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The GIF Turns 30: How an Ancient Format Changed the Internet

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Space Photos of the Week: Jupiter, Is That You?!

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This week the astronomers at NASA spent a lot of time gazing at the two largest planets in our solar system — Jupiter and Saturn. The Juno and Cassini spacecraft are busily sending back information scientists use to learn more about the two planets, resulting in some gorgeous images and even GIFs.Every 53 days, the Juno spacecraft makes a two-hour journey around Jupiter’s poles, swooping in for a close-up. This resulted in a spectacular shot of Jupiter’s south pole taken just 32,000 miles up, showcasing the planet’s turbulent surface. There are multiple Earth-sized cyclones, deep storm systems, and an enormous magnetic field 10 times stronger than Earth’s strongest magnetic field. Meanwhile, Cassini—still on its... Read More
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Ecologists Are Drowning in Sea of Data. These Tools Could Help

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When marine ecologists released the Ocean Health Index for the first time in 2012, it was a majestically ambitious achievement. The index, born of a collaboration among dozens of scientists, economists and environmental managers at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the nonprofit organization Conservation International, was designed as a comprehensive framework for scientifically evaluating the health of ocean ecosystems, both worldwide and regionally. Drawing on more than a hundred databases, the index pulled together local measurements of biodiversity and ecological productivity with information abou... Read More
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Meet the Nerds Coding Their Way Through the Afghanistan War

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A disembodied voice sounded over a loudspeaker. “Incoming. Take cover,” it warned to anyone within earshot. Then, the sirens began to wail.Erin Delaney assumed it was a drill. She peeked down the hallway to see how other people were responding. Then she hit the deck. It was not a drill. The NATO base in Kabul where Delaney had been working for weeks was being attacked. Delaney, 24, had never had any military training. She grew up in San Diego, traveled up the coast for college at UC Berkeley, and spent the next two years nestled in the safe, Tesla-filled San Francisco bubble, working in the compliance department at Dropbox. Now, with her nose to the ground, she was getting a taste—however brief—of life in a war zone... Read More
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Bitcoin Has Come Roaring Back—But So Have the Risks

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The bitcoin boom is back. This week, the digital currency leapt to record heights, peaking at nearly $2,800 before tumbling back down to around $2,400—by far the most dramatic run in its history.While bitcoin didn’t maintain its record price for long, it’s been trading feverishly this year, breaking the $2,000 threshold just last week. Other “cryptocurrencies” like Ripple and Ether (the medium of exchange on the decentralized network Ethereum) have also soared. “People are piling in. I think it’s fear of missing out,” says Campbell Harvey, a pro... Read More

Google’s AlphaGo Trounces Humans—But It Also Gives Them a Boost

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Assistants, Please

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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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Obesity Surgery May Work by Remaking Your Gut Microbiome

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If you want to lose weight, there’s an app for that. Actually, hundreds. Fitbits, step trackers, food logs, calorie counters—people are increasingly using digital tools to fight obesity. But every year nearly 200,000 Americans opt for a more extreme, old-fashioned solution: surgery. Physically altering the size and shape of the stomach has proven to be the most effective and long-lasting treatment for morbid obesity, cutting the risk of premature death by up to 40 percent.Bariatric surgery comes in a few flavors; there are stomach staples and industrial strength rubber bands. The most successful approach of all—a technique known as... Read More
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Eerie Photos Capture Fear and Paranoia in Washington DC

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Something strange is afoot in Washington. Nondescript white vans loiter in quiet neighborhoods. Office workers hustle boxes of documents into a mobile shredder. Burly men with earpieces and no-nonsense demeanors come and go in black SUVs with black windows. Mike Osborne suspects a conspiracy, and he’s determined to get to the bottom of it.Osborne uses mundane scenes to create a plausible world of conspiracies and malfeasance in his ongoing series White Vans, Black Suburbans. With just a bit of cynicism and a preference for black and white, even the most ordinary of things—a morning newspaper, a protester holding a sign, a dinner part... Read More
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For Modern Astronomers, It’s Learn to Code or Get Left Behind

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Astronomer Meredith Rawls was in an astronomy master’s program at San Diego State University in 2008 when her professor threw a curveball. “We’re going to need to do some coding,” he said to her class. “Do you know how to do that?”Not really, the students said. And so he taught them—at lunch, working around their regular class schedule. But what he meant by “coding” was Fortran, a language IBM developed in the 1950s. Later, working on her PhD at New Mexico State, Rawls decided her official training wasn’t going to cut it. She set out to learn a more modern language called Python, which she saw other astronomers switching to. “It’s going to suck,” she remembers telling herself, “but I’... Read More
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Minutiae: The Curious App That Captures Your Unfiltered Life

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Open your camera roll and give it a hard swipe, so your photos scroll past in a blur. What do you see when it stops? Your dog? A selfie? A perfectly timed shot of a beautiful sunset? It could be anything, but it’s probably not a dull, ordinary moment. Camera rolls tend to look like Instagram outtakes, filled with moments that are good but not good enough to make the social media cut.Daniel Wilson and Martin Adolfsson want to change that. Earlier this year, the duo—a neuroscientist and photographer, respectively—launched Minutiae, an app designed to document life’s less glamorous moments. It works like this: Once a day, at a random time, Minutiae p... Read More
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This Entrepreneur A/B Tested Her Clothes to Combat Sexism

