A View from MIT TR Editors
Recommended from Around the Web (Week Ending September 20, 2013)
A roundup of the most interesting stories from other sites, collected by the staff at MIT Technology Review.
- Debate Revs as Decision Stalls over Oil Pipeline from Canada
Good piece on NPR about the Keystone pipeline—with a good analysis of whether it matters at all for climate change.
—Kevin Bullis, senior editor, energy
- After Disaster, DNA Science Is Helpful, but Often Too Pricey
Forensic scientists want to create an international DNA analysis organization so the technology can be available to identify the remains of people lost in large conflicts or natural disasters all over the world. NPR reports on the problems facing experts trying to identify the remains of those who died in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
—Susan Young, biomedicine editor
- DNA Double Take
Scientists are learning that genetic variations and even multiple genomes can coexist in a single person. This new understanding could have implications for forensic science aod for medical research on the genetic basis of disease.
- Are Modular Smartphones What’s Next?
The Phonebloks team has, literally, taking a piece-by-piece approach to smartphone design. If a single component breaks, replace just that piece. If you want more memory, a better camera, or a fingerprint reader, then upgrade that piece.
—Brent Turner, chief digital officer
- OpenFit Lab
Make your own pants using the technology of OpenFit Lab.
—J. Juniper Friedman, editorial assistant
- Timelapse of the Imperceptible Effects of Aging Created from Family Portraits by Anthony Cerniello
Using 3-D animation and portraits of family members ranging in age, Anthony Cerniello documents the aging process seamlessly and beautifully in a video only a few minutes long. The changes are imperceptible, but somehow the little girl in the beginning becomes the old woman at the end.
—Emily Dunkle, user interface/digital designer
- Shaken like a Polaroid Picture
This story from Christopher Bonanos over at Slate likens Apple’s current struggles to those of Polaroid. Whether or not you agree with the comparison, it’s an interesting piece with some great biz-tech history.
—Rachel Metz, IT editor, web & social media
- Conflict Minerals
National Geographic examines the effects of efforts to use “conflict-free” metals in electronics.
—Brian Bergstein, deputy editor
- I Am an Object of Internet Ridicule, Ask Me Anything
An entertaining personal essay on the nature of Internet mimesis and online culture.
—Kyanna Sutton, senior Web producer
- More Than Trading Laptops for Guns, IT Entrepreneur Aims to Rewire Baltimore
We’ve written a lot about efforts like One Laptop per Child, but this story—about an effort to get people to trade laptops for guns in inner-city Baltimore and teach people IT skills—is a reminder of how far we need to go in the United States.
—David Talbot, chief correspondent
- Homeless, Unemployed, and Surviving on Bitcoins
A new class of “homeless geeks” make it through the day with virtual money.
—Aviva Hope Rutkin, editorial intern
- Everything You Need to Know About the EPA’s Carbon Limits for New Power Plants
A good rundown by the Washington Post’s Wonkblog of the newly proposed regulations.
—Mike Orcutt, research editor