Science & Technology

All Tech Considered
2:05 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

U.S. Recognizes A South Korean StarCraft Player As An Athlete

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 11:15 am

South Korean Kim Dong-hwan, a professional StarCraft II player, has received a special U.S. visa, normally reserved for baseball players and other athletes.

The five-year P-1A visa given to the video game player last week is for "internationally recognized athletes." This follows another visa given to a Canadian League of Legends player earlier this summer.

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Digital Life
4:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Tug Of Authority Over Legal Gap In Online Privacy

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 4:32 pm

Even the most mundane online tasks require us to hand over sensitive data. Privacy policies pass by with an easy click. Yes, each company has its own legal language about the risks we take on, but the standards for consumer protection are murky.

"There is no one law in the United States that mandates that websites and phone applications have good data security," says law professor Woodrow Hartzog, who focuses on the area of privacy law and online communication.

So if there isn't one set of rules, who's working to keep your personal information safe?

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The New And The Next
4:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Science Becomes 'Sexy' With Fast Cars And Gangsta Physics

Todd Rosenberg Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 5:19 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 discoveries.

This week, Ozy co-founder Carlos Watson tells NPR's Arun Rath about a gangster-turned-astrophysicist and a race car driver working to making science "sexy" again. Plus, a look at the changing landscape of African art — no tribal masks allowed.

All Tech Considered
5:56 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

A Movement To Bake Online Privacy Into Modern Life, 'By Design'

"The death of privacy has been predicted repeatedly over the years," says Ann Cavoukian, Ontario's privacy commissioner. "And my response to that is, 'Say no to that,' because, if you value your freedom, you will value your privacy."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 6:46 pm

As we become a more digitally connected society, one question has become increasingly pervasive: Is the expectation of privacy still reasonable?

Ann Cavoukian, the privacy commissioner for Ontario, Canada, thinks so. She contends that privacy — including privacy online — is foundational to a free society. She developed a framework for approaching privacy issues back in the 1990s that's been recognized around the world.

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All Tech Considered
4:36 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Twitter Critics Say It's Not Sensitive Enough To Cyberbullying

Twitter revoked its new blocking policy after backlash from users.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 6:01 pm

On Thursday, Twitter introduced — and later in the day, withdrew — a change to its "blocking" policy.

Thursday afternoon, the microblogging site started allowing users who had been blocked to continue to follow, respond to or retweet posts from people who had blocked them.

User response came swiftly. Many were outraged that the change allowed stalkers and abusers open access to their posts.

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Catch The Geminid Meteor Shower Tonight

A Geminid meteor streaks across the sky early Friday near Scotland, Md.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 4:30 pm

Stargazers are in for a treat if they're willing to wake up really early Saturday morning.

The annual Geminid meteor shower peaks tonight, potentially serving up more than a hundred shooting stars per hour. The meteors will appear to emanate from the constellation Gemini (thus the name), but that's just an optical illusion. The meteors are actually remains of an asteroid whose fragments burn up in Earth's atmosphere as our planet passes through the field of debris.

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All Tech Considered
2:35 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Game Director Shifts From 'Grand Theft Auto' To Iranian Revolution

The creators of 1979 Revolution interviewed fellow Iranians to create accurate scenes of Iran.
iNK Stories

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 5:56 pm

Navid Khonsari worked on blockbusters like Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City and Max Payne. These are all violent and aggressive games, set in fictional cities where you shoot your enemies. But for the past two years Khonsari, a video game director, has led a small team, some of them fellow Iranians, working on something very different — a documentary game about the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

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All Tech Considered
1:26 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Week That Was: Cookie Hacking, Phone Unlocking, Year-Enders

Unlocking phones allows the devices to be used on another carrier's network.
Flickr Scallop Holden

Happy Friday! That means it's time for our weekly roundup of headlines from here at NPR and beyond.

ICYMI

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Books
11:21 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Science Book Picks for 2013

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:58 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow and you are invited to join our annual holiday club of the air. This week we'll be talking about some of the best science reads from 2013. I'm going to throw in my favorite one right at the beginning before Deborah and Maria get a chance to put a word in edgewise.

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Technology
9:45 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Tech Companies Take Step Toward The 'Internet Of Things'

Tech companies want to make your smartphones, TVs, lights and other appliances all work together, regardless of brand.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 12:45 pm

Several companies have made what some see as a small step toward TVs, locks and household appliances all talking to each other.

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