Science & Technology

All Tech Considered
3:16 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Online Sales Taxes Shift Consumer Behavior, Study Shows

Monica Chavez packs up a box at an Amazon.com fulfillment center Dec. 2, in Phoenix.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 4:34 pm

Technically, consumers are supposed to pay taxes on things they buy online. In fact, few do.

Congress is considering a bill called the Marketplace Fairness Act that would force many online sellers to collect sales taxes for the first time.

In the meantime, some states have already enacted so-called Amazon taxes, forcing the giant online retailer to collect sales taxes the same way traditional brick-and-mortar stores do.

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Technology
3:16 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

The Wonders Of The Year 2014, As Told By Isaac Asimov

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 5:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A moment now remember how the future looked 50 years ago today.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "FUTURAMA")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Welcome to a journey into the future, a journey for everyone today, into the everywhere of tomorrow.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

On this date in 1964, the New York World's Fair opened. It offered visions of a better future, much of it based on technology. A popular exhibit was this one: General Motors' "Futurama."

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "FUTURAMA")

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Law
6:16 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Case Could Change How You Watch TV

An economic model is being challenged in the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a battle between broadcast television networks and the startup Aereo Inc. The issues focus on copyright law, but the outcome could alter broadcasting in the U.S.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 8:42 am

Bruce Springsteen may have been ahead of his times with his song "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)," released in 1992. These days there are hundreds of channels, and whether you like it or not, you get most of them in your basic cable package. On Tuesday, that economic model is being challenged in the Supreme Court in a high-stakes legal battle between the broadcast television networks and a tiny startup, or at least tiny by broadcast standards.

The issues focus on copyright law, but the outcome could alter the face of broadcasting in the United States.

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:10 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Introducing A Divorce Rate For Birds, And Guess Which Bird Never, Ever Divorces?

Robert Krulwich/NPR

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 6:06 pm

There is love. And then there's albatross love.

In his new book, The Thing With Feathers, Noah Strycker says albatrosses have a knack for coupling. "These globe trotters, who mate for life and are incredibly faithful to their partners, just might have the most intense love affairs of any animal on our planet," he writes.

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Shots - Health News
2:29 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Powerful Narcotic Painkiller Up For FDA Approval

Morphine and oxycodone (the active ingredient in Oxycontin) are strong narcotic pain relievers on their own. Moxduo, a drug now up for FDA approval, would combine morphine and oxycodone in a single capsule.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 11:34 am

The Food and Drug Administration is trying to decide whether to approve a powerful new prescription painkiller that's designed to relieve severe pain quickly, and with fewer side effects than other opioids.

While some pain experts say the medicine could provide a valuable alternative for some patients in intense pain, the drug (called Moxduo) is also prompting concern that it could exacerbate the epidemic of abuse of prescription painkillers and overdoses.

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Shots - Health News
7:41 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Who's Protecting Whom From Deadly Toxin?

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:06 pm

Questions are swirling around a science journal's decision last year to publish a description of a newly discovered botulinum toxin while omitting key genetic details that researchers would normally disclose.

The unusual case highlights important unresolved issues in how to balance scientific openness with the worry that biological information could potentially be misused.

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All Tech Considered
5:03 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Searching The Planet To Find Power For The Cloud

MidAmerican Energy's wind farm in Adair, Iowa. Facebook is working with MidAmerican to build a similar wind farm near Wellsburg, Iowa, where it will help power Facebook's planned data center.
Courtesy of MidAmerican Energy

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:55 am

You hear the term "the cloud" or "cloud computing," and you picture something puffy, white, clean and quiet. Cloud computing is anything but.

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The Salt
4:20 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

UPDATE: Feds Say Powdered Liquor Not Actually Legal

Margarita in a moment's notice: A powdered version of the classic cocktail is in the works. But will the so-called Powderita tastes as good as one made with fresh lime juice?
Lee Coursey/Flickr

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 9:30 am

UPDATE at 10:29 a.m. Tuesday: The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau told CNN that its approval of Palchohol was an error. We've amended our headline and Monday's story accordingly.

We're growing accustomed to mixologist mavericks vaporizing, freezing and whipping our cocktails. So why not turn a margarita or cosmopolitan into a powder?

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Health
3:39 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Robotic Exoskeleton Helps Get Vets Back On Their Feet

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 6:26 pm

Several bio-tech companies are developing exoskeletons that give people superhuman abilities. These robotic suits are also doing something simpler: They're helping people who are paralyzed, including many veterans, stand up and walk. As Erin Toner of WUWM reports, the technology helps improve patients' mental and physical health, but it's far from changing their lives entirely.

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Technology
3:16 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

A Consumer's Guide To Cloud Storage

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 6:26 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

If you use email, you are already a cloud computing customer. But figuring out how best to use the newer online storage lockers isn't easy. There are a dozen choices with varying costs, storage sizes and security. Here to talk more about it is Jill Duffy, writer for PCMag. Welcome to the program, Jill.

JILL DUFFY: Hi, Audie. Thanks for having me.

CORNISH: So, we just mentioned email but we're going way beyond messages, right? I mean, what are other uses for cloud storage that are growing in popularity with consumers?

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