I guess we can't say they didn't warn us. For July's edition, the "Found" item was a cover of the magazine itself, dated 02018, with (naturally) a number of clever headlines, reportorial witticisms and future references, including "The Final Found". Little did we suspect that "final" referred to 02008, rather than a decade hence.
So, what gives? Are they selling out coveted magazine real estate to eager advertisers? Taking a break to keep readers guessing? Or have the good folks at Wired simply run out of ideas?
Whatever the story, people are disappointed. On 23 July, programr commented beneath the last "Found" published online:
I can't believe that it looks like Wired has ditched Artifacts from the Future in the latest edition. I for one, would consider stopping subscribing because of this. It sounds silly, but this single page was part of the reason I told others to subscribe to this magazine. Without it, well, a major talking point is now gone.
Sentiments echoed in comments posted since.
And I agree with them. To me, for some time this has consistently been the magazine's most interesting feature.
In the wake of this development, Rhaomi at Metafilter has posted links to all the archived versions of Found (similar to what we've done here, most recently for the 02004 collection), and in the process, added dates for the projected futures depicted, which makes for an interesting overview of the varying time horizon.
Pending confirmation of the end of Found, I won't publish the 02008 collection just yet, but I do intend to continue next month with the pre-'04 archive (which as yet appears nowhere else online, it seems). And, with many other Wired readers, I'll hope we haven't seen the last of this innovative segment.
[02007 | 02006 | 02005 | 02004]
Update (04/08/08): Found is finished, according to a FishbowlNY report quoting personal email from Wired deputy editor Thomas Goetz. But a replacement feature, edited by Found veteran Chris Baker, is scheduled to start in October: "we are cooking up something very cool and very original for our *new* backpage feature, a new twist on the form that we think will engage and entertain our readers as much as Found has."
Update (22/09/08): Found: Redux