Avengers: Infinity War, AMD vs. Intel, and Killer Animals: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

Image: Disney, NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage STScI/AURA-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University), Photo: Gizmodo, Gizmodo

With winter fading into the distance, Avengers: Infinity War now in theaters, and the truth about Amazon’s logo finally out in the open, we can take a big breath of fresh air and remember what makes us excited about life in the first place. But we’ll probably just endlessly scroll through Twitter until we feel satisfactorily terrible, decide that we should all probably just become farmers, and forget any of this ever happened.

Since that sounds exhausting, however, may I suggest reading some of the best stories Gizmodo has to offer from the past week—they’ll help you build up your energy stores, I swear.


Inside AMD’s Quest to Build Chips That Can Beat Intel

Photo: Gizmodo

There are few gambles in the tech world as big as spending billions to build a new computer processor from scratch. Former AMD board member Robert Palmer supposedly compared it to Russian roulette: “You put a gun to your head, pull the trigger, and find out four years later if you blew your brains out.” Six years ago AMD loaded the gun and pulled the trigger, dramatically restructuring itself internally in a mad bid to escape a disaster of its own making. Now we’ve seen the results and instead of dying, AMD has a savvy new CPU microarchitecture, Zen, that’s the foundation of the shockingly good new series of Ryzen processors. They’re so good, in fact, that they could pose a real challenge to Intel’s incumbent dominance and change what the computer market looks for the next few years.

The Incredible Avengers: Infinity War Lives Up to All the Hype

Image: Disney

Avengers: Infinity War is demanding, heartbreaking, exhilarating, massive, and dense. More than seemingly any movie so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it requires its viewer to be intimately acquainted with all the films that come before it—and, if you are, it’s rewarding and audacious in ways the franchise has never been before and isn’t likely to be again. It’s a movie that is not screwing around.

I Spent a Weekend With Cyborgs, and Now I Have an RFID Implant I Have No Idea What to Do With

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Every year, the bold and the brave make a pilgrimage here to California’s remote Tehachapi Mountains for Grindfest, a weekend dedicated to the merger of man and machine.

Grinders are hackers, but the hardware they aim to hack is the human body. They are transhumanist in the most literal sense. Grinders want to transcend human form. For many grinders, that means augmenting their bodies with cybernetic components—becoming cyborgs.


Spotify Just Gave You a Pretty Good Reason Not to Pay for Spotify

Photo: David Turner (Gizmodo)

On Tuesday morning Spotify announced a relatively big change to its mobile app. At an event in New York City, the Swedish music giant announced that users who don’t want to pay up for a premium plan will soon be able to get their hands on more features, including the ability to personally choose songs on select playlists.

Don’t Be Surprised if the iPhone X Goes Away

Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

Last fall, Apple broke tradition by launching three iPhones instead of its usual two. But even more than that, Apple’s bold $1,000 handset had a weird name and new facial recognition tech that no one had really seen before. Now, reports from CNBC and others are saying the iPhone X is going to get killed off later this year and people seem to be panicking.

Before you get all worked up too, consider this: The iPhone X was probably never meant to hang around for more than a year.


This Is the Absurd Japanese Toilet of Cannabis Vaporizers

Photo: Patrick Austin (Gizmodo)

I’ve only used a fancy toilet seat once. It was a TOTO-brand washlet, that pampers your derrière with a stream of warm water, a heated seat, and a warm air dryer. I had the good fortune in a Michelin-starred restaurant, where the food you ingested was treated with nearly as much respect as the food you excreted if the quality of the commode was any indication. Puffco’s Peak reminds me of that very same washlet: luxurious, elegant, feature-laden, and a complete waste of money. The only difference is that one is a toilet seat while the other is a cannabis concentrate vaporizer that gets you really high.

Which Animal Kills the Most Humans?

Illustration: Chelsea Beck (Gizmodo)

Animals fatally maul, sting, trample, and chew about a million humans per year. Pretty nice of them, given the numbers on our side—the average of 750 million chickens we kill in the U.S. every month, for instance. In an ideal world, no one would ever get mauled by a bear, or contract rabies from a feral squirrel. But for this week’s Giz Asks, we’re asking which creatures are most desperate for our blood (or, in fairness to the animal kingdom, which are most likely to kill us by accident).

