Raffi Khatchadourian
Raffi Khatchadourian
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The Taste Makers

The Taste Makers

Growing up, Michelle Hagen lived near a large factory in Cincinnati that produced what she and her sisters called The Smell. The aroma was dynamic and unpredictable, almost like a living thing. On some hot summer days, it was thick and sweet, and when it drifted over Hagen’s neighborhood—a series of row houses by the interstate—it was as if molasses had been poured through the streets. At other times, the smell was protein-rich and savory. Many of the odors triggered specific associations—birthday cake, popcorn, chicken-noodle soup—and they stayed with her. In 1992, Hagen went to the...

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Raffi Khatchadourian
Nov 15
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A Cybersecurity Firm’s Sharp Rise and Stunning Collapse

A Cybersecurity Firm’s Sharp Rise and Stunning Collapse

Before Robert Boback got into the field of cybersecurity, he was a practicing chiropractor in the town of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, twelve miles northwest of Pittsburgh. He was also selling used cars on eBay and flipping houses purchased at police auctions. The decision to branch out into computers came in 2003, after he watched a “60 Minutes” report by Lesley Stahl about pirated movies. For years, while digital piracy was devastating the music industry, Hollywood had largely been spared; limitations on bandwidth curtailed the online trade in movies. But this was changing, Stahl noted: “The...

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Raffi Khatchadourian
Oct 28
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