Reader's Corner for July 2013

July 30, 2013

In 1999, Professor Baba Shiv (currently at Stanford) and his co-author Alex Fedorikhin did a simple experiment on 165 grad students.They asked half to memorize a seven-digit number and the other half to memorize a two-digit number. After completing the memorization task, participants were told the e...

( —UCLA computer science professor Amit Sahai and a team of researchers have designed a system to encrypt software so that it only allows someone to use a program as intended while preventing any deciphering of the code behind it. This is known in computer science as 'software obfuscation,'...

July 29, 2013

If scammers disguised themselves as your bank's fraud protection team, would you fall for it? Andy Welch did.

Social Engineering (tm)

How TCP/IP eclipsed the Open Systems Interconnection standards to become the global protocol for computer networking

Why am I reading this at 3 AM?

When ISPs and video providers fight over money, Internet users suffer.

July 28, 2013

Growers turned to genetics in hopes of building a tougher orange tree. But what intervention would the public accept?

Long and interesting.

One of the problems with modern computer technology: programmers don't learn from the great masters. There is such a thing as a Beethoven or Mozart of software design. Modern programmers seem more ...

July 23, 2013

Summers was deservedly castigated, but not for the right reasons. He claimed to be giving a comprehensive list of reasons why there weren't more women reaching the top jobs in the sciences. Yet Summers, an economist, left one out: Adjusted for IQ, quantitative skills, and working hours, jobs in scie...

"A man of science may earn great distinction, but not bread"

- Thomas Henry Huxley, mid-19th Century

The story of a forgotten employee.

July 21, 2013

ou’re probably thinking that a talk called “Is there anything good about men” will be a short talk! Recent writings have not had much good to say about men. Titles like Men Are Not Cost Effective speak for themselves. Maureen Dowd’s book was called Are Men Necessary? and although she never gave an e...

"Is There Anything Good About Men?"

This is one of those rare articles that, albeit long, suffices to change your viewpoint about something. It's a pretty refreshing and interesting take on gender inequality.

July 20, 2013

Computer-designed algorithms for controlling network congestion yield transmission rates two to three times as high as those designed by humans.

If you’ve gone to the movies recently, you may have felt a strangely familiar feeling: You’ve seen this movie before. Not this exact movie, but some of these exact story beats: the hero dressed down by his mentor in the first 15 minutes (Star Trek Into Darkness, Battleship); the villain...

This is interesting.

July 19, 2013

Last weekend’s revelation that J.K. Rowling is the author of the critically acclaimed and -- until now -- commercially unsuccessful crime novel “The Cuckoo’s Calling” has electrified the book world and solidified Rowling’s reputation as a genuine writing talent: After all, if she can impress the cri...

When Bob Santilli, a senior project manager at UPS, was invited in 2009 to his daughter’s fifth grade class on Career Day, he struggled…

The following is an article from Uncle John's 24-Karat Gold Bathroom Reader.Ever heard of North Sentinel Island? Probably not …even thought's one of the most unusual places on Earth. What makes it so odd? The people -they've been there a long time, completely cut off from the rest of the worl...

July 18, 2013

Quantifying the astronomical increases in San Francisco apartment rental prices.

The data is interesting.

July 14, 2013

Governments pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn about and exploit flaws in the computer systems of foreign adversaries.

It's interesting how people used to just find vulnerabilities as a hobby and report them for free (and get maybe a T-shirt in return); and now they go for hundreds of thousands or even millions.

The shadowy cartel of doctors that controls Medicare.

July 6, 2013

Online version of the weekly magazine, with current articles, cartoons, blogs, audio, video, slide shows, an archive of articles and abstracts back to 1925

This is pretty interesting.

July 1, 2013

Gesticulating is a vital part of communication in Italy, where about 250 gestures are used regularly and studied by scientists and philosophers.

Cryptography II is a free online class taught by Dan Boneh, Professor of Stanford University

October 15 needs to get here quickly.

Germans don’t take kindly to state surveillance.