A 1970s Essay Predicted Silicon Valley's High-Minded Tyranny

A 1970s Essay Predicted Silicon Valley's High-Minded Tyranny

Bitcoin is dominated by a small cadre of investors, and “mining” new coins is so expensive and electricity-draining that only large institutions can participate; Facebook’s advertising system is exploited by foreign governments and other malevolent political actors who have had free rein to spread disinformation and discord; and Google’s informal structure allows leaders to believe they can act in secret to dispense with credible accusations of harassment.In Freeman’s unstinting language, this rhetoric of openness “becomes a smokescreen for the strong or the lucky to establish unquestioned hegemony over others.”Because “Tyranny” explains how things work, as opposed to how people say things work, it has become a touchstone for social critics of all stripes.

Julian Assange Charges, Japan's Top Cybersecurity Official, and More Security News This Week

Julian Assange Charges, Japan's Top Cybersecurity Official, and More Security News This Week

Security News This Week: Japan's Top Cybersecurity Official Has Never Used a ComputerTOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty ImagesThe US refused to join a new global cybersecurity agreement this week—maybe because it was created by French president Emmanuel Macron, with whom President Trump isn’t on great terms with.On the same day, internet traffic that was supposed to route through Google’s cloud servers instead went haywire, traveling through unplanned servers based in the likes of Russia and China.

Early Black Friday Deals on Dyson, Amazon Echo, and More

Early Black Friday Deals on Dyson, Amazon Echo, and More

It has a full-color 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen that shows the indoor and outdoor temperature as you walk past, built-in Alexa, and can easily manage humidifiers and ventilators, as well as your HVAC system.Buy the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat for $199 (Was $249).Amazon DealsAmazon Echo Sub Bundle with Two Echo Plus Speakers for $330 ($100 off).

Make Thanksgiving Taste Like the Future With This Freeze-Dried Apple Pie

Make Thanksgiving Taste Like the Future With This Freeze-Dried Apple Pie

What's in there," they ask, and he responds that it's just apples, butter, and flour."No man," they say, "What'd you do to it?"Rivera, who was previously director of culinary research under chef Grant Achatz at Chicago's ultra-high end restaurant, Alinea, set up a head-to-head competition so I could understand.For every gram of liquid in Rivera's test pie, he replaced it with a gram of powdered, freeze-dried apple, which he stirred into the filling.He was cooking when I arrived, sautéing two pans of cubed Braeburn apples with cinnamon, clove, allspice, sugar, and vanilla bean paste.

Resilient housing joins the machine learning revolution

Resilient housing joins the machine learning revolution

Today, machine learning algorithms can detect over 100 types of cancerous tumors more reliably than a trained human eye. In Guatemala City, images and algorithms were used to locate “soft-story” buildings – buildings at least two stories high that have a structurally weak first floor.

Where Did the 'Freedom From Facebook' Campaign Really Come From?

Where Did the 'Freedom From Facebook' Campaign Really Come From?

While Facebook’s head of global policy Monika Bickert spoke, protesters from a group called Freedom From Facebook, seated just behind her, held signs depicting Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg’s heads atop an octopus whose tentacles reached around the planet.Freedom From Facebook has garnered renewed attention this week, after The New York Times revealed that Facebook employed an opposition firm called Definers to fight the group.

Space Photos of the Week: A Star Is Born After Gases Crash

Space Photos of the Week: A Star Is Born After Gases Crash

And all this creation maybe have been the result of an accidental collision: Scientists believe a galaxy in the vicinity collided with ESO 338-4, and their subsequent interaction of gas and dust is what’s feeding all the stellar activity in this region.We’ve come across the galaxy cluster called Abell 2597 in our travels before, but never looking like this.

What Diane Greene's Departure Means for Google Cloud

What Diane Greene's Departure Means for Google Cloud

Snagging her was seen as a good sign for the company’s effort to compete with Amazon and Microsoft in the booming business of providing computing infrastructure for other sites and businesses.Greene’s announcement Friday morning that she will move on in January is being read as the latest evidence that the project hasn’t gone as well as planned.

Kilogram Redefined. The Metric System Overhaul Is Complete

Kilogram Redefined. The Metric System Overhaul Is Complete

Platinum iridium is an extremely hard material and difficult to scratch, but “it makes you paranoid,” he says.Abbott also has to monitor the weights, to check that their masses stay the same over time.

A New Overwatch Hero and Telltale’s Death Throes Top the Week in Gaming News

A New Overwatch Hero and Telltale’s Death Throes Top the Week in Gaming News

Let's get to it.Ashe Is the Newest Cowboy in Overwatch, a Game With a Surprising Number of CowboysGames like Overwatch grow via the introduction of new characters, playable heroes that expand the roster and change up the climate of play in casual and competitive modes.

