New York Times Magazine

How the $4 Trillion Flood of Covid Relief Is Funding the Future

Out of the $65 billion allocated to broadband in the recent infrastructure law, the bulk — $45 billion — is for installing broadband, compared with $17 billion for ongoing access and subsidy grants.

The Unlikely Activists Who Took On Silicon Valley — and Won

Alastair Mactaggart has became the most improbable, and perhaps the most important, privacy activist in America. Almost by accident, though, Mactaggart had thrust himself into the greatest resource grab of the 21st century. To Silicon Valley, personal information had become a kind of limitless natural deposit, formed in the digital ether by ordinary people as they browsed, used apps and messaged their friends.

Want to Understand What Ails the Modern Internet? Look at eBay

When the biggest platforms seem to be flailing or punting on problems, it’s often because they’re trying to address broad social issues with market solutions. They’re rediscovering, at scale and at great expense to their users, the ways in which a society is more than a bazaar, and the pitfalls of allowing human attention to be sold and resold as a commodity. If a platform is addressing a collective problem in a maddeningly strange way, consider that it might see itself, or only know to govern itself, like an eBay.

The Case Against Google

Google has succeeded where Genghis Khan, communism and Esperanto all failed: It dominates the globe. Though estimates vary by region, the company now accounts for an estimated 87 percent of online searches worldwide.

How Far Will Sean Hannity Go?

Among Sean Hannity’s critics, his relationship with President Donald Trump is frequently depicted as nakedly and sycophantically transactional — one career entertainer grabbing onto the coattails of another and hanging on for dear life. But people close to the president and Hannity say this caricature vastly oversimplifies the complicated and evolving alliance between the two men and misunderstands the degree to which Trump, as candidate and president, has come to Hannity’s positions, rather than the other way around.

CNN Had a Problem. Donald Trump Solved It.

An inside look into the strange symbiosis between Jeff Zucker and the president he helped create.

By the time Jeff Zucker’s name came up for the CNN job in 2012, both he and the 24-hour news network seemed to some people like relics of a different era in television. One of those who lobbied on his behalf was Donald Trump. He sang Zucker’s praises to Turner Broadcasting System’s chief executive at the time, Phil Kent, who was in charge of hiring for the position, when the two were seated next to each other at a black-tie charity dinner at the Plaza Hotel hosted by the American Turkish Society. Zucker and Trump spoke every month or so during the Republican primaries. CNN’s anchors — Jake Tapper in particular — did some of the toughest interviews with Trump, who would sometimes call Zucker afterward to complain, often going on expletive-laden rants. After securing the nomination, though, Trump made the calculation that he would be better off simply turning against certain media outlets. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, carried the message to Zucker in June, not long after CNN took the unprecedented step of fact-checking Trump’s statements — a large number of which were completely untrue — in real-time with on-screen chyrons. Kushner told Zucker over the phone that in the future, Trump would be doing interviews with only friendly outlets.