“Early love is when you love the way the other person makes you feel,” explains psychiatrist Mark Goulston of the University of California, Los Angeles. “Mature love is when you love the person as he or she is.” [Time]
Events occurring in the brain when we are in love have similarities with mental illness. [BBC]
Retailer JC Penney […] A massive, creative and aggressive new advertising and pricing campaign that promises simplified prices. No more coupons or confusing multiple markdowns. No more 600 sales a year. No more deceptive circulars full of sneaky fine print. They even did away with the 99 cents on the end of most price tags. Just honest, clear prices. […] Shoppers hated it. [MSNBC]
David Dunning and Justin Kruger (both at Cornell University’s Department of Psychology at the time) conducted a series of four studies showing that, in certain cases, people who are very bad at something think they are actually pretty good. They showed that to assess your own expertise at something, you need to have a certain amount of expertise already. […] It is important to realize that the Dunning-Kruger paper was not such a shocking finding. It was, for instance, already known that seemingly everyone evaluates themselves as above average in everything. [Ars Technica]
A freak attack described as drug induced “zombie face eating” has hit international headlines this week. Until the results of a toxicological analysis emerge, the drug(s) involved is unknown and open to speculation. […] Far from LSD or even formerly popular legal chemicals such as mephedrone, the consensus among speculators appears to be that the “zombie face eater” in addition to likely having an undiagnosed pre-existing mental condition may have been in a state of severe drug induced psychosis and/or may have taken something more along the lines of a PCP analogue. This is obviously pure guess work, however PCP is known for its astounding ability to precipitate psychosis, bizarre behaviour and extreme violence. It has even been linked to cases of cannibalism in the past. […] Another key factor pointing to PCP is that it is well known that PCP users are prone to getting naked and becoming violent. [Neurobonkers]
More tampons, less tips. Why Ovulating Lap Dancer Get Tipped More.
One of the most common and least understood neurobiological disorders, Tourette syndrome is an inherited disorder that affects about 200,000 Americans. Males are affected three to four times as often as females.
You may recall last summer that Apple, Microsoft, EMC, RIM, Ericsson and Sony all teamed up to buy Nortel’s patents for $4.5 billion. They beat out a team of Google and Intel who bid a bit less. While there was some antitrust scrutiny over the deal, it was dropped and the purchase went through. Apparently, the new owners picked off a bunch of patents to transfer to themselves… and then all (minus EMC, who, one hopes, was horrified by the plans) decided to support a massive new patent troll armed with the remaining 4,000 patents. The company is called Rockstar Consortium, and it’s run by the folks who used to run Nortel’s patent licensing program anyway — but now employs people whose job it is to just find other companies to threaten. [TechDirt]
Science-fiction writers once imagined a galactic currency that would grease the wheels of commerce from here to Alpha Centauri. In fact, however, we are tending in precisely the other direction, toward a burgeoning number of ever more specialized currencies. These will circulate electronically, by means of the mobile phones that are increasingly part of the dress of every person on the planet. Seemingly everywhere you look, you can see the emergence of this pattern in what futurologists call the weak signals of change. These are the changes that will be seen, a generation from now, to have foreshadowed a technological revolution. […] In Japan and Korea, mobile phones have been used for payments for a decade. […] Kenya is now home to the world’s most expansive mobile payments scheme, M-Pesa. […] A third of Kenya’s gross domestic product now flows through M-Pesa. […] The rest of the world is starting to move. […] In France, mobile phone operators and banks have gotten together to launch a system for mobile proximity payments. […] In Germany, meanwhile, the mobile phone operators have decided to ignore the banks and go it alone. In the United States, Google is working with Sprint and MasterCard to launch Google Wallet. [IEEE]
A massive, highly sophisticated piece of malware has been newly found infecting systems in Iran and elsewhere and is believed to be part of a well-coordinated, ongoing, state-run cyberespionage operation. […] Dubbed “Flame” by Russia-based anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab […] Kaspersky Lab is calling it “one of the most complex threats ever discovered.” […] Gostev says that because of its size and complexity, complete analysis of the code may take years. “It took us half-a-year to analyze Stuxnet,” he said. “This is 20-times more complicated. It will take us 10 years to fully understand everything.” […] Among Flame’s many modules is one that turns on the internal microphone of an infected machine to secretly record conversations that occur either over Skype or in the computer’s near vicinity; a module that turns Bluetooth-enabled computers into a Bluetooth beacon, which scans for other Bluetooth-enabled devices in the vicinity to siphon names and phone numbers from their contacts folder; and a module that grabs and stores frequent screenshots of activity on the machine, such as instant-messaging and email communications, and sends them via a covert SSL channel to the attackers’ command-and-control servers. The malware also has a sniffer component that can scan all of the traffic on an infected machine’s local network and collect usernames and password hashes that are transmitted across the network. The attackers appear to use this component to hijack administrative accounts and gain high-level privileges to other machines and parts of the network. [Wired]
From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program. Mr. Obama decided to accelerate the attacks — begun in the Bush administration and code-named Olympic Games — even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran’s Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet. Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name: Stuxnet. [NY Times]
Astronomers have completed the first search for extraterrestrial intelligence on nearby exoplanets using very long baseline interferometry. No signs of E.T.
