The pandemic has forced us to rethink virtually everything—including how to turn in-person gatherings into virtual experiences that don’t, well, suck. For WIRED, I wrote about how events and conferences may be forever transformed by COVID-19, even when it’s safe again to crowd into a hotel conference center and try not to spill your mediocre coffee.
How we’ll learn to sing together when we’re far apart: Making collaborative music during a pandemic
(Illustration: Elena Lacey)
What does it mean to make music with other people when we’re all stuck isolating at home? In this feature for WIRED, I wrote about parenting, choral singing, family history, my son’s band, and collaborative music during the coronavirus lockdown.
Tech companies donate to Democrats and Republicans; their employees lean left
For Protocol, a news site launched by the publisher of Politico, I analyzed thousands of contributions from employees of top technology companies, as well as the donations those companies’ PACs gave to candidates. My findings: Tech companies divide their political spending very neatly between Democrats and Republicans. Their workers — whose dollars largely fund their employers’ PACs — support Democratic candidates by a wide margin.
The millions Silicon Valley spends to protect its executives
Keeping CEOs at top technology companies safe is costly: This year Facebook will spend a cool $10 million on personal security for cofounder Mark Zuckerberg, a figure that’s nearly quadrupled over the past six years. In my latest for WIRED, I explained who’s spending what to keep their people safe, and why.
WIRED special issue: Gear
Every year WIRED publishes a special, standalone issue dedicated to awesome stuff for your home, your work, and your life. For this special 128-page print issue I serve as deputy editor, directing the editorial process and editing and sometimes writing for the issue, usually about food. In prior years the annual issue was called Design Life.
How the San Francisco Symphony Turned a Dreadful Room into Sonic Paradise
A few years ago the San Francisco Symphony took a cavernous rehearsal space and turned it into a trendy music venue, thanks to an audio system that makes a virtue out of terrible acoustics. I went behind the scenes at the Symphony with music director Michael Tilson Thomas and created this video and story for WIRED.
The Sickeningly Low Rate of Vaccinations at Silicon Valley Day Cares
In February I reported on the vaccination rates at daycares associated with Silicon Valley companies. In my investigation I found that the childcare centers affiliated with several large companies — Google and Pixar among them — had unusually low rates of vaccinations among young children.
I followed up on the story here and here.
I discussed my reporting on CNBC’s Power Lunch show.
Marketplace: Tech firms don’t just get their workers from Ivy League schools
The Schools Where Apple, Google, and Facebook Get Their Recruits
For the Infoporn section of Wired’s June issue, I analyzed LinkedIn’s massive database to determine which universities send the most graduates to tech companies like Facebook, Apple, Google, and Twitter.
Michael Lewis on Exposing Wall Street’s High-Tech Swindle
In April I interviewed best-selling author Michael Lewis in Los Angeles about his new book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt.
Wired’s 20th Anniversary: IPOs
For Wired’s encyclopedic 20th anniversary issue, I analyzed more than two dozen iconic IPOs of the past twenty years and compiled them into this infographic.
Talking bullets on New Zealand public radio
In March I was interviewed by the New Zealand public radio program This Way Up about my Wired piece on ammunition.
Marketplace: Billions of bullets manufactured every year
In February I was interviewed for American Public Media’s Marketplace, a public radio program that’s distributed nationally, about my piece about the ammunition industry.
If you want to stop gun violence, start with bullets
“Overkill,” my feature on the ammunition industry, appears in the March 2013 issue of Wired.
How Visionaries Spot the Future
In spring of 2012, as part of Wired’s 20th anniversary celebration, we asked eight prominent thinkers in the tech world about how they spot the future. My interviews with Chris Sacca, Esther Dyson, Joi Ito, Paul Saffo, Juan Enriquez, Tim O’Reilly, Vint Cerf, and Peter Schwartz can be found here.
The Dotcom Boom, 10 Years Later
Wired, March 2010
I conceived of and edited this 8-page feature package commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the dotcom bust.
I later discussed the package for Wired‘s Storyboard podcast.
Anatomy of a Google Auction
Wired, June 2009
How do Google ads work? This diagram, which accompanied a feature story by Steven Levy about Google’s advertising technology, explains how the search giant’s scoring system ranks text ads.
Why Things Suck
Wired, February 2008
Journalists love to kvetch, so it’s no surprise that Wired published a cover package called “Why Things Suck.” The package, which I co-created, aimed to explain the scientific reasons that, for example, office printers jam or human knees fail. In addition to editing several pieces, I explained why your tomatoes taste terrible (short answer: because you’re eating them in February!) and why fertility treatments fail so often (short answer: gametes are fragile).
New York Times
After leaving Red Herring and before joining Wired, I wrote a couple of technology articles for the New York Times‘ erstwhile Circuits section:
Web’s Tin Cups Find Soft Touches Aplenty: February 13, 2003
The Finale as Rerun: Spoiling Survivor: March 27, 2003
I joined Red Herring, a monthly magazine about the business of technology, during the ascent of the dotcom bubble. First I managed the magazine’s sizeable editorial research team, which provided data-driven stories to the print and online divisions of the magazine. Later, I edited Forward, the magazine’s front-of-the-book section. Below, some of my writing clips:
The battle over digital television, September 2002 [PDF]
Branding for dummies: August 2002 [PDF]
Palm’s recovery strategy just might work: January 2002 [PDF]
How to protect your DNA from unauthorized use, October 2001 [PDF]
Dinner with The Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell: March 2001
Venture capital in Washington: October 2000 [PDF]
Scandal at Utah tech company Cimetrix: September 2000
Oxygen Media goes for gold: May 2000
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