WIRED February 2019

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.

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2 мин.

For this month’s Gadget Lab photo shoot, visuals manager Beth Holzer and associate photo editor Lauren Joseph took the section’s Create theme literally. They gathered set pieces at a salvage yard, where they found a plexiglass bench that once lived in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Back at the studio, they hammered and hot-glued items together, lugging concrete blocks to support a 50-pound forming machine and rigging up smaller tools with fishing wire. The coarse materials suited the gadgets (page 31), which include a carbide mill and a soldering iron. Joseph said the whole thing had its operating-room-like moments: “Glue! Tape! Hurry, before it falls!” To report this issue’s cover story, former New York Times journalist Charles Duhigg spent six months tracking down dozens of current and former Tesla…

6 мин.
just eat anything watching our weight could be killing us

QUOTE-UNQUOTE UNHEALTHY food. That’s how Christy Harrison, one of a new group of rogue dieticians, describes Chicken McNuggets. I can’t get enough of how she, formerly a food purist and determined orthorexic, uses that quote-unquote locution on her podcast Food Psych, a deceptively sweet piece of heresy that takes aim at the pieties, sophistries, and perils of diet culture. At its heart, Harrison’s podcast is an intensive project of pop deconstruction—and if liberation is your goal, it works. It’s ecstatic. It’s terrifying. But while an antidiet project can almost certainly make you happier, freer, and more productive than you are now, you may also be fatter. So there’s that. A podcast about dieting that might lead to weight gain? Yes, I realize: no. But a friend pushed Food Psych on me, and…

1 мин.
the host-free b&b hospitality, guaranteed

AIRBNB’S “LIVE LIKE A LOCAL” fantasy can quickly morph into a nightmare when your host’s sun-dappled apartment photos turn out to conceal a roach infestation. But hotels can be so homogeneous. Now a new crop of startups is offering a hybrid alternative: apartment hotels, lodging that promises the comfort and roominess of a homestay (minus the flaky homeowner) with the consistency and in-room amenities of a hotel. ¶ New York–based upstart Domio—which just raised a $12 million series A—snags long-term leases on buildings or units in mixed-use apartment complexes, then converts them into sleekly furnished pads with hotel-esque perks. Last year, competing apartment-hoteliers TurnKey and Sonder raised $31 million and $85 million, respectively. These companies claim to offer travelers prices up to 25 percent lower than similarly sized hotels by,…

2 мин.
solar flair a geoengineer’s sunscreen

TO HELP CURE the planet’s ailments, Zhen Dai suggests antacid. In powdered form, calcium carbonate—often used to relieve upset stomachs—can reflect light; by peppering the sky with the shiny white particles, the Harvard researcher thinks it might be possible to block just enough sunlight to achieve some temperature control here on Earth. Dai’s work calls for a custom-designed test balloon that, pending an independent committee’s green-light, is set to release up to a kilogram of calcium carbonate 12 miles above the US. Small onboard propellers will stir the payload into the air—in what will be the first solar geoengineering experiment in the lower atmosphere. Though this one’s highly localized, expansive sun-dimming schemes carry risks. Crops may shrivel, and developing countries might disproportionately suffer the side effects. Dai has spent her career…

1 мин.
dumb replies, all

There’s a ghostwriter in my machine. And it’s no Lee Israel—she’d balk at all the fast-flying verbal inanities. I speak of Smart Reply, Google’s answer, in the form of a triad of autogenerated responses, to the problem of email. Just the other day, it saw fit to butt-reply to a frenemy of mine, “I’ll be there!” This in response to an invitation I had planned to ignore. Not only do I now have to attend; I must be excited! about! it! Call me a jaded, post-privacy millennial, but I never cared that Google mined our missives for $$$. It’s always been Google’s internet; we’re just living in it. But dragnetting my epistolary efforts to approximate my verbal style at its most insipid? “No thanks!” Language is codable, duh—Claude Shannon said…

5 мин.
netflix and choose every viewer is a showrunner now

AS WE’VE TAKEN our small-screen destiny into our own hands—skinny bundles, “over the top” content, a device-agnostic smorgasbord of streaming—our hands have become empty, idle. Channel surfing feels futile, if not obsolete. TV is no longer a remote-controlled menu to peruse as much as it’s a Tube Goldberg machine carrying our eyes from one diversion to the next. Choice is everywhere; agency, not so much. ¶ Algorithms forever recommend what to watch. Autoplay functions cue up the next episode without waiting for your input. With nothing left to do but gaze and glaze, a viewer’s chief responsibility is to not fall asleep (lest you wake to find yourself five episodes into an unwitting binge of Hell’s Kitchen). It’s strange, then, given its role as the architect of programmatic passivity, that…