Slate - Technology

Is Fortnite Special?

Is Fortnite Special?

If you weren’t already one of the 45 million people playing Fortnite, last week was when you heard about it. The game—which is really two games, one about building things while killing monsters and
Farewell to Runescape Classic , the Rudimentary RPG Where I Learned Important Life Lessons by Selling Apple Pies to Strangers

Farewell to Runescape Classic , the Rudimentary RPG Where I Learned Important Life Lessons by Selling Apple Pies to Strangers

In 2001, the video-game studio Jagex launched Runescape, an online role-playing game. This week, the developers announced that the original version of the game, one that consumed vast quantities of my
We Went Back in Time to 2008 and Twitter Was Strangely Pleasant There

We Went Back in Time to 2008 and Twitter Was Strangely Pleasant There

Nothing particularly notable happened on this day in Twitter history—and that’s what made it a good day to travel 10 years back in Twitter time and see what your feed looked like in 2008. Andy Baio, a
The LA Times Isn’t Letting Europeans Read Its Site Thanks to the EU’s New Internet Rules

The LA Times Isn’t Letting Europeans Read Its Site Thanks to the EU’s New Internet Rules

Companies that run websites have been dreading this Friday for months: It’s the day Europe’s robust and sweeping new privacy protections go into effect. That’s why, leading up to Friday, websites
Facebook Finally Unveiled Its Plan to Make the Next Election Less Awful Than the Last One

Facebook Finally Unveiled Its Plan to Make the Next Election Less Awful Than the Last One

The 2018 election is less than six months away, and on Thursday Facebook shared its full plan to fumigate the troll infestation that afflicted it last time. Since Donald Trump won the 2016 race, we’ve
Report: DOJ Investigating Bitcoin Price Manipulation

Report: DOJ Investigating Bitcoin Price Manipulation

The Justice Department is opening a criminal investigation, along with the Commodity Futures and Trading Commission, into people who may be manipulating cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether,
Alexa Recorded a Couple’s Private Conversation and Sent It to a Contact

Alexa Recorded a Couple’s Private Conversation and Sent It to a Contact

Uneasy smart-home inhabitants have long wondered whether their obliging devices are quietly eavesdropping on their private conversations. After all, if your smart speaker is listening for its wake
Twitter Will Now Verify Midterm Candidates’ Accounts

Twitter Will Now Verify Midterm Candidates’ Accounts

Twitter has a new plan to verify the accounts of congressional and gubernatorial candidates ahead of the 2018 midterms. It’s labeling candidates’ profiles, tweets, and retweets with a small icon of a
Elon Musk Is Gaslighting Us

Elon Musk Is Gaslighting Us

A pedestal isn’t always a comfortable place to sit, and Elon Musk is getting antsy. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO’s brand of utopian serial entrepreneurship has earned him a legion of fans—an army he has
We Now Know Why the Self-Driving Uber That Killed a Pedestrian Didn’t Brake

We Now Know Why the Self-Driving Uber That Killed a Pedestrian Didn’t Brake

Uber’s self-driving vehicles operating in Arizona were unprepared to safely encounter pedestrians and were fatally over-reliant on the mindfulness of human operators, a federal accident report
Updates to My Privacy Policy

Updates to My Privacy Policy

Thanks to the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation, you’ve probably received emails from every service you’ve ever signed up for alerting you to their privacy policies. Konstantin
Lily Bailey’s Because We Are Bad Made Me Rethink OCD

Lily Bailey’s Because We Are Bad Made Me Rethink OCD

When Lily Bailey was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, she had already been silently grappling with it for about 16 years. As a child, she performed painstaking, sleep-depriving rituals to
Amazon Is Working With Police to Provide Facial Recognition Surveillance

Amazon Is Working With Police to Provide Facial Recognition Surveillance

Remember when Amazon mostly just sold books? Since its founding in 1994, the sprawling online marketplace has ballooned into one of the most powerful companies in the world. Now Amazon offers
Judge: Trump Can’t Block Twitter Users

Judge: Trump Can’t Block Twitter Users

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled that President Donald Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking Twitter users who criticized him and his policies. Her ruling is an
Future Tense Newsletter: Where’s the Outrage Over Cell Carriers Sharing Our Location Data?

Future Tense Newsletter: Where’s the Outrage Over Cell Carriers Sharing Our Location Data?

Greetings, Future Tensers, While the Cambridge Analytica scandal had many up in arms about data dealing by Facebook, it turns out that cellphone carriers may be the bigger violators when it comes to
My Brain Made Me Carry Out a Ponzi Scheme

My Brain Made Me Carry Out a Ponzi Scheme

Back in 2000, a man known only as Mr. Oft began to grapple with an unwanted realization: He was becoming a pedophile. In fact, it wasn’t long before he was charged with child molestation. But the day
Uber Shuts Down Self-Driving Car Testing in Arizona After Fatal Crash

Uber Shuts Down Self-Driving Car Testing in Arizona After Fatal Crash

Uber is shutting down its self-driving car testing in Arizona and terminating around 200 workers in the state working on the program, The Arizona Republic reported on Wednesday. Uber initially
Chinese Police Are Using Facial Recognition Tech to Catch Fugitives at Concerts

Chinese Police Are Using Facial Recognition Tech to Catch Fugitives at Concerts

Police in China have nabbed three fugitives using facial-recognition technology at a series of concerts in Eastern China, the Wall Street Journal reports. Police have employed the surveillance tool
Why App Developers Want Free Trials on iOS

Why App Developers Want Free Trials on iOS

Independent developers have always been an important part of the App Store, fueling the iPhone with innovative ideas that have trickled into bigger apps and even into iOS itself. These indie
The EU’s Interrogation of Mark Zuckerberg Was a Waste of Everyone’s Time

The EU’s Interrogation of Mark Zuckerberg Was a Waste of Everyone’s Time

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the European Union’s Conference of Presidents on Tuesday for what ended up being a fruitless hearing about the company’s many controversies over the past