Science & Technology

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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Environment
9:10 am
Fri December 13, 2013

How Plastic In The Ocean Is Contaminating Your Seafood

"A lot of people are eating seafood all the time, and fish are eating plastic all the time, so I think that's a problem," says a marine toxicologist.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 9:38 am

We've long known that the fish we eat are exposed to toxic chemicals in the rivers, bays and oceans they inhabit. The substance that's gotten the most attention — because it has shown up at disturbingly high levels in some fish — is mercury.

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TED Radio Hour
8:29 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Is Texting Actually Advancing Language?

Linguist John McWhorter says there's much more to texting than there seems.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 2:53 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Spoken And Unspoken.

About John McWhorter's TEDTalk

Does texting mean the death of good writing skills? Linguist John McWhorter says that there's much more to texting — linguistically, culturally — than it seems, and it's all good news.

About John McWhorter

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TED Radio Hour
8:29 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Does Language Bring Us Together Or Pull Us Apart?

"It is really peculiar on the face of it that our languages exist to prevent us from communicating with each other." — Mark Pagel
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 3:45 pm

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Spoken And Unspoken.

About Mark Pagel's TEDTalk

Biologist Mark Pagel says our complex language system is a piece of "social technology" that allowed early human tribes to access a powerful new tool: cooperation.

About Mark Pagel

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NPR Story
8:28 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Spoken And Unspoken

TED speakers explore the power of how we communicate.
Thinkstock

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 2:28 pm

We communicate with each other in all sorts of ways. In this hour, TED speakers reflect on how words and methods of communication affect us, more than you might expect.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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