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What We’re Reading: Serial Killer algorithm, psychology of magic, what’s in a Dorito and much more | Marxent

What We're Reading

Welcome to another edition of What We’re Reading, Marxent’s weekly series featuring staff members highlighting the best articles, videos, music and more they saw over the prior 7 days. This week, those finds included stories from The Verge, TechCrunch, Recode, Time, Bloomberg, Digg and many more. Up first, it’s …

The Best Thing We Read This Week …

What if there was a software program that could help cops track and capture serial killers? Reporter and researcher Thomas Hargrove has developed just such an application, and it’s already being used to identify locations where a serial killer may be currently at work and flying under the radar of local law enforcement. The system works, but Hargrove continues to face major obstacles involving the sharing of information on violent crimes, and local departments reluctant to listen to an outsider pushing a tech solution in a world still dominated by paper and pens.

The Best Thing We Heard This Week …

The New York Times has seen a major uptick in subscriptions since the election of Mr. You Know Who, but will the Old Gray Lady be able to maintain this momentum? The paper isn’t waiting to find out, instead aggressively looking to attract new (and younger) subscribers by packaging itself with a free year of Spotify. Music streaming and news reading do go well together, after all.

The Best Tech News We Read This Week …

Nintendo’s forthcoming Switch — which combines a traditional home console experience with a portable rig for gaming on the go — has the game community asking questions. Lots and lots of questions. Fortunately, Time has answers, and put together the above video to address some of the outstanding confusion surrounding the Big N’s next release.

Virtual Reality is here to stay, but it has a long way to go before it enjoys widespread public adoption. But as The Verge reports, escape rooms and live theater are already paving the way for VR.

Uber has had complicated relationships with local governments since the ride-sharing service first started — perhaps none more so than the company’s entanglement with Pittsburgh, Pa. Now it seems the Steel City is waking up to the fact that it’s in a toxic relationship.

Notice your Internet speeds aren’t up to snuff? NY Magazine may know why, and it’s accusing Time Warner Cable of breaking promises and keeping high-speed Internet in the slow lane.

Safety Alert: Facebook Safety Check now lets locals find and offer Community Help like shelter.

Walt Mossberg is raving about the recently redesigned Flipboard, the “smart magazine” that uses your social feeds to generate a personalized periodical focused on specific topics as specified by the user.

But wait, there’s more …

Dorito Fingers

Photo: Flickr/kevinandchris

Ever wondered what’s really in a Dorito? Mel Magazine broke down the nacho cheese-flavored favorite and came to this disturbing conclusion: “While most of these individual ingredients aren’t all that bad for us, they’re a cheese-dust-covered grenade when consumed together.”

Yes, human beings love music, but why? Newsweek thinks it may have the answer, reporting music produces pleasure in similar way as drugs, sex.

The Super Bowl was one for the ages, but the continued drama over Patriots QB Tom Brady’s missing jersey is almost as entertaining. This story has everything: locker room drama, a high-priced item gone missing, and major names in politics and sports all freaking out. Over a shirt.

And Finally …

By now you realize that magicians don’t do actual magic. (I’ll give you a minute to get over the shock.) Instead, they use a set of closely guarded techniques for messing with the audience’s mind. When performed correctly, these slights of hand leave people believing they have seen something impossible, amazing, and yes, magical. So how does it work? Shhhhh, it’ll be our secret.

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