Science & Technology

Technology
3:57 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

French Twitter Lawsuit Pits Free Speech Against Hate Speech

A wave of racist tweets prompted a Jewish student organization to file a lawsuit asking the American company Twitter to reveal the identities of users sending anti-Semitic tweets. Twitter says data on users is collected and stocked in California, where French law cannot be applied.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 7:48 pm

A French judge will decide this week if Twitter must hand over the identities of users sending anti-Semitic tweets. The case, brought against Twitter by a Jewish student organization, pits America's free speech guarantees against Europe's laws banning hate speech.

The controversy began in October, when the French Union of Jewish Students threatened to sue Twitter to get the names of people posting anti-Semitic tweets with the hashtag #unbonjuif, or "a good Jew."

Read more
Science
12:58 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Explorers Reflect On 125 Years Of National Geographic

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 1:18 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Back in 1999, I went along with Robert Ballard on a radio expedition to the Black Sea, where he hoped to find evidence that what's now a vast inland ocean was once a small freshwater lake. A controversial theory holds that thousands of years ago, the waters of the Mediterranean Sea suddenly burst through in a flood that may have inspired the story of Noah.

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
10:42 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Nature Has A Formula That Tells Us When It's Time To Die

Courtesy of Yunfun Tan

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 9:19 pm

Editor's Note: Robert has added a postscript to this post. Scroll down or click here to read it.


We wax, we wane. It's the dance of life.

Every living thing is a pulse. We quicken, then we fade. There is a deep beauty in this, but deeper down, inside every plant, every leaf, inside every living thing (us included) sits a secret.

Read more
All Tech Considered
2:41 am
Tue January 22, 2013

This Defense Contractor Has A Green Side

AeroVironment's Raven drone is used for military surveillance and can be launched by hand.
Courtesy of AeroVironment Inc.

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 9:06 am

Lots of companies make products that don't have much in common, but AeroVironment specializes in two products that are very different — electric vehicle chargers, which keep cars like the Nissan Leaf on the road, and military drones. The Los Angeles-area firm is a leading manufacturer of small unmanned aircraft.

Read more
Digital Life
4:26 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Inauguration Attendees Use Smartphones As Public Diaries

The Presidential Inaugural Committee might have its first-ever smart phone app, but for the hundreds of thousands of onlookers flooding into the National Mall on Monday, there were plenty of other reasons to be clutching a mobile device. Many just wanted to say, "We came."

Digital Life
4:25 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Inaugural Smartphone App Could Be Helping Mine Data For Democrats

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 3:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And we have some tech news now to mark today's inauguration. The Presidential Inaugural Committee recently released a smartphone app to help people follow the day's events in real time. It has maps of the parade route, volunteer opportunities and real-time updates. As NPR's Brenda Salinas reports, it also has an invisible feature that could help Democrats mine data from users.

Read more
Technology
4:24 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Tech Week Ahead: Controversial Founder Of File-Sharing Site Launches New Service

Laura Sydell gives a look ahead to the week in tech news. She covers the launch of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom's latest website and the rollout of what Facebook is calling its "graph search."

Animals
3:07 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

To Catch A Marten: Seeking Clues In Olympic National Forest

A group of volunteers is helping biologists see whether there are any martens left in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 8:01 am

It's about 25 degrees on a clear Saturday morning when Gregg Treinish — executive director of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a nonprofit that puts volunteers to work gathering data for scientists around the world — gathers a small group of outdoor adventurers around him near the Duckabush River in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state.

Read more
Environment
4:01 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Former Anti-GMO Activist Says Science Changed His Mind

Harvest wheat from a field near Wright, Kan. May 10, 2004.
ORLIN WAGNER ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 4:29 pm

For years, British environmental activist Mark Lynas destroyed genetically modified food (GMO) crops in what he calls a successful campaign to force the business of agriculture to be more holistic and ecological in its practices.

His targets were companies like Monsanto and Syngenta — leaders in developing genetically modified crops.

Earlier this month he went in front of the world to reverse his position on GMOs.

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
5:02 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Miss Piggy's Version Of Global Warming: What About Me?

Click to go to the New Scientist App.
New Scientist

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 11:14 am

Here's a new, sly (and frankly selfish) way to think about global warming: Instead of worrying about the whole planet and all its oceans, how about asking a more personal question ...

What about me? What about where I live? Or where my grandma lives? Or the North Pole? Or Siberia? What if I could take my cursor, plop it onto any place on Earth and find out what's happened to temperatures right there.

Read more

Pages