Technology : The Atlantic

The Atlantic covers breaking news, analysis, opinion around the hard and soft sciences, innovation, and technology on the official site of the Atlantic Magazine.

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An Unexpected Boon to America’s Vaccine Towns

At 8 a.m. on February 14, the very minute New York made me eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, I fired up my laptop and started looking for a shot. Over the course of five torturous minutes, I blasted my way through a laggy eligibility screener, waited for the confirmation page to unfreeze, and finally landed on the portal listing the state’s mass-vaccination...

What on Earth Is Amazon Doing?

What the hell is Amazon doing?The company is behaving like a common troll on social media, which is not the usual stance for a giant corporation. As someone who has spent an ungodly amount of time studying brand behavior on the internet, I have a theory—but, first, let me back up.Over the past week, Amazon has mounted an aggressive public-opinion campaign...

There’s a Better Way to Date Online—If You Like Trains

As a single person wandering through the world, it can be difficult to find someone who loves all the right things: parks, subways, bike lanes, human-scale buildings, high-density housing, debates over the ideal length of a city block. Even on a dating app, you can’t always tell from a profile who might be thinking, behind a smile, I hate cars.But if...

The Sublime Absurdity of a Big, Stuck Boat

Yesterday, with only a few minutes left in my weekly Zoom appointment with my therapist, I decided to derail the proceedings to ask her what I believed was an essential question. It had nothing to do with my fear of vulnerability or difficulty asking for help; in fact, it had nothing to do with me at all.Had she seen the stuck boat?The boat, of course,...

You Probably Don’t Remember the Internet

For many of us, for better or for worse, the internet is home. Our communities are here, because many of them could not exist any other way. Superfans, shitposters, amateur experts, wiki nerds, grizzled forum moderators, obsessive sneaker enthusiasts, and hobbyists who spend a substantial amount of their time photographing vintage Furbies in human clothes,...

End Meeting for All

Photographs by Thomas Dworzak / Magnum PhotosZoom, for most of us, arrived last year. And didn’t it feel right on time? Eerily on the button. As if the nine-foot locusts that run the universe, in a spasm of insect whimsy, had given us simultaneously a deadly, denormalizing virus and a new medium of human communication in which to freak out about it....

The Truth Seekers Are Coming

Sometime in the middle of the pandemic year, and sometime in the middle of a prolonged and compulsive scroll through Instagram, the “truth seekers” came into my life. The term was showing up over and over in the bios and captions of the women I followed, so often that I was starting to feel as if I were seeing things. The lockdowns seemed to have inspired...

High School Wasn’t Supposed to Be Like This

COVID-19 has destroyed the sanctuary of my multigenerational household. At 3 a.m., on a Thursday in December, my grandmother died in a New Orleans hospice from the coronavirus, six days after she had tested positive.I am only 14, and this is my first time experiencing loss. Every day, I struggle with her death. Sometimes I pretend I can see her, with...

Who Would Volunteer to Fact-Check Twitter?

I learned about the pilot test of Twitter’s new crowdsourced misinformation-labeling program the same way I learn about most news events that are relevant to my life: A bunch of Harry Styles fans were talking about it on my timeline.Or rather, they were reacting to it, in quote-tweets, one after another, all saying essentially the same thing: “larries...

Texas’s Power Grid Makes It Unfree

How could this have happened? For four days, millions of people in Texas—the so-called energy capital of the world—shivered in the dark, unable to turn the lights on or run their heaters during some of the coldest days in decades. At least 30 Texans have died so far, including a 75-year-old man whose oxygen machine lost power and an 11-year-old boy...

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