explainers

Crisis Actors

Where the ‘Crisis Actor’ Conspiracy Theory Comes From

Victims of the Parkland shooting have been baselessly accused of being paid actors, thanks to a series of conspiracy theory bloggers after the Sandy Hook massacre.
Jason Koebler
2.22.18
explainers

The FCC Is Using an Obsolete Loophole to Help a Pro-Trump Media Company Take Over Local TV

Sinclair Broadcast Group will soon be able to reach 72 percent of all American households.
Sam Gustin
8.11.17
Space

What Is a ‘Stealth Black Hole,’ and Should We Worry One Will Gobble Us Up?

An explainer on the "stealth black hole" scientists announced this week.
Elizabeth Howell
6.30.16
News

Almost Nothing About the ‘Apple Harvests Gold From iPhones’ Story Is True

Here is the truth: Apple paid independent recyclers to recycle old electronics—which were almost never Apple products, by the way—because it’s required by law to do so.
Jason Koebler
4.20.16
You'll Sleep When You're Dead

A Brief History of Cryosleep

How scientists are trying to make humans hibernate, and the real science behind one of science fiction's favorite tropes.
Jason Koebler
1.19.16
security

Why DMCA Rulemaking Is an Unsustainable Garbage Train

Every three years, the Librarian of Congress puts a whole bunch of researchers through a twisted bureaucratic process.
Sarah Jeong
11.3.15
BitTorrent

This One GIF Explains How BitTorrent Finds Files

Torrents, how do they work?
Clinton Nguyen
10.29.15
video

This Is Why You Hate the Sound of Your Own Voice on Recordings

This is why your "phone voice" sounds different and worse.
Clinton Nguyen
10.22.15
video

The Idiot’s Guide to Quantum Computing

A two-minute explainer on a major game-changer.
Rachel Pick
10.19.15
Bitcoin

What Is Even Happening with Bitcoin Right Now

A civil war brewing over a minor software change.
Sarah Jeong
8.19.15
News

North Korea’s Time Zone Switch Isn’t That Weird Once You Think About It

Time is kinda more like play-doh, Rust.
Clinton Nguyen
8.8.15
video

Why We Spend About Half Our Time Awake Just... Spacing Out

Can you even make it through this article without your mind wandering?
Rachel Pick
8.6.15
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