I write about the intersection of science, technology, and culture.


 California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences


I started my career over 15 years ago at the free weekly San Francisco Bay Guardian. Later I worked as a contributing editor at Wired, and then founded the science and science fiction blog io9 at Gawker Media. I was editor-in-chief of io9 for 7 years, then became the editor-in-chief of Gizmodo. Since 2016, I've been a contributor at Ars Technica. I have also published in The New Yorker, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, the New York Times, Popular Science, 2600, and many other fine publications.

Currently, my journalistic obsessions include archaeology, urban studies, environmental science, human evolution, artificial intelligence, bots, social behavior in non-human animals, and online communities. I also write about movies, TV, and books in the scifi/fantasy genres. I like it when speculation is pragmatic and reality is fungible.

Recent cool stuff

Washington Post

Ars technica

Boston Globe


new york times


a selection of classics


The Ashley Madison Fembots Series

In late 2015, I did a realtime data analysis of the leaked Ashley Madison “data dump,” which included company emails, part of their membership database, credit card transactions, and source code. It was particularly interesting because in my first article I misunderstood an odd data anomaly in the membership database — and when readers pointed out the misunderstanding, it led to an even more bizarre discovery, which you can read about in Part III and Part IV. You can read my whole Ashley Madison data dump series in these articles on Gizmodo:


During the seven years I ran io9, I wrote hundreds of articles. Read them here. I've included a few highlights.

The New Yorker

    The Atlantic

    Smithsonian Magazine

    Discover Magazine

    Washington Post

    Wired Magazine

    New Scientist

    Popular Science

    The San Francisco Bay Guardian



    From 1999 to 2008, I wrote a weekly column about technology and culture that was syndicated in a number of free weekly papers. It started in the Silicon Valley Metro, and later its home base was the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Many are now only available via the Wayback Machine, so thanks to the Internet Archive for keeping the deep history of web journalism alive.

    Techsploitation Columns, 1999-2008