Technology & Digital Life

The Salt
3:49 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Did That Restaurant Pass Its Health Inspection? Now Yelp Will Tell You

A health inspection grade is posted outside a Manhattan eatery. Yelp users in New York and several other cities can now find out how a restaurant scored on its health inspection well before they walk through the door.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Log onto Yelp, and you'll find what all your neighbors have to say about your favorite restaurant. You'll find prices, locations, menus, photos, even parking tips.

And if you're in the right city, you'll also find the restaurant's health inspection score.

"What we're trying to do ... is reduce foodborne illness [by] warning consumers when they're in the middle of making a decision," Luther Lowe, Yelp's director of public policy, tells The Salt.

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Writers lowered the boom on the broom — metaphorically, of course.
iStockphoto

In a stroke of irony fit for fiction, an effort by two Idaho parents to clean up their daughter's books has dredged up a fairly messy controversy. Clean Reader — an e-reader app designed to ferret out, and block, profanity in novels and nonfiction — drew significant pushback from some authors amid its recent launch.

In the face of that criticism, the folks behind Clean Reader have now backed down, announcing their intentions to stop selling books directly through the e-reading platform.

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Shots - Health News
12:42 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

New York City To Teens: TXT ME With Mental Health Worries

Most teenagers with mental health problems don't get any help.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 12:57 pm

The majority of teenagers with mental health issues don't get help. But maybe if help were just a text message away — they wouldn't be so hesitant to reach out.

That's the thinking behind NYC Teen Text, a pilot program at 10 New York public high schools that allows teens to get help with mental health issues by text.

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Around the Nation
4:42 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Police Departments Open Up 'Safe Lots' For Craigslist Transactions

The Hartford Police Department is one of a number of police departments across the country that are offering up their parking lots as "safe zones" for Craigslist transactions.
Courtesy of the Hartford Police Department

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:00 am

The online classified site Craigslist updated its safety page this week, encouraging users to make exchanges at local police stations. Some police departments across the country are already offering up their headquarters as voluntary "safe zones" for Craigslist deals.

Sebastian Rivera likes to ride BMX bikes. And when he's customizing his ride, he says he'll hop onto Craigslist to look for free stuff or to trade bike parts with people in his area.

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It's All Politics
5:03 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Can Republicans Get Ahead In The 2016 Digital Race?

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, a 2016 hopeful, takes a selfie with an Iowa supporter earlier this month.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 12:44 pm

Just after midnight Monday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz scooped his own big announcement by about 10 hours. Ahead of a planned speech, he posted the news of his presidential bid on Twitter.

"I'm running for President and I hope to earn your support!" he tweeted.

The tweet, which included a 30-second video, was retweeted more than 3,000 times in 30 minutes. Cruz's announcement generated 5.7 million interactions (likes, posts, comments and shares) Monday on Facebook. And during his planned speech at Liberty University, his staff live tweeted lines from the speech on his account.

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Goats and Soda
11:32 am
Wed March 25, 2015

How Did Ebola Volunteers Know Where To Go In Liberia? Crowdsourcing!

Kpetermeni Siakor (left), a Liberian who is studying in Ghana, used crowdsourcing software to help out during the Ebola epidemic.
Courtesy of Ashesi University College

From more than 900 miles away, Kpetermeni Siakor helped get volunteers to the right neighborhoods in his native Liberia during the height of the Ebola epidemic.

He did it with Ushahidi, crowdsourcing software that was developed in Kenya in 2008, when the country experienced a wave of post-election violence. The word Ushahidi means testimony in Swahili.

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Goats and Soda
7:03 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Superslick Coatings Conquer Ketchup, But What About Ebola?

No thumping required: Ketchup easily slides out of a glass bottle treated with LiquiGlide.
Screengrabs from LiquiGlide

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 4:17 pm

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All Tech Considered
3:58 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

A 'Post Modern Skateboard' That Ditches The Board

The Sidewinding Circular Skates are a modern hybrid of skates and skateboard.
Hammacher Schlemmer

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:21 pm

If Marty McFly had a transportation upgrade between his skateboard and his hoverboard, it might look something like this.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:16 am
Tue March 24, 2015

What If Web Search Results Were Based On Accuracy?

Matjaz Boncina iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 1:24 pm

Imagine, for a moment, that every Web search gave only accurate, verified information. Imagine that questions concerning real facts about the real world returned lists of websites ordered by how well those site's facts matched the real world.

Search for "Barack Obama's nationality," and websites claiming "Kenya" would be banished to the 32nd page of the list. Search for "measles and autism" and you'd have to scroll down for 10 minutes before you found a page claiming they were linked.

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The Salt
3:36 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Koreans Have An Insatiable Appetite For Watching Strangers Binge Eat

Rachel Ahn, who goes by "Aebong-ee," is among the top 100 most-watched mukbang stars in South Korea.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:55 am

Move over, cooking shows. In Korea, the big food fad is eating shows, or mukbang. Korean viewers are so glued to watching strangers binge eating that the live-streamers consuming calories in front of webcams are becoming minor celebrities in Korean culture.

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