A View from MIT TR Editors
Recommended from Around the Web (Week Ending November 22, 2013)
A roundup of the most interesting stories from other sites, collected by the staff at MIT Technology Review.
Developing a Fax Machine to Copy Life on Mars
Why Craig Venter wants to put a DNA sequencing machine on Mars and how his “biological fax” could be useful here on Earth.
—Susan Young, biomedicine editor
Catching Ourselves in the Act of Thinking
Talk to yourself aloud? You’re not crazy. Here’s a thought-provoking thesis on the nature of human identity and consciousness: “Unless we talk to ourselves, we are not ourselves.”
—Kyanna Sutton, senior Web producer
Gross Domestic Freebie
The New Yorker posits that when it comes to online social-network IPOs, the emperor wears no clothes. “You may think that Wikipedia, Twitter, Snapchat, Google Maps, and so on are valuable. But, as far as G.D.P. is concerned, they barely exist.”
Protecting Privacy by Redefining New Home Design
Residential architecture that puts privacy on a pedestal.
—Colby Wheeler, manager of information technology
Long-Term Unemployment May Accelerate Ageing in Men
Curious findings from DNA samples of 5,620 men and women born in Finland in 1966: men who are unemployed for more than two years are more likely to show signs of aging.
—Sooz, senior producer, content & community
The First-Ever Official Video for “Like a Rolling Stone” Is an Interactive Masterpiece
Choose your own adventure video!
—J. Juniper Friedman, editorial assistant
What Screens Want
Designer Frank Chimero addresses the current state of the Web and questions the businesses that have been built on the Internet in the last decade.
—Emily Dunkle, user interface/digital designer
Are XPRIZEs the Future of Scientific Discovery and Exploration?
The biggest winner in X Prizes is the X Prize Foundation itself. Key point as prize fever spreads.
—Antonio Regalado, senior editor, business
Number of the Week: U.S. Producing More Oil Than It Imports
U.S. oil production surpasses imports for first time in nearly 20 years.
They’re Watching You at Work
Moneyball for the rest of us: Will basing hiring decisions on creepy data analytics make life less fair or more so?
—Linda Lowenthal, copy chief
How the Feds Took Down the Silk Road Drug Wonderland
Dive into the murky world of Bitcoin drug trade kingpin Dread Pirate Roberts with this analysis of how the Feds brought him down.
—Tom Simonite, senior editor, IT
Stuxnet’s Secret Twin
Three years have been spent picking apart the Stuxnet malware targeted against Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. The research reveals it was originally crafted for an even more secretive attack.
The Undelivered Speech
The speech John F. Kennedy was scheduled to deliver at the Dallas Trade Mart on November 22, 1963, celebrated, in part, science and technology research at the University of Texas and elsewhere. Kennedy’s clarity of vision would put a man on the moon less than six years later.
—David Talbot, chief correspondent
The 16 Most Important Bitcoinaires
Bitcoin is surging, and Buzzfeed has a signature listicle pointing out the digital currency’s biggest players—at least those not “shrouded in mystery.”
—Mike Orcutt, research editor