‘It’s a sincere process’: why personal dating ads are making a comeback

Instead of using apps, more people are finding connections in plain, typewriter-text ads that slow the dating process In 2019, there seems to be a hankering for nostalgic things. Young people record players for Christmas, and presidents have gone back to the good, old-fashioned business of building walls. Maybe we shouldnt be surprised, then, that the old-school personal dating ad is also making a comeback. You may know the format: short, candid bios written by people looking for love, displayed in public places such as newspapers. Today, of course, they appear on Instagram and Twitter rather than at the back of the morning paper. They gesture towards simplicity, with adverts displayed in typewriter text on plain backgrounds, no photo necessary. …

Google Pixel 4 XL review: not quite ready for primetime

Face Unlock, radar and on-device voice skills show Googles magic, but some bits need fixing Googles latest Pixel 4 XL smartphone is its bravest yet, throwing out the conventions of old, integrating cutting-edge technology and attempting to round it all out with a special mix of software direct from the Android-maker. By now you probably know the drill. The Pixel 4 XL is a metal and glass sandwich like practically every other phone. Unlike most though the aluminium sides have a black textured coating, which aids grip, while the back feels almost like super-smooth skin or silk rather than glass. It also has bold, contrasting colours, if you choose the white or orange variant, that make it stand out well …

Twitters Redesign Is Impressive. Is It Enough?

On Monday, Twitter began rolling out its first desktop redesign in seven years. It was a mostly aesthetic makeover, with changes like a new layout, dark mode, and a more prominent search bar. As with anything Twitter, the reaction has been polarizing, with many users criticizing the platform for not doing enough to address its major problems. Today on the Gadget Lab podcast, Arielle, Mike, and Lauren discuss the changes Twitter has made, and how the company continues to grapple with its ongoing existential crisis. Also in the news: The latest eruption of FaceApp paranoia and the nuances of Amazon’s Prime Day. Oh, and Elon Musk wants to drill a computer into your brain.

What Online Chess Taught One Teen About Digital Life

A few weeks ago, I was out to breakfast with a bunch of my guy friends and my boyfriend, crammed into a leather booth at Orphan Andy's, a diner a couple miles from where I live. We were off school that day, and one of my friends had a recurring dream about pancakes, so there we were. Per usual, I was vaguely annoyed by the omnipresent phone-checking of my friends, though this time it was accompanied by lighthearted banter of the “You dumbass, I'm going to beat you” sort, which oddly made me feel better. “What could possibly be so interesting?” I asked. This was met with a bombardment of mock disgust and the commandment to download Chess Time or …

Why YouTubes Beauty Wars Arent About Makeup

Beauty product reviews on YouTube aren’t just about beauty products and internet capitalism. They’re a conduit for drama, loyalty politics, and “cancel culture," as WIRED’s Emma Grey Ellis has learned throughout her reporting on some of YouTube’s biggest names. This week’s drama is on James Charles, a hugely popular 19-year-old beauty influencer, and Tati Westbrook, an OG YouTube beauty guru and a mentor of Charles. Coachella and hair vitamins were involved. Charles was cancelled (again). But as Ellis writes, “The real victims of cancel culture might be the rest of us, perpetually required to join the angry mob lest ye be taken for a collaborator.” We talk about this and more on this week’s Gadget Lab podcast.