Tesla’s New 'Mid-Range' Model 3 Is the iPhone XR of Cars
- The latest of these came last night, when Musk announced (on Twitter, as ever) that Tesla is now offering a "mid-range" Model 3, a new middle ground in battery size and price between the more expensive version of the sedan it has been selling, and the $35,000 model it has long promised.
- The mid-range Model 3 may not have the same profit margin as the Performance version of the car (which costs $69,000 with the fancy wheels, brakes, and pedals, making it the equivalent of the iPhone XS Max), but it could attract more buyers, including those who've been holding out for the $35,000 vehicle.
- Although Tesla doesn’t specify battery sizes for the Model 3, it’s likely the new car has a roughly 60-kWh pack, which would cost about $11,400.
Russian Trolls Are Still Playing Both Sides—Even With the Mueller Probe
- On Friday afternoon, the Justice Department announced that Russia and the world’s most interesting catering company continue to attack the United States online—and that Russian Twitter trolls had even defended the efforts of special counsel Robert Mueller earlier this year.
- It’s not immediately clear, for instance, why Khusyaynova was left off the February indictment and instead only charged this month, given the evidence of her ongoing involvement with the Internet Research Agency since 2014.
- The court document also potentially points to relatively recent intelligence, information that might have gone beyond what was available to Mueller in February: During the first six months of this year, from January to June, the government says that Project Lakhta’s proposed operating budget totaled more than $10 million.
Inside Facebook’s Stormy Debate Over 'Political Diversity'
- Like Damore, the Google engineer who wrote a manifesto protesting the company’s “ideological echo-chamber” last year, Amerige also authored a controversial memo accusing his employer, Facebook, of being a “political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views.” Like Damore, who argued against gender equality in engineering based on supposed biological differences, Amerige was also a self-styled philosopher who deeply offended his more liberal-minded colleagues when he lobbied for an office mural promoting solidarity with transgender people to be taken down.
- But he had spent the two months before that working closely with Facebook’s human resources team on ways to foster what he calls “political diversity.” One initiative Amerige says they discussed was an updated employee speech policy that would draw a distinction between attacking people's ideas (which would be permitted) and attacking their character (which would be prohibited).
iPhone XR: Where to Order, Best Prices (and 5 Cheap Alternatives)
- There is no labeled unlocked version of the iPhone XR yet that works on every wireless carrier, so you'll have to pick the right one for you.
- You don't have to pay anything online, but Walmart will let you reserve an iPhone XR to pick up at your local store.
- T-Mobile has a complicated deal to get an iPhone XR half off if you start a 4-line plan.
- Sprint offers a lease plan that lets you upgrade after 12 months if you turn in your phone, like Apple's upgrade program.
- The price of high-end smartphones has shot through the roof in the last couple years, which makes it a great time to consider a cheaper phone.
- This phone also works on all four carriers and gets great battery life (8/10, WIRED Recommends).
- The Mate 10 Pro is a fantastic, powerful high-end phone that's on sale right now.
The Noma Guide to Fermentation: A Cure for Kitchen Boredom
- Following an informative and deftly written primer to start the book—the authors got editing and recipe testing help from food pros Chris Ying and Martha Holmberg—the Guide then divides and conquers, splitting Noma-style fermentation into several sections: lacto fermentation (salting fruits and vegetables to make the magic happen), kombucha, vinegar, koji (rice or barley inoculated with Aspergillus oryzae fungi), misos, new kinds of shoyu (soy sauce), various garums (fish sauce and friends), and non-fermented black fruits and vegetables like black garlic.
- The Noma Guide calls the brine created by lacto-fermented mushrooms a “Swiss Army knife” that they use to season "everything from fennel tea to monkfish liver." Lacking either of those, I dribbled a spoonful on a sandwich with cheddar and fresh tomatoes, which gave the whole thing a lovely, deep mushroom-y flavor.
A Trove of Facebook Data Is a Spammer's Dream and Your Nightmare
- The possibility that scammers were behind the theft, though, highlights the ways in which centralized data repositories like email accounts and social media profiles are potential gold mines for—and frequent targets of—phishers, spammers, and shady marketers.
- Segura points out that a trove like the one stolen from Facebook would be valuable for launching massive malvertising campaigns that try to entice web users to click on malicious ads, since it contains so many indicators of a person's background and preferences.
- And having such granular data about people would enrich all sorts of phishing attacks and so-called "business email compromise" scams, in which attackers try to gain access to email accounts within a business to gain credibility, and then influence malicious activity like payments to the attacker.
- While the stolen data could fuel online scam campaigns for years, consumers have little recourse against malicious advertising and persuasive phishing and spam attacks.
Meet the Illustrator Diversifying Airbnb's Image
- The design, though, veered more "fledgling start-up" than "global enterprise." When Hom joined the company last year, Airbnb was still using a patchwork of drawings from previous designers, along with some one-off illustrations someone had created for an early corporate PowerPoint presentation.
- “If we’re going to represent who our community is, we should literally reference real people,” says Hom. The repository of images helped inform diverse face shapes, skin colors, facial expressions, and poses.
- One illustration, which now appears on a page about Airbnb's focus on community, borrows the likeness of a “famous human rights activist in San Francisco,” a choice that Hom says fit with the text on the page.
- Design considerations, like Hom's illustrations, can seem small compared to the way a company handles policies or new features.
Rockstar's 'Red Dead Redemption 2' Crunch Controversy and the Rest of the Week in Games
- The big news this week comes after Dan Houser, VP at Rockstar Games, claimed in a reported piece at Vulture that some members of the team developing Red Dead Redemption 2 had worked 100-hour weeks to ensure the game shipped on time and on target.
- Moving from labor issue to labor issue, Kotaku reports that Skybound Games is working on a deal with the late Telltale Games to finish the final season of The Walking Dead—news that's either promising or troubling, depending on how you look at it.
- Swooping in to finish the work of people who got laid off is generally not considered a very pro-employee thing to do, and even if it's intended in the most innocent way by Skybound it still emphasizes the ugly messiness of the entire Telltale Games situation, and the need for better worker protections in the industry.
Fusty Ol' Scientific Texts Get a Gorgeous, Pricey Makeover
- He’s the founder of a small, independent press called Kronecker Wallis, which republishes original, seminal scientific works, with modern, clean design.
- Kronecker Wallis's edition of Humboldt's work, called Illustrating Nature, showcases his text and illustrations as if the book itself were a modern museum, with tri-column trilingual copy, antique-y prints, full-bleed diagrams, and bound insert pages of explanation in neutral Army colors.
- But if part of Kronecker Wallis's point is also to unite two cultures (here's a free copy of author and chemist C.P. Snow's eponymous treatise on the division between science and the humanities), portraying old science as an exquisite object—and also something that isn't locked in its original form, confined to its original era—then a bound edition with weight and gloss can convey that, to a certain well-heeled demographic.
'Halloween' Annihilates the Weak Sequels That Came Before It
- But none matched the stripped-down brutality of the first Halloween, the tale of a maniac who, years after butchering his own sister, becomes fixated upon teenager Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), and spends the holiday murdering her friends.
- Curtis plays Strode with deceptive steeliness—she's spent years planning and hoping for Myers' inevitable return, so that she can finally kill him.
- Halloween may be the umpteenth franchise entry of the year, but it comes with a nudging warning to its own audience: There's a danger to spending too much time in the past.
- One of the film's creepiest kills takes place on that familiar Halloween haunting ground: A spare suburban lawn, covered in darkness.