Gadget Lab Podcast: Wrapping Up CES 2020

Gadget Lab Podcast: Wrapping Up CES 2020

CES, the all-consuming tech trade show, took over Las Vegas this week. Convention halls and hotels were jam packed with shiny gizmos, bleeding-edge technology, and dazzling devices. Of course, our intrepid Gadget Lab reporters were there in the midst of it all.This week on the show, Mike and Lauren talk with WIRED digital director Brian…

Export Controls Threaten the Future of AI Outposts in China

Export Controls Threaten the Future of AI Outposts in China

For some time, American companies including Microsoft, Google, and IBM have established research labs in China to tap into local AI talent and to keep track of technological trends. Now, as tensions and restrictions continue to ramp up, some observers wonder if the days of those outposts may be numbered.The US Commerce Department imposed new…

A New Law for Gig Workers Reaches Beyond Ride-Hail Drivers

A New Law for Gig Workers Reaches Beyond Ride-Hail Drivers

For years, Helene Mickey Wilson—Dr. Mickey to those who know her—has had two main sources of income. Wilson, a licensed marriage and family therapist in California’s Orange County, owns a small private practice. She’s also contracted with a company to oversee and train therapists working toward final certification, for which they need 3,000 hours of…

WWIII Memes, Oddly, Prove There’s Hope for the Internet

WWIII Memes, Oddly, Prove There’s Hope for the Internet

After a US drone strike killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani last week, the online world saw two nations tumbling toward a war that could consume the globe—the long-prophesied World War III. Some Americans celebrated President Trump taking a stand against an old perceived enemy. Some planned protests. Many, including President Trump and Iranian foreign minister…

Twitch’s Non-Gamers Are Finally Having Their Moment

Twitch’s Non-Gamers Are Finally Having Their Moment

Nine years after the launch of the game-streaming platform Twitch, the content that hardcore gamers most vocally reviled has officially become its most watched: just talking.A new report from stream management site StreamElements indicates that in December, Twitch viewers watched 81 million hours of “Just Chatting,” Twitch’s category for streamers who do exactly that, plus…

Feds Are Content to Let Cars Drive, and Regulate, Themselves

Feds Are Content to Let Cars Drive, and Regulate, Themselves

The Trump administration Wednesday reaffirmed its policy to maintain a light touch in regulating self-driving vehicles, with a new document that is long on promoting the industry and silent on rules governing testing or operating the vehicles. “The takeaway from the [new policy] is that the federal government is all in” on automated driving systems,…

Amazon Takes a Swipe at Paypal’s $4 Billion Acquisition

Amazon Takes a Swipe at Paypal’s $4 Billion Acquisition

Days before Christmas, at the height of the last-minute holiday shopping rush, an ominous message appeared on Amazon.com. It warned shoppers who used a popular browser extension called Honey that the service, which promises to track prices and discount codes, was “a security risk.”“Honey tracks your private shopping behavior, collects data like your order history…

Do LEDs Cause Orange Presidents?

Do LEDs Cause Orange Presidents?

Remember incandescent lights? They’ve largely been phased out because of their horrendously low efficiency—less than 5 percent. Incandescent bulbs are classified by how much electrical power they use, like 60 watts or 100 watts. But most of that power is turned into thermal energy, not light. Of course, if you’re trying to heat things up,…