IT’S THAT TIME of year again: Free Comic Book Day. Comics shops around the country will open their doors today for the annual celebration of the occasionally-funny books that are always looking to lure in a few new believers. It’s a wonderful time for comics fans, but with so much material on offer—publishers are releasing 50 special issues for readers to sample—you’d be forgiven for feeling paralyzed when it comes to knowing what to pick up. To make your life a little easier, here’s Wired’s guide to the many books on offer…(read more)
— WIRED (@WIRED) September 6, 2014
As technology pioneers, we are inundated with new gadgets, services, apps, messaging, games, and media. We’re dosing, vaping, and Lyfting. And that means there are new rules for how to behave. Is it OK to answer an email during dinner? Is Google Glass ever cool? We got some help from Jerry Seinfeld, keen observer of social mores and foibles, on how to cope with modern technology.
For WIRED, Andy Greenberg writes: A burgeoning subculture of 3-D printed gun enthusiasts dreams of the day when a lethal firearm can be downloaded or copied by anyone, anywhere, as easily as a pirated episode of Game of Thrones. But the 27-year-old Japanese man arrested last week for allegedly owning illegal 3-D printed firearms did more than simply download and print other enthusiasts’ designs. He appears to have created some of his own.
“With the Liberator we were trying to communicate a kind of singularity, to create a moment…”
Among the half-dozen plastic guns seized from Yoshitomo Imura’s home in Kawasaki was a revolver designed to fire six .38-caliber bullets–five more than the Liberator printed pistol that inspired Imura’s experiments. He called it the ZigZag, after its ratcheted barrel modeled on the German Mauser Zig-Zag. In a video he posted online six months ago, Imura assembles the handgun from plastic 3-D printed pieces, a few metal pins, screws and rubber bands, then test fires it with blanks.
“…The broad recognition of this idea seemed to flip a switch in peoples’ minds…We knew that people would make this their own.”
— Cody Wilson
It’s been a full year since I watched the radical libertarian group Defense Distributed test fire the Liberator, the first fully printable gun, for the first time. Imura is one of a growing number of digital gunsmiths who saw the potential of that controversial breakthrough and have strived to improve upon the Liberator’s clunky, single-shot design. Motivated by a mix of libertarianism, gun rights advocacy and open-source experimentation, their innovations include rifles, derringers, multi-round handguns and the components needed to assemble semi-automatic weapons. Dozens of other designs are waiting to be tested.
The result of all this tinkering may be the first advancements that significantly move 3-D printed firearms from the realm of science fiction to practical weapons. Read the rest of this entry »
Kent Kiehl was walking briskly towards the airport exit, eager to get home, when a security guard grabbed his arm. “Would you please come with me, sir?” he said. Kiehl complied, and he did his best to stay calm while security officers searched his belongings. Then, they asked him if there was anything he wanted to confess.
Kiehl is a neuroscientist at the Mind Research Network and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and he’s devoted his career to studying what’s different about the brains of psychopaths — people whose lack of compassion, empathy, and remorse has a tendency to get them into trouble with the law. On the plane, Kiehl had been typing up notes from an interview he’d done with a psychopath in Illinois who’d been convicted of murdering two women and raping and killing a 10-year old girl. The woman sitting next to him thought he was typing out a confession.
Kiehl recounts the story in a new book about his research, The Psychopath Whisperer. He has been interviewing psychopaths for more than 20 years, and the book is filled with stories of these colorful (and occasionally off-color) encounters. (Actually, The Psychopath Listener would have been a more accurate, if less grabby title.) More recently he’s acquired a mobile MRI scanner and permission to scan the brains of New Mexico state prison inmates. So far he’s scanned about 3,000 violent offenders, including 500 psychopaths.
Max Willens reports: There are several million single guys in this country, and many of them will spend Valentine’s Day online with webcam models: sex workers paid to chat — and usually a whole lot more — via the magic of the internet. Although most are women, there are a fair number of male models too. The ratio, by some estimates, is about two to one.
No matter their gender, today is a big day. Valentine’s Day is the big, heart-shaped exception to the rule that holidays are rough on the Internet porn biz. Come February 14, traffic surges, money flies, and models know they can earn thousands of dollars in mere hours.
“It is the big money-generating day,” said Natalie Star, a cam model who spent years with Webcam Modeling Agency but now works by appointment only. “If you think about it, there’s hundreds of thousands of lonely guys, they don’t have wives, they don’t have girlfriends. It’s huge, not only for the customers that know you, but for the girls who are trying to build their audiences.”
“Camming” has been around since the 1990s, but it’s only taken off in the past five years with the ubiquity of high-speed internet and webcams.
“We came out and said there was a digital revolution happening and it was going to change everything,” says Louis Rossetto, who co-founded Wired magazine 20 years ago in 1993. “And [that] it wasn’t the priests, the pundits, the politicians, and the generals who were creating positive change.”
Rossetto was no stranger to bold predictions. In 1971, he co-authored a cover story in the New York Times Magazine announcing that libertarianism was the next great transformative ideology and that young people were rejecting the played-out politics of the right and the left. After editing a publication called Electric Word in the late 1980s, he and Jane Metcalfe launched Wired, the publication that not revolutionized magazine design but chronicled, critiqued, and in many ways created the Internet Age. The concept was to cover the real change makers, far from the halls of power in Washington or established business capitals such as New York, who were ushering in a new digital era that would transform society. “That meta-story,” says Rossetto, “was absolutely spot on.”