How Painter Alexa Meade Creates Dimension-Collapsing Art

Alexa Meade was on her way to a wonky career in politics when an art class turned her world upside down. The assignment was to “create a sculpture that felt like a landscape but was not a sculpture of a landscape,” Meade recalls. So she painted the shadows and highlights of a friend’s face. But […]

Tesla’s Million-Mile Battery, Greta Thunberg’s UN Speech, and More News

A lofty Elon Musk promise may soon be realized, a teen activist blistered members of the UN, and we have some recommendations for fitness trackers. Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less. Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Sign up here! Today’s Headlines Tesla may […]

Read the Trump Whistleblower Complaint Right Here

After escalating revelations about President Donald Trump’s interactions with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, the whistle-blower complaint at the heart of them has finally been released. And while parts have been redacted, the nine-page document details not only what took place in a controversial July 25 conversation between the two heads of state, but how the […]

The Massive, Overlooked Potential of African DNA

When evening falls on a solar-panel-clad building outside the Nigerian city of Lagos, its generators roar to life. The electrical grid here is unpredictable, and the company that works out of the building, 54gene, isn’t taking any chances. Losing power, even for a few hours, isn’t an option when you’re housing thousands of tubes of […]

An Open Source License That Requires Users to Do No Harm

China uses facial recognition technology to track Uyghur Muslims. The US military uses drones to kill suspected terrorists—any nearby civilians. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement—which has locked children in cages near the Mexican border—relies on software for communications and coordination, like all modern organizations. Someone had to write the code that makes all of that […]

PG&E’s Power Shutoffs Can’t Save California From Wildfire Hell

If the conditions align, PG&E initiates what it calls public safety power shutoffs, and they’re tortured decisions. “It is sort of unprecedented for such a large utility doing this preemptively,” says Swain. “They are probably an unfortunately necessary stopgap fire-prevention measure right now, but they come with serious risks as well.” A utility like PG&E […]

An Artist Takes an Unflinching Look at Her Own Hysterectomy

Carucci—an Israeli American photographer whose award-winning editorial work has appeared in WIRED—isn’t one to shut her eyes. Like photographers Nan Goldin and Sally Mann, she often reaches for the camera at moments others might set it down. Her parents’ divorce, her marital infidelity, and other family dramas figured into her earlier autobiographical works. The last, Mother […]

What Is a Dimension? The Answer Will Bend Your Mind

One of my favorite books as a child was called Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. Written by a grade-school teacher in 1884, it’s a novel narrated by a square who lives in a two-dimensional world, called Flatland, populated by lines and shapes. In the story, the square encounters a sphere from a three-dimensional universe […]

Angry Nerd: Enough With Technology That ‘Democratizes’ Things!

The operations overlords of WIRED make me use Airtable. It’s a hip workflow tracker, with pretty color coding and copious tabs and a “robust” API that syncs with Slack. It’s also, apparently, a superhero. The Captain America of spreadsheets. Airtable isn’t just a shinier version of Excel—it’s on a self-professed mission to “democratize software creation […]

Your Secret Uber Tipping Behavior, Exposed

After the Uber ride is over, it’s just you and your phone. And your choice: Do you tip? New research published by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests the answer has more to do with you than your driver’s performance. And the researchers behind the work believe that the conclusion might have implications for […]