The AI Research Paper Was Real. The ‘Coauthor’ Wasn't

The AI Research Paper Was Real. The ‘Coauthor’ Wasn't

“The fundamental challenge that we face is that publishing has, for decades, functioned based on trust,” says Suzanne Farley, research integrity director at Springer Nature.

A New Way to Trace the History of Sci-Fi’s Made-Up Words

A New Way to Trace the History of Sci-Fi’s Made-Up Words

“The thing about making up new terminology—and this is a place that writers can fall down—is that, like anything else, it has to make sense not only within the universe that you’re building but also in the universe of the reader,” says John Scalzi, author of Old Man’s War and The Last Emperox, among other sci-fi works.

Scientists Have Sequenced Dire Wolf DNA. Thanks, Science!

Scientists Have Sequenced Dire Wolf DNA. Thanks, Science!

Dire wolves went extinct some 13,000 years ago, and for a long time researchers believed that Canis dirus (translation: “fearsome dog”) were a sister species to the gray wolf.What researchers found was that instead of just being some kind of beefed up gray wolf, dire wolves actually had very distinct DNA.

Zoom Book Tours: 5 Authors on Publishing in a Pandemic

Zoom Book Tours: 5 Authors on Publishing in a Pandemic

Even the industry’s fanciest nights, like the National Book Awards gala, took place as digital events, with participants glammed up and sitting at home.WIRED asked the writers behind five of our favorite 2020 tomes to tell us what it was like to release a book during quarantine.

Twitter’s ‘Hacked Materials’ Rule Tries to Thread an Impossible Needle

Twitter’s ‘Hacked Materials’ Rule Tries to Thread an Impossible Needle

On Thursday evening, Twitter's head of trust and safety, Vijaya Gadde, posted a thread of tweets explaining a new policy on hacked materials, in response to the firestorm of criticism it received—largely from the political right and President Donald Trump—for its decision to block the sharing of a New York Post story based on alleged private data and communications of presidential candidate Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden.

The Progressive Case for a TikTok Sale

The Progressive Case for a TikTok Sale

The first, long championed by China, is net nationalism, which makes the State the predominant authority over all things internet, and at bottom sees the network as nothing more than an instrument of state power.

The FDA Just OK'd Emergency Use of Plasma for Covid-19

The FDA Just OK'd Emergency Use of Plasma for Covid-19

Based on the president’s comments and those of FDA head Stephen Hahn and HHS director Alex Azar, the data that tipped plasma into getting this Emergency Use Authorization came from a nationwide program to give people wider access to convalescent plasma, led by researchers at the Mayo Clinic.

Looking for Gravitons? Check for the ‘Buzz’

Looking for Gravitons? Check for the ‘Buzz’

Dyson’s 2013 calculation convinced many people that gravitational wave detectors were, at best, impractical probes for learning about quantum gravity.“There’s a kind of default consensus that it’s a waste of time to think about quantum effects and gravitational radiation,” said Frank Wilczek, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist at MIT who was a coauthor with Parikh on the new paper.

The Future of Commerce Belongs to the Frictionless

The Future of Commerce Belongs to the Frictionless

At the beginning of 2020, a business that offered you a real person in real time to help you with your needs would be considered a luxury and somewhat exempt from the forces of frictionlessness.

On the Moon, Astronaut Pee Will Be a Hot Commodity

On the Moon, Astronaut Pee Will Be a Hot Commodity

The resulting material is a geopolymer, which has similar properties to concrete and could potentially be used to build landing pads, habitats, and other structures on the moon.Lunar regolith has chemical similarities to fly ash, which makes geopolymers an attractive option for building stuff on the moon.

Space Photos of the Week: The Super Pink Moon

Space Photos of the Week: The Super Pink Moon

This past week, much of the world was treated to a Super Pink Moon and if you were one of many who missed out due to clouds or rain, don’t worry!Writers and poets love the moon, super or not, so this week we’ll offer a series of moon-related quotes and poems.

The Internet Avoided a Minor Disaster Last Week

The Internet Avoided a Minor Disaster Last Week

An arm of the nonprofit Internet Security Research Group, Let’s Encrypt is a so-called certificate authority that lets websites implement encrypted connections at no cost.Let's Encrypt uses software called Boulder to make sure that it's allowed to issue a certificate to a site.

The Hottest New Literary Genre Is ‘Doomer Lit’

The Hottest New Literary Genre Is ‘Doomer Lit’

The genre, which imagines stories and worlds shaped by climate change, is sometimes considered a cousin of science fiction.R. Burgmann, he calls pessimistic fatalism one of the major “paradigmatic responses to climate change in recent fiction.”.

The Disturbing Case of the Disappearing Sci-Fi Story

The Disturbing Case of the Disappearing Sci-Fi Story

At the beginning of this year, the science fiction and fantasy magazine Clarkesworld published a short story called “I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter” by Isabel Fall.

Baby Fish Feast on Microplastics, and Then Get Eaten

Baby Fish Feast on Microplastics, and Then Get Eaten

Gove and his colleagues dissected hundreds of larval fish and found that 8.6 percent of specimens from slicks—which appear as smooth ribbons on the surface—contained microplastics, more than twice the rate as larvae in nearby non-slick surface waters.

