Science & Technology

TED Radio Hour
8:45 am
Fri September 27, 2013

What Listening To Nature Teaches Us About Changing Habitats

"In habitats that are pretty much untouched, the sound is organized and structured in such a way so that each critter establishes its own bandwidth" — Bernie Kraus
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 1:25 pm

Part 3 in the TED Radio Hour episode "Everything Is Connected."

About Bernie Krause's TEDTalk

Bernie Krause has been recording the wild — the wind in the trees, the chirping of birds — for 45 years. He has seen many environments radically altered by humans, sometimes even by practices thought to be environmentally safe.

About Bernie Krause

Read more
TED Radio Hour
8:45 am
Fri September 27, 2013

What Lessons Came Out Of Biosphere 2?

Aerial view of Biosphere 2, where Jane Poynter lived for two years and 20 minutes.
Courtesy of Jane Poynter

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 12:50 pm

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode "Everything Is Connected."

About Jane Poynter's TEDTalk

Sustainability consultant Jane Poynter tells her story of living two years and 20 minutes in Biosphere 2, a hermetically sealed environment in Arizona. The experience provoked her to explore how we might sustain life in the harshest of conditions.

About Jane Poynter

Read more
Monkey See
6:49 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Point Of View: How So Many Rooted For 'Breaking Bad's' Walter White

How could you not feel sorry for this guy? Vince Gilligan even admitted that he loaded up the Breaking Bad pilot with "reasons to give a damn about" Walter White.
Doug Hyun Courtesy of AMC

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 9:13 am

If you were still cheering for Walter White at the start of the sixth season (or, as AMC contracts call it, the second half of the fifth season), a mustard stain on a doctor's jacket might be one reason why.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:46 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Ctrl-Alt-Delete Defenders Tell Bill Gates It Wasn't A Mistake

Those are the hands of David Bradley, an original member of the IBM PC team and the inventor of the control-alt-delete function, hitting the right keys.
Bob Jordan AP

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 7:33 am

The news that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates now says it was a mistake to long ago force Windows PC users to type "Ctrl-Alt-Delete" at start-up is getting tons of attention because his public mea culpas are rather rare.

Read more
All Tech Considered
5:07 am
Fri September 27, 2013

BlackBerry: If You Don't Survive, May You Rest In Peace

Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 3:45 pm

This may be premature, but it is best to think of this post as an obituary for the BlackBerry, a phone struck down seemingly in its prime. Gone so soon.

BB, we'll miss you.

Over the course of its existence, BlackBerry sold smartphones to more than 200 million people. It became ubiquitous in places like Indonesia, but it began with an invasion of Wall Street and Washington.

Read more
Research News
2:06 am
Fri September 27, 2013

How Recycling Bias Affects What You Toss Where

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:07 am

During an experiment, marketing professor Remi Trudel noticed a pattern in what his volunteers were recycling versus throwing in the garbage. He then went through his colleagues' trash and recycling bins at Boston University for more data.

He found the same pattern, says NPR's Shankar Vedantam: "Whole sheets of paper typically went in the recycling, but paper fragments went in the trash."

Same type of paper, different shapes, different bins.

Read more
All Tech Considered
2:02 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Students Find Ways To Hack School-Issued iPads Within A Week

Customers test out iPad minis on display in Los Angeles. Students who received free iPads from the Los Angeles Unified School District in a deal with Apple are finding ways to use them for more than just classwork.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 9:53 am

Los Angeles Unified School District started issuing iPads to its students this school year, as part of a $30 million deal with Apple. The rollout is in the first of three phases, and ultimately, the goal is to distribute more than 600,000 devices.

But less than a week after getting their iPads, almost 200 of the districts' high school students found a way to bypass software blocks on the devices that limit what websites the students can use.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Scientists Find Sea Louse Has Tidal 'Body Clock'

The speckled sea louse.
Wikipedia Commons

One thing you can say about the diminutive speckled sea louse: it's always on time.

Scientists studying the tiny crustacean, a marine cousin of the wood-louse, found that it runs not one, but two internal clocks. Not only does the creature have a circadian rhythm, or so called "body clock" like most land-dwelling animals, including humans, but it also has a circatidal clock that follows the 12.4-hour cycle of the tide.

Read more
Digital Life
4:44 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

'Popular Science': Web Comments Are Bad For Science

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 6:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Internet, from its inception, has been embraced as a great democracy, a leveler, a town square. Upload a video, like a friend's status, write a comment about an article you read, insert your thoughts here. Well, you can no longer do that on the Popular Science magazine website, Popsci.com. It announced on Tuesday that comments can be bad for science.

And joining us to explain more about the decision is Jacob Ward, editor and chief of Popular Science magazine. Welcome to the program.

JACOB WARD: Great to be with you.

Read more
Technology
4:44 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

NSA Revelations Leave Encryption Experts In A Quandry

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 6:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The technology world is reeling. That's after press reports earlier this month that the National Security Agency may have weakened computer software. The reason, to make it easier for the government to read encrypted messages. The stories have upset many encryption experts, the very people who help scramble digital communications to keep those messages secure.

NPR's Larry Abramson reports.

Read more

Pages