WIRED UK Jul/ Aug 2020

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United Kingdom
Conde Nast Publications Ltd
6 期号


creating wired

Sophie Knight Known locally as 3.11, the 2011 meltdown at Fukushima’s power plant left a legacy of more than radioactive contamination, reports Knight. “Fukushima’s evacuees feel neglected and forgotten, both by the government and the public at large,” she says. “Many settled elsewhere, but for others, the evacuation wrecked their lives. They need transparency about the situation, and what’s next for the area.” Thomas Rohlfs Rohlfs illustrates our feature on the rise of DuckDuckDuckGo – the search engine that’s the antithesis of data-hoovering Google. “I’ve been a DDG user for a few years now, and I think people are becoming more aware of what online privacy is, and how Google is the opposite of that,” he says. “Taking on the big players in search is an epic uphill battle, so I looked at…

to survive, we need to address our economy’s negative externalities

The Harvard economist Rebecca Henderson is an adviser to many of the world’s leading companies. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to study change – or the lack of it – up close at pivotal exemplars of corporate decline, such as Kodak and Nokia. Her view is that the coronavirus crisis is another Kodak moment: a failure to act and transform the global economy will imperil all else. The economic term “externality” is defined by the OECD as “when the effect of production or consumption of goods and services imposes costs or benefits on others which are not reflected in the prices charged for the goods and services being provided.” While there can be positive externalities – for instance, the development of the semiconductor – the most significant challenges…


Maverick’s days are numbered. The long-awaited sequel to Top Gun is due to hit cinemas in December, but the virtuoso fighter pilots at its heart could be a thing of the past. The trustworthy wingman will soon be replaced by artificial intelligence, built into a drone, or into an existing fighter jet with no one in the cockpit. Since 2010, the US Air Force and Boeing’s QF-16 programme has been converting old F-16 fighter jets into unmanned drones, which can fly preset routes without a pilot. This year, 32 of these autonomous planes – rescued from retirement in the “boneyard” at an Air Force base near Arizona – will take to the air for one final flight as targets in weapons testing over the Gulf of Mexico. In the future, self-flying fighter…

the art of the dealmaker

Kiran Gandhi spent her first term at Harvard Business School on tour with the rapper M.I.A. In 2012, the musician – who performs under the name Madame Gandhi – was working as a data analyst at Interscope Records when she earned a spot at the prestigious institution, which has launched the careers of some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. Now, the 31-year-old is applying the lessons she learned at Harvard to her music career. Her management style is inspired by classes on collaborative leadership; the way she diversifies her income streams reflects her entrepreneurial mindset, and she’s pioneered the use of data to inform some of her strategic choices as an artist. In short, she’s running her career like a startup. Gandhi spends a lot of her time doing research.…

post-pandemic architecture

Whether it’s the tape markers at two-metre intervals on supermarket floors, or Plexiglas screens in restaurants, the physical dividers invading our lives look and feel like hastily put-together fixes, architectural sticking plasters for spaces built with commingling in mind. But what would it look like for our housing, workplaces and cities to be permanently designed for the extended social distancing that will follow the coronavirus pandemic? And how will we change the way we live to guard against future outbreaks? According to Emily Sargent, senior curator at the Wellcome Collection and the lead on its 2019 Living with Buildings exhibition, there is a window of opportunity to re-examine the relationship between the built and natural environment, and how it affects everything from work to where we recover from illness. “We’ve lost…

the latest buzz in farming

Tashia Tucker has created an AI-based technology called Olombria, which encourages hoverflies to increase their pollination to bee-like levels. Although flies perform 30 per cent of the world’s pollination, they aren’t as efficient as bees, often getting distracted and “wandering off” before they can carry pollen between plants. Olombria comprises sensors, cameras and chemical signalling devices placed within specified areas of an orchard or field, which entice hoverflies to focus their pollinating. Depending on what sectors of an orchard need pollinating, Olombria’s AI cloud system triggers chosen devices to release organic chemicals that encourage hoverflies to move towards those specific areas. “The chemicals do not alter what the flies would naturally do, but targets their location and increases the amount of pollen that they’re picking up and transferring,” Tucker explains. Like planting a mint…