Kevin Kelly and I interviewed our friend Jane Metcalfe for the Cool Tools podcast. Jane is the founder of NEO.LIFE, a media and events company tracking how digital tools and an engineering mindset are transforming human biology. Prior to that, she made chocolate on a pier in San Francisco at TCHO Chocolate. Jane is probably best known as the cofounder of Wired magazine.
The Kickstarter campaign for her new book "Neo.Life: 25 Visions for the Future of Our Species" is now live.
Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page
Offi Mag Table ($249)
I love bent plywood! I also love magazines, so this bent plywood magazine holder/side table designed by Eric Pfieffer is a total winner. There is something just so satisfying about seeing a sweep of beautiful wood flow down into a curve and splash back up the other side. And that's not all. The table makes a perfect companion to your LazyBoy recliner for Sunday afternoon reading delight. But, you can also turn it on its end and use it as a makeshift work surface, which is great when a colleague has to come be in the video conference but also wants desk space to take notes. It's so good looking I used it this week on stage for an event we produced.
Souk Shopper Basket by Bohemia
I used to find shopping at farmers markets physically taxing mostly because I get excited and buy way more than I can carry, always. Read the rest
TIL: Actor and comedian Ken Jeong is also a licensed physician. He put his career in medicine on hold to become an actor. Mind you, this isn't new news, I just hadn't gotten the memo until today.
In 2017 a video he made with Wired went viral with over 24M views. It was called "Doc Support" and in it he answers medical questions people asked on Twitter. This video is part two, which he jokingly calls "Doc Support 2: Electric Boogaloo." It's already at nearly 10M views and it was only just published on Monday.
Dr. Jeong's first Netflix comedy special, "You Complete Me, Ho," is now available to watch. Read the rest
There's a lot of text out about how, for better or worse, playing computer games will mess with your brains. Instead of adding to the pile of words already scrawled on the subject, WIRED's Peter Rubin took it upon himself to work up a video that examines how gaming messes with his brain in particular. Read the rest
In "design fiction" and "speculative design," designers and science fiction writers create fictional products and services, which go on to inform real engineering and product design processes.
Read the rest
Wired's new Guide to Digital Security is an excellent addition to the genre of simple-to-follow how-tos for reducing the likelihood that you'll be victimized by computer-assisted crime and harassment, and that if you are, the harms will be mitigated.
Read the rest
What do people most want to know about Stranger Things? Google's search engine's autocomplete will tell us. Here's Stranger Things stars Joe Keery and Gaten Matarazzo to answer those most-commonly asked questions about their hit show and themselves.
It's called the WIRED Autocomplete Interview: Stranger Things is based on a true story, kinda Read the rest
(Photo: Joi Ito, CC-BY)
He’s not the only major figure in the world of tech and ideas who goes by Chris Anderson. His namesake runs the TED conference - whereas the Chris Anderson of this article was Editor-in-Chief of Wired for twelve years. During that stint, he co-founded a company that helped launch the consumer drone industry, which he now runs (the company - not the industry).
There are those who think these guys are one solitary, mega overachiever, but no. They could settle who has rights to the name through some kind of brainy public smackdown - the nerd equivalent of a battle of the bands, say. But not a chance. This Chris Anderson has been through that once already. With his band. They were called REM.
No - not that REM. That REM clobbered Team Chris in musical combat back in 1991 (at the storied 9:30 club in Washington), winning rights to the name. Chris’s band then took Mike Mills’ suggestion that they rebrand as Egoslavia – a clever-ish name back when Yugoslavia wasn’t just a fading memory and a handful of spinoffs.
Chris and I cover this, plus the story of his impressively misspent youth in an hour-plus interview you can listen to right here (or by typing the name of the podcast series – “After On” – into the search bar of your favorite podcast app):
But we mainly talk about drones, his company (3D Robotics, or 3DR), and how he launched and grew it to millions in revenues in partnership with a Tijuana teen, while winning awards for running the world’s most influential tech magazine as a day job. Read the rest
On the newly relaunched Mondo 2000 website, R.U. Sirius interviewed Wired founder Louis Rossetto about the origins of Wired and about his new novel, Change is Good. I was an editor at Wired from 1993-1998 and I learned a lot about Wired and Louis that I didn't know. One thing was that Louis wanted to base Wired in my hometown, Boulder, CO, but his partner and co-founder Jane Metcalfe thought San Francisco was a better headquarters. Smart choice!
