Technology & Digital Life

All Tech Considered
5:19 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

In A Battle For Web Traffic, Bad Bots Are Going After Grandma

By hijacking a user's computer, "bad" bots make it look as if she visits a website often, thus making the site more valuable to advertisers.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 11:05 am

As the Web turns 25, it's becoming a terrific place if you're a bot.

It began as a tool for human communication, but now, over 60 percent of the traffic on the Web is automated applications called bots talking to other bots, according to one study. And experts say about half of those bots are bad.

But first let's talk about the good bots.

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All Tech Considered
2:31 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Surrounded By Digital Distractions, We Can't Even Stop To Think

Researchers at the University of Virginia and Harvard asked people to simply sit still and think. For many, the experience was less pleasant than it sounded.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 10:11 am

It would be tough to think up a more plum assignment for a test subject: Simply step into an empty room, sit down, and think.

Just think.

But in a study to appear in Thursday's issue of the journal Science, participants found the experience within their own heads surprisingly difficult to manage — if not downright unpleasant.

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All Tech Considered
9:58 am
Thu July 3, 2014

The Future Internet Is Not So Free Or Open, In Pew's New Survey

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 11:04 am

What we know as the World Wide Web — the main way by which most of us access the Internet — just turned 25 this year. Its existence has allowed for all kinds of learning and free expression, coding and making, rule-breaking and platform-making.

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All Tech Considered
6:38 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

20 Thoughts On Facebook's News Feed Experiment Apology

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has apologized for an experiment that manipulated more than 600,000 users' news feeds in 2012.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 7:25 pm

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has apologized over an experiment that manipulated more than 600,000 users' news feeds in 2012. Are we upset at the findings of the study, or upset that the study was done without our consent? And do we necessarily realize all of the studies performed on us every day?

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Shots - Health News
5:06 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Can We Predict Which Teens Are Likely To Binge Drink? Maybe

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 6:07 pm

More than half of 16-year-olds in the United States have tried alcohol. While many of them learn to drink responsibly, some go on to binge on alcohol, putting themselves at risk for trouble as adults. Researchers still aren't sure why that is.

But it may be possible to predict with about 70 percent accuracy which teens will become binge drinkers, based on their genetics, brain function, personality traits and history, according to a study published Wednesday in Nature.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Facebook's Sandberg Apologizes For Newsfeed Experiment

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg addresses an interactive session organized by the women's wing of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Chandan Khanna AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 7:10 pm

Facebook's No. 2 executive apologized on Wednesday over an experiment that manipulated the news feeds of more than 600,000 users.

The Wall Street Journal reports Sheryl Sandberg said the study was communicated "poorly." The paper adds:

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All Tech Considered
4:34 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Apps That Share, Or Scalp, Public Parking Spots

New mobile apps connect people occupying public parking spots with people who want them, for a price.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 7:20 pm

San Francisco has seen protests against the Google bus — private buses that carry tech workers to and from the city. Now there's another transit fight, this time over parking.

A few tech entrepreneurs are helping to sell public parking spots, even auctioning them off to the highest bidder. The city's attorney says that's illegal. The app makers are not backing down.

Mobile Solutions To The Parking Problem

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All Tech Considered
3:12 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

This Week's Innovation: Slippers That Fit Like A Second Skin

The slipper is made from thermosetting PVC material. Designer Satsuki Ohata claims that once it hardens to your foot's individual shape, the slippers can be worn inside and outside.
Satsuku Ohata

If you've ever struggled with finding shoes that fit your feet perfectly, take heart. A Japanese designer has taken that universal need to a whole new level — and it all started with cheese.

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

U.S. Privacy Board Says NSA Internet Spying Is Constitutional

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 5:34 pm

A bipartisan privacy board that was appointed by President Obama following the disclosures made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has released a report (PDF) that says the security agency's Internet spying is legal and constitutional.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Google Glass Faces A Ban In British Movie Theaters

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:03 pm

Just one week after Google Glass went on sale in the U.K., fears of piracy have led to calls to ban the eyewear from being worn in movie theaters.

Criticism of the Google device, which can allow those wearing it to record what they see, has come from the powerful Cinema Exhibitors' Association, which as the BBC reports "has no power to enforce a ban, but instead makes recommendations to most of the country's cinema industry."

From London, Ari Shapiro reports:

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