Surveillance Kills Freedom By Killing Experimentation

Surveillance Kills Freedom By Killing Experimentation

Of course the story is more complicated than that, but the ability for members of society to privately smoke weed was essential for putting it on the path to legalization.We don’t yet know which subversive ideas and illegal acts of today will become political causes and positive social change tomorrow, but they’re around.

These DNA Startups Want to Put All of You on the Blockchain

These DNA Startups Want to Put All of You on the Blockchain

“They’re rare, but extremely impactful if they hit you.”Nebula is joining another genomic data platform, called EncrypGen, which launched the first blockchain-enabled DNA marketplace on November 6.

What Is a Bot?

What Is a Bot?

Retweeting things hundreds of times a day, spamming the same link repeatedly, and using multiple accounts to amplify the same message are all good indicators of bot-like activity, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the account is a bot.Even Twitter gets confused sometimes.

Your Drone Can Give Cops a Surprising Amount of Your Data

Your Drone Can Give Cops a Surprising Amount of Your Data

One drone had the owner's credit card information stored in a database that law enforcement officials were then able to access.Watson and NIST aren’t the only digital experts tapping into this cache of personal information that's flying around on drones.

FilmStruck Has 2 Weeks Left—Spend Them With These 10 Movies

FilmStruck Has 2 Weeks Left—Spend Them With These 10 Movies

But because 2018 is the year in which literally nothing good has happened, their pleas are likely to be ignored.For those hoping to cram one last movie-blitz before the site departs, here are 10 invaluable classics that illustrate FilmStruck’s breadth, depth, and sheer art-house-in-your-house joy.Alice in the Cities (1974)The first entry in writer-director Wim Wenders’ famed mid-’70s “Road Movie” trilogy casts Rüdiger Vogler as an aimless, irritable writer who’s tasked with accompanying a rebellious young teenager (played by Yella Rottländer) from America to Germany.

Facebook Moves to Limit Hate Speech as ‘Times’ Scandal Swirls

Facebook Moves to Limit Hate Speech as ‘Times’ Scandal Swirls

Facebook Moves to Limit Toxic Content as Scandal SwirlsTOM BRENNER/The New York Times/ReduxMark Zuckerberg would like you to know that despite a scathing report in The New York Times, which depicts Facebook as a ruthless and selfish corporate behemoth, things are getting better—at least, the way he sees it.In a lengthy call with reporters Thursday, and an equally lengthy "note" published on Facebook, the company's CEO laid out a litany of changes Facebook is making, designed to curb toxic content on the platform and provide more transparency into the decisions on content.

Juul Can Breathe After Dodging Full FDA Ban on Flavored E-Cigs

Juul Can Breathe After Dodging Full FDA Ban on Flavored E-Cigs

“I think Juul is breathing a big sigh of relief,” says Marc Scheineson, a former FDA associate commissioner and partner at the law firm Alston & Bird.Gottlieb said the agency still must finalize its policies, which did not specify how convenience stores or other retail outlets could develop a section that makes products “not visible or accessible to persons under the age of 18.” Vape shops that limit entrance to buyers 18 and older won’t be affected, he added.The FDA’s approach is a creative way to address e-cigarettes while avoiding some legal pitfalls, according to Azim Chowdhury, a partner with Keller and Heckman who leads the firm’s tobacco and e-vapor practice.

Has Silicon Valley Lost Its Soul? The Case for and Against

Has Silicon Valley Lost Its Soul? The Case for and Against

Speaking first in support of the resolution, Silicon Valley has lost its soul, Noam Cohen, journalist and author of "The Know-It-Alls." Ladies and gentlemen, Noam Cohen.Noam Cohen: So I wanted everyone to take a moment and think about the first time they used the internet 20, 25 years ago.

Fantastic Beasts Is About to Make Grindelwads of Cash (and Other Culture News)

Fantastic Beasts Is About to Make Grindelwads of Cash (and Other Culture News)

PicturesIt's time once again to turn on The Monitor, WIRED's roundup of the latest in the world of culture, from CGI-heavy trailers to casting to box office news.

Google's Past Data Use Could Impede Its Healthcare Push

Google's Past Data Use Could Impede Its Healthcare Push

Google's Past Data Use Could Impede Its Healthcare PushTim Pannell/Corbis/Getty ImagesAlphabet’s London-based AI lab DeepMind made history in 2016 when its AlphaGo software defeated a champion at the complex board game Go. On Tuesday the company said it was handing off a seemingly much simpler software challenge: a healthcare app for hospital staff called Streams being tested by UK hospitals.That project and its staff will be transferred to DeepMind’s much larger sister Google.

