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A View from MIT TR Editors

Recommended from Around the Web (Week Ending August 16, 2013)

A roundup of the most interesting stories from other sites, collected by the staff at MIT Technology Review.

  • August 16, 2013

Don’t You Dare Say “Disruptive” It’s the Most Pernicious Cliché of Our Time
The unintended, and disruptive, consequences of one of Silicon Valley’s favorite buzzwords.
—Will Knight, online editor

Genetically Modified Crops Pass Benefits to Weeds
Nature news reports on a study suggesting that genetically modified crops can pass on pesticide resistance to wild and weedy relatives, making the non-crops more competitive, even in the absence of pesticide. 
—Susan Young, biomedicine editor

How a “Deviant” Philosopher Built Palantir, a CIA-Funded Data-Mining Juggernaut
This is a great story about Palantir, whose data-mining software can help with all kinds of analysis-related efforts, such as thwarting terrorist attacks. Special attention is given to CEO Alex Karp, who apparently must have a bodyguard with him at all times to protect against death threats.
—Rachel Metz, IT editor

Intermittent Nature of Green Power Is Challenge for Utilities
Grid operators, uncomfortable about the unpredictability of wind power, may by shutting down wind farms more than necessary, and instead relying on dirty diesel power plants.
—Kevin Bullis, senior energy editor

Facebook Is Indeed a Downer, Another Study Suggests
Too much FB is not good for you.
—J. Juniper Friedman, editorial assistant

The Killing Machines
Mark Bowden at The Atlantic reflects on what it means to live in a world of “push-button warfare.”
—Aviva Hope Rutkin, editorial intern

Meet the Hackers Who Want to Jailbreak the Internet
A group of Internet pioneers trying to make the Web more focused on people than corporations.
—Tom Simonite, senior IT editor

The Surprisingly Large Energy Footprint of the Digital Economy
This piece from Time builds on an analyst report to discuss how much energy is drained by digitizing everything.
—Brian Bergstein, deputy editor

LG Ships Retro TV with Rotary Dials
Time to get up from your couch to change that channel. LG’s new TV brings back the rotary dials on its latest television set.
—Brent Turner, chief digital officer

Couple Builds Home in New York City Out of Shipping Containers
A video story about a couple who built their home in New York City out of shipping containers “and how it changed the world.”
—David Sweeney, marketing manager

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