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Meet the UKs New, Very British Fighter Jet

Tally-ho, chocks away, and jolly good show: The UK’s new Tempest fighter jet will be a decidedly British affair. In July, the UK’s Ministry of Defense announced its new jet will be developed almost exclusively on British soil. The Brits hope the airplane will exhibit the country's military prowess even as it exits the European Union, and as its traditional defense partners and longtime allies in the United States back into isolationism. The Royal Air Force’s current key aircraft, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Lockheed Martin F-35, are both the…

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Airstreams $40,000 Baby Trailer Gets an Off-Roading Upgrade

If you’re considering adding some #vanlife to your Instagram feed but lack either (a) a van, or (b) a place outside your Bushwick walk-up to stash the 28-foot Airstream Land Yacht, consider the Airstream Basecamp. At 16 feet long and 2,635 pounds, the silver bullet’s baby brother is svelte enough to be towed with most midsize SUVs and short enough to slide into a New York City parking spot. If that wasn’t convenient enough, this week Airstream released an optional upgrade to make the Basecamp even better suited for your…

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This Week in the Future of Cars: The Inside Look

Every so often, WIRED gets to take a good, long sojourn behind the scenes, to observe what the people we write about are doing all day. This was one of those nice weeks. Editor Alex Davies hopped a plane to Winnemucca, an isolated mining town in northern Nevada that’s hosting Alphabet’s latest moonshot: its effort to spread the gospel of internet via broadcasting balloons. Senior writer Jessi Hempl got under Uber’s hood after the announcement that HR chief Liane Hornsey—the woman brought in to fix the unicorn’s culture—resigned for improperly…

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The Engineering Behind Elon Musk’s Bid to Save Thailand’s Cave Boys

Around 6 pm Tuesday at Tham Luang in Thailand, the last of the 13 survivors who had spent 18 days trapped in a cave emerged to safety. A rescue team had spent the past three days getting the boys out after five days of desperate planning and calculations since their discovery. As the boys’ oxygen supply dwindled, doubts in the rescuers’ ability to save them mounted. The boys weren’t trained scuba divers, and they were facing a voyage on which a pro Thai Navy SEAL died, while placing oxygen tank…

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The Terrible Timing of Tesla’s Expiring $7,500 Tax Credit

Just a few weeks after finally reaching its goal of building 5,000 Model 3 sedans in a week, Tesla has hit another threshold: Earlier this month, it sold its 200,000th car in the US. This milestone, however, is more cause for concern than celebration: From here on out, Elon Musk's customers will start to lose access to the $7,500 federal tax credit that softens the blow of buying an expensive electric. The tax credit scheme dates to the 2008 Energy Improvement and Extension Act, which boosted the budding electric car…

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Inside X, the Moonshot Factory Racing to Build the Next Google

At 6:40 in the morning, a klaxon horn sounds three times. “Gas!” a man in a hard hat and fluorescent vest yells out. There’s a hissing noise, and the helium starts flowing. From the tanks stacked like cordwood on a nearby truck, the gas moves through a series of hoses until it’s 55 feet up, then through a copper pipe and into the top of a plastic tube that hangs down to the ground, like a shed snake skin held up for inspection. It’s a Wednesday in late June in…

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Elon Musk visits Shanghai to announce first Tesla factory outside U.S.

Right after Tesla raised the prices of its cars by at least $20,000 each due to China's increased import tariffs on American-made cars, the company announced it would open its first international factory in Shanghai today. This will allow the car manufacturer to circumvent the newly imposed taxes.Image: Shanghai Municipal People’s government A looming trade war with China hasn’t slowed down Elon Musk or his beloved brainchild Tesla. Right after the car company was forced to raise the prices of its cars by at least $20,000 each due to China’s…

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Boeings Proposed Hypersonic Plane Is Really, Really Fast