Trolling Is Now Mainstream Political Discourse

Trolling Is Now Mainstream Political Discourse

We had canvassed thousands of the world's leading experts in technology and culture, and had begun the long task of interpreting the more than 700 responses to the final question in our survey:In the next decade, will public discourse online become more or less shaped by bad actors, harassment, trolls, and an overall tone of griping, distrust, and disgust.

Wealthy Counties Benefited Most From a Flood Relief Program

Wealthy Counties Benefited Most From a Flood Relief Program

If some property owners who live near the ocean or in a river floodplain can be convinced to sell their homes, and the land is returned to open space, the entire community will benefit.

We’re Killing the Oceans, and We’ll Pay Dearly for It

We’re Killing the Oceans, and We’ll Pay Dearly for It

The seas continue to take on the atmosphere’s heat, as marine heatwaves cripple ecosystems and less snow and ice threaten water supplies.Let’s begin with the most apparent consequence of climate change in the oceans: global mean sea level rise.

California Vows Fight as Trump Takes Aim at Clean-Car Authority

California Vows Fight as Trump Takes Aim at Clean-Car Authority

Under Trump’s plan, the Environmental Protection Agency will revoke the so-called waiver underpinning the state’s ability to set tailpipe greenhouse-gas emissions standards that are more stringent, as well as the state’s electric vehicle sales mandate.

The Rock That Vibrates in Time With Earth, Wind, and Waves

The Rock That Vibrates in Time With Earth, Wind, and Waves

The research team has an entire webpage devoted to its seismic recordings of the natural resonances (vibrations) that come out of the Utah arches.

The FTC Wants More Privacy, Less Zuckerberg, at Facebook

The FTC Wants More Privacy, Less Zuckerberg, at Facebook

“Millions of Americans entrusted personal information to Facebook with the understanding that Facebook would respect the laws governing consumer privacy, but Facebook’s many privacy missteps made clear that it lacked a culture of compliance in this area,” FTC commissioner Christine Wilson said at a press conference announcing the settlement Wednesday.

The Meaning of All Caps—in Texting and in Life

The Meaning of All Caps—in Texting and in Life

Emphatic caps feel like the quintessential example of internet tone of voice, and sure enough, they’ve been around since the very early days online: Linguist Ben Zimmer found people in old Usenet groups explaining that all caps meant yelling as far back as 1984.

Transit Agencies Turn to Uber for the Last Mile

Transit Agencies Turn to Uber for the Last Mile

By swiping to a special screen inside the app, Uber riders can travel to within 800 feet of 24 eligible bus stops and then transfer to a bus for free.“In our county, we really are trying to change the culture so that more people are using public transit rather than thinking about putting their car on the road,” says Janet Long, a Pinellas County commissioner and chair of the transit authority board.

New York's Vaccine Order Shows How Health Laws Are Failing Us

New York's Vaccine Order Shows How Health Laws Are Failing Us

New York's Vaccine Order Shows How Health Laws Are Failing Us. The threat of bigger measles outbreaks is turning the political tides, making public health officials more willing to take draconian steps.

It’s Time to End the NSA’s Metadata Collection Program

It’s Time to End the NSA’s Metadata Collection Program

In 2015, Congress passed the USA Freedom Act to reform Section 215 and prohibit the nationwide bulk collection of communications metadata, like who we make calls to and receive them from, when, and the call duration.

What Happens If Russia Cuts Itself Off From the Internet

What Happens If Russia Cuts Itself Off From the Internet

“In short, Russia would need to do two things: Ensure that the content Russians seek to access is actually located somewhere in the country, and ensure that routing and exchanges could all occur domestically,” says Nicole Starosielski a professor at New York University and author of The Undersea Network .

Facebook Cracks Down on Networks of Fake Pages and Groups

Facebook Cracks Down on Networks of Fake Pages and Groups

If a troll runs two fake news pages but only one of them violates Facebook’s policies, the company can’t take down the other until it breaks the rules as well.

Facebook's '10 Year Challenge' Is Just a Harmless Meme—Right?

Facebook's '10 Year Challenge' Is Just a Harmless Meme—Right?

Facebook's '10 Year Challenge' Is Just a Harmless Meme—Right? Alyssa Foote; Getty Images If you use social media, you've probably noticed a trend across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter of people posting their then-and-now profile pictures, mostly from 10 years ago and this year. Instead of joining in, I posted the following semi-sarcastic tweet:

Recovery: New Chance to Save Land and Water

Recovery: New Chance to Save Land and Water

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) quickly became America’s main tool for protecting and restoring historic sites, like battlefields, and for providing matching grants to states for urban and suburban recreation facilities, like ballfields.

The Climate Apocalypse Is Now, and It’s Happening to You

The Climate Apocalypse Is Now, and It’s Happening to You

“Over the last 20 years of doing this, we’ve gotten better at thinking about the economic costs,” says John Furlow, a development and aid expert at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society and an author of NCA4.