No one is drunk or under any narcotic influence, and yet all three men are moments away from what Fitzpatrick will later describe as "a mindfuck". A year on, Gibson concurs. "It left me with the sense that one of my basic anchors on reality had been ripped loose," he recalls. Wales still talks about the all-nighter with reverent awe:"It was amazing. It was a work of art. It was a thing of beauty."It was, more specifically, a parlour game.
Nuclear engineers are never taught about the other kind of nuclear reaction. But a working prototype was built over 40 years ago. "The thick hardbound volume was sitting on a shelf in a colleague’s office when Kirk Sorensen spotted it. A rookie NASA engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Sorensen was researching nuclear-powered propulsion, and the book’s title — Fluid Fuel Reactors — jumped out at him. He picked it up and thumbed through it. Hours later, he was still reading, enchanted by the ideas but struggling with the arcane writing. “I took it home that night, but I didn’t understand all the nuclear terminology,” Sorensen says. He pored over it in the coming months, ultimately deciding that he held in his hands the key to the world’s energy future." [more inside]
Wired profiles pediatrician Paul Offit, co-creator of the RotaTeq rotavirus vaccine and a primary target of the anti-vaccination movement. Dr. Offit published a book,“Autism’s False Prophets” in 2008 but didn't tour, because he had received too many death threats. [more inside]
Robert Capps, Wired senior editor, has an article up called The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine. It explores what happens when an established product meets a competitor that has most of the features at fraction of the price. Think hi-fi vs MP3s, A-10 bombers vs Predator drones or landline vs Skype. [more inside]
WIRED contributing editor Scott Carney interviewed an ocean-going hijacker for his story on the economics of Somali piracy. [more inside]
Waldo Jaquith of The Virginia Quarterly has discovered considerable evidence of plagiarism in Chris Anderson's new book, Free. [more inside]
"When masses of people who own the means of production work toward a common goal and share their products in common, when they contribute labor without wages and enjoy the fruits free of charge, it's not unreasonable to call that socialism."The New Socialism: Global Collectivist Society Is Coming Online, a provocative article in the new Wired magazine, examines the effects of the growing influence of online collectivism. I thought this might make for an interesting read and discussion by members of an online community.
"Whoever said the early bird gets the worm could have been talking about me, only I’m a person, not a bird, and I’m not interested in getting worms, more like getting things done. But I do get up early." The secret to success in the wired age, according to Andy Borowitz [previously, 2].
Wired's Mystery Issue, guest-edited by J.J. Abrams, is a quizzical amalgam of puzzling things both obvious and less obvious... apparently the print edition's misspelled words, irregular borders, and seemingly random placements of numbers are all part of the game too. While the "master puzzle" was recently solved, there are reportedly still some codes left to crack. [more inside]
Wired.com is really pimping the Terminator franchise right now. With the success of the television series and the upcoming fourth installment hitting the big screens at the end of May, is the continuing appeal simply science fiction geekdom or is the concept really a deep philosophical metaphor? [more inside]
A startup is proposing a new model for harnessing the power of the web for activism that gets results: bite sized actions, under written by corporate sponsors.
Wired: Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case. "The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants."
The Wired Vaporware Awards, an institution since 1999 has taken some heavy hits this year, and has had to resort to some pretty naked padding to make a list (products in late beta whose release date has merely slipped? come on) – however, if there is anything that remains constant in these uncertain times we live in it is that one game rules the list, debuting in the No 2. slot in 2000, it then latched on to the top spot, with only editorial edict able to to shift it. Ladies and gentlemen, Duke Nukem - FOREVER.
Six new directors who are making music video cool again:
Cat Solen (see also)
Rik Cordero (see also)
Matthew Cullen (see also) (previously)
Vincent Moon (see also)
Vincent Morisset (see also)
Keith Schofield (see also)
Cat Solen (see also)
Rik Cordero (see also)
Matthew Cullen (see also) (previously)
Vincent Moon (see also)
Vincent Morisset (see also)
Keith Schofield (see also)
Storyboard is an almost-real-time, behind-the-scenes look at the assigning, writing, editing, and designing of a Wired feature. The Birth of Storyboard is a (minimally edited) video of the conversation that spawned the project. The feature—that will be published in November—is about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. In the past he has woven the process of creating his work into the work itself, so Wired writer Jason Tanz thought it would make sense to do the same. Looking to promote his directorial debut, Kaufman has agreed to take part in the project.
