Horizon highlights – Day at the races edition

Jake Turcotte

Our regular roundup of sci-tech stories from across the Web includes: Races in Twitter. Races among electric cars. Races to defend against cyber attacks. Let’s kick it off:

High-speed rail: Can it work in the US?
"The symmetry is nice. A half-century ago, President Eisenhower pushed for interstate highways, which connected America, boosted the economy, and helped give the heave-ho to the nation’s passenger-rail system. On Thursday, President Obama announced he wants to connect America, boost the economy, and help give the heave-ho to the nation’s interstate-highway travel with a high-speed passenger-rail system that … Hey, wait a minute! Is this back-to-the-future government policy?" [via CSM's The New Economy blog]

Video: World's quickest street-legal e-car – a 1972 Datsun?
"We've given a lot of pixels to electric cars recently, especially the hot Tesla Roadster. But there's one electric car that can dust the Tesla and all the others off the line. It's a 1972 Datsun." [via Oregon Public Broadcasting]

Web celebrity: YouTube's Fred is first online video star to break 1M subscribers
"In less than a year, the child phenom – portrayed by 15-year-old Nebraskan Lucas Cruikshank – has passed every other filmmaker, artist, company and silly cat on YouTube to become the most subscribed-to act." [via LATimes]

Popularity content: Should Twitter remove its follower count?
"Over the past few days, actor Ashton Kutcher has been racing CNN to be the first Twitter user with a million followers. [Update: Kutcher won.] Kutcher and other parties like EA have been pulling out all the stops to help his account gain followers as quickly as possible to hit the number. Clearly, this is a game and really, gaining followers on Twitter, for most people, is a game. Which raises the question: Should Twitter just remove the follower counts?" [via Tech Crunch]

E-warning: No one is ready for this
"A few years ago, the idea of hackers bringing the world to the brink of catastrophe was just a fun Hollywood plotline. Now, cyber-attacks are on the rise and NATO's top computer experts have gathered in a military base in Estonia to prepare cyberwar defences." [via The Guardian]

Running man: Humans evolved as long-distance runners
"[P]roponents believe that being able to run for extended lengths of time is an adapted trait, most likely for obtaining food, and was the catalyst that forced Homo erectus to evolve from its apelike ancestors. Over time, the survival of the swift-footed shaped the anatomy of modern humans, giving us a body that is difficult to explain absent a marathoning past." [via Seed Magazine]

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