Welcome to Reading List, Gizmodo's weekend roundup of the best writing from around the web. This week, we've got smart takes from Slate, NPR, Wired, and more. Ready your brains, dear readers.
- Mat Honan pens a piercing requiem for the iPod, whose death came unceremoniously with the Apple event this week. For over a decade, the iPod and its portable MP3 player competition defined the way we wove music into our lives, both publicly and privately. Now it's dead, and the way we consume music is forever changed. [Wired]
- The American shopping mall—that tradition-honed building of gargantuan proportions, an enclosed and fluorescent-lighted 20th century take on the town square—is dying. But what fills the void left when a suburb's retail warehouse turns off its lights? The answer is fascinatingly varied, as NPR reports. You can read the abridged transcript of this piece online, but the full recording is most definitely worth a listen. [NPR]
- Jody Rosen gives us an inside look at one of the world's most intriguing and bizarre crime labs: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory, an Oregon lab tasked with solving the world's highest-level crimes against endangered wildlife. With drug rings and terrorist organizations getting increasingly involved in the illegal wildlife trade, the lab's role goes way beyond low-level poaching. [The New York Times Magazine]
- Tom Vanderbilt brings a historical and psychological look at hold music: How it was invented, why it works, and what it does to us as we wait—sometimes interminably—to connect with a human being at the other end of the line. [Slate]
- Casey N. Cep looks at the biggest problem facing Twitter: In a public forum designed to promote widely-visible interaction, how can Twitter help foster the private, one-to-one conversations users desire? It's a challenge Twitter hasn't effectively answered, and one that could define the second iteration of the 140-character phenomenon. [Pacific Standard]