Technology & Digital Life

Parallels
3:27 am
Tue June 4, 2013

High-Tech Sensors Help Old Port City Leap Into Smart Future

The Spanish city of Santander is using a network of sensors to help improve services and save money. Incidents reported to Santander's command-and-control center, where the city manages data from sensors and smartphone reports made by citizens, are plotted on a map of the city.
Courtesy of the University of Cantabria

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 1:53 pm

Aside from the occasional ferry down from England, the old Spanish port city of Santander doesn't get too many foreign visitors. So imagine the locals' surprise when delegations from Google, Microsoft and the Japanese government all landed there recently, to literally walk the streets.

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Simon Says
5:29 am
Sat June 1, 2013

High School Newspapers: An Endangered Species

Student newspapers may be the latest victims of social media.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 2:49 pm

Does your local high school have a student newspaper? And in this day when a social media message saying, "Tonight's Green Design and Technology class homework sucks!" can instantly be sent to thousands, does it need to?

The New York Times reports this week that only 1 in 8 of New York's public high schools has a student newspaper — and many of those are published just a few times a year. A few more are online, which can leave out poorer schools.

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The Two-Way
5:31 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

'Atari Dump' Will Be Excavated, After Nearly 30 Years

The "Atari Dump" of New Mexico, where the game company rid itself of unsold game cartridges, will be excavated this summer. Here, a file photo shows a woman demonstrating Atari's unreleased 1984 Mindlink device, using a headband that picks up impulses from movement of the player's forehead.
Charlie Knoblock AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:59 pm

The New Mexico landfill or "Atari Dump" where the game console maker buried its mistakes — the biggest being the game E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial — will be dug up by game developer Fuel Industries, which hopes to make a documentary about the project.

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Science
12:24 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

The SciFri Book Club Takes a Hike

The book club regulars gather to chat about the best-sellingA Walk in the Woods, writer Bill Bryson's 1998 account of a hiking trip along the Appalachian Trail. Plus, journalist Deborah Blum joins the club to talk about the best science books to stash in your beach bag (or backpack).

NPR Story
12:09 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

With Chemical Tweaks, Cement Becomes A Semiconductor

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. In 2011, a group of researchers in Japan made a surprising discovery: With the right process, they could turn cement, in fact a component of the Portland cement you can find in the hardware store, they can turn that into a metal, and in its metallic state they could coax the cement to act as a semiconductor.

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Planet Money
5:14 am
Fri May 31, 2013

How Recalculating GDP Can Help App Designers In Nigeria

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 2:34 pm

If you're trying to grow a business in Nigeria and you want investors, you want Nigeria's economy to look as big as possible.

Bayo Puddicombe and Zubair Abubakar own a company called Pledge 51, which creates applications for Nigeria's low-tech cellphones. One of their most popular games lets players pretend to drive the notoriously wild buses crisscrossing the Nigerian city Lagos. It's called Danfo, after the buses.

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All Tech Considered
5:00 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Online College Courses Get A Big Boost, But Doubts Persist

The University of Tennessee became one of 10 state university systems teaming up with Coursera, a for-profit tech company.
Flickr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:01 pm

From New Mexico to New York, 10 state university systems have announced they are joining the ranks of elite institutions embracing the massive open online course, or MOOC, system.

On Thursday, they unveiled a landmark partnership with Coursera, a for-profit tech company with 3.5 million registered students. It's the biggest effort to catapult degree-granting institutions into the world of global education.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Ubuntu Marks 'Bug No. 1' As Fixed, After Nearly Nine Years

Since it was first filed in August of 2004, Ubuntu's Bug #1 attracted many comments. With comment number 1834, Mark Shuttleworth declared the issue fixed today.
Launchpad

In the more than eight years since it was written, the open-source operating system Ubuntu's "Bug #1" has been seen as a rallying call. After all, the bug's title is "Microsoft has a majority market share."

But the entry was officially closed Thursday, partly because the "broader market has healthy competition" as Ubuntu leader Mark Shuttleworth writes in his comments on closing the bug today.

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Technology
11:53 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Is The Midwest More Hateful Than Other Regions?

Twitter is a way for people to send short messages about almost everything — from what they ate for breakfast, to their political opinions. But it's also a space where people are voicing racist and homophobic points of view. A new study from Humbolt State University looks at just where some of that hate speech is coming from.

Monkey See
9:52 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Yes, Your Cat Can Get A Movie Deal

This is a cat who appears in a perfectly lovely piece of stock photography but who, as far as we know, lacks a movie deal. Get on it, Wet Cat!
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 11:54 am

"Mr. Lashes, 34 years old, is an agent for Internet cats."

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