Facebook fiascos, impending natural disasters, hackers, hacks, gadget goofs and deep-sea nightmares — this year had everything you never asked for. But there were brighter notes too. So come with us to a time when people complained about accidentally getting exercise playing Pokemon GO and wondered whether anyone knows that they’re watching porn when they’re wearing VR goggles. These are the most popular Gizmodo posts from 2016 according to Google Analytics.
Twitter, Spotify and Reddit, and a huge swath of other websites were down or screwed up yesterday. This was happening as hackers unleashed a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the servers of Dyn, a major DNS host. It’s probably safe to assume that the two situations are related.
Illustration: Jim Cooke
Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.
Image: Roman Fedorstov (Twitter)
Roman Fedortsov is a deep sea fisherman in Russia. And he’s been taking photos of OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT?
Image: Improv Everywhere
Most NYC subway riders are pretty blasé when people hit them up for cash between stations. When a panhandler announced he was collecting funds to build a time machine, riders chuckled at the odd request — until another man boarded the train and announced he was the inventor’s future self. He implored them not to give any money because time travel will ruin everything.
After revealing the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple is finally releasing iOS 10 for everyone with a compatible device today. Of course you’re going to want to set aside some time for playing around with the new software, but if you want to get to the newest features right away, then these are (almost) all the extra tricks that iOS has learned in the last year. Here are 23 things you can do with iOS 10 that you couldn’t do before.
Pokemon GO is the hottest game to hit the market in forever. People are currently trying to catch their Pikachus and Fitzybutts (honestly, I don’t know what they’re called) but they’re paying the price. And by paying the price, I mean they’re accidentally getting some exercise.
Have you ever wanted to try porn in virtual reality? Secretly, we all have, and Pornhub just made it insanely easy. The world’s biggest adult site partnered with established VR porn store BaDoink to offer free 360-degree content. It is obviously NFSW.
Here’s a trick that’s been around for a while but may have passed you by: Secret category codes added by Netflix engineers that can help you narrow down your on-demand video choices. From classic war movies to Brazilian dramas, here’s how to dig deeper into the Netflix library.
This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared to publicly denounce the political positions of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign during the keynote speech of the company’s annual F8 developer conference.
Image: Hitomi Collaboration/JAXA, NASA, ESA, SRON, CSA
Earlier this year, Japan launched a groundbreaking black-hole-monitoring satellite — only to lose control of it almost immediately under strange circumstances. Now, we finally can see what Hitomi did right before it died.
The new augmented reality game Pokemon GO has gotten people off the couch and into the real world. But police in O’Fallon, Missouri say that four men have used the game to find players at a specific location, and robbed them using a handgun.
Image: NASA, JPL-Caltech
Last spring, a little-known star called KIC 8462852 became our planetary obsession when astronomers said that its erratic flickering could be the result of an alien megastructure. Further observation of Tabby’s Star yielded no signs of aliens, but the sudden dips in luminosity continue to defy explanation. Now, things just got a bit weirder.
After more than a year of speculation, Apple’s new iPhones are finally here. Predictably named the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple’s twin gadgets are glass-and-aluminium reflections of what has come before. But in the few places where Apple does makes some changes, it makes them count.
WhatsApp betrayed its long standing commitment to privacy when the company announced the app will now share user data with Facebook for the purpose of selling ads. But existing users have only 30 days to opt out.
This morning a ton of websites and services, including Spotify and Twitter, were unreachable because of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Dyn, a major DNS provider. Details of how the attack happened remain vague, but one thing seems certain. Our internet is frightfully fragile in the face of increasingly sophisticated hacks.
Brady Whitney’s Codex Silenda.
The only downside to finding a really good book to read is that it will be over before you want it to be. But that won’t be the case with puzzle designer Brady Whitney’s Codex Silenda. Even though the wooden book only has five pages, you’ll need to solve a complex mechanical puzzle on each one before you can turn to the next.
