Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books dealing with the subject of technology that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.
The Decline of Wikipedia
by Tom Simonite, Technology Review
Wikipedia is still far and away one of the world's biggest websites but, as Tom Simonite explains in this piece for MIT's Technology Review, it's not without its share of problems -- problems that have been holding it back from becoming the trusted, authoritative source it's strived to be. Simonite looks at the roots of those problems and what they've meant for the site, and also what it's doing to address them, including a new initiative that promises to bring some of the biggest changes yet to a site that has tended to steer clear of change over the years.
Safecracking the Brain
The influence of computing pioneer Alan Turing is a far-reaching one -- stretching even to the realm of neuroscience, as Virginia Hughes details here for Nautilus. Namely, that includes what scientists have drawn from Turing's World War II code-breaking algorithm, and how they're now applying cryptography to the study of the brain.
The 50 Greatest Breakthroughs Since the Wheel
Sure, it's a list, but this is one with a fair bit of thought behind it, and a thoughtful essay explaining it all from James Fallows. Compiled with the help of a panel of scientists, historians and others, the piece looks not just at the breakthroughs themselves, but also at what, as Fallows explains, they reveal about the nature of progress and the pace of innovation.
The Devil Is in Your Snooze Button
What's one piece of technology that impacts your life every day, but is rarely given much consideration? Try the snooze button. Here, Casey N. Cep looks back at the origins of the now ever-present button -- a relatively recent development in the world of clocks -- and why you may be better off simply not using it.
OS X 10.9 Mavericks: The Ars Technica Review
We hope you've read our Mavericks review by now, but, if you're still looking to learn more about Apple's latest desktop operating system, you can't do much better than John Siracusa's typically exhaustive take. Befitting its length, the review is also available for download as an e-book in your choice of formats (at a cost).
- Is Google building a hulking floating data center in SF Bay?
by Daniel Terdiman, CNET
- Product Launch
by J.K. Appleseed, McSweeney's
- Are We Puppets in a Wired World?
by Sue Halpern, The New York Review of Books