A View from MIT TR Editors
Recommended from Around the Web (Week ending December 13, 2015)
A roundup of the most interesting stories from other sites, collected by the staff at MIT Technology Review.
Bitcoin’s Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Is Probably This Unknown Australian Genius
Who invented Bitcoin? Newsweek got it very wrong. Wired gets much closer to the truth, even if something is still not quite right.
—Brian Bergstein, Executive Editor
J&J, Alphabet Aim for Smarter, Smaller, Cheaper Surgical Robot
Google Alphabet and J&J are developing surgical robots that are powered by machine learning.
—Antonio Regalado, Senior Editor, Biomedicine
Malaria Kills a Half-Million Africans a Year. Gene-Edited Mosquitoes Might Stop It.
A second gene drive in mosquitoes that causes populations to crash.
Bret Easton Ellis on Living in the Cult of Likability
The author of Less Than Zero says business platforms that rely on customer reviews, like Uber, make us feel like “specialists with voices that deserve to be heard,” but their influence is actually pushing us toward conformity.
—Nanette Byrnes, Senior Editor, Business Reports
Why AT&T Is Out-Building Google Fiber
When Google invited cities to pitch to host installations of its high-speed broadband service, Fiber, many mayors scrambled to show their cities were ready. That’s helped AT&T speed up the rollout of its next-generation broadband service, adding to earlier evidence that Google’s injection of much-needed competition into the ISP market is helping improve U.S. infrastructure (see “The Wait-for-Google-to-Do-It Strategy”).
—Tom Simonite, San Francisco Bureau Chief
David Crane’s Clean Energy Vision Could Soon Be Sold Off in Pieces
The energy sector lost the man who tried to be its Steve Jobs last week as David Crane, the embattled CEO of NRG, stepped down. Over the last several years Crane, who took over as CEO in 2005, invested more than a billion dollars in clean-energy ventures and new microgrid solutions. Even as NRG spent close to $10 billion on conventional fossil-fuel power generation, he made bold pronouncements about the “death spiral” of the traditional utility model and the need to embrace the future. Unfortunately, investors didn’t buy it. This article by Julia Pyper of Greentech Media examines the reasons behind Crane’s fall and predicts that we may have not seen the last of him.
—Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Energy