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Get in-depth coverage of business news and trends at WIRED including technology, startups, and Silicon Valley. A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It's perfect for times when you can't read - while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at www.spokenedition.com

Get in-depth coverage of business news and trends at WIRED including technology, startups, and Silicon Valley. A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It's perfect for times when you can't read - while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at www.spokenedition.com
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Get in-depth coverage of business news and trends at WIRED including technology, startups, and Silicon Valley. A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It's perfect for times when you can't read - while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at www.spokenedition.com




Now Stores Must Tell You How They're Tracking Your Every Move

To anyone with eyes in their kneecaps, the notice outside gadget retailer B8ta’s glossy store next to San Francisco’s new NBA arena is obvious. “We care about your privacy,” the small plaque proclaims, offering a web address and QR code.


Worried About Privacy at Home? There's an AI for That

Alexa, are you eavesdropping on me? I passive-aggressively ask my Amazon Echo this question every so often. Because as useful as AI has become, it's also very creepy. It's usually cloud-based, so it's often sending snippets of audio—or pictures from devices like “smart” doorbells—out to the internet. And this, of course, produces privacy nightmares, as when Amazon or Google subcontractors sit around listening to our audio snippets or hackers remotely spy on our kids.


Can a Digital Avatar Fire You?

You walk into the office and greet a digital avatar that replaced the company receptionist a few years ago. After sliding your badge into a reader, you smile and nod, even though you know “Amy” is not a real person. You sit down at your cubicle and start browsing the web. Then the trouble starts. You receive an email requesting a meeting. “Bob” wants to chat about your job performance. You fire up a Zoom chat and another digital avatar appears on the screen.


Senators Propose $1B to Outpace Huawei in 5G. That's Small Change

A bipartisan group of senators Tuesday introduced a bill designed to give Chinese telecom giant Huawei more competition in the market for 5G equipment by pumping more than $1 billion into 5G-related research and development. While the funds could be a boon for smaller companies, it’s paltry compared with what the telecommunications and wireless industries already spend on R&D.


This Company Hires Gig Workers—as Employees

Last September, as California legislators considered Assembly Bill 5, a measure designed to limit which workers can be classified as independent contractors, companies like Uber and Lyft bemoaned a potential blow to their bottom lines—bottom lines that were, for the record, already suffering. But one gig economy CEO cheered the bill from the sidelines.


Now It's Really, Truly Time to Give Up Windows 7

Two days ago, I finally gave up Windows 7. I don't dislike Windows 10, but there's just always been something special about Windows 7. It was svelte. It actually ran faster and took up less hard drive space than its predecessor, the much-maligned Windows Vista. It looked great. We Windows users could finally hold our heads a little higher around Mac users. And, well, I didn't know how well Windows 10 would work on that old Windows 7 laptop, or how much time it would take to make the...


Funeral Tech Startups Expand Your Posthumous Possibilities

When former Beverly Hills 90210 heartthrob Luke Perry died last year, his body was encased in a hideous black and white bodysuit. This shroud, made entirely of mushrooms and other small organisms, was designed to slowly turn him into compost. Wired UK This story originally appeared on WIRED UK.


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.


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 supervised professional experience.


Ivanka Trump's Future of Work Isn't for Workers

Ivanka Trump took the stage at CES Tuesday to muted reception. Forty minutes later, she left to robust applause. No surprise, maybe, given the uncontroversial theme: The US needs to prepare workers for the future. At a technology-focused show, that’s not exactly a hard sell.


Intel Maps Out a Foldable, AI-Infused PC Future

The idea that PCs are dying never held much weight; if anything, despite inroads by the iPad Pro, they’ve solidified their position as the device you turn to when you need to get things done. But where do they go from here? And with Moore’s Law in the rearview how will they continue to improve? At this year’s CES, Intel is laying out a vision for what PCs might look like, and how they’ll act, going forward.


The World Has a Plan to Rein in AI—but the US Doesn’t Like It

In December 2018, Canada and France announced plans for a new international body to study and steer the effects of artificial intelligence on the world’s people and economies. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said the International Panel on Artificial Intelligence would be established by the Group of Seven leading western economies and play a role in “addressing some of the ethical concerns we will face in this area.


Worried About 5G’s Health Effects? Don’t Be

Even as carriers around the world race to build 5G networks, some government officials are reaching for the throttle, citing fears that the new generation of wireless technology could pose health risks. Earlier this year the Portland, Oregon, city council passed a resolution asking the Federal Communications Commission to update its research into potential health risks of 5G.


It's Hard to Ban Facial Recognition Tech in the iPhone Era

After San Francisco in May placed new controls, including a ban on facial recognition, on municipal surveillance, city employees began taking stock of what technology agencies already owned. They quickly learned that the city owned a lot of facial recognition technology—much of it in workers’ pockets.


Internet Deception Is Here to Stay—So What Do We Do Now?

It was 2010 and techno-optimism was surging. A whopping 75 percent of American adults were online—a big jump from the 46 percent that were logging on a decade prior—cruising through the information age largely from the comfort of their own homes for the first time en masse. Social media was relatively new and gaining traction—especially among young people—as the world’s attention appeared to shift to apps from the browser-based web.


Enhanced Intelligence, VR Sex, and Our Cyborg Future

If you could press a button to merge your mind with an artificial intelligence computer—expanding your brain power, your memory, and your creative capacity—would you take the leap? “I would press it in a microsecond,” says Sebastian Thrun, who previously led Stanford University’s AI Lab. Turning yourself into a cyborg might sound like pure sci-fi, but recent progress in AI, neural implants, and wearable gadgets make it seem increasingly imaginable.


The 2010s Killed the Cult of the Tech Founder. Great!

When Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced they were giving up their “day to day” duties at Alphabet early this month—leaving the heavy lifting to Google CEO Sundar Pichai—an era ended in more ways than one. As much as the news made history for the Mountain View search giant, it was also a fitting end to a cult of founderhood that peaked and crashed during the past 10 years. At the beginning of this decade, "the Google Guys” were still the flag-bearers of that cult.


Everything and Nothing Is a Tech Company Now

It was 1998 and internet mania was in full swing. Fueled by the fear of missing out on the next big e-thing, freewheeling venture capitalists and speculators poured money into companies that appeared only tangentially internet-related. Entrepreneurs responded in kind, many going so far as to add “.com” or some techy sounding prefix like “e-“ or “net-“ to their company’s name in the hopes of attracting attention from internet-obsessed investors.


Bitcoin's Path From Insurgents’ Talisman to Tool of Big Tech

At first, you didn’t even need a pickax. The earliest prospectors of the California gold rush ventured into the Sierra foothills as solo travelers, sloshing through streams in search of nuggets dislodged by the current. That, at least, is the prevailing image: The individual renegade who headed west to strike it rich by his own initiative. But soon there were too many prospectors and too little easy gold. The task became more resource-intensive, requiring water to blast away the hills.


When Robots Can Decide Whether You Live or Die

Computers have gotten pretty good at making certain decisions for themselves. Automatic spam filters block most unwanted email. Some US clinics use artificial-intelligence-powered cameras to flag diabetes patients at risk of blindness. But can a machine ever be trusted to decide whether to kill a human being? It’s a question taken up by the eighth episode of the Sleepwalkers podcast, which examines the AI revolution.