Category Archives: Viral

What Is Cyberwar? The Complete WIRED Guide

The 2008 Georgian war was perhaps the first real hybrid war in which conventional military and hacker forces were combined. But given Georgia’s low rate of internet adoption—about 7 percent of Georgians used the internet at the time—and Russia’s relatively simplistic cyberattacks, which merely tore

Why the NFL’s Field Goal Record Is Waiting to Be Smashed

A northeasterly breeze blows across the football field at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. To me the wind provides some glorious relief: It’s the middle of the day in the middle of July, and a heat wave has just descended on the region. But to Harrison

The Fight Against Robocalls Gets Powerful New Allies

The bitter fight against robocalls has raged for years, but today it gets a boost from significant players: attorneys general from all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, working in concert with a dozen major telecoms, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Comcast. The

Humans, More Than Drought, Are Fueling the Amazon’s Flames

From his office in Greenbelt, Maryland, Doug Morton can see the Amazon burning. He watches images from NASA satellites that circle the tropics four times a day, their cameras pointed at the trees below to produce images from visible light, infrared, and thermal data. The

Depth of Field: The Movie Poster Brexit Deserves

Photographs, Susan Sontag once famously wrote, “fiddle with the scale of the world.” They tell us only a distortion. They are incomplete, even as they strive to render the frame whole and exact. That does not make them false. Exactly the opposite. Photographs invite meaning,

Spider-Man Swings Back to Sony—Unraveling the Universe

If you thought superhero movie titles were getting too long, try fitting Into the Contract-Verse: The Curious Case of Spider-Man and the Film Rights Impasse on a theater marquee. After months of negotiations between Sony Pictures and Disney, it appears that Spider-Man will no longer

Hey Teachers, Get to Know Your Students’ Preconceptions

There was a recent discussion on Twitter about using the term “preconception” instead of “misconception” when talking about student difficulties. The debate goes back many years, but it’s still worth reviewing. So: How should teachers deal with the problems students have in introductory courses, and

Queering Comics and Cosplay at Flame Con

The scene was organized chaos. Rows upon rows of artists displaying their latest work, engrossed in conversation with fans. Panels of podcasters and performers. So much cosplay. It was pretty much what you’d expect to see at a comic convention—but a whole lot gayer. This

Why People Keep Falling for Viral Hoaxes

The internet is dark and full of terrible sources of information. Sometimes, it seems like every day brings a new one to the list: there are the toxic conspiracy theories, deep fakes, fake news mills, and then, there are the good ole’ fashioned internet hoaxes.