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What Has F8 in Store for Me?

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Facebook showed off some nutty new tech this week at its annual developer conference, including social VR experiences, skin-based interfaces, and augmented reality markup for the real world. Some of these ideas are here already, and some are years away. Taken together, they show that Facebook is thinking about ways to squeeze its software into more parts of your life—for better and for worse. Michael and David are joined this week by WIRED writer and editor Cade Metz, who attended F8. The team discusses the pitfalls of the AR tech, the likelihood of AI making an impact anytime soon, and why we all keep getting played by Facebook’s marketing department. Some links: See all of our ... Read More
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Ad-Blocking Just Might Save the Ad Industry

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The Coalition for Better Ads, a consortium of ad, publishing, and tech companies, wants to save the advertising industry—by killing it. Or at least parts of it. Companies in the coalition will discuss, among other idea, pre-installation of a selective ad-blocker on web browsers as a means to effectively purge the internet of the most intrusive types of ads, such as those that automatically play sound, take-up too much of your screen, or force you to wait a certain amount of time before you can dismiss them.The idea was first reported Thursday by Th... Read More

You’ve Never Heard of Tech Legend Bob Taylor, But He Invented ‘Almost Everything’

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Review: Fitbit Alta HR

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The Wacky Physics of Firing a Ball Out of a Moving Cart

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One of the many awesome things about physics is you can study it anywhere. I’ll prove it with a fun problem that involves a cart and a ball. Not just any cart, but a cart that rolls along a table and shoots a ball into the air when you tug on a strung. Like this: I think it’s cool that the ball lands in the cart. But how? Kinematics and Projectile Motion Don’t worry. I won’t make you build a ball-launching cart. I can explain it right here. The ball leaving the launcher is an example of projectile motion because only one force acts on the ball... Read More
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Encrypted Chat Took Over. Let’s Encrypt Calls, Too

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As end-to-end encrypted messaging apps have exploded in popularity, several well-known services have added encrypted calls as well. Why not, right? If it works for text-based chat, voice seems like a natural extension. If only it were that easy.Encrypting calls has plenty of value, keeping conversations strictly between the two parties. They can circumvent government wiretaps, or criminal snooping. But a host of technical challenges with facilitating the calls themselves has slowed the spread of voice over internet protocol overall. Bandwidth is expensive. Firewalls and network filters make it harder to route data streams. Even basic call quality issues, like delays and echoes, prove difficult to fix. Adding encryption on top of a... Read More
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The Real Reason the Online Uprising Against Bill O’Reilly Worked

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Decades-worth of sexual harassment allegations finally caught up with Bill O’Reilly this week. Fox News officially dropped the conservative pundit and face of its brand following a bombshell New York Times investigation and the weeks of flashy protests that followed, including a giant rally outside Fox’s New York headquarters and a plane carrying a #DropOReilly banner flying over Manhattan.But arguably the most powerful force operating against O’Reilly after the news broke was the lase... Read More
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Sony’s New Mirrorless Camera Is Its Most Beastly Shooter Yet

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Sony may not have the brand recognition of Canon or Nikon among old-school camera heads, but the company has been putting out impressive high-end shooters for a few years now. The Japanese giant makes some of the best compact cameras on the market (like the RX100 and RX1), and the company’s mirrorless Alpha a7S II is generally considered to be the best low-light camera under $5,000, even better than leading DSLRs. The Alpha a9, Sony’s latest entry into i... Read More
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Now That Google Home Recognizes Multiple Voices, It Can Reach Its Full Potential

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Voice-powered speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home have carved out a place on kitchen counters and nightstands in countless homes. What makes their immense popularity all the more remarkable is that they’ve achieved it without a key feature: Knowing exactly who’s talking. That changes with Google Home’s introduction of support for multiple accounts.Starting today, your Google Home device can identify as many as six voices, and summon information based on each person’s calendars, services, and preferences. In doing so, Google’s speaker-bound personal assistant becomes truly... Read More
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A New Way to Securely Send Information to WIRED

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In an age of pervasive internet surveillance, traditional tools like email and phone calls are no longer enough to safely link reporters and their contacts. The most sensitive sources need a more secure channel, one that’s encrypted and anonymous by default. Now, WIRED will provide just that.Today we’re announcing the launch of our own installation of SecureDrop, a web-based system designed to allow anyone to securely, anonymously send us information. Everything sent to our SecureDrop server is end-to-end encrypted, meaning no one can snoop on it in transit. And because SecureDrop can only be accessed via the anonymity software ... Read More

At the Bottom of the Sea, Glass Spheres Prepare to Hunt for Mysterious Neutrinos

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Geneticists Fear Illumina’s Sequencers May Distort Results

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When biologist Rahul Sinha started his first independent research project at Stanford last January, he had a single-minded goal. He had just completed his post-doc in the lab of Irv Weissman, the Stanford biologist who helped launch the field of stem cells. They study the stem cells that form blood—the bone marrow-derived cells that help cancer patients recover after chemotherapy destroys their immune systems. Sinha wanted to find a true blood stem cell: one that hadn’t already started turning into a red blood cell, or a platelet, or an immune cell. A universal blood stem cell could reveal the path to all its progeny, helping scientists custom-make any blood cell a patient needed.For decades, researchers had been usin... Read More
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Facebook Unveils Two New VR Cameras With ‘Six Degrees of Freedom’

