• New type of cochlear implant to improve hearing? – Engadget

    A new version developed by the University of Michigan is based on thin-film electrodes to allow for easier and deeper insertion, and allowing for a greater range of simulated frequencies with 128 stimulating sites as opposed to the usual 16 or 22 of traditional implants.

    Amazing increase from the 22 now about to 128; though when you consider that the normal ear has the equivalent of 3,500 “channels” (frequency bands it can discern) then we’ve got a way to go.
    Oh, I’ve learnt a lot about cochlear implants in the past couple of days. See comments on that post for good links.

  • The New Yorker: Malcolm Gladwell on power-law problems like homelessness and car pollution

    Power-law problems leave us with an unpleasant choice. We can be true to our principles or we can fix the problem. We cannot do both.

    Another tour de force from Gladwell, who shows how just a few homeless people tend to push the cost of social service up astronomically – but that taking the “cost-efficient” route can offend our sense of moral justice. It’ll take a long time to read online; quicker on paper..