Science & Technology

All Tech Considered
1:56 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Who Has The Right To Know Where Your Phone Has Been?

Cell towers are constantly tracking the location of mobile phones. And that data, federal courts have ruled, is not constitutionally protected.
Steve Greer iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 6:49 am

You probably know, or should know, that your cellphone is tracking your location everywhere you go. But whether law enforcement officials should have access to that data is at the center of a constitutional debate.

Matt Blaze, a professor of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania, says location tracking is key to how the cell system operates.

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All Tech Considered
1:55 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Etsy's New Policy Means Some Items Are 'Handmade In Spirit'

Rae Padulo creates handmade ceramics, like these holiday ornaments, for her Etsy-based company, mudstar ceramics. She's disappointed with the site's new policy to allow outsourced manufacturing. "There's nothing wrong with factory-made," she says, but "that's not what Etsy started out to be."
Courtesy of Rae Padulo

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 6:49 am

Under online marketplace Etsy's new policies, vendors can now use an outside manufacturer to help make their goods.

That is not going down well with some longtime sellers, who are calling the new policies a turnaround from the site's original mission.

"Their moniker is, you know, a place to buy handmade. It doesn't say a place to buy factory-made," says Rae Padulo, a potter who began selling dishes and ornaments on Etsy in 2009.

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All Tech Considered
1:54 am
Tue October 29, 2013

How Video Games Are Getting Inside Your Head — And Wallet

Austin Newman, 10, of Menlo Park, Calif., is not allowed to play video games during the school week. His mother, Michelle DeWolf, says she had to take that step to keep her son focused on his homework during the week.
Michelle DeWolf

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:21 am

This week on All Tech, we're exploring kids and technology with posts and radio pieces about raising digital natives. Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments, by email or tweet.

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The Two-Way
6:43 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Scientists: Asian Carp Breeding In Great Lake Tributaries

Tommy Goszewski, a technician with the U.S. Geological Survey, holds a grass carp taken from a pond at an agency lab in Columbia, Mo., in spring 2013.
AP

Scientists have confirmed for the first time that at least one variety of Asian carp is living and breeding in the Great Lakes watershed, where it threatens stocks of native fish.

A U.S. Geological Survey and Bowling Green State University study published Monday says Asian carp taken from the Sandusky River in Ohio show the fish are "the result of natural reproduction within the Lake Erie basin."

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Digital Life
4:56 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

For Digital Natives, Childhood May Never Be The Same

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 11:15 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. And it's time for All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CORNISH: This week, we're exploring the subject of kids and technology. Children growing up these days are surrounded by and often immersed in digital media. You might call them digital natives. And we're going to explore what it's like to raise them.

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Science
4:56 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Science On Shaky Ground As Automatic Budget Cutbacks Drag On

Budget cutbacks threaten a planned upgrade of the massive Titan supercomputer, seen here, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Charles Brooks Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 11:15 am

At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, scientists use a powerful computer known as Titan to simulate everything from the inner workings of a nuclear reactor to the complicated effects of climate change on human populations — on a global scale. Until recently, Titan was the most powerful supercomputer on the planet, but now there's a new No. 1.

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NPR Story
4:00 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

How To See Forever On Your Dirty Car

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 11:15 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

When you're in love with science, ordinary everyday stuff can suddenly seem extraordinary. At least that's how NPR blogger and astrophysicist Adam Frank sees it, even down to the dust on his car.

ADAM FRANK, BYLINE: Carl Sagan, an astronomer with the soul of a poet, liked to remind us that we are all star stuff. It was without a doubt one of his most beautiful images. But what really was Carl Sagan talking about? Well, there are two answers to this question.

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The Salt
2:50 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Goodbye Paper Menus? Restaurants Test The Water For Tablets

A restaurant customer tries out the Aptito app on a digital menu.
Courtesy of Aptito

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:52 am

When you sit down at Chef José Andrés' tapas restaurant, Jaleo, in Washington, D.C., and ask to see the beverage options, as I did recently, you're in for a surprise. Instead of a traditional leather-bound menu, I was handed an iPad.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Syrian Hackers Hit Social Media Accounts Linked To President

The Syrian Electronic Army – a shadowy group of hackers acting in support of the Assad regime – has hit Twitter and Facebook accounts linked to President Obama.

When users clicked a link on some tweets originating from "Organizing for Action" – a non-profit organization that advocates for President Obama's agenda — they were directed to this (warning: graphic) video titled "Syria facing terrorism."

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Shots - Health News
2:48 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Eeek, Snake! Your Brain Has A Special Corner Just For Them

Illustration by Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:17 pm

Anthropologist Lynne Isbell was running through a glade in central Kenya in 1992 when something suddenly caused her to freeze in her tracks. "I stopped just in front of a cobra," she says. "It was raised with its hood spread out."

Isbell, who is at the University of California, Davis, says she has spent the past couple of decades trying to understand how she could have reacted before her conscious brain even had a chance to think — cobra!

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