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Facebook believes that video is the future. Not just any video, but immersive 360-degree video that approaches virtual reality. Of course, creating such video requires a very different breed of camera. So, a team of Facebook engineers, led by a camera guru name Brian Cabral, is hoping to bootstrap a much larger market for these extravagant devices. This morning, at Facebook’s annual developer conference in Northern California, Cabral and team unveiled blueprints for two new cameras designed to capture spherical video with extreme fidelity.One of these orb-shaped devices grabs video through 24 individual lenses. The other, simpler and cheaper to build, spans six. A... Read More

The Untold Story of the Back-Room Team That Saved Apollo 13

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How Steve Wozniak Got Over His Fear of Robots Turning People Into Pets

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This Robot Baby Factory Is the Stuff of Nightmares

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Tucked away in western Wisconsin, not terribly far from Minneapolis, sits a factory full of babies. Babies tossed in boxes. Babies wrapped in plastic. Babies whacked with mallets. This factory produces each baby in just 15 minutes, and sells them for $649 apiece. Many of them are given to teenagers, in a bid to keep them from having babies of their own.These ‘bot babies teach would-be parents and medical types how to care for a newborn, and let teenagers experience being awakened in the wee hours by a wailing infant so perhaps they’ll think twice about pregnancy. Realityworks calls them RealCare babies and started producing them in 1994, when the dolls went by the name Baby Think It Over. The company has shipped more than ... Read More

AI Isn’t Smart Enough (Yet) to Spot Horrific Facebook Videos

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Anger Isn’t Enough, So the #Resistance Is Weaponizing Data

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If Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, wins today’s special election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district—a seat Republicans have held since 1979—it won’t be because he’s young. It won’t be because he’s idealistic, camera-friendly, or Star Wars-savvy. Mostly, it will be because Ossoff is lucky enough to be the first Democrat to stand a real chance of starting to claw back the ground ceded to Republicans on Capitol Hill. And so Democrats across the country, feeling helpless and maybe even a little guilty about the November election outcome, have plowed an absolutely eye-popping $8.3 million into Ossoff’s campaign.Ossoff’s in... Read More

Here’s Everything Facebook Announced at F8, From VR to Bots

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Samsung Galaxy S8 First Impressions: That Screen, You Guys

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The first thing I noticed about the Samsung Galaxy S8, only a moment after turning it on, was the screen. There’s so much of it. An enormous 5.8 inches of bright, crisp, super-saturated colors illuminated my face as the phone booted. I stared at the round corners and curved edges of the glass. Holding it in my left hand, it looked and felt like holding a screen and nothing more. So many phones feel like every other phone, but not this one. The Samsung Galaxy S8 feels like a prop from Ridley Scott movie. It feels like the future.The S8 offers a lot to talk about. It features Bixby... Read More

Meet the Cute, Wobbly Robot That Started the AI Revolution

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���v�8�(�;~ ��'�'��,Y���q���=�Nv���I�EBc�T�mu���C�?��s�79Or� R�m9�^��nY��Q(T� �£�O_����36LF��ƣ���� a/���ǃG�#D� #�`>�������]�gG��X�r�Pr�$�Z���z�U��A����[���T��h�����N~h�1�,����?�`���3��q��ʐ;�>.tKߒ阧m�^ �w�w�[���AVf0��e?�5���ƽG����]��=�y�'��bC�ֵj���U���O�!O���u�׮я�D��"Lx�T]/�C�80#��j���c�G��|��D�^ ��Z��x�IR�FI�+�kE����`�rg�V�K܉�J�VO�/�q/���V�W��... Read More
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Sneaky Exploit Allows Phishing Attacks From Sites That Look Secure

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Phishing attacks can make even crusading technovangelists paranoid. One wrong click can put you out a ton of cash, or cause a corporate breach. And they evolve constantly. Case in point: A cunning new exploit makes malicious phishing websites appear to have the same URL as known and trusted destinations. You know by now to check your browser while visiting a site to be sure it sports the little green padlock indicating TLS encryption. S... Read More
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Trump’s Executive Order Won’t Give Tech Clarity on H-1B Visas

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During a scheduled trip to Wisconsin tomorrow, President Trump will sign a long-awaited executive order that aims to address fraud and abuse in the visa program tech companies use to hire high-skilled foreign workers. As a candidate, Trump vowed to kill the H-1B visa, calling it “very, very bad for workers.” Tech industry leaders, who have pushed for more H-1B visas, found the president’s threats troubling and vague. For anyone seeking clarity, tomorrow’s executive order seems to offer more questions than answers.The “Buy American, Hire American” order seeks to reform both immigration and federal procurement. The latter pushes for policies that would prioritize American-made materials in government construction and man... Read More
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The Mystery of the 5-Foot-Long Shipworm Just Got Stinkier

