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Seven Must-Read Stories (Week Ending October 25, 2013)

Another chance to catch the most interesting, and important, articles from the previous week on MIT Technology Review.
  1. The Decline of Wikipedia
    Even as more people rely on it, fewer people are writing it. Is the Web’s idealistic era over?
  2. Flame-Shaping Electric Fields Could Make Power Plants Cleaner
    ClearSign’s pollution-reducing technology could help power plants burn less fuel and make more money.
  3. The Real Privacy Problem
    As Web companies and government agencies analyze ever more information about our lives, it’s tempting to respond by passing new privacy laws or creating mechanisms that pay us for our data. Instead, we need a civic solution, because democracy is at risk.
  4. Million-Year Data Storage Disk Unveiled
    Magnetic hard disks can store data for little more than a decade. But nanotechnologists have now designed and built a disk that can store data for a million years or more.
  5. A Tale of Two Drugs
    Today’s medicines can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. The story of how two companies set prices for their costly new drugs suggests that the way we determine the value of such treatments will help decide the future of our health-care system.
  6. New Gene Therapy Company Launches
    Spark Therapeutics hopes to commercialize multiple gene-based treatments developed at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
  7. Why This Might Be the Model T of Workplace Robots
    A mobile, one-armed robot that costs $35,000 is headed for research labs and maybe even some workplaces.
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