A death on Usenet: Sharon Lopatka and the strange case of “consensual murder”

July 3rd, 2016

To her neighbors she seemed quiet and unassuming. Online, she asked to be tortured and killed.  

How Romania brought broadband to a whole country—and who got left behind

June 26th, 2016

Romania has some of the best broadband connectivity in the world. So why are so many of its citizens still offline?

Meet the Plaid Parliament of Pwning, one of the world’s elite hacking teams

June 12th, 2016

At Carnegie Mellon University, a loose crew of hackers has become a force to be reckoned within the niche cybersecurity competition known as Capture the Flag.

Inside the topsy-turvy world of Useless, Unsuccessful, and/or Unpopular Memes

June 5th, 2016

The successful meme propagates itself, multiplying far and wide across the internet. But what if it didn’t?

The disappearance of Amina Arraf, a gay girl in Damascus

May 29th, 2016

She was a lesbian activist and blogger, writing eloquently and movingly about the war in Syria. She was lauded and brave. The only problem? She wasn’t real.

The obsessive amateur code-breakers hoping to crack the Zodiac killer’s cipher

May 22nd, 2016

Nearly four decades ago, the Zodiac Killer terrorized the Bay Area, taunting newspaper readers with coded clues to his identity. Online codebreakers are still battling his final puzzle.

How Inkpop went bust and inspired a community of would-be writers

May 15th, 2016

Inkpop was supposed to crowdsource the next big thing in young-adult fiction. It failed, but along the way created something greater.

Archivists of tragedy: Excavating the mystery of Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple

May 8th, 2016

Nearly 40 years ago, more than 900 people died in a commune called Jonestown. Poring over thousands of documents, letters, and audiotapes, a husband-and-wife team try to understand why.

Sean Ironstag’s quixotic quest to build a society of plastic floating cities to clean up the ocean

May 1st, 2016

The problem of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has stymied scientists. One man thinks he has the radical solution.

For his next act, viral video guru Patrice Wilson welcomes your hate

April 24th, 2016

Five years ago, Patrice Wilson gave the world Rebecca Black and “Friday.” Since then, he’s tried to repeat that flukey, viral success—to no avail. So what does he do next?

How the earliest victims of climate change are protecting each other

April 17th, 2016

The world’s most vulnerable people are increasingly under threat from global climate change. In response, they’re finding ways to look out for one another—before the next disaster hits.

The promise and peril of DIY electrical brain stimulation

April 10th, 2016

While transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has shown some effectiveness in treating mood disorders, some manufacturers tout tDCS devices as cognitive cure-alls. That has scientists worried.

Behind the renegade, DIY company bringing hardcore wrestling to the U.K.

April 3rd, 2016

Using the Internet as a turnbuckle, Mark Dallas has turned Insane Championship Wrestling into one of the hottest tickets in Britain—and he’s just getting started.

How a fluke video game called the Eternal War became a cultural phenomenon—and changed its creator

March 27th, 2016

James Moore played a game of Civilization II for more than a decade, creating a dystopian world forever at war. Sharing it with Reddit changed his life.

The controversial rise of ‘Stop Snitching’ Facebook groups

March 20th, 2016

The anti-snitching movement has seeped onto the Internet—but is it raising awareness and prompting needed reforms or encouraging vigilante justice?

The plight of the modern YouTube music star

March 13th, 2016

The true stories behind your favorite viral music videos.

The complicated past (and future) of esports on TV

March 6th, 2016

With ELEAGUE, Turner is betting it can turn competitive gaming into household entertainment. It’s certainly not the first to try.

Would you buy meat from a robot butcher?

February 28th, 2016

From modern farming to fast food’s made-to-order assembly lines, food production has gone industrial. Soon robot butchers and cooks may be subbed in for people.

Maura Murray and the Internet sleuths trying to find her

February 21st, 2016

The college student disappeared from a snowy New England more than a decade ago. For police, the case went quickly cold. Online, the search continues.

The pen pal romances of WriteAPrisoner.com

February 14th, 2016

“There’s a lot of fish in the sea, but hell, there are a lot of fish behind bars too.”

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