The Best of Gizmodo This Week

We called bull on few things this week, like blaming almonds for California’s drought, or the gross injustice of not being able to watch Murphy Brown online, and how what Apple is really selling us is the Future, not a watch or a laptop. Also some robots riding horses. Enjoy.

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Republican Senators Just Voted To Sell Off Your National Forests

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Our public lands — including National Forests, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas — are arguably our greatest treasure. Well, almost every Republican Senator just voted to sell them to the highest bidder. This is what you can do about it.

Happy 5th Birthday, Apple Watch!

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CUPERTINO, SILICON VALLEY — APRIL 24, 2020: Thousands assembled in Cupertino today to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the single most important event in tech history — the release of the Apple Watch.

Watch This Fighting Robot Die in Agonizing Slow Motion

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You know how Battlebots is coming back to TV? I decided not to wait. This weekend, I drove to San Mateo to watch homemade robots battle to the death at the Robogames. Here are a few of the epic things I saw there.

Making Abandoned Homes Look Occupied Is a Booming Business

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Sure, the foreclosure crisis has subsided from its peak a few years ago. But it’s left thousands of vacant homes in its wake—which are now decaying. One solution? Slapping on some stickers that give the appearance of habitation.

Seriously, Stop Demonizing Almonds

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We have seen the real cause of the California drought, and it’s one crunchy inch tall. One gallon of water to grow a single nut? BAN THEM ALL, writes everyone. But almond outrage is misplaced. We shouldn’t stop eating any fruit or vegetable due to how much water it takes to grow it. Especially when there actually is a crop that’s stealing California’s water.

Scammers and Skeptics Are Strangling the Future of Digital Money

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Bitcoin devotees and other cryptocurrency fans say that math gives their radical ideas so much potential. But starting a new value system also requires a level of faith in the people using the math. As “shitcoin” scams pile up, it’s becoming clear that new currencies need trust, too. And they don’t have it.

LA’s New Parking Signs Are Brilliant and Every City Should Copy Them

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In the quest to make parking suck less, there are apps that help you find a space, and meters where you can pay with a swipe of your credit card. But LA has launched a simple, low-tech solution to make parking better: Well-designed signage that offers no ambiguity whatsoever when it comes to where you can park, when you can park there, and how much it will cost.

Robot Jockeys Are a Real Thing, Just as People of the 1940s Predicted

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Radio nerds of the 1940s predicted that “robot jockeys” would soon be the wave of the future. They weren’t wrong, but it did take a little longer than they expected.

Why the Hell Can’t I Watch Murphy Brown Online?

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer says that without the 1990s TV series Murphy Brown to inspire her, she wouldn’t have gotten where she is today. The show was so influential that Vice President Dan Quayle turned the main character, played by Candace Bergen, into a political meme. And yet this series isn’t available anywhere online.

What Is Liquid Cremation and Why Is It Illegal?

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Excuse the bluntness, but once we shuffle off this mortal coil, our bodies are nothing but bags of live bacteria and dead cells. We can attempt to slow our decay (embalming), or we can preempt it with a destructive blaze (cremation). We can also dissolve our bodies with lye, using an increasingly popular procedure called alkaline hydrolysis.

The Future, Reviewed

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The first Apple Watch reviews touched down yesterday, and the first reviews of the new MacBook today. But that’s not all! Now that Cupertino’s review embargo has lifted, reporters everywhere are free to talk about yet another exciting Apple product: The future.

Microsoft Surface 3 Review: The Tablet I Want At The Price I Don’t

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I’m dancing on the grave of Microsoft’s original Surface tablet, and I feel no remorse. It’s hard to feel sad—it was a beautifully crafted ten-inch tablet that ran a crippled version of Windows. It was awful. Now it’s dead, and I’ve got a way better tablet. I’m so happy.

2000 Images of My Little Ponies and More Stories of IT Revenge

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We asked for your best IT and computer-based revenge pranks — you answered. You are all a bunch of brilliant bastards.

How To Tie The Only Five Knots You’ll Ever Need

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There’s a million different knots for doing a million different things. But, these five are easy-to-learn, easy-to-tie and accomplish 99 percent of the jobs you’ll ever need a rope to do. Anyone can make these, here’s how.

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