One day in late February of 2016, Mark Zuckerberg sent a memo to all of Facebook’s employees to address some troubling behavior in the ranks. His message pertained to some walls at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters where staffers are encouraged to scribble notes and signatures.
On the afternoon of October 7, 2001, the first day of the war in Afghanistan, an Air Force pilot named Scott Swanson made history while sitting in a captain’s chair designed for an RV. His contribution to posterity was to kill someone in a completely novel way.
Kids are master manipulators. They play up their charms, pit adults against one another, and engage in loud, public wailing. So it’s your job to keep up with them, Carnegie Mellon’s Kevin Zollman says.
Stewart is hungry. He's munching on potatoes smothered in chicken fat drippings, sitting by a long metal table that once served as a gurney in the morgue at the Treasure Island Naval Base. It's a prominent piece of furniture in what will be the kitchen area for Stewart's new startup.
If you’re like me, one of the first things you do in the morning is check your email. And, if you’re like me, you also wonder who else has read your email. That’s not a paranoid concern.
Eyelids open; flowers blossom; tiny beaks tap cracks in eggshells; crops sprout; creatures stalk, slide, and wriggle from their burrows; teenage elk scrape hooves in the dust, lower antlers, and charge their competition.
When WIRED asked me to guest-edit the November issue, I didn’t hesitate. I know it’s the height of election season, and I happen to have a day job that keeps me pretty busy.
But this Silicon Valley stereotype isn’t even geographically accurate. The Valley employs only 8 percent of the nation’s coders. All the other millions? They’re more like Devon, a programmer I met who helps maintain a security-software service in Portland, Oregon.
The eyes are unwell. Their childhood suppleness is lost. The lenses, as we log hours on this earth, thicken, stiffen, even calcify. The eyes are no longer windows on souls. They’re closer to teeth.
The Friday afternoon news dump, a grand tradition observed by politicians and capitalists alike, is usually supposed to hide bad news.
There is something special happening in a generic office park in an uninspiring suburb near Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In 2015, when Lazarus Liu moved home to China after studying logistics in the United Kingdom for three years, he quickly noticed that something had changed: Everyone paid for everything with their phones.
In February 1975, a group of geneticists gathered in a tiny town on the central coast of California to decide if their work would bring about the end of the world.
Recall your favorite memory: the big game you won; the moment you first saw your child's face; the day you realized you had fallen in love.
For teenagers these days, social media is real life, with its own arcane rules and etiquette. Writer Mary H. K. Choi embedded with five high schoolers to chronicle their digital experiences.
A couple of years ago, Andy Rubin—the celebrated creator of Android and until recently the head of Google’s mobile Internet efforts—helped his wife, Rie, build a bakery in a decommissioned train station in Los Altos, California. They called it Voyageur du Temps, French for time traveler.
You lock your front door. You mash the button on your car’s key fob until the alarm beeps. You even have some overbearing antivirus software making your computer run slower. But you probably don’t think about whether anyone’s trying to get into your phone.
It was a perfect sunny summer afternoon in Copenhagen when the world’s largest shipping conglomerate began to lose its mind. The headquarters of A.P. Møller-Maersk sits beside the breezy, cobblestoned esplanade of Copenhagen’s harbor.
“I’m dying of Boredom,” complains the young wife, Yelena, in Chekhov’s 1897 play Uncle Vanya. “I don’t know what to do.
The brain surgery lasted 11 and a half hours, beginning on the afternoon of June 21, 2014, and stretching into the Caribbean predawn of the next day.
Adam*, is an engineer on Google’s self-driving car project (now its own division, called Waymo). He says the daily pace of work borders on fanatical.
Not since Monica Lewinsky was a White House intern has one blue dress been the source of so much consternation. The fact that a single image could polarize the entire Internet into two aggressive camps is, let's face it, just another Thursday.
Spiny grass and scraggly pines creep amid the arts-and-crafts buildings of the Asilomar Conference Grounds, 100 acres of dune where California's Monterey Peninsula hammerheads into the Pacific. It's a rugged landscape, designed to inspire people to contemplate their evolving place on Earth.
