WIRED UK November 2016

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


making wired

ONE SMALL STEP FOR A PHOTOGRAPHER… It took us several years to co-ordinate, but regular WIRED photographer Benedict Redgrove finally got access to Nasa’s top-secret labs to capture their latest designs, plus a few classics: “Nasa is the greatest organisation in the world – it mixes science, art, design, passion and technology. Here, I’m in a training model of the Manned Manoeuvring Unit, used by astronauts in 1984. Standing there, it was easy to imagine myself in the vastness of space.” IN A WORLD OF HIS OWN WIRED associate editor Rowland Manthorpe reports back from the virtual worlds being built on the digital ruins of Second Life: “On my last day at High Fidelity, a group of beta testers were meeting in simulated space (above). It was amazing – incredibly lifelike, but it’s…


NICK D BURTON Manchester-based Burton turns xenotransplantation into a comic strip for R&D. “I think my style is very geometric – more designed than drawn,” he says. “I tried to introduce a bit of charm into an important and complex subject – I wanted it to be easy to ‘get’.” GENEVIEVE VON PETZINGER Author of The First Signs, von Petzinger sees a connection from early cave art to the emoji on your phone: “Geometric signs from Ice-Age Europe may have been one of the oldest systems of graphic communication – and a precursor to those cute little symbols.” OLIVER FRANKLIN-WALLIS WIRED’s assistant editor reports on the pending hyperloop projects – and finds the journey far from straightforward. “It seems to attract ‘colourful’ characters,” he says. “The story has a lot of turns and twists –…

the wired universe

PRINT A MEASURED RESPONSE TO MICRODOSING An email from Ro Atkinson: “I thought I ought to point out in regard to your Startup fuel feature (09.16) that the lower quantities that David Nichols was giving rats in his research on LSD (0.08mg/kg) would be the equivalent in a 79kg male of a dose of more than 6mg, while the sort of dose that a person might typically use is about 0.1mg, or, in the amounts being used by microdosers, 0.01mg. Whilst it is probable the effects would be realised completely differently in small rodents, it seems that given the dosage is 60 times a typical dose, or 600 times a microdose, it’s not surprising that there would be a negative psychological reaction. After all, an apple a day keeps the doctor away,…

from the editor

You might call this our crazy-big-ambition issue. Start with an audaciously unproven idea from Elon Musk, ignore its potential impossibilities, from economics to physics, and allow anyone bold enough to attempt to build a business around it – while creating an entirely new form of inter-city transport. The hyperloop, Musk’s conceptual vacuum-tube-based elevated people-mover, became so hot in Silicon Valley for its 1,000kph capability that VCs clamoured to write cheques and magazines cleared covers. There were meetings with heads of state and utilities CEOs, and the year 2018, even 2017, was whispered for a public launch. But what, exactly, was happening on the ground? This month, WIRED associate editor Oliver Franklin-Wallis tells an extraordinary story of two rival companies vying to be first to launch – if the lawsuits, personal vendettas…

revenge of the green slime

This green gunk is alive and dangerous. In July 2016, Utah Lake was struck by an algal bloom, affecting more than 384km2 of fresh surface water. The cyanobacteria releases toxins such as microcystin, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, skin rashes and even liver damage. Utah Lake was closed for 13 days, with a period of “caution” for swimmers after that. Even so, almost 200 people reported adverse effects. Utah’s was only the latest bloom to hit American waters. According to 2015 UNESCO estimates, countering the phenomenon now costs the US more than $4 billion (£3bn) annually. “Globally, there has been an increase in the incidence of harmful algal blooms,” says Anna Michalak, a researcher at Stanford’s Department of Global Ecology. “But there are factors in the US making waters more prone…

birth controller

ELINA BERGLUND HELPED FIND the Higgs boson particle. But when the Large Hadron Collider finished its first run in 2012, the Swedish particle physicist felt ready for a change. “It’s impossible to top that,” she says. “So I thought, why not try something completely different?” That something was fertility app Natural Cycles. Berglund, 32, began working on the app while still at CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research). “I wanted to give my body a break from the pill,” she says, “but I couldn’t find any good forms of natural birth control, so I wrote an algorithm for myself.” Berglund’s algorithm – based on advanced statistical methods from her time at CERN – uses body temperature to determine fertility. After ovulation, increased levels of progesterone make women’s bodies up to 0.45°C…