The Tenuous Promise of the Substack Dream

The Tenuous Promise of the Substack Dream

Substack CEO Chris Best tells me that while he’s not out to kill what’s left of big media, the ad-free newsletter model has advantages over what traditional journalism has become—a chase for clicks where “most people’s media diets get determined by social media,” he says.

Apple Will Take a Smaller Cut of Some App Store Revenues

Apple Will Take a Smaller Cut of Some App Store Revenues

Though Apple has not released specific numbers, it's likely that the vast majority of App Store developers are eligible for the program, but they together make up only a small portion of Apple's overall App Store revenue, which was $50 billion last year.

The Senate's Section 230 Discourse Somehow Keeps Getting Dumber

The Senate's Section 230 Discourse Somehow Keeps Getting Dumber

At the risk of imposing more coherence than there really was, the main line of attack on Section 230 from Senate Republicans today was that Twitter and Facebook are no longer mere neutral platforms, but rather act as publishers, making editorial decisions about what content to allow and when to add their own content.

Wilderness Rescuers Brace for a Rough Covid-19 Winter

Wilderness Rescuers Brace for a Rough Covid-19 Winter

Every winter, volunteers from Seattle Mountain Rescue are dispatched to the sites of dozens of harrowing incidents: They rescue backcountry skiers buried in avalanches, help injured hikers descend slick trails—and once, they even removed the wreckage of a single-engine plane from a mountainside.

Update iOS Right Now to Fix Some Bad Security Bugs

Update iOS Right Now to Fix Some Bad Security Bugs

Click on the headlines to read them, and stay safe out there.iOS 14.2 Patches Three Actively Exploited BugsApple released its latest iOS update this week, and while the new emojis it comes with are exciting, you'll also want it to fix a raft of security issues for iPhone and iPad. iOS 14 patches 24 bugs in all, including three reported by Google's elite Project Zero team that are have been actively exploited by hackers.

RIP Google Play Music, Gone Too Soon

RIP Google Play Music, Gone Too Soon

Music Beta was announced alongside the launch of Google Movies on the Android Market store, which was the precursor to Google Play.With Google Music, Google didn't need Amazon anymore.iTunes was the industry leader at the time, letting iPhone users shop for music and movies from their computers or phones.

The Wisconsin GOP Lost $2.3 Million in an Email Scam

The Wisconsin GOP Lost $2.3 Million in an Email Scam

We took a closer look at Berserk Bear, the Russian hacking group that for years has broken into critical US infrastructure targets—and more recently, election-adjacent systems—without ever actually causing serious mayhem.

It's Hard to Escape Facebook's Vortex of Polarization

It's Hard to Escape Facebook's Vortex of Polarization

While there’s little evidence to support that Facebook is biased against conservative users, University of Virginia professors Brent Kitchens and Steven Johnson found that, by maximizing for engagement and attention, Facebook’s algorithms actively push conservatives toward more radical content than liberal users.

Among Us Was Hit With Pro-Trump Spam

Among Us Was Hit With Pro-Trump Spam

Recently, US representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) engaged with the voting public via a big Twitch stream in which she played the party game/treachery simulator Among Us. Not long after, the game was plagued by a spam attack that launched a bevy of pro-Republican messages to players, which seems … possibly related.

On the Week of the Election, Social Media Must Go Dark

On the Week of the Election, Social Media Must Go Dark

Platforms could either collect such information through the mainstream press or set up a hotline allowing users to report election problems to the social media companies themselves, which would then verify the authenticity of tips before alerting users.

Another Surge, Vaccine and Treatment Progress, and More Coronavirus News

Another Surge, Vaccine and Treatment Progress, and More Coronavirus News

Americans prepare for another surge in cases, vaccine and treatment approval moves forward, and new partnerships curb coronavirus misinformation.This news comes approximately a week after a massive international trial found that remdesivir does not prevent deaths among patients with severe cases with Covid-19.

The Election Will Bring a Hurricane of Misinformation

The Election Will Bring a Hurricane of Misinformation

When people feel crushed by the everything-all-the-time of the moment, when they’re a bundle of nerves and reactivity, they can generate all kinds of stormy energies of their own.To minimize information fatigue on Twitter, I’ve organized everything into lists: left- and right-leaning sources, news organizations, Fox News, and so on.

Treatment and Vaccine Trials Are Halted, US Cases Rise, and More Coronavirus News

Treatment and Vaccine Trials Are Halted, US Cases Rise, and More Coronavirus News

Treatment and vaccine trials are halted, the US forges ahead with its decentralized response, and new revelations about American society and institutions underscore the deadly toll of the virus.

The Law Comes for John McAfee

The Law Comes for John McAfee

Also not ideal: A Chinese-speaking hacker group has been caught repurposing an especially sneaky tool that was first disclosed years ago as part of a leak of the Italy-based Hacking Team spyware company.

Claudia Conway's TikToks Can't Save Democracy

Claudia Conway's TikToks Can't Save Democracy

Last Friday, former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway sent out a tweet that seemed almost inevitable: “Tonight I tested positive for Covid-19.” As the latest in a cascade of positive tests from a White House outbreak that had already infected the president, her condition was newsworthy—but that news had already broken.

