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The best smartphone you can buy

The Winner

Apple iPhone 6

It’s sort of boring to say that the iPhone 6 is the best smartphone you can buy. But it is. It’s the best because it’s the only phone that doesn't come with any drawbacks. Until now, you bought an iPhone despite its smaller screen and somewhat lackluster battery life; the …


How Beats conquered the world

Back in the 1970s and 80s, before he helped found Beats Electronics, Jimmy Iovine was a record producer working on albums like Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run and Tom Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes. To help him craft hits, Iovine had a radio tower built into the A&M studio on the Charlie Chaplin lot. At …

Jimmy Iovine

Top Shelf: Good Vibrations

For hundreds of years musicians have searched for the next sound, the next evolution that could change everything. In this week's episode of Top Shelf, Michael Shane explores the interplay of technology and music — how traditional musicianship can be enhanced by modern breakthroughs. And more …


Nintendo is exciting again

All it took was a failing console to spark Nintendo's creativity.

As the Wii U struggles with consistently disappointing sales, Nintendo has tried to reverse its fortunes by releasing some of its most exciting and inventive games ever, including the likes of Mario Kart 8 and the whimsical Tomodachi


Uncharted vs. Master Chief: Sony and Microsoft square off at E3 2014

The day before E3, before the show floor even opened, Sony and Microsoft drenched two auditoriums in their signature colors and fought a war of words. As bombastic and exciting as these pre-show press conferences can be, the games of E3 are rarely a surprise; if they haven’t been officially …


Do it with friends: why games are better IRL

Johann Sebastian Joust is the most fun you can have with a PlayStation 4 right now, but it doesn’t have online multiplayer. It doesn’t have 1080p graphics. It doesn’t really have any graphics, in fact. It’s a game that uses your body and your physical space to create an experience like nothing …


Xbox chief: 'you have to win with the gamers first'

As I slide open the door on the second floor of Microsoft's cavernous green booth at E3 2014, the gorgeous (and unreleased) game Ori and the Blind Forest fills the screen in front of me. Sometimes, Phil Spencer tells me as he shakes my hand, he likes to take a break from interviews and just play for …


Your survival guide for an internet blackout

How do you build a network that survives when the rest of the web goes down? It’s a strange question, but one with a surprisingly concrete answer. You can find the networks in Athens, Berlin, and Red Hook, Brooklyn — small-scale traffic webs that let computers connect peer-to-peer without going …


Should three people be allowed to make a baby?

For more than a decade, scientists have been developing a fertility technique that involves combining DNA from three parents to make a child. The technique, which has yet to be tested on humans, aims to help women who suffer from mitochondrial disease conceive a baby to which they are genetically …

Life Sciences

Tesla's plan to share its tech is bold, exciting, and a sign of weakness

"This is actually good for Tesla and EV industry, that’s really important to appreciate, and I really do believe that," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on a call today. He’d just done something a little off-kilter: told his competitors to use his technology without the threat of a lawsuit. "I did get some …

Elon Musk

‘Alien: Isolation’ is the scariest thing at E3

While waiting in line to play Alien: Isolation, I heard screams from inside the demo room. A few minutes later they were mine.

The latest game to tackle the Alien universe is perhaps the scariest thing on display at this year’s E3, a first person survival experience unlike just about any big-name …

Gaming Conventions

We’ve seen virtual reality. It’s time to touch it

As I write this, there are VR tracking systems for most of your extremities. Stompz are little foot cuffs with sensors. PrioVR is a harness that fits around your wrists and elbows. Both are designed to work with headsets like the Oculus Rift, which many see as the current linchpin of virtual …

Virtual Reality

The amazing animation software behind 'How To Train Your Dragon 2'

With franchises like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Madagascar to its name, DreamWorks Animation has spent the last 20 years building an animation mini-empire. The studio’s movies have pulled in over $11.5 billion in global box office, and, despite some recent underperformers, it’s continued to diversify …


'The Witness' is the modern day 'Myst' you've been waiting for

Myst was a masterpiece, but it hasn't aged well. Its structure is rigid and its puzzles are obtuse, but there's still something about that beautiful, mysterious island that's just aching to be explored. There have been sequels, but Jonathan Blow's The Witness might just be the first proper successor.


