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What experts say, and what people hear

Jue, 05/02/2015 - 16:47

EVERY day seems to bring a new story of a politician saying something stupid or evasive about vaccines. Rand Paul frets that they might cause mental disorders. Chris Christie said that his own children had taken their shots but that "parents need to have some measure of choice". Barack Obama, who once waffled on this subject, has declared his strong support for vaccinating children against measles, as has Hillary Clinton. The airwaves and the internet are filled with discussions about whether or not vaccines are safe. Health officials are worried that the discussion itself could scare more parents into shunning them.

This actually happened in Britain in 2002, after the idea of a link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism was first publicised. Despite plentiful scientific evidence that the MMR vaccine was safe, and that it was used...Continue reading

Tales from the crypt

Jue, 05/02/2015 - 00:53

TIME is up for the Dread Pirate Roberts. Ross Ulbricht, the 30-year-old Texan physics graduate accused of setting up the first major drugs marketplace on the web, the Silk Road, has been found guilty of all seven drugs-trafficking charges in a Manhattan court room today. And so comes to a close one of the first great criminal cases in this new era of internet-enabled crime.

Mr Ulbricht’s crime was the sort of thing that in other industries would have made him a millionaire. He saw the potential of combining Tor, a technology devised by the US Naval Laboratory which makes it possible to host a website without revealing where the servers are, with Bitcoin, a currency that can be exchanged online without relying on banks. The website he created, the Silk Road, essentially functioned like an Amazon for illegal drugs. By using encryption and Bitcoin, buyers...Continue reading

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