WIRED UK December 2017

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
Conde Nast Publications Ltd
6 期号


creating wired

Blaze of glory Photographer Benedict Redgrove was caught up in the heat of the moment during a training session for elite firefighters. “One of the best parts of what I do is getting to experience a situation that I never normally would,” he says. “On this project I experienced severe heat. I don’t think you truly know how hot a large fire is until you’ve encountered it for yourself. They have a life of their own, which varies depending on the material that’s burning. At one point, we were wearing full firefighting kit in a test-facility room, when the ceiling caught fire. It was like watching waves wash over you. Totally mesmerising and enchanting.” A brief history of WIRED’s cover shoot WIRED’s creative director Andrew Diprose was humbled to discover that Stephen Hawking…

wired science

Earlier this year, the advent of the notion that there are alternative facts – courtesy of President Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway – was a bracing escalation of the bird-brained proclamation by then-justice secretary Michael Gove during a televised debate a few weeks before the EU referendum, that people in the UK “have had enough of experts”. The erosion of trust in institutions and expertise will not be a surprise to many scientists. Some national media organisations in the UK still run stories that actively promote scepticism in climate science, suggesting that researchers are massaging data to promote some nebulous agenda. These stories are opaque when it comes to explaining why anyone would want to exacerbate the ever-more alarming data about our oceans, forests and skies. The insinuation is that they are…


This isn’t Lex Luthor’s lair, but the Leeza Soho tower in Beijing, one of the last buildings Zaha Hadid designed before her death in 2016. When it opens in 2018, the 207-metre skyscraper will have the tallest atrium in the world – but that wasn’t always part of the plan. “This wasn’t our aim, it’s something that evolved,” says Satoshi Ohashi, who managed the project. The problem was a tunnel running beneath the tower. Planned in 2007 to expand Beijing’s subway, it was being constructed at the same time, giving the architects a logistical headache. “We had to integrate it into the design, but we also had to make sure we allowed access,” says Ohashi. The solution? Turning the atrium 45°, so the building’s two halves sat either side of…

the x-ray visionary looking for life

WHO Abigail Allwood, astrobiologist IDOL Naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough PRODUCTIVITY HACK Oil painting. “It engages the other half of my brain” UNLIKELY HOBBY “My husband and I are growing a rainforest in Queensland” LAST BOOK READ The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert ALLWOOD’S LIFE AS A ROCK STAR 2006 Signs of life Allwood identifies the oldest evidence of life on Earth in Australia. 2007 Beta testing As a postdoc at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Lab, Allwood looks for traces of past life. 2008 Mars calling Nasa’s Mars programme recruits Allwood to join its team of scientists. 2014 Breakout role Allwood is tapped to be a principal investigator on the Mars 2020 Rover mission. 2021 The PIXL Allwood’s invention will scan Martian rocks for microbial biosignatures. A bigail Allwood is a translator. But instead of reading ancient texts, she reads ancient rocks. For the past decade the…

don’t build it, buy it

For the past two decades, Google and its parent company Alphabet have spent billions of dollars on purchasing new products and ideas – as we map in our Google acquisition tracker below. And the company has its sights set on bigger things. Alphabet will push into genomics, healthcare and autonomous transport,” says Suranga Chandratillake, general partner at Balderton Capital, a London-based venture-capital firm. Google’s smartest gains have been in areas where it had no expertise, but which still fitted with the company’s core search business, says Chandratillake. Its purchase of Android is a perfect example. “Mobileoperating- system development wasn’t a strong point, but search provides the content and application background both on and off the phone,” he adds. Google doesn’t always get it right. Consider what it paid for Motorola Mobility in…

computer visionaries

To see, you need more than eyes. “Even when someone is losing their sight, they still have a good brain that’s trying to understand and pick up clues from objects, if given enough input,” says Stephen Hicks, research fellow in neuroscience at the University of Oxford. This mechanism means partially sighted people can be helped to see, even as their eyesight worsens. To make that possible, Hicks’s startup, OxSight, is building augmented-reality glasses that render the physical world visible, even to the visually impaired. The sense we experience as vision is the outcome of a constant jigsawassembling process in our brain: the eyes only need to pick up specific visual tidbits (colour, contrast, dimensions), and the occipital and parietal lobes will make sense of the overall picture. Having observed this through…