RIP hitchBOT. RIP iTunes. Hello lab-grown meat and zero emissions. Here’s the best of Gizmodo from this hot summer week.


Hitchhiking Robot Lasts Just Two Weeks in US Because Humans Are Terrible

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When hitchBOT the hitchhiking robot started his journey in Boston two weeks ago he wanted to see the entire country. Unfortunately, he never made it out of the Northeast. The researchers who built hitchBOT announced today that they need to stop the experiment because hitchBOT was vandalized in Philadelphia.

Why Are URLs Full of So Many Garbage Characters?

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#?&%! Why do some URLs look like cuss words in comic books? We have the answer.

Moto G Review (2015): A Great Phone Doesn’t Have to Cost a Buttload

Inexpensive smartphones all come with compromises, but we’ve reached a point when those glaring setbacks are less noticeable. The new Moto G is totally solid phone, which will make you wonder why you’d pay for a flagship when what you get for $220 is so damn good.

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What It Takes to Be a (Female) Army Ranger

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While the brass in Washington continue to bicker over the consequences of allowing vaginas into open combat roles, two women have quietly completed the second, creatively-titled “Mountain Phase” of Army Ranger School. A third female soldier will have the opportunity to start the course again, a process known as “recycling.”

Facebook Is Hosting the Republican Debate, So Why Can’t We Watch Online?

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Thursday’s debate between Republican candidates for President is must see TV. But if you’re a cordcutter who doesn’t subscribe to traditional TV, you’re sadly out of luck. The highly anticipated debate is co-hosted by Facebook, but the only legal way to watch it live is on Fox News.

Rob Rhinehart’s Latest Attempt to Make You Buy Soylent Is Terrible

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I think Rob Rhinehart is trying to turn himself into some sort of creepy nerd messiah. Today he posted a giant essay to promote the release of Soylent 2.0, the next version of his sperm-esque food replacement drink. It was all about how he’s given up alternating current so he can get ready for his life as a space cyborg.

Why Won’t Julian Assange Condemn Ecuador’s Spying Software?

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Wikileaks’ most recent document dump reveals emails leaked from an Italian company called Hacking Team that sells intrusive spyware to governments, exposing myriad government agencies from Bangladesh to the US for purchasing this surveillance software. It also exposes an oily hypocrisy.

iTunes Is Dead to Me

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Consider this an obituary for iTunes. The death comes just weeks after the arrival of Apple Music, its apparent heir, which was not well received by the typically loyal public. iTunes was just 14 years old.

Ikea Is Buying Up Whole Forests, and So Is Apple

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Ikea bought 83,000 acres of forest last month. In April, Apple bought 36,000 acres. What’s the reasoning behind these retail giants buying their own forests? To manage them.

Everything You Need to Know About Obama’s Clean Energy Plan

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Last month, scientists at a UN conference delivered a sobering warning: To prevent catastrophic warming of the planet, we must reduce all carbon emissions to zero by the end of the 21st century. Today, the Obama administration announced its plan to get there.

The Future Will Be Full of Lab Grown Meat

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In 2013, the world’s first lab-grown burger was unveiled to the world. It carried a $330,000 price tag, and apparently, it wasn’t all that tasty. But the scientists behind the idea have been hard at work, and artificial meat that’s both cost-effective and palatable may arrive sooner than we think.

If It Weren’t for This Equation, You Wouldn’t Be Here

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This is Shannon’s information theory, and it’s the equation that makes data compression possible. Without it, you wouldn’t be reading this article online right now.

Meanwhile in the Future: The Earth Is Falling Into the Sun

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The Earth, right now, is revolving around the sun at about 62,000 miles per hour. But what would happen if we slowed to a stop? At that point, the planet would have exactly 64 1/2 days before it crashed into the sun. In this week’s episode, we find out what would happen during those 64 1/2 days.