Apple’s MacBook Pro Keyboard Fix Comes Down to Tiny Tweaks

Earlier this week, Apple announced an update to its top-of-the-line MacBook Pro laptops. Most notably, that update included a change to the keyboards that have been causing problems for some customers in recent years. Apple said on Tuesday that the change related to a material in the laptop’s third-generation keyboard, which uses a butterfly-switch mechanism. Now we have a little more insight into what those changes might be.

According to iFixit, the company that publishes online repair guides, sells parts, and shares information on consumer products after it has torn them apart, the new MacBook Pro keyboard does appear to have some different materials in it. But those changes still don’t shed a whole lot of light on exactly which problem Apple is trying to solve for, as the iFixit report points out.

Using specialized equipment (called Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, for those who really want to know), iFixt discovered at least two material differences in the [...]  read more

Mysterious Midwest Tornadoes, Airbnb’s NYC Truce, and More News

Antranik Tavitian/Reuters

Tornadoes are tearing up the Midwest, Airbnb calls truce, and we’ve got some books for your long weekend. Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.

Today’s Headlines

Tornadoes are tearing up the midwest. So why are they so hard to predict?

Over 200 tornadoes have hit the Midwest in the past week alone, wreaking havoc on the towns they pass through. The ability to predict these dangerous twisters could save lives, but the monumentally complex physics of a tornado make them nearly impossible to predict. Oh, and climate change certainly isn’t helping, either.

Airbnb and the city of New York have reached a truce

After years of lawsuits and lobbying, Airbnb has agreed to hand over data on over 17,000 specific listings to see if they comply with New York’s short term rental laws. It could set a precedent for other cities looking for the same kind of data.

Cocktail Conversation

The Rubik’s cube is one of the most challenging puzzles on earth. But [...]  read more

Gadget Lab Podcast: Samsung’s Innovation Dilemma

What’s a giant consumer electronics maker to do when it notices that younger customers are more interested in paying for experiences, rather than things? That’s what WIRED senior associate editor Arielle Pardes had the chance to ask Samsung’s David Eun this week at the Collision conference in Toronto. Eun says he envisions a consumer market in the not-so-distant future where all of the physical goods we now purchase outright are rented, and he talks about how Samsung NEXT, the company’s innovation arm, is investing and acquiring to make sure Samsung doesn’t miss the (rented?) boat.

Show Notes: Here’s WIRED’s story on how Huawei might handle the latest U.S. sanctions. And you can read about the new MacBook Pros here and the keyboard fix here.

Recommendations:
Mike recommends the Popcast! Podcast; this week it’s all about AirPods. Arielle recommends earplugs, especially Mack’s earplugs. Lauren recommends this Ezra Klein podcast episode about work as identity and burnout as a lifestyle.

Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.

How to Listen
You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:

If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap [...]  read more

WIRED’s 14 Must-Read Books of Summer

Can you feel it? Summer is upon us! You know that that means: Plenty of time to soak up the sun, go to barbeques, and watch sports! Or, if you’re a bookworm like your friends at WIRED, spend those long, lazy weekends with your nose in a book. Now is the perfect time to start plowing your way through an ambitious summer reading list, and we couldn’t be more ready to help. Below are WIRED’s picks for some of the best tomes coming out in the next few months. There’s a little bit of sci-fi, a little bit of internet culture, and a lot of smarts on this list, so fire up the Kindle and get cracking.

Troll Hunting: Inside the World of Online Hate and Its Human Fallout

Hardie Grant

Fair warning: Troll Hunting is not a light beach read. It begins with journalist Ginger Gorman getting a skin-prickling Twitter message about a recent double murder and ends with her admission that writing the book has left her “in shreds.” But the intervening pages are the best researched, most comprehensive work on trolling [...]  read more

Midwest Tornadoes: Why It’s So Hard to Predict Where a Twister Will Strike

Editor’s note: This is a developing story about severe weather in the Midwest. We will update it as more information becomes available.

This week brings atmospheric devastation to the Midwest: nearly 200 tornadoes have torn through the region since last Friday, including Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri, on Wednesday night. All told, the disasters have left at least three dead and 25 injured. The damage appears to be extensive, as the flurry of storms cut a line from Texas all the way up through Maryland, with one twister touching down near Washington DC. Officials are still taking toll.

