Uber’s Mistakes, ‘Ford v Ferrari,’ and More Car News

We’re all about the future here at WIRED.com. But sometimes we take a look back. This week, we ran an excerpt from a new book that did just that, by examining how one psychologist’s tireless investigation into WWII plane crashes inadvertently created an entire new field of study, and one that contributed directly to everyone’s favorite 20th century tech product: the Macintosh computer. We also wondered what would happen if the makers of this year’s (good!) car film Ford v Ferrari had included a bit more gearhead porn. It’s been a week: Let’s get you caught up.


Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week

  • In an interview, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi likened Saudi Arabia’s assasnation of Jamal Kashoggi to the decisions that lead to the death of an Arizona woman who was struck and killed by a testing self-driving Uber vehicle. Khosrowshahi later walked back the comparison, but the question remains: Was the Uber crash really just a “mistake”?

  • Our reviewer enjoyed the new film Ford v Ferrari. If only it had more…engineering.

  • How the flawed, dumb design of the B-17 Flying Fortress—which led to accidental deaths and mysterious crashes throughout World War II—helped create the concept of user friendliness, and the device you’re reading this on today.

Cat Swap of the Week

Cats are good. Long plane rides are bad. So who can blame one Russian man named Mikhail Galin for running an ingenious scheme to get his too-fat cat, Viktor, on an eight-hour flight between Riga, Latvia, and Moscow? Viktor outweighed the airline Aeroflot’s max pet weight by 4.4 pounds, but Galin convinced some friends to bring a minier kitty to the airport for the official weigh in, and then managed to swap the cat for tubby Viktor for the actual flight. Both Galin and Viktor got to their destination just fine—but Aeroflot stripped the man of his airline miles after he bragged online about breaking the rules. Worth it? Maybe.

Stat of the Week


According to a survey completed by the city of Santa Monica, that’s the share of scooter- and bike-share rides that replaced car rides—meaning, the scooter-ers and cyclists would have hopped in a car if those services didn’t exist. Car rides “pollute our air and congest our streets,” the city noted in a report, and called the experimental program that allowed the services to operate in Santa Monica a “success.”

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