Science & Technology

All Tech Considered
1:54 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Facebook: U.S. Wanted Data On 20,000 Of Its Users This Year

Facebook has issued a report on government requests for its user data.
Flickr Scott Beale

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 6:22 pm

In its first "Global Government Requests Report," Facebook has released details on the number of requests it has gotten from government agents for user data.

Facebook reveals that governments around the globe have made 38,000 total requests for user data in the first half of 2013, and the U.S. dwarfs the rest of the world in requests. Up to June 30, the U.S. government asked Facebook for access to accounts of between 20,000 and 21,000 users, the company said.

Facebook has more than 1.1 billion users globally.

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All Tech Considered
1:38 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Weekly Innovation: A Mattress That Makes It Easier To Cuddle

The Cuddle Mattress is divided by a series of slats. Sleepers can wedge their arm in between these slats for better snuggling.
Courtesy of Cuddle Mattress

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 3:21 pm

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

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The Salt
2:21 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Turning Off The Spigot In Western Kansas Farmland

An irrigation pivot waters a corn field in Nebraska. Many farmers in Nebraska and Kansas rely on irrigation to water their corn fields. But the underground aquifer they draw from will run dry.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 1:49 pm

Across the High Plains, many farmers depend on underground stores of water, and they worry about wells going dry. A new scientific study of western Kansas lays out a predicted timeline for those fears to become reality. But it also shows an alternative path for farming in Kansas: The moment of reckoning can be delayed, and the impact softened, if farmers start conserving water now.

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Europe
2:01 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Beachgoers In Spain Face Invasion Of Jellyfish

Marine biologist Stefano Piraino thinks overfishing is one of the reasons jellyfish populations are growing. He said if you take fish out of the oceans, it leaves more food for jellyfish. The jellyfish here are known as Pelagia noctiluca, the mauve stinger.
Courtesy of Stefano Piraino MED-JELLYRISK

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 1:01 pm

Blue turquoise waves lap at white sand on the Spanish island of Formentera in the Mediterranean Sea. Sweaty tourists from all over Europe cram the beach. But on this particular afternoon, no one dares take a cool dip in the water.

The reason? It's what Spaniards call "medusas" — named after the monster from Greek mythology, with a woman's face and venomous snakes for hair. In English, they're called jellyfish.

Gabrielle Amand's son was a recent victim of one. He's wrapped in a towel, sitting under an umbrella on the shore.

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All Tech Considered
3:46 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Inside The 'Bossless' Office, Where The Team Takes Charge

The headquarters of Menlo Innovations, a software design firm in Ann Arbor, Mich. At Menlo, there are no cubicles, few walls and no offices.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 1:44 pm

Cubicle culture can be so confining that it's become a cliche. A line from the cult film classic Office Space sums it up: "I have eight different bosses right now," grouses bleary-eyed tech company employee Peter Gibbons. "So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation. It's not to be hassled."

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All Tech Considered
12:54 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

'I'd Tap That' And Other NSA Pickup Lines Are All The Rage

An anti-NSA protester in Washington, DC.
Steve Rhodes Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:58 pm

News that National Security Agency officers sometimes abuse domestic intelligence gathering practices to monitor potential love interests has led to a sweeping, satirical response by The People of The Internet. On Tumblr and Twitter, the #NSAPickupLines and #NSALovePoems hashtags have sparked all sorts of creativity from users poking fun at the potential intrusion of the NSA into our personal lives.

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Science & Technology
11:55 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Link Between Food Restriction And Drug Abuse In Brain's Pleasure Center

UT Health Science Center

San Antonio scientists say dopamine, a type of neurotransmitter that acts as the brain's pleasure center, is likely the reason that some people turn to the use of cocaine and other illicit stimulants.

Dr. Michael Beckstead, an assistant professor in the School of Medicine at San Antonio’s UT Health Science Center, is the senior author of a study targeting the dopamine neurons in the brain that are involved in reward.

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All Tech Considered
8:54 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Use This Site To Delete Old Accounts You Don't Use Anymore

Direct links to deleting your old accounts, all on one page.
Screengrab of JustDelete.Me

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 6:51 pm

It's hard to know how many online accounts and services each of us has created by now, but it's probably somewhere in the neighborhood of "too many." This proliferation of online accounts has grown a whole crop of password-remembering services that, of course, also require accounts.

It would be great to cut the clutter by just deleting the ones you don't use. But companies don't make it easy, burying the account deactivation pages from view and requiring a litany of frustrating steps to get there.

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Space
7:04 am
Sun August 25, 2013

Far Out: Voyager 1 Might Be Over The Edge, Into Deep Space

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 10:29 am

For the past decade, scientists have been waiting for the Voyager 1 spacecraft to cross into deep space. New research suggests it has left the solar system, but other scientists say it's still inside the sun's sphere of influence. (This piece initially aired Aug. 19, 2013, on Morning Edition.)

The Two-Way
11:44 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Tons Of Molten Glass Go Into Making Mirror For Giant Telescope

An artist's concept of the completed Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)
Giant Magellan Telescope

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 3:08 pm

Technicians on Saturday are set to cast 20 tons of glass for the third of seven ultra-precise primary mirrors that will make up the 72-foot Giant Magellan Telescope, scheduled for completion in northern Chile's arid Atacama Desert in 2020.

The parabolic mirror will be cast at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. The molten borosilicate, made by the Ohara Corporation, will be spun cast at 2140 degrees Fahrenheit.

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