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That image above, depending on what your job is, could well be considered not safe for work. What you’re looking at is a giant shipworm—a scientific legend that can grow to over five feet long. It’s actually a super-elongated mollusk, one that grows vertically in sediment, excreting a thick shell and poking two siphons out of the muck. It is, as biologists note, really weird.Such biologists have long known what made these tusk-like shells, but couldn’t manage to get their hands on a live animal. Until 2010, when a scientist watching Philippine TV happened to catch a documentary about the men who dive for the things, and was finally able to track them down. Where in the Philippines, exactly, will remain a secret. The shells... Read More

Let’s Model Radioactive Decay to Show How Carbon Dating Works

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Stunning Aerials From NASA’s Surveys of the Arctic

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When Mario Tama gazed through the window of a Lockheed P-3 flying 1,500 feet over the Arctic, he found himself awed by the scenery. He saw majestic mountains ribboned with snow, enormous glaciers meandering across the land, and undulating ice fields glimmering in the twilight. The colors, the textures, and the stillness of it all left him speechless. “It’s such an unexpected landscape,” he says. “It felt like we were flying over a different planet.”And yet no one else aboard the plane could be bothered. Many of them didn’t even look up from their computer screens. They didn’t have time for sightseeing, they had work to do. Tama, a Getty photog... Read More
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What to Expect From F8, Facebook’s Huge Annual Show-and-Tell

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You can pinpoint exactly when Facebook stopped being a social network for hip youngsters and started becoming the giant all-consuming, many-tentacled internet behemoth it is today: During its first F8 developer conference.On that day 10 years ago, Mark Zuckerberg introduced the social graph, Facebook’s complex map of the connections between everybody on the planet. He also announced he’d be giving developers access to that data and to Facebook as a platform. Big stuff. In the years since, Zuck and Co. have used the annual conference to map out where the social network is headed, and how it will continue to rule your life. When Zuck takes the stage Tuesday in San Jose, it won’t feel anything like that first conference... Read More
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What to Expect From F8, Facebook’s Huge Annual Show-and-Tell

In Business, Education, Mobile Technology by Wired NewsLeave a Comment

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You can pinpoint exactly when Facebook stopped being a social network for hip youngsters and started becoming the giant all-consuming, many-tentacled internet behemoth it is today: During its first F8 developer conference.On that day 10 years ago, Mark Zuckerberg introduced the social graph, Facebook’s complex map of the connections between everybody on the planet. He also announced he’d be giving developers access to that data and to Facebook as a platform. Big stuff. In the years since, Zuck and Co. have used the annual conference to map out where the social network is headed, and how it will continue to rule your life. When Zuck takes the stage Tuesday in San Jose, it won’t feel anything like that first conference... Read More
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What to Expect From F8, Facebook’s Huge Annual Show-and-Tell

In Business, Education, Mobile Technology by Wired NewsLeave a Comment

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You can pinpoint exactly when Facebook stopped being a social network for hip youngsters and started becoming the giant all-consuming, many-tentacled internet behemoth it is today: During its first F8 developer conference.On that day 10 years ago, Mark Zuckerberg introduced the social graph, Facebook’s complex map of the connections between everybody on the planet. He also announced he’d be giving developers access to that data and to Facebook as a platform. Big stuff. In the years since, Zuck and Co. have used the annual conference to map out where the social network is headed, and how it will continue to rule your life. When Zuck takes the stage Tuesday in San Jose, it won’t feel anything like that first conference... Read More
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Want Real Choice in Broadband? Make These Three Things Happen

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Regulators are now off the backs of big internet providers. Thanks to a resolution signed by President Trump earlier this month, consumer-friendly privacy rules passed by the Obama-era Federal Communications Commission won’t take effect. Rules designed to protect net neutrality—the idea that internet providers shouldn’t be able to give certain content preferential treatment—seem likely to fall next.Republicans argue that the government should stay out of regulating the internet. And, in a perfect world, they’d be right. Ideally, if your internet service provider slipped permission ... Read More
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Courts Are Using AI to Sentence Criminals. That Must Stop Now

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There is a stretch of highway through the Ozark Mountains where being data-driven is a hazard. WIRED OPINION About Jason Tashea (@justicecodes), a writer and technologist based in Baltimore, is the founder of Justice Codes, a criminal justice and technology consultancy. Heading from Springfield, Missouri, to Clarksville, Arkansas, navigation apps recommend the Arkansas 43. While this can be the fastest route, the G... Read More
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A Chip Revolution Will Bring Better VR Sooner Than You Think

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David Kosslyn and Ian Thompson are the founders of a virtual reality company called Angle Technologies. Two years into this stealth project, backed by $8 million in funding, they won’t say much about the virtual world they’re building—at least not publicly. But they will say that they’re building it in a way that alters the relationship between computer hardware and software. When a PC or a game console runs this virtual world, the GPU chips play an unexpectedly large role, taking so much of the burden off the main processor.GPU is short for graphics processing unit. These chips were originally designed as a better way of rendering graphics for games an... Read More
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Security News This Week: Nasty Microsoft Word ‘Booby Trap’ Loaded PCs With Malware

