Ferrari Built the Track-Slaying P80/C for a Single Customer

Single issue hypercars—usually custom projects for the most super-super-super-rich of super-rich clients—range from vanity projects to high-concept design efforts to hardcore track beasts that would scare the Gucci loafers off the average Gallardo owner.

The Ferrari P80/C, a new ride four years in the making and built for one unnamed collector for an undisclosed price, is a bit of each. It’s a design exercise that Ferrari promises can still slay any track in the world. The Italian marque unveiled the project Tuesday, describing it as both an homage to legendary Ferraris of eras past, namely the 330 P3/P4 and Dino 206 S race cars from the 1960s, and a precision-crafted “Hero Car” that makes little in the way of compromises.

Those marching orders came directly from the client who commissioned the effort (which is where the vanity bit comes in.) Said buyer worked with Ferrari designer Flavio Manzoni and the automaker’s performance engineers and aerodynamicists. [...]  read more

Mastercard Wades Into Murky Waters With Its New Digital ID

In December, Mastercard announced that it was working to develop an international digital identity scheme which could be used as a flexible verifier for financial transactions, government interactions, or online services. The idea of a secure, decentralized, universal ID has become a sort of holy grail in the age of rapid digital interactions and rampant identity fraud.

Mastercard’s initial announcement was met with some skepticism from privacy-minded observers. Now, the company is releasing more details in a new 24-page report on how its platform will be set up and what the tool will offer. But you still can’t try it yet.

Mastercard envisions a platform in which consumers have control of their identity information and it is stored locally on their devices, rather than in a centralized system that Mastercard would need to defend. The ID would be set up through a bank or other participating institution that already holds identity information about the individual. [...]  read more

How to Check Your Computer for Hacked Asus Software Update

Today’s news that hackers put backdoors into thousands of Asus computers using the company’s own software update platform is a reminder of why supply-chain compromises are one of the scariest digital attacks out there.

Attackers compromised Asus’s Live Update tool to distribute malware to almost 1 million customers last year, according to initial findings researchers at the threat intelligence firm Kaspersky Lab disclosed Monday. The news was first reported by Motherboard. Asus machines accepted the tainted software because the attackers were able to sign it with a real Asus certificate (used to verify the legitimacy and trustworthiness of new code). Though the scope of the attack is broad, the hackers seem to have been seeking out a select 600 computers to target more deeply in a second-stage attack.

The Hack

Kaspersky calls the attack ShadowHammer, indicating a possible link to ShadowPad malware used in some other major software supply-chain attacks. The hackers [...]  read more

McDonald’s Acquires Machine-Learning Startup Dynamic Yield for $300 Million

Mention McDonald’s to someone today, and they’re more likely to think about Big Mac than Big Data. But that could soon change: The fast-food giant has embraced machine learning, in a fittingly super-sized way.

McDonald’s is set to announce that it has reached an agreement to acquire Dynamic Yield, a startup based in Tel Aviv that provides retailers with algorithmically driven “decision logic” technology. When you add an item to an online shopping cart, it’s the tech that nudges you about what other customers bought as well. Dynamic Yield reportedly had been recently valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars; people familiar with the details of the McDonald’s offer put it at over $300 million. That would make it the company’s largest purchase since it acquired Boston Market in 1999.

The burger giant can certainly afford it; in 2018 alone it tallied nearly $6 billion of net income, and ended the year with a free cash flow of $4.2 billion. [...]  read more

Breaking Down Apple News+, Apple TV+, Apple Card and More

Tech news you can use, in two minutes or less:

Apple announced a whole lot of new things today

Today’s Apple event had all kinds of updates: a new credit card, a new news subscription, and a new streaming subscription featuring celebrities from Oprah to Steven Spielberg and more. Let’s break down exactly what’s coming:

Apple News +, Apple’s news subscription service:

  • Roughly 300 magazines (including WIRED) within the Apple News App
  • Designed for Apple devices
  • $9.99 (first month free)
  • Family sharing at no extra cost

Apple Card, Apple’s new credit card:

  • Organizes your purchases into trends
  • No late, annual, or international fees
  • 2% cash back on all purchases, 3% on Apple products
  • Available on device and as a physical titanium card

