• Gavin Haynes's Sleepless Nights

    The Scent of Freshly Mown Binary

    Not many people have been wondering why the internet doesn’t have a nose. But some have. Among them: Amy Radcliffe, a design student at Central St. Martins in London. She is working on a machine that can harvest a smell by putting a big glass nose over it, analyze it, then reprod…

  • The Motherboard Guide to New Psychoactive Substances

    Designer drugs are being tweaked, multiplied, and injected into the internet's one-stop pharmacies so furiously that authorities are scrambling to rejigger existing global drug laws that just can't keep up with today's synthetic speed. Here's what you should know about the past,

  • Anatomy of a No. 1 Post on Reddit

    In terms of exposure, it is the modern, DIY, 20-35 demographic equivalent of getting a story on the front page of The New York Times. And it had taken me about 20 minutes to write. Which is why, throughout the day, my moods blew through both euphoric gusto and guilt-stained anxie…

  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Gold

    According to a 2011 US Geological Survey report, only 51,000 tons of gold remain to be extracted from the earth. Total gold production in 2012 was 2,700 tons, which would have a retail value of around $110 billion. To put that into perspective, Google’s total revenues for 2012 we…

  • 'OMNI' Magazine Will Rise Again

    The magazine’s been out of print for 15 years, but while it lasted it was a gonzo blend of science and science fiction. It was sexy, irreverent, scarily prescient, and I never imagined that I'd find myself elbow-deep in the biggest 'OMNI' collection in the world.

  • Hello, NSA - Generate Keywords the NSA Has Flagged

    The government is listening to your internets. Use Motherboard's new app to generate a sentence with some of the keywords the NSA is looking for. Tweet or share and you could earn a new invasive and overbearing follower in Washington.

  • Why Do You See What You See When You're Tripping on Psychedelics?

    It's a riddle that's lingered as long as humans have been deliberately altering their minds with chemicals, which is to say for all of human history. To crack it, try taking a good look at yourself tripping face, and you'll find that why you're seeing exactly what you're seeing i…

  • To Stop Infectious Diseases, Quarantine the Popular Kids

    In the event of a pandemic outbreak of bird flu or the new MERS virus, public officials might want to look at quarantining children and teachers first. A new study has found that young people and school teachers are prime candidates to spread infection due to the amount of 'socia…

  • The 1960s Snowdens: NSA Agents Who Showed Up in Moscow Bearing Secrets

    There's precedent for saying "I'm going on vacation" then showing up in Moscow. Fifty-three years ago, two NSA agents told their bosses they were going on vacation, went to Mexico before slipping off to Havana en route to the Soviet Union, where they surfaced in September 1960.

  • The Creators Project

    Harvey Moon's Drawing Machines

    How does a cricket become an artist? Try placing it in one of Harvey Moon's drawing machines where its movements will be tracked by a camera and turned into original works of art. He makes these "happy collaborations" in his Chicago studio where he creates the system, a set of ru…

  • Barnaby Jack Could Hack Your Pacemaker and Make Your Heart Explode

    Having your heart wirelessly hacked and set to explode at 830 volts could be viewed as a bit of a setback if you're considering getting a pacemaker fitted. It could also be viewed as the kind of thing that would only happen in a Jason Statham movie about a serial killer with an i…

  • A Chat with Some Immoral Hackers Who Don't Care About Your Feelings

    Chances are, you don't understand how to use the internet. You think you do, but are you even aware of the scale of it? It's fucking massive. Unless you are the number-one person in the entire world at understanding the internet, there is always someone who knows more about it th…

  • These Men Built the World's First Bona Fide Flying Bike

    We may have been promised jetpacks, but at least we got flying bicycles. John Foden and Yannick Read recently won themselves a slice of blogospheric fame by unveiling the Paravelo, a sort of bicycle/parasail hybrid that can reach heights of 4,000 feet. That's three-quarters of a

  • We Want Our Organ Donors to Be Like Us

    New research suggests that we prefer organ donations from people most like us in both body and mind. But should we trust those instincts before going under the knife?