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It feels like all weeks in security news are overstuffed lately, and this one’s no exception. It started with a bang, or more of a blare, as all of Dallas’s dozens of tornado sirens were hacked to sound off at once. And it ended with a boom, as the US dropped the Moab (‘Mother of All Bombs,’ colloquially), a 22,600 pound bomb, for the first time. And plenty happened in between, too!The FBI took down a Russian spam king and his massive botnet, so your inbox might have ... Read More
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Don’t Despair: Big Ideas Can Still Change The World

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In the late summer of 1954, a brilliant young psychologist was reading the newspaper when his eye fell on a strange headline on the back page:prophecy from planet clarion call to city: flee that flood.it’ll swamp us on dec 21,outer space tells suburbanite. His interest piqued, the psychologist, whose name was Leon Festinger, read on. “Lake City will be destroyed by a flood from Great Lake just before dawn, Dec. 21.” The message came from a homemaker in a Chicago suburb who had received it, she reported, from superior beings on another planet: “These beings have been visiting the earth, she says, in what we call flying saucers.” ... Read More
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Taser’s Free Body Cameras Are Good for Cops, Not the People

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The company formerly known as Taser announced last week it’s offering free body cameras to every police officer in the United States. The one-year trial is likely to dramatically increase the number of body cameras used in law enforcement across the country. But citizens should be skeptical. Taxpayers might not have to pay directly for the cameras, now manufactured under the name Axon, but the devices will still come with significant costs, both to police and the communities they serve, as long as rules governing the cameras’ use don’t exist. WIRED OPINION About... Read More

Shucks.

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Ranking the 10 Most Dangerous Volcanoes, From Vesuvius to Santa Maria

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Major Leak Suggests NSA Was Deep in Middle East Banking System

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The Secret to Training for a Marathon: Just Keep Running

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The Crisis of Attention Theft—Ads That Steal Your Time for Nothing in Return

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By now, it is pretty well understood that we regularly pay for things in ways other than using money. Sometimes we pay still with cash. But we also pay for things with data, and more often, with our time and attention. We effectively hand over access to our minds in exchange for something “free,” like email, Facebook, or football games on TV. As opposed to “paying” attention, we actually “spend attention,” agreeing to the view ads in exchange for something we really want. The centrality of that deal in our lives makes it outrageous that there are companies who seize our time and attention for absolutely nothing in exchange, and indeed, without consent at all—otherwise ... Read More
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How Steve Lacy and His iPhone Are Taking Over the Music Business

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A few minutes after Steve Lacy arrived at a dingy, weed-clouded recording studio in Burbank, the 18-year-old musician flopped down in a plush leather chair in the control room. Vince, one of the studio’s proprietors, came in to show Lacy how the mixing boards and monitors worked. Lacy didn’t care; he was just in it for the chair. He picked up his new black-and-white Rickenbacker guitar, then reached into his Herschel backpack and yanked out a mess of cables. Out of the mess emerged his iRig, an interface adapter that connects his guitar directly into his iPhone 6. He shoved it into the Lightning port and began tuning his instrument, staring at the GarageBand pitch meter through the cracks on the screen of his phone.Guitar read... Read More

Watch Workers Learn How to Filter Obscene and Violent Photos From Dating Sites

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Anything Living On Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Might Belch Methane

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A Crucial Climate Mystery Hides Just Beneath Your Feet

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Daniel Penner/Grist This story originally appeared on Grist and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. What Jonathan Sanderman really wanted was some old dirt. He called everyone he could think of who might know where he could get some. He emailed colleagues and read through old studies looki... Read More
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California Overcame 1/100 Odds to Beat Its Epic Drought

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The Colorado River Delta, MexicoPlanet Observer/Universal Images Group/Getty Images The American West has always been a dry place. That gave it a reputation: Everyone is fighting over water. Historically, that reputation reflected reality. Decades-long grudges between farmers and environmentalists over endangered fish. Cit... Read More
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Review: Rxbar

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The trends that led to food bars—those portable meal substitutes that pack energy and nutrition into a few inches of pressed granola—are something de Tocqueville would have relished: busier lifestyles and the importance of convenience; the blurring of meals and snacks; an emphasis on portion control amid an obesity epidemic; and a shift to urban dwelling, which means smaller kitchens and less cooking. The guys at Soylent think the tech world runs on chalky sludge shakes. But really, it’s food bars that fuel the Valley’s code slaves. recommends 2017 ... Read More

Suing to See the Feds’ Encrypted Messages? Good Luck

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The Crazy-Hard Technical Challenges of Robots Delivering Falafel

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It’s the most San Francisco scene in San Francisco. A dude with a guitar and a dude with a scooter stand at a Mission District bus stop. Next to them, someone has laid out fishing rods for sale. Behind them, a white semi-autonomous delivery robot, looking not unlike a rolling dishwasher, hesitates behind the crowd before powering through and nearly running over a dog.Think of Marble like a self-driving car, except its domain is the sidewalk. Instead of delivering humans to places like restaurants, Marble delivers food from restaurants to humans. If you live in San Francisco’s Mission or Potrero Hill neighborhoods and you order delivery through Yelp Eat24, you may just get a text asking if you want Marble to roll the food on ov... Read More
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How Hard Does Thor Hit Hulk in That Ragnarok Trailer? Let’s Do the Physics!

