Recommended from Around the Web (Week Ending January 24, 2014)
Eagle Scout. Idealist. Drug Trafficker?
An incisive profile of the suspect and the ideology behind Silk Road, the defunct online drug bazaar.
—Brian Bergstein, deputy editor
The Macintosh Turns 30: Going the Distance
Happy 30th birthday, Macintosh! CNET commemorates the Mac’s third decade with the story of how it came to be.
—Colby Wheeler, manager of information technology
Epigenetic Event-Impacting Protein Linked to Alzheimer’s Memory Loss
Pretty matter-of-fact write-up, but I thought this was pretty cool. Hopefully the phase 1 human studies will go well.
—Molly Frey, senior software engineer
Biofuel from Desert Plants Grown with Seawater
A neat idea, field trials are coming, and there’s a Masdar tie-in.
The End of Anonymity
Technical barriers once prevented authorities from using facial recognition to find the name matching any face, but those barriers are slowly being eroded.
—Tom Simonite, senior editor, IT
Pope Francis Says the Internet is a ‘Gift from God’
The drawbacks of modern communications technology are real, Francis said, but “they don’t justify rejecting social media. Rather, they remind us that communication is ultimately a human rather than a technological achievement.”
—Mike Orcutt, research editor
The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You
In the age of the click-baity Upworthy headline style, researchers have confirmed that when it comes to content that resonates, Aristotle’s credo of “ethos, pathos, and logos” lives on online.
—Kyanna Sutton, senior Web producer
Snowden Calls Russian-Spy Story “Absurd” In Exclusive Interview
In an interview with the New Yorker, Edward Snowden refutes claims by some in Congress that he might be a spy, adding that “in nine months no one has credibly shown any harm to national security” from his revelations about NSA eavesdropping.
—David Talbot, chief correspondent
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
ChatGPT is going to change education, not destroy it
The narrative around cheating students doesn’t tell the whole story. Meet the teachers who think generative AI could actually make learning better.
Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives
The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.
Learning to code isn’t enough
Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.
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