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twelveofour Kathryn Minshew is a female co­founder and CEO of The Muse, a popular online job search destination for millennials. She doesn’t have a technical degree, although she was a top computer science student who aced the advanced placement exam for computer science when she was in the tenth grade at Thomas Jefferson High, a prestigious math and science magnet school in northern Virginia. For fun she and her friends used to pass notes in class that they’... Read More

Want Efficient Energy? Try Carbon Dioxide-Powered Turbines

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A Clever New Way to Protect Your Data at the Border Could Also Add Risk

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Over the past few months, the US and other countries have seen an uptick in border searches—including those of smartphones and laptops. There are several precautions you can take to defend your privacy, the most recent of which is a clever new feature from password-manager 1Password. But while it could secure your digital stuff, it could also introduce new risks.The new 1Password feature, called Travel Mode, makes it easier for users to remove sensitive data f... Read More
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Jupiter’s Super-Weird Atmosphere Is Astonishing Scientists

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NASA’s Juno mission has already made mincemeat of precedents and expectations. When it arrived at Jupiter last July after a five year journey, it was further from Earth than any solar-powered craft had ever been, and traveling faster than any other human-crafted object had before. Its flight path skims closer to the storm-torn gas giant than any orbiter preceding it. And it’s the first spacecraft to pass over Jupiter’s mysterious poles—finding, counter to most assumptions, that they’re blue, and lack the planet’s characteristic stripes.Juno isn’t done with firsts, or with send... Read More

No Matter What Washington Does, One Nonprofit Is Closing the Digital Divide

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Let’s All Ditch Our Cars and Start Riding Cargo Bikes

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Telco-Backed Politician Wants to Restore Privacy Rules She Helped Kill

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Last Thursday Republicans proposed a new law that would require companies from Comcast and Verizon to Facebook and Google to get your permission before selling your internet browsing history.Sounds familiar? Probably, because last year the Federal Communications Commission passed a sweeping set of privacy rules that did much the same thing, rules that Republicans voted to scrap just two months ago. Yet, now US representative Marsha Blackburn, one of Congress’ top recipients of telco cash, is trying to bring similar-sounding regulations back, except stronger. So, what gives? Under rules approved by the Obama-era FCC, internet service providers—the Comcasts and Verizons of the world—could not sell your browsing ... Read More

Virus Hunters Draw a Map of Zika’s Spread With DNA

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Sphero’s New Cars Toy Is the Fanciest RC Car You Ever Did See

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In 2015, Sphero convinced you to fork over $200 for a tiny BB-8 that was—even for adults—pretty entertaining. Now it hopes you’ll pay $299 for an app-controlled version of Lightning McQueen, the hero of the Pixar franchise Cars. The toy goes on sale online today, and will hit the shelves of stores like Target and Best Buy on June 15, just before Cars 3 premiers in theaters. Is it cheap? No. But McQueen comes packed with more features than the average action figure. Inside the toy, you’ll find three processors, which power five touch panels. An LCD screen... Read More
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The Tricky Ethics of Big Pharma Soft-Selling on Soap Operas

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Anna Devane lies in a hospital bed surrounded by doctors, one of whom just told her she has cancer. “It’s a scary word, right? We can all admit that,” says a second doctor, Robin Scorpio, who also happens to be Devane’s daughter. This cancer is rare, says the first doctor, and somewhat different. People with the condition, called polycythemia vera, make too many blood cells. This, adds a third doctor, explains Devane’s recent migraines.“So how do we treat it? Is it … radiation? Chemo?” Devane’s voice cracks. Remarkably, no. The first doctor, a husky-voiced practitioner named Hamilton Finn, tells Devane she needs only a prescription blood thinner and regular phlebotomy—blood letting. Anna shows relief, then irr... Read More

Garmin’s New 360 Cam Makes Your Stupid Stunts Spherical

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An Up-Close Look at the Notorious APT32 Hacking Group in Action

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In October 2016, a new client approached the threat intelligence firm Cybereason, worried that it had been compromised in some sort of breach. In fact, it had—by, Cybereason now says, one of the world’s most notorious hacking groups: APT32.At the time the client, a large international company based in Asia, didn’t know which of its devices and servers the hack had impacted, or even whether a hack had definitively occurred. “They had seen a lot of weird stuff on their network,” says Assaf Dahan, the director of advanced security at Cybereason. The company was already using security products like firewalls, network filters, and scanners, but none had detected an intrusion. When Cybereason investigated, though, it st... Read More
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Why Are Whales So Dang Big? Science May Finally Have an Answer

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Listen, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that baleen whales are big. You know that. In fact, I bet you know that at 300,000 pounds, the blue whale is the heaviest creature to ever exist. But I bet you don’t know why such filter-feeding whales are so big—because not even scientists know that.Today, though, one group of researchers offers a fascinating theory in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Fusing the fossil record and phylogenetic work (that is, determining the relatedness of species to one another), they found that baleen whales probably got colossal just 3 million years ago—a sliver of time in the grand evolutionary scheme of things—and climate change probably triggered the transformatio... Read More
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Think Before You Tweet In the Wake of an Attack

