This week in Tech Reads: how data from Apollo 12 debunked the "skydiver meteorite," facial recognition software that performs better than the human brain, a literary easter egg on Amazon's Kindle, and more, more, more!

  • Philip Metzger explains how Apollo 12 discoveries proved that the "meteorite" caught on video whizzing by a Norwegian skydiver was actually just a regular rock from earth. [The Planetary Society]
  • Casey Newton explains the trashy, provocative "also on the web" links placed at the bottom of so many online articles—and why they might soon disappear. [The Verge]
  • Lisa Miller profiles Ann Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe, which seeks to solve humanity's health and aging woes by decoding the secrets hidden in our DNA. [New York Magazine]
  • Gideon Lewis-Kraus follows the story of Boomtrain, a Silicon Valley company struggling to make it in the bizarre, venture capital-fueled startup world. [Wired]
  • Benjamin Montet explains how, in certain circumstances, pilots can fly fast enough to arrive on time even after a delayed takeoff—though only when the conditions and timing is right. [FiveThirtyEight]
  • Robin Sloan reveals the subtly hidden reference to a Neal Stephenson novel tucked into the URL of every Kindle user's "Manage My Kindle" page. [Medium]
  • Kim Zetter explains how shockingly easy it is to hack electronic hospital equipment, in potentially deadly ways. [Wired]
  • David Auerbach takes us back to the early days of the Internet chat wars, when MSN Messenger, AOL/AIM, Yahoo, and ICQ duked it out for messaging superiority. [n+1]
  • Olivia Solon tells the intriguing and bizarre story of Jack Parsons, a revolutionary engineer and one of the fathers of rocketry, whose fascination with the occult may have led to him being "written out" of NASA's history. [Wired UK]
  • Physics arXiv Blog explains the new algorithm that can recognize human faces better than humans can. [Physics arXiv on Medium]

Image: Miloslav Druckmüller