Technology & Digital Life

Technology
4:24 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Encrypted Email Services Shuttered Amid Snowden Investigation

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 5:45 pm

Lavabit, an encrypted email service reportedly used by former government contractor Edward Snowden, ceased operations yesterday. In a message to users, the owner of Lavabit hinted that the company was the target of a request for information about customers from the federal government. He said he chose to shut down his service instead of becoming "complicit in crimes against the American people." Later in the day, another secure email service, called Silent Circle, also shuttered itself.

All Tech Considered
2:32 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Bezos' Buy, Twitter Abuse, Scary Alerts

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who purchased The Washington Post, is the latest big-name tech entrepreneur to buy a struggling media company.
Rick Wilking Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 6:43 pm

Each Friday we round up the big conversations in tech and culture during the week that was. We also revisit the work that appeared on this blog, and highlight what we're reading from our fellow technology writers and observers at other organizations.

ICYMI

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Technology
12:00 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Flexible Insect Protein Inspires Super Rubber

Resilin is a protein found in insects that allows them to jump long distances and beat their wings quickly. The material stores and releases energy due to its unique structure. Biomedical engineer Kristi Kiick is researching how to use these pliable proteins for medical purposes.

Shots - Health News
10:19 am
Fri August 9, 2013

'Aetna, I'm Glad I Met Ya!' — On Twitter

Evidently, an old insurer can learn new tricks.
Bob Child AP

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 12:12 pm

A few weeks back, Sharon Roberts, who had been diagnosed with endometrial cancer last year, tweeted:

@teachdance11: the BRCA gene test is 2 parts. Aetna paid $300 part. Not the $7000 part. Gotta be rich to be in the know

The 55-year-old teacher in Houston was surprised when @aetnahelp, a Twitter account created for customer assistance by the insurance company Aetna, quickly responded.

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TED Radio Hour
10:01 am
Fri August 9, 2013

The Hackers

When typical solutions fall short, why not find a different way?
Thinkstock

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 10:08 am

A hacker is somebody who doesn't ask how something works — they just see what works. — Jay Silver

Science and technology now allow us to "hack" solutions to the biggest challenges of our time. But how far is too far? And what are the consequences of these hacks? In this hour, we hear stories from TED speakers who dare to hack the brain, the climate, and even the animal kingdom in hopes of creating a better world.

TED Radio Hour
10:01 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Can Anyone Become A Hacker?

Ryan Lash TED

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 1:44 pm

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Hackers.

About Jay Silver's TEDTalk

Why can't two slices of pizza be used as a slide clicker? Why shouldn't you make music with ketchup? Inventor Jay Silver talks about the urge to play with the world around you and demos MaKey MaKey, a kit for hacking everyday objects.

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TED Radio Hour
10:01 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Are There Good Hackers?

Mikko Hyppönen describes the guys who made the first PC virus — "these guys weren't evil at all."
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 10:10 am

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Hackers.

About Mikko Hyppönen's TEDTalk

In 1986, the first PC virus - Brain - began to spread. What was once annoying has become a sophisticated tool for crime. Computer security expert Mikko Hyppönen describes discovering Brain and why the guys who wrote it never meant any harm.

About Mikko Hyppönen

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All Tech Considered
8:52 am
Fri August 9, 2013

The Sheryl Sandberg Effect: Rise Of Female COOs

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, in 2008.
Dan Farber via Flickr

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 1:34 pm

As part of our reboot of All Tech Considered, we've been inviting contributors to blog about big-picture questions facing tech and society. One theme we're exploring is the lack of women and people of color in tech — a gap so glaring that ridiculously long lines at tech conferences have inspired photo essays and Twitter feeds.

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Digital Life
5:22 am
Fri August 9, 2013

New Digital Amber Alerts Could Create A Backlash

Amber Alerts were issued as cellphone text messages in California this week.
NPR

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 1:20 pm

A couple of nights ago I had just closed my book, turned off my light, and was drifting off to sleep when my cellphone started to shriek. I shot awake and groped for the phone. My sleep-befuddled brain was greeted with this message: "Boulevard, CA Amber Alert update." Then there was a license plate number, and a make and model of the car.

Groggily, I Google this town — Boulevard, Calif. — and discovered it was 541 miles away from my house. That's more than the distance between Washington, D.C., and Detroit. I was mystified. Why was I getting this?

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All Tech Considered
3:04 am
Fri August 9, 2013

On Vine, Brands Look To Deliver Their Message In Six Seconds

Jethro Ames uses the camera on his smartphone to take six- second videos on Vine. He's produced clips for various companies like GE Appliances and MTV.
Daniel Hajek NPR

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 12:06 pm

Try telling a story in six seconds. With the social media app Vine, owned by Twitter, users are doing just that. They're creating everything from artistic pieces to random comedy sketches in six-second videos that loop endlessly.

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