Internet Freedom's Poster Child Is Dangerous, Douchey, and Out of Prison

Welcome to Reading List, Gizmodo's Saturday afternoon roundup of the best writing from around the web. This week, we've got pieces from The Awl, The New York Times, Medium, Wired, and more.

  • David Kushner spends a rambling, maddening spell with Andrew "weev" Auernheimer, the bombastic hacker and self-proclaimed troll jailed for revealing an AT&T security flaw that exposed private email addresses. Weev became a hero of internet freedom when he was sentenced—but now that he's out, Kushner says he's more unhinged, douchey, and dangerous than ever. [Matter]
  • Nicola Twilley spends time with the world's first frozen-dumpling billionaire, a Chinese surgeon turned businessman who revolutionized industrial food production in China—and whose work bringing refrigeration to citizens and food factories alike is bringing a huge environmental toll. [The New York Times Magazine]
  • Curtis Wallen's experiments in internet anonymity began as an art project of sorts. But as he went deeper, the goal went from simple anonymity to something deeper—and ended with him inventing an entirely new identity, complete with driver's license, for a person who never existed. [The Atlantic]
  • Gideon Lewis-Kraus interviews Dean Hachamovitch, the man who essentially invented autocorrect. Despite all of the technology's shortcomings, and despite how ducking frustrating it can sometimes be, Lewis-Kraus says the fact that it allows our thumb-typing to be legible at all is an engineering marvel. [Wired]
  • Jacob Silverman looks at the State Department's strangely sincere Twitter campaign, which attempts "21st-century statecraft" by responding to pro-terrorism tweets "with all the grace of someone's dad showing up at a college party." [Politico Magazine]
  • Robert Hackett straps on Oculus Rift goggles and comes away with an unexpected conclusion: Virtual reality could be the 21st century's hallucinogen. [Motherboard]