For years, Wired magazine has tapped a bevy of designers and artists in the tech field to craft detailed visions of futuristic objects for a monthly showcase at the close of each issue. Now, after hinting as much in the July edition, it is clear that that the tradition of FOUND has been brought to an end. What better way to say goodbye to this whimsical feature than by taking a look back at the full archived run of the series? [more inside]
The best thing about WIRED Magazine's 15th Anniversary celebration is it's not all self-congratulatory. Of course, any media entity involved in the rapidly-changing but well-archived internet is going to sometimes do silly things that we all can see - forever. In one area, at least, WIRED is owning up to its bad judgment with the Lamest (their word) Gear Ever Highlighted in their 'Fetish' Feature. 1993-1995. 1996-1998. 1999-2006. It's not that there are less lame items in recent years; they're just waiting for history to confirm what smart readers saw all along. My favorites - and why some of them may not be so lame: [more inside]
Steve Carrell on how to act brilliant:
I've learned to appear scintillatingly intellectual by asking people questions ("Do you like pizza?"). Then I just look at them, nodding and saying "Hmmm" and "Um hmmm" every few seconds. Try and keep one or two things in your head to regurgitate later. After all, what is knowledge, really, but high-resolution regurgitation?
Wired, which famously included the Tesla Roadster in its annual roundup of vaporware, takes on another electric car firm. Over the years, ZAP has taken millions from investors and dealers eager to see the company's line of green cars hit the road. But that line has never materialized. Of nearly a dozen groundbreaking eco-vehicles ZAP has promised in public announcements and on its Web site, only the Xebra and its sibling, a truck version, have ever made it to market. [more inside]
In an alternate universe, the golden mean is found, moderation is possible, and everyone on MeFi will hear their counterparts point of view first.
Top ten chemistry videos. (Wired, YouTube)
David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars Where there was one, now there are six: Six possible music distribution models, ranging from one in which the artist is pretty much hands-off to one where the artist does nearly everything. [more inside]
The birth of a gadget. [Wired]
Wu-Tang Clan's RZA Breaks Down His Kung Fu Samples by Film and Song. Kung-fu's influence on hip hop has been around since the '70s, when B-boys busted Bruce Lee moves while break-dancing. But in 1993, gritty rap supergroup the Wu-Tang Clan released Enter the Wu-Tang (36-Chambers), the first chart-topping album to kick up raw rhymes with dialog sampled from underground Hong Kong flicks. [more inside]
The 'Winners' of the Wired News Saddest-Cubicle Contest The winner -- if you can call it winning -- of the Wired News saddest-cubicles contest is David Gunnells, an IT guy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His desk is penned in by heavily used filing cabinets in a windowless conference room, near a poorly ventilated bathroom and a microwave. Here are some of the runners-up
When Ron Paul email spam started hitting inboxes in late October, UAB Computer Forensics Directory Gary Warner published findings on the spam's textual patterns and the illicit botnet used to spread it -- findings which were picked up by media outlets and tech websites like Salon, Ars Technica, and Wired Magazine's "Threat Level" blog, the latter in a set of followup posts by writer Sarah Stirland: 1, 2, 3. [more inside]
Sorry PR, you're blocked. Chris Anderson, the editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine calls out the 300+ PR "professionals" who cannot be bothered to look for the right person to send their announcements to. Then, he publishes their e-mail addresses online, for all to see. If you were thinking of using a PR firm this year, here are 300 that you might want to give a miss. via
Wired has a nice history of manga in the US available on their website in PDF format. Westerners: remember to read from back to front, or you'll spoil the story for yourself! (Via.)
Growing drugs in space. If the rainforest runs out of undiscovered medicines, just grow new drugs in space: Wired reports that "a swaggering Texas investor" wants to turn the International Space Station into a kind of orbiting drug lab: "If people knew what I already know," he says, "the International Space Station would be considered one of the most valuable resources our world possesses." Think of it as New Jack City in zero-G – full of weird, crystallized proteins (and billion dollar cures).
