The Business of Book Recommendations

Algorithms are allowing advertisers to better target us with books we’re likely to like. Macy Halford wonders if one day these mind-readers will equal advice from real-life friends.\r\n

Algorithms help advertisers target us with books and movies we’re likely to like. Macy Halford wonders: "Will they one day grow so good at reading my mind that they'll be interchangeable with my real-life friends? ...Part of the fun is clicking through all the crazy stuff Netflix thinks I should watch. Netflix is like a rather dimwitted but well-meaning robot-friend. But while it makes sense for Netflix to rely on this automated recommendation system (it’s essentially a video-rental store), it makes less sense for Goodreads, which is a community first and foremost. What I like about it is the updates I get telling me what my buddies are reading."

Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
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  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
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The mystery of Jesus’ brother gets even weirder

The controversy over whether Jesus had any siblings is reignited after an amazing new discovery of an ancient text.

Jesus and James. Unknown painter. Possibly 14th century.
Politics & Current Affairs
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Orangutans exhibit awareness of the past

Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club

(Eugene Sim/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
  • It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
  • This ability may come from a common ancestor
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