Science & Technology

The Salt
2:40 am
Tue February 4, 2014

How American Food Companies Go GMO-Free In A GMO World

Allen Williams grows corn and soybeans for Clarkson Grain, which has been selling GMO-free grain to Japan for years.
Dan Charles/NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

Quite possibly, you've noticed some new food labels out there, like "Not made with genetically modified ingredients" or "GMO-free." You might have seen them on boxes of Cheerios, or on chicken meat. If you've shopped at Whole Foods, that retailer says it now sells more than 3,000 products that have been certified as "non-GMO."

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All Tech Considered
3:19 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Wikipedia Archiving Voices So You'll Always Know How Celebs Sound

Actress Emma Thompson is one of the first to have an audio snippet of her voice included in her Wikipedia biography.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 10:30 pm

What's in a voice? To the folks at Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, a voice means a lot. They've begun a project to archive the voices of famous people.

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Technology
3:15 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

'Jeopardy' Legend Picks Up A Smartphone Quiz App

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Finally, in Tech today, an app to keep you guessing.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC, JEOPARDY)

CORNISH: Or if you're former "Jeopardy!" champ Ken Jennings, a trivia app called QuizUp to keep you answering confidently.

KEN JENNINGS: I was surprised to find that I was very good at Disney. I patted myself on the back for that.

CORNISH: But even Ken Jennings has a few trivia blind spots.

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Business
3:15 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Lots Of Little Credit Charges Add Up To One Big Scam

Many consumers don't check their credit card bills carefully — which makes it easy to miss fraudulent charges.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 10:29 pm

Would you notice an unexpected charge of $10 or less on your credit card statement? Lots of consumers don't — and scammers count on that, says Steve Barnas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in northern Illinois.

But Barnas says the Better Business Bureau is now hearing from consumers across the country about $9.84 credit charges for what look to be very innocuous purchases. But while they may seem legitimate, many are not.

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Law
3:15 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Undermanned And Limited, Chemical Safety Board Confronts A Crisis

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:33 pm

Transcript

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: I'm Brian Naylor in Washington.

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Hacker Group Sues German Government Over NSA Spying

Revelations made by Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the National Security Agency, have strained diplomatic relations, prompted congressional hearings, and shed light on some aspects of

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

U.S. One Step Closer To Future Where Cars Talk To Each Other

An illustration showing how a vehicle-to-vehicle communication system would work.
U.S. Department Of Transportation

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:50 pm

The United States is one step closer to a future where cars will communicate with each other to avoid accidents.

The Department of Transportation announced on Monday it was moving forward with the steps necessary to one day mandate vehicle-to-vehicle — V2V — communication technology on light automobiles.

The big deal here is that research — including a 3,000-vehicle test of the system in Ann Arbor, Mich. — finds that V2V technology has the potential to "help drivers avoid or mitigate 70 to 80 percent of vehicle crashes involving unimpaired drivers."

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:46 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Can It Be? Pigeons, Geese And White-Tailed Deer Were Once Rare

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 3:47 pm

Go back 150 years and ask yourself, what was there a lot of?

We all know the answer ...

There were lots of buffalo, lots of passenger pigeons, lots of oysters. And then, poof! Hardly any. Or none ...

OK, let's flip the question: What were there precious few of 150 years ago, in a couple of cases almost to the point of extinction? The answer — believe it or not — is white-tailed deer, Canada geese and, arguably, ordinary pigeons.

I'm not kidding.

White Tailed Deer

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Sun February 2, 2014

WATCH: Breathtaking New Video Of Felix Baumgartner's Record Jump

Felix Baumgartner taking the plunge from 24 miles up in his record-breaking 2012 jump.
Felix Baumgartner

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 11:21 am

You might recall Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner's 2012 jump from a 24-mile-high balloon capsule, a height of 127,852 feet. He broke not only an altitude record, formerly set by a U.S. Air Force pilot, Col. Joe Kittinger, in 1960, but also a record for speed of descent, breaking the sound barrier on his plummet to the New Mexico desert.

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The Salt
9:56 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Sap Discovery Could Turn Syrup-Making Upside Down

Buckets collect sap on maple trees in Vermont. A new discovery means that sap doesn't have to be collected from mature trees out in the wild.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 11:51 am

Last year researchers at the University of Vermont announced something that could change the way we think about Vermont — or at least how it produces its famous maple syrup.

The time-honored method calls for inserting a tap near the bottom of a tall, mature maple tree. At the end of February, the tree thaws, and voila: Sap starts flowing out the spigot at the bottom.

But in 2010, these researchers were testing ways to gather sap from mature trees when they noticed something unusual.

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