Science & Technology

Around the Nation
1:54 am
Wed January 29, 2014

On The Plains, The Rush For Oil Has Changed Everything

Diners at Lonnie's Roadhouse Cafe eat breakfast before heading to work in Williston, N.D.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 11:49 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

On a Sunday at dusk, Amtrak's eastbound Empire Builder train is jampacked, filled with people heading to their jobs in North Dakota towns like Minot, Williston and Watford City.

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Technology
3:52 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

A Glimpse At The Face Of Computing, Three Decades On

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 5:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Apple's share price has tumbled since the company's announcement yesterday that it didn't sell as many iPhones as expected. Now, Apple is by no means in trouble. They had recorded more than $13 billion in profits last quarter. It has more than $160 billion in cash and is still setting new sales records.

But as NPR's Steve Henn reports, Apple's fans and investors have been waiting for the next big thing for years.

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

China's Jade Rabbit Rover May Be Doomed On The Moon

The Chinese flag is seen in front of a view of the moon at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in December, when China's first moon rover touched the lunar surface. That feat was widely celebrated — but observers believe the rover has now run into serious trouble.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 5:55 pm

China's new moon rover, the Jade Rabbit, may be dead. Chinese officials recently announced the rover was experiencing mechanical difficulties, and now observers believe it's done for.

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Author Interviews
1:48 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Entrepreneurs Looking For 'Windfall' Cash In On Climate Change

A boat skims through the melting ice in the Ilulissat fjord in August 2008, on the western coast of Greenland.
Steen Ulrik Johannessen AFP/Getty Images

In 2008, as scientists documented a record melt in the Arctic ice and Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth was in theaters, a half dozen major investment houses launched mutual funds designed to take advantage of financial opportunities offered by climate change.

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It's All Politics
10:57 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Obama's State Of The Union, Playing On A Second Screen Near You

A screen grab from last year's "enhanced State of the Union," which is also available Tuesday on WhiteHouse.gov.
Nathan Yau/Flowing Data

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 4:58 pm

Viewership is declining. Washington seems increasingly dysfunctional and irrelevant to the daily lives of Americans. The presidency isn't the bully pulpit it used to be.

In an age of social media and divided audiences, the annual, constitutionally mandated State of the Union speech is beginning to look like a stuffy relic from a bygone era.

It's an institution in need of a makeover, which is precisely what the White House intends to do Tuesday night.

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All Tech Considered
9:50 am
Tue January 28, 2014

One Way Lawmakers Are Trying To Prevent Government IT Disasters

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., is a co-sponsor of the new bill.
Charles Dharapak AP

HealthCare.gov's infamous failure to launch has inspired some fresh legislation that aims to organize and streamline the currently scattered — and expensive — approach to multimillion-dollar technology projects built by the government and its contractors.

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All Tech Considered
8:19 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Tech Leader Quasi-Apologizes For His Nazi Rampage Analogy

Tom Perkins is a prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist and the author of the novel, Sex and the Single Zillionaire.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 3:09 pm

Multi-millionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Perkins tried to apologize — kind of — for comparing the protests against the techno-affluent to Kristallnacht, the 1938 Nazi rampage that led to 91 killings and 30,000 Jews sent to concentration camps.

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

U.S. Agencies, Tech Firms Agree To Rules On Surveillance Info

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:53 pm

Internet companies that receive U.S. government requests for information about their customers will be able to disclose more details about surveillance than has been allowed, according to a deal announced today by the Justice Department.

The shift will allow technology and communications companies "to publish the aggregate data ... relating to any orders issued pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)" — and in more ways than had been previously allowed.

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All Tech Considered
4:01 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

You've Got Mail, And It Smells Like 18th Century Paris

The oPhone was on display at Wired's annual conference in London in October.
Courtesy of Le Laboratoire

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:17 pm

First there was the Smell-O-Vision, a technology that brought aromas to movie theater audiences. Then there was Scratch 'n' Sniff, paper you could smell.

Now, a company in Paris has developed a mobile phone that sends aromatic text messages. It's called the oPhone — "o" for olfactory.

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All Tech Considered
4:01 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

For Taiwanese News Animators, Funny Videos Are Serious Work

In their effort to make their animations seem more realistic, the Next Media team models various facial expressions it will use in a piece. These are models of singer Leslie Cheung.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:17 pm

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