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Monday night, a suicide bomber took the lives of at least 22 people—including an 8-year-old girl—at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Almost instantly, images and video of the devastating attack overtook Twitter timelines and Facebook News Feeds. As natural and understandable a response to horrific events that might be, it also threatens to amplify the chaos that terrorists intend.Terrorists have always sought attention, and the age of social media has enabled them to find it with unprecedented breadth. They use social networks to recruit, to inspire, and to connect, but they al... Read More

How Instagram Explore Became the Realest Place on the Web

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Zuckerberg-Backed Data Trove Exposes the Injustices of Criminal Justice

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Amy Bach was researching her book about the US court system when she met a woman named Sharon in Quitman County, Mississippi. One July day in 2001, Sharon said, her boyfriend took her under a bridge and beat her senseless with a tire iron. Sharon passed out numerous times before her niece intervened and stopped the man from killing her. In photos from the emergency room after the attack, Sharon’s brown, almond-shaped eyes are swollen shut. She reported the crime to the police, who wrote up an aggravated assault report.And then nothing happened. Neither the police nor the local prosecutors pursued the case. As Bach’s research later revealed... Read More

Microsoft’s Surface Pro Laptop Returns With Bigger Brains

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A Curious Plan to Save the Environment With the Blockchain

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Magic internet money—also known as cryptocurrency—is at an all-time high. The experts who watch this stuff predict that one bitcoin (the most famous cryptocurrency) will soon be worth $2,000.The big selling point of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin is their use of something called the blockchain to make any transaction mossstly trustworthy. In a cryptocash economy, the blockchain renders treasuries, banks, credit cards, and other financial organs vestigial. Enthusiasts believe these decentralized, cryptograp... Read More
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Iceland Is Beautiful Except for the 2 Million Tourists

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Iceland is a windswept, volcanic island about the size of Kentucky. It’s a beautiful place, a land of vast tundra, stunning fjords, and tumbling waterfalls. You could call it idyllic. Quiet even. Well, before the tourists found it, that is.Cheap flights and the exposure brought by Game of Thrones conspired to make Iceland the vacation destination. The place teems with globetrotters, and French photographer Denis Meyer spent weeks among them in March for his series Iceland: The Silent Epidemic. “I wanted to see the consequences of tourism in ecological and societal terms,” he says. Calling it an epidemic feels a... Read More
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Your Camera Wants to Kill the Keyboard

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Snapchat knew it from the start, but in recent months Google and Facebook have all but confirmed it: The keyboard, slowly but surely, is fading into obscurity.Last week at Google’s annual developer conference, the company presented its vision for how it expects its users—more than a billion people—to interact with technology in the coming years. And for the most part, it didn’t involved typing into a search box. Instead, Google’s brass spent its time on stage touting the company’s speech recognition skills and showing off Google Lens, a new computer vision technology that essentially turns your phone camera i... Read More
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Get Ready for the Next Big Privacy Backlash Against Facebook

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Data mining is such a prosaic part of our online lives that it’s hard to sustain consumer interest in it, much less outrage. The modern condition means constantly clicking against our better judgement. We go to bed anxious about the surveillance apparatus lurking just beneath our social media feeds, then wake up to mindlessly scroll, Like, Heart, Wow, and Fave another day.But earlier this month, The Australian uncovered something that felt like a breach in the social contract: a leaked confidential document prepared by Facebook ... Read More
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In Defense of the Reality of Time

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Physicists and philosophers seem to like nothing more than telling us that everything we thought about the world is wrong. They take a peculiar pleasure in exposing common sense as nonsense. But Tim Maudlin thinks our direct impressions of the world are a better guide to reality than we have been led to believe. Quanta Magazine About ... Read More
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The Pot Startups Prepping for Jeff Sessions’ New War on Drugs

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Amid all the chaos and confusion of the Trump administration, one certainty abides: Attorney General Jeff Sessions does not like pot.The former Alabama senator once joked that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “ok” until he found out they smoked weed. During a 2016 Senate hearing, he called marijuana a dangerous drug. He also didn’t shy away from Reefer Madness-era moralizing: “Good people,” he said, “don’t ... Read More
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The Return of the Iconic Rangefinder Camera

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Back in the 1920S, fleet-footed photojournalists were casting aside their bulky, sheet film-shooting Speed Graphics in favor of the new pocket-sized 35-mm cameras. Just one problem: To focus, you had to guess the distance to your subject. To solve this, camera-makers adapted a military technology known as a rangefinder, a scope that measured distance on the battlefield by a trick of optical triangulation. Coupled with the lens’s focusing ring, the rangefinder ensured ultrasharp pictures. Leicas equipped with this system became the weapons of choice for correspondents like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa and were avidly cloned (and occasionally improved) by Soviet and Japanese manufacturers. Eclipsed by single-lens-reflex models, ... Read More
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Even If Dana Rohrabacher Was a Russian Asset, Would He Know?