They will be custom bugs, designer bugs — bugs that only Venter can create. He will mix them up in his private laboratory from bits and pieces of DNA, and then he will release them into the air and the water, into smokestacks and oil spills, hospitals and factories and your house. Each of the bugs will have a mission. Some will be designed to devour things, like pollution. Others will generate food and fuel. There will be bugs to fight global warming, bugs to clean up toxic waste, bugs to manufacture medicine and diagnose disease, and they will all be driven to complete these tasks by the very fibers of their synthetic DNA. [NY Times]
In every economic downturn some intrepid journalist pens a story about the “Lipstick Effect” – the tendency for women to buy more beauty products when the economy is in bad shape. In theory, the behavior is driven by evolutionary concerns. With fewer men able to offer the security of financial stability, women must enhance their beauty in order to deal with the increased competition. [peer reviewed by my neurons]
The supply of information to which we are exposed under modernity is transforming humans from the equable second fellow to the neurotic first. […] Noise is what you are supposed to ignore; signal what you need to heed. […] A not well discussed property of data: it is toxic in large quantities —even in moderate quantities. [Nassim Taleb]
Queuing theory is the study of lines. All kinds of lines. The lines at supermarket checkouts, the lines at toll booths, the lines of people on hold waiting for someone, anyone, to pick up at the cable company’s 1-800 number. […] There are three givens of human nature that queuing psychologists must address: 1) We get bored when we wait in line. 2) We really hate it when we expect a short wait and then get a long one. 3) We really, really hate it when someone shows up after us but gets served before us. [Slate]
Seventy-four percent of dog owners believe that their dogs experience guilt. […] There is plenty of evidence for what scientists refer to as primary emotions – happiness and fear, for example – in animals. But empirical evidence for secondary emotions like jealousy, pride, and guilt, is extremely rare in the animal cognition literature. The argument usually given for this lack of evidence is that such secondary emotions seem to require a level of cognitive sophistication, particularly when it comes to self-awareness or self-consciousness, that may not exist in non-human animals. [Scientific American]
The publishing and design communities now know that a printed magazine can not only be used to kill at will, but as particularly efficient tool for political assassinations. [Adam Rothstein/The New Inquiry]
I’ve always been not only a “late adopter” but a “panicky retreater” when it comes to new media, and the something that should be said about when I first went online—which was early enough that I remember watching Web sites load as if being painted on the other side of a glass—was that I also immediately went offline. As I still often do. [Jonathan Lethem/The New Yorker]
8. Communicate with teammates in person. […] 14. Wear headphones without listening to music. […] 34. Adopt the “Inbox Zero” methodology, and treat your email like a to-do list. [HubSpot]
voodoopredatordrones: you just Sherlocked that picture…for no apparent reason. lampkyter: If he really Sherlocked it he would have told us something like how many times she’s had sex. [reddit]