Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:24 pm
Are you streaming music right now? If you're in America's Pacific region, there's a much better chance you're nodding along with Cat Power rather than grooving to Fantasia, which you'd be more likely to be doing if you were across the country in the South Atlantic. Those observations come from a map titled "Regionalisms in U.S. Listening Preferences."
Can drones, the small unmanned aircraft that are at the forefront of fields from warfare to commercial delivery systems, fly without human intervention? A team of Hungarian researchers answers yes, having created 10 drones that self-organize as they move through the air.
The team based its creation on birds such as pigeons, which fly in tight bunches while making adjustments and decisions. They fitted quadcopters — drones with four rotors — with GPS, processors and radios that allow them to navigate in formation or while following a leader.
When you hear the word outsourcing, you might think of threats to American jobs. To cyber experts, there's another threat: to our data.
This week, thousands of the industry's leading minds from around the world are discussing the Internet and security at their annual powwow in San Francisco, the RSA Conference. These topics matter more and more to us non-experts, especially as people become the victims of cybercrime.
The Environmental Protection Agency has a lot on its plate, now add to that budget concerns. The agency is hoping to trim its staff. Like a number of other government agencies, the EPA is offering buyouts to employees.
As NPR's Brian Naylor reports, it's all part of a shrinking federal workforce.
Desalination is just one way of tackling the drought. Another technique to conserve water is quite simply to reuse it. David Sedlak is professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California Berkeley. David, welcome to the program.
Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 3:47 pm
The job of NASA's Kepler mission is to peek at the far reaches of space in the hopes of finding potentially habitable planets. The space agency announced a stunning success, saying that Kepler had identified 715 new planets that orbit 305 stars. The discovery boosts the number of verified planets by around 70 percent.
"Four of the planets are about twice the size of Earth and orbit in their star's so-called habitable zone," NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports for our Newscast unit, "where temperatures might be suitable for liquid water."
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We've spent a lot of time lately talking about the technology business and why more women and minorities aren't more present in those fields and how to get more diversity into those fields. But let's say you're already there. Let's say you're one of the people who already has the interest and the background and not only that, you're ready to do your own thing. Where do you go from there?
One of Bitcoin's largest trading exchanges shut down Tuesday, and you probably couldn't care less.
So what if rumors are circulating that millions of dollars' worth of Bitcoin are stolen? If you don't understand Bitcoin in the first place, it's hard to figure out why this matters. So we're using this as an opportunity to go back to the basics: what this b-word means, where it came from and why it just might matter.