Tag Archives: Wired.com

Hacker Lexicon: What Is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

WIRED The call for copyright reform in America have grown so loud that Congress has finally heard it. Lawmakers have ordered a slate of studies to look into how to fix what has become a broken system, and activists are cautiously optimistic that this could be the first step toward reform. The source of the fracture? The Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA was passed in 1998 as an anti-piracy statute effectively making it illegal to circumvent copy protections designed to prevent pirates from duplicating digital copyrighted works and selling or freely distributing them. It also makes it illegal to manufacture or distribute tools or techniques for circumventing copy controls. But in reality the controversial law’s effects have been much broader by allowing game developers, music and film companies and others to keep a tight control on how consumers use their copyrighted works, preventing them in some cases from making

Absurd Creatures: The Bearcat Isn’t a Bear or Cat But It Does Smell Like Popcorn

The binturong, aka bearcat, ain’t a monkey, but it’s got a prehensile tail. It ain’t made of Play-Doh, but its ankles can rotate around 180 degrees. And it smells like a bucket of popcorn, but it’s not a bucket of popcorn. Find out more about the bearcat in this week’s episode of Absurd Creatures! And I’m happy to hear from you with suggestions on what to cover next. If it’s weird and we can find footage of it, it’s fair game. You can get me at matthew_simon@wired.com or on Twitter at @mrMattSimon. Nine out of 10 historians agree: Vlad the Impaler was a bad person, largely because there are several less cruel ways to dispatch your enemies. But for a bird called the kingfisher, impalement is a way of life. Hovering above rivers, it’ll spot a fish, dive into the water, and skewer its prey. And that’s pretty damn impressive,

Cantina Talk: So … the Development of Rogue One May Be ‘in Crisis’

Lucasfilm Well, that was unexpected. Even though we wondered last time whether something was afoot with Rogue One after the last-minute cancellation of Marvel’s comic book spin-off, we didn’t really think the big Star Wars story of the last couple of weeks was going to be news that the Gareth Edwards-directed movie was actually in a tough spot. What else is happening in the Lucasfilm universe? Here’s a roundup of what you might have missed over the last couple of weeks of Star Wars news. Bad News for the Empire Source: Multiple online reportsProbability of Accuracy: It’s unclear at this point, but likely higher than 50 percent.The Real Deal: The story first broke via Page Six: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is to undergo reshoots in an attempt to fix a movie that seems to be at least partially broken. According to an anonymous source, Disney executives weren’t happy

Weird Photos That Are Both Fantastic and Total Failures

Instagram overflows with “perfect” photos. Arty shots of lattes and breakfasts too pretty to eat. Panoramic vistas of achingly beautiful sunsets. And entirely too many #authentic selfies. It’s enough to make you puke. Art director Erik Kessels thinks it’s time for some colossal blunders. Call them …. successful screw-ups. Kessels’ new book, Failed It! How to Turn Mistakes Into Ideas and Other Advice for Successfully Screwing Up, features more than 100 goofs, gaffes and #epicfails. He’s been in the creative business for more than 30 years and thinks the world would be a better place if people embraced imperfection. “Society teaches us to avoid mistakes, but for creative people and innovators mistakes are essential,” he says. “Without [them] you’ll be stuck in a zone of mediocrity.” What saves these images, gleaned from flea markets, darkrooms, and the Internet, from mediocrity are the mistakes that would prompt a lesser artist to delete

Parking a Truck Is a Pain in the Butt. Tech to the Rescue!

fotogal/Getty Images If you drive for a living, it stands to reason that you’d excel at parking. Long-haul truckers may be the exception. It’s not the parallel parking that gets them—most avoid shimmying between cars on packed streets anyway. No, they struggle with it because there simply aren’t enough parking spots. Despite the acres of concrete surrounding the truck stops and that dot the nation’s interstates, there aren’t enough parking spaces—or enough spaces in the right places—to accommodate the growing number of trucks hauling stuff around the country. According to the Department of Transportation, which made an exhaustive survey of on this ultra-specific subject, 75 percent of drivers said they regularly have trouble finding a safe place to park when it’s time to bed down. In desperation, some park on the shoulder, a ramp, or an abandoned gas station. Others keep rolling, burning fuel and time as they continue the

Here’s What Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst Has to Get Right