All 141 'League of Legends' Champions, Explained

All 141 'League of Legends' Champions, Explained

Valve's Dota 2 has 79.And then there's League of Legends.Since its release in 2009—just two short years after Team Fortress 2—Riot Games' battle arena title offers 141 champions players can choose.

6 Questions After The New York Times' Facebook Bombshell

6 Questions After The New York Times' Facebook Bombshell

To suggest that this was an anti-Semitic attack is reprehensible and untrue.” A Facebook spokesperson told WIRED that neither Zuckerberg nor Sandberg had any idea about “the Soros stuff.”5) Did Facebook lie about what they knew about Russian operations on the platform during the 2016 election?This is a complicated, tangled question!

The Beauty and Danger of Australia's Salt Lakes

The Beauty and Danger of Australia's Salt Lakes

Photographer Leah Kennedy documented the region's resulting salt lakes in her series Salis.Related StoriesLaura MalloneeGet Lost in Australia's Vast Salt Lake With These Dreamy PhotosDoug BierendPhotos of Lakes Turn Psychedelic After Soaking in Their WatersAarian MarshallHow to Derail a Runaway Train (and Save Australia)The salt lakes predate human settlement, but over the past hundred years so-called "secondary salinization" has made the lakes’ natural chemistry even more extreme.

How California Needs to Adapt to Survive Future Fires

How California Needs to Adapt to Survive Future Fires

The Camp Fire comes just a year after the second most destructive blaze, the Tubbs Fire, struck the city of Santa Rosa to the south of Paradise, leveling 5,500 structures and killing 22.LEARN MOREThe WIRED Guide to Climate Change“How could this happen?” says Stephen Pyne, a fire researcher at Arizona State University.

Yaeji's "One More" Hops Languages, and Codes, With Purpose

Yaeji's "One More" Hops Languages, and Codes, With Purpose

Yaeji's "One More" Hops Languages, and Codes, With PurposeThough she was raised and resides in NYC, Yaeji spent portions of her formative years in Atlanta, Seoul, and Pittsburgh—and her music can feel like putting a puzzle together.Micaiah CarterKathy Yaeji Lee creates in the multihyphenate.

Why Amazon’s Search for a Second Headquarters Backfired

Why Amazon’s Search for a Second Headquarters Backfired

But in at least one respect, Amazon’s Hunger Games-style civic competition backfired: It’s shined a spotlight on how Amazon and companies like it have benefitted enormously from taxpayer funds.Each year, local politicians spend up to an estimated $90 billion to lure corporations like Amazon to their states, which The Atlantic points out is “more than the federal government spends on housing, education, or infrastructure.” Most companies broker these deals in private.“Companies are already very good at negotiating incentives, often using offers from other cities to up their deals.

The Hail Mary Plan to Restart a Hacked US Electric Grid

The Hail Mary Plan to Restart a Hacked US Electric Grid

After failures plague Utility B, Utility A then needs to step in, restarting to offer redundant power to that same critical customer.In order to interact and safely share electricity, utilities also need to get their electromagnetic frequencies in tune at around 60 hertz, so part of the exercise involved not just getting Utility A and B running, but syncing them."We had 18 substations, two utilities, two command centers, and we had two generation sources that we had to bring up a crank path and synchronize," says Stan Pietrowicz, a researcher at Perspecta Labs who is working on a black start network analysis and threat detection tool through RADICS.

Top US Intelligence Official Sue Gordon Wants Silicon Valley on Her Side

Top US Intelligence Official Sue Gordon Wants Silicon Valley on Her Side

Artificial intelligence, she says, presents a huge opportunity for the government and the private sector, but the risks of its being abused, biased, or deployed by foreign adversaries is so real that the government and tech companies should be collaborate to secure it.Some in tech openly agree with that notion—Bezos told the audience at WIRED 25 last month that “if big tech companies are going to turn their back on US Department of Defense, this country is going to be in a lot of trouble”—much of the rank and file are uneasy or flat-out hostile to the idea of working with the government on matters of war.Google, in particular, has had a recently rocky relationship.

Cities Cause Hurricanes to Dump Extra Rain on Them

Cities Cause Hurricanes to Dump Extra Rain on Them

“We said, what if we replaced the urban area of Houston with cropland?” Using a system called the Weather Research and Forecasting model to simulate climate and its changes over a region (as opposed to models with lower resolution but wider geographic scope), that’s actually possible.

Is California's Smoke Getting Worse? It's Complicated

Is California's Smoke Getting Worse? It's Complicated

"If you use intensity as a proxy for pollution—that is, if you assume stronger fires will produce more emissions like smoke—then by stint of that, yes, there ought to be more smoke," says atmospheric composition scientist Mark Parrington.A senior researcher at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, Parrington tracks wildfires around the world to better understand their effect on pollution and public health.

More