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This Is Ajit Pai, Nemesis of Net Neutrality

In March, Ajit Pai, the 45-year-old chair of the Federal Communications Commission, took to the internet—a community he joyfully inhabits and grudgingly regulates—to pay tribute to his favorite movie. “It’s not just, like, my opinion, man: 20 years ago today, #TheBigLebowski—the greatest film in the history of cinema—was released,” Pai wrote on Twitter. “Decades on, the Dude still abides and the movie really ties us all together.” And sure enough, the response to Pai’s cheerful tweet was united. You’re out of your element Ajit.—@JohnsNotHere Yes, Ajit. Stop trying to mingle…

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The Untold Story of Robert Mueller’s Time in Combat

One day in the summer of 1969, a young Marine lieutenant named Bob Mueller arrived in Hawaii for a rendezvous with his wife, Ann. She was flying in from the East Coast with the couple’s infant daughter, Cynthia, a child Mueller had never met. Mueller had taken a plane from Vietnam. After nine months at war, he was finally due for a few short days of R&R outside the battle zone. Mueller had seen intense combat since he last said goodbye to his wife. He’d received the Bronze Star with…

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The Young and the Reckless

I. The Bumper The trip to Delaware was only supposed to last a day. David Pokora, a bespectacled University of Toronto senior with scraggly blond hair down to his shoulders, needed to travel south to fetch a bumper that he’d bought for his souped-up Volks­wagen Golf R. The American seller had balked at shipping to Canada, so Pokora arranged to have the part sent to a buddy, Justin May, who lived in Wilmington. The young men, both ardent gamers, shared a fascination with the inner workings of the Xbox; though…

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Inside the Safety Issues Surrounding the NY Helicopter Crash

Hoisted into the air by a crane, the mock helicopter cabin swayed above the water in total silence. I sat inside, as tense as the four-point harness holding me in place. Then everything went dark. Wind from giant commercial fans roared toward us to replicate the downwash from a main rotor, water sprayed in from every angle, and we fell into a deep, barely lit indoor pool below, water suddenly pouring in from every opening. The fuselage began rotating upside-down as the operator, standing poolside with a remote control, drove…

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Where Could Bitcoin Succeed as a Currency? In a Failed State

When Juan Pinto gets in line at the movie theater, he takes out his phone and trades just enough bitcoin for Venezuelan bolivars to pay for the ticket by the time he gets to the counter. Pinto lives in Venezuela, but doesn’t keep any of his money in the national currency. The 29-year-old quit his job as a mechanical engineer to dedicate his life to cryptocurrency three years ago, when he says he “fell in love with the technology.” Venezuela’s crumbling economy played a part as well. “Being a Venezuelan…

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The Next 25 Years of WIRED Start Today

In the first issue of WIRED, published 25 years ago this year, founding editor Louis Rossetto declared that “in the age of information overload, THE ULTIMATE LUXURY IS MEANING AND CONTEXT.” (Caps his.) If anything, that simple observation rings even truer today. That’s why WIRED has always valued depth. We dig deep into our subjects, reveling in wonky engineering details that other publications skip. We think deep thoughts about the future. And we form deep relationships with our audience—connecting them to a community of ideas and encouraging them to think…

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