The Nicest Social Media Bots, Flash Droughts, and More News

Bots are adoring and scientists are imploring, but first: a cartoon about the reality of “catfishing”.

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Today’s News

Welcome to Botnet, where everyone’s an influencer

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a celebrity on the internet? You can find out for yourself with Botnet—a social media platform filled with bots ready to shower you in adoration. Simply post a selfie or an update on your life, and watch the likes and comments roll in. The idea is to simulate mega-fame on the internet, except without the trolls—if you want to be abused, you’ll have to pay 99 cents.

Think flash floods are bad? Buckle up for flash droughts

Most extreme weather disasters happen quickly (think tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes), but droughts have always happened relatively slowly—until now. Scientists are scrambling to agree on how to deal with something called a “flash drought”, which can happen in as little as two weeks. But droughts affect bigger areas and stick around longer than most other types of extreme weather, even if they are happening faster in a warming world. That combination makes them far more dangerous than flash floods and means communities need to get smarter about how they collect and store water year-round.

Fast Fact: 2.2 Percent

That’s the portion of flights that account for 80 percent of contrail-related global warming. It turns out that flights taking off in the early evening leave contrails that sit in the sky through the night, trapping heat that would otherwise leak out into space.

WIRED Recommends: Thermomix TM 6

It’s time to throw all your other kitchen gadgets away and get this beast: the robotic equivalent of your own personal sous chef. Need to knead bread, steam rice, sauté vegetables, caramelize onions without stirring, or make yogurt? This thing can do it all.

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