Big-budget action games shouldn't be Hollywood tragedies

I saw Tom Clancy’s The Division twice at E3, and if not for the title cards, I might have thought I was seeing two different games. At Microsoft’s press conference, it was a strategic team-based shooter with a thudding bass soundtrack and a firefight on the steps of New York’s James Farley Post …

Assassin's Creed

Vessyl is the smart cup that knows exactly what you're drinking

As a biomedical computing student at Queen’s University seven years ago, Justin Lee knew he wanted to build his own "internet of things" device — but he didn’t want it to be any old "smart" lamp, toaster, or light switch. "I wanted to put a computer into one of the most ubiquitous objects in the …


Can this Chinese phone giant make it in America?

If you were to ask the average American consumer to name a company that makes smartphones, chances are they would say Apple or Samsung. Perhaps a few will mention LG, HTC, or Motorola. But it’s very likely that they wouldn’t say Huawei, the massive Chinese electronics company. Though Huawei has …


Dear Google: don't screw up Android

The history of Android has always been about more. From its inception with the T-Mobile G1 in 2008, Google’s mobile operating system has sought to compete by having more features, higher specs, and bigger devices than everyone else. Improving relentlessly with each new release, Android’s rise has …


Samsung Chromebook 2 review

Two years ago, Samsung made the first great Chromebook. It was thin, and light, and had good battery life, but most of all it was a different kind of computer. Chrome OS wasn’t like Windows, which can do absolutely everything on earth including a laundry list of things that only confuse and …


Samsung Gear 2 review

This is the year of the smartwatch. This is the year when all of our wrist-mounted computer dreams are going to come true. Or at least that’s what’s expected based on the hype surrounding wearables. But for Samsung, it’s actually year two of the smartwatch, a second round to right the wrongs …


Your phone can finally do something really great: help endangered animals

Around the world, species are going extinct at an unprecedented rate. They’re dying so fast and from so many different causes — habitat loss, climate change, hunting, competition with invasive species — that scientists no longer have a good sense of which need protection. A study recently published …


F bombs and death threats: Americans rip the FCC on net neutrality

Nothing unites Americans more than crappy download speeds. Add in cronyism, old white guys dictating laws, and a taste of class war and you’ve got the really stupid proposal to abandon net neutrality currently moving its way through the FCC’s hallowed chambers. Expertly explained by Nilay Patel in …

Net Neutrality

Avengers on display: touring Marvel's superhero universe in Times Square

Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. will soon open its doors at New York City's Discovery Times Square. The exhibit, a collaboration between Victory Hill Exhibitions, Marvel, NASA and the National Academy of Sciences, is perhaps the most ambitious and expensive production that's ever been put on at …

Times Square

'Edge of Tomorrow' review

As he gets ready to turn 52 in July, Tom Cruise has settled into an impressive middle age. No longer the box-office titan he once was, he nonetheless remains an incredibly reliable on-screen presence. Like the San Antonio Spurs or late-period Sonic Youth, he doesn’t do anything that’s particularly …

Tom Cruise

Top Shelf: I, Spy

You've waited, you've wondered, but now it's here. Top Shelf is back. This week, David Pierce takes a look at the world of private investigating. What kind of gear will he need? Where does he park his unmarked van? How many fake mustaches should he own? It turns out it's a bit more complicated than …

'Tomodachi Life' is the weirdest thing Nintendo has ever made

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime attended my wedding. His date was Piper Chapman, the main character from Orange is the New Black, who's also really good friends with my one-and-a-half year old daughter Charlotte. My kid lives on her own, in an apartment that looks like the bottom of …


Your guide to E3 2014, the biggest week in video games

Last year's E3 was all about new console hardware. In 2014 it'll be about the games.

Now that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are out in the wild, the biggest gaming show around will see a shift in perspective when it kicks off next week — it’s time to see what next-gen games really look like. …


4K TV misses its World Cup goal

The World Cup is the biggest single sporting event in the world, and that means one thing for the TV industry — it’s the biggest opportunity to sell new sets. There’s no better way to show off your 85-inch panel than calling your friends over to shout for the USA against Germany, or England versus …


This is the fastest photo chat app in the world

Taptalk is, dare I say, cooler than Snapchat.

Its interface is more confusing, its user base is smaller, and — it lets you send a photo even faster than today’s hottest photo chat app. That last part is important: Snapchat made sending photos so fast that with a fraction of its user base, the app …


One year of NSA leaks: where are we now?

Exactly one year ago today, The Guardian published a four-page court order that would become one of the year's biggest news stories. Issued by the low-profile Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, it required Verizon Business Network Services to hand over phone metadata, including numbers dialed …