Hello, Can You Read Me There, China?
Companies that help circumvent internet censorship from controlling governments, such as China and Iran, are finding problems in their over-popularity.
What’s the Latest Development?
In places like China and Iran, the government blocks and filters access to certain information on the internet that may go against the politics or ideals of leadership. Every day, over one million people from these countries are using tools like Ultrasurf and Tor to get past “extensive blocking programs and government surveillance.” However, the ever-increasing demand for these services is starting to cause problems so that “online bottlenecks that have made the tools slow and often inaccessible to users.” “Activists and nonprofit groups say that their online circumvention tools, funded by the U.S. government, are being overwhelmed by demand and that there is not enough money to expand capacity.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Internet freedom is turning into a human rights question of the 21st century, and there are conflicting views on how to tackle the issue. While the US is spending around $30 million a year to provide greater access to the internet, other countries continue to spend billions of dollars to censor it. “Internet freedom activists say part of the challenge in developing online circumvention tools is determining how much to spend now on helping users evade detection vs. how much to spend on more sophisticated projects for the future that could keep pace with censorship technology.”
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Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
There's a growing understanding that drawing is much more than an art form: it's a powerful tool for learning.
- We often think of drawing as something that takes innate talent, but this kind of thinking stems from our misclassification of drawing as, primarily, an art form rather than a tool for learning.
- Researchers, teachers, and artists are starting to see how drawing can positively impact a wide variety of skills and disciplines.
- Drawing is not an innate gift; rather, it can be taught and developed. Doing so helps people to perceive the world more accurately, remember facts better, and understand their world from a new perspective.
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