Categories
Wired

4th of July Sales (2020): 25 Best Mattress and Tech Deals This Weekend


Ah, the 4th of July: that traditional time of year when we hunker down in our homes and shop for mattresses and vacuum cleaners to make more months of quarantine comfortable. This year might not look like celebrations we’ve had in years past. Still, if you’re looking for something to distract you from all the big barbecues that aren’t happening, we scoured the internet high and low for sales and discounts on home appliances, mattresses, and more.

We also have a separate roundup on the Best 4th of July Outdoor Gear Deals, so check it out if you’re planning a (safe) camping trip with your quarantine bubble. Read More

Categories
Wired

HiMirror Slide Review: A Smart Mirror for Your Makeup or Beauty Routine


Juggling YouTube on a phone, applying makeup, and looking in a mirror at the same time can be a royal pain. Sometimes, the makeup artist I’m watching moves too fast, leaving me with foundation all over the screen in my frantic attempt to rewind. Well, there’s a more effortless solution: the HiMirror Slide.

It’s dubbed a smart mirror, but it’s more like a traditional vanity mirror with a touchscreen tablet that slides out. HiMirror, owned by Taiwanese company New Kinpo Group, does have different models that display information through the mirror itself, which is a little more futuristic, but I prefer the simplicity of the Slide. Outside of offering a nice light and a convenient way of watching beauty professionals on YouTube, there’s a good deal more this little gadget can do. Read More

Categories
Wired

Women’s Roller Derby Has a Plan for Covid, and It Kicks Ass


When the pandemic hit, the world of women’s roller-derby spun into action. On April 6, an international governing body for the sport, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, put out a call for public health professionals in their midst to come together and devise a plan. Mikaela Kosich (derby name: Bubble Wrath), a biostatistician at the University of New Mexico, heeded the call. So did Nikki McCorristin (derby name: Trauma), an infection control nurse in Salt Lake City, and Bobbiejean Garcia (derby name: BJ Smack), an epidemiologist in Houston. In the end, close to two dozen athlete-experts from six countries collaborated on the sport’s return-to-play guidelines. In recent weeks, as professional basketball and baseball, as well as college football, have bumbled through ill-considered efforts to reopen, it’s clear the roller derby plan is worth a careful look. Experts in infection control say it’s the best of its kind. Read More

Categories
Wired

What Trump’s Twitter and Clinton’s Sax Have in Common


This was a strategy that Clinton embraced throughout his presidency, motivated in part by Thomas Patterson’s landmark 1993 book, Out of Order, which documented overwhelming negativity in traditional news outlets’ political coverage, along with findings such as a steady decline in the amount of newscast time in which politicians spoke relative to journalists. Such findings suggested that the news media were essentially becoming more restrictive in their gatekeeping role, reducing politicians’ opportunities to speak to voters. Read More

Categories
Wired

Your Firework Smoke Could Be Tainted With Lead


The holiday pyrotechnic smoke can be so thick, in fact, that historically, epidemiologists studying ambient levels of metal in the air actually throw out the data around these two dates. Those aberrations are just too big. But perhaps that’s not surprising, as Americans bought 249 million pounds of fireworks in 2019, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association.

So why is lead showing up in fireworks? A nonprofit called the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory is trying to prevent just that. The group does what its name suggests, developing and maintaining what their website calls “voluntary safety and quality standards for each classification of fireworks” and assisting “manufacturers in improving safety and quality in the design, manufacture and performance of fireworks.” Read More

Categories
Wired

Schools Already Struggled With Cybersecurity. Then Came Covid-19


Another issue Henry found was in the way Polk County used Microsoft SharePoint platform, a collaboration and storage tool, to manage data. He noticed that students and teachers were lumped together in a Sharepoint “user group” and had all been granted the same access to files stored in the system. This meant that students could access anything on the Sharepoint, including each others’ data. One file was labeled as containing student usernames and passwords and was simply an unlocked, plaintext spreadsheet of student login credentials for school accounts. Read More

Categories
Wired

In These Factories, Inspector Robot Will Check Your Work


The UK company P2i adds water-repelling nanocoatings to smartphones and other gadgets. Normally, it flies engineers to its clients’ factories to identify and solve quality-control problems.

That’s not an option in a world where flights are grounded, borders closed, and security tightened. So in some plants, P2i now relies on a system that uses artificial intelligence to look for even the slightest defects.

“Over the last four months, since the coronavirus, we’ve had to reevaluate how we are going to service and deploy our machines worldwide,” says Neal Harkrider, chief operating officer at P2i. Read More

Categories
Wired

Leigh Stein’s ‘Self Care’ and the Death of the Girlboss


In 2014, an ecommerce entrepreneur named Sophia Amoruso published #Girlboss, a mixture of memoir and career advice for women. While judging a book by its cover is frowned upon, the #Girlboss dust jacket—Millennial pink, aggressively hashtagged, its subject front and center with a little black dress and a triumphant smirk—reveals the whole plot. It’s about a woman who gets rich by selling a fast-fashion vision of what a woman on her way to getting rich should be like. It was a bestseller. Read More

Categories
Wired

You Purged Racists From Your Website? Great, Now Get to Work


Losing access to YouTube, Twitch, and Reddit is not trivial. It means hate-mongers cannot use these mainstream forms of social media to reach new audiences and harass their targets into silence. Because many of the men who were expelled rely on their own names to draw attention and donations, it will be difficult for them to sneak back onto these platforms and develop the same prominence they had before. Already this week, other racist and sexist communities and accounts that produce “borderline content” have been deleting old videos and increasing moderation. Do not mistake this for a “chilling effect,” though; it’s more like an acknowledgement that hateful instigation and harassment of women, people of color, and LGBTQ users will no longer be hidden under the guise of free speech. Read More

Categories
Wired

Pivo Pod Review: A Camera Assistant for Aspiring Social Media Stars


I’ve always gone to great lengths to snap selfies of myself hands-free—stacking boxes on top of books on top of tables, setting timers, and angling my smartphone just right. Asking someone for help is out of the question because I think I’m photogenic until another person is in the room. Then I suddenly can’t even smile without looking like I’m in pain. But a little device called the Pivo Pod has changed everything—my self-photographed dreams have come true.

The Pivo Pod is a small cylindrical and wireless gadget that can rotate 360 degrees. You mount your smartphone on it, and through a variety of creative modes you can capture fun photos or videos and have the little device do all the hard work. It takes the guesswork out of timing your shots, editing, and even positioning, so all you really need to do is pose. It’s a bit pricey at $159 for a rotating little puck, but if you’re a burgeoning TikTok or YouTube star, it’s a great helper if you’re riding solo—or if you just can’t have someone else in the room to watch your shenanigans. Read More