category_outlined / Science

WIRED Dec-15

The Wired mission is to tell the world something they've never heard before in a way they've never seen before. It's about turning new ideas into everyday reality. It's about seeding our community of influencers with the ideas that will shape and transform our collective future. Wired readers want to know how technology is changing the world, and they're interested in big, relevant ideas, even if those ideas challenge their assumptions—or blow their minds.

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12 Numéros


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the network

The Best of WIRED on Star Wars Can’t wait for the Force to awaken on December 18? Go to to access our stellar Star Wars coverage— from a 2005 interview with George Lucas to our predictions (and hopes) for the franchise reboot, plus one writer’s tale of finally watching the original movies for the first time. ON THE WEB: VIDEO Better Drinking Through Chemistry Make awesome cocktails this holiday season, with science! WIRED articles editor Adam Rogers, author of Proof: The Science of Booze, joins some of the Bay Area’s smartest bartenders as they harness the power of chemistry to make tasty, pro-quality drinks at home. ON THE WEB: WEB + PRINT The Future of Football The Super Bowl is 50, so WIRED and Sports Illustrated are uniting to explore football’s next…

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from one fan to another

“What is the friggin’ deal with those Jawas?” I remember thinking to myself. I was scared, and who could blame me? Those chattering little bastards were menacing: a skosh taller than me, beady yellow eyes glowing like cinders under their dark burlap hoods. They surrounded a slightly paunchy Darth Vader, one Jawa clinging to his leg, which was odd in retrospect, because even though Vader grew up on Tatooine, there is no cinematic evidence of his ever hanging out with Jawas. But there they were, a few story-line-challenged cosplayers standing in line at a West Texas strip mall in the summer of 1980—terrorizing the likes of 4-year-old me. My dad hadn’t planned for me to be terrified when he brought me to see The Empire Strikes Back, of course. He…

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BUILDING THE FUTURE WHEN WE THINK of innovative design, often it’s discrete objects—a gorgeous tea kettle, a sleek Bluetooth speaker, the original iPod— that come to mind. But for this year’s design issue, we wanted to go big. Our subject: cities. From the gondolas soaring above the streets of Medellín, Colombia, to the museum that spirals into the earth in Shanghai, these ingenious efforts are lighting the way toward a better, smarter future. (That’s literally true in Los Angeles, which is retrofitting 4,500 miles of streets with smart LEDs.) Our list included cities as far-flung as Nairobi, Eindhoven, and Dubai because, as we’ve learned: Inspiration lives everywhere. Re: “Cities by Design” “I READ 23.10 FROM FRONT TO BACK. BOTH CONTENT AND DESIGN WERE OUTSTANDING.” Leon Taylor via email “Not many people notice the great aspects…

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outrageous fortune how to fix pharma’s price problem

ALPHA SHOUT IN 1990, scientists in Italy published a study comparing the efficacy of two heart medications. After looking at more than 12,400 cases, they concluded that the newer and more expensive drug provided no significant improvement in health outcomes. The study was controversial and, not surprisingly, contested by Genentech, the company behind the costlier option. It also kickstarted a conversation about the rising cost of medicines. The price tag of the new drug in the study was $2,200 per dose, after all. ¶ How quaint. Today, many drugs cost more than $30,000 a pop. In the past 50 years, prices for cancer drugs have increased a hundredfold, and spending on specialty drugs is forecast to double yet again by 2020. The industry’s riposte to any criticism about pricing is predictable: Regulations are…

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hacker tv exposing security flaws on youtube

Kamkar’s Greatest Hits SkyJack A drone that lets a hacker take control of another drone. Combo Breaker A bot that can crack a combination lock in under 30 seconds. OwnStar A device that can be planted on a car and used to commandeer the vehicle through its smartphone app. IN AN AGE when hackers trade techniques on the dark web and sell them to intelligence agencies, Samy Kamkar takes a more entertaining approach: You-Tube. A display of the 30-yearold’s digital mischief, the video series Applied Hacking teaches some 50,000 subscribers flashy hacks, and no household item is immune: He has tweaked a kids’ toy to open garage doors, 3-D-printed a Master Lock–cracking robot, devised a fake charger that can sniff keystrokes in wireless keyboards, and even hijacked cars’ smartphone apps to remotely unlock and start the…

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total ellipse cornerless billiards

How Loop Works Every ellipse contains two focus points. In theory, if you hit a ball that’s on one focus point (A), it should always rebound in such a way that it crosses the other (B). Bellos devised a pool table with a single pocket at one of those focus points. EIGHT BALL in the corner pocket? Not on Alex Bellos’ billiard table. It has no corner pockets—indeed, it has no corners whatsoever. Bellos, a British journalist who covers sports and mathematics, combined his two obsessions to create a unique game that he dubbed Loop. ¶ While working on his book The Grapes of Math, Bellos became fascinated by the ellipse. “The shape has these wonderful geometrical properties that we’ve known about since the ancient Greeks,” he says. Instructors frequently illustrate these…