Hackers Designed a ‘Master Key’ to Unlock Millions of Hotel Room Doors

Screenshot: F-Secure

A critical flaw in electronic locks left millions of hotel rooms worldwide vulnerable to hackers. Now, the security researchers who developed the attack are helping hotels patch the problem, literally door to door.

What’s the Best Astronomical Object in Your Zodiac Sign?

Image: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage STScI/AURA-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)

It’s true that astrology is not science—there is no evidence to support that personal traits or mystical truths have anything to do with the Sun and the planets’ locations in the sky at the time you were born. But there is an intersection with astronomy, the real science behind the Sun, the stars, and what goes on in our night sky.

And if you really take a look at the constellation your zodiac sign is named after, you’ll find some of the really incredible objects that populate our universe.


7 Chromecast Apps and Games You Aren’t Using But Should Be

Photo: David Nield (Gizmodo)

The Chromecast—that’s a dongle for getting movies and shows and maybe a bit of music up on your big screen, right? Well, yes, but there’s much more you can do with your Chromecast. All kinds of apps and games can benefit from the extra screen space—not just Plex and Netflix.

Whether you need some quick and easy party games, or to organize a group vacation, here are some of our favorite not video apps for Chromecast.


There’s One Thing I Can Never Forgive Captain America: The Winter Soldier for

Image: Marvel Studios

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a pretty good Captain America movie. It’s not my favorite Captain America movie—as I’ve written before, I have a resolute fondness for The First Avenger—but, overall, it’s a fun time and Chris Evans punches a lot of people in it. But four years on, I still can’t get over the injustice it did to one certain character.

No, not the Hydra stuff or whatever. That’s actually really good. My problem is this: Captain America: The Winter Soldier does Batroc the Leaper dirty. And I will not stand for this grievous crime.


Uber Plans to Stop Giving Drivers a Log of Your Exact Pickup and Drop-Off Locations

Photo: Adam Berry (Getty)

In a pilot program launching soon, Uber will begin obscuring riders’ exact pickup and drop-off locations in the trip history displayed to drivers. Instead, it will display a broader location area.

The change is intended to enhance rider privacy and safety, the first of several upcoming changes Uber is making to limit the exposure of users’ location data.


Blame Facebook for That Moronic Diamond and Silk Hearing

Screenshot: House Judiciary Committee (YouTube)

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee held what is destined to go down as one of the dumbest hearings in US history. In order to explore potential political bias on social media platforms, conservative commentators Diamond and Silk were invited to testify under oath. The proceedings should have never happened, but here we are.

Amazon Sued by Former Human Resources Administrator for Alleged ‘Unlawful Employment Practices’

Photo: Rich Pedroncelli (Amazon)

Amazon Logistics acted discriminatorily and unlawfully fired a former senior human resources administrator, a suit filed in Florida’s Southern District Court alleges. The HR staffer, Jorge Mejia, claims the issue stems from how his shifts were scheduled.

Scheduling itself may seen a minor issue, but according to the suit, the nature of the new schedule coding led to a reduction in unpaid time off (UPT)—an allotment of off-work time doled out every pay period which employees can deduct if they’ve run out of paid time-off. More often, according to a number of current and former Amazon workers who spoke to Gizmodo, hours of UPT are docked for clocking in late to a shift, and can result in termination if an Amazonian’s UPT drops below zero.


This Recently Discovered Fifth-Century Massacre in Sweden Is So Game of Thrones We Can’t Even Handle It

Photo: Kalmar County Museum

Scientists in Sweden have completed a preliminary investigation of one of the most disturbing archaeological sites to be uncovered in recent memory. Over 1,500 years ago, scores of villagers were mercilessly killed in their homes by an unknown band of marauders, who left the bodies where they fell. And inexplicably, the killers refrained from collecting the many riches that lay inside the village.

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Andrew Couts

Managing Editor, Gizmodo

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