Monday Miscellany

  • Stuxnet may be the first true cyberweapon — a computer virus transmitted through USB drives (meaning that it can infect computers not connected to the ‘Net) that targets computers controlling industrial systems. More here.
  • Which guy is more brave? The one who jumps on a grenade and shields his buddies from the explosion with his own body? Or the guy who jumps on the grenade to shield his friends, and then realized the grenade was a dud? How often do we judge actions using information we didn’t have at the time?
  • Did you know that defenestration is the act of throwing something (or someone) out a window, and such acts sparked several wars? Wikipedia has a whole list of “notable defenestrations in history.
  • Dan Ariely writes about plagiarism and how he bought essays from several “essay mills.”Teachers shouldn’t be too worried about these, unless they can’t distinguish text like this from their normal students’ writing:

    “Cheating by healers. Healing is different. There is harmless healing, when healers-cheaters and wizards offer omens, lapels, damage to withdraw, the husband-wife back and stuff. We read in the newspaper and just smile. But these days fewer people believe in wizards.”

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09 2010

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