Science and Technology

All Tech Considered
5:07 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Tech Week: Target CEO Out, Drones In Question, Apple's Big Deal

Beats headphones are sold alongside iPods in an Apple store in New York City. Apple is reportedly considering buying Beats for more than $3 billion.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Another week in tech is wrapping up with talk of another multi-billion dollar buy. Let's get to it with our roundup, starting with the ICYMI section, which features stories we've been telling on air and online, the Big Conversations in tech and closing with our Curiosities — other fun links you should see.

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Shots - Health News
4:06 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Keep Or Kill Last Lab Stocks Of Smallpox? Time To Decide, Says WHO

U.S. Marine Sgt. Robert Scoggin gets a vaccination against smallpox in 2003 at Camp Pendleton in California — one of the final steps before deployment overseas.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 7:45 pm

The World Health Organization is revisiting a question that's been the subject of intense debate for decades: whether to destroy the only known samples of the smallpox virus.

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Environment
3:11 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Ahead Of Wildfire Season, Scientists Study What Fuels Fires

A lab technician lighting a fire in a wind tunnel at a fire lab in Riverside, Calif.
Sean Nealon University of California, Riverside

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 6:00 pm

As fire managers in the drought-stricken Southwest gear up for another long and expensive wildfire season, federal fire scientists are trying to better understand the physics behind what makes blazes spread.

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All Tech Considered
2:37 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Not-So-Social Media: Why People Have Stopped Talking On Phones

There was a time when teens would spend hours on the phone gabbing with friends. Now, that's the stodgiest behavior imaginable.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 3:34 pm

Emma Wisniewski felt exposed. The New York-based actress had moments where she had to open up in a way that made her feel particularly vulnerable.

She had to talk on the phone. In front of people — her fellow actors and the audience.

"I've done several plays now that required talking on landlines, and what always strikes me is the relatively public nature of it," she says.

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Pop Culture
9:27 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Hard 'G' Or Soft, The GIF Takes Its Place As A Modern Art Form

Dramatic chipmunk is one of the examples of the The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture installation at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.
Courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

"!!!!"

That was the body of the note from NPR producer Evie Stone, along with a link to an exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image titled The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture.

Obviously, Evie and I share a certain sensibility. And just as obviously, I had to go to Astoria, Queens, to check out the exhibit — and report this piece.

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Planet Money
2:53 am
Fri May 9, 2014

When Lyrics Get Posted Online, Who Gets Paid?

Rap Genius

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

Any time a song is popular, you'll find people debating it. And at some point during that debate, someone is going to Google the lyrics.

There are roughly 5 million searches for lyrics per day on Google, according to LyricFind. Those searches often lead to websites that post lyrics to lots of songs — and, in many cases, sites that post ads alongside those lyrics.

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Science
2:34 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Former Commando Turns Conservationist To Save Elephants Of Dzanga Bai

Kalron and his team have set up video cameras that transmit real-time images of the bai via satellite.
Courtesy of Maisha Consulting

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

In the spring of 2013, poachers looking for elephant ivory took advantage of the chaos of a civil war raging in the Central African Republic, and massacred 26 rare forest elephants at a special place called the "Dzanga bai."

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All Tech Considered
2:26 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Joust To The Music: Video Game Evolves Beyond The Screen

Revelers play Johann Sebastian Joust.
Brent Knepper Courtesy of jsjoust.com

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

On a plaza outside a hotel in Culver City, Calif., four people are stalking each other with PlayStation Move controllers. The devices look a bit like microphones, with glowing orbs on top lit up in pink, yellow and blue.

Video game designer Douglas Wilson is holding a portable speaker, blasting Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.

From afar, this looks like some sort of public performance art. But it is actually a high-tech combination of tag and musical chairs, called Johann Sebastian Joust.

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Humans
3:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

How To Tell When A Laugh Is Real: The Answer Is In A Breath

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 3:10 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And now, strictly in the interests of evolutionary psychology, the nurse asked me to sit down and asked me if I was comfortable and I said, well, I make a living.

(LAUGHTER)

SIEGEL: Now, did that person really find that funny because what we're going to hear about now is laughter. There's new research showing that people can often tell fake laughs from real laughs. Real laughter apparently has a set of unique acoustic features that fake laughs do not fully duplicate so people can often tell the difference between this...

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Shots - Health News
3:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Anti-Aging Hormone Could Make You Smarter

Klotho (right) is one of the three Greek Fates depicted in this Flemish tapestry at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:49 pm

A hormone associated with longevity also appears to make people's brains work better.

The finding in Cell Reports could someday lead to drugs that improve memory and learning, researchers say.

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