Welcome to this week’s Reading List, Gizmodo’s weekly collection of great tech reads from around the Web. This weekend, we’ll take you on a world tour of vulnerable ancient trees, terrorism on social media, a Chinese electronics manufacturing hub, and obsessive online vigilantes. Hang on to your keyboards!


  • From New York to Hong Kong, conservationists are tracking down, identifying, and registering the oldest, biggest, or most historically significant trees in an effort to preserve these natural wonders. But being on a list isn’t always enough to save the world’s oldest and most vulnerable trees, and some experts fear that focusing on the biggest trees may make it too hard to see - and save - the forest. [Atlas Obscura]
  • One of the scariest things about ISIS is how many young people the group’s pervasive social media strategy has convinced to leave their homes in Western countries and travel to ISIS-held territory, including several young women from Europe, who make the dangerous journey to marry ISIS fighters they’ve never even met. Twitter, tumblr, and Snapchat offer an eerie and startling look into their lives and motivations. Maybe it can even help us figure out why the strategy works. [The Guardian]
  • The Chinese city of Shenzen is home to Foxconn, but it’s also become a center for electronics manufacturing for smaller businesses hoping to bring new products to market. Working conditions and environmental impact are still big problems, but some companies say that competition among factories for employees is driving improvements. For U.S. electronics hardware startups, however, the draw of Shenzen is still cheaper labor and an urban ecosystem built around electronics manufacturing. [Make Magazine]
  • A community on the Internet has made a strange pastime out of the unsolved murder of a Mississippi teenager, Jessica Chambers. They say they’re searching for clues, but local police say the groups haven’t produced a single useful tip yet, and they’re getting frustrated with the distraction. Members of the community, and even Jessica’s parents, say they feel harassed by voyeuristic strangers. Are these wannabe detectives making matters worse? [Buzzfeed]

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


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