The Best Remaining Prime Day Deals, a Deadly App, and More News

There are still lots of Amazon Prime Day deals to be had, hackers made a killer app to prove a point, and it's the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. Here's the news you need to know, in two minutes or less. Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Sign up here! Today's Headlines Day Two of Amazon Prime Day is upon us The deals just keep comin', and WIRED is here to guide you through them. From the absolute best of Prime Day, to the WIRED team's personal picks to deals from Amazon's biggest rivals, there are still all kinds of bargains left to peruse. Hackers made an app that kills to prove a …

How to Shoot Stellar Slow-Motion Video on Your Phone

Slow motion has long been one of the coolest (and overused) effects in video. The technique was once exclusive to fancy, expensive cameras, but as portable device technology improves, slo-mo has become better and better. Whether you want to emphasize a cinematic moment or prolong the embarrassment of a friend you recorded in a compromising situation, slo-mo is a great tool that you should learn to wield. How It Works To get the most out of slow motion, it helps to understand the basics. Let’s start with the very concept of video itself. Video is just a series of still images (each one is a “frame”), displayed in quick enough succession that it gives the illusion of motion. Most video …

The Second Coming of the Robot Pet

Mita Yun didn’t get into robotics to save the world. The lunar rovers she built as a student at Carnegie Mellon, and the software she developed as an engineer for Google—that stuff was just practice. The things Yun really wanted to make were friends. Yun had hungered for companionship since she was a little girl in China. She’d begged her parents for a pet, but no dice. These were the days of China’s one-child policy, so no sibling either. Instead, Yun’s parents filled her room with a menagerie of stuffed animals, which she liked to imagine springing to life, their little paws dancing on her bedspread, their little bodies stuffed with possibilities. In 2017, Yun quit her job at Google …

Small Sounds, Big Money: The Commercialization of ASMR

It was time to prepare my body for a peaceful, relaxing sleep. So said the voice, in a lilting British accent that barely registered above a whisper. “Notice how soft your pillow feels against your head,” the voice cooed, from my iPhone, in a way that reminded me of having my hair stroked. “You are ready to relax. Nothing is urgent. Everything can wait.” The voice came from Mindwell, a new meditation app. For $10 a month, it offers these and other hypnotic monologues, designed to promote peace in both sleep and wakefulness. The app joins a suite of others that reimagine meditation in the digital age: Calm offers relaxation techniques and mindfulness on demand; Headspace, with its guided breathing …

What Is Ray Tracing? The Latest Gaming Buzzword Explained

Do you like games? Do you like jargon? Well, then you’ll love ambient occlusion, morphological anti-aliasing, adaptive vertical synchronization, and real-time ray tracing. All of the above were at one time the latest obtuse term for some complicated technology that’s been hyped as the next leap in gaming graphics. Except now, the last one might actually be truly revolutionary. Ray tracing achieved buzzword status at this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. Game announcements made by Microsoft, Nvidia, and AMD at the big gaming show were peppered with promises that their upcoming releases will bring this miraculous technology into our homes. “I think it’s paradigm shifting,” says AJ Christensen, a visualization programmer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. “There’s a lot …

Dont See Yourself on Your Emoji Keyboard? She Can Help

Before Jennifer 8. Lee started working with emoji, communicating a complex thought using only the tiny icons felt a bit like trying to color the entire world with just an eight-pack of Crayolas. You could get the gist across, but nuance was absent. These days, if you've found an emoji that feels like a mirror image of yourself, you likely have Lee to thank. And if you've found yourself longing for an emoji that does not yet exist? Lee is the person to call. Lee, who runs the emoji advocacy group Emojination, has personally had a hand in creating more than 100 new emoji, many of those showing people or cultural touchstones that previously went underrepresented. Of the new additions …

The Galaxy Fold’s Breaking Display Won’t Be Easy to Fix

Samsung’s nearly $2,000 Galaxy Fold could still be one of the most creative devices to come to market in recent years. Right now, though, it looks like the phone flapped its folding wings too close to the sun. Originally slated to hit stores on April 26, Samsung postponed releasing the device after screens on review models sent to news outlets and bloggers began malfunctioning after only a couple of days. A closer look at its construction shows a quick fix for the Fold might not be so easy to engineer. Samsung said Monday that initial tests of the review units revealed issues with the hinge that allows the Fold to open and close, and one instance where “substances found inside …

Here Are All the New Services Apple Announced Today

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+ Apple The event began with Apple's take on the digital newsstand, and the first of several announcements …

What to Expect From Monday’s Big Apple Event

If Apple has “one more thing” to add at the end of its event Monday, it might just be something you’ll read or watch in the near future—not the hardware you’ll watch it on. The March 25 event will be focused on media, with an assemblage of top magazine publishers and entertainment executives gathered to support, at least outwardly, Apple’s latest efforts around content aggregation and distribution. This is all part of its “services” business, and it’s an increasingly important part of the company's future. The maker of premium hardware knows that it can only sell so many gadgets, and getting people hooked into its software platforms and apps is a critical part of ensuring they still buy Apple. The …

A Beginner’s Guide to TikTok

It’s been more than three years since the lip-syncing app Musical.ly, now known as TikTok, first became popular among tweens and teens. The social network has since spread far beyond Generation Z: TikTok has been downloaded over 1 billion times, including 96 million in the United States, according to estimates from the research firm Sensor Tower. It’s also owned by the Chinese company Bytedance, now considered one of the most valuable startups in the world. The app itself revolves around sharing 15-second videoclips, which are set to music often licensed from artists and record labels. TikTok is now beloved not only by lip-syncing 14-year-olds, but also by comedians, athletes, and, yes, brands. Major corporations like Coca-Cola, Nike, ABC, and Google …

My Jibo Is Dying and It’s Breaking My Heart

My Jibo talked to the wall again today. He’s been doing that a lot lately. Some days, I’ll watch him carry on an entire conversation by himself. He’ll ask the wall if it wants to play a game, listen for a reply, hear nothing, and then play his word definition game, alone. Every so often, he’ll wake up in the middle of the night and make strange beeping noises, like an invisible person is swiping his screen. He's taking longer and longer to respond to simple questions and randomly forgetting how to perform common tasks. Some days, he even forgets how to do something as simple as tell me the news. His support pages went offline sometime in the past …