Also: the virtues of fan fiction; a backlash against Vladimir Nabokov in his native Russia; Barnes & Noble confirms bad news.
A lab at Duke University has taken us one step closer to mind-melding, using rats. Researchers trained a rat in Brazil to earn a reward. Next they attached that rat's brain to another rat in at Duke University through the always versatile Internet. The rat at Duke knew what to do with no training.
"The rat in North Carolina wasn't reading the mind of the rat in Brazil, it was more of a binary signal," says Slate Tech blogger Will Oremus. "So if the rat in Brazil pressed the lever on the right, a certain type of electrical signal would be sent to the brain of the rat in North Carolina and it learned to interpret that signal."
While we may still be a long way off from mind reading, the ability to send a simple signal from one brain to another brain, or from a brain to a computer is now here and could have vast applications for the medical field as well as other industries.
For example, last December a lab in Pittsburg helped a paralyzed woman feed herself chocolate with a robotic arm using similar technology, according to Oremus.
To hear more about the brain to computer communication, click on the audio player above.
Marketplace is on the road again asking people to finish this sentence: You know you’re wealthy when….
We’ve asked folks on the boardwalk in Venice Beach, California. We’ve talked to residents along New Orleans’ Saint Claude Corridor. This time around? Baltimore. From high-end kitchen appliances to home ownership to having happy and healthy kids – Baltimore residents may live in the same city, but they have very different ideas when it comes to what makes a person wealthy. Here’s a taste:
“You know you’re wealthy when you don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck, and you’re comfortable with what you’re making,” says Angela Marinakis, 35, an unemployed student from suburban Baltimore.
“When you don’t know what a gas bill looks like, or any type of bill. No type of utilities or anything,” says Melvin Hall, 49, an electrician from Baltimore.
“You go to bed, and you stay eight hours sleeping in good shape," says Ronaldo Faria, 50, a sales executive from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“You know you’re wealthy when you’ve bought a Robot Coupe. A Robot Coupe is a fancy name for a food processor. Those are high end kitchen items so you’ll you know you’re wealthy when you do that," says Keith Jenkins, a culinary student from Baltimore.
“You know you’re wealthy when you have your husband and your children and your family around you," says Maryanne Schneider, a mom from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
For more responses and pictures from all over the country, take a look at the slideshow and map above.
There are arguably two high points in life. 1.) Being forced to to spend an hour taking an online multiple-choice quiz in order to qualify for a student loan. 2.) Having to go to traffic school on a Saturday to keep points off a driver's license. Now, right up there with them is what could happen to people who take intellectual property online without permission.
Several Internet service providers are launching a new Copyright Alert System this week to patrol for customers doing illegal downloads. The system will generate an escalating series of warnings. In theory, a user gets six strikes and then a movie, music or software pirate is out.
But what exactly happens on strike six? Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain joins Marketplace Tech host David Brancaccio to explain just that.