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Get in-depth science coverage at WIRED including news, the latest research and discoveries and how technology is shaping the world of science. 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 science coverage at WIRED including news, the latest research and discoveries and how technology is shaping the world of science. 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 science coverage at WIRED including news, the latest research and discoveries and how technology is shaping the world of science. 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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English


Episodes

Kilogram Redefined. The Metric System Overhaul Is Complete

11/19/2018
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On the morning of Friday, November 16, scientists and diplomats crammed into an auditorium in Versailles, a stone’s throw from the Sun King’s gilded chateau. Patrick Abbott, an American physicist, had flown into France for the long weekend. Forehead gleaming and blue suit jacket draped across his lap, Abbott watched from a packed balcony as a group of diplomats from 60 different countries voted unanimously on a treaty that intended to change global trade and technology forever.

Duration:00:08:49

Your Drone Can Give Cops a Surprising Amount of Your Data

11/16/2018
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If you're a nefarious sort, you might use a commercial drone to smuggle drugs, carry explosives, or to just spy on your neighbors. Drones are appealing to criminals in part because they seem fairly anonymous, flitting through the sky with an invisible digital tether to its owner. But anonymity is no longer a safe bet. In the hands of crime investigators, a drone can reveal a range of personal and financial information about its owner.

Duration:00:05:41

The Expanse Gets Artificial Gravity Right in This Neat Trick

11/16/2018
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As a fan of science fiction and science, I have to say that The Expanse has a bunch of great science. It's not just the science in the show. The characters also seem to demonstrate an understanding of physics. One scene from the first season stands out in particular as a classic physics example. I guess I should give a spoiler alert, but I'm not really giving away any major plot elements. But you have been warned. OK, since you are still here let me describe the scene.

Duration:00:04:51

How California Needs to Adapt to Survive Future Fires

11/15/2018
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Editor’s note: This is a developing story about California’s Camp Fire. We will update it as more information becomes available. On November 8, an almost unimaginable firestorm broke out in Northern California. Fed by dry vegetation, and fanned by northeasterly winds pouring off the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it rapidly descended on the community of Paradise, home to nearly 30,000 people.

Duration:00:11:40

Cities Cause Hurricanes to Dump Extra Rain on Them

11/15/2018
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It wasn’t a whodunnit. Last year’s unprecedented rainfall and flooding in Houston were the proximate result of Hurricane Harvey, a massive storm born northeast of Venezuela and reborn in the Gulf of Mexico, where it rapidly intensified, made landfall over Houston, and then stayed—parked, as it were, for five days. LEARN MORE The WIRED Guide to Climate Change Harvey was, however, something of a whydunnit.

Duration:00:10:22

Our Climate Is Headed for Disaster, But Voters Still Shrug

11/14/2018
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Tuesday’s midterm elections offered voters across the US the chance to move decisively to slow down the global ecological disaster of climate change. As the votes were tallied, however, one thing became clear: Americans remain as divided as ever on climate change. During his tenure, President Trump has moved to roll back Obama-era emissions standards, cripple renewable energy research, and pulled the US from global climate talks.

Duration:00:09:44

Take a Good Look, America. This Is What the Reckoning Looks Like

11/13/2018
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Editor’s note: This is a developing story about California’s Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire. We will update it as more information becomes available. By at least one metric, we humans are dumber than frogs. The fable goes that if you toss a frog in a pot of hot water, it’ll leap right out. Put it in cold water, though, and bring it slowly to a boil, and the frog won’t notice before it’s too late. That turns out to be a myth—frogs are smarter than that.

Duration:00:05:41

The Risk That Ebola Will Spread to Uganda Is Now ‘Very High’

11/13/2018
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Ebola is one of those scourges where the mere mention of its name strikes fear: the virus, which kills about half of those it infects and gets passed on through body fluids, is notoriously hard to contain. Because of its long incubation period, healthy-looking people can spread the deadly disease for weeks before symptoms appear.

Duration:00:08:09

These Wind Patterns Explain Why California's Wildfires Are So Bad

11/12/2018
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Editor’s note: This is a developing story about California’s Camp Fire, Hill Fire, and Woolsey Fire. We will update it as more information becomes available. In California three major fires—the Camp Fire in the north and Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire in the south—continue to rage on a scale the state has never seen before.

Duration:00:06:41

The Terrifying Science Behind California’s Massive Camp Fire

11/12/2018
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Editor’s note: This is a developing story about California’s Camp Fire, Hill Fire, and Woolsey Fire. We will update it as more information becomes available. At 6:30 Thursday morning, a wildfire of astounding proportions and speed broke out in Northern California. Dubbed the Camp Fire, it covered 11 miles in its first 11 hours of life. A mile an hour might not seem fast in human terms, but it’s an extreme rate of speed as far as fires are concerned.