In September 2007, 75 students walked into a classroom at Stanford. Ten weeks later, they had collectively amassed 16 million users, $1 million dollars in advertising revenue, and a formula that would captivate a generation.
A few months ago I made the trek to the sylvan campus of the IBM research labs in Yorktown Heights, New York, to catch an early glimpse of the fast-arriving, long-overdue future of artificial intelligence. This was the home of Watson, the electronic genius that conquered Jeopardy! in 2011.
Matt Malone doesn't mind being called a professional dumpster diver. He tells me this a little after 2 am on the morning of July 7 as we cruise the trash receptacles behind the stores of a shopping center just off the Capital of Texas Highway in Austin.
One night about two years ago, Panos Panay couldn't sleep. This happens a lot: he wakes up in the middle of the night, loud thoughts rattling around in his head. Panay popped off the pillow, reached for his new Surface Pen and his old Surface Mini, and wrote himself an email.
On the morning of December 30, the day after Barack Obama imposed sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 US election, Tillmann Werner was sitting down to breakfast in Bonn, Germany.
Facebook is killing it. As its biggest rivals stumble, Facebook wildly beat Wall Street’s expectations when it released its earnings yesterday. The company said that it now reaches more than a billion people every day and 1.65 billion people every month.
There has been a lot of speculation about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Terrorism, hijacking, meteors. I cannot believe the analysis on CNN; it's almost disturbing. I tend to look for a simpler explanation, and I find it with the 13,000-foot runway at Pulau Langkawi.
Amid a seemingly incessant deluge of leaks and hacks, Washington, DC staffers have learned to imagine how even the most benign email would look a week later on the homepage of a secret-spilling outfit like WikiLeaks or DCLeaks.
If you're one of 500 million people who use Dropbox, it's just a folder on your computer desktop that lets you easily store files on the Internet, send them to others, and synchronize them across your laptop, phone, and tablet. You use this folder, then you forget it. And that's by design.
John Kane was on a hell of a winning streak. On July 3, 2009, he walked alone into the high-limit room at the Silverton Casino in Las Vegas and sat down at a video poker machine called the Game King. Six minutes later the purple light on the top of the machine flashed, signaling a $4,300 jackpot.
The Kangbashi district of Ordos, China is a marvel of urban planning, 137-square miles of shining towers, futuristic architecture and pristine parks carved out of the grassland of Inner Mongolia. It is a thoroughly modern city, but for one thing: No one lives there. Well, almost nobody.
It's a bad time to be a physicist. At least, that’s what Oscar Boykin says. He majored in physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology and in 2002 he finished a physics PhD at UCLA.
In early 2013, Kevin Lynch accepted a job offer from Apple. Funny thing about the offer: It didn’t say what he would be doing. So intense is Apple’s secrecy that all Lynch knew was his vague title, vice president of technology, and that he’d be working on something completely new.
Read part I of this story here. The descent was stunning. Chris Tarbell, a special agent from the New York FBI office, was in a window seat, watching a green anomaly in a sea of blue as it resolved into Iceland’s severe, beautiful landscape.
The maps we use to navigate have come a long way in a short time. Since the '90s we've gone from glove boxes stuffed with paper maps to floorboards littered with Mapquest printouts to mindlessly obeying Siri or her nameless Google counterpart.
Within hours of the latest mass shooting in America, the same 2014 news article inevitably begins popping up in my social-media troughs. The story is a scant 200 words long, and accompanied by a familiar-looking photo of college-aged mourners standing at a candlelight vigil.
There's this great Andy Warhol quote you've probably seen before: "I think everybody should like everybody." You can buy posters and plates with pictures of Warhol, looking like the cover of a Belle & Sebastian album, with that phrase plastered across his face in Helvetica.
So you’re a parent, thinking about sending your 7-year-old to this rogue startup of a school you heard about from your friend’s neighbor’s sister. It’s prospective parent information day, and you make the trek to San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.
Ten years ago, the room where I’m standing would have been filled with a deafening roar. The air would have pealed with the sound of a dozen V-8 engines, each one trembling atop its own laboratory pedestal as engineers in white shop coats used joysticks to adjust its throttle and load.