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Marvel I can’t imagine a blockbuster movie about superheroes without some cool physics. After all, these aren’t dramas, but action movies with jumping and flying and punching. Of course, the point of the jumping and flying and punching is to advance the story, not provide a physics lesson. But nothing says they can’t do both. The first trailer for Thor: Ragnarok provides a great chance to do th... Read More
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Journey to Tierra del Fuego, the End of the Modern World

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Tierra del Fuego means land of fire, but the archipelago at the end of South America is better known for spectacular scenery and ceaseless wind. “It’s windy almost every moment of the day,” says Britt Vangenechten. “Even the trees are funny-shaped because of the wind.”The archipelago includes Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego and scores of smaller islands. You can call them the end of the world. Everyone does, as Vangenechten discovered during two extended visits. “Everything is the ‘end of the world,'” she says. “The end of the world restaurant, the end of the world shopping mall, the end of the world post office, the end of the world lighthouse, t... Read More
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8 Beautiful Timepieces From Switzerland’s Biggest Watch Show

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In the world of watches, there’s no bigger show than Baselworld. For one week every March, the industry convenes on the small, Rhine-straddling town of Basel, Switzerland, to show off the new timepieces that’ll be making their way onto wrists over the coming year. Despite last year being a tough one for traditional watchmakers, there seemed to be a renewed energy this year and, thankfully, a focus on creating watches at more reasonable prices. Here are a few top picks from Baselworld 2017. This story was created in partnership with the online watch publication Hodinkee. Be sure to read all of their excellent behind-t... Read More
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Stronger Privacy Laws Could Save Advertising From Itself

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Getty Images Online advertising is terrible. Ads clutter your screen, slow down your computer, and drain your batteries. Publishers saddle pages with tracking technology that vacuums up your data so they can, ostensibly, serve you more relevant ads (though this practice really just leads to serious privacy concerns). Sometimes ads even try to install malware on your computer. But it doesn’t have to be this way. For more than ten years,... Read More
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How to Keep Your iMessages From Popping Up on Other Devices

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WIRED It’s been one hell of a week for Robert Bentley, the 71-year-old governor of Alabama who resigned yesterday after a year-long saga involving an alleged affair with his political advisor, Rebekah Mason. That indiscretion came to light after some NSFW correspondence between the two was leaked—in part because Bentley used iMessages to text Mason, and those iMessages were synced to the state-issued iPad he... Read More
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These Concrete Relics in Arizona Helped Satellites Spy on the Soviets

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Venture into the Sonoran Desert about an hour south of Phoenix and you’ll eventually stumble upon a concrete cross. More than 100 dot the terrain, each of them 60 feet across and spaced precisely one mile apart. The government used them to calibrate the world’s first spy satellites as they peered down on Russia and China while photographing more than 750 million square miles of the planet.The 95 satellites of the once top-secret Corona project sent their last images in 1972, but the calibration markers still stand in a grid that once measured around 16 square miles. “It’s such a massive thing in terms of its scale, but it pales in comparison to the scale of history that it’s a part of,” says Julie Anand. She and Da... Read More
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No, Companies Shouldn’t Pay Women to Freeze Their Eggs

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While sperm has been successfully frozen for decades, it wasn’t until 1999, when flash-freezing procedures were introduced, that eggs could also be stored in cryobanks. By 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine had announced that the freezing of a woman’s own eggs for possible use later in life—otherwise known as “social freezing”—would no longer be considered experimental.... Read More
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Now You Can Get a Bob Marley Turntable for Your Reggae LPs

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Bob Marley turned reggae into a global phenomenon, introduced the world to Rastafari, and put Jamaica on the map. Three decades after his death, his message still resonates. Marley’s appeal remains so universal that his brand powers a massive licensing business. Everywhere you go, you’ll see Marley’s face on t-shirts, flags, stickers, energy drinks, pipes, hats, beach towels, and pint glasses.Pretty gross. But one of the least gross companies riffing on Bob’s legacy is House of Marley. It makes audio gear (headphones, earbuds, and speakers) that carry his name and image. The latest from House of Marley is a turntable, the company’s first, appropriately named ... Read More

Google’s Dueling Neural Networks Spar to Get Smarter, No Humans Required

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Mars’ Ionosphere: Cold, Lifeless, and Filled With Heavy Metals

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Mars is Earth’s inhospitable cousin. And like anybody with a wayward family member, Earthlings can’t help trying to figure out what went wrong. So people throw a lot of money at the red planet, usually in the form of spacecraft. NASA’s Maven mission explores Mars’ upper atmosphere, puzzling over how a planet that was once wet and potentially habitable ended up a dry, cold desert world.Metal could solve the mystery. In a new ... Read More
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Tax Scams Are Absurdly Common. Here’s How to Protect Yourself

