category_outlined / Science

WIRED March 2016

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


access_time2 min.
what is a robot?

Ask Andy Rubin, father of Android, that question and he holds up the middle three fingers of his left hand. “First,” he says, grabbing his index finger, “a robot must sense.” Next finger: “It must compute.” Ring finger: “Then, it must actuate.”¶ On first blush, that’s a bit amorphous. It’s a broad definition, but it’s not wrong. A traffic signal, for example, could be said to be a robot. Consider the last time you rolled up to a red light. The metal of your car tripped a magnetic detector embedded in the asphalt, which sent a signal (hey—car here!) to a processor. That data fed into an algorithm that, given a bunch of other variables, triggered a state change in the signal: red to green. Depending on the city you…

access_time2 min.
stayin’ alive

@WIRED / MAIL@WIRED.COM IT’S A BIG, SCARY WORLD out there. Your car could be hacked. You might lose your job. TEOTWAWKI is likely imminent. (If you don’t know your prepper-speak for “the end of the world as we know it,” good luck to you.) So to kick off a new year of trials and tribulations, we prepared a survival handbook—a guide to staying alive for, well, as long you can. In a wild Q&A, The Revenant star Leonardo DiCaprio talked about surviving everything from filming in freezing conditions to fighting climate change (“The Nine Lives of Leo DiCaprio”). Through it all, he has managed to keep his head—and his cool. Re: “The Nine Lives of Leo DiCaprio” “SOUNDS LIKE DICAPRIO SHOULD PLAY INDIANA JONES IN HIS NEXT ADVENTURE. ” Len Verner on…

access_time4 min.
crowdfunding is evil at least when it comes to the public good

EMMA HOFMAN, a kindergarten teacher in New Orleans, needs your money. In the past two years, she has set up six fund-raising campaigns on the website Her goal isn’t to fund expensive field trips or even a new computer. She just wants her kids to have books, pencil sharpeners, and a few blocks to play with. ¶ Scrolling through your Facebook feed on any given day, you’re bound to find friends and colleagues asking for cash. If it’s not a creative project or a revolutionary new gizmo, it’s someone beseeching you to sponsor their dream trip abroad. But something different is going on when teachers have to resort to crowdfunding to pay for basic school supplies. Constricted education budgets being what they are, the explosion of Kickstarter-esque platforms might seem…

access_time1 min.
car jam yes, traffic is getting worse

UNRELENTING TRAFFIC MAKES you understand why road rage exists. The worst part? There’s no relief in sight. Data from traffic research shop Inrix shows that some of the most congested corridors in the US are getting more jammed every year. Take the southbound stretch of US 101 from San Francisco to Silicon Valley. In the morning it funnels tech folk from the city to Mountain View and Menlo Park. In the evening, it guides city workers back to their suburban homes. And as our analysis shows, rush-hour drive-time delays due to traffic have increased every year since 2010. But until self-driving cars can rescue us from this twice-daily torture, do lay off the horn, would you? It should take about 45 minutes to drive the 48 miles between San Francisco and…

access_time2 min.
it’s about time daniel clowes takes on sci-fi

DANIEL CLOWES spent the first half of this decade living in the past. The longtime cartoonist helped assemble a career-spanning monograph (2012’s The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist) as well as last year’s deluxe collection of his influential ’90s alt-comic series Eightball. All this looking back, however, ended up informing Clowes’ first graphic novel in six years. Patience, out in March, centers on a man who travels back in time in an attempt to thwart his wife’s murder. It’s his most complex narrative yet, and it brings Clowes, now 54, into the fourth decade of an already legendary career. Don’t worry, though—he hasn’t gotten any sunnier. —MARK YARM Time travel is a well-worn trope in pop culture. What prompted you to explore it in Patience? Time travel is one of those…

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jargon watch

nano-terminatorsn. pl./ 'na-nō-'t r-m -'nā-t rz / Liquid-metal drug carriers. Tiny, silvery droplets of gallium-indium alloy slurp into cancer cells like the shape-shifting T-1000 bot, then coalesce to fight tumors from the inside. Viperblack n. / 'vī-p r-'blak / A cotton-based fabric that’s blacker than black. Using a trick from the light-sucking scales of gaboon vipers, Viperblack T-shirts are 40 percent darker than ordinary black clothing and 100 percent more goth. skyscraper chip n. / 'skī-'skrā-p r 'chip / An alternative to circuit boards. By stacking the circuits, these carbon-nanotube structures drastically shorten data pathways, potentially making computers a thousand times faster. HTTP 451 n. A new error code for when a web page is blocked by censorship—or a takedown notice. A nod to Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451,…