The Best of Gizmodo This Week

This week was alllll about Pluto for Giz and space nerds everywhere. As it should be! Though, nearly just as hyped as the New Horizons flyby was... Amazon’s “Prime Day,” which, unlike Pluto, turned out to be a giant let down. All that and more in this week’s story highlights!

Everything We’re Learning About Pluto and Its Moon Right Now


It’s been a crazy week learning about Pluto as the New Horizons spacecraft makes the first-ever close encounter with the dwarf planet. Join us as we live-blog the very first science results as the mission team reports back after closest approach.

Why It’ll Take New Horizons 16 Months to Send Us This Week’s Data

Early this morning, NASA rolled out the highest-resolution image of Pluto to date, taken 16 hours before today’s historic flyby. Tomorrow, we’ll receive a new set of images at a resolution ten times higher. And Pluto Christmas is just getting started, because it’s going to take NASA 16 full months to download all the data New Horizons collects this week.

Pluto Memes Are Taking Over the Internet


When the New Horizons spacecraft sent back its first clear image of everyone’s favorite dwarf planet, Pluto became a perfect storm of a meme. Historians in the future will wonder what we were smoking.

These Pluto Truthers Insist NASA Images Are Fake


It wouldn’t be a monumental achievement in human history without some truthers on the internet calling it fake. And NASA’s historic Pluto flyby is no different. The conspiracy theory crowd has descended on the event as their too-good-to-be-true choice this week. Wake up sheeple! Pluto is just a dog at Disneyland!

The Shittiest Deals of Amazon Prime Day


All week, Amazon promoted its Prime Day sale as a “bigger than Black Friday” shopping bonanza. But today, a lot of the discounts look like they fell off a truck headed to a poorly regulated flea market for sad people held in a dumpster.

The Best Smartphone For Every Need


“What’s the best smartphone?” It’s a question I hear at least once or twice a week. That’s fine. It comes with the territory, really. I write about all kinds of technology all day, every day, but none so much as smartphones. I’ve reviewed many of the major ones released in the past year, from the dirt-cheap to the metal and glossy. They all have something to add in their own way, but only a handful really stand out.

Millennials Will Live In Cities Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen Before


It’s actually hard to know what to believe about millennials, the Americans born after 1980 who make up the largest generation in history. Every week there’s a new ground-shattering revelation about their lifestyles—but the most conflicting reports have to do with where they live.

You’re Using Neural Networks Every Day Online—Here’s How They Work


If you use Google’s new Photos app, Microsoft’s Cortana, or Skype’s new translation function, you’re using a form of AI on a daily basis. AI was first dreamed up in the 1950s, but has only recently become a practical reality — all thanks to software systems called neural networks. This is how they work.

US Presidential Candidates’ Internet Policies, Ranked


With 20-odd US presidential candidates in the mix, everyone’s trying to pick the winning position on the issues that matter most to Americans. The future of the internet is obviously a big one. Here’s what’s been proposed so far — the good, the bad, and the utterly insane.

Meanwhile in the Future: What Happens When All Airplanes Are Grounded


Need to get from New York to Paris? Or San Diego? Chances are, you’re hopping on a plane. But commercial flights aren’t just annoying and expensive they also input a ton of carbon into the environment, contributing to climate change. So what if we stopped flights to save the planet? What would happen next?

Infographic: What’s the fastest ship in sci-fi history?


It took a little bit for us to reach Pluto but what if we had the power of our imaginations in our real life spaceships? Fat Wallet came up with this neat infographic showing which ships from popular sci-fi movies, TV shows and video games (plus real life NASA ships) to show which ship moves fastest. It’s pretty cool!

The Controversial, Mad Science Strategy to Save Earth’s Rhinos


Rhino horn is more precious than gold on the black market, and people’s insatiable demand for the stuff has driven rhinos to the brink of extinction. Now a Seattle-based startup has a radical plan to save these incredible animals: Using synthetic biology to manufacture rhino horns in the lab.

Some Slimy Clickbait Dickhead Stole My Identity to Blog for Elite Daily


My online reputation has the digital equivalent of an STI. A few weeks ago, I found out I was getting impersonated on the internet. My mysterious usurper did his homework, bogarting my photos and biographical details to publish blogs under my byline at Elite Daily.

The Future Will Run on Algae


In the twentieth century, oil was black gold. But as we march deeper into the twenty-first century, we could have a lucrative new fuel on our hands. One that’s blue-green and sometimes a little smelly. It’s found in wastewater, but it’s capable of powering jets. It’s algae.

There Are No Accidents


Earlier this week morning commuters witnessed a gruesome scene at a busy Brooklyn intersection. An SUV struck several vehicles then hit a cyclist, tangling the bike’s frame in its tires. The cyclist died immediately, his body covered in a white sheet in the middle of the road. Still, many news outlets reported what happened as an “accident.”

Archaeologists Baffled By 2,000 Tiny Gold Spirals Discovered In Denmark


Finding gold in Boeslunde, Denmark, is no huge surprise—it’s known as an area where Bronze Age gold offering are often uncovered, as curators there are explaining this month. But a recent discovery has surprised and baffled archaeologists: 2,000 tiny gold spirals. It’s a “golden enigma.”

Firefox Now Blocks Flash By Default


The Mozilla Firefox web browser now blocks Flash by default. And when I say “blocks,” I don’t mean it asks you nicely if you’d really like to use Flash. I don’t mean it automatically pauses Flash videos like Google Chrome. I mean Mozilla has decided that Flash is going down.

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