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Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican who has represented Huntington Beach, California for 14 terms on Capitol Hill, has a bummer of a nickname: Putin’s Favorite Congressman. On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that, during a closed meeting of House Republicans, Representative Kevin McCarthy—another Californian and, like Rohrabacher, a stalwart ally of President Donald Trump—sai... Read More

The Arctic Doomsday Seed Vault Flooded. Thanks, Global Warming

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Hackers Are Trying to Reignite WannaCry With Non-Stop Botnet Attacks

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Over the past year, two digital disasters have rocked the internet. The botnet known as Mirai knocked a swath of major sites off the web last September, including Spotify, Reddit, and the New York Times. And over the past week, the WannaCry ransomware outbreak crippled systems ranging from healthcare to transportation in 150 countries before it an unlikely “kill-switch” in its code shut it down.Now, a few devious hackers appear to be trying to combine those two internet plagues: They’re using their own copycats of the Mirai botnet to attack WannaCry’s kill-switch. So far, researchers have managed to fight... Read More

If You Want to Glimpse the Power of AI, Play These Games

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Brrrr. The Secret History of Frozen Food

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Growing up in the 1970s I ate a lot of green beans, because that’s what Mom cooked while Dad was outside grilling the steaks. But I don’t think I ate a fresh green bean until I was an adult, even in the summer. It was just plain easier for Mom to drop a block of frozen Birds Eye French-cut green beans out of the cardboard box and into a pot of boiling water.Times have changed dramatically: Mom wouldn’t think of buying frozen green beans now—instead she buys fresh haricots verts, the slender and tender green bean, available year-round at her local Publix. And as an adult, I was the one reaching into the frozen vegetable case at the grocery store for the rock-solid peas, because that’s all my kids would eat. I considered g... Read More

How Do Drones Fly? Physics, of Course!

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Google Puts AI in Your Phone So You Can … Copy and Paste?

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How Boring Old Pension Funds Might Curb Global Warming

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If civilization still exists a century from now, Earth ought to throw a parade for pension funds. For all their fiscally conservative stodginess, the people tasked with safeguarding your nest egg are forcing the financial world to pay attention to climate change.Last week, some retirement funds and church endowments, along with BlackRock, the world’s largest investment bank, approved a proposal that Occidental Petroleum begin researching and reporting its ... Read More
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A WannaCry Flaw Could Help Some Windows XP Victims Get Files Back

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Since the WannaCry ransomware ripped through the internet late last week, infecting hundreds of thousands of machines and locking up critical systems from health care to transportation, cryptographers have searched for a cure. Finding a flaw in WannaCry’s encryption scheme, after all, could decrypt all those systems without any ransom.Now one French researcher says he’s found... Read More

Internet Providers Insist They Love Net Neutrality. Seriously?

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Hey Startups, It’s Your Duty to Fight for Net Neutrality

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Today, entrepreneurs can use the internet and focus first and foremost on building something people want. But if Federal Communications Commission chair Ajit Pai undermines net neutrality, entrepreneurs and consumers will be constrained by what big cable companies want. I hope you’ll join me in pushing back. WIRED OPINION About Sam Altman (... Read More
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Cities Can’t Sign Treaties—But They Can Still Fight Climate Change

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This seems weird, doesn’t it? If the White House withdraws from the Paris climate accord, we’re going to adopt it in Los Angeles. #CAPIdeas — Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti) May 16, 2017 Not because of the sentiment. Climate change presents a real danger to humanity, and it’ll hit the humans who live near oceans first. Los Angeles, where Eric Garcetti is mayor, has a ... Read More
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WIRED Has a New Home on Snapchat Discover

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If Nothing Else, Robert Mueller Could Bring Clarity to Trump’s Russia Ties

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Rarely do political happenings solicit praise from both senator Chuck Schumer and denizens of far-right Twitter like Bill Mitchell. But the Department of Justice’s appointment of a special counsel to investigate the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia did just that.Within minutes of the release of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s letter announcing former Federal Bureau of Investigations director Robert Mueller would be leading a special investigation into Russian meddling, politicians, pundits, and legal experts on both sides of the aisle commended the decision. For liberals with impeachment fever dreams, i... Read More
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Chelsea Manning Walks Back Into a World She Helped Transform

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Today, Chelsea Manning walked out of the military prison that held her for seven years, and into a world largely remade by her actions.“Whatever is ahead of me is far more important than the past. I’m figuring things out right now—which is exciting, awkward, fun, and all new for me,” she said in a statement through her ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio. Manning marked the occasion with a photo of her first steps of freedom on Instagram, an app that launched in 2010. That’s the same year that Manning, serving as a private in the US army in Iraq, leaked a trove of classified documents to Wikileaks to reveal what she believed were atrocitie... Read More
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Startling Photos Capture Myanmar’s $31 Billion Jade Mining Industry

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The rolling hills of Kachin state in northern Myanmar hold the finest jade in all the world. The best stones command hundreds of thousands of dollars per ounce, and mining companies scour the landscape in search of them. They leave behind great heaps of waste that scavengers pick through, hoping to find a rock that will change their lives.“They all come with one dream to strike it rich,” says Minzayar Oo, who grew up in Myanmar and spent the past four years documenting the industry for his series The Price of Jade. “It’s a dream that only rarely comes true, but still for that they will push as hard as they can and risk everything.” M... Read More
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Google Rattles the Tech World With a New AI Chip for All

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In a move that could shift the course of multiple technology markets, Google will soon launch a cloud computing service that provides exclusive access to a new kind of artificial-intelligence chip designed by its own engineers.CEO Sundar Pichai revealed the new chip and service this morning in Silicon Valley during his keynote at Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference. This new processor is a unique creation designed to both train and execute deep neural networks—machine learning systems behind the rapid evolution of everything from ... Read More

