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A View from MIT TR Editors

Recommended from Around the Web (Week Ending October 25, 2013)

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

  • October 26, 2013

Edison’s Revenge
Thanks to a new version of the USB standard, the ubiquitous plug will be able to supply much more powerful devices and could give Nikola Tesla the posthumous last laugh over arch-rival Thomas Edison.
Tom Simonite, senior editor, IT

The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think
This profile of maverick cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter left me with a feeling that he may be right to dismiss what Google and others call artificial intelligence as mere “trickery.”
—Tom Simonite

China Tries to Clean Up Toxic Legacy of Its Rare Earth Riches
A look at the dirty side of rare earths, crucial materials for wind turbines and laptops.
Kevin Bullis, senior editor, energy

How Texas Lost the World’s Largest Super Collider
In 1993, budget concerns killed a government project to build the world’s largest supercollider in Texas, delaying the discovery of the Higgs boson and leaving unused miles of tunnels carved below a Dallas suburb.
Susan Young, biomedicine editor

Twenty-One Under Thirty-Five
A list, similar in vein to our 35 Under 35, but with a focus on product design. Wish list item #1: Soft Light designed by Simon Frambach.
—J. Juniper Friedman, editorial assistant

How to Build a Happier Brain
Q+A with Dr. Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist, about his book Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, which explains why human brains are not naturally wired or conditioned for “happiness.”
—Kyanna Sutton, senior Web producer

Every Apple Competitor Bought Twitter Ads for iPad Reveal
I thought this article was interesting. Given the fact that I’m in advertising and I’d never heard the term “ ‘brand-jacking.”
—Rob Finley, West Coast advertising sales executive

America’s Mood Map: An Interactive Guide to the United States of Attitude
Not only was I curious to take the test and learn that Georgia matched my personality (I’ve never been), I found this to be a great example of a “socially shareable” type of editorial.
—James Friedman, director of advertising sales

Book of Lamentations
How the newest edition of the psychiatric guide the DSM-5 bears a strange resemblance to dystopian fiction.
Will Knight, news and analysis editor

All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines
In the Atlantic, Nicholas Carr explains why “automation, for all its benefits, can take a toll on the performance and talents of those who rely on it.”
Brian Bergstein, deputy editor

Corruption in Peru Aids Cutting of Rain Forest
To limit climate change we need clean energy technology, but also to stop deforestation, and communication strategies to tell people things like where the mahogany decking comes from.
David Talbot, chief correspondent

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