Technology & Digital Life

Goats and Soda
6:03 am
Sat April 4, 2015

Far From Silicon Valley, A Disruptive Startup Hub

An entrepreneur uses his laptop near graffiti-decorated walls at Hubspace in the Khayelitsha township.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 11:14 am

Starting a business is tough anywhere.

But when you live in a place where many people lack basic services, such as electricity and toilets, it's even harder.

These are the obstacles facing new business owners in South Africa's townships — sprawling communities designated for nonwhites during apartheid. Apartheid may be history, but two decades into democracy, townships remain overwhelmingly disadvantaged.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

The World According To Xi Jinping (Or At Least His App)

With the Xi Jinping app, you can read about the Chinese president's love of soccer and his recipe for progress in reform, economic development, rule of law and party governance.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 4:47 pm

President Xi Jinping is sometimes described in foreign media as China's most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong. Mao may have had a cult of personality, but he didn't have his own app.

Xi does.

The app may not have in-app purchases such as provincial governorships. There are no banners or alerts about the latest officials to fall to anti-graft probes. And it certainly doesn't have any sections on factional intrigues titled "Clash of Clans." It is, however, downloadable in versions for iOS and Android phones and tablets.

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Shots - Health News
10:55 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Will Smart Clothing Amp Up Your Workout?

Athos workout wear includes sensors that measure muscle activity.
Tim Mantoani Courtesy of Athos

When Eric Blue goes to the gym, he sports a wafer-thin shirt that tracks his every move.

Blue's shirt contains tiny sensors woven into the fabric. They monitor his heart rate, the calories he burns and other metrics, like breathing rate. A companion app on his smartphone informs him about the intensity of his workouts.

Blue, a Los Angeles entrepreneur, says regular use of the shirt has pushed him to "up his game" during exercise.

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Fri April 3, 2015

If A Caller Says, 'I Am With The IRS,' He's Not

The Internal Revenue Service says the number of IRS-related phone scams is on the rise.
gmutlu iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 11:57 am

True story: The other day, I attended a speech by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who said phone scammers are swarming the country in the run-up to April 15, aka Tax Day.

These criminals call taxpayers and insist they must "immediately give up their personal information or make a payment," Koskinen warned. Don't fall for it.

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Technology
4:37 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

BuzzFeed Writer's Stolen Phone Sparks Chinese Viral Sensation

BuzzFeed writer Matt Stopera and "Brother Orange" visit Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
Qingqing Chen BuzzFeed

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 7:53 pm

It started with a cell phone stolen from a bar in New York's East Village.

It ends — in China — with a crazy week-long meetup between the guy whose phone was stolen and the Chinese restaurant owner who ended up with that phone.

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Shots - Health News
9:52 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Searching Online May Make You Think You're Smarter Than You Are

Stuart Kinlough Getty Images/Ikon Images

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 5:13 pm

Using the Internet is an easy way to feel omniscient. Enter a search term and the answers appear before your eyes.

But at any moment you're also just a few taps away from becoming an insufferable know-it-all. Searching for answers online gives people an inflated sense of their own knowledge, according to a study. It makes people think they know more than they actually do.

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The Two-Way
11:02 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Still Need A Lawn Yeti? Good News — SkyMall May Be Cleared For Relaunch

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 3:50 pm

In January, SkyMall LLC and its parent company, Xhibit Corp., filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with some $50 million in liabilities. The company's assets were set to go up for auction in late March. The news led to a strong show of support for the in-flight catalog.

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

U.S. Creates First Sanctions Program Against Cybercriminals

Dollar bills are reflected in a computer hard drive.
Thomas Trutschel Photothek via Getty Images

The U.S. wants to slap sanctions on cybercriminals. President Obama issued an executive order Wednesday creating the nation's first sanctions program to combat "malicious" cyberattacks and cyberspying.

President Obama said cyberthreats pose one of "the most serious economic and national security challenge" to the U.S., and that the executive order offers a "targeted tool" for countering that threat.

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All Tech Considered
11:58 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Pew: 'Smartphone-Dependents' Often Have No Backup Plan For Web Access

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 3:38 pm

Looking back on the clunky desktops of home offices, smartphones have expanded the definition of what it means to "go online." With all of the apps and mobile capabilities available to us now, it's no surprise that smartphone ownership has grown.

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Goats and Soda
11:44 am
Tue March 31, 2015

If Drones Make You Nervous, Think Of Them As Flying Donkeys

It's a drone delivery! This copter is ferrying medicine from a pharmacy to the headquarters of Deutsche Post in Bonn, Germany, part of a test of drone capabilities.
Andreas Rentz Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 4:30 pm

One week last year, Jonathan Ledgard was talking with White House officials about how drones could deliver cargo to remote Africa. The next week, he was in a remote African village, telling elders how drones could change their lives.

He heard the same fears from both audiences: Will the drones crash into houses? Will they spy on people? Will they attack people?

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