This Dating App Exposes the Monstrous Bias of Algorithms

Ben Berman thinks there’s a problem with the way we date. Not in real life—he’s happily engaged, thank you very much—but online. He’s watched too many friends joylessly swipe through apps, seeing the same profiles over and over, without any luck in finding love. The algorithms that power those apps seem to have problems, too, trapping users in a cage of their own preferences.

So Berman, a game designer in San Francisco, decided to build his own dating app. Sort of. Monster Match, created in collaboration with designer Miguel Perez and Mozilla, borrows the basic architecture of a dating app. You create a profile (from a cast of cute illustrated monsters), swipe to match with other monsters, and chat to set up dates.

But here’s the twist: As you swipe, the game reveals some of the more insidious consequences of dating app algorithms. The field of choice becomes narrow, and you wind up seeing the same monsters again and again.

Ben Berman

Monster Match [...]  read more

Best Camping Gear: 17 Cool Camping Gadgets & Supplies (2019)

If you like going into the backcountry, do yourself a favor and pony up for the Garmin Fenix 5X. It comes with preloaded, detailed, topographic maps that are easy to read on the 5X’s large, colorful screen, and trackback features to find your way home if/when you get lost. It’s waterproof and one battery charge lasts forever. It can track any sport you can think of, from snowboarding to golf to indoor track running, on Garmin’s comprehensive Connect app. It may be expensive, but it does cost less than a week of paying Search and Rescue.
social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #wired

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

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.

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

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

Hopsy Sub Home Tap Review: A Crafty Way to Enjoy Draft Beer at Home

It’s almost summer, which means it’s time to give serious thought to beer. You could buy six-packs, sure, or step up to a growler if you’re feeling fancy. Or you could take a look at Hopsy, which delivers a countertop-sized, draft beer dispenser to your home, and ships two-liter torpedoes filled with microbrews to fill it with.

A strictly local enterprise when it launched the San Francisco area three years ago, Hopsy has since expanded, with distribution centers now in Chicago and New York as well. Here’s how it works: You buy a Sub Home Tap system from Hopsy, and then order proprietary mini kegs—Hopsy calls them “torps”—to fill it with. Simple enough, both in theory and in practice.

I recently had the opportunity to try out the company’s latest hardware offering, the Sub Home Tap Compact. (At this point, it looks like the previous model has been completely phased out; if you order a Home Tap System today, it’ll be the compact version.) Hopsy itself [...]  read more

Apple’s MacBook Update, a Self-Driving Mail Truck, and More News

Apple finally heard your keyboard complaints, USPS is ditching the drivers, and Google exposed some passwords. Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.

Today’s Headlines

Apple is finally fixing its keyboards

A year and a half after MacBook Pro users complained about their keyboards breaking, Apple is finally doing something about it. The company is making what it says is a material change to the keyboards in their new lineup of computers, and will also extend its keyboard repair program for those already out in the world.

USPS is testing out self-driving trucks

The United States Postal Service is preparing for the future by embarking on a self-driving truck test. Starting Tuesday, autonomous trucks built by startup TuSimple will begin hauling mail between Phoenix and Dallas. Don’t worry, there will still be a certified driver aboard to make sure it all goes smoothly.

Google accidentally exposed passwords for some corporate accounts

We already heard about Facebook [...]  read more

Apple MacBook Pro 2019: Keyboard Fix, Price, Specs

More than a year and a half after some MacBook owners began vociferously complaining about broken MacBook keyboards, Apple is making what it says is a material change in the keyboards in its high-end MacBook Pro laptops. It will also extend its keyboard repair program, in a bid to appease Apple laptop owners who have been frustrated by stuck or double-typing keys.

Apple’s newest MacBook Pros, which are being announced today and include significant bumps in power and performance, are still using Apple’s third-generation “butterfly” keyboard. But the company says these keyboards have a change in the physical material that exists within the butterfly mechanism that will address some of the issues that MacBook users have been experiencing. The company declined to say exactly what the material change was. Last year, Apple updated its MacBook Pros and MacBooks to include a silicone membrane under the keys, which was largely perceived as an effort to prevent dust and debris from making [...]  read more

REI Anniversary Sale: 26 Best Summer Outdoor Deals for 2019

This year, REI’s Anniversary Sale is running from May 17 to May 27. Whether you’ve been eying a big-ticket item like a paddleboard, or need to pick up another knife or replace a popped sleeping pad, it’s the best time of the year to pick up outdoor equipment at a huge discount. Conveniently, the Anniversary Sale also starts before Memorial Day, so you have time to pick up a new cooler before you show up at the campground.

We don’t highlight individual store sales all that often, but we really like REI. Recreational Equipment Inc was founded in 1938, and are one of the biggest customer cooperatives in the country. For many outdoor enthusiasts, REI is where they pick up their first piece of gear, along with expert advice, and top-quality rental service. We also like their policies on sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Note: When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Much like subscribing to WIRED, these contributions help fund the journalism we put out every day. Read more about how this works.

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1 Bike Is 15 Percent Off

Co-op Cycles

Are you curious about mountain biking? $424 is an astonishing price for a mountain bike that has front fork suspension and hydraulic disc brakes, and it’s pretty easy to upgrade the plastic pedals. It also comes with REI’s free tune-up within six months of purchase. You won’t find a better price [...]  read more

5 Best Keyboards for 2019 (Cheap, Gaming, Mechanical)

Switch It Up

Which Switch Is Right for You?

Mechanical keyboards are defined by their switches, and there are dozens of different kinds out there. They all feel a little different, and it’s tough to know which kind is right for you. Manufacturers like Logitech and Razer use their own proprietary switches, further complicating things. But no matter who makes them, switches typically come in one of three varieties. Clicky switches typically have very little resistance mid-stroke, followed by a sharp click as you press the key all the way down. Tactile switches behave similarly but have a less pronounced click after that mid-stroke resistance. And Linear switches feel smooth, quick, and sensitive—like hair triggers.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #wired