Photo: Richard BarnesIt was an unseasonably warm December, and somewhere nearby a rising tide in the San Francisco Bay was lifting all kite-surfers, but Nick Edwards and Chris Monberg were crouched at opposite rented desks in a shared coworking space near the Caltrain station in SoMa wondering if, b
You find yourself in a hotel room in a strange city, like a character in the first scene of a videogame. Take a second to get oriented, to remember where fate has delivered you. Seattle. OK.
Depending upon your outlook, Black Friday is either a time-honored US shopping holiday or the miserable nadir of American consumer culture. Whichever lens you choose to view it through, there's no denying that Black Friday is huge.
The young Tesla engineer was excited. Ecstatic, in fact. It was a Saturday in October 2017, and he was working at the Gigafactory, Tesla’s enormous battery manufacturing plant in Nevada. Over the previous year, he had been living out of a suitcase, putting in 13-hour days, seven days a week.
The clocks read zero when the lights went out. It was a Saturday night last December, and Oleksii Yasinsky was sitting on the couch with his wife and teenage son in the living room of their Kiev apartment.
Public appearances don't come easily to James Clapper, the United States director of national intelligence.
No one wanted Star Wars when George Lucas started shopping it to studios in the mid-1970s. It was the era of Taxi Driver and Network and Serpico; Hollywood was hot for authenticity and edgy drama, not popcorn space epics. But that was only part of the problem.
The campuses of the tech industry are famous for their lavish cafeterias, cushy shuttles, and on-site laundry services.
On a plate, a single banana seems whimsical—yellow and sweet, contained in its own easy-to-open peel. It is a charming breakfast luxury as silly as it is delicious and ever-present. Yet when you eat a banana the flavor on your tongue has complex roots, equal parts sweetness and tragedy.
It’s the end of October, when the days have already grown short in Redmond, Washington, and gray sheets of rain are just beginning to let up. In several months, Microsoft will unveil its most ambitious undertaking in years, a head-mounted holographic computer called Project HoloLens.
You're using strong and unique passwords. You're on the lookout for phishing emails. And you've set up two-factor authentication on every account that offers it. Basically, you're acing Personal Cybersecurity 101.
Skip Article Header. Skip to: Start of Article. The oceans have been acting weird lately. While some sea creatures have boomed (octopuses), others have busted (humpback whales), and yet others literally melted into goo (starfish).
For most of modern history, the easiest way to block the spread of an idea was to keep it from being mechanically disseminated. Shutter the newspaper, pressure the broadcast chief, install an official censor at the publishing house.
Martin Shkreli is the Internet's villain of the week. After buying and then immediately jacking up the price of a drug that treats a potentially deadly parasite, he's become a sneering meme in social media, a think-piece punching bag, and a policy springboard for presidential candidates.
You know that at WIRED, technology and innovation are kind of our thing.
Enough. It's time. You've decided to reclaim your morning commute by spending it on something substantive.
The internet is a series of tubes, but it's useless when you're stuck in one. Connectivity sucks on the subway, it's a pain on a plane, and even if you take the bus, it's smart to keep data usage in check.
There’s no way to anticipate the emotional impact of leaving your home planet. You look down at Earth and realize: You're not on it. It's breathtaking. It's surreal. It's a “we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto” kind of feeling.
San Francisco’s Fort Mason park is empty in the early morning darkness, every surface the color of a used cast-iron pan. It’s pouring rain, and I’ve been wandering around since just after 6, trying to find … well, I’m not exactly sure.
IT’S HARD TO think of a single technology that will shape our world more in the next 50 years than artificial intelligence. As machine learning enables our computers to teach themselves, a wealth of breakthroughs emerge, ranging from medical diagnostics to cars that drive themselves.
In retrospect, the choice to book a ground-floor room was a sound one. On Saturday, April 25, Andy Fraser lay in bed at the Rokpa Guest House, a modest three-story hotel in Nepal’s ancient capital, a city of 1 million sunk in a valley bordered by the Himalayan range.
