Science and Technology

Science
5:46 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Scientists Fear Ecological Disaster In Nicaragua's Planned Canal

A channel big enough to handle global shipping would require deep dredging throughout Lake Nicaragua, the largest source of fresh water in Central America.
Esteban Felix AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:02 pm

Scientists are raising the alarm about the possible environmental consequences of a huge shipping canal that could cut across Nicaragua, from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

The government of this Central American nation has signed a deal with a Chinese company that is planning to build a maritime shortcut that would compete with the Panama Canal. Construction could begin next year — yet there's no official route for the canal and no assessment of its potential impacts on the environment.

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The Salt
5:40 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

'Piglet Smoothie' Fed To Sows To Prevent Disease; Activists Outraged

A screen grab from an undercover video released by the Humane Society of the U.S. shows a pig in a gestation crate at Iron Maiden Farms in Owensboro, Ky.
Courtesy of The Humane Society of The United States

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 1:37 pm

Animal welfare groups go to great lengths to show us how "the sausage" is made inside the factory-style farms that produce most of our meat. For the past few years, they've armed activists with video cameras and sent them undercover to document alleged abuses or risky practices.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Men Who Vandalized Egyptian Pyramid To Prove Theory Face Charges

Domique Goerlitz shown in one of the pyramid's chambers in this screen grab from their video, which has apparently been removed.
YouTube

Two self-styled amateur archeologists from Germany, who filmed themselves scraping off pieces of Egypt's Great Pyramid in hopes of proving that the ancient wonder was built by people from the legendary city of Atlantis, are now facing possible criminal charges in their home country.

During a trip to Egypt in April 2013, Dominque Goerlitz and Stephan Erdmann, along with a German filmmaker, were granted access to parts of the Great Pyramid at Giza that are normally off-limits to the public. They smuggled their samples back to Germany with plans to produce a documentary.

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All Tech Considered
11:19 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Why Facebook Thinks WhatsApp Is Worth $19 Billion

Facebook announced it acquired WhatsApp late Wednesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 12:19 pm

Facebook's purchase of messaging service WhatsApp — at a price tag of up to $19 billion — is its largest acquisition yet. To put things in perspective, the social giant tried to purchase Snapchat for a fraction of that cost — $3 billion. And it successfully bought Instagram for $1 billion.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Data Breach At University Of Maryland Exposes 309,000 Records

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 11:35 am

The University of Maryland said one of its databases was the "victim of a sophisticated computer security attack" that exposed the personal information of more than 300,000 faculty, staff, students and others who were issued an ID at their College Park and Shady Grove campuses.

"I am truly sorry," Wallace D. Loh, the university president said in a statement. "Computer and data security are a very high priority of our University."

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Nebraska To Appeal Ruling That Blocks Keystone Pipeline In State

TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling comments on the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline route through Nebraska during a January 2013 news conference in Calgary, Alberta.
Todd Korol Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 10:43 am

The company in charge of the Keystone XL extension said Thursday that it is considering its next move now that a Nebraska judge has struck down a law that allowed the pipeline to be routed through that state.

"We are disappointed and disagree with the decision of the Nebraska district court and will now analyze the judgment and decide what next steps may be taken," TransCanada Corp. said in a statement. "Nebraska's attorney general has filed an appeal."

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Business
5:10 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Facebook To Buy WhatsApp Message Service

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 9:56 am

Facebook is buying an instant messaging service called WhatsApp for an eye-popping $19 billion. It's the latest salvo in an arms race by Silicon Valley giants to stockpile mobile technology.

Business
4:34 am
Thu February 20, 2014

FCC To Propose New Rules On Internet Neutrality

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 6:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Federal Communications Commission tried to craft rules aimed at preserving Open Internet. Then last month, a federal appeals court struck down those rules. The FCC announced yesterday that it would not appeal the ruling, instead it will try to come up with a new set of rules.

NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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The Two-Way
5:36 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Facebook Will Buy WhatsApp Message Service For $19 Billion

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 6:01 pm

Seeking new ways to be a player in mobile messaging, Facebook announced today that it will acquire the fast-growing WhatsApp firm for some $16 billion in cash and stock. The deal includes an additional $3 billion in Facebook stock for the employees of WhatsApp, who would see the shares vest over four years.

This is the second headline-grabbing acquisition by Facebook, following the $1 billion deal for Instagram that was announced in the spring of 2012. The new deal calls for Facebook to pay $4 billion in cash, along with around $12 billion in stock.

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The Record
3:21 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Computer Love: Beats Music Wants To Be Your Everything

Beats Music

I have a new streaming music service in my life. Let's call him Beatsy. It's an open relationship — I'm still accessing other music streams, and Beatsy's positively promiscuous, winning the hearts of the music press and thousands of trial subscribers. But I don't mind. When I'm with Beatsy I feel special. Yes, he is a computer program — the world knows him as Beats Music, just one of many services that make it possible for me to listen to music stored in its cloud library via my phone or computer.

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