Welcome to this week's Reading List, Gizmodo's weekly collection of fascinating science and technology reads from around the internet, gathered in one place just for you. This week, we'll catch a ride with Uber, play with AI for kids, peer into the grim future of mega-wildfires, and jump into the hoverboard patent wars.
- This year's destructive wildfires are just a preview of the massive blazes to come. As Earth's climate warms, more severe droughts will turn huge swaths of land into tinderboxes — and we may have reached a point of no return, with the area burned each year expected to triple by the end of the century. [Rolling Stone]
- Uber may be the most polarising company in the tech world right now, and its CEO has a reputation for being ruthless and brash. Here's an inside look at Uber's corporate culture and its possible future. [Fast Company]
- Mattel's interactive Hello Barbie will hit shelves later this year, and it looks likely that kids will buy into the fantasy of a talking doll. But it's not yet clear what that might mean for their imaginations or their real world social lives. [New York Times]
- They're still not really hoverboards, but the smoothly gliding two-wheeled toys that bear the name are getting more popular by the day, and that popularity has launched a court battle over who really owns the right to profit from the idea. [Buzzfeed]