Andy Rubin, Crispr, and Amazon Star at Wired Business Conference 2017

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The Best Way To Transmit Satellite Data? In Trucks. Really

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An unmarked white semi-truck rests on orange steel plates—Rent Me, they proclaim—protecting the soft ground outside a glass-fronted office building in Westminster, Colorado. Inside the cargo container, locked up in refrigerated drives, is a photo album of Earth. Over 17 years, a company called DigitalGlobe has painstakingly collected those images from its high-resolution satellite network. And on this May morning, it’s set to ship those precious 100 petabytes to Amazon and its cloud-based Web Services.This Ford-era solution—which the Everything Store People call a “Snowmobile”—is a new service from Amazon, and this is its first real road trip. And while the concept might seem outlandish, an 18-wheeler is act... Read More
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San Francisco Tries to Ban Delivery Robots Before They Flatten Someone’s Toes

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A little more than a month after a startup announced it was unleashing robots to deliver food to San Franciscans, a city lawmaker wants them curbed.Marble’s robot is technically semi-autonomous, as a human operator monitors each robot in case it gets in any trouble. But that’s not good enough for San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee, who just proposed legislation to ban delivery robots of all types, saying they’re a public safety hazard. While he isn’t aware of robots tangling with humans on the sidewalks of San Francisco yet, that’s not the point. “For me to wait for something to happen is silly,” Yee says, “because I think it’s going to happen.” Unlike self-driving cars, autonomous delivery robots roll ... Read More
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Denying Health Care to Diabetics Makes Just About Zero Sense

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Last week, the Trump administration made a new enemy: the American Diabetes Association. During a panel discussion at a forum for health care luminaries at Stanford University on Thursday, Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney told an audience that the GOP bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act would take care of people with pre-existing conditions, but only to an extent. “It doesn’t mean we should be required to take care of the person who sits home, drinks sugary drinks, doesn’t exercise, eats poorly, and gets diabetes,” he said.Diabetes affects nearly 30 million Americans, most of whom did not take kindly to the jab. Almost imm... Read More
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Google IO 2017: Watch Live Video of Google’s Big Show Right Here

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Every year, thousands of Google developers gather at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California for Google IO, the company’s biggest developer show of the year. Google executives take the stage to show the latest tools, features, and updates coming to all of the company’s products. The keynote address starts at 10 am Pacific (1 pm Eastern) on Wednesday, May 17. The video player at the top of this page will start showing the live feed about an hour before the keynote address begins. We’ll also be running a liveblog filled with commentary and analysis—join in. What should you expect? Lots of t... Read More
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One Candidate’s Plan to Resist Trump by Teaching Kids to Code

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Alec Ross knows Trump country well. The former Obama administration staffer hails from the heart of coal country in Charleston, West Virginia. He grew up alongside the very people that President Trump likes to say Washington has left behind.As with Trump, Ross believes that government needs to do a better job lifting up these “forgotten men and women.” Unlike Trump, Ross believes accomplishing that goal has little to do with sealing off the borders or reviving the coal industry at the expense of the world’s climate. Instead, Ross argues the key to a more inclusive economy depends on a simple promise: ensuring all students have access to a computer science education. It’s not exactly the kind of lock-her-up-and-buil... Read More
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Bragi’s Fancy New Earbuds Translate for You in Real Time

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Before the ear-computer market took off, before AirPods and Here Ones and EarIn and Skybuds and IQBuds and Kanoa and a thousand other names you’ve never heard of, there was Bragi. The German company blew up on Kickstarter in 2014 after introducing a pair of headphones called Dash, which it claimed could play music, measure your health in complicated ways, let you control your gadgets with a nod, and hear the real world and digital audio simultaneously.Dash didn’t do everything Bragi promised, and made it clear that this cool new world of in-ear computers remained a ways off. “We’re so early in this entire industry,” says CEO Ni... Read More
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5 Tools to Help Protect Yourself From Ransomware

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A devastating global cyberattack called WannaCry has alerted millions of people to the dangers of ransomware. Hospitals, utilities, businesses, and more were locked out of their computers, facing payment demands from anonymous hackers. And while it’s too late for over hundreds of thousands of devices across 150 countries that WannaCry hit, there are a few tools you can use to help limit your own risk, both now and going forward. After all, ... Read More
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Scientists 3-D Print Mouse Ovaries That Actually Make Babies

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Not all girls grow up to be mothers. Sometimes they choose not to be, and sometimes circumstances take those choices away. A superfluity of cancers and genetic diseases can destroy women’s ovaries. Or treatments like radiation—used to save a woman’s life—can render those egg-producing organs useless. Ovaries also mediate female hormones. Without them, young patients might never go through puberty; grown women could enter menopause early.Today, a team of bioengineers reported a possible fix: 3-D printed ovaries. Their proof of concept—published in Nature Communications—only works on mice so far, but they could end up... Read More
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Fascinating X-Rays Reveal the Guts of Cameras, From Polaroids to iPhones

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Modern cameras are little more than computers that take photographs. Open one up and you’ll find a circuit board and chips and sensors. But an old camera, now that’s a gadget, filled with gears and springs and levers. It feels almost alive. The shutter fires with a delightful click, the film advances with a satisfying ratchet, and the back closes with a lovely click-CLACK!Most people don’t know this, because they’ve only ever made pictures with a smartphone. But Kent Krugh delights in peering inside old cameras, whiling away his time after work X-raying every one he gets his hands on. Although he appreciates all cameras—he is, after all, a photographer—he especi... Read More

