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I was halfway through a job interview when I realized I was wrinkling my nose. I couldn't help myself.
Welcome to Mossberg, a weekly commentary and reviews column on The Verge and Recode by veteran tech journalist Walt Mossberg, executive editor at The Verge and editor at large of Recode.
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes. I’m an expert on how technology hijacks our psychological vulnerabilities. That’s why I spent the last three years as a Design Ethicist at Google caring about how to design things in a way that defends a billion people’s minds from getting hijacked.
Several years ago, my father died as he had done most things throughout his life: without preparation and without consulting anyone. He simply went to bed one night, yielded his brain to a monstrous blood clot, and was found the next morning lying amidst the sheets like his own stone monument.
We all have things that we want to achieve in our lives — getting into the better shape, building a successful business, raising a wonderful family, writing a best-selling book, winning a championship, and so on.
SANTA CLARITA, California—Cesar Millan crosses the road to meet me. Two pit bulls, a Chihuahua, and a Yorkshire terrier—named Junior, Taco, Alfie and Kaley Cuoko—follow. Off leash and at heel, the dogs are calm, almost languid. If Millan communicates with them, I do not notice.
Five years ago today, a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and killed 20 children, six adults, and himself. The reaction was swift, with politicians characterizing the shooting as one so horrific that it obviously required congressional action.
Aristotle is credited with saying these 15 famous words. And for most of my life…I didn’t believe him. Know what I discovered?
This week, the Cut brings you True Romance: five days of stories about love as it’s actually lived. I’m an advice columnist, so sometimes people ask me about how they can “keep the romance alive” in their marriages.
If David Tran were a more conventional CEO, he would be a fixture at conferences, a darling of magazine profiles, and a subject of case studies in the Harvard Business Review.
My framework for getting places, accomplishing things and living in a way that makes me happy. This isn’t a bullshit, head in the clouds, you can do it if you just *believe*post. There’s plenty of those out there. I’m not going to write another one.
Taco Bell is the best Mexican food I ever ate. I will say this to your face over a plate of enchiladas suiza. You will shake your head at such transparent provocation. What a shocking thing to say at a restaurant that has the best tacos in New York City! I won't even correct that assertion.
I'm going to cut the preamble here and get straight to the chase: what the hell is going on in this GIF? How did it all happen? Did a troupe of butterflies flap their wings really hard on the other side of the planet, and through the Super Chaos Theory cause this everyman's Cirque du Soleil? I d
You’ve probably gotten in a political argument in the recent past, whether with your nutso cousin at Thanksgiving or your militantly ignorant co-worker at a happy hour. And you’ll probably get in another political argument sometime in the near future.
In 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published his groundbreaking book, The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, which described his three laws of motion. In the process, Newton laid the foundation for classical mechanics and redefined the way the world looked at physics and science.
I am arriving in Brussels. The train from London is full of the usual Chinese tourists and bored businesspeople. The city doesn’t, contrary to the impression given by CNN, resemble Kabul. Rows and rows of untouched houses scream bourgeois calm (actually, they gently whisper bourgeois calm).
We all know the story. A team creates a groundbreaking new innovation only to see it mired in internal debates. When it is eventually launched in the market, there is an initial flurry of sales to early adopters, but then sales cycles become sluggish.
Although New York City has long had a clearly defined and ubiquitous style of pizza, the city's appetite for the dish knows no bounds. While New Yorkers can certainly be parochial and protective of their home slice, they can also be open and accepting of different pizza points of view.
My wife and I had 12 children over the course of 15 1/2 years. Today, our oldest is 37 and our youngest is 22. I have always had a very prosperous job and enough money to give my kids almost anything. But my wife and I decided not to.
If you’re not sure what Odd Things in Odd Places is and why I’m in Iraq by myself, here’s why. On the morning of Saturday, August 2nd, I got in a taxi in Erbil, the regional capital of Kurdish Iraq, and asked the driver to take me to the Khazir refugee camp.
When it went public in 2011, over a decade after the company’s founding, Pandora employed fewer than 40 engineers.
Sound familiar? Looking back, I realize I used my work to try and fill a void in myself. The problem was that this void was like a black hole. No matter how many hours I worked, it never seemed to fill it up. If anything, it made me feel worse.
Why is it that between 25% and 50% of people report feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work? It’s not just the number of hours we’re working, but also the fact that we spend too many continuous hours juggling too many things at the same time.
Everybody wants what feels good.
One of the hardest things in life is to know when to keep going and when to move on. On the one hand, perseverance and grit are key to achieving success in any field. Anyone who masters their craft will face moments of doubt and somehow find the inner resolve to keep going.
PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing. Buy it here. (Or see a preview.) Note: The reason this post took three weeks to finish is that as I dug into research on Artificial Intelligence, I could not believe what I was reading.
Few post-9/11 security measures have proven as enduring as the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, which effectively nationalized airport security and dramatically increased screening procedures on flights.
It’s easy to lose perspective when we’re facing a thorny dilemma. Blinded by the particulars of the situation, we’ll waffle and agonize, changing our mind from day to day. Perhaps our worst enemy in resolving these conﬂicts is short-term emotion, which can be an unreliable adviser.
For a city that has such clearly defined and cherished food forms as hot dogs, pizza, and steak, New York City does not have a single, dominant burger style. While some of the nation's oldest and most storied hamburgers are sold here — such as those at '21' Club, P.J.
