Intelligent Machines

Recommended Computing Reads This Week

A roundup of the best stories on computing from other sites, collected by Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review’s San Francisco bureau chief.

Dec 2, 2015

Hacked Toymaker VTech Admits Breach Actually Hit 6.3 Million Children
Vice’s discovery that a Hong Kong company that makes a popular cheap tablet for kids had been hacked suggests that toys that connect to the Internet could have considerable downsides.

Why Mark Zuckerberg Wants to Spend on Personalized Learning
In the letter announcing that he would give away most of his fortune this week, “personalized learning” was the first thing the Facebook CEO said he would spend it on. Evidence that the technology can help educational outcomes is so far unclear, though.

How to Sell or Recycle Old Electronics
The New York Times reviews programs that will take outdated gadgets off your hands, assuaging your conscience and sometimes earning you a few dollars at the same time.

Can an English Teacher Learn to Code?
New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio wants every kid in public school to be taught computer science. The New Yorker attends a class for teachers learning what programming is for the first time.

How Corporate America Keeps Huge Hacks Secret
CNN describes how U.S. law allows power companies, banks, and industrial plants to keep it a secret when hackers gain access to their systems. Experts say that keeping the details of such incidents under wraps forever limits our understanding of the problem and efforts to contain it.