Aviation enthusiasts yearning for ultra-fast, ultra-sleek intercontinental transportation—rather than 18-hour flights on stuffed-to-the gills widebody behemoths—might finally get their wish. At least, if the airplane concept Boeing unveiled this week becomes reality. The company revealed renderings of its proposed hypersonic, passenger-carrying airliner Tuesday at the annual American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference in Atlanta. Both visually and technologically, the airplane, which could be used for both military and commercial purposes, has much in common with an unmanned hypersonic surveillance and reconnaissance concept the company revealed in January. Both share…

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Distracted Driving Is Out of Control, and There’s No Single Cure

Driving isn’t supposed to be miserable. Open road, your fave tunes, a navigation app to take away the uncertainty. But a new, small study released today by AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that those infotainment systems built into vehicles’ consoles make driving a bit more dangerous, by demanding too much of those who are supposed to be watching the road. This study isn’t the first to come to such a conclusion. A bunch of new of research, from scientists and from public companies, indicates that all the gizmos that…

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Volkswagen’s all-electric race car makes history on Pikes Peak

Volkswagen's all-electric I.D. R Pikes Peak has broken records.Image: volkswagen For the last 100 years, cars have been setting records on top of Colorado’s Pikes Peak. Another record has been broken this year, but this time it comes courtesy of a specially-designed electric race car developed by Volkswagen, the I.D. R Pikes Peak. SEE ALSO: Trapping carbon pollution underground for thousands of years is key to fighting climate change The prototype, helmed by French racing driver Romain Dumas, broke records on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, clocking a time…

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When It Comes to Tipping, Millennials Are Cheapest

U.S. millennials are quick to whip out their wallets for pricey avocado toast and craft beer. But when it comes to rewarding the waiters and bartenders who serve them, those wallets often stay closed. Ten percent of millennials don’t tip at all when dining out compared with only three percent among the older generations, according to a The study was conducted for CreditCards.com by market-research firm GfK, which gathered data last month from 1,000 Americans aged 18 and older. Millennials were defined as between the ages of 18 and 37. Beyond those poor…

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The Brilliant Vigilance of Seattle’s Gargantuan New Tunnel

Say there’s a fire. A fire caused by a car crash, inside a 2.5-mile tunnel under a major American city. It’s a terrifying idea, but if you want that kind of problem to ignite anywhere, it’s in the stretch of State Route 99 that, later this year, will start whisking traffic underneath downtown Seattle. That’s because this bit of SR 99 is more than the hemisphere’s largest-diameter bored tunnel and the country’s longest roadway tunnel outside of Alaska, much of it dug by Bertha, formerly the planet’s largest boring machine.…

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Save the Scooters, Redesign the Streets, and Save San Francisco

The scooters have disappeared from San Francisco. In anticipation of regulations that took effect today, Bird, Lime Bike, and Spin have warehoused their fleets of the shared electric two-wheelers. They won’t be able to redeploy them unless the city grants them a special permit, which could take the better part of the month. Good riddance, many will say. The city should cap their numbers, control their behavior, or, better yet, incinerate the whole lot. They and their hubristic riders are a menace, terrorists of the sidewalk. That’s why I smear…

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Automakers Are Making Car Ownership Optional

People seeking a set of wheels traditionally had two options: buy or lease. But the advent of ride hailing turned the next generation of drivers into backseat riders. Now app-based subscriptions—think car sharing that’s paid by the month, not the hour—are vying for consumers who fall between Uber addicts and car owners. Car sharing is projected to grow globally from 5.8 million users in 2015 to 35 million by 2021, according to Boston Consulting Group. “If we’re right, nobody’s going to borrow money to buy a car again,” says Scott…

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Israel’s Self-Flying ‘Cormorant’ Whisks Wounded Soldiers to Safety

Five men in white overalls lifted the stretcher off the ground, one of them taking care to lay a clear plastic IV bag that’s connected to the patient onto his stomach. They marched him toward what looks like a black inflatable dinghy on small wheels, crossed with a fly. The stretcher was loaded in through a hatch on the side, and then the men stood back. The patient was actually a medical training mannequin, but that didn’t stop him (it, rather) from taking part in the first “mission representative” demonstration…

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