Science & Technology

The Two-Way
9:10 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Book News: Amazon Wants To Ship Products Before You Even Buy Them

An employee prepares an order at Amazon's fulfillment center in San Bernardino, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 12:34 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Space
5:42 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Mars Or Bust: Putting Humans On The Red Planet

Tracks from NASA's Opportunity rover disappear toward the horizon on the Meridiani Plains of Mars. The rover has been on the planet since 2004.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University

"I don't know why you're on Mars, but whatever the reason for going to Mars is, I'm glad you're there and I wish I was with you."

That was a part of astrophysicist Carl Sagan's message, recorded a few months before he died in 1996, to the future human inhabitants of Mars.

Some of the earliest science fiction imagined voyages to the Red Planet. We now have the space-faring technology, and getting humans to Mars actually seems within reach. It would certainly involve massive resources and a lot of danger, but some believe the rewards would be massive.

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Europe
4:16 am
Sun January 19, 2014

From Ashes To Ashes To Diamonds: A Way To Treasure The Dead

Most of the diamonds synthesized from cremated remains come out blue, due to trace amounts of boron in the body. These diamonds, made from the ashes of animals, were created through the same process used to make diamonds from human remains.
Courtesy Rinaldo Willy/Algordanza

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 10:59 am

Diamonds are supposed to be a girl's best friend. Now, they might also be her mother, father or grandmother.

Swiss company Algordanza takes cremated human remains and — under high heat and pressure that mimic conditions deep within the Earth — compresses them into diamonds.

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Technology
5:36 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

Net Neutrality Court Ruling Could Cost Consumers, Limit Choices

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

This was a bad week for advocates of net neutrality. A federal court struck down Federal Communications Commission rules intended to prevent broadband service providers from, for example, favoring one website over another.

NPR's Laura Sydell says consumer advocates are worried, the decision could ultimately mean higher prices for your Internet service.

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Technology
5:36 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

Obama's NSA Reforms Leave Some Tech Companies Wanting More

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

More than six months of revelations and debate about U.S. surveillance programs have put President Obama in a tight spot. In a highly anticipated speech yesterday, Mr. Obama outlined his plans for reforming the National Security Agency. He said the U.S. must protect itself while also maintaining the people's trust.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Shots - Health News
1:55 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

Western Scientists Look To Chinese Medicine For Fresh Leads

Workers prepare Chinese traditional medicine for customers in Beijing.
Alexander F. Yuan AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:08 am

In the quest for new treatments, U.S. researchers are looking to traditional Chinese medicines, some of the oldest remedies in the world.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:07 am
Sat January 18, 2014

A Supersilly Super Bowl 'What If ... ?'

Bad british NFL commentary.
TheExplodingHeads YouTube

We're only a few Sundays shy of the big game, so here's a Super Bowl warm-up video, a "What if ... ?"

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All Tech Considered
4:31 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Still Texting? OMG, That's Already So Old-School

A new report says old-fashioned texting is on the decline in Britain.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 12:31 pm

If you have teenagers in your house, you may find this hard to believe, but texting is on the decline.

For the first time ever, traditional texting — the kind you do through your cell phone provider — has dropped in Britain. That's according to the annual technology predictions report from Deloitte, which reported that the number of text messages passed around by Brits decreased by 7 billion last year.

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The Two-Way
7:29 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

California's Governor Declares Drought State Of Emergency

Gov. Jerry Brown holds a chart showing California's average precipitation as he declares a drought state of emergency for the state Friday. Brown asked residents to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20 percent.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Saying that his state must take steps to plan for prolonged water shortages, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency over an extended drought Friday. California faces "water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history," according to the governor's office.

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The Two-Way
5:26 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Supreme Court To Decide If Warrant Needed To Search Cellphone

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide if police can seize and look through a suspect's cellphone without getting a warrant. This photo shows women in Los Angeles using smartphones on Jan. 7.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court is delving into the technology-versus-privacy debate, agreeing to hear two cases that test whether police making an arrest may search cellphones without a warrant.

The court's announcement Friday that it would take the cases came just hours after President Obama outlined his proposals to address government retention of citizen phone data as part of his speech outlining reforms at the National Security Agency.

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