Electronic Arts Mirror’s Edge is a story about the power of your body. The game, influenced by the parkour phenomenon so popular back in 2008, places you in the role of Faith, an illicit messenger at the fringes of a dystopian world. Digital communication is monitored, so “runners” deliver sensitive messages, running, jumping, and climbing through the city. This radical, wonderful game never got the audience it deserved, but remains a cult classic. Even now, playing it is jarring and exhilarating. Every element of the game is designed to make you feel, at a visceral level, the action in a way no other game ever has. You don’t play Faith so much as become her. It always makes my heart race and my arms tingle with adrenaline. On Tuesday, Mirror’s Edge gets the sequel fans have long demanded. Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst ditches the level-based design of the original and sets Faith’s origin story in

Outlander Recap: Learning to Put the “Apt” in Adaptation

Starz Toward the end of Saturday’s episode of Outlander, “Je Suis Prest,” Claire finally opens up to Jamie about why she has been in a traumatized fugue state for days on end. As rebellion looms, Claire is reminded of her own experience of war, when she served as a nurse during World War II. Jamie—as always, Prince Charming in a kilt—offers for Claire to return home to Lallybroch, but she refuses, saying she doesn’t want to wait, helplessly, “powerless to move, like a dragonfly in amber.” That phrase—”dragonfly in amber”—is, of course, the title of Diana Gabaldon’s second novel in the Outlander series upon which the television series is based. The line serves as a reminder that, yes, these were books first. But it also indirectly raises a different question: Does that matter? Adaptation is always a tricky thing. Given the source material, there is a built-in fan base—a passionate throng of readers who

Facebook Messenger Finally Bridges the Great Emoji Divide

facebook Like many couples, my wife and I sometimes use emoji instead of fully formed sentences when we text. Mostly, it’s a time-saver; when you’re already wrangling two toddlers, the last thing you want is to wrangle autocorrect as well. We have a problem, though, that’s about as first-world as it gets. She has an iPhone, and I’m on Android. This means that instead of complete messages, I’ll often get blank squares where my emoji library is incomplete. Worse, I’ll send an emoji of what looks like a smiley face on my phone that shows up as a grimace on hers. Communication is vital to any healthy marriage—so it’s unfortunate that our phones speak different languages. This week, Facebook Messenger took matters into its own chat, releasing 1,500 new emoji that are not only diverse in skin tone and gender, they’re also consistent across whatever platform you use. It’s an

Starbucks Is Going to Serve Cold Brew on Tap. What Could Go Wrong?

Starbucks You’ve already gulped craft beer and sipped artisanal pour-over. So naturally you’ve moved on to nitro cold brew. At least, Starbucks hopes you have—or that you will. Later this summer, the coffee giant will start dispensing this slightly sour, vaguely effervescent, nitrogen-infused version of cold coffee at 500 US stores. Selling coffee that’s dispensed like beer might seem like no big deal. But for the world’s biggest coffee chain, it’ll be a logistical feat. Nitro cold brew actually combines two sets of expertise—coffee made slowly with cold water, and then run through a nitrogen-powered tap. In a sense, it’s a combination of coffee nerdery and obscure craft beer snobbery, powered by local, artisanal-aspiring coffeehouses. Sales jumped 338.9 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to Starbucks’ market research, largely spearheaded by Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters (owned by Starbucks rival Peet’s Coffee and Tea). So it’s no surprise that the world’s

While You Were Offline: Behold the Political Schadenfreude That Is Paul Ryan

Win McNamee/Getty Images Perhaps it’s just the circles we move in on the Internet, but this week was unusually antagonistic online. No one was on their best behavior this week, and it just feels like everyone needs to go to their rooms for a time out. Where’s the love, people? Oh, wait, maybe it’s here, in this revelation that the couple on the cover to the Woodstock album are still together, 46 years later. While you’re still recovering from the good vibes of that discovery, here are some things you might have missed on the world wide web over the last seven days. Buckle up. Fandom Is Just as Broken as Everything Else, Maybe What Happened: In the wake of a number of pop culture events, fandom spent the week gazing into its own navel.Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media think piecesWhat Really Happened: It’s been an increasingly vocal period

