Science & Technology

The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

MAVEN Lifts Off On Nearly Half-Billion-Mile Trip To Mars

NASA's MAVEN, short for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, with a capital "N" in EvolutioN, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, on Monday.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:38 pm

NASA's MAVEN explorer blasted off Monday on the first leg of its 440-million-mile journey to Mars, where scientists hope it will answer an ancient question: why the red planet went from warm and wet to cold and dry in a matter of just a billion years.

The robot orbiter, called the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution probe, launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 1:28 p.m. EST. It will take 10 months to reach Mars.

The Associated Press writes:

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

First Fuel Rods Plucked From Tsunami-Damaged Fukushima Plant

Workers remove nuclear fuel rods from a pool at the Unit 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daii-chi nuclear power plant on Monday.
Handout TEPCO

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:30 pm

Workers at Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station successfully completed the first day of a delicate operation to remove radioactive fuel rods from a reactor damaged in the March 2011 tsunami.

The fuel rods were removed from the Unit 4 reactor, which was offline at the time the tsunami smashed into the plant, overwhelming its backup systems. Although Unit 4 was spared the fate of three other reactors that melted down, a fire in its containment building weakened the structure.

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All Tech Considered
11:58 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Get Excited, It's Gaming Week On All Tech

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:14 pm

To coincide with the release of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, our reporting theme this week will focus on video games — the development, the potential and the way they are shaping modern life. As always, we want to hear your ideas, so feel free to tweet, comment or email.

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Parallels
11:36 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Too Cool For (Bike) Helmet Head? Here's One Swedish Solution

No more helmet hair: Hovding's "invisible" helmet is an air bag tucked away in a collar that gets fastened around a cyclist's neck. It's aimed at urban cyclists and priced at $535.
Courtesy of Hovding

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 1:45 pm

Hey there, hipster. No bike helmet, huh? Well, we all have our excuses. There are the vanity-driven ones that — let's be honest — explain why the majority of our brain cages sit collecting dust in the dark corners of the garage. Squashed hair, unflattering chin straps, general discomfort, etc.

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All Tech Considered
5:41 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Is The Internet Domain Land Rush A Land Rush At All?

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, president and chief executive Rod Beckstrom, speaks on expanding the number of domain name suffixes during a press conference in London in 2012.
Tim Hales AP

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 6:07 pm

There's a land rush going on right now. At least that's how everyone seems to be describing the opening up of vast amounts of Internet real estate with so-called top-level domains.

Pretty soon, there's going to be a lot more than .coms out there, and a lot of big companies and a few upstarts are bidding huge amounts to get the new Internet addresses.

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Technology
5:10 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Laboring In The Shadows To Keep The Web Free Of Child Porn

On Thursday, authorities in Canada announced the bust of an enormous international child pornography operation. It was the end of a three-year investigation into a website that trafficked in illicit videos of young boys. More than 300 people have been arrested in connection with the videos, 76 of them in the United States.

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World
3:55 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Amid Nuclear Talks, Iran Pushes Diplomacy Online

A screen grab from NuclearEnergy.ir. The English-language website makes Iran's case for its controversial nuclear program.
Screen grab from NuclearEnergy.ir

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 5:10 pm

On Wednesday, diplomats from the United States and Iran — along with five other world powers — go back to Geneva and the negotiating table. They'll be discussing a possible deal to limit Iran's controversial nuclear program, which has sparked international tensions for a decade.

The previous meeting between Iran and the five permanent Security Council members (Britain, China, France, Russia, the U.S.) plus Germany failed to produce an agreement.

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The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

That Clam In Your Chowder Might Be Hundreds Of Years Old

Mike Cardew MCT/Landov

First we heard on Morning Edition that a clam scientists had opened up turned out to have been 507 years old.

That led us to stories with headlines like this: "Scientists accidentally kill world's oldest animal at age 507."

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Shots - Health News
2:25 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

New Medical Device Treats Epilepsy With A Well-Timed Zap

The device sits under a patient's skull and tracks brain activity.
Courtesy of NeuroPace

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 8:35 am

Imagine a tiny computer embedded under your scalp that's constantly tracking your brain activity and zapping you when it senses something awry.

That might sound like science fiction, but a medical device that does that was just approved by the Food and Drug Administration as an option for people with epilepsy that's resistant to treatment with drugs.

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Technology
6:30 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Advertisers Try To Grab Online Eyes

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Don Gonyea. Some news this week got us thinking about how radically our viewing habits are changing. The broadband service company, Sandvine, released a study that shows that Netflix and YouTube now account for more than half of the data we consume on fixed networks, which is to say at home or work. It's just one more bit of evidence that Americans are increasingly turning to online video sources for news and entertainment, rather than TV, which mean advertisers have to do the same.

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