In July 2007, Alex Becker emailed me with a story to tell. He claimed that the social network Stickam, which catered to American teens, was secretly owned by a Japanese pornography company. I visited him in Los Angeles, where I met his wife and friends. They snuck me into the Stickam headquarters on the top floor of the tallest building in the city, and their story checked out. Here’s that article, my first with Becker’s help, in the New York Times.