An article last Friday about calls for MIT to take a stand in Tidbit’s legal battle implied that Professor Hal Abelson PhD ’73 wrote the “petition” to President L. Rafael Reif. In fact, the authors are Abelson, Ethan Zuckerman, and Nathan Matias, and they call it an “open letter.” The article also misstated Matias’s name.
Olafur Eliasson, the recipient of the 2014 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT, will be on campus to receive the award on March 12-14. The award, which recognizes innovative talents in any artistic discipline, includes a prize of $100,000 as well as a residency at MIT.
Boston’s Red Sox embraces change
FORT MYERS, Fla. — In hoping for an extension of a contract that will expire after the 2014 season, Jon Lester has said he would be willing to give the Boston Red Sox a hometown discount because he loves playing in Boston and has an aversion to change.
Regulators and hackers put Bitcoin to the test
Bitcoin is facing significant growing pains as it struggles to move beyond a stormy adolescence.
CPW events allowed to extend past 1 a.m.
Campus Preview Weekend (CPW) events can now once again be held past 1 a.m., according to the Undergraduate Association (UA) President Sidhanth P. Rao ’14. However, all events held after 1 a.m. must have a “wind-down” component, and will be presented in a different style in the Admissions Office CPW booklet. The announcement comes after the MIT Admissions Office’s announcement in December of a ban on all events between 1 and 6 a.m. In previous years, CPW events were allowed to be held after 3 a.m. as long as there was a safety plan to get the prefrosh home.
Mechanical engineers flock to hardware hackathon MakeMIT
Approximately 200 students gathered in Lobdell Dining Hall last Saturday to participate in the first phase of MakeMIT, a hardware hackathon organized by TechX. While the past year has seen college hackathons (including TechX’s very own HackMIT) increase in both scale and number, most of the emphasis has been on software, with few options for non-computer science students to get in on the action.
Student innovators may get new legal resource
President L. Rafael Reif sent a letter to the MIT community Saturday evening clarifying the Institute’s support for the student creators of Tidbit, the Bitcoin-harvesting hackathon project, which was the subject of a subpoena from the State Attorney General of New Jersey served to Jeremy L. Rubin ’16. The response, which also includes a proposal for a new “resource for independent legal advice” for students, comes after Professor Hal Abelson PhD ’73; Ethan Zuckerman, director of the MIT Center for Civic Media; and Nathan Matias G released a widely-circulated open letter advocating that MIT take an official stance on the matter.
U.N. panel: North Korean leader could face trial
GENEVA — A United Nations panel has served notice to Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, that he may be personally held liable in court for crimes against humanity committed by state institutions and officials under his direct control.
WASHINGTON — Sens. Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, two Republican leaders facing primary challenges, knew they would take an immediate political hit from the Republicans’ Tea Party wing by voting to clear the way for a debt-limit increase. They also knew that their willingness to cast that vote would enhance their party’s chances of gaining a majority in the Senate next year.
Nobel winner’s frank advice to China’s leadership
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A. Michael Spence won the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics in 2001 for esoteric research on how people make decisions when critical information is hard to obtain. But by that time, after more than a decade and a half as an academic dean at Harvard and Stanford, many of Spence’s colleagues had begun referring to him as a “former economist.”
More snow, then warmer weather this week
Last weekend, areas just outside of Boston received as much as a foot of snow. Since then, temperatures have remained below freezing, allowing plowed snow to accumulate in snowbanks and along roadsides. This week, much of that snow should melt. This afternoon and tonight Cambridge will experience one more snowstorm — the same one that has already caused thundersnow and ice throughout the Midwest. However, tomorrow the temperatures will rise into the 40s and remain above freezing for the rest of the week, with rain showers on Wednesday afternoon and Friday.
Little optimism as Iranian nuclear talks reconvene
VIENNA — Talks with Iran over a permanent agreement on its nuclear program begin Tuesday in Vienna, but there is little immediate optimism over a negotiation that is expected to last up to a year.
Houston has a long way to go before its air is safe to breathe, despite a decades-long effort to scrub the skies of lung-damaging smog, the latest science suggests.
In Kansas, right joins left to halt bill on gays
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A bill that would have allowed individuals to refuse to provide business services to same-sex couples in Kansas because of religious beliefs met a surprising and quick end last week when conservative senators sided with liberal advocates in saying the measure promoted discrimination.
Pakistan suspends Taliban peace talks over killings
Peace talks between the Pakistani government and the Taliban were suspended in acrimony Monday, as a government committee refused to meet with Taliban representatives in the aftermath of the reported killing of 23 paramilitary soldiers in militant captivity.