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Last week, Donald Trump’s transition team asked the Department of Energy for a list of staff and contractors who have worked on policies around climate change. The move was unusual and led to speculation that the Trump team was looking to purge the agency of people who accept the established science on climate change. Well, the Department of Energy is responding. And it more or less is telling Trump “no”.
Want some more space for your documents? Of course you do. Well, you can grab 2GB of extra capacity on Google Drive for free today. Here’s how.
According to the Telegraph, the World Health Organisation will change its definition of disabilities to classify people without a sexual partner as “infertile”. The controversial new classifications will make it so that heterosexual single men and women, as well as gay men and women who are seeking in vitro fertilisation to have a child, will receive the same priority as couples. This could make access to public funds for IVF available to all.
Once strictly an extremely expensive tool used only by law enforcement and the military, thermal cameras are now accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a $US250 ($347) accessory. But starting with Caterpillar’s new rugged S60, thermal imaging sensors are starting to be built right into smartphones.
As news agencies called more and more states for Donald Trump Tuesday evening, Canada’s informational website on immigration and citizenship began experiencing repeated outages, presumably due to a surge in traffic. Wonder why.
Image: Google Earth, CSA
Using an unprecedented technique of matching stars to the locations of temples on Earth, a 15-year-old Canadian student says he’s discovered a forgotten Maya city in Mexico. Images from space suggest he may actually be onto something — but experts say it’s something much simpler.
Misaligned mirrors are being blamed for a fire that broke out yesterday at the world’s largest solar power plant, leaving the high-tech facility crippled for the time being. It sounds like the plant’s workers suffered through a real hellscape, too.
Image: Google Earth modified by Bob Dziak
Deep rumbles, unearthly moans, high pitched screeching: These are but a few elements of the alien soundscape researchers have now recorded for the first time at Challenger Deep, the deepest known valley on the seafloor.
NASA did not just rewrite the zodiac chart. But here’s why so many people are convinced that the agency did — and the real story behind the rumour.
Illustration: Sam Woolley/Gizmodo
For the past 11 years, an eternity in internet time, Reddit has touted itself — repeatedly, and loudly — as the place to have “authentic conversations” online. For a variety of reasons, that sentiment has always rang hollow. Now, Reddit, in its goal to be a laissez-faire haven of (relatively) free expression, has been overrun by nationalist trolls. Its staff of volunteer moderators is losing hope in the site’s future.
Picture a volcanic eruption: Fiery lava and smoke billowing skyward as a towering mountain empties its over-pressurised belly of a hot meal. At least, that’s how most of us think it works. So you can imagine volcanologists’ surprise when they discovered that Mount St Helens, which was responsible for the deadliest eruption in US history, is actually cold inside.
It’s winter. If you drive a car that’s parked outside, you know what that means. It’s frigid as hell inside your car and the windshield is totally opaque from all the foggy arse frost. Not cool. How do you get rid of it? Hit the defrost button right? That’s not all. The always inquisitive Mark Rober tested out every combination on how to defrost your windshield and came up with a way that is twice as fast as other methods. That means you’ll get a clear windshield in half the time.
It seems like Amazon just accidentally released its specialised page for iPhone 7 accessories — an hour before Apple was set to announce the new phone. The pictures include one iPhone with the rumoured dual back-facing cameras. It also includes a link for Bluetooth headphones, which probably confirms the long rumoured removal of the headphone jack. The phone looks pretty much like the iPhone 6, except for the dual cameras.
Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones has been hacked. Images seen by Gizmodo include multiple nude photographs of Jones, and photos that appear to show the star engaging in sexual acts. The leak also includes scans of her passport, as well as of her California driver’s licence.
The Black Lives Matter movement has shed light on the racial profiling, police brutality and racial inequality experienced by the African-American community across America. But apparently some of the employees at Facebook’snotoriously white, bro-centric Menlo Park, California office don’t agree.
There’s a lottery meme spreading amongst American Facebook users claiming that if the current US Powerball jackpot was divided evenly, every American would get $US4.3 million. But that’s not right at all. Why? Simple maths.
