In Central America, ants act as bodyguards for acacia trees, defending them from weeds and hungry animals in exchange for room and board, one of the most iconic alliances in nature.

[…]

But Martin Heil of Cinvestav Unidad Irapuato in Mexico has found that the tree’s sugary snacks are laced with an enzyme that prevents the ants from eating other sources of sugar.

One sip, and the insects are consigned to a life of indentured servitude.

"It was surprising to me that the immobile, ‘passive’ plant can manipulate the seemingly much more active partner, the ant," says Heil.

Fascinating how a tree succeeded in turning ants into slaves.

“I certainly love the IT thing,” he says. “But when we want to improve lives, you’ve got to deal with more basic things like child survival, child nutrition.”

[…]

But asked whether giving the planet an internet connection is more important than finding a vaccination for malaria, the co-founder of Microsoft and world’s second-richest man does not hide his irritation: “As a priority? It’s a joke.”

I love this man.

Today, the company announced it had created the largest database of job candidates, with one billion professional profiles and an algorithm that applies big data and predictive analytics to match recruiters with relevant, qualified candidates.

Great article about what we’re doing at Identified. Also:

One strategy Identified has for closing this talent gap is moving beyond just analyzing professional data. Ajao predicts within the next few months the company will begin taking personality traits into account as well. Seemingly random information about a candidate — his or her taste in movies, food and sports teams – could be revealing. For instance, Ajao discovered the best engineers at Identified all cited their favorite book as Enders Game.

I really like this book.

MOSCOW (The Borowitz Report)—The N.S.A. leaker Edward Snowden today reached out to the United States government, offering to fix its troubled healthcare.gov Web site in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

That’s hilarious, from The Borowitz Report (so no, this is not true but it’s still very funny).