Watch SpaceX Sacrifice a Falcon 9 in the Name of Better Internet

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Your Fidget Spinner Is (Maybe) Making You Smarter

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Skip Suva is a fidgeter. When he worked at paper-intensive administrative jobs, he’d doodle incessantly; when he started a coding career last year, he took up fiddling with an SD-card reader that made pleasant snick noises. “Popping the SD card out and clicking it back in,” he laughs.His fidgeting can seem like a crazy tic, Suva admits. But it helps him focus. “When my brain is moving a lot faster than my fingers can,” he says, “it feels like I need something to ground myself.” Recently, Suva bought a tool just for fidgeting: the Fidget Cube, by Antsy Labs. It has six twiddly mechanisms on its faces, and each ... Read More
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Review: BlackBerry Keyone

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For the better part of a decade, there was nothing more impressive than owning a BlackBerry. Walking down the street, both hands on the soft-touch sides of the handset, thumbs flying around the keyboard as you plowed through emails, BBMs, and texts. You could wear ripped jeans and a paint-stained shirt, but your BlackBerry still told the world you were a Very Important Person. Maybe you weren’t the hippest kid on the block, but you were definitely the most likely to own a yacht and know how to properly pronounce Gstaad.You know what a BlackBerry says about you now? Specifically the newest BlackBerry model, the BlackBerry Keyone? It says you haven’t bought a phone in a decade, because wait, do they even make Blackberries anymor... Read More

Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before

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This Photographer Converted a Box Trailer Into a Giant Mobile Camera

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How an Accidental ‘Kill Switch’ Slowed Friday’s Massive Ransomware Attack

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Amid a desperate situation on Friday in which hundred of thousands of ransomware attacks pelted computers in nearly 100 countries, one stroke of good fortune hit, too. As the malware analysis expert who calls himself MalwareTech rushed to examine the so-called WannaCry strain, he stumbled on a way to stop it from locking computers and slow its spread. All it took was ten bucks, and a little luck.WannaCry swept Europe and Asia quickly yesterday, locking up critical systems like the UK’s National Health Service, a large telecom in Spain, and other businesses and institutions around the world, all in record time. Once infe... Read More
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The Real Threat to Our Government Is Tech Illiteracy

In Business, Government, Legal, Mobile Technology, Science & Nature, Security by Wired NewsLeave a Comment

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In February 2016, two months after Rizwan Syed Farook killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, FBI director James Comey spoke before the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss the global threats facing the US. “The growing use of encryption,” Comey testified, was “overwhelmingly affecting law enforcement.” As an example of this technical imposition, Comey informed the legislators that his agency “still [has] one of [the San Bernardino] killer’s phones that we have not been able to open.”Comey’s remarks precipitated a weeks-long, very public imbroglio between the FBI and the tech community. Within... Read More
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The Urgent Challenge of Replacing Comey Amid a Firestorm

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James Comey’s ouster as director of the FBI on Tuesday raises plenty questions about why Donald Trump fired him, the timing of the Trump administration’s decision, and the extent to which it might all stem from the FBI’s investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. But it also prompts a more practical question: Who takes his spot? And how can the replacement possibly keep the FBI apolitical in such a charged environment?With Comey’s chair still warm, deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe has become acting director, and the hunt is on for a permanent replacement. There’s an urgency to filling the role, given the FBI’s responsibilities in domestic criminal investigations, counterterrorism, ... Read More
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Trump Firing FBI Director Comey Won’t Slow Down the Russia Investigation—Yet

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President Donald Trump has fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, smack in the middle of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into potential ties between the Trump administration and Russia. But while whomever Trump appoints to take Comey’s place could shut down the Russia probe eventually, Comey’s removal won’t make it skip a beat.According to press secretary Sean Spicer, the decision to terminate Comey had nothing to do with the investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties but rather Comey’s handling—including controversial public statements—of the ... Read More
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A Vicious Microsoft Bug Left a Billion PCs Exposed

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Microsoft’s security team had a busy weekend.On Friday night, security researcher Tavis Ormandy of Google’s Project Zero announced on Twitter that he had found a Windows bug. Well, not just any bug. It was “crazy bad,” Ormandy wrote. “The worst Windows remote code exec in recent memory.” By Monday night, Microsoft had released an emergency patch, along with details of what the vulnerability entailed. And yes, it was every bi... Read More
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The NSA Confirms It: Russia Hacked French Election ‘Infrastructure’

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Two days before France’s recent presidential election, hackers leaked nine gigabytes of emails from candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign onto the web. Since then, the Kremlin has once again emerged as the likeliest culprit. But while public evidence can’t definitively prove Russia’s involvement, NSA director Michael Rogers suggested to Congress today that America’s most powerful cybersecurity agency has pinned at least some electoral interference on Moscow.In a hearing of the Senate’s Armed For... Read More

Security News This Week: Trump’s Cybersecurity Executive Order Looks … Pretty Good!