Image: Jeya May Cruz
There’s an iPhone laying somewhere on this carpet. You have to stare really hard and probably scour every pixel of this picture and possibly stop blinking for at least four minutes in order to find it, but I promise you that it’s there. Jeya May Cruz dropped her iPhone onto this rug and basically saw her phone vanish before her eyes. Who knew iPhones had an invisibility feature?
Remember that heartwarming video from a few days ago showing a dog as it was being petted by a giant polar bear? In a twist that comes as a surprise to no one, a polar bear had to be immobilised last week after it killed and ate a dog from the same sled pack.
Mathematicians have discovered a surprising pattern in the expression of prime numbers, revealing a previously unknown “bias” to researchers.
It’s probably not aliens. Seriously guys, it’s very, very unlikely that it’s aliens. But the weird, flickering star known as KIC 8462852 still isn’t sitting right with astronomers. In fact, it just got a lot weirder.
Astronomers have captured video evidence of a collision between Jupiter and a small celestial object, likely a comet or asteroid. Though it looks like a small blip of light, the resulting explosion was unusually powerful.
It’s 2016 and you may have thought we’d all be a little older and wiser than this time last year. But as you read this list of 2015’s most popular passwords, you will shake your head, mumble unmentionables and reach the firm conclusion that, no, we are in fact all still complete and utter morons.
Gif: R. Hurt, Caltech / JPL
Since Albert Einstein first predicted their existence a century ago, physicists have been on the hunt for gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime. That hunt is now over. Gravitational waves exist, and we’ve found them.
By now you probably know that the emoji you send on an iPhone might not be the emoji that is received on a Nexus. Since emoji are designed differently across platforms, sometimes your text messages might get lost in translation. But how differently might your well-intentioned emoji be displayed?
Washington DC’s subway is scheduled to be shut down for an extended period of time to deal with a slew of deferred maintenance. But after today’s service problem — literal waterfalls in one station — maybe DC’s Metro needs a holiday sooner than that.
Image: Eric Cheng
Artificially intelligent computers understand Donald Trump not unlike artificially intelligent humans. His speeches read as extended phrases of semi-clarity interrupted by moments of utter horror. Just watch.
Pebble, one of the best-known smartwatch brands, is dead. Rumours about the company’s demise have been swirling since The Information reported a potential Fitbit buyout last week. Today in a post on Kickstarter, Pebbleconfirmed that Fitbit was acquiring “key Pebble assets” and that Pebble would “no longer be operating as in independent company”.
The Oculus Rift is starting to ship, and we’re pretty happy with it. While it’s cool, like any interesting gadget, it’s worth looking through the Terms of Service, because there are some worrisome things included.
GOP candidate and angry sweet potato Donald Trump claims he’ll be able to change Apple’s entire manufacturing system if he is elected president. I’ll give Trump this: He’s great at shouting impossible nonsense.
Nuclear weapons are already scary enough, but when you dig deeper and find out how powerful the weapons truly are, they get even more terrifying. The weapons we’ve built after the first atomic bombs are so strong that you can basically use Hiroshima as a unit of measurement. The largest nuclear explosion in human history, the Tsar Bomba, detonated with a force of 50 megatonnes or the power of 3333 Hiroshimas.
Images: Hedrich Blessing
When a 5m tall wooden sculpture was installed in the FBI’s Miami field office in 2015, the government thought it was getting a great deal. The General Services Administration (GSA) commissioned the work and estimated that it was “likely worth more than the $750,000 [$AU1 million] the government paid.” But it’s currently sitting in storage in Maryland. Why? The sculpture got over a dozen FBI agents seriously sick.
Image: Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg, a man who runs a service that collects the personal information of more than a billion people daily, seems to be worried about being spied on. There’s something very interesting in the photo Zuckerberg posted today to celebrate Instagram’s 500 million monthly active users, can you see it?
For nearly a week now a mystery has surrounded the Olympics and it wasn’t what country would reign supreme: Why did those pools turn green?
The USS Zumwalt, a Navy destroyer years in the making, is a floating piece of technological wonder. But the neatest feature is tricking nearby radar into thinking its massive 185m hull is actually just a 15m fishing boat. In fact the ship is so good at going undetected, it’s too stealthy.
