Technology & Digital Life

The Two-Way
6:05 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Sony Explains Why Its PlayStation 4 Costs $1,845 In Brazil

Sony announced U.S. and European prices for its new PlayStation 4 at a news conference this summer. The game system will cost some $1,845 in Brazil, angering fans.
Eric Thayer Getty Images

Sony's new PlayStation 4 won't be on store shelves until next month, but the gaming console has already raised eyebrows in Brazil, after reports that it would cost 3,999 Brazilian real — or about $1,845 at today's exchange rate.

The company says the steep cost isn't a case of price gouging, but instead a sign of Brazil's heavy taxes and fees on imported electronics.

The game system will be released in the United States on Nov. 15 and in countries including Brazil later that month. Large retailers in the U.S. will offer the PS4 at a base price of around $400.

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Technology
4:38 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Despite Glitches, HealthCare.gov Could've Been Worse

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 7:13 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

That million-dollar question referred to in Eric's story is more specifically a $400 million question. That's the total cost to create the online health insurance marketplace. Some 55 separate government contractors worked on it. And to computer programmer Rusty Foster, that number adds up to a problem.

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The Salt
4:31 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Coffee Coming Up, Nice And Hot ... And Prepared By A Robot

Briggo's Coffee Haus takes up about 50 square feet of space, has a nice exterior wood design, and accepts orders either on-site or via a website.
Courtesy Briggo

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:19 pm

A new trend is brewing in the coffee world: coffee prepared by a robot, able to be preordered via cellphone and picked up at an unmanned kiosk, perfectly adjusted to your taste and ready to go.

To some, this might seem lamentable: the beginning of the end of coffee shops as we know them. No more huddling around warm cups of coffee with friends or sipping a refreshing iced latte while reading.

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

In Cost-Cutting Move, NOAA To Stop Printing Nautical Charts

This undated photo made available by NOAA shows a computer displaying an electronic nautical chart aboard a ship.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:21 am

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency charged with surveying the nation's navigable waters to help keep mariners off the rocks and out of the shallows, will cease printing paper charts after mid-April.

Partly as a cost-saving measure, the NOAA's Office of Coast Survey will offer charts only via on-demand printing, as PDFs or electronic charts.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Amazon Raises Minimum Purchase For Free Shipping By $10

Missed It By That Much: Amazon has raised its minimum price for free shipping to $35, meaning that horse masks — a popular item among reviewers — are subject to a shipping fee.
NPR

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 6:08 pm

Customers who hope to buy enough from Amazon's website to garner free shipping are now facing a higher bar, as the giant retailer raised its minimum order size from $25 to $35. The change took effect Monday, as the busy holiday shopping season looms.

"This is the first time in more than a decade that Amazon has altered the minimum order for free shipping in the US," the company said in announcing the change.

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Parallels
11:38 am
Tue October 22, 2013

European Parliament Joins List Of Those Upset With The NSA

U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin (in red tie) leaves the Foreign Ministry in Paris after being summoned Monday following reports that the National Security Agency spied on French citizens.
Thibault Camus AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 11:44 am

The fallout from revelations about the National Security Agency's spying activities continues: A key European Parliament committee approved new rules strengthening online privacy and outlawing the kind of surveillance the U.S. has been conducting.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson says the legislation could also have significant implications for U.S. Internet companies. Here's what she told our Newscast unit:

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Technology
5:35 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Why HealthCare.gov Isn't Like A Typical E-Commerce Site

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 6:53 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, some suggested that in this era of eBay and Amazon, building an online health care marketplace just shouldn't have been this difficult.

Here's NPR technology correspondent Steve Henn.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Sina Djafari has built more than one successful online marketplace. He now builds software to make building new e-commerce sites even easier. And he says when you go to any website to buy something, you usually have just one or two simple questions you want answered before you click buy.

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Shots - Health News
6:21 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

How Long Do They Really Have To Fix That Obamacare Website?

The mood wasn't sunny at the White House Rose Garden on Monday, as President Obama addressed the errors plaguing the computer system for health insurance enrollment.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 8:06 pm

They've got a few weeks.

But if federal officials can't get the new online insurance marketplace running smoothly by mid-November, the problems plaguing the three-week-old website could become a far bigger threat to the success of the health law, hampering enrollment and fueling opponents' calls to delay implementation, analysts say.

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It's All Politics
6:03 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

5 Questions Kathleen Sebelius Must Answer

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is likely to have a very long day when she testifies before Congress about the Affordable Care Act website problems.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 7:12 pm

The hottest hot seat in Washington is the one occupied by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose office confirmed Monday she'll testify about the Internet disaster that is HealthCare.gov, the Affordable Care Act website.

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Digital Life
4:37 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Sometimes You Need Your To-Do List To Be A Bit Bossy

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:10 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Finally in Tech, an app with attitude, it's called Carrot To-Do and its goal is to help you get things done.

DAN AMIRA: Carrot is basically a to-do list but it has kind of its own personality. And the personality is that of, like, kind of a friendly but also condescending dictator.

CORNISH: That's Dan Amira, a senior editor at New York Magazine. We asked him to download the Carrot To-Do app and add reviewing it to his to-do list.

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