Science & Technology

All Tech Considered
8:57 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Should Uber Be Responsible For Driver Recklessness?

The transportation app Uber matches ride-seekers with drivers. Drivers must keep checking their phones to catch customers, and critics say that may have dangerous consequences on the road. Is Uber responsible for the risk?
Lucy Nicholson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 10:04 am

A man named Syed Muzaffar drove for Uber, the San Francisco-based company that makes money selling car rides. He lives in a suburb of San Francisco and on New Year's Eve, he says, he was in the city for the sole purpose of picking up partygoers who needed a ride.

His night ended early and tragically, around 8 p.m., when he turned a corner and hit a family in a crosswalk.

"The mother sustained facial fractures," says Police Sgt. Eric Mahoney, who is investigating the case. "The 4-year-old boy suffered abrasions on his face, and the 6-year-old girl was fatally injured."

Read more
The Two-Way
6:42 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Shadow Seen! Groundhog Predicts 6 More Weeks Of Cold

Punxsutawney Phil is held by handler John Griffiths after emerging from his burrow to see his shadow and forecast six more weeks of winter weather.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 7:36 am

Punxsutawney Phil, the "prognosticator of prognosticators" saw his shadow after being roused from hibernation just long enough to make his annual prediction.

That means ... six more weeks of winter.

The famous groundhog's handler, Bill Deely, made the pronouncement atop Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, at about 7:25 a.m. ET.

As The Associated Press reports:

Read more
All Tech Considered
4:30 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Beirut Bombing Spawns An App To Tell Loved Ones 'I Am Alive'

Sandra Hassan put her app online in late January as yet more explosions struck Lebanon. She hopes it will help people in conflict zones, and areas hit by natural disasters.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 8:33 am

"I am alive."

Those words can mean a lot when you are a resident of Lebanon, where bombings are a frequent reality. So Sandra Hassan, a Lebanese-born graduate student studying public health in Paris, developed an app that lets users get the message out quickly. With one click, they can instantly tweet the message: "I am still alive! #Lebanon #LatestBombing."

Read more
The New And The Next
4:17 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

How A Halftime Show Wardrobe Malfunction Changed The Internet

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performing at Super Bowl XXXVIII, the infamous wardrobe malfunction mere moments away.
John Zich John Zich/Corbis

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 5:45 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.

Read more
All Tech Considered
4:17 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Wheels On The Bike Go Round And Round (To Make Music)

Sound designer and composer Steven Baber used state-of-the-art recording equipment to get gorgeous sounds from his bikes.
Devin Whetstone

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 5:45 pm

Steven Baber knows sound. And chances are, you know his work.

The sound designer and composer, who works under the name Johnnyrandom, produces advertisements for companies from Google to Adidas. In fact, he's the mastermind behind the larger-than-life "crunch" sound that caps off the Doritos commercials (How did he do it? Ate two bags of chips into a microphone and layered the audio).

Read more
The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

At Least 14 Dead In Eruption Of Indonesian Volcano

Indonesian villagers flee as Mt. Sinabung spews volcanic materials in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, on Saturday.
Chairaly EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 5:34 pm

An Indonesian volcano that had been rumbling for months finally unleashed a deadly cloud of poisonous gas and gray ash, killing at least 14 people only a day after authorities had allowed thousands of evacuated villagers to return to their homes.

A series of huge blasts came from Mount Sinabung, a 8,530-foot-high volcano in western Sumatra, on Saturday, sending lava and pyroclastic flows down its slope into nearby settlements.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Punxsutawney Phil Vs. The Farmers' Almanac: Whom Do You Trust?

Turns out that Phil's only 39 percent accurate, about the same as The Farmers' Almanac and its rival, The Old Farmer's Almanac.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 9:16 am

Punxsutawney Phil, the weather forecasting groundhog, will be rudely rustled from his winter slumber Sunday morning to answer the question of the day: shadow or no shadow? Six more weeks of winter or an early spring?

Why this fascination with Phil? Well, scientifically speaking, long-range forecasting is at best a crapshoot.

Read more
National Security
8:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Foreigners Still Vulnerable To NSA Snooping

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 11:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We now know that the government's spy agency is Hoovering up billions of bits of data from our phone calls and emails. But we don't really know how it's being used. Much of it apparently just sits in a giant top-secret storage facility in Utah. And that makes some people nervous, especially many foreigners on whom we're spying. Here's Guy Raz of NPR's TED Radio Hour.

GUY RAZ, BYLINE: Picture the largest Ikea you've ever been in. And now picture five of them.

Read more
Digital Life
8:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Finding The Sum Of True Love On The 88th Try

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 11:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
7:37 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Scout Leaders Who Toppled Ancient Rock Formation Are Charged

A frame grab from a video taken by Dave Hall shows two men cheering after the Boy Scout leaders knocked over an ancient Utah desert rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park.
AP

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 9:49 am

A former Boy Scout leader who toppled an ancient rock formation in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park, and another Scout leader who videotaped the incident, are being charged with criminal mischief.

Read more

Pages