While You Were Offline: Trump Went Into North Korea

To begin with, a programming note: While you're reading this in its usual time slot, it was compiled before the July Fourth holiday, so—unfortunately—there's not a collection of tweets about President Trump's reportedly expensive Independence Day celebration. Apologies for that. Nonetheless, there's still a lot to catch up on. Last week was one that uncovered a secret Facebook group where immigration officials joke about migrant deaths, even as more and more people die in US custody and conditions at border facilities turn out to be worse than believed. It was also the week where the Trump administration let go of its quest to have a question about citizenship on the 2020 US census, and everyone continued to fall in love …

Is Your Wobbly, Illegible Touchscreen Signature Still You?

Technology changes us as much as we change technology. It trains us to behave in certain ways, to modify how we speak or move to better accommodate its utility. In some cases, technology can transform the very things that define us. Perhaps the most literal example is our handwritten signature, a core talisman of identity. Developed in response to the ancient technology of paper and ink, it’s lately been confronted with the primacy of keyboards and screens. Think about how you most often sign your name, if you do at all: It’s not with a pen. Over the past decade, businesses have updated their points of sale with touch pads and styluses. Signing contracts increasingly happens electronically, where you either …

While You Were Offline: Trump and Pelosi’s War of Words Continues

Man, it's been a long week. Does anyone even remember it started with former White House counsel Don McGahn defying a congressional subpoena at this point? Or that the state of New York had effectively closed a legal loophole that would allow them to charge people President Trump pardoned on a federal level? Does anyone recall the glee that was felt around the unexpected return to national prominence of denied Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland? That happened last week as well! And then there was Facebook announcing it had quietly deleted almost 3.4 billion fake accounts in the last half year, while Twitter banned the Krassenstein brothers for operating fake accounts in an attempt to build an anti-Trump movement. Still, …

The Sad Meaning Behind the Game of Thrones Coffee Cup Meme

Behold Ser Latte of House Starbucks, first of his name, guest at the table of Queen Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, hero of the worst Game of Thrones episode to date, "The Last of the Starks." We shall never see his likeness again, because HBO has already edited him into oblivion. But fret not; unlike his similarly missing brother, Ser Pounce, his time on the screen is not over. It's only just begun. Angela Watercutter The Game of Thrones Starbucks Cup: What's Inside? Laura Hudson Game of Thrones Recap: So Much for Breaking the Wheel Emily Dreyfuss The Case Against Watching the Rest of Game of Thrones People have been roasting Game of Thrones all week after a very anachronistic …

Nobody Knows What Troll Means AnymoreLeast of All Mueller

Greetings, trolls of Reddit! Tell me: What’s a troll? “Memester that hates normies,” says suicideposter. “Someone who only interacts for reactions,” says _logic_victim. “Lives under a bridge, votes Republican,” says TW1971. (“no u,” replies Popcap101z, taking the bait, baiting the hook, or both. I can’t be sure.) Inside my brain (and in WIRED’s newsroom), when and where and why to use the word “troll” has become a point of agita, visited and revisited with each turn of the news cycle. So I found it interesting, and a little alarming, when Robert Mueller offered up his own definition last week: Trolls are “internet users—in this context, paid operatives—who post inflammatory or otherwise disruptive content on social media or other websites.” It’s …