Intelligent Machines

Recommended from Around the Web (Week ending November 7, 2015)

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

Nov 6, 2015

Reconsider
The programmer David Heinemeier Hansson was scheduled to speak at this week’s massive Web Summit in Dublin but did not. In the (profanity-laced) speech he says he would have given, he derides VCs and their cult of “disruption.”
Brian Bergstein, Executive Editor

Confessions of a Paywall Journalist
Why putting paywalls around journalism is bad for democracy.
Brian Bergstein

First, Let’s Get Rid of All the Bosses
Inside the mad experiment Zappos seems to be running on its workers.
Will Knight, Senior Editor, AI

Explaining Extreme Events of 2014
Tropical cyclones in Hawaii. Extreme drought across East Africa. Massive floods in Jakarta and across the Canadian prairie. Heat waves in Australia. All of these weather events were caused, to some degree, by human-induced climate change, according to the newly published report, “Explaining Extreme Events of 2014 from a Climate Perspective,” published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The annual report examines scientific studies from around the world to “break out various factors that led to the extreme events, including the degree to which natural variability and human-induced climate change played a role.” The report editors avoid the loaded word “caused,” opting for “influenced.” But the conclusion is clear: “human-caused climate change greatly increased the likelihood and intensity for extreme heat waves,” and other weather events, last year. More of the same is sure to follow.
Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Energy

The Kernel of the Argument
Most of the servers that power the Internet run the open source software Linux, which is also found in many other gadgets large and small. But the software’s mercurial inventor and maintainer is accused of making security too low a priority.
Tom Simonite, San Francisco bureau chief