Years after Syed’s conviction for the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, the Serial podcast documented the case’s complicated story and unsettling lack of forensic evidence
Adnan Syed was set free on Monday after more than 20 years in prison for being convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in a case that spawned intense interest after it was documented in the podcast Serial. The New York Times reports Judge Melissa M. Phinn of Baltimore City Circuit overturned Adnan Syed’s murder conviction after prosecutors filed documents questioning the trial and the evidence presented, without saying that they believe he is innocent.
According to the Sun, prosecutors said the state has known since 1999 of two “alternative suspects” who may be guilty of the crime, who were not disclosed to his defense and include an unnamed serial rapist who has since been convicted of several assaults. The prosecutors also said one of the suspects had threatened Lee prior to her murder, saying they “would make her disappear.”
The Times reports the prosecutor’s investigation revealed Ms. Lee’s car was discovered directly behind a home owned by a family member of one of the suspects. It also said prosecutors questioned the cellphone data used to place Syed near the site of Lee’s burial, as the billing location for incoming calls would not be considered reliable information.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the judge ordered Syed unshackled in court and to remain on GPS monitoring pending another trial, while the prosecutors have 30 days to determine whether to try him again or drop the charges. In her ruling, Phinn wrote, “the State has proven that there was a Brady violation,” referencing a 1963 Supreme Court decision that prosecutors are obligated to turn over any evidence to the defense that could be favorable to the accused.
The judge rejected a request to postpone the decision from a lawyer representing Lee’s family, who said they had not been given adequate notice of the decision.
The Serial podcast’s Twitter account tweeted that the original host, Sarah Koenig, was at the courthouse today and that a new episode will be released on Tuesday.
Is the iPhone 13 Pro a sneaky good upgrade deal?
Carriers are all doing huge deals on iPhone 14 models, but if you just want to buy a phone outright, a discounted iPhone 13 Pro might be the best bang-for-the-buck around.
I don’t think this AI-generated game actually counts as AI-generated.
This Girl Does Not Exist promises “everything you will see in this game” is created by an AI. Except… based on everything I’ve read, that includes none of the game mechanics or interface design! It’s an interesting experiment in artificially generated images and audio, but AI-generated gameplay is a uniquely weird and difficult problem. That said, I’m fascinated by the growing move toward an aesthetics of AI — and this project sits square in that zone.
David PierceTwo hours ago
This is an awesome guide to iOS 16 lock screen widgets.
I continue to think they’re the best thing about the new iOS, and the MacStories folks rounded up a huge number of widgets you can try now. They range from pointless and delightful to totally instantly essential — Link Hub, which just opens any link you want, is particularly great.
Music labels are incorporating old songs into new songs to trigger your nostalgia.
The Vergecast is doing a special miniseries for the next three Mondays on the future of music. This week I spoke with music reporter and podcaster Charlie Harding about how the future of music could sound very familiar.
Adi RobertsonTwo hours ago
Rick and Morty and the high-wire act of writing antiheroes.
Countless people have discussed the travails of Rick and Morty fandom. But Corbin Smith goes beyond the simple claims that obnoxious fans are just watching the show wrong, delving into the inherent difficulty of writing a character with terrible qualities who’s still undeniably cool to watch. A bonus: he lays out the precise take on Rorschach from Watchmen that I’ve always wanted to read.
The 2010s were about lifestyle brands. What’s next?
Loved this meaty essay about trends in consumerism, what we mean by “culture,” and how DTC brands led to a new understanding of community and identity. “In the 2010s, supply chain innovation opened up lifestyle brands. In the 2020s, financial mechanism innovation is opening up the space for incentivized ideologies, networked publics, and co-owned faiths,” writes Toby Shorin. “The authenticity-driven culture of ironic detachment, so present in the early 2000s, has given way to a moment where people are genuinely open to being influenced, open to sincerely participating, even if it’s cringe.”
“I still stand by that tweet.”
–Figma CEO Dylan Field, in the unenviable position of having to reflect on an old tweet.
Field tweeted last year that Figma’s goal “is to be Figma not Adobe.” Fast forward to today and… Figma is going to be part of Adobe! My colleague Jay Peters spoke with the two companies’ leaders about what the merger means for designers everywhere.
Steam Deck display docks, and Deck deliveries.
That’s also relevant because Steam Decks are being delivered more rapidly than expected. Valve just announced it’s cleared the reservations in the Q3 bucket a couple of weeks ahead of schedule and is starting in on reservations slated for Q4.
Logitech might have just confirmed Apple’s next new iPads.
A product page for Logitech’s Crayon stylus, which is compatible with the iPad, lists two unreleased devices: a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and an 11-inch iPad Pro. It also notes that the devices are “coming soon.”
Apple’s rumored to release those two iPads at an event this October, in addition to an entry-level iPad that the website didn’t mention.
The United Arab Emirates is shooting for the Moon with plans for a lunar rover.
The country just announced that its first lunar rover is ready to go and will launch sometime in November — the exact date is still TBD. The “Rashid” rover will ride to space on a SpaceX rocket and will be carried to the Moon’s surface by a lander from Japanese company ispace, which has been working toward a Moon mission for years.
Even Slack thinks the green “online” status was a bad idea.
Ali Rayl, the SVP of product at Slack, thinks away messages and status indicators are a good idea. But the green circle that screams “I AM ONLINE!” isn’t the right way to do it:
I never wanted to add the green dot. I think the green dot is very harmful… If your green dot is on and you get a DM and don’t [respond] it’s like, what’s the matter?
Apple Maps turns 10.
The app was released on this day 10 years ago… and immediately became a laughingstock, leading to multiple people getting canned and a public apology from Tim Cook.
Now that Maps is a good enough product to warrant advertising, my big question is: when does Apple release a version for Android or the web? Apple made an alternative to Google Maps — now it needs to make a real competitor.
Fingerprint-protect your Incognito Android browsing sessions.
Got a handy tip via 9to5Google: if you want to keep an Incognito Chrome tab hidden on your Android phone, you’ll soon be able to fingerprint-protect it by going to Settings > Privacy and Security > Lock Incognito tabs when you leave Chrome. If you don’t see that setting yet, either wait or try chrome://flags/#incognito-reauthentication-for-android. I tried it myself (see below), and it works like a charm.