A View from MIT TR Editors
Recommended from Around the Web (Week Ending September 27, 2013)
A roundup of the most interesting stories from other sites, collected by the staff at MIT Technology Review.
- How Evil Should a Video Game Allow You to Be?
An excellent piece on the moral history of video games, by Simon Parkin.
—Will Knight, news and ananlysis editor
- Space Farming: The Final Frontier
An engaging look at NASA’s scheme to grow lettuce aboard the International Space Station.
—Aviva Hope Rutkin, editorial intern
- F1: A Distributed SQL Database That Scales
As this paper reveals, Google is using an exciting new kind of database for AdWords (where it makes 95% of its revenue).
—Brent Turner, chief digital officer
Artist Hannah Faesenkloet designs accessories for the hearing impaired.
—J. Juniper Friedman, editorial assistant
- Please, Twitter, Just Stay Weird
Glad someone said this about Twitter. It’s becoming more tedious, less interesting.
—Antonio Regalado, senior editor, business
- How a Crypto ‘Backdoor’ Pitted the Tech World against the NSA
Some substantial reporting on alleged NSA backdoor into NIST cryptography standards.
- Somebody Stole 7 Milliseconds from the Federal Reserve
Traders have apparently broken the speed of light based on reaction time to Fed news.
- Why We’re Shutting Off Our Comments
Must … silence … readers. Reason: bad comments skew science.
- “OMG GMO” SMDH
Michael Specter of the New Yorker dismantles the shabby science behind an anti-GMO movie.
—Brian Bergstein, deputy director
- Censored by Google
The dangers of letting algorithms dictate matters of art, taste, and propriety.
- Interstellar 8-Track: How Voyager’s Vintage Tech Keeps Running
Do you remember the 8-track tape? Thirty-six years later it still wows humankind with new discoveries.
—Colby Wheeler, manager of information technology
- Bill Gates Admits Control-Alt-Delete was a Mistake, Blames IBM
Theoretically users are able to lock a machine or access their task manager with one button, yet we still use Ctrl-Alt-Delete today and every day.
—James Friedman, director of advertising sales
- Sudan Internet Cut Off as Protests Erupt Against Government in Khartoum
We can rightfully worry over NSA surveillance, but the Sudanese government’s apparent shutoff of the Internet to suppress dissent was a reminder of how susceptible the Internet can be to total national control.
—David Talbot, chief correspondent
- EPA Won’t Require Carbon Trapping for Existing Power Plants
Some important news—upcoming rules on existing power plants won’t require CCS, another blow to the development of the technology.
—Kevin Bullis, senior editor, energy
- Horse_Ebooks Is Human After All
For years Twitter addicts have venerated a mysterious, seemingly automated account and its Zen-like pronouncements. Now the humans behind @horse_ebooks have stepped forward.
—Tom Simonite, senior editor, IT
- Water: The Flow of Technology
Alarming story on how farmers must turn to increasingly complex technology to squeeze water from depleted aquifers, the air, or even the ocean.