As the weekend descends on us, our editors have taken time out to recommend some reading. Why not take five and learn more about their favourite stories this week?
Rosie Barnes kicks off with her contribution which looks at the recent success of a New York manhunt with the help of text messaging…
New York’s Mass-Text Manhunt
Earlier this week on Monday, millions of phones across New York blared with an alarm and the message: “Wanted: Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28-yr-old male. See media for pic. Call 9-1-1 if seen.”
Rahami was wanted for questioning over a Saturday bombing in a Manhattan neighbourhood. Hours later, he was arrested in Linden, New Jersey, where he was found sleeping in the doorway of a bar.
According to my reading suggestion this week, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said the phone alert had given police a pivotal advantage. “It gets everybody involved. It’s that sense of shared responsibility. If we can get everybody in the city engaged in helping us keep it safe, I think this is the way to go. This is the future.”
Although the city was accused of promoting racial profiling and needlessly inciting panic with the message, there are some clear advantages associated with text messaging…unlike a television warning, a text message grabs your attention at all hours of the day, anywhere you go.
After Fixing the Blue Screen of Death
This week I will suggest you read “Microsoft will ‘solve’ cancer within 10 years by ‘reprogramming’ diseased cells” over at The Telegraph.
As bombastic as the title sounds it is not clickbait, as Microsoft researchers actually say in the article that it would take them just five to ten years to total unravel one of the most complicated and complex biological phenomena.
As irresponsible as it is to make a claim about curing a medical problem that is plaguing humanity decades ahead of any other researchers’ proposed timetables, it is reassuring to see that one of the richest firms in the world is dedicating money to it.
To very briefly summarize their claims, they want to use computer science to deconstruct the cancer development process and develop a DNA-based nano-bot to serve as a warning system within the body.
Have a Pint on Me!
This article really caught my eye. Groundbreaking, I’m sure you’ll agree...”Glass of beer ‘makes people more sociable’ “.
With a headline that would be more appropriate at The Onion, one can’t help feeling that the British Broadcasting Corporation was having a slow news day.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this article is that, amusing headline aside, one would expect there to actually be some form of new information unearthed by the study, even if the usefulness of this information isn’t immediately apparent to the layman.
However, when presenting the finding that the relaxation of sexual inhibitions post-alcohol intake was a more marked changed amongst the female subjects than the male, the conclusion reached was that this could be explained by “…differences in blood alcohol concentration between males and females with the same alcohol intake, differences in tolerance due to differences in previous levels of alcohol consumption or by socio-cultural factors.” So, really narrowing it down there.
And just in case you were planning to use this article as evidence in your favour, perhaps during a conflict with your spouse, you will find yourself disappointed. The article ends with a scientific authority stating that “alcohol-related emotions and cognitions as studied are not always consistent with actual behaviours”.
Keep it up scientists, excellent work!
Feel free to share your views in the comment section and any recommendations of your own. We look forward to hearing your opinions!
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