Science & Technology

All Tech Considered
12:50 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

This Slide Shows Why HealthCare.gov Wouldn't Work At Launch

A slide from McKinsey & Co.'s outside review of HealthCare.gov, in the spring.
House Energy and Commerce Committee

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 8:07 am

This is a story of contrast between two popular methods of software development. One is called "waterfall," the other, "agile."

Waterfall development favors listing a huge set of requirements for a system up front, letting developers go away for months (if not longer) and expecting a huge software product in the end.

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All Tech Considered
9:09 am
Tue November 19, 2013

March Of The Indies: The Punk Rockers Of Video Games

Independent developer Jonathan Blow's time-warping, mind-bending puzzler Braid turned a hackneyed plot — little guy rescues a princess — into a melancholy meditation on love and loss.
Microsoft AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 4:05 pm

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Research News
3:23 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Study: Commuting Adversely Affects Political Engagement

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Okay. We all know about the partisan divide in this country - Democrats, Republicans - but there's another political divide. Part of the country is very engaged in the political process and part is not.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Older Americans, richer Americans and better educated Americans are more likely to be politically engaged. Now researchers have found one more factor that seems to shape political engagement, the length of your commute. It comes to our attention as MORNING EDITION focuses on commuting.

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All Tech Considered
2:03 am
Tue November 19, 2013

The Surprising Cultural Stamina Of Pokemon

Participants compete in the 2013 Pokemon World Championships in Vancouver, Canada, on Aug. 10. The Pokemon franchise has become a billion-dollar franchise since it debuted on American shores 15 years ago.
Sergei Bachlakov Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 12:57 pm

Fifteen years ago, pocket-sized characters known as Pokemon arrived on American shores from Japan. The cute creatures were suddenly everywhere: television, video games, card games and a movie.

When the Pokemon cartoon theme song first hit American TV airwaves in 1998, "Gotta catch 'em all" became a mantra for kids. But few people imagined that in 2013 the stars of this cartoon would still be going strong.

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All Tech Considered
4:41 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Is It The End Of The Line For The Landline?

A lineman grounds a line on a replacement pole in McNeill, Miss., after 2012 Christmas day storms downed both telephone and electric power lines and poles throughout the state. Upkeep on traditional landlines is expensive, and some are pushing for relaxing requirements that phone companies maintain these lines.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 1:35 pm

America's traditional phone system is not as dependable as it used to be. Just last month, the Federal Communications Commission told phone companies to start collecting stats on calls that fail to complete. According to one estimate, as many as 1 in 5 incoming long-distance calls simply doesn't connect.

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The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Chinese Supercomputer Retains Title Of World's Fastest

The Cray-built Titan, at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, comes in second.
Jason K. Richards Oak Ridge National Laboratories

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:24 pm

A "Made in China" supercomputer that can perform 33.9 petaflops, or 33 quadrillion calculations per second, retains its top spot in the list of the world's 500 most powerful machines.

Tianhe-2, or Milky Way-2, is still No. 1, where it debuted in the list issued in June. In fact, the top 5 slots are all unchanged:

  1. Tianhe-2 (China, National Super Computer Center in Guangzhou): 33.86 petaflops
  2. Titan (U.S., Cray): 17.59 petaflops
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Typhoon Haiyan Devastates The Philippines
3:49 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

How And Where Should We Rebuild After Natural Disasters?

The wreckage in Tacloban, Philippines, on Nov. 16 was overwhelming, after Typhoon Haiyan plowed through.
David P. Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:27 pm

The physical damage from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is catastrophic. Hundreds of thousands of people are now homeless.

Soon, though, people will start to rebuild, as they have after similar natural disasters.

How they do it, and where, is increasingly important in places like the Philippines. The island nation lies in a sort of "typhoon alley," and with climate change and rising sea levels, there are more storms in store.

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Technology
3:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Google, Microsoft Introduce Software To Curb Child Pornography

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:27 pm

Internet giants Google and Microsoft say they're going to be making it harder for pedophiles to search for child porn online. They made the announcement in a joint statement in London ahead of a British internet security summit.

Digital Life
3:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Already Outpacing Movies, Gaming Industry Still Looks To Expand

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:27 pm

It's a big week for the video game industry; Sony just released the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft will release its new Xbox games console Friday. All Tech Considered is kicking off the week with a look at just how big the industry has become and who plays these days. Robert Siegel talks with industry expert John Davison. He's currently general manager of content and publishing for video game company Red Robot Labs.

Technology
3:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Bitcoin Goes To Washington As Senators Parse Currency's Legality

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:27 pm

The digital currency Bitcoin is becoming more prevalent, both for benign purchases and as a way for criminals to conduct illicit transactions. Bitcoins have been used on underground websites to facilitate sales of narcotics and child pornography. But even those most concerned about criminal activity agree that the emerging digital currency has arrived and can have beneficial uses.

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