Apple Arcade, Apple’s gaming subscription service:

  • 100 new and exclusive games
  • Offline play for every game
  • Ad-free

Apple TV +, Apple’s network TV and streaming subscription service:

  • Exclusive original shows
  • Ad-free subscription
  • Only pay for the channels you want
  • Downloadable shows

Do you have an Asus computer? You may have been hacked

News broke today that hackers put backdoors into thousands of Asus computers using the company’s own software update platform, meaning there may be malware on your computer if you performed one of these system updates. Here’s more on the hack, and how to check if your computer was affected.

There’s a new cancer treatment strategy being tested, inspired by our old friend Charles Darwin

One of the problems with cancer treatment today is the aggressive and harmful treatments it requires. But what if patients received only as much treatment as needed to [...]  read more

Apple Enters the Credit Card Market With—Yep—Apple Card

Apple’s event Monday ended up featuring one piece of hardware after all: a new credit card, which it plans to launch this summer in the US. The aptly named Apple Card, created in partnership with Mastercard and Goldman Sachs, will live within the existing Wallet app on iPhones and as a traditional physical card. During a keynote speech, Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay, described the card as “bold and innovative,” even though it doesn’t offer many unique rewards or perks. But it does feature several security upgrades that may appeal to those especially concerned about privacy.

Apple Card is ultimately a credit card, and as such, comes with recognizable cash-back perks, though with an Apple-specific twist: 2 percent cash back on any transaction made with Apple Pay and 3 percent back on Apple products and services, including purchases made within the App Store. If you use the real-life titanium Apple Card, you only get a 1 percent cash rebate.

The [...]  read more

All the New Services Apple Announced: News+, TV+, Apple Card, Apple Arcade

Apple’s held its springtime spectacular today, and there was no shortage of news and excitement. The company introduced its plans to take on Hollywood, with a new effort to make original film and television. It announced its own credit card, a magazine subscription service, and a new way to find premium games. Even Oprah was there, cheering on the new era of “Aaaaaaaaaple!”

Of course, not everyone gets a ticket to Apple’s three-ring circus. If you missed the event, you can watch the livestream on Apple’s website, read our play-by-play on WIRED’s liveblog, or catch all of the highlights right here.

Apple News+


The event began with Apple’s take on the digital newsstand, and the first of several announcements that underscored the importance of storytelling. Apple News+, a new premium version of Apple News, is designed to bring all of your magazine subscriptions into one place.

For a $10 monthly subscription fee, you get full digital access [...]  read more

‘Us’ Broke a Lot of Box Office Records

Look, we get it. If you saw the news at all over the weekend, you probably saw something about Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally turning over the findings of his 675-day Russia investigation. Entertainment news likely fell by the wayside. But that’s why The Monitor is here: To fulfill your pop culture cravings. So, what’d you miss? Well, writer-director Jordan Peele’s Us did very well for itself. Also, one of the Jonas Brothers knows how Game of Thrones ends. Oh, and Pose just made one of the most predictable casting calls of all time. Let’s get it going.

Don’t Call It Shocking: Us Just Broke Major Box Office Records

Everyone knew that Jordan Peele’s Get Out follow-up Us would be big—but it turns out it’s major. Over the weekend the film garnered the second-biggest opening so far this year after Captain Marvel, pulling [...]  read more

Simple Experiments Show How Motion Is Equivalent to Heat

Some of the most difficult (and most important) experiments in the history of physics had to do with making connections between different concepts. What about the connection between objects moving around (kinematics) and objects changing temperature (thermodynamics)? That was a tough one. It’s called the mechanical equivalent of heat and it was explored in 1868 by James Joule.

The basic idea was to have a mass that moves down due to the gravitational force. This mass is attached to a string that connects to a spinning paddle in a container of water. As the mass moves down it spins the water and adds energy to it—hopefully increasing the temperature. The change in gravitational energy of the mass should be equal to the change in thermal energy of the water.

OK, we actually already know this relationship. But it’s still fun to reproduce it. To do that, first we need to know about the different forms of energy. First there is the gravitational [...]  read more