Rule of law at stake in Bitcoin wars
On Nov. 11, four MIT students, including Jeremy L. Rubin ’16, won the “Innovation” award at the online Node Knockout programming competition for their project, Tidbit. Tidbit would enable websites to monetize traffic by utilizing consumers’ computers to mine Bitcoin while they browse the site (presumably in lieu of advertising). Tidbit consequently attracted considerable attention for its potential to disrupt advertising markets. But, recognizing potential legal issues, our peers declined to make the code operative, although it is available for download on their website.
Corsets and Curds
Gastropubs are on-trend right now, and Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale near Downtown Crossing has certainly embraced the spirit of that movement. With a menu that features comfort food, an extensive cocktail list, and (unsurprisingly) ale, this quirky restaurant is a solid choice if you are near the Common. The first thing you notice is the building itself, which is narrow (as are so many restaurants downtown) but which features two floors of bar space. Stoddard’s proudly embraces its history as the former home of a corset factory, decorating the walls with some samples straight out of the 19th century. The bar itself is lively and welcoming. You definitely get the feeling as you walk in that this is a restaurant that wants you to stick around, but anyone looking for a somewhat subdued dinner may want to turn around and walk right back out the door.
Sonia Almeida, a local artist originally hailing from Portugal, created the works displayed in the LIST Visual Arts Center to examine the contrast between how we experience color and our scientific understanding of the theories of color (though I’m not sure I would have figured that out without reading the wall text in the exhibit). This theme was expressed with varying complexity throughout the exhibit, as some of the paintings featured simple gradients while others used wide contrasts of hues and forms to speak to the interplay between art and science. While some of the compositions successfully questioned the separation between my understanding and experience of color, a few of the works missed this mark.
UPCOMING HOME EVENTS
Thursday, February 20
Women’s basketball team wins in tight match
Clark University generated 10 unanswered points during the final two minutes of regulation to claim a one-point lead, but a three-point play by MIT’s Mari R. Kordell ‘15 with 24.3 seconds on the clock and another free throw by the point guard with 0.7 ticks left helped the Engineers capture a 61-58 NEWMAC women’s basketball victory on Saturday, February 15. Kordell led all players with 21 points and added two steals for MIT, which improved to 10-13 on the year and 7-11 in conference play. Ashleigh Condon paced the Cougars (9-14, 6-12 NEWMAC) with 15 points to go along with a game-high five steals and three assists.
Men’s volleyball wins in weekend matches at WIT
In a back-and-forth battle, the nationally-ranked No. 11 MIT men’s volleyball team emerged with a 22-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21, 15-10 victory over host Wentworth Institute of Technology on Saturday, February 15. Later on in the tri-match, the Engineers (9-2) swept City College of New York, 25-8, 25-14, 25-20.
Events Feb. 18 – Feb. 24
Events Feb. 18 – Feb. 24 Tuesday (12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Family Week at the List: Color, with color wheel workshop in the Atrium 12 to 4 p.m. and family friendly tour at 2 p.m. — E15, Upper Atrium (8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) LSC shows Non-Stop, free advance screening — 26-100 Wednesday (4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.) A Genealogy of the Gift: Blood Donation and Altruism in an Age of Strangers, sponsored by HASTS and the SHASS Dean’s Office — E51-095 (4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Off the Record 1:1 with a Silicon Valley Tech Recruiter, free giveaways, sponsored by A9 and MIT GECD — 5-134 Thursday (8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) Choose to Reuse, drop-off begins at 8:00 a.m. and choosing starts at 11:00 a.m., sponsored by Working Green Committee and Department of Facilities — 32 first floor (3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.) Women in Energy, featuring panelists from Shell Oil Co. with snacks, refreshments, and speed networking at 4:00 p.m., RSVP by Feb. 19 — Media Lab 6th floor, Silverman Skyline Room Friday (5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) Dumpling Feast contest, family friendly, sponsored by MIT Spouses & Partners and the MIT Postdoctoral Association — 66-201 (Walker Lounge) (8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) Mediterranean Night, with food and music for $10, sponsored by Spain@MIT — W20-208 Saturday (1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.) Multimedia Chain Reaction with the MIT Society of Women Engineers at the MIT Museum, free with museum admission — N51 (7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.) Romanian Dance Party, free for MIT affiliates, $3 for public, sponsored by the Romanian Students Association and GSC — Walker Memorial (Muddy Charles Pub) Sunday (3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.) Harpsichord Recital by Peter Sykes, sponsored by Music and Theater Arts — 14W-111 (Killian Hall) (6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.) Chinese Lantern Festival and Riddle Night, sponsored by ARCADE and the Chinese Student and Scholar Association — Ashdown-Hulsizer Monday (12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.) Lonely Ideas: Can Russia Compete?, public lecture featuring Loren Graham and his new book, with brown bag lunch — E70-1201a (6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) Tea with Nefertiti: or How the Arts Shape Culture, sponsored by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture — 3-133 Send your campus events to firstname.lastname@example.org.