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Seven Must-Read Stories (Week Ending October 18, 2013)

Another chance to catch the most interesting, and important, articles from the previous week on MIT Technology Review.
  1. As We May Type
    New outliners and authoring tools are machines for new thoughts.
  2. Leading Economist Predicts a Bitcoin Backlash
    Economist Simon Johnson says governments will feel the urge to suppress the crypto-currency Bitcoin.
  3. Qualcomm to Build Neuro-Inspired Chips
    World’s largest smartphone chipmaker offers to custom-build very efficient neuro-inspired chips for phones, robots, and vision systems.
  4. So Far, Smart Watches Are Pretty Dumb
    Smart watches risk becoming just another irritating gadget unless their makers learn to use AI and sensors to take advantage of the fact that they’re worn all day.
  5. Will GOTCHAs Replace CAPTCHAs?
    Distorted pieces of text are often used to prevent computers getting unauthorised access to websites. Now a team of computer scientists think they can do better with inkblot tests instead.
  6. Three Questions for Microsoft’s New Head of Research, Peter Lee
    As Microsoft prepares to absorb Nokia’s handset business, a new research strategy emerges.
  7. Crowdsourcing Mobile App Takes the Globe’s Economic Pulse
    A startup pays people around the world to log prices in their local stores each day, offering a real-time way to track how economies are doing.
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Conceptual illustration of a therapy session
Conceptual illustration of a therapy session

The therapists using AI to make therapy better

Researchers are learning more about how therapy works by examining the language therapists use with clients. It could lead to more people getting better, and staying better.

street in Kabul at night
street in Kabul at night

Can Afghanistan’s underground “sneakernet” survive the Taliban?

A once-thriving network of merchants selling digital content to people without internet connections is struggling under Taliban rule.

Conceptual illustration showing a file folder with the China flag and various papers flying out of it
Conceptual illustration showing a file folder with the China flag and various papers flying out of it

The US crackdown on Chinese economic espionage is a mess. We have the data to show it.

The US government’s China Initiative sought to protect national security. In the most comprehensive analysis of cases to date, MIT Technology Review reveals how far it has strayed from its goals.

IBM engineers at Ames Research Center
IBM engineers at Ames Research Center

Where computing might go next

The future of computing depends in part on how we reckon with its past.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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