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Seven Must-Read Stories (Week Ending July 19, 2014)

Another chance to catch the most interesting, and important, articles from the previous week on MIT Technology Review.
  1. How Can a Civilian Plane Accidentally Be Shot Down?
    It’s not certain whether Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was brought down because of mistaken identity, but it is plausible.
  2. Jibo the Family Robot Might Be Oddly Charming, or Just Plain Odd
    The “world’s first family robot” is based on efforts to elicit emotional response in humans—a powerful idea, but one fraught with challenges.
  3. Energy Demands of Networked Devices Skyrocket
    As the Internet of things grows to encompass billions of devices, its power usage will require novel technologies for improving efficiency.
  4. Thermoelectric Material to Hit Market Later This Year
    A California-based company is commercializing an abundant, naturally occurring material that can turn waste heat into power.
  5. Flexible, Printed Batteries for Wearable Devices
    Imprint Energy is developing a long-lasting, bendable, and rechargeable battery.
  6. An Explanation of the Evidence of Weaknesses in the Iron Dome Defense System
  7. Forget the Wisdom of Crowds; Neurobiologists Reveal the Wisdom of the Confident
    The wisdom of crowds breaks down when people are biased. Now researchers have discovered a simple method of removing this bias–just listen to the most confident.
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