Maulik Thakkar

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Rude people secretly impress us, even if we don’t really like them

We don’t like rude people.<p>At least, that’s what we tell ourselves. The reality is, we allow them to be rude. On some level, we are impressed by their rudeness. So impressed, in fact, that sometimes we ask them to be president.<p>I’ve spent a year studying rudeness in all its many forms. I’ve looked at …

Psychology

Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the web: 'The system is failing'

The inventor of the world wide web remains an optimist but sees a ‘nasty wind’ blowing amid concerns over advertising, net neutrality and fake news<p>Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s optimism about the future of the web is starting to wane in the face of a “nasty storm” of issues including the rollback of net …

The Political Thrill of Having an Enemy

Knowing what you’re against has a way of clarifying the mind and sharpening the focus.<p>I didn’t have a cause to die for. If I was at a sit-in protesting government repression, and the military threatened to come in and “clear” the square, I’d probably run for the hills. The one time I was …

Political Science

The simple metaphor that’s increasingly getting in the way of scientific progress

Once upon a time, people believed in the soul, a god-given vital force that animated human beings and left the body upon death. Around the 1500s, this theory of vitalism fell from fashion and we started to see beings as more like machines.<p>Dissections and anatomical drawings showed scientists body …

Consciousness

Google set to dominate Apple, Amazon and Samsung in the race for the best voice assistant

The concept of virtual assistance has been in consumers’ mind for more than half a century, first introduced through Sci-Fi movies such as <i>2001: A Space Odyssey</i> (1968) featuring virtual assistant HAL and infamous quote “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”<p>Portrayed as a must-have feature by …

Buying An Electric Vehicle? Here's The 1 Astonishing Reason Why They Just Aren't Worth It

It all seemed to point to good sense. Then this data came out.<p><i>Absurdly Driven</i> <i>looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.</i><p>Is trying to save the world really worth it?<p>Look around you and consider whether all your fellow humans really deserve this lovely …

Nissan Leaf

Guess what? A compelling new mathematical definition makes our humble moon a planet

Deciding what makes a big, round thing a “planet” is surprisingly difficult—just ask Pluto.<p>UCLA professor Jean-Luc Margot has proposed a new, mathematical definition that would apply to bodies both inside and outside our solar system. By his calculations, detailed in a paper that has been accepted …

Astronomy

Paris Attacks: Refugees Blamed For Terrorist Acts, One Person Nails The Response

The horrific terrorist attacks on Paris have unleashed a wave of anti-refugee sentiment as people seek to apportion blame for the killings.<p>Even stars …

Powerful 'Gene Drive' Can Quickly Change An Entire Species

Biologist Ethan Bier runs a laboratory at the University of California, San Diego where fruit flies are used to help unravel the processes that lead to some human diseases. One day recently, a graduate student in the lab called him over to take a look at the results of the latest experiment.<p>Bier …

Genetics

15 Gorgeous Unseen Pictures From India By The Photojournalist Behind “Afghan Girl”

The man behind the famous "Afghan Girl" photo has released a new set of pictures of life in India, spanning three decades.<p>Thirty-seven pictures by American photographer Steve McCurry of everyday life in India are to go on display at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York in November, including many …

Electric Vehicles

Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for the Modern World review - designed to diminish

<b>Tate Britain, London</b><p>Cramped, bereft of natural light and undermined by rivals, Hepworth suffers from the Tate's bid to reposition her as an …

Beautifully Designed Furniture Reveals Much More Than Meets the Eye

Sebastian Errazuriz is a Chilean-born, New York City-based designer whose stunning furniture cleverly transforms into something completely unexpected. Using woods like maple and bamboo, he crafts pieces that can look fairly innocuous but be manipulated in ways rarely seen in cabinet building. Each …

Furniture

How to take better photos in low light

Low-light photography doesn't always mean taking photos at night. There are plenty of situations where your eyes may be able to adjust to lower light …

Critics fear tech giant dominance of airborne internet

The arrival of smartphones has resulted in a dramatic growth in the number of internet users, but more than half of the world, 4.2 billion people, are still not connected to the internet.<p>Many of these people live in areas without fibre and mobile networks, making it expensive for them to go …

Telecoms

#SaalEkShuruaatAnek: PM's letter

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'Post-traumatic stress disorder is higher in drone operators'

Aviation expert and former RAF man Peter Gray speaks about the dark side of modern warfare<p>Drone operators – the pilots who go to war by "remote control", often experiencing combat thousands of miles away from their targets – might not conform to the traditional image of the battle-weary warrior, …

The Horror, The Horror: Software's Conversion From Thing To Service

Software acquisition is turning from a purchase into a rental. Every transaction is becoming a “relationship,” and I am looking at this trend with growing alarm.<p>It’s not like we don’t have enough monthly bills. Now, add to the necessities — mortgage, car payments, water, electricity, gas, insurance …

Software

Aung San Suu Kyi's inexcusable silence

"In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize ... to Aung San Suu Kyi," the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced in 1991, it wished "to honour this woman for her …