Image: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo
The hardware in Google’s latest phone, developed in house and using parts from flagging former flagship HTC, doesn’t look from the outside like a revolution. It is a 5-inch phone (or 5.5-inch for $190 more) with an 820 Snapdragon processor, a 1440 x 2560 display, up to 128GB of storage and a fingerprint reader on the back. If you are confusing it with nearly every other Android smartphone released this year that’s OK. They’re all basically the same.
Shut it down, NASA wins. They made your pumpkin carving game look like child’s play. You should just give up right now. Put the knife away, set that pumpkin aside and use your time in a more productive manner — like looking at these beautiful pumpkins.
TSA Agents Confiscate Huge Teddy Bear, Give Him Detailed Backstory About How He’s Homeless and Hungry Now in Order to Remind Us That Everything Is Bad
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents in Los Angeles just confiscated a gigantic teddy bear and posted a photo of the poor guy on Instagram. And if that wasn’t enough, they gave him a depressing backstory. The TSA’s social media accounts really are a fantastic way to keep up to date on how the agency is ruining Christmas this holiday season.
Russia is flexing its military muscle as tensions with the US simmer in the wake of a heated third presidential debate, where Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton called Republican candidate Donald Trump a “puppet” for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now, Russia has declassified the first image of its new thermonuclear intercontinental ballistic missile.
I Would Like to Buy a Drink for the Poor Soul Who Ran the San Francisco BART Twitter Account Last Night
Last night, the person in charge of the official San Francisco BART Twitter account lost it. In 57 tweets, the account espoused truth and honesty, and pretty much admitted what everyone in the Bay Area already knows: The crumbling institution kinda sucks.
Uber is losing money faster than any technology company ever, and it’s largely because of an essential component to the company’s operations: The drivers.
People all over have been trying to enjoy the new Pokemon GO app, which released this week to so much fanfare that it’s experiencing massive server overload. The hype was so real that people were passing around APK files so that people outside the countries where it’s available could side-load it on Android, something I saw in my own friend groups.
Isabelle Dinoire, the woman who received the world’s first partial face transplant with a new nose, chin and mouth, has passed away.
Illustration: Angelica Alzona/Gizmodo
Doctors have this nasty habit of asking a lot of questions, many of which make us uncomfortable or self-conscious. So we bluff. A lot. Here are 10 typical lies we tell our doctors, and why these seemingly innocuous fibs are hazardous to our health.
Beware this new Los Angeles attraction if you’re afraid of heights. I know I am because nope.
Netflix’s runaway hit Stranger Things did a lot of things right, and chief among them: Antagonising the US Department of Energy.
Trimming the bushes. Vacuuming the carpet. Coiffing the cat. Whatever your choice in questionable metaphor for the act of tidying up one’s pubic hair, have it on hand, because it turns out that a whole lot of American women do it.
Amazon is working on plans to open hundreds of brick-and-mortar bookstores, according to a new report from CNBC. Yes, following in the footsteps of chains like Borders, Amazon apparently thinks that the future is in dead trees.
This surgery sounds like a total nightmare. According to a new Tokyo Medical University Hospital report, a patient’s fart during surgery apparently caused a fire that led to serious burns on her body.
Does this 1995 video of a Mike Tyson fight show a time traveller with a cameraphone? The simple answer is no. And the complex answer is also no. But it’s a perfect example of how the past can play tricks on us.
Image: Kyle F. Williams
Sleeping too well lately? Looking for that “something something” to turn those boring restful nights into a horrorscape? Turns out, zooming in too far on Google Maps’ user-uploaded 3D Spheres produces some impressively messed up images.
Yesterday, Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded during a test fire. But that wasn’t all — by the time the day was over, Musk had also lost nearly $US780 million ($1.03 billion) and Mark Zuckerberg’s love.
