Let's get an update, now, about something we heard a year ago in the series Joe's Big Idea. It's a computer game designed by a scientist to help map all the connections of nerve cells in the eye. Now, that scientist says the game is working, as we learn from NPR's Joe Palca.
And if you're just joining us, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath. Climate change is melting polar ice at an alarming rate. While this terrifies many people, especially those living near sea level, some businesses are seeing an opportunity, a big opportunity. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the year-round ice cover in the Arctic is now half the size it was in the 1980s. And previously inaccessible natural resources are now there for the taking.
When Snapchat first landed, its ephemerality was hard for some people to wrap their heads around. Messages disappear seconds after being viewed, the tools to draw or write on photos are rudimentary and then, there was the whole matter of teens using it for sexting.
The easiest time to get hired at one of the seven oil refineries in the Los Angeles area is during what's called a turnaround. These breaks, when the refineries are shut down for routine maintenance, are incredibly labor-intensive. And refineries want to get them done as quickly as possible.
So companies need enough people to get the job done. But those workers must have specific skills.
In this line of work, as with other U.S. industries, there's a skills gap.
Yesterday a jury handed down a mixed verdict in a patent dispute between Samsung and Apple. Both sides were found to have violated each other's patents, however Apple received most of the damages - over $119 million.
But as NPR's Laura Sydell reports, many experts say the case can be seen as a victory for Samsung and may mark a turn in the international battle between the two smartphone makers.
LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: When the late Apple CEO and founder, Steve Jobs, introduced the first iPhone, he famously made this remark.
Here in the news biz, we rely on thumbnail descriptions, sparing you the details. We'll tell you, for instance, that organic farmers aren't allowed to use synthetic pesticides and factory-made fertilizer.
In general, that's true. But there's also a long list of pesky exceptions to the rule. And this week, a battle erupted over those exceptions: the synthetic or factory-made substances that organic farmers are still allowed to use because the farmers say they couldn't survive without them.
In a second high-profile legal fight, a federal jury sided with Apple, ordering Korea's Samsung to pay nearly $120 million for infringing on some of Apple's patents.
While it was a clear victory for the Cupertino-based Apple, the damages awarded were nowhere near the $2.2 billion the company had been asking for. In fact, the jury also awarded Samsung $158,400 in damages, because Apple infringed on one of its patents.