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Print a Pretty Picture With These Instant Film Cameras

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Surface Noise

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���iv�H�0�.�";6�+���[��.O�R����$IX �B��Ϲ�x�������w5�w��쀽x�Z>��̰u!�9��> fq�_�hߓ���Z9v9�h�o�T��a���Reoo�t���F�n/n�z�����|7p צW������v2�vu�w�h��R��-u;ع�;�1w�_Nr����߹cZ�?4-Y��K�~ִ;{Mj����h=�`ʢn�24-��>�Mf| �>#��}�Qi�y�~�1�Vײ�6��ף�]�T������m9���v;g:B�|���ϱ>|j�J�P�"�tnE�����xK��u�@,��� � ӱ���bo:�9�|n.�lmZ��P,���R��z�APt�o��r��X��=Zx0]�_�I؉ɗ��... Read More

The Ransomware Meltdown Experts Warned About Is Here

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Maybe the Internet Isn’t Tearing Us Apart After All

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Vikingmaiden88 is twenty-six years old. She enjoys reading history and writing poetry. Her signature quote is from Shakespeare. I gleaned all this from her profile and posts on Stormfront.org, America’s most popular online hate site. I also learned that Vikingmaiden88 has enjoyed the content on the site of the newspaper I work for, the New York Times. She wrote an enthusiastic post about a particular Times feature. I recently analyzed tens of thousands of such Stormfront profiles, in which registered members can enter their location, birth date, interests, and other information.Stormfront was founded in 1995 by Don Black, a former Ku Klux Klan leader. Its most popular “social groups” are “Union of Nationa... Read More
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How One Startup Built Better Health Insurance With the Magic of Data

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For 12.2 million Americans, signing up for health insurance in 2017 was a leap of faith: that Obamacare would make it through the year, that the health exchanges wouldn’t collapse, that premiums wouldn’t put their families on the street. For the 54,000 New Yorkers who used those exchanges to join Oscar—a millennial-beckoning insurance startup cofounded by Jared Kushner’s younger brother, Joshua—the 2017 enrollment period wasn’t just uncertain. It was, well, kind of bleak.In July, Oscar’s members found out the company was halving its largest network, based in New York City, from 40,000 doctors to 20,000, from 77 hospitals to 31. That kind of forced breakup should have been a very tough sell. But somehow, Oscar ... Read More
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Photo of the Week: China’s Building a Full-Sized Titanic Replica Because Why Not

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The sinking of the Titanic continues to fascinate a surprising number of people. Soon, the first full-size replica of the ocean liner will allow delighted tourists to relive the ill-fated ship’s maiden voyage, right down to the crash.The Unsinkable Titanic theme park measures nearly 883 feet long by 93 feet wide, and sits on the bank of the Qijiang River smack in China’s landlocked Sichuan Province. The ship will boast a ballroom, observation deck and first-class cabins, all fitted with historically accurate fixtures. The kitchen will serve up the same European fare passengers enjoyed. And, in a morbid twist, it will simulate the experience of being aboard the ship at the moment it crashed into that iceberg, just i... Read More
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Cortana Just Got Microsoft Back in the Smartphone Game

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Microsoft knows you don’t run Windows on all of your gadgets, and it no longer cares.That, above all else, was the message the company conveyed for three whole days at its Build developer conference. Redmond is no longer trying to foist phones on consumers who don’t want them. It stopped plugging its ears and pretending Google Docs and Chromebooks aren’t a threat. And it won’t beg people to throw out all of their devices and buy a dozen new ones so they can live their Best Windows Life. CEO Satya Nadella and his executives made it clear, in every way they could think of, that Microsoft finally understands how the world works. And it has a p... Read More
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Cortana Just Got Microsoft Back in the Smartphone Game

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

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Microsoft knows you don’t run Windows on all of your gadgets, and it no longer cares.That, above all else, was the message the company conveyed for three whole days at its Build developer conference. Redmond is no longer trying to foist phones on consumers who don’t want them. It stopped plugging its ears and pretending Google Docs and Chromebooks aren’t a threat. And it won’t beg people to throw out all of their devices and buy a dozen new ones so they can live their Best Windows Life. CEO Satya Nadella and his executives made it clear, in every way they could think of, that Microsoft finally understands how the world works. And it has a p... Read More
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Cortana Just Got Microsoft Back in the Smartphone Game

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

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Microsoft knows you don’t run Windows on all of your gadgets, and it no longer cares.That, above all else, was the message the company conveyed for three whole days at its Build developer conference. Redmond is no longer trying to foist phones on consumers who don’t want them. It stopped plugging its ears and pretending Google Docs and Chromebooks aren’t a threat. And it won’t beg people to throw out all of their devices and buy a dozen new ones so they can live their Best Windows Life. CEO Satya Nadella and his executives made it clear, in every way they could think of, that Microsoft finally understands how the world works. And it has a p... Read More
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Cortana Just Got Microsoft Back in the Smartphone Game

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

Tech News Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Microsoft knows you don’t run Windows on all of your gadgets, and it no longer cares.That, above all else, was the message the company conveyed for three whole days at its Build developer conference. Redmond is no longer trying to foist phones on consumers who don’t want them. It stopped plugging its ears and pretending Google Docs and Chromebooks aren’t a threat. And it won’t beg people to throw out all of their devices and buy a dozen new ones so they can live their Best Windows Life. CEO Satya Nadella and his executives made it clear, in every way they could think of, that Microsoft finally understands how the world works. And it has a p... Read More
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Cortana Just Got Microsoft Back in the Smartphone Game

