the country before marriage or face deportation. …
By Ivan Nechepurenko and Alan Yuhas
MOSCOW — What drove nine experienced hikers, some barefoot and almost naked, out of their tent and into the subzero cold and the tomblike darkness of the Russian wilderness in 1959?
When their bodies were found in a remote pass in the Ural Mountains, 62 years ago this week, no one could explain what — or who — had killed them.
That riddle has baffled investigators and inspired books, movies and TV shows for decades, but now two scientists believe they may finally have found an answer.
For some Russians, the enduring mystery has…
By Cade Metz
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — Over the rolling, scrub-spotted hills of the Southern California coast, where defense contractors once tested rockets and lasers for President Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” missile defense program, what looked like a big, mechanical insect stalked a white pickup truck.
Half a mile away, 28-year-old Palmer Luckey, one of the tech industry’s proudest iconoclasts, talked excitedly about the military potential of the flying machine — a self-piloting drone, called Ghost, that his startup company Anduril built.
“You can just set it up and then go do something else while it maneuvers,” he said.
By Liat Kaplan
If you were on Tumblr in the early 2010s, you may remember a blog called Your Fave Is Problematic. If not, its content should still sound familiar to you. The posts contained long lists of celebrities’ regrettable (racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ethnophobic, ableist and so on) statements and actions — the stuff that gets people canceled these days.
That blog was my blog. I spent hours researching each post; as you can probably imagine, my search history was pretty ugly.
By Apoorva Mandavilli
Across the United States, and the world, the coronavirus seems to be loosening its stranglehold. The deadly curve of cases, hospitalizations and deaths has yo-yoed before, but never has it plunged so steeply and so fast.
Is this it, then? Is this the beginning of the end? After a year of being pummeled by grim statistics and scolded for wanting human contact, many Americans feel a long-promised deliverance is at hand.
The United States will win against the virus and regain many aspects of our pre-pandemic lives, most scientists now believe. Of the 21 interviewed for this…
By Kate Conger
For years, Twitter remained pretty much the same. One of its most memorable product updates was in 2017 when it doubled the number of characters that could fit into a tweet.
But in recent months, the company has signaled an itch for change, with plans for an audio chat service, a platform for newsletter writers, ephemeral content and new moderation tools that give people more control over their conversations.
On Thursday, Twitter went a step further, announcing ambitious plans to expand with new subscription options and communities for specific interests.
“The notion of Twitter even changing feels…
By Kevin Roose
A few nights ago, after my weekly trip to the grocery store, I sat in my car glued to Clubhouse, the invitation-only social audio app.
While my ice cream thawed in the trunk, I dropped in on a room where Tom Green, the former MTV shock comedian and star of “Freddy Got Fingered,” was debating the ethics of artificial intelligence with a group of computer scientists and Deadmau5, the famous Canadian DJ.
When that was over, I headed to a room called NYU Girls Roasting Tech Guys. There, I listened to college students playing a dating game…