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Filing and paying taxes can be frustrating enough without the looming threat of identity theft and refund fraud. But tax scams have become so prevalent, you’ve likely received a bogus call, text message, or email in the last few years. As painful as it is to add another item on the tax to-do list this year, working to protect yourself from cons and digital attacks could really save you money and time.The scams work a few ways. Some criminals impersonate the Internal Revenue Service, threatening people into wiring money or sharing financial information. Others collect leaked Social Security numbers and other personal information from large data breaches, and use it to file people’s tax returns early and claim the rebate. Some u... Read More
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Why It’s So Hard to Wipe Out All of Syria’s Chemical Weapons

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In Aleppo, Syria, a rebel builds Molotov-cocktail-like incendiary bombs in an abandoned school. Moises Saman/MAGNUM Makers of War. The arms manufacturers of Aleppo used to be ... Read More
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Review: Sonos Playbase

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Before I get into this, I should admit something: my home audio setup is pathetic. I listen to shows and movies out of the speakers built into my TV. When I have friends over, a UE Megaboom Bluetooth speaker supplies the background music. Sometimes I catch myself listening to podcasts on my phone’s speakers. The best listening devices I own are headphones—which is why I often spend time on the couch, alone, watching TV with headphones plugged into my Roku remote.That’s all changed since I received the Sonos Playbase, a soundbase that acts like a home theater in a box. The Playbase, a cousin of Sonos’s Playbar soundbar, is designed to sit snugly between your flatscreen and your TV stand. It can support TVs up to 75 pounds, ... Read More
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Pricey Technology Is Keeping People Alive Who Don’t Want to Live

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Getty Images Some people just want to die. Not because they are trapped by depression, anxiety, public embarrassment, or financial ruin. No, these poor few have terminal illnesses. Faced with six months to live, and the knowledge that the majority of those 180 days will be bad ones, they seek a doctor’s prescription for an early death. Soon, terminal patients in California will ... Read More
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This Artist Turns Sweat and Bacteria Into Art

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You become aware of Anicka Yi’s work before you even step into the gallery. The pungent odor of decomposing kombucha leather, the acrid tang of burning paper, or the cloying sweetness of deep-fried flowers wafts through the halls. The New York–based artist specializes in olfaction, evoking reactions through sense of smell. “I create scents based on a narrative,” Yi says, “whether it’s about capturing an elusive memory or trying to profile a human being.”For her latest solo exhibition, which opens April 21 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Yi sought art in an unlikely place—the armpit—extracting the esse... Read More
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Russia’s Quest to Build a Space Empire—or Go Broke Trying

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It’s not unusual for space agencies to wax lyrical about how their work exploring all that lies beyond Earth’s atmosphere is for the shared benefit of humankind. It’s probably expected. So when, at a panel during the 33rd annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, the head of the Russian space agency says things like “How should we collaborate for the benefit of all of us to get the best result?” and “We need to find the way how can we do it together,” nobody seems to question his motives.Which maybe they should have, since that country’s space agency, Roscosmos, hasn’t sent significant representation to the symposium in over 20 years. During this panel, which included 14 other space-agency leaders, Roscosmos ge... Read More
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Review: TreePod Camper

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BioLite There are two ways to cook while camping: build a fire and grill burgers or hot dogs, or bring a propane stove and cook plenty more. The former feels like what camping should be, but it takes a while and is unpredictable. The latter gives you more options and is faster, but you have to deal with propane and—admit it—it kind of feels like cheating. The BioLite Basecamp ($200) straddles those options by allowing ... Read More
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An Angry Rhino Bites An Elephant and Gets Outta Dodge

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If you want to tick off a rhinoceros, try this: Drug the unsuspecting animal. Cram it into a truck, subject it to a 12-hour drive, and release it 400 miles away. Just don’t be surprised when the 5,000-pound creature bites your elephant.As absurd as this sounds, it is exactly what happened Tuesday when conservationists in Nepal released a rare one-horned rhino in Shuklaphanta National Park. The rhino stormed out of the truck, rammed it, and then barreled toward four elephants, surely startling the men riding them. AFP photographer Prakash Mathema watched the scene unfold from the relative safety of a wobbly wooden blind just a few feet away. “I think he was scared,” Mathema says of the rhino. Everyone involved meant we... Read More
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Space Photos of the Week: A Stellar Explosion Pitches a Stellar Tantrum

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Everyone loves gazing up at stars twinkling in the night sky, but sometimes farther flung wonders make a dazzling appearance too. This week comet 41P passed by Earth only 13 million miles away, or 55 times the distance from here to the moon. It’s the closest flyby in over 50 years, and earnest wannabe astronomers peered at it through binoculars and telescopes. NASA was on the lookout too, publishing a stunning image of the comet soaring through a field of galaxies in the Big Dipper.That’s not the only record broken this week. On April 2, the New Horizons spacecraft reached the halfway point between Pluto and MU69, a Kuiper Belt object. The spacecraft should reach its target in January 2019, making it the farthest exploration i... Read More
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Marsupial Robots Ain’t Cuddly, But They Are Totally Brilliant

