Technology & Digital Life

Business
5:37 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

A Bet Or A Prediction? Intrade's Purpose Is Debated

Ireland-based Intrade lets users bet money on all manner of predictions — like if a particular film will win an Oscar. The site is ceasing operations in the U.S.
NPR/Intrade screen grab

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 6:02 pm

The popular website Intrade allows its users to bet on the odds of almost anything — like whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will get ousted by a certain date, or whether the movie Argo will win best picture at the Oscars.

This week, Ireland-based Intrade announced that U.S. users will have to unwind their bets and shut down their accounts by the end of the year. That's after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Intrade for operating an unregistered exchange.

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All Tech Considered
5:37 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Yet Another Shift In Facebook Policies Raises Privacy Concerns

Joerg Koch AP

Facebook has a long history of upsetting its users by suddenly announcing a change to its privacy settings. In 2009, as a way to quiet the critics, Facebook set up a system for its customers to vote on changes. If enough of them were unhappy, the company would back down. Now, Facebook wants to get rid of the voting.

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Digital Life
4:57 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Senate Committee Approves Stricter Email Privacy

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 5:37 pm

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation to make old emails a little more private on Thursday. The legislation also applies to old Facebook posts, Google documents and anything else you might be hiding online behind a password.

The Salt
8:59 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Key To E. Coli-Free Spinach May Be An Ultrasonic Spa Treatment

Spinach has lots of opportunities to pick up E. coli and other bugs during harvest and growing. Here, a Mexican migrant worker cuts organic spinach during the fall harvest at Grant Family Farms in Wellington, Co.
John Moore Getty Images

Salad producers haven't succeeded in banishing E. coli and other dangerous microbes from fresh greens, though they've tried hard. As we've reported before, it's a major challenge to both growers and the environment. But one scientist thinks he's making progress – with a spinach spa that zaps bad bugs with ultrasound.

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Asia
5:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Facebook Arrests Ignite Free Speech Debate In India

Shaken by the reaction to his daughter's Facebook post, Farooq Dhada (shown here with Shaheen) says in India, freedom of speech "exists only on paper."
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 9:54 pm

Shaheen Dhada is an unlikely looking protagonist in the battle under way in India to protect free speech from government restrictions in the new media age.

Slight and soft-spoken, Dhada perches on the edge of her bed in a purple-walled room that has been her own for the past 20 years. Outside, police officers are posted for her protection in the town of Palghar, 2 1/2 hours outside Mumbai.

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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Reports: Apple Fires One More Employee In Maps Fiasco

Apple's new iPhone 5 may have been criticised for its glitch-ridden new maps program, but it may have inadvertently provided a diplomatic solution to China and Japan's ongoing row over disputed islands. When a user searches for the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, claimed by Beijing under the name Diaoyu, two sets of the islands appear alongside each other.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:30 pm

In the aftermath of the maps fiasco, the heads continue to roll at Apple. Today, there is news that one more employee has been let go. This time it was manager Richard Williamson, who oversaw the maps project, who lost his job.

Bloomberg broke the news and it reports:

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Asia
5:15 am
Tue November 27, 2012

How Ordinary Chinese Are Talking And Fighting Back

Authorities in Hunan province sentenced Tang Hui to 18 months in a re-education-through-labor camp after she repeatedly complained about the way police investigated the case of her daughter's kidnapping and forced prostitution. An uproar on Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, pushed authorities to free Tang days later.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 8:53 pm

Never have so many Chinese people spoken so freely than on Weibo, China's answer to Twitter. Just 4 years old, the series of microblog services now has more than 400 million users.

And, increasingly, Chinese are using it to expose corruption, criticize officials and try to make their country a better place — even as China's Communist Party tries to control the Weibo revolution.

Were it not for Weibo, you would never know Tang Hui's extraordinary story. She wouldn't be free to tell it; she'd be sitting in a Chinese re-education-through-labor camp eating porridge.

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All Tech Considered
4:51 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Spain Expands Renewables With Wave-Powered Electricity Plant

Residents of Mutriku, a fishing village on Spain's northern coast, lounge at their local beach, protected from fierce Atlantic waves by a cement breakwater that also houses Europe's first wave energy plant.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:18 pm

Waves constantly thrash the fishing village of Mutriku on Spain's northern coast. Records from the 13th century describe the dangerous surf and shipwrecks here. Until recently, water occasionally hurled debris through windows of homes, before the local government built a cement breakwater to shelter the harbor.

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Technology
4:48 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Tech Week Ahead: Cyber Monday

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I'm Melissa Block. And it's time now for All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BLOCK: And in case you haven't heard, today is Cyber Monday, the Internet's answer to Black Friday. NPR's Steve Henn covers tech and business. He joins us now from Silicon Valley. And, Steve, have you been taking full advantage of Cyber Monday?

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Well, I actually was doing some work getting ready for this interview.

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The Two-Way
2:50 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

News Outlets Punk'd, Somebody Profits: Google Wi-Fi Buy Is A Hoax

Google.com

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 2:56 pm

This Associated Press report today wasn't true:

"Google has bought an operator of Wi-Fi hotspots in high-traffic locations such as airports, hotels and fast-food restaurants. Google Inc. is paying $400 million for ICOA Inc., a Warwick, R.I., company, as part of the search company's efforts to diversify its portfolio."

It was so wrong, in fact, that the AP later moved a "KILL BULLETIN" saying it was:

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