The Verge - Longforms

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Back to the Faraday Future

Can an electric car startup save itself from its founder? Faraday Future, once the most hyped electric vehicle startup following in Tesla’s wake, is now known for its money troubles, if it is known at all. Flashy hires — from SpaceX, Tesla, Apple, and Ford — have mostly moved on. The $2 billion it has spent to develop a luxury SUV hasn’t paid off;...

The many human errors that brought down the Boeing 737 Max

The many human errors that brought down the Boeing 737 Max The first sign of trouble appeared just after takeoff. Inside the cockpit of PK-LQP, a brand-new Boeing 737 Max belonging to Lion Air, the stick shaker on the captain’s side began to vibrate. Stick shakers are designed to warn pilots of an impending stall, which can cause a dangerous loss...

How a Vermont social network became a model for online communities

Front Porch Forum’s secret? Staying local On August 29th, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene passed over Vermont, the first such storm to hit the state since 1938. Almost every river and stream in the state flooded. When the water receded, four people were dead and numerous towns faced a massive cleanup, with nearly $700 million dollars worth of damage across...

Dirty dealing in the $175 billion Amazon Marketplace

Dirty dealing in the $175 billion Amazon Marketplace Last August, Zac Plansky woke to find that the rifle scopes he was selling on Amazon had received 16 five-star reviews overnight. Usually, that would be a good thing, but the reviews were strange. The scope would normally get a single review a day, and many of these referred to a different scope,...

How a nuclear stalemate left radioactive waste stranded on a California beach

Nuclear waste is all dressed up with nowhere to go When I got to the San Onofre State Beach about 60 miles north of San Diego, the red sun of fire season was sandwiched on the horizon between a layer of fog and the sea. Surfers floated in a line off the shore. It looked like any other California beach — except for the row of signs that warned “Nuclear...

The unlikely story of a meteorite hunter who became a fugitive from the law

How a meteorite hunter’s obsession took him from the mountains of Colorado, to the Bundy Ranch, and eventually landed him in jail For eight seconds, an eerie orange glow lit up the mesas and canyons of western Colorado with the intensity of the full Moon. Locals reported a bluish orb in the sky that burst into a yellow ball of flames and dissipated...

California’s largest lake is dying, leaving toxic dust behind

As California’s largest lake dries up, it threatens nearby communities with clouds of toxic dust On May 29th, 2009, Michelle Dugan and her family began the 600-mile trip from El Centro, California to the Bay Area, where she was set to attend her college orientation. They left late Friday evening, driving through the dusty Imperial Valley landscape and...

Inside the bad math that lets Coca-Cola say it gives back all the water it uses

When Coca-Cola announced plans earlier this year to recycle the equivalent of 100 percent of its packaging by 2030, the company touted the effort as building on its success with sustainable water use. In a 2016 full-page ad published in The New York Times, the company proclaimed, “For every drop we use, we give one back,” boasting on its website that...

I tried leaving Facebook. I couldn’t

Facebook is an emotional labor machine, and if you want to leave it, you’re going to have to start doing a lot of work When I was in college, my high school best friend and I had a terrible falling-out. It was entirely because of Facebook. “I think Allison got engaged?” our mutual friend Kaitlin texted me one day. “I think I saw it on Facebook?” ...

What happens when an algorithm cuts your health care

For most of her life, Tammy Dobbs, who has cerebral palsy, relied on her family in Missouri for care. But in 2008, she moved to Arkansas, where she signed up for a state program that provided for a caretaker to give her the help she needed. There, under a Medicaid waiver program, assessors interviewed beneficiaries and decided how frequently the caretaker...

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