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If you want to put an eye out, by all means, fly a quadcopter indoors. Shred the houseplants and ruin the linens. Give the dog a complex.Really, it’s a shame that drones don’t work so hot indoors. After all, they’d be immensely useful for, say, decommissioning chemical and energy plants by providing a view of overhead pipes and such that terrestrial rovers can’t reach. Rescue roboticist Robin Murphy of Texas A&M may have solved this problem—with marsupials. Well, ones made of metal and plastic, to be clear. These are the so-called marsupial robots: A drone as the baby tethered safely to the mother robot, in this case the military-g... Read More
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Review: Mevo by Livestream

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Mevo by Livestream If you’re hosting your own live raw foods cooking show or DIY watch repair series on the web, you’re going to need a quality video streaming device. Makers, artists, thinkers, and tinkerers have started capitalizing in on the power of live video to bring their audiences into their studios and into their minds. As the in-house social video producer here at WIRED, I’ve used livestreaming to showcase our editors ... Read More
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A Beautiful Tripod That Doubles as a Selfie Stick Because 2017

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Google Other than maybe the NSA, nobody knows more about you than Google. It’s got a read on where you are, what you’re doing, what you’re thinking and watching and searching for and chatting with your friends about. Which means nobody should be better equipped to soundtrack every second of your life than Google Play Music. Starting today, the company’s taking full advantage of its smarts to deliver you the sounds you want, when you want them. All you have to do is press play.... Read More
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Number of Items Identified: 8
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The Subtle Art of Watching North Korea Build Nukes

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... Read More
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Review: Weber Genesis II LX Grill

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Weber Jeff the Weber grill rep arrived, huffing and puffing at the top of the steps as he introduced himself. His wife Jill looked on worriedly from the door, beyond which lay their big, white delivery van. “I don’t think it’ll fit,” Jill said. “That grill’s big.” This was an understatement. Once we hauled it up the stairs and shimmied it through the front do... Read More
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Check Out Tokyo’s Cavernous, Creepy, Totally Sci-Fi Drainage Tunnels

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Despite the highly technical name, the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel is basically a giant hole in the ground. Oh sure, the enormous concrete labyrinth houses the gargantuan machines that keep a vast swath of metropolitan Tokyo from flooding during monsoon season. But still. Giant hole. And seeing it thrilled Christoffer Rudquist to no end.“It’s pretty exciting to walk around in this big hole and look at it,” he says. “Plus, I’m pretty much of a science fiction buff. For me it’s like Blade Runner. It reflected that dystopian future sci-fi in a sense.” That much is true. The elaborate flood control system, nicknamed G-Cans, li... Read More

So, Bad News: Now Militants Are Using Drones as Projectiles

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Tearing Down Science’s Citation Paywall, One Link at a Time

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An illustration of cancer cells undergoing cytokinesis.Getty Images Every year the US government spends $5 billion on cancer research. That’s not counting outgoing Vice President Joe Biden’s $1 billion cancer moonshot, or private projects like Sean Parker’s $250 million cancer immunotherapy institute. And yet more than 8 million people still die every year from the disease—despite the frequent refrain that a cure is just around the corner. Exhi... Read More
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Comcast’s New Mobile Service Is a Good Deal, But Maybe Not Good Enough

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The Starry Station is a new, sleekly designed wireless router. Starry Because it wasn’t enough to piss off every major television broadcaster in America with his last company, Aereo, now Chet Kanojia is taking on the country’s biggest Internet providers with a new start-up called Starry. The company, which Kanojia officially ... Read More
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Science Reveals Yet Another Reason Octopuses and Squid Are So Weird

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Octopuses are aliens living on Earth. They solve puzzles, use tools, and communicate with color. They also squirt ink, open jars, and occasionally pull a prank or two. Given their remarkable intelligence and cunning ways, it takes a lot to surprise the biologists who study these wonderful creatures and their equally weird cousins the squids and cuttlefish.But when Stanford University geneticist Jin Billy Li heard about Joshua Rosenthal’s work on RNA editing in squid, his jaw dropped. That’s because the work, published today in the journal Cell, revealed that many cephalop... Read More
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Devin Nunes: A Running Timeline of His Surveillance Claims and White House Ties

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If you’d heard of representative Devin Nunes before this week, you’re either from his California district or you pay closer than average attention to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which he leads. In that capacity, Nunes also heads up the House investigation into Russian’s interference in last year’s presidential election, as well as any ties between Russia and Trump or his colleagues.But last week, Nunes grabbed far more headlines than usual. Wednesday, he held an extraordinary, impromptu news conference. President Trump and his associates, Nunes declared, had been caught up in surveillance by US intelligence agencies. Nunes then rushed to the White House to share the information in person. It was a... Read More

The Lovely British Scenery Where the Plague and Anthrax Once Rained

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Our 15 Favorite Wireless Headphones, From Bose to Beats