Musicophilia. Metafilter's own digaman interviews Oliver Sacks on his forthcoming book and a lifetime's worth of loving music and studying its effects on the human mind. [more inside]
Wired presents an extraordinary look at "one of the most ambitious search-and-rescue missions in history," after one of Microsoft's researchers, Jim Gray, and his boat, the Tenacious, went missing in the Pacific Ocean outside San Francisco in January 2007. Cartography meets law meets 2.0 technology. "First the Coast Guard scoured 132,000 square miles of ocean. Then a team of scientists and Silicon Valley power players turned the eyes of the global network onto the Pacific." Eventually, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, the US Navy, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium jumped in – "as did astronomers from leading universities." To this day, Jim Gray has never been found, and his disappearance cannot be explained. Read Wired for more.
cell mobile phone helped police find the body of missing student Kelly Nolan. "The average citizen is not aware that they are carrying a location-tracking device in their pocket..."
Scientists are testing a new diet pill that expands to the size of a tennis ball in your stomach. When taken with two glasses of water, the slow-growing 'gelatinous blob' gives one the feeling of having eaten a plate of food. Although it's no replacement for diet and exercise, it could help some people control their urges.
WIREDfilter: After a thousand years stuck on a dusty library shelf, the oldest copy of Homer's Iliad is about to go into digital circulation.
How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran by Joshuah Bearman. As history keeps on happening, all people and events are becoming linked to each other in strange and inexplicable ways. Once in a while those links surface into view. Here, then, is the key event that connects Jack Kirby and Roger Zelazny to the CIA's handling of the Iranian hostage crisis. Via Wired Magazine and good evening.
Hobo Expert, MeFite, Daily Show Resident Expert, and reluctant celebrity John Hodgman's recent appearance on This American Life is truly inspired stuff. "He tells the story of what happens when celebrity hunts you down and finds you...on your living room couch, pushing 40, and a couple sizes larger than you want to be." Apparently Bill Gates isn't a fan. His loss.
How to control your look of openness by Microsoft. An inside look at how Microsoft spun wired's article covering Microsoft's video site Channel 9. It's an interesting peek at how PR works.
Wired: What We Don't Know How did life begin? What's the universe made of? Why do we sleep? Is the universe actually made of information? How does the brain produce consciousness? Why do we still have big questions? 42 of the biggest unanswered questions in science.
SF writers only use six words. A collection of six word epics from the cream of contemporary SF writers. Can Mefi do better? I reckon!
Arguing Against Datamining MySpace in search of Pedophiles. In certain circles, MySpace has become the villain de jour for all sorts of debauchery (threatening the President, phishing , dismembered women , etc.), as well as being fertile hunting grounds for the pedophile. Given the huge size of MySpace, reported as 100 million accounts (although estimates of active accounts are far lower, at approximately 43 million ), and an hypothetical and absurdly low natural incidence of pedophiles and pedarasts (let's say just 1%), one could assume that there could be as many as 430,000 to 1,000,000 of them out there. Wired contributor and reformed hacker (Kevin Poulson) has developed a script to weed out the bad seeds [via]. His script was effective, although it took several months of sifting and refining, as well as numerous false positives - 744 registered sex offenders, 497 with convictions for crimes against children. While such an experiment has merit, how much time, resources, and law enforcement manpower will be wasted chasing down the ""high-cost "false positives", and what will be neglected and sacrificed for that effort?
Nikola Tesla lends his name to an electric car that can reach 60pmh in 4 seconds and travel 250 miles between charges. Early witnesses include Arnie and Wired. An old Tesla rumour is that he made his own back in the 1930s.
Crashing the Wiretapper's Ball Wired News snuck a reporter into the ISS World Conference, a no-press-allowed conference for companies that sell wiretapping equipment to law enforcement, ISPs, telcos, and repressive governments. Hilarity ensues. via
Wired News has obtained a copy of a file detailing AT&T's involvement with the NSA that was sealed in the EFF's class-action lawsuit against AT&T. At 2AM EST this morning they have published that file on their site for anyone to download (this is the fixed link, the one on Wired is currently broken).[via]
Privacy? No thanks.
Don't Even Think About Lying fMRI is poised to transform the security industry, the judicial system, and our fundamental notions of privacy. I'm in a lab at Columbia University, where scientists are using the technology to analyze the cognitive differences between truth and lies. By mapping the neural circuits behind deception, researchers are turning fMRI into a new kind of lie detector that's more probing and accurate than the polygraph, the standard lie-detection tool employed by law enforcement and intelligence agencies for nearly a century.