Science & Technology

The Two-Way
7:43 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Book News: Google's Book-Scanning Program Is Ruled 'Fair Use'

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Business
3:50 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Game Consoles Marketed As Multimedia Living Room Boxes

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 9:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

If a video game fan in your office calls in sick to work today, it may be because the new PlayStation 4 went on sale this morning. It is Sony's first new PlayStation home console in seven years. And next week, Microsoft follows it up with a new Xbox. Each of these devices has its own marketing strategy. PlayStation is promoting itself for games - as you might expect. Xbox wants you to think of the console as something much more.

(SOUNDBITE OF MICROSOFT AD)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Xbox on.

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Environment
2:04 am
Fri November 15, 2013

A Rancher And A Conservationist Forge An Unlikely Alliance

Trout fishing is big business in Montana, bringing in tens of millions of dollars annually.
Tom Murphy Getty Images/National Geographic

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:08 pm

Trout fishing is a magnet that draws people from around the world to places like Ovando, Mont. Just ask the owner of Blackfoot Angler and Supplies, Kathy Schoendoerfer.

"Every state in the nation has been through this little shop in Ovando, Montana, population 50," says Schoendoerfer with a mix of pride and perhaps a little fatigue. "And we've also had everybody from Russia, Latvia. We get a lot of Canadians, France, Finland, Brazil, Scotland, Germany, South Africa. We get a lot of business out here. You know, fly-fishing is huge."

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The Salt
5:28 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

What's The Most Important Thing Food Labels Should Tell Us?

Illustration by Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 6:29 pm

Food labels have become battlegrounds. Just last week, voters in Washington state narrowly defeated a measure that would have required food manufacturers to reveal whether their products contain genetically modified ingredients.

Supporters of the initiative — and similar proposals in other states — say that consumers have a right to know what they're eating.

But there are lots of things we might want to know about our food. So what belongs on the label?

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All Tech Considered
4:15 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

For Ridesharing Apps Like Lyft, Commerce Is A Community

A Lyft driver in San Francisco drops off a passenger as a taxi passes by. The smartphone app lets city dwellers hitch rides from strangers.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 6:34 pm

This week on-air and online, the tech team is exploring the sharing economy. You'll find the stories on this blog and aggregated at this link, and we would love to hear your questions about the topic. Just email, leave a comment or tweet.

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The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Denver's Smell-O-Scope Targets Marijuana's Skunky Scent

A man uses the Nasal Ranger to detect smells in the southern U.S., in this photo provided by St. Croix Sensory. In Denver, the device is being used to monitor complaints of strong marijuana smells.
Courtesy of Nasal Ranger

Recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado. But that doesn't mean residents want the air to smell like a pot rally. Denver is getting more calls to enforce an odor ordinance that can impose a buzz-killing fine on violators. To find them, the city relies on a device called the Nasal Ranger.

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All Tech Considered
3:26 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Electric Cars Drive Demand For Cheaper, More Powerful Batteries

A prototype of a flexible battery from Imprint Energy, one of 40 companies working on battery technology in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Imprint Energy

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 6:29 pm

If there's one person you'd expect to have an electric car, it's Venkat Srinivasan. He's in charge of battery research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.

"I'm actually in the market for a new car and would love to buy an electric car," he says. "But there are practical problems."

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Shots - Health News
1:44 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Bacterial Competition In Lab Shows Evolution Never Stops

The plate on the left contains about equal numbers of colonies of two different bacteria. After the bacteria compete and evolve, the lighter ones have taken the lead in the plate on the right.
Courtesy of Michael Wiser

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 9:49 am

Evolution is relentless process that seems to keep going and going, even when creatures live in a stable, unchanging world.

That's the latest surprise from a unique experiment that's been underway for more than a quarter-century.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Tennessee Valley Authority To Close Several Coal-Fired Plants

An air-monitoring station near the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant in Kingston, Tenn. Stations such as this one are used to monitor clean-air compliance of TVA coal-fired plants.
Wade Payne AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 3:47 pm

The Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest public utility, has decided to close six coal-fired power plants in Alabama and replace two others in Kentucky with a single new natural gas station.

CEO Bill Johnson made the announcement at a Thursday board meeting in Oxford, Miss., citing stricter environmental regulations and flat demand for power.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Google Says It's Getting Far More User-Data Requests From Government

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 1:11 pm

Google says the number of requests it gets from the U.S. government for user information is rising — fast.

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