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Beats, which has been making wireless headphones a lot longer than most, knows what it’s doing. In addition to the buds that jam into your ear canals, the Powerbeats3 have big adjustable hooks on both sides that wrap over your ear to keep everything secure, making them insanely comfortable and stable. They pair effortlessly with Apple devices, and the battery lasts at least 12 hours. If you’re looking for a pair of headphones you can wear all day, every day, no matter the weather or your activity, these are pretty tough to beat. $150Read the story | ... Read More
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Creating Zika-Proof Mosquitoes Means Rigging Natural Selection

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Of the many great things promised by Crispr gene editing technology, the ability to eliminate disease by modifying organisms might just top the list. But doing that requires perfecting something called a gene drive. Think of gene drives as a means of supercharging evolution to, say, give an entire population of mosquitoes a gene that kills the Zika virus. The trouble is, organisms develop resistance to gene drives, much like they eventually outwit pesticides and antibiotics.Researchers dedicate no small amount of time and thought to creating gene drives that can outsmart evolution because the potential payo... Read More
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The Search for the Universe’s Missing Antimatter Remains Annoyingly Nebulous

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The first particles in the universe formed when a hot, dense blob exploded. Physicists think that under the extreme conditions of the Big Bang, light transformed into matter: the electrons, protons, and neutrons that later became you and me.But physicists are confused about how that transformation occurred. Back in the ’90s, physicists showed they could convert light into matter by colliding two extremely powerful beams of radiation. They also found that light produces equal amounts of antimatter at the same time. The very first particle of matter would have met an antimatter cousin in an annihilating ka-boom. No more matter. Yet clearly, matter exists. For some reason, more matter formed than antimatter just aft... Read More
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YouTube TV Goes Live in Google’s Biggest Swipe at Comcast Yet

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YouTube TV has arrived, and with it the potential to change how television works. Google-owned YouTube’s first foray into true cable-like television takes to the internet equivalent of the airwaves in select cities today: 40-plus channels of entertainment, news and sports for $35 per month, the so-called skinny bundle. So far, the service is still a little wonky. But the possibilities are there to inspire a whole new generation of viewers to actually pay for TV, and advertisers seem eager to give it a shot.In particular, YouTube believes it can persuade a whole new audience that otherwise never considered paying for TV at all. “There are a lo... Read More
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This Super-Retro Case Makes Your iPhone Look Like a Vintage Mac

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Depeche Mode is touring the world, everybody’s talking about Star Wars, and Justin Bieber’s wearing drop-crotch pants. The 80s are back, people. But no matter how much you’re channeling the era, your smartphone is a dead giveaway that you’re living in 2017. That is, unless you wrap your iPhone in one of Slickwraps’ new retro skins, which put a little 80s back into your 21st-century tech. The skin can fit every iPhone since the 5S, and pays homage to the original 1984 Macintosh: that beige case, the rainbow Apple logo, the fan-cutout markings. All for just $19.84. In general, I’m firmly anti-case. You bought your phone at ... Read More

Tech Firms Striving For Diversity Fixate On The Wrong Metric

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India’s Most Polluted River Actually Bubbles With Toxic Foam

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Nearly one billion Hindus worship the Yamuna River as a goddess. They consider it nearly as sacred as the mighty Ganges, and yet it is dying. The stretch that meanders through New Delhi teems with filth and toxins, and its surface bubbles with thick, white foam. “Visually, it’s beautiful, but when you get close to it, it’s just that horrible smell,” says Zacharie Rabehi. “It smells like shit. Toxic shit, chemical sewage—a bit of sulfur, a bit of human excrement.”The French photographer never gave the pollution choking New Dehli much thought until last fall, when the smog got so bad the government declared a ... Read More
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Facebook’s Midwest Move Bursts Tech’s Bicoastal Bubble

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Facebook is opening another massive data center to power its hugely popular social networking platform. But this hub of high-tech computing couldn’t rise much farther from the coastal havens where the company anchors most of its operations. Instead, the data center—Facebook’s ninth—will make its home in a Nebraska town on the outskirts of Omaha called Papillion. That’s likely a good thing for this community of just under 22,000 Nebraskans. And it’s definitely a good thing for the tech industry as it tries to battle the perception that its inventions only destroy human jobs. As Face... Read More
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Review: Alienware 13 Gaming Laptop

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If the quality of your laptop’s screen is a selling point—and it should have some sway with any serious buyer—then OLED-based machines, what few exist to date, should definitely be on your list. recommends 2017 Alienware 13 Gaming Laptop 7/10 Wired Fancy keyboard backlighting even lights up the touchpad. Easil... Read More
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Coastal Inundation Reveals the Upside of Climate Change

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In Miami Beach, they call it “sunny-day flooding.” You’ll be hanging out downtown under clear blue skies—only to see, whoa, the streets slowly filling with water.Miami Beach, Florida, is a coastal city built on porous limestone, so as climate change melts polar ice into the oceans, water is literally pushed up out of the ground. “It’s an eerie, scary, unnerving feeling, like something out of a sci-fi movie,” says Philip Levine, mayor of the city of 90,000. On days when Miami Beach actually gets a coastal storm, it can see a 2-foot flood. So the city decided enough is enough. Levine has begun a $400 million resilience plan tha... Read More

Massive 3-D Cell Library Teaches Computers How to Find Mitochondria

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