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

Tech News Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Microsoft knows you don’t run Windows on all of your gadgets, and it no longer cares.That, above all else, was the message the company conveyed for three whole days at its Build developer conference. Redmond is no longer trying to foist phones on consumers who don’t want them. It stopped plugging its ears and pretending Google Docs and Chromebooks aren’t a threat. And it won’t beg people to throw out all of their devices and buy a dozen new ones so they can live their Best Windows Life. CEO Satya Nadella and his executives made it clear, in every way they could think of, that Microsoft finally understands how the world works. And it has a p... Read More
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Review: 2017 Ford GT

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Click the tiny machined aluminum dial on the steering wheel to Track mode, and something startling happens. The carbon-bodied Ford GT drops to the pavement with a thud, hoisting its rear spoiler to full mast. Where most modern supercars prepare for the track by stiffening up their suspension settings, the GT goes all out, transforming into a hunkered-down cruise missile, ready for launch. Welcome to the machine.A Brief History of Speed Before you can appreciate the all-new GT, the $445,000 supercar ... Read More
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The Magic Leap Bias Suit: Sexism As a Sign of Failure

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Magic Leap, the secretive augmented reality tech startup that’s valued at $4.5 billion (and reportedly bores Beyoncé), settled a sex discrimination lawsuit this week. The plaintiff, Tannen Campbell, a former vice-president of strategic marketing, was hired to make the company’s product more appealing to women. Campbell filed a notice of settlement Monday in federal court in Florida, Magic Leap’s home state, and the terms of the settlement are confidential. (Representatives for both Campbell and Magic Leap said they couldn... Read More
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We Shouldn’t Have to Ask if a Russian Photog Bugged the White House

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When President Donald Trump fired James Comey as director of the FBI on Tuesday evening, the move immediately sparked controversy. Some saw in the dismissal an attempt to hinder the FBI’s investigation into possible ties between Russia and his presidential campaign. It didn’t help that Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office the very next day—or that the only photos of that meeting came from the Russian-sponsored news agency Tass.The White House says it didn’t realize the govern... Read More

Star Neuroscientist Tom Insel Leaves the Google-Spawned Verily for … a Startup?

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Microsoft Makes Windows Play Nice With All Your Other Gadgets

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Windows 10 might be “the last version of Windows,” but Microsoft’s not done updating the thing. This week, two months after the big so-called Creators Update, Windows chief Terry Myerson announced another set of upgrades, coming this fall. It’s also called the Creators Update, for some reason. This time, rather than improving the built-in Windows apps in the hope that you won’t need so many third-party downloads, Microsoft’s focusing on making Windows 10 a more functional part of your entire gadget ecosystem. It’ll also be the first version of Windows to feature a new desig... Read More

The Traditional Lecture Is Dead. I Would Know—I’m a Professor

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Doppler’s Wireless Earbuds Now Detect and Destroy the Clamor Around You

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When you put on a pair of headphones, you do more than bringing music into your head. You decide how you want to experience the world: Do you want to tune it out completely, exchanging city sounds for Beethoven’s Fifth? Are you spicing up a grocery run with an S-Town binge? Maybe you just need an extra push to get through your run?Several new models take this idea even further, with wireless earbuds that feel more like ear-computers: Bose recently introduced its Hearphones, you see AirPods everywhere, and Doppler Labs ... Read More
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An Electric Shock Could Keep Patients From Bleeding Out

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Fifteen years ago, Kevin Tracey sat in a Washington DC conference room surrounded by officials from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. They’d been paying the neurosurgeon to study how doctors could stimulate the vagus nerve—a long nerve that controls everything from blood pressure to sexual arousal—to treat inflammation associated with PTSD. Now they wanted to know: Could he stimulate anything else into submission? He searched his brain. It might work for bleeding, he told them. Which is when he started talking about worms.C. elegans eats dirt, lives for a few weeks, and has just 959 cells in its transparent worm body. It’s about as primitive an organism as you can find that can still teach you about h... Read More
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Using AI to Detect Cancer, Not Just Cats

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Shaokang Wang and his startup, Infervision, build algorithms that read X-ray images and identify early signs of lung cancer. The company’s technology, Wang says, is already running inside four of the largest hospitals in China. Two are merely running tests, but according to Wang, the two others—Shanghai Changzheng and Tongji, both in Shanghai—are installing the technology across their operations. “It’s installed on every doctor’s machine,” he says.To what extent these doctors are actually using the technology is another question. In the world of healthcare, artificial intelligence is still in its infancy. But the idea is spreading. At two hospitals in India, Google is ... Read More
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Liveblog: All the News From Day Two of Microsoft’s Dev Bash

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Microsoft’s yearly Build developer conference continues today, May 11, with an announcement-packed keynote address. We’ll be liveblogging the proceedings right here, so join us for live analysis and commentary (and jokes!) from David Pierce, Brian Barrett, and the rest of our liveblog team. The day-two keynote begins at 8:30 am Pacific (11:30 am Eastern). Our liveblog will appear here on this page at 8 am Pacific, about 30 minutes before the event. The bulk of Build is broadcast via livestream from the event in Seattle, and you can watch a livestream of the keynote here on WIRED. So, what should we expect? ... Read More