Gadget Lab Podcast: More Questions Than Answers in Uber’s Fatal Arizona Crash

This week, a self-driving Volvo owned by Uber struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. We won’t know the exact details of what happened until much later once Uber, the local police, and the federal government have completed their investigations. But the tragedy has opened up many questions about how self-driving car technology works, and particularly how well these robotic cars can see what’s happening around them. Alex Davies and Aarian Marshall from WIRED’s transportation desk join us this week to talk about autonomous vehicle safety, Lidar, street design, and the human component.

Some notes: Aarian’s initial report about the Tempe crash. Her analysis of Uber’s dashcam video. The crash comes at a time when pedestrian deaths are spiking. read more

Best Travel Gear: Mophie, Amazon Kindle, Allbirds, Lululemon, Hex

Fit everything for your trip into a bag that slides under the seat in front of you.

1. Lululemon City Trek Trouser II
Minimize the load in your carry-on bag by bringing only one pair of pants. The moisture-­wicking, extra-stretchy fabric in these trousers is designed for extended wrinkle-­free wear. Slip them on for your evening flight, then wear them to your morning meeting the next day.

2. Allbirds Wool Loungers
Made from superfine merino wool, these shoes are as supportive as sneakers when you’re racing to the gate, as soft as slippers when you’re waiting to board, and as warm as fuzzy socks when the cabin gets chilly. Laceless construction makes them easy to slip on and off at security.

3. Mophie Powerstation AC
Don’t count on there being an outlet underneath your seat. This portable 22,000-mAh power brick lets you charge your laptop anywhere, anytime, with its built-in AC outlet. USB ports let you charge your phone, headphones, and other devices multiple times over.

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Instagram Announces You’ll Soon See “Newer” Posts In Your Feed

Facebook’s sister social network Instagram announced Thursday that it’s testing a “New Posts” button in users’ feeds. By tapping it, you’ll be brought to the top of your Instagram feed where more timely posts are said to start appearing. The new feature is intended to stop Instagram from refreshing automatically, causing you to lose your place in the feed.

Along with the new button, Instagram is also promising users that they will begin seeing more “newer posts” in their feeds. “With these new changes, your feed will feel more fresh, and you won’t miss the moments you care about,” a blogpost from Instagram announcing the new tweaks says. “So if your best friend shares a selfie from her vacation in Australia, it will be waiting for you when you wake up.”

It’s not clear yet if the new changes will do much to solve Instagram users’ number one complaint about the social network: the algorithmic timeline introduced read more

The Best Alternative For Every Facebook Feature

By now, you’re probably aware of the hurricane tearing its way through Facebook. Over the weekend, both The Guardian and The New York Times published explosive reports about the improper use of data belonging to 50 million Facebook users by Trump campaign-affiliated data firm Cambridge Analytica.

The incident is the most high-profile misuse of Facebook’s systems to become public, but it’s far from the only one. Russian propagandists slipped through Facebook’s advertising safeguards to try to influence the 2016 presidential election. In 2014, the social network allowed academics to use the News Feed to tinker with users’ emotions. The United Nations even said earlier this month that Facebook played a role in exacerbating the genocide of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. Facebook itself has admitted that mindlessly scrolling on its platform isn’t good for you.

If all that has you thinking about deleting read more

Best Travel Apps: Signal, Sitata, Haven, SaferVPN, Mobile Passport, FoneTrac

Floods. Thieves. Hackers. Tackle any situation abroad with these mobile assistants.


Place calls and send texts with end-to-end encryption over Wi-Fi or your data connection using this favorite of security professionals. You can also make your chat history disappear before customs agents (or other snoops) get their hands on your phone.


You just fell down the stairs of your Barcelona Airbnb, and it feels like you broke something. No need to panic if you have this app. Sitata provides emergency numbers and the location of hospitals and other key facilities based on your location.


Install this app on a cheap Android burner, then leave the phone in your hotel room to act as a digital spy. Haven uses the camera, mic, and other sensors to detect motion and sound. It then sends photos and audio of any activity to your primary device.


Connecting to the internet over public hot spots leaves you vulnerable to hackers and scammers. Tunnel into a virtual private network with SaferVPN, which offers encrypted web browsing worldwide through one of 700 private read more

Leica CL: Snap Candids in Style With This Discreet New Camera

While potential photographic subjects would shy away from a DSLR-wielding tourist, barely a soul would notice a box as compact as Leica’s CL.

Charlie Schuck

While potential photographic subjects would shy away from a DSLR-wielding tourist, barely a soul would notice a box as compact as Leica’s CL.

To capture that decisive moment in a narrow Tokyo alley or a vast Berlin platz, you need to exercise not only patience but discretion. While potential photographic subjects would shy away from a DSLR-wielding tourist, barely a soul would notice a box as compact as Leica’s CL. Pair it with an ultrasharp 18-mm f/2.8 prime lens—it sticks out less than an inch, keeping the CL on the
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How to Block Calls and Texts on iPhone in iOS 11

It’s been a good five years since Apple came out with the iOS 7 operating system that allowed millions of iPhone owners to block annoying callers (and worse offenders) for the first time. Since then, the art of blocking hasn’t changed much, but there are a few new and improved tweaks available on iOS 11 to help weed out users’ unwanted incoming calls and messages. And if the iPhone’s built-in tools aren’t enough, there are some apps you can employ to do the blocking too.

You can block individual contacts on your iPhone.

Josie Colt

The easiest way to block an individual is through their contact card. Open the contact info of someone you want to block and scroll to the bottom of the screen. There, you’ll find a button to block them. Tapping this button will prevent the person from being able to call you, send you text messages, or FaceTime you.

You can also block people by finding their number in your lists of recent calls or text messages, and accessing their contact card from there.

If you want read more