Illustration: Jim Cooke/Gizmodo
Depending on whom you ask, Facebook is either the saviour or destroyer of journalism in our time. An estimated 600 million people see a news story on Facebook every week, and the social network’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has been transparent about his goal to monopolise digital news distribution. “When news is as fast as everything else on Facebook, people will naturally read a lot more news,” he said in a Q&A last year, adding that he wants Facebook Instant Articles to be the “primary news experience people have”.
Image: Tom Charlton
The menacingly beautiful blue coral snake preys on other fast moving, venomous snakes. To immobilise its prey, this reptile employs a particularly nasty venom — one that makes the last moments of the victim’s life a living hell.
Photo: Scott Portelli
Something strange is happening to the oceans. As coral reefs wither and fisheries collapse, octopuses are multiplying like mad. As soon as they perceive weakness, they will amass an army and invade the land, too.
Earlier this week something happened to make Japan’s brand new black hole satellite suddenly, mysteriously lose all contact with Earth. Now, we have video of it spinning wildly in space — and JAXA has also received a few odd, new messages.
The personal computer revolutionised the home in the 1980s and ’90s. And by the mid-’90s the mainstream was getting online. But with Donald Trump now the presumptive nominee of the Republican party, there’s an interesting question that must be asked: Has Trump ever used a computer?
Yahoo, the once-vaunted internet giant, is in shambles. Its revenue is in decline. Its shareholders are crying foul. Its prized public faces are scrambling for an exit, and the company has laid off 15 per cent of its workforce. Its core business — internet search and advertising — is negatively valued. Looming over all of this is a prospective sale of the company’s core assets, bids for which havereportedly reached more than $US5 billion ($7 billion).
Image: Southampton University
Want to make sure you back something up indefinitely? Then you could do worse than a digital data storage technique that uses laser light to store 360 terabytes of information on nanostructured quartz for up to 14 billion years.
Man’s Replacement Galaxy Note 7 Catches Fire, Samsung Accidentally Texts ‘I Can Try and Slow Him Down’
A third replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has caught fire in Kentucky earlier this week. Not only did the incident send the device’s owner to the hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation. Someone at Samsung sent him a text that was apparently meant for a colleague: “I can try and slow him down if we think it will matter.”
Image: Snapchat / Gizmodo
If you ever used and liked Snapchat, I’m sorry. It’s ruined now.
As thousands were evacuated across multiple counties in Texas due to horrible flooding, one man and his family are living high and dry thanks to something he bought on the internet.
We all know how common elements like oxygen and helium are used in every day life. But gallium? Selenium? Rhodium? Keith Enevoldsen has created an interactive periodic table that illustrates exactly where you may encounter even obscure elements on the chart. It’s like taking high school science all over again, except without the tests, and you’re welcome to keep using your phone.
Image: ESO / Serge Brunier, Frederic Tapissier via NASA
Researchers scanning the skies just got a big surprise. They spotted a humongous galaxy orbiting our own, where none had been seen before. It appeared, seemingly, out of nowhere.
Image: Sean Hollister/Gizmodo
I bought the Apple Watch a year ago. I stopped wearing it two months ago, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever wear it again. That’s because it doesn’t really do anything that anyone needs, and even when it does, it doesn’t always work like it’s supposed to.
The tech world loves their Easter eggs, from Adventure’s original hidden feature to Tesla’s various car tricks. But don’t fall for the recent claims for one hidden in your iPhone: If you attempt it, you’ll brick your device.
I’m totally safe and sitting in front of a computer screen, and yet I’m sweating because watching this guy pull his crazy jumps from buildings is just not OK. This one is especially brutal because I really didn’t expect him to end up where he landed. He starts on the roof of the building 40m in the air and ends up safely down in the harbour — but I thought he was gunning for that soft middle landing of water between the dock and not, like, on the freaking other side.
Photo: Dog penis bones via Wikimedia Commons
Although we call erections “boners”, anyone who has basic familiarity with human anatomy knows our slang deceives us — for unlike most mammals, men have no penis bones. For decades scientists have wondered, “Why? No? Penis Bone?” A new study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society might finally answer the mystery of what killed the penis bone: Monogamy.