News

TED News in Brief: A ruling on NSA phone surveillance, a beautiful essay from Rose George, and more

Mikko Hypponen speaks at TEDxBrussels over his outrage at the NSA. Now, a US federal judge has given the first ruling against the agency.

Mikko Hypponen speaks at TEDxBrussels over his outrage at the NSA. This week, a US federal judge has given the first ruling against the agency.

Behold, your weekly recap of TED-related news:

Yesterday, a United States federal court ruled that the NSA’s surveillance of phone records is “likely” to be unconstitutional. The New York Times’ editorial board applauded the move today. TED speakers Mikko Hypponen (who gave the talk “How the NSA betrayed the world’s trust”) and Malte Spitz (who gave the talk “Your phone company is watching”), take note.

Rose George (watch her TED Talk) wrote a heartbreaking account of her father’s diagnosis with dementia — and the British healthcare system’s inability to deal with him. Bring tissues.

A big problem in math and science education, according to this interview with Freeman Hrabowski (watch his TED Talk): “We have a way of looking at kids when they don’t seem excited about the work, or when they seem bored, or it’s taking too long to solve a problem, and the look says this: ‘I’ll help you this year, but this is not really for you.’” Check out his thoughts on how to keep students engaged in these topics, even when the going gets tough.

TEDster Peter Gabriel (watch his talk, and check out his playlist) will be initiated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in May, along with Hall & Oates, Kiss and Nirvana, according to the AP. Gabriel’s previous band, Genesis, was inducted in 2010.

Kevin Kelly has a new book out, and with it a Q&A in The New York Times. He describes Cool Tools as “a print blog, about the greatest tools on earth.” (See any of his three TED Talks.)

TED fans and critics alike are reading David Brooks’ latest column, “The Thought Leader,” looking deeply within themselves, and sighing. And of course, you can watch his TED Talk.

Meanwhile, a thoughtful critique of the popularization of ideas was given at TEDxSanDiego by a thought leader, Benjamin H. Bratton. Admittedly you need to get past his strawman idea of what “TED” is to read it, but he does raise a few good points about this form we love. We read this with interest, even if we very much disagree with his premise that ideas produce “little actual change.”

Why do we need to document and record all of our experiences? In The New York Times, Sherry Turkle (watch her TED Talk) shares new thinking on the effects of mobile technology on how we think and act.

Nathan Myhrvold (watch his TED Talk) is waving a flag about “serious errors and irregularities” in research on how quickly dinosaurs grew. Read about his objections.

All Things D takes a look at the work of Rupal Patel, who shared how she’s creating personalized voices to match a person’s age, gender and location at TEDWomen. (Read about her talk.)

And finally, Noreena Hertz (watch her TED Talk) has long been helping us make good decisions by not blindly listening to experts. Here, she talks on The Brian Lehrer Show about her new book, Eyes Wide Open.