Before the invention of the computer, most experimental psychologists thought the brain was an unknowable black box. You could analyze a subject's behavior—ring bell, dog salivates—but thoughts, memories, emotions? That stuff was obscure and inscrutable, beyond the reach of science.
Sometimes our smart phones are our friends, sometimes they seem like our lovers, and sometimes they’re our dope dealers. And no one, in the past 12 months at least, has done more than Tristan Harris to explain the complexity of this relationship.
One Thursday in January 2001, Maksym Igor Popov, a 20-year-old Ukrainian man, walked nervously through the doors of the United States embassy in London.
Silicon Valley is coming for death. But it's looking in the wrong place. After disrupting the way we love, communicate, travel, work, and even eat, technologists believe they can solve the ultimate problem.
The premise of Goodreads is simple, as it has been since the service launched in 2007: Track the books you read, leave ratings and reviews, and network with fellow readers. In practice, though, the platform has grown to be a sprawling literary social network, equal parts Facebook, Yelp, and Reddit.
Shingles isn't my condition; he's my cat. I love him like crazy, but he gets under my skin. I'm not alone as a conflicted cat fancier. Tony Buffington is a veterinarian at Ohio State University, and he recently told me many cat owners are constantly frustrated by their feline companions.
Arthur Gregg Sulzberger doesn’t remember the first time he visited the family business.
Katherine Carpenter couldn’t sleep. For more than a week she’d been coughing herself awake every night and then hacking until she retched. Finally, she decided to see a doctor. The physician suspected bronchitis and wrote Carpenter a prescription for heavy-duty cough medicine.
When was the last time you needed to Google something and Google wasn't there? Odds are, you don't remember that ever happening. Sure, there are times when you can't reach Google because your internet connection is down.
The first time I walked into the lobby of Andreessen Horowitz, four guys were waiting near the wall. Two sat in chairs. Two stood. And all four peered into open laptops, anxiously reviewing the slide decks they would soon pitch to the firm's partners.
I've given student advice before, so some of this might not be completely new. However, it's a new year with new students, so it might be useful to give some ideas to this year's collegiate freshmen. Actually, here are four things for students to consider.
I was driving 70 mph on the edge of downtown St. Louis when the exploit began to take hold. Though I hadn't touched the dashboard, the vents in the Jeep Cherokee started blasting cold air at the maximum setting, chilling the sweat on my back through the in-seat climate control system.
It was December 2012, and Doug Burger was standing in front of Steve Ballmer, trying to predict the future. Ballmer, the big, bald, boisterous CEO of Microsoft, sat in the lecture room on the ground floor of Building 99, home base for the company’s blue-sky R&D lab just outside Seattle.
Humanity has had astonishing success alleviating famine, disease, and war. (It might not always seem that way, but it’s true.) Now, Homo sapiens is on the brink of an upgrade—sort of.
Last year, the Japanese company SoftBank opened a cell phone store in Tokyo and staffed it entirely with sales associates named Pepper. This wasn’t as hard as it sounds, since all the Peppers were robots.
Write this down, look at it often, memorize it: You don’t have to buy the new iPhone that Apple will announce this fall. You’ll almost certainly want to, because it sounds amazing. Almost no bezel. Crazy new cameras. Facial recognition. Wireless charging.
Two years ago, journalist Anand Giridharadas took the stage at the TED Conference and told the attendant techno-solutionists that they were, in fact, part of the problem. Literally, that’s what he said. Here, I’ll quote him directly:
You can read a version of this story in Spanish here. Pueden leer una versión de esta historia en español aquí. José Urbina López Primary School sits next to a dump just across the US border in Mexico.
In early June 2014, accountants at the Lumiere Place Casino in St. Louis noticed that several of their slot machines had—just for a couple of days—gone haywire.
In May 2015, The New Yorker published a profile of the Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen. In it, writer Tad Friend joined Andreessen in his living room to watch an episode of Halt & Catch Fire, the AMC drama chronicling the rise of personal computing in the early 1980s.
What the heck is going on at WikiLeaks?