Duration:00:07:01

Don’t Want to Fall for Fake News? Don’t Be Lazy

11/9/2018
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On Wednesday night, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shared an altered video of a press briefing with Donald Trump, in which CNN reporter Jim Acosta's hand makes brief contact with the arm of a White House Intern. The clip is of low quality and edited to dramatize the original footage; it's presented out of context, without sound, at slow speed with a close-crop zoom, and contains additional frames that appear to emphasize Acosta's contact with the intern.

Duration:00:07:36

A New Robot Tracks Sick Bees Wearing Tiny Coded Backpacks

11/9/2018
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Science hasn’t been giving us a tremendous amount of good news these days. We’re speeding toward climate catastrophe, for one. We’ve screwed up the environment so badly, it’s hard to even call it an environment anymore. And that’s coming back to bite (or sting) us: Bee populations, which we rely on to pollinate our crops, are plummeting.

Duration:00:07:38

Weed Wins on Election Day. So What Comes Next?

11/8/2018
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And so a few more dominoes fall. Michigan voted to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, while Utah and Missouri legalized it for medical use, according to projections made late Tuesday night. (A recreational measure in North Dakota failed, though medical cannabis remains legal there.) They join 31 other states that have already gone the medical route, and nine others that have gone fully recreational.

Duration:00:06:19

THC! CBD! Terpenoids! Cannabis Science Is Getting Hairy

11/8/2018
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Today, cannabis continues its slow march toward nationwide decriminalization with voters deciding whether to allow recreational use in Michigan and North Dakota, and for medical purposes in Utah and Missouri. As states keep chipping away at federal prohibition, more consumers will gain access, sure—but so will more researchers who can more easily study this astonishingly complex and still mysterious plant.

Duration:00:10:01

New Satellites Will Use Radio Waves to Spy on Ships and Planes

11/7/2018
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When a company called HawkEye360 wanted to test its wares, it gave an employee a strange, deceptive task. While the worker stood in Virginia, he held the kind of transceiver that ships carry to broadcast their GPS locations. Usually such a signal would reveal his true position to a radio receiver, but he’d altered the broadcast to spoof his GPS position, making it seem like he was in fact off the coast of Maine.

Duration:00:06:41

The Key to a Long Life Has Little to Do With ‘Good Genes’

11/7/2018
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In 2013, Google cofounder and CEO Larry Page announced the formation of a new Alphabet entity dedicated to solving the pesky puzzle of mortality. Since then, the billion-dollar longevity lab known as Calico—short for California Life Company—has been trying to tease apart the fundamental biology of aging in the hopes of one day defeating death.

Duration:00:07:53

The Breakthrough Prizes Have Money, but They Need Diversity Too

11/6/2018
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The Breakthrough Prizes are unlike anything else in science. Instead of the hum of lab equipment, there’s Orlando Bloom. Instead of donning lab coats, the scientists find themselves marching down a red carpet in their black-tie best.

Duration:00:05:56

Bitcoin Will Burn the Planet Down. The Question: How Fast?

11/6/2018
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Max Krause was thinking of buying some bitcoin, as one does. But Krause is an engineer—mostly he works on modeling greenhouse gas emissions from landfills—so his first step was to run the numbers. He looked at price, of course, but also how fast the world’s bitcoin miners create new bitcoins and the ledger that accounts for them. And he looked at how much electricity that would seem to require. “I thought, man, this is a lot of energy,” Krause says.

Duration:00:10:18

How Antivax PACs Helped Shape Midterm Ballots

11/5/2018
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In early 2015, Sen. Ervin Yen, an anaesthesiologist who became Oklahoma’s first Asian American state legislator, introduced a bill to require all schoolchildren to be vaccinated, unless they had a medical reason not to. California had recently debuted similar legislation after an outbreak of measles in Disneyland sickened 147 people and led to the quarantine of more than 500 others.

Duration:00:12:24

Quantum Physicists Found a New, Safer Way to Navigate

11/5/2018
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In 2015, the U.S. Naval Academy decided that its graduates needed to return to the past and learn how to navigate using the stars. Nine years prior, it had dropped celestial navigation from its requirements because GPS was so accurate and simple to use. But recent events had shaken the academy’s faith in GPS. Researchers had taken over a yacht’s navigation system as it steered in the Mediterranean.

Duration:00:06:28