Science and Technology

All Tech Considered
10:57 am
Tue June 3, 2014

John Oliver Helps Rally 45,000 Net Neutrality Comments To FCC

Comedian John Oliver, host of HBO's Last Week Tonight.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 2:53 pm

Things are running smoothly now, but the Federal Communications Commission's public commenting system was so waylaid by people writing in on Monday that the agency had to send out a few tweets saying "technical difficulties" due to heavy traffic affected its servers.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:53 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Your Computer Is Bored By You

RaStudio iStockphoto

When computers finally become self-aware, will their first act be enslaving the obviously inferior human race? The answer, I think, is "no."

But they won't spare us out of altruism or a sense of responsibility to their creators. No, they will leave us alone because we bore them.

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All Tech Considered
6:27 am
Tue June 3, 2014

A Call For Fair Phones And Conflict-Free Tech

The Fairphone.
Courtesy of Fairphone

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 10:51 am

Despite his serene demeanor, Bas van Abel once got so furious, he smashed his 11-year-old's Nintendo DS. It wasn't his son's fault. It was the toy: Van Abel couldn't get it open.

An advocate of open design and a prominent member of the global maker community, van Abel lives by the motto "If you can't open it, you don't own it."

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Research News
4:31 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Playtime With Mom Helps Boost Toddlers' Under-Developed Brains

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 10:29 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now we have a story about the power of play. Some 200 million toddlers in poor countries are starting life with an extra burden. Because of malnourishment or disease, these kids are small for their age and their brains are underdeveloped. The consequences of this can haunt them into adulthood. But here's some positive news - there's a study in the journal Science suggesting that more play time with parents can dramatically reverse the damage suffered by these kids. NPR's Nurith Aizenman reports.

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The Salt
2:31 am
Tue June 3, 2014

How Atomic Particles Helped Solve A Wine Fraud Mystery

French physicist Philippe Hubert uses gamma rays to detect radioactivity in wine. "In the wine is the story of the Atomic Age," he says.
C J Walker Courtesy of William Koch

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 6:44 am

In a laboratory, deep under a mile-high stretch of the Alps on the French-Italian border, Philippe Hubert, a physicist at the University of Bordeaux, is testing the authenticity of a bottle of wine.

"We are looking for radioactivity in the wine," says Hubert. "Most of the time the collectors send me bottles of wine because they want to know if it is fake or not."

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The Two-Way
4:24 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Study: Americans Less Fearful Of Storms Named After Women

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew destroyed more than 25,000 homes in Florida. But its death toll was far less than "female" storms such as Audrey, Camille and Katrina.
Lynn Sladky AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 4:59 pm

A study published Monday suggests Americans are less afraid of hurricanes with female names.

This is a real study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences — not The Onion.

Researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State looked at deaths caused by hurricanes between 1950 — when storms were first named — and 2012.

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Technology
4:21 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

A Connected Life Means More Than Just Smart Appliances

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 5:50 pm

Wim Elfrink, the executive vice president of Cisco, speaks to Robert Siegel about the Internet of Things and how Cisco plans to participate in this growing market.

Technology
4:21 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

With The Internet Of Things, 'The Jetsons Lifestyle Is Upon Us'

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 5:50 pm

For more on the Internet of Things, Audie Cornish speaks with Alex Hawkinson, CEO of the startup company SmartThings, about the possibilities of this emerging space and technology.

Shots - Health News
3:59 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Bursts Of Light Create Memories, Then Take Them Away

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 3:38 pm

You can't just open up a living brain and see the memories inside.

So Roberto Malinow, a brain scientist at the University of California, San Diego, has spent years trying to find other ways to understand how memories are made and lost. The research — right now being done in rats – should lead to a better understanding of human memory problems ranging from Alzheimer's to post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Environment
3:59 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

With New EPA Rules, McCarthy Sees Economic Upside In Health Savings

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 5:50 pm

For more on the new pollution regulations, Robert Siegel speaks with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy about her agency's carbon emission plan.

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