Recommended from Around the Web (Week ending September 26, 2015)
Blood and Soil
Adam Gopnik reviews Timothy Snyder’s new history of the Shoah, Black Earth, which explains Hitler’s anti-Semitism as grounded in a belief that races were real and helplessly committed to a Darwinian competition for land and food. Snyder’s book was excerpted in the New York Review of Books, as “Hitler’s World.” And Snyder elaborated on his interpretation of the Holocaust, and related it to our times, in “History’s True Warning.”
—Jason Pontin, editor in chief and publisher
How Much of Your Audience Is Fake?
Bloomberg explains why “increasingly, digital ad viewers aren’t human,” which means marketers are getting less certain of the value of what they spend on advertising.
—Brian Bergstein, executive editor
Who’s Benefiting from MOOCs, and Why?
Last fall we looked at some initial data on how MOOCs were affecting education. Now more recent research indicates the online classes are particularly useful for poor people in developing countries.
IVF Embryos to Be Genetically Manipulated as Scientists Investigate Repeated Miscarriages
U.K. scientists seek permission to use CRISPR on human IVF embryos to investigate miscarriages.
—Antonio Regalado, senior editor, biomedicine
Gene Editing: Bring It On
George Church is loudly in favor of germ-line editing and human augmentation.
A Tricky Path to Quantum-Safe Encryption
If quantum computers become practical, the encryption technology that keeps our data safe will be useless. Some cryptographers and the U.S. National Security Agency are trying to invent new forms of encryption that could be safe in a post-quantum world.
—Tom Simonite, San Francisco bureau chief
Obama Administration Quietly Explored Ways to Bypass Smartphone Encryption
The Obama administration has explored four different ways to allow law enforcement to unlock encrypted data.
Forensic Artist Put a Face to the ‘Baby Doe’ Tragedy
Christi Andrews of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children used image manipulation technology to turn gruesome morgue photos into a rendering so lifelike that it helped identify a murdered child.
—Linda Lowenthal, copy chief
The Life of a Professional Guinea Pig
Barfing in a bucket, swallowing garlic to bring blood pressure down, and other folkways of people who make a living as subjects in clinical drug trials.
Meet the Man Helping Tech Companies like Uber Crush Government Regulation
Political veteran Bradley Tusk helped Michael Bloomberg win a third term as mayor of New York, but his work fighting governments on behalf of Uber is what’s made him rich.
—Nanette Byrnes, senior editor, Business Reports
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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