I want to discuss a popular TV show my wife and I have been binge-watching on Netflix. It’s the story of a family man, a man of science, a genius who fell in with the wrong crowd. He slowly descends into madness and desperation, lead by his own egotism.
A few months ago, my friend Tim took a new sales job at a Series C tech company that had raised over $60 million from A-list investors. He’s one of the best salespeople I know, but soon after starting, he emailed me to say he was struggling.
In early 2009, three years prior to Taco Bell’s 50th anniversary, CEO Greg Creed was already experiencing something of a midlife crisis. “Our target audience is [customers] in their 20s. Turning 50 makes us sound old, and I didn’t want to sound old,” Creed explains.
Exactly today (Dec. 26th 2016) I haven’t had a single drop of alcohol or coffee in 27 months. If you're reading this later, you can do the math yourself. A couple of my friends on Facebook & Twitter asked me to write about my experience, so here it is, in a nutshell.
Every September, largely unbeknownst to the rest of the company, a group of around 50 Lego employees descends upon Spain’s Mediterranean coast, armed with sunblock, huge bins of Lego bricks, and a decade’s worth of research into the ways children play.
My cat has been dying for the last two years. It is normal to me now — it is simply the state of affairs. There's a rhythm to her medication: prednisone and urosodiol in the morning, urosodiol again in the evening, chemo every other day, a vitamin B shot once a week.
Twelve years ago, I penned an essay for a Salon series called “To Breed or Not to Breed,” about the decision to have children or not. It began this way: “When I tell people that I’m 27, happily married and that I don’t think I ever want children, they respond one of two ways.
For the past two years, Mandie Snyder, an accountant near Spokane, Washington, has been “monitoring” her daughter. With a handy tech tool known as mSpy, Snyder is able to review her 13-year-old’s text messages, photos, videos, app downloads, and browser history. She makes no apologies for it.
On Friday, November 27, a 57-year-old white man named Robert Louis Dear allegedly injured nine people and killed three in a shooting spree at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Among those shot were four police officers, one of whom died.
What really makes whiskey taste like whiskey? If flavor truly just came down to a simple formula of distilling ratios of grains plus time spent in a barrel, then there wouldn’t be an infinite range of tastes, profiles and qualities.
Elon Musk thinks it's almost certain that we are living in a computer simulation. In short, we are characters in an advanced version of The Sims — so advanced that it creates, well, us.
There were only about three or four ramen shops on Oahu when Hidehito Uki founded Sun Noodle in 1981. Ramen in America was pretty much just a cup of noodles you cooked in the microwave.
Seven in 10 Americans are disengaged from their jobs, according to Gallup. That's more than two-thirds of us who are unfulfilled by our work, just dragging our sorry selves to and from the office every day. One community has an attractive answer: just quit.
The computing industry progresses in two mostly independent cycles: financial and product cycles. There has been a lot of handwringing lately about where we are in the financial cycle. Financial markets get a lot of attention. They tend to fluctuate unpredictably and sometimes wildly.
Kim Scott had one thing to do that day. She was going to price her product. It was the year 2000, she was the founder and CEO of Juice Software, and she had blocked off her whole morning to make this decision.
Your teenager has a science project due. He hates science. He hates projects (as do you). Do you: If, out of love or a desire to bolster your child’s self-esteem, you picked A or B, teacher and author Jessica Lahey thinks you’re wrong.
It has happened to all of us. You’re standing in the produce aisle, just trying to buy some zucchini, when you face the inevitable choice: Organic or regular?
Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases: Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
How long does it take to become elite at your craft? And what do the people who master their goals do differently than the rest of us? That's what John Hayes, a cognitive psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, wanted to know.
The rapid evolution of a wordless tongue. Consider the tilde. There it is, that little squiggle, hanging out on the far-upper-left-hand side of your computer keyboard.
Ruth and Harold “Doc” Knapke met in elementary school. They exchanged letters during the war, when Doc was stationed in Germany. After he returned their romance began in earnest. They married, raised six children and celebrated 65 anniversaries together.
Today, if there's traffic in the area and you want to follow the law, you need to find a crosswalk. And if there's a traffic light, you need to wait for it to change to green. Fail to do so, and you're committing a crime: jaywalking.
Kim Scott, co-founder of Candor, Inc., has built her career around a simple goal: Creating bullshit-free zones where people love their work and working together. She first tried it at her own software startup.
There’s that project you’ve left on the backburner – the one with the deadline that’s growing uncomfortably near. And there’s the client whose phone call you really should return – the one that does nothing but complain and eat up your valuable time.
About four years ago I started working for myself. I wanted the freedom and flexibility to own my schedule and the space to bring my ideas to life.
With well over 50 billion dollars to his name, Warren Buffett is consistently ranked among the wealthiest people in the world. Out of all the investors in the 20th century, Buffett was the most successful.
It’s early and dark. The alarm sounds, and you reach over to switch it off. After a short pause, you sit up. You swing your legs off the bed, touch the floor with your feet, and reach for your phone. You sit quietly while your phone’s screen illuminates the dark bedroom.
You know, thinking, worrying, stressing, freaking out — call it whatever you want. I call it a preoccupied mind. And with what? All my life I’ve been obsessed with practical things. Practical philosophy, practical knowledge, practical books, practical work, and practical advice.