Technology & Digital Life

Michel Martin, Going There
7:03 am
Tue April 21, 2015

What Can #NOLASCHOOLS Teach Us?

Teacher Towana Pierre-Floyd in her classroom at New Orleans West in 2005. It's a structured charter school set up for students and teachers displaced by the storm.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 10:38 pm

What if you had to start your school system over almost from scratch? What if most of the buildings were unusable, and most of the teachers had left or been fired? Is that a nightmare, or your dream come true?

In New Orleans, that was the reality after the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina. That set off a chain reaction that transformed the city's schools forever, first by a state takeover and then by the most extensive charter school system in the country.

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U.S.
3:57 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Solar Power Makes Electricity More Accessible On Navajo Reservation

This solar panel unit cost about $17,000, less than half as much as it costs to extend the electrical grid a mile. Thompson pays the power company $75 a month to maintain and service the unit.
Ibby Caputo for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 9:39 pm

Most people can't imagine living without smartphones or the Internet, let alone without electricity. But even today — even in the United States — there are still people who live without lights and refrigeration. Many are Native Americans living on tribal reservations.

For many, electricity is a luxury; it can even be magical. Derrick Terry remembers the first winter when there were lights on at his grandmother's house.

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The Two-Way
8:01 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Norway Becoming First Country To Eliminate FM Radio

Norway is moving on from analog radios in 2017.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 6:22 am

Norway is going to eliminate FM radio in less than two years, the country's government announced, becoming the first country in the world to do so.

Norway is planning to transition completely to digital broadcasting in January 2017.

The Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) system offers a number of benefits over FM, said Thorhild Widvey, Norway's minister of culture, in a statement last week.

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All Tech Considered
6:29 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

At 50 Years Old, The Challenge To Keep Up With Moore's Law

Intel Corp. co-founder Gordon Moore holds up a silicon wafer at Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., in 2005. Moore's prediction 50 years ago, called Moore's Law, has been the basis for the digital revolution.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 9:40 pm

Fifty years ago this week, a chemist in what is now Silicon Valley published a paper that set the groundwork for the digital revolution.

You may never have heard of Moore's law, but it has a lot do with why you will pay about the same price for your next computer, smartphone or tablet, even though it will be faster and have better screen resolution than the last one.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Twitter Now Allows Users To Receive Direct Messages From Any User

Twitter changed its direct messaging guidelines Monday. Now, any user can direct-message any other user even if they are not following each other. The new feature is not automatically enabled; users will have to opt in.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 5:04 pm

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET: Twitter responds to harassment questions

"Communicating with people you may or may not know in real life just got easier," says Twitter Senior Software Engineer Nhu Vuong in a blog post announcing a change to Twitter's direct messaging system. The new feature gives users the ability to receive messages whether the user follows them or not. Vuong used an example of an ice cream shop and a fan to show what's changed:

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All Tech Considered
5:01 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Social Media Can Help Track Tornadoes, But Was That Tweet Real?

Purdue University students are testing new software that may track and warn about tornadoes, such as this one which struck Rochelle, Ill., in early April.
Walker Ashley AP

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 7:49 am

Last week, as a big storm bore down on Rockford, Ill., students in a Purdue University classroom prepared to track its effects using Twitter.

Using software jointly developed by Purdue, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Weather Service, they huddled around laptops to analyze a tiny sample of the tweets from the storm's immediate vicinity. They were looking for keywords like "damage" or "tornado" and for pictures of funnel clouds.

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Technology
7:47 am
Sun April 19, 2015

VW Camper Van Gets An Electric Makeover

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 11:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TRUCKIN'")

GRATEFUL DEAD: (Singing) What a long, strange trip it's been.

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The Salt
5:20 am
Sun April 19, 2015

This Robot Chef Has Mastered Crab Bisque

These robotic arms are part of a modular kitchen that's been set up so that the robot chef can find exactly what it needs.
Moley Robotics

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 11:00 am

Step aside, home chefs! The kitchen of the future draws near.

No, there's no hydrator from Marty McFly's kitchen in Back to the Future II. Right now, the chef of the future looks like a pair of robotic arms that descend from the ceiling of a very organized kitchen. And it makes a mean crab bisque.

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Pop Culture
6:49 pm
Sat April 18, 2015

After Fan Pressure, Netflix Makes 'Daredevil' Accessible To The Blind

Netflix's original series Daredevil, which stars a blind superhero, was originally hard for blind audience members to understand. The series was released without audio description that would make it accessible to the visually impaired. TV broadcasters are required to release such descriptions for some content, but Netflix, as an Internet streaming service, faces no such requirement.
Netflix

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 12:20 am

Netflix's original series now have a superhero among them. Comic fans know Daredevil as a crusader. He's a Marvel character who, in addition to his superhuman abilities, has a very human disability: blindness.

Needless to say, Daredevil has quite a few fans with visual impairments — and they were looking forward to the show.

But until this week, Netflix had no plans to provide the audio assistance that could have helped those fans follow the show.

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Digital Life
7:45 am
Sat April 18, 2015

Company's Secret Weapon To Make Videos Go Viral

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 10:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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