Science & Technology

All Tech Considered
2:22 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Can Robots Manage Your Money Better Than You? Startups Say Yes

Several Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are developing services that manage consumers' investment portfolios with algorithms rather than people.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 10:14 am

Millions of people are turning their thoughts to self-improvement and New Year's resolutions this week. And one of the most common resolutions, after promises to lose weight or get in better shape, is to be better about money.

A handful of entrepreneurs in the Bay Area have taken note — and they believe the time has come for you to try a different way of managing your money.

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Remembrances
4:42 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Lost In 2013: Three Nobel Scientists Who Saw Something In Us

Pallbearers carry the flag-draped coffin of Francois Jacob, Nobel Prize-winner and World War II veteran, in Paris on April 24.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 5:41 pm

Before turning the page on 2013, All Things Considered wanted to tell you stories you haven't heard — unknown stories about people you've heard of, and unknown people who have affected your lives in ways you can't imagine.

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Middle East
7:59 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Security, Logistics Problems Plague Syria's Weapons Removal

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 10:12 am

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

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Science
4:04 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Centuries Before China's 'Great Wall,' There Was Another

In Jiaonan county, the Qi wall incorporates outcrops of bedrock.
Linda Nicholas The Field Museum

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 10:12 am

The Great Wall of China, built more than 2,000 years ago, stands as one of the monumental feats of ancient engineering. Stretching thousands of miles, it protected the newly unified country from foreign invaders.

But before the Great Wall, warring Chinese dynasties built many other walls for protection. An American archaeologist recently began surveying one of the biggest.

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Digital Life
4:02 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

The Internet Hoaxes That Had Us All Clicking For More

Which Internet hoaxes got you this year?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 5:54 pm

From fake tweets to feigned poverty, the Internet was ablaze with hoaxes in 2013. Tess Lynch reported on the "rise of the hoax economy" for Grantland, calling out the biggest dupes of the year.

Lying isn't new, but the nature of the lies is changing, Lynch writes: "Our focus has shifted from the amusing to the emotional."

The emotional stories draw many in, including the media.

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Research News
11:54 am
Sat December 28, 2013

The Hunt For Meteorites Begins In Antarctica

The most abundant meteorites found in Antarctica are called chondrites. They are some of the oldest objects known in the solar system.
Katherine Joy Antarctic Search for Meteorites Program / Case Western Reserve University

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 9:07 am

Antarctica is one of the best places on Earth to spot these fallen stars.

Each winter — which is summer in down south — a team of geologists camps out on an Antarctic glacier in the middle of nowhere, often where no human has ever tread. It's kind of like a space voyage, but a lot cheaper.

And it's the meteorite that's done most of the traveling.

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The Salt
3:43 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Time Is Running Out To Save Florida's Oranges

Ripening fruit in a grove in Plant City, Fla., this month. Florida citrus growers are worried about citrus greening, which causes bacteria to grow on the leaf and fruit, eventually killing the tree.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:15 pm

It's not been a good year for Florida's citrus industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that, for the second year running, the orange crop is expected to be almost 10 percent lower than the previous year.

The culprit is citrus greening, a disease that has devastated Florida's oranges and grapefruits, and has now begun to spread in Texas and California.

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Science
3:36 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Stretch Or Splat? How A Black Hole Kills You Matters ... A Lot

Never mind holiday stress. Steer clear of black holes, or risk "spaghettification" — or worse.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:15 pm

It could rightly be called the most massive debate of the year: Physicists are locked in an argument over what happens if you fall into a black hole.

On one side are those who support the traditional view from Albert Einstein. On the other, backers of a radical new theory that preserves the very core of modern physics by destroying space itself.

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Technology
3:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

To Make Intersections Smarter, We Need Cars To Be Smarter, Too

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

Car companies have already begun to design cars that can drive themselves. But to make these smart cars really useful, they'll also need smart roads. As part of his series, "Joe's Big Idea," NPR science correspondent Joe Palca has this story about some computer scientists who were designing a smart traffic intersection. How smart? Well, it can keep traffic flowing at least 10 times faster than old-fashioned intersections.

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Animals
3:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

After Major Comeback, Is The Gray Wolf Still Endangered?

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The law that protects endangered species turns 40 tomorrow and perhaps the most controversial thing the government has done under the law is to reintroduce the gray wolf. Ranchers and hunters strongly opposed the move and now the federal government wants to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, this time, it is the scientists who are protesting loudly.

ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Ecologist Carlos Carroll is walking through the snow in a wide valley in Northern California.

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