Tech & Gaming

WIRED UK Jan/Feb 2020

WIRED is the Magazine for smart, intellectually curious people who need and want to know what’s next. WIRED will always deliver stimulating and compelling content and stunning design and photography. If you want an inside track to the future, then WIRED is your magazine.

United Kingdom
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2 Min.
creating wired

BEAUTY AND THE BEES Photographer Levon Biss learns how the scientists behind the BioDAR project are attempting to spot swarms of bees on weather radar, in order to assess just how steep the crash in their numbers has been. Part of the process involves coating the insects in a micro-thin layer of gold palladium and then scanning them, so they know what shapes to look for in the radar data. “I find this story fascinating, because this aspect of weather data, where insects intrude, is normally discarded or ignored – yet it is hugely important for biodiversity research,” he says. “Information on insect population decline is harder to gather than that of mammals, so projects such as BioDAR are essential for finding out how many we have left, where they are,…

3 Min.
what kind of internet do we want? (let’s not ask facebook)

I didn’t want to write my last editor’s letter of 2019 about Facebook. Honestly. For a while it looked as if WeWork founder Adam Neumann would be a good lens through which to examine the year in tech. Yet, somehow, Facebook managed to trump even one of the most calamitous corporate refinancing events of all time, brilliantly upping the ante by demonstrating mendacity in its corporate policy and an unparalleled tin ear when it comes to communications. Yes, it’s hard to ignore a company with such unmatched market power so consistently plummeting to new lows in corporate demeanour. In January this year, I sat in the audience at the DLD conference watching Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg give a talk entitled. “What kind of internet do we want?”, aimed at persuading us that Facebook…

2 Min.
the sound of silicon allee

Just a few stops on Berlin’s U-Bahn separate a cluster of the world’s leading music technology startups: Native Instruments, Beatport, Ableton, SoundCloud, Skoove, LANDR and Endel. How did the German capital become the heart of a global industry? “Before the tech came the music,” says Heiko Hoffmann, director of artist relations at Beatport (an online record store for electronic music), a former editor-in-chief of electronic music magazine Groove, and an avid clubber. Like many in the industry, he has a long history with the music culture of Berlin. Hoffmann looks out from the company’s Kreuzberg headquarters, across the river Spree, where the remains of the Berlin Wall stand. “Until the wall came down, this was actually the least desirable area of West Berlin,” he says. “Then a lot of clubs started happening…

1 Min.
feeling lonely? spin the buddyhub wheel and join a real-world social network

In a typical week, some 2.6 million Brits aged 65 and older say they speak to less than three people they know, and that loneliness even robs them of the confidence to go out. BuddyHub is a startup that connects Londoners over 55 with younger volunteers in their local area. After signing up to the online “friendship wheel”, seniors will be matched with up to three “buddies” who all live no more than a 30-minute walk away and share common interests. Seniors and buddies form a social circle and can arrange to meet up one-on-one or as a group every week. “For buddies, it means that if something comes up and they are struggling to find the time, one of the other buddies in the friendship wheel should be able to…

1 Min.
energy unlimited

An attempt to generate unlimited clean energy from nuclear fusion is under way in Provence, France. Due for completion in 2025, ITER (formerly the International Thermonuclear Energy Reactor) is a massive international undertaking, costing more than €20 billion (£17.8 billion). “We’re communicating with people from more than 35 countries around the world,” says Sarah Griffiths, a design engineer at ITER. The process involves the collision of hydrogen atoms at incredibly high temperatures in an experimental machine called a tokamak, which uses magnetic forces to confine plasma in a torus shape. The energy released will power turbines that produce electricity. “If we can demonstrate that fusion can be achieved, it could help resolve our energy crisis,” says Griffiths. “If we can produce net energy, it’ll be life-changing.” iter.org…

6 Min.
transatlantic capital gains

In 1993, Harvard undergraduate Danny Rimer was browsing a news stand when he came across a “weird magazine that looked like nothing else”. Rimer, an art lover, was drawn to the graphic design. “It looked like the future,” he says. The magazine was the first edition of WIRED, and this chance encounter in Cambridge, Massachusetts, led the then history student to make a decision that altered the course of his own life and, arguably, those of multiple entrepreneurs in the tech industry. Rimer had intended to return to his home town of Geneva, Switzerland, to work in the art world after university. Instead, he moved to the west coast. “I had to start working in this internet, digital revolution that was going on,” he says. “WIRED was more than a publication,…