Science and Technology

Digital Life
9:33 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Citizen Evidence Lab Separates Truth From Fiction In Viral Videos

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Tech Considered
8:23 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Tech Week: Industry Diversity, Digital Afterlives, Net Neutrality

Twitter released a scorecard showing its workforce β€” like other major tech firms β€” is largely male and white.
Jeff Chiu AP

What happened in technology this week, you ask? Here's a roundup of the tech stories reported by NPR and others since you last checked in.

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NPR Ed
8:08 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Learning To Read May Take Longer Than We Thought

Most of what we know β€” or think we know β€” about how kids learn comes from classroom practice and behavioral psychology. Now, neuroscientists are adding to and qualifying that store of knowledge by studying the brain itself. The latest example: new research in the journal Developmental Science suggests a famous phenomenon known as the "fourth-grade shift" isn't so clear-cut.

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Space
7:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Close Encounters Of The Radio Kind? Mystery Bursts Baffle Astronomers

Scientists say a brief burst of radio activity has been detected at the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico. This new report resembles previous activity detected in Australia, which has scientist debating possible causes, including solar flares, blitzars, or something even more mysterious.
Brian Negin iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 9:43 am

Astronomers have a mystery on their hands. Two large radio telescopes, on opposite sides of the planet, have detected very brief, very powerful bursts of radio waves.

Right now, astronomers have no idea what's causing these bursts or where they're coming from. And nothing has been ruled out at the moment β€” not even the kind of outrageous claims you'd expect to see in tabloid headlines.

Australian Recordings Inspire Curiosity And Doubt

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The Salt
7:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Forget The Fishing Boat: Alaskans Scoop Up Salmon With Dipnets

Using dipnets --€” which have nets up to 5 feet in diameter at the end --€” isn't easy, and the river can get pretty crowded. Robert Carter, a novice dipnetter, holds up the first fish he caught after a day on the Kenai River.
Annie Feidt Alaska Public Media

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:38 am

Fishing purists, be warned. This story is not for you.

Yes, it's about salmon fishing on a scenic river in Alaska. But no one here is hooking a prize fish in the remote wilderness. This kind of fishing is all about crowds and slop buckets and big contraptions called dipnets β€” and the lengths Alaskans will go to in order to fill their freezers with sockeye salmon.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Bill Allowing Americans To Unlock Cellphones Passes House, Heads To Obama

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 4:49 pm

Approving a bill that has already passed the Senate, the House of Representatives has given its consent to legislation that lets U.S. consumers "unlock" their cellphones, rather than having them remain linked to specific service providers.

President Obama says he will sign the bill into law, applauding Congress today for taking "another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cellphone carrier that meets their needs and their budget."

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The Salt
3:44 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Key Chain Blood-Alcohol Testing May Make Quantified Drinking Easy

The BACTrack Vio keychain breathalyzer and app on the iPhone at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. A public health researcher says tools like this could help people make better decisions about alcohol use.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 6:36 pm

While testing whether a dash of yeast could keep you from getting drunk, we discovered that it's pretty entertaining β€” and revealing β€” to track your blood alcohol while drinking.

Using a device to test blood-alcohol levels, we watched the alcohol in our bodies soar as we drank two beers on empty stomachs. And we noticed there's a place on the curve β€” about 0.04 or 0.05 BAC β€” when the buzz is the sweetest.

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Animals
3:35 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

If Dogs Feel Jealousy, It May Run Deeper In Us Than We'd Thought

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 4:33 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
4:26 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

The Weird, Underappreciated World Of Plastic Packaging

Food companies spend a lot of time and resources coming up with the perfect plastic packaging to keep their products fresh.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 2:51 pm

Like it or not, plastic packaging has become an ingrained part of the food system.

While it's clearly wasteful to buy salad, sandwiches and chips encased in plastic and then promptly throw that plastic away, we take for granted how it keeps so much of what we eat fresh and portable.

And behind many of those packages that allow us to eat on the go or savor perishable cookies or fish imported from the other side of the globe is a whole lot of science and innovation.

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Digital Life
3:15 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Meet The Guy Who's Putting Your Cat On The Map β€” To Prove A Point

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 4:52 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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