Read the rest
Any regrets about Wired’s typhoon? (In the first issue, Louis wrote, “The Digital Revolution is whipping through our lives like a Bengali typhoon.”)
LR: Oh jeez. We are evolution’s agents, and we are making and testing mutations on an accelerated basis as we network ourselves and our sensors and our machines together. Some mutations survive, some don’t. The ones that survive may still cause humans (and the universe) problems because they are disruptive. Some are not only disruptive but wildly beneficial — at least they appear that way, at least at first. But can we ever really know what’s good or bad for us in the long run? All we can do is try to shape the flow as best we can with good intention. Regrets about what’s happening? Always. Excited about what’s happening? Immensely. Through it all, I remain a critical optimist. Change is good. Change is hard. Change is good? Change is…
Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig are the latest celebrities to tackle the always-entertaining Wired Autocomplete Interview. Read the rest
Funny Or Die is ten years old this week. The comedy site's launch a decade ago almost didn't happen. Wired has compiled a definitive oral history of the site, right up through its most recent reset as Trump ascended to the Presidency. Read the rest
A cup of Asskicker coffee supposedly has 5 grams of caffeine, or 80 times the amount in a regular cup of coffee. Can that be right? According to Wikipedia, the median lethal does of caffeine "is estimated to be 150 to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body mass (75–100 cups of coffee for a 70 kilogram adult)." That would mean you'd have a good chance of dropping dead from drinking a cup of Asskicker coffee.
From Oddity Central:
Read the rest
[Adelaide, Australia's Viscous Coffee owner Steve Benington] says he came up with the idea for the Asskicker when an emergency department nurse asked him for something that would keep her awake and alert for an unexpected night shift. “She consumed her drink over two days and it kept her up for almost three days — I toned it down a little after that and the Asskicker was born,” he recalls. Nowadays, the complex concoction is made with four espresso shots, four 48-hour brewed cold drip ice cubes, 120ml of 10-day brewed cold drip and is finished with four more 48-hour brewed cold drip ice cubes. “Each cold drip ice cube is approximately equivalent of a bit more than two shots of espresso in caffeine,” Benington explains.
In the first of a series of documentary videos about 'Future Cities,' WIRED UK has released a wonderful short doc on Huaqiangbei, the vast market district in Shenzhen, China.
They picked the best host and guide imaginable for this project, hardware hacker and researcher Andrew "Bunnie" Huang.
Read the rest
When I saw my first issue of "Reality Hackers" -- at a bookstore I was working at in high-school -- I knew I wanted to keep reading this magazine, and made my boss place a big order for the next issue, which was called "Mondo 2000." Read the rest
Wired writer Matt Simon writes about weird animals. Read the rest
Wired's kicked off a new animated webcomedy starring John Hodgman as a crusty old NSA agent and Nicole Winters as his young protege. It's pretty promising stuff!
Codefellas: When Topple met Winters Read the rest
Brian sez, "Fasten your seatbelts for a trip back in time, to 1992, when a tiny little startup called Coconut heard, in August 1992, that a new magazine was brewing, something called WIRED. We contacted them, they sent us a media kit. I kept it. Enjoy."
You have to remember that the World Wide Web was in its infancy. Not everybody had email. If you wanted to contact somebody you used the phone or wrote a letter for the most part. Unless they were on The WELL or worked at one of the few companies that had Internet and email. And most didn't.
So I made a few inquiries and found out WIRED's phone number in August 1992 and gave 'em a call. I spoke with Coco Jones, an ad sales rep who was just starting out on long media career. She sent me a WIRED Media Kit, which for some crazy reason I've kept for 21 years. I doubt anyone's seen this thing in 21 years, including me.
Revisiting the Original 1992 WIRED Media Kit
(Thanks, Brian!) Read the rest
Mat Honan has a request: Please Stop Fighting About Your Smartphone. "The phone wars, the platform wars, should be left to people who work for Apple and Samsung and Google and Microsoft and Nokia and BlackBerry. Do you work for Apple? Do you work for Samsung? No? Then shut up." [Wired] Read the rest