The 17 Most-read WIRED Stories of 2017

What were WIRED readers interested in during the past year? Well, they seem to be no more interested in Donald Trump than in bananas, which they care about less than Apple. They cared a great deal, too, about hackers and about the great reckoning that the tech industry faced in 2017—reckoning with the responsibilities that come with power and reckoning with gender dynamics that have remained little discussed for too long. They also were interested in ways to live forever, but also in how we think through the inevitability of death. And no one wanted to burn their eyes during the solar eclipse.

Here are the seventeen most read stories of the year, arranged chronologically. Look back to get a sense of this intense, crazy, and inventive year. And, of course, for daily dispatches of the best of WIRED, sign up for our newsletter.

A Russian Slot Machine Hack Is Costing Casinos Big Time

Digging through slot machine source code helped a St. Petersburg-based syndicate make off with millions.

—Brendan Koerner, February 6

Humans Made the Banana Perfect—But Soon, It’ll Be Gone

The history of coffee gives us surprising insight into the future of the banana.

—Rob Dunn, March 14

What Does ‘Covfefe’ Mean? The Internet Will Define That For You.

When President Trump tweeted a fake word, the rest of the world defined it for him.

—Angela Watercutter, May 31

What’s Wrong with Apple’s New Headquarters

The architecture and design of the years-in-the-making Apple Park are brilliant. How it fits into the world around it? Not so much.

—Adam Rogers, June 8

Forget the Blood of Teens. Metformin Promises to Extend Life for a Nickel a Pill

The more researchers learn about metformin, the more it seems like a medieval wonder drug that could boost longevity in the 21st century.

—Sam Apple, July 1


James Damore’s Google Memo Gets Science All Wrong

Damore’s analysis of the science cited his memo is at best politically naive, and at worst dangerous.

—Megan Molteni, Adam Rogers August 15

How to Watch the Total Solar Eclipse Without Glasses

Sure, you could buy solar glasses. Or you could save your money and make a DIY pinhole.

—Rhett Allain, August 21

The Day I Found Out My Life Was Hanging by a Thread

Startup CEO Matt Bencke, 45, thought he’d thrown out his back. Then he went to the ER and received the most sobering news of his life.

—Matt Bencke August 24

Why Men Don’t Believe the Data on Gender Bias in Science

In this opinion column, a physics professor explains why male scientists devalue research that identifies gender bias in the field.

—Alison Coil, August 25

The Equifax Breach: Here’s How to Protect Yourself

Don’t panic, but start watching your credit report and financial accounts very closely.

—Lily Hay Newman, September 7

Meet the iPhone X, Apple’s New High-End Handset

All the details on Apple’s newest iPhones, including the much-anticipated iPhone X.

—David Pierce, September 12

‘I Forgot My PIN’: An Epic Tale of Losing $30,000 in Bitcoin

Veteran tech journalist Mark Frauenfelder tries everything, including hypnosis, to recover a small fortune from a locked bitcoin device.

—Mark Frauenfelder, October 29

Apple’s iPhone X: The First Field Report

Yeah, it’s gorgeous. But the most impressive thing about it is what happens next.

—Steven Levy, November 1

Google’s Artificial-Intelligence Wizard Unveils a New Twist on Neural Networks

Google’s Geoff Hinton helped catalyze the current AI boom—and says he knows how to make machines smarter at understanding the world.

—Tom Simonite, November 1

Elon Musk Reveals Tesla’s Electric Semitruck

Everything we learned about the big battery, specs, and range of Elon Musk’s most electrifying gamble yet.

—Alex Davies, November 16

What Does Tesla’s Automated Truck Mean for Truckers?

Well, that kind of depends on what you mean by “trucker.”

—Aarian Marshall, November 17

The Mirai Botnet Was Part of a College Student Minecraft Scheme

The DDoS attack that crippled the internet last fall wasn’t the work of a nation-state. It was three college kids working a Minecraft hustle.

—Garrett Graff, December 13