Inside Top Gear’s Wild Race Through the Desert in an Ariel Nomad

Matt LeBlanc driving the Ariel Nomad in Morocco.Roderick Fountain/BBC Worldwide The beloved trio of Top Gear presenters is long gone, but another pillar of the BBC’s most popular show endures: spectacular stunts in exotic locales, with cars that drill dimples into your cheeks. That explains why even in the, let’s just say mixed reviews of the new crew’s first episode, no one complained about the American’s star turn. In a 10-minute segment, new host Matt LeBlanc took the dirt-spitting Ariel Nomad for a run through the Moroccan desert, dodging “villains” riding motorcycles, flying drones, and doing whatever it is you do with a paramotor. The $47,000 Nomad is the off-road sibling to the bonkers Atom, so it obviously struck the Top Gear guys as something “we can have a lot of fun with,” says series producer Alex Renton. He’s been with the show for 11 years and got the top job for this,

Game of Thrones Death Pool: Whose Turn Is It to Die?

If Game of Thrones has taught us anything, it’s that the true survivors are the ones with the intangibles. Tyrion Lannister’s swagger has saved his bacon more than once; Petyr Baelish’s silver tongue is pretty much the only thing that keeps him from meeting the working end of a Moon Door. But looking at the betting odds for tonight’s episode, it’s pretty clear that while intangibles help, the ones getting out alive will have very real assets on their side. Got dragons? Or maybe a trusty sword named Needle? You’re safe! That said, if you have yourself a Faith Militant troupe or a little thing called Greyscale, it might be time to review your life insurance policy. Arya Stark Last we saw Arya Stark she had backed out of poisoning a theater actress, retrieved her sword, Needle, and was plotting her escape from the House of Black and White. The Waif

The Geek Feminist Revolution Has Arrived

Tor Books Kameron Hurley is the author of The Geek Feminist Revolution, a book of essays that explores some of the challenges facing women and minorities in the science fiction world—challenges Hurley has encountered again and again. Like, for example, the time a friend of hers had a run-in with an established author at a science fiction convention and the author told Hurley’s friend her work wasn’t “hard sf” enough. “He looked at her and goes, ‘You are worth less than the shit on my shoe,’” Hurley says in Episode 206 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “And it was like, OK, thanks, welcome to science fiction.” Podcast http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.wired.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/geeksguide206final.mp3 RSS iTunes Download Hurley also explores feminist issues in novels like God’s War, which imagines a matriarchal society that oppresses men. She says that turning the tables like that can help make people more aware of how injustice works.

The Future of Detroit Goes on Display in Venice

1 / 8 Salam Rida 2 / 8 Salam Rida 3 / 8 Salam Rida 4 / 8 Venice Architecture Biennale 5 / 8 Salam Rida 6 / 8 Salam Rida 7 / 8 Venice Architecture Biennale 8 / 8 Salam Rida Related Galleries Space Photos of the Week: Watch It. This Star’s Bustin’ Out The Death of the Champ: Muhammad Ali, 1942 – 2016 The Plan to Save the Louvre’s Art From Floods: Pumps, Dams, and Evacuation 1 / 8 Salam Rida 2 / 8 Salam Rida 3 / 8 Salam Rida 4 / 8 Venice Architecture Biennale 5 / 8 Salam Rida 6 / 8 Salam Rida 7 / 8 Venice Architecture Biennale 8 / 8 Salam Rida Related Galleries Space Photos of the Week: Watch It. This Star’s Bustin’ Out The Death of the Champ: Muhammad Ali, 1942 – 2016 The Plan to Save the Louvre’s Art

‘Wifi Whisperer’ Siphons Your Data in the Creepiest Way Possible

Kyle McDonald If you’re connected to a wireless network, odds are high that little bits of data are trickling out of your device like water from a leaky faucet. “Our phones leak data in a bunch of different ways,” says artist Kyle McDonald. “Sometimes it’s really insidious or unexpected.” Recently at Moogfest, a music and technology festival in Durham, N.C., McDonald with the help of fellow artist Surya Mattu created an installation called WiFi Whisperer that called attention to all that data your phone is giving away for free. As festivalgoers walked past the installation, the artwork grabbed insecure data and display it on monitors, while a hidden speaker whispered the stream of data—what networks you’ve recently connected to and websites you’ve visited, for example—like a creepy, demon-voiced Big Brother. “It’s sort of like looking over someone’s shoulder,” says McDonald, “except you’re doing it without actually looking over their shoulder.” The artists built sniffers made from eight Raspberry Pis and wireless