In an ideal world, meteorologists would be able to predict when and where a tornado is going to form, as they do with rainstorms, to mobilize emergency services and give people warning. But they face a couple problems. For one, scientists know how tornadoes form, but they’re still grappling with the monumentally complex physics at play: A tornado is essentially a swirling funnel [...]  read more

Grilling Over Charcoal Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Gas

It’s a beautiful day. The family’s in attendance, side dishes and beer in tow. Your sister-in-law brought a trunk full of Super Soakers. It’s BBQ time. Time to kick back in the yard and fire up the … stove?

Hmm, that doesn’t sound terribly exciting, does it? But that’s basically what you’re doing when you cook out on a gas grill, which is powered by the same largely flavorless fuel as your kitchen stove.

True fact: Cooking on a gas grill is more convenient than cooking with charcoal.

It’s also a lot less special. And, scientifically speaking, it creates less flavorful food.

To understand why, you first need to understand that flavor and taste are not the same thing. “Within flavor, we have taste compounds and we have aroma compounds,” says Gavin Sacks, associate professor of food science at Cornell University. “Our brains just aren’t designed to decouple them.”

True fact: A gas grill is more convenient. But it also creates less flavorful food.

In [...]  read more

Depth of Field: ‘Game of Thrones’ Was Always Doomed to Disappoint

I’ve never seen an episode of Game of Thrones, which, in this case, makes me the perfect critic. I come with no bias, no allegiance, no screwball theories as to how the series finale failed to rise to to the level of its previous seasons (as I’ve heard). All that I know of Game of Thrones I’ve acquired via Twitter. What I’ve mostly discerned is this: It’s a show about sex and dragons and dragon sex (I’m actually not sure about the latter, but if I’m being honest—and I always strive to be—that’d be incredibly cool); Peter Dinklage has a role on it; there was a very-hard-to-see (literally) battle at night where the Night King (the blue-faced Darth Maul–looking dude) died; no one is quite sure what is west of Westeros (LOL); there are a ton of badass women rulers; some guy named John (Jon? Jean? Ján?) Snow was dead then, magically, not dead. Also: People just seem generally upset about the state of the world—which, fair!

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p class=”paywall”>One [...]  read more

Scientists Find a Volume Knob for Emotional Memories

Steven Ramirez says you can save the Black Mirror references. He’s already heard his work compared to nearly every dystopian movie about memory—from the campy Total Recall and the shadowy neo-noir of Minority Report to the tragicomic heart-string-pulling of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But when you visit Ramirez’s lab on the southern shore of the Charles River in Boston, it looks a lot less like some slick workshop with sci-fi overtones and a lot more like a basement electrical supply closet recently struck by a tornado. Sure, amid the chaos of cords and cages there’s a $300,000 microscope and rows of plexiglas boxes that shoot lasers down optic fibers and into the brains of mice, but it’s a far cry from the lair of a mad scientist.

Ramirez first got that reputation in the spring of 2013, when as a graduate student he and a colleague at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology  [...]  read more

The Julian Assange Espionage Act Charges Target Press Freedom

On Thursday, the Department of Justice unsealed new charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Unlike the previous indictment—which focused narrowly on an apparent offer to help crack a password—the 17 superseding counts focus instead on alleged violations of the Espionage Act. In doing so, the DOJ has aimed a battering ram at the freedom of the press, whether you think Assange is a journalist or not.

The indictment, which you can read in full below, alleges that Assange published classified information over a dozen times, an act expressly forbidden by the Espionage Act, which Congress first passed in 1917. But the Espionage Act has only rarely, and never successfully, been applied to the recipient of a leak. “For the first time in the history of our country, the government has brought criminal charges against a publisher for the publication of truthful information,” says Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. [...]  read more

The Danger in Assange’s Charges, a Memory Experiment, and More News

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

New charges against Julian Assange threaten all of the press, scientists have figured out how to alter emotional memories, and Memorial Day is coming. Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.

Today’s Headlines

Julian Assange’s charges put all of the press at risk

New charges unveiled by the Justice Department against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange paint a troublesome picture for him—and for all journalists. The charges claim Assange was in violation of the Espionage Act when he published classified information, but that charge has never been successfully applied to a leak before. No matter how you feel about Assange, it’s important to note: If the DOJ can bring that charge against him, it can bring it against anyone.

Scientists have found a volume knob for emotional memories

Through extensive testing on mice, scientists believe they have figured out the makeup of emotional memories. This discovery could lead to the [...]  read more