Access to telemedicine is hardest for those who need it most: WIRED

Telemedicine has largely moved online during the pandemic, but elderly people, who make up 25 percent of all medical appointments, are less likely to have internet access at home. In this story for WIRED, I talked to physicians and policy experts to find out how the healthcare industry is addressing the problem. Among the creative solutions being deployed: A physician in North Carolina, where the rate of broadband penetration is the lowest in the country, extended her office’s wifi network so it reached the parking lot. Her patients can drive to the office, park, and get a sanitized tablet from a staff member, and then conduct their visit from the car.

Mapping Vaccination Rates

For years I’ve been reporting on vaccination rates in public schools. In June I examined California’s latest data set and reported on how the state’s efforts to stop parents from skipping their kids’ vaccines just led parents to find another loophole to avoid the shots. At one school in rural California, two-thirds of kindergarteners received a medical exemption — essentially a doctor’s note stating their kids shouldn’t get vaccinations — that allowed them to skip immunizations.

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I also used a state database to plot immunization rates by zip code; click here for the bigger map.

This piece followed research I did for a WIRED print story about the measles outbreak in Brooklyn, for which I mapped vaccination rates nationwide and plotted the cities most at risk of a measles outbreak.

Guns in America, in 5 charts

Following mass shootings in Pittsburgh and Thousand Oaks, California, I once again dove into the data on Americans’ very unique relationship with guns. Among the stats: the US is the only rich nation to see so many citizens die from bullet wounds; two-thirds of gun deaths in the US come from suicides, US manufacturing of firearms has skyrocketed since Barack Obama was elected.

In the chart below, I plotted data about deaths per capita by country against GDP per capita for more than 100 nations. As you can see, the US stands alone.

Silicon Valley workers really do prefer Democrats

Two years ago I analyzed data from the US Federal Election Commission to determine the political leanings of workers at tech companies. This year, I did it again for the midterms, analyzing more than 100,000 political campaign contributions made by workers at five top technology companies.

This piece also shows some of the work I’ve been doing at WIRED, getting our new data-visualization tool, Datawrapper, working with Condé Nast’s custom-built CMS.

WIRED’s Opinion Section

In August 2016 I took over the Opinion section of, editing pieces by everyone from software engineers to entrepreneurs to academics to FCC commissioners to members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.

Here’s my write-up of the most-read pieces in 2017.

Among the pieces I’ve edited recently:
If the FCC Kills Net Neutrality, Congress Will Pay for It, December 2017.
Evidence That Ethiopia Is Spying on Journalists Shows that Spyware is Out of Control, December 2017
Self-Driving Car Tech Can Help Another Form of Transportation: Wheelchairs, November 2017
Equifax Deserves the Corporate Death Penalty, October 2017
Inmates Need Social Media. Take It From a Former Prisoner, October 2017
Supreme Court’s Cell Phone Tracking Case Could Hurt Privacy, September 2017
Why Men Don’t Believe the Data on Gender Bias in Science, August 2017

Tech Workers Are Major Funders of Hillary Clinton’s Campaign

In August I mined public data from the US Federal Election Commission to determine where Presidential candidates were getting their donations. Since individuals have to specify their employer when they make political contributions, it’s not difficult to identify which employers’ workers are interested in which candidates.

The results: The companies whose workers sent the most money to Hillary Clinton read like a list of who’s who in Silicon Valley, with Google workers sending more than a quarter million dollars to the Democratic nominee in a three-month period. Trump, meanwhile, collected the most money from workers at a real estate company in Mobile, Alabama.

Mapping Presidential Candidates’ Political Donations

In August 2016 I reported on the diverse geography of political candidate contributions, drawing on public data from the US Federal Election Commission.

One fun finding: While New York generally votes Democratic, Manhattan is neatly divided into red and blue halves: westsiders donated heavily to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, while the east side, where Trump Tower is located, sent cash to the Republican nominee.

The Thinking Eater’s Guide to Food

I came up with the idea for WIRED’s August 2016 cover package, which we nicknamed the Thinking Eater’s Guide to Food. The goal was to help readers synthesize competing issues of environmental concerns, nutrition, and scalability. I also wrote a story explaining what foods readers should turn to during the never-ending California drought. The package was nominated for a National Magazine Award in the Leisure Interest category in 2017.

Previously, I had analyzed a research paper about water consumption of different crops to create the WIRED guide to produce that won’t make the drought worse.


Silicon Valley Daycares Still Have Vaccination Problems

In 2015 while browsing a huge database from the California Department of Public Health (like you do), I discovered that some of the daycares associated with large technology companies had dismal rates of vaccination among their students. The implication: That employees of said companies were not vaccinating their children.

I reported that story here and here. When new data for the 2015-2016 became available, I checked to see if immunization rates had improved and described the verdict here.