WIRED UK May/Jun 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
Conde Nast Publications Ltd
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
creating wired

Amit Katwala Katwala writes about the race for “quantum supremacy”, and the rewards it can bring to areas as diverse as medicine, energy and finance. “The tech companies are as different as their approaches,” he says. “At Google, there’s a fun, almost startup vibe; Microsoft, as you might expect, is very corporate. But the prize is the same: computers that can solve currently impossible problems.” Kassia St Clair Colour specialist and author Kassia St Clair brings to light Specimen, an addictive colour-matching smartphone game that is providing data to scientists working to make OLED screens longer lasting and personalised to how we each perceive hues. “I’ve been obsessed with colour for years – it’s vital in all sorts of areas of our lives,” she says. “It’s why I play Specimen so much –…

3 min
big tech is now a geopolitical force – and that should worry everyone

Cast your mind back to just a few years ago, and you’ll recall that technology companies liked to stay above the political fray – those who worked in bits and bytes were divided into camps that ranged from a libertarian “If only government would get out of the way then we could solve all these problems” viewpoint, to a detached shrug of the shoulders: “we’re too busy building a business to get distracted by what’s happening beyond our foosball tables.” Today, technology is inherently political, whether that’s the ethics of AI, the UK government’s Investigatory Powers Bill, handset manufacturers being asked to unlock encrypted mobile phones, the rights of gig economy workers, the regulation of Big Tech, disinformation being spread by bad actors or cyber becoming a new domain of warfare. But…

2 min
start monster munch

Twisted started in 2015 with a GoPro mounted in co-founder Harry Bamber’s kitchen. Today, it is a media monolith with more than 30 million fans of its eye-catchingly ridiculous food videos. “We found the videos that would perform best were the most creative, ‘putting a twist on the classic’,” says co-founder Tom Jackson. “That was the moment we landed on the name, but it was also when we started to think about what our unique selling point was as a publisher and a food page.” Since that first video – pizza cones, edited on iMovie – things have moved on. Now ten full-time editors and chefs develop and film recipes – posting a minimum of six videos every week. And Twisted has published its first cookbook, stuffed with unique recipes, from cheese-burger…

1 min
all you can eat data

Spag ball Pasta gets some of the highest engagement rates. Pair it with meatballs, and you can break 100 million views. Choc of the new Over the last three years, chocolate recipes have been viewed ten per cent more than Twisted’s average on Facebook, and 15 per cent more on Instagram. Spud you like Recipes with a starring role for potatoes are a comment driver – doubling the average for Twisted videos. Supersize it By October 2019, Twisted’s giant spaghetti-stuffed meatball had 36 million views – 10x the “giant” video average. Cheese, toasted Cheese recipes get an average of 3.1 million views – and can drive up the comments by 32 per cent.…

2 min

From the late 60s onwards, Nasa would wake orbiting astronauts with music. “Everybody on board looked forward to it,” says astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, who was part of the ISS crew from April 4 to September 25, 2010. “It was fun, in a team-building way.” Early missions were dominated by classical and military, switching to jazz and pop in the 70s, as astronauts began spending months in space on Skylab. The Space Shuttle programme meant pilots were increasingly sourced from the US Navy and Air force, and scientists from top universities. Music from this period skews toward military marches and university anthems. Over the later years of the Shuttle programme, tastes softened – especially after the Cold War ended – and Mission Control began asking astronauts’ families to pick songs, which in turn…

2 min
scaling up mini energy

Some of Elizabeth Nyeko’s earliest memories are of civil war. In Uganda, bedding down outdoors in case the family home was bombed, she would seek sanctuary in the night sky, gazing at satellites, and wondering where their energy came from. At the age of five, Nyeko became a refugee, but her passion for energy has survived all the upheavals. Today, she is on a mission to help her homeland with a plan for affordable, reliable, low-carbon electricity. According to the World Bank, over 11 per cent of the world’s population do not have access to electricity. Mini-grids – small-scale, self-sufficient networks – are slowly democratising the utilities landscape, helping communities not served by the main grid. In 2012, when studying medicine at the University of Oxford, Nyeko set up a biomass-powered mini-grid in…