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WIREDWIRED

WIRED November 2018

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.

Land:
United States
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English
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Conde Nast US
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I DENNE UTGAVEN

access_time2 min.
launch code

Ian Allen shot this issue’s cover story in Kent, Washington, and West Texas.‘‘I’ve always been excited by space,” says Ian Allen, who photographed our cover story on Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin. Allen has shot several NASA landmarks in his career, but he’d never witnessed a rocket launch. “It was definitely fascinating. I didn’t realize how quickly the thing comes down and lands,” he says. His fellow spectators were also memorable. “It’s a crazy world they live in,” adds Allen, who, like Bezos, lives in the Seattle area. “The director Peter Berg was there, as was a 50-person film crew, and the crowd included an astronaut and a famous pilot.” Get a glimpse on page 54.When she began covering the 2016 presidential election for wired, Emma Grey Ellis dove into…

access_time4 min.
weimar 2.0

IN NOVEMBER 1923, there were 4,210,500,000,000 German marks to the dollar. 4.2 trillion. In lay economics, 1:4.2 trillion equals worthless.Such a ruinous currency devaluation exacts steep psychic tolls. Like a startup expensively acquiring users on a thin promise of future monetization, Germany had one operating principle during World War I: hubris. Pumping fiat money into circulation, the government insisted that the resources it was about to win would wipe out its debts. When the Central Powers surrendered on November 11, 1918, not only was the nation’s credit maxed, it had reparations to pay.Reeling, Germans found their faith in unsecured money betrayed and sought to ground themselves in hard assets. Many blamed their pain on a cosmopolitan intelligentsia, coded Jewish, in control of the banks and universities, and even on fundamental…

access_time1 min.
bits-on-scène

Ralph Breaks the Internet, the sequel to 2012’s arcade-themed Wreck-It Ralph, reunites Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) for a trip into cyberspace—imagined as a real place. “Because the internet is layer upon layer, we liked the idea of it being a city like Constantinople or Rome, where the old is buried underneath the new,” says Phil Johnston, who codirected the movie with Rich Moore. The filmmakers got just as creative dreaming up the digital residents.Ralph and Vanellope shuttle to websites on “Net User Vehicles.”YesssTaraji P. Henson voices the trend-predicting algorithm Yesss who works for “BuzzTube.” Her fiber-optic outfit changes every few minutes—based on the data she takes in. “She’s not just spouting statistics,” Moore says. “She sets styles within the internet.”eBay ElayneeBay is a digitized Sotheby’s, filled…

access_time1 min.
about animal-inspired robotics*

1. When turkeys strut, their leg muscles work as shock absorbers to boost energy efficiency. That gam action inspired a prosthetic exoskeleton for humans: The lightweight contraption is outfitted with a spring and clutch that take the impact off the user’s calf muscle. In experiments, a person wearing the braces while walking expended 10 percent less energy.2. Though it has a brain, the lamprey—an eel-like beast—doesn’t need it to wiggle about the deep. Neurons along the creature’s spinal cord can act independently via signals called central pattern generators, or CPGs. A slithering machine inspired by the lamprey, the AmphiBot, has 10 body modules, each with its own onboard computer that mimics a CPG. The bot keeps swimming, undaunted, even after collisions.3. Cockroaches can react in 1⁄50 of a second and…

access_time2 min.
code-switching

THE FIRST TIME Stephanie Dinkins met Bina48, in 2014, she worried the thing was dead. “She was turned off,” Dinkins says. Switched on, Bina48 whirred to life, 32 motors animating its facial expressions behind a layer of frubber. Dinkins caught the robot’s stare and knew she’d found her muse.Bina48 had been conceived several years earlier by Martine Rothblatt, the polymathic entrepreneur. Rothblatt fashioned the AI-powered bot in the likeness of her wife, Bina, training its speech patterns on a database of Bina-isms. The humanoid now sits on a table (bodiless, like a Roman bust) above a friend’s garage in Bristol, Vermont, forever conjuring the real Bina: brown eyes, brown skin, brown highlighted wig.In other words, Bina48 looks like a black woman—and that struck Dinkins, an art professor at Stony Brook…

access_time1 min.
snapchat dysmorphia

(JARGON WATCH ILLUSTRATION BY SEBASTIAN SCHWAMM)People used to show up in plastic surgeons’ offices with photos of movie stars, asking for Angelina’s lips or Jon Hamm’s chin. Today they come with selfies, asking to look like themselves. Not the human selves that mock us all in fitting-room mirrors, of course, but the sparkling, digitally embellished versions that increasingly populate our social feeds. ¶ On platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, users now routinely deploy filters and tools like Facetune for selfie-improvement, fashioning reflections that better capture their true inner beauty. Swipe away acne or wrinkles. Swipe again for big soulful eyes, a thinner nose. You can even change the shape of your face. ¶ Such fixes used to be just for glamour shots of celebrities. But nowadays, with flawless skin and…

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