Good Reads on Media and Tech

Oct. 31, 2014, 12:45 p.m.

Inspired by a similar feature in the MIT Technology Review, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite (vaguely tech-related) reads from the past week. Check them out!

1. Snowden, Surveillance, Secrets

On October 9, former NSA director Michael Hayden explained his side of the story in a fascinating event to kick off Stanford’s new speaker series, the Security Conundrum. On October 24, Citizenfour, a documentary about Edward Snowden, opened in theatres.

In between these two events we picked up on some stories about these characters. Wired published Snowden’s original emails to Laura Poitras, the filmmaker he initially contacted with his leak. In another article, Poitras muses on how technology can link whistleblowers like Snowden to journalists like herself here (German news magazine Der Spiegel actually has a webpage telling you how to contact them securely, in case you ever feel morally obliged to inform on your friendly local intelligence agency). Finally, the New Yorker has a fascinating profile of Poitras.

2. Something to Chew On

The MIT Technology Review published a piece on folks devoted to the “scientific identification and exploration of deliciousness”, accompanied by neat pictures of their strange creations. Ever wanted to know what goes on in a food lab? (Surprised that food labs are a thing?) Fermentation, fresh flavours and fun with formica.

Science and gastronomy intersect in other ways too. We’re reminded of IBM’s efforts to harness the power of Watson in the coolest food truck ever here. Finally, Stanford CS/linguistics professor Dan Jurafsky wrote a book on how we talk about food, which was featured in the New York Times a while back. We wonder what he’d say about a food lab’s menu.

3. Heads Up:

FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver’s data blog, is releasing a series of short documentaries called ‘Signals’. Check out the snazzy trailer for the first installment here.

Learn Dothraki via iPhone app [disclaimer: I don’t actually have an iPhone so I haven’t actually checked it out.]

4. Hey…

We enjoy having good reads on our retinas (other forms of media too). Send cool tech things our way and we’ll be sure to check them out!

Contact Justine Zhang at justinez ‘at’

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