New technology could reveal private thoughts

And other stories from the stranger side of life

Abstract brain neurons
Researchers say new study could explain how a person’s brain may replay conscious memories just prior to death
(Image credit: Illustrated/Getty Images)

The information watchdog has warned that new “mind-reading” technology could be misused to reveal your private thoughts, said The Times. The Information Commissioner’s Office warned that new devices could be used to assess an individual’s mental health, their suitability for jobs and to access secret thoughts. “To many, the idea of neurotechnology conjures up images of science fiction films, but this technology is real and it is developing rapidly,” said a spokesperson.

Spaniels could speed up planning applications

A spaniel “could be key” to getting your planning application approved, said The Telegraph. Great crested newts are a protected species under British law, so it is illegal to capture, kill or disturb them without a licence, which can frustrate developers as they have to pause work while conservationists carry out investigations if they suspect the creatures might be present. Now, researchers have shown that a trained detection dog was able to find the newts underground or at a distance, no matter what type of soil.

Alligator causes tailbacks

A large alligator was seen caused a traffic jam when it crossed a busy highway in the US. The 10-foot reptile strolled onto a busy highway in Key Largo, Florida, causing a traffic backup lasting over an hour, according to news agency SWNS. The news comes just weeks after a Florida veteran and MMA fighter was seen “wrangling” a 10-foot alligator just outside a Jacksonville, Florida, elementary school, said Fox News.

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Chas Newkey-Burden has been part of The Week Digital team for more than a decade and a journalist for 25 years, starting out on the irreverent football weekly 90 Minutes, before moving to lifestyle magazines Loaded and Attitude. He was a columnist for The Big Issue and landed a world exclusive with David Beckham that became the weekly magazine’s bestselling issue. He now writes regularly for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Metro, FourFourTwo and the i new site. He is also the author of a number of non-fiction books.