The Pence-Harris Debate Is Over—but Let’s Talk About the Fly

The Pence-Harris Debate Is Over—but Let’s Talk About the Fly

Of all the things that could happen txo derail the internet discourse around a vice presidential debate, having a fly swoop in and steal the show has got to be the most apropos for 2020.For those actually on the internet, though, it also felt like 2012, like all those Twitter jokesters who felt like they hadn’t been given a political alley-oop since “binders full of women” suddenly awoke from an eight-year weed nap and got to work.

Trump Tests Positive for Covid-19, Schools Navigate Reopening, and More Coronavirus News

Trump Tests Positive for Covid-19, Schools Navigate Reopening, and More Coronavirus News

President Trump tests positive, lawmakers consider new approaches to contact tracing and testing, and America’s largest school districts navigate reopening.Thus far, contact-tracing apps haven’t done much to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the US, as different states coordinate patchwork responses and the federal government doesn’t weigh in.

The Covid Information War Is Entering a Frightening New Phase

The Covid Information War Is Entering a Frightening New Phase

According to The New York Times, no one contacted the Biden campaign after Trump tested positive, despite the two candidates having been onstage together days earlier.

Politics Is a Metaverse. The Trump-Biden Debate Was Metahell

Politics Is a Metaverse. The Trump-Biden Debate Was Metahell

Earlier this week, which is to say Sunday night, the New York Times dropped a bombshell, an almost-October-surprise just a couple days too early: President Trump ’s taxes.

Peak Newsletter? That Was 80 Years Ago

Peak Newsletter? That Was 80 Years Ago

If that sounds familiar, it's because we’ve lately seen the rise of staff-journalists-turned-newsletter-writers, such as Emily Atkin (formerly of The New Republic, now Heated), Judd Legum (formerly of ThinkProgress, now Popular Information ), and, most recently, Casey Newton (formerly of the Verge, now Platformer).

Covid Vaccines in Phase III, New Risk Calculators, and More Coronavirus News

Covid Vaccines in Phase III, New Risk Calculators, and More Coronavirus News

More vaccines enter Phase III trials, researchers continue to learn about the long-term impacts of Covid-19, and risk calculation becomes increasingly difficult as the country reopens.New tools aim to help you calculate risk as cases rise and the country reopens.

A Trump-Biden Debate Without Climate Change Is Inexcusable

A Trump-Biden Debate Without Climate Change Is Inexcusable

Counting the time devoted to climate change in presidential debates has become a fatalistic, every-four-years ritual, like rooting for England in the World Cup. The moderators didn’t ask a single question about climate change during the three 2016 debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; according to Grist, the topic was discussed for about five and a half minutes total, mostly in passing.

California Plans to Ban Sales of Gas-Powered Cars by 2035

California Plans to Ban Sales of Gas-Powered Cars by 2035

Here's everything you need to know about what humans can do to stop wrecking the planet.“This is really significant, because it sends a clear signal about where California is going in terms of its vehicle fleet,” says Ethan Elkind, who directs the climate program at the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at UC Berkeley.

Covid-19 Support Groups Are a Potential Research Gold Mine

Covid-19 Support Groups Are a Potential Research Gold Mine

However, according to John Naslund, who studies digital mental health at Harvard Medical School, the Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented surge in online activity.It’s interesting that they’re not considered essential.” In his research into online groups dedicated to mental health issues, he’s found such communities to be incredibly helpful for some people’s wellbeing.

America’s Top Science Journal Has Had It With Trump

America’s Top Science Journal Has Had It With Trump

To hear that in his own voice, I think, was one of the most devastating things that has ever happened to science.

Section 230 Is a Government License to Build Rage Machines

Section 230 Is a Government License to Build Rage Machines

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects “interactive computer services” like Facebook and Google from legal liability for the posts of their users.We could start by limiting Section 230 and making the platforms responsible, like any other publisher, for content they decide to promote and amplify.

Google Wants to Remix News Radio Just for You

Google Wants to Remix News Radio Just for You

Google has updated the service to create a more fluid listening experience, so that sitting through an entire session doesn’t feel like you’re just working your way through a hodgepodge of disparate stories.

The Future of American Industry Depends on Open Source Tech

The Future of American Industry Depends on Open Source Tech

Open source is a technology development and distribution methodology, where the codebase and all development—from setting a roadmap to building new features, fixing bugs, and writing documentation—is done in public.

Why Wikipedia Decided to Stop Calling Fox a ‘Reliable’ Source

Why Wikipedia Decided to Stop Calling Fox a ‘Reliable’ Source

There simply were too many examples of misleading, inaccurate, and slanted reporting about science and politics for Wikipedia to pass on Fox News articles as part of a broader search for the truth.Search Google News or YouTube or Facebook and you will find plenty of Fox News reporting on politics and science, and why not?

Rite Aid Used Facial Recognition in Stores for Nearly a Decade

Rite Aid Used Facial Recognition in Stores for Nearly a Decade

There are still plenty of details outstanding about how they might have pulled it off, but court documents show how a trail of bitcoin and IP addresses led investigators to the alleged hackers .A Garmin ransomware hack disrupted more than just workouts during a days-long outage; security researchers see it as part of a troubling trend of "big game hunting" among ransomware groups .