Science, Technology and Environment

Parallels
3:30 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

'Haqqathon' Takes Anti-ISIS Fight To Cyberspace

Haqqathon-ers from the winning team, which developed the social media site Champions of Islam, at the event in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Courtesy of Rim-Sarah Alouane

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 8:24 am

In Arabic, haqq is the word for truth.

Last week in the United Arab Emirates, group of Muslim scholars held what they called a "haqqathon" – a hackathon meant to create new ways for Islamic scholars to connect with young Muslims and, by doing so, defuse violent extremists like the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Crowdfunding Sought To Release Orson Welles' Unfinished Final Film

Orson Welles' last film, The Other Side of the Wind, may finally be nearing release after decades as one of cinema's most storied unfinished creations.
Jacques Langevin AP

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 4:32 pm

Orson Welles' The Other Side of the Wind has been the subject of books, legal battles and controversy — all for a movie that was never completed. But, if a group of producers have their way, the movie that was supposed to be Welles' comeback film might still see the light of day.

As NPR's Andrew Limbong reports, they have started a $2 million crowdfunding campaign on the website Indiegogo to finish putting the movie together. Andrew says:

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Thu May 7, 2015

NSA's Bulk Collection Of Americans' Phone Data Is Illegal, Appeals Court Rules

A view of the National Security Agency's headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 12:22 pm

The National Security Agency's practice of collecting data about Americans' telephone calls in bulk goes beyond what Congress intended when it wrote Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday.

The three-judge panel was asked to consider whether the program violated the Constitution. Instead, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel punted on the constitutional claim, deciding the program was simply not authorized by federal law.

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The Record
8:57 am
Thu May 7, 2015

Songwriters And Streaming Services Battle Over Decades-Old Decree

Neil Portnow (left), president and CEO of The Recording Academy, talks with Lee Thomas Miller, head of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, at a music licensing hearing in 2014.
Paul Morigi WireImage for NARAS

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 1:16 pm

Music streaming services like Spotify and Pandora continue to grow more popular with music fans — but not with musicians, who complain they used to earn more in royalties from CD sales and music downloads. Songwriters say they've been hit even harder, and the Department of Justice appears to be taking their complaints seriously: It's exploring big changes to the music publishing business for the first time since World War II.

If you look at the top songs on the Billboard charts, most of them were written by at least one professional songwriter. It's a real job.

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It's All Politics
4:01 am
Thu May 7, 2015

A Long Way From Wax Cylinders, Library Of Congress Slowly Joins The Digital Age

Gene DeAnna is curator of the National Jukebox project, which is an online collection of more than 10,000 pre-1925 recordings.
Brian Naylor NPR

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 9:03 am

Gene DeAnna sits at a computer next to a vintage Victrola, appropriate for his job as curator of the National Jukebox project.

It's an online collection of some 10,000 pre-1925 recordings, made acoustically, without any electrical amplification. DeAnna points to a photo on the jukebox's Web page.

"You can see in this picture here that they gathered the orchestra around a great big recording horn and behind the curtain there is a cutter that is cutting the recording into a wax master," he said.

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All Tech Considered
2:54 am
Thu May 7, 2015

A Startup Scene That's Not So Hot: Japan's Entrepreneur Shortage

At Slush Asia, a new tech festival held in Tokyo in late April, the scene and the energy resembled a small-scale South by Southwest Interactive.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 8:07 am

Toshiba. Sony. Sharp. You know those brand names because they dominated the Japanese economy's global rise in the '80s. But that was 30 years ago. As the Japanese economy stagnates, it's unclear which new companies will replace them.

Doga Makiura is Japanese, and a startup founder. But he's not a startup founder in Japan. He created businesses in other Asian countries instead.

Why not be an entrepreneur in his native country?

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Shots - Health News
7:34 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Fla. Governor Leaves Meeting With U.S. Health Secretary Empty-Handed

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks Wednesday with reporters in Washington, D.C., after a meeting with Sylvia Burwell, head of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 7:48 am

Florida Gov. Rick Scott paid a high-stakes visit to Washington D.C. on Wednesday, in hopes of persuading the Obama administration to continue a program that sends more than $1 billion in federal funds to Florida each year to help reimburse hospitals for the costs of caring for the state's poor. Uncertainty about the future of the program, slated to end June 30, has created a hole in the state budget and paralyzed Florida's legislature.

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Shots - Health News
3:47 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Missing Link Microbes May Help Explain How Single Cells Became Us

Loki's Castle, the field of deep sea vents between Norway and Greenland, is home to sediments containing DNA from the newly discovered archaea.
R.B. Pedersen/Centre for Geobiology, Bergen, Norway

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 6:55 pm

Scientists have discovered a group of microbes at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean that could provide new clues to how life went from being simple to complex.

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Goats and Soda
1:39 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Smartphones Can Be Smart Enough To Find A Parasitic Worm

The posterior end of the Loa loa worm is visible on the left. The disease-causing worm can now be located with a smartphone/microscope hookup. That's a big help because a drug to treat river blindness can be risky if the patient is carrying the worm.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 6:55 pm

Smartphones aren't simply an amazing convenience. In Africa they can be used to make a lifesaving diagnosis. In fact, scientists are hoping to use a souped-up smartphone microscope to help them eradicate a devastating disease called river blindness.

Onchocerciasis, as the disease is also known, is caused by a parasite that's spread by flies. Thirty years ago, it was simply devastating in parts of Africa, like Mali.

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NPR Story
4:03 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Silicon Valley Remembers Dave Goldberg, Who Died Unexpectedly

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 7:37 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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