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by Stephen Downes
October 18, 2009

The Tiny Differences in the Littlest Brains
Review of a book (Pink Brain, Blue Brain, by Lise Eliot) that captures my own feelings about gender differences in brains: specifically, that they are minimal, and that our findings of gender differences are driven more by expectations than by actual differences. "'Sex differences in the brain are sexy,' Eliot writes. And so we tend to notice them everywhere. 'But there's enormous danger,' she says, in our exaggeration. It leads us to see gender, beginning at an early age, only in terms of what we expect to see, and to assume that sex differences are innate and immutable." Emily Bazelon, Washington Post, October 18, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Microsoft exposes Firefox users to drive-by malware downloads
If you've been noting some odd Firefox updates on your Windows machine, here's what has been going on. Last week, Microsoft released a Windows update. Part of this update was to silently insert into Firefox a Microsoft .Net extension. Firefox developers were upset, not only because this bypassed the normal procedure for extensions, which requires a user's permission, but because it introduced to Firefox the same sort of vulnerabilities to viruses and malware users of Internet Explorer face. So at the end of the week, Firefox released an update which removes the Microsoft extension. Hence, the messages you've been seeing on your screen. Ryan Naraine, ZD Net, October 18, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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