Technology & Digital Life

All Tech Considered
5:49 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Tech Week: Uber Under Fire, The Vision Behind Google's Lollipop

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has apologized for comments made by Senior Vice President Emil Michael, who at a private dinner last week suggested uncovering personal details about journalists.
Will Oliver EPA/Landov

Uber's public-relations nightmare dominated the week's technology news. A senior executive at the ride-sharing firm suggested that Uber should dig up dirt about media critics of the company. The comments came after Uber faced negative press over a promotion in France featuring scantily clad female drivers.

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Technology
5:27 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Electric Bikes, On A Roll In Europe, Start To Climb In U.S.

Joel Bowman, 66, rides his e-bike six miles daily to his job at Emory University in Atlanta.
Courtesy of Joel Bowman

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 5:09 am

For Joel Bowman, decades of bike commuting started feeling like hard work. So the 66-year-old Atlanta resident recently switched to an electric bicycle, and now when he rides Bowman feels like the wind is at his back.

An e-bike looks a lot like a regular bike, but with an integrated electric motor, and it doesn't burn gasoline like an old-fashioned moped. As you pedal, an e-bike gives you a powered boost when you need it.

They are getting more popular in Europe, but in the United States, e-bikes still have to overcome the stigma of being just a toy for old people.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Still Reeling From Supreme Court Ruling, Aereo Files For Bankruptcy

Aereo.com, a Web service that provides television shows online, is shown on an iPhone on April 22. The Supreme Court ruled that the service violates copyright law.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 3:42 pm

Months after a Supreme Court decision shattered its business model, the streaming service Aereo has filed for bankruptcy.

"The U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively changed the laws that had governed Aereo's technology, creating regulatory and legal uncertainty," the company's founder and CEO Chet Kanojia said in a statement. "And while our team has focused its energies on exploring every path forward available to us, without that clarity, the challenges have proven too difficult to overcome."

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The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Keep Your Head Up: 'Text Neck' Takes A Toll On The Spine

Courtesy of Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj

"Text neck," the posture formed by leaning over a cellphone while reading and texting, is a big problem, according to the author of a newly published study in the National Library of Medicine.

Kenneth K. Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, says the bad posture can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on the upper spine — sometimes for several hours a day, depending on how often people look at their devices.

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National Security
2:29 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

The CIA Wants To Delete Old Email; Critics Say 'Not So Fast'

Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan takes questions after addressing the Council on Foreign Relations on March 11. The CIA has proposed deleting the email of almost all employees after they leave the agency. But some critics are saying a larger portion of the email should be preserved.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 6:32 pm

It's a question we've all wrestled with: Which emails should be saved and which ones should be deleted?

The Central Intelligence Agency thinks it's found the answer, at least as far as its thousands of employees and contractors are concerned: Sooner or later, the spy agency would destroy every email except those in the accounts of its top 22 officials.

It's now up to the National Archives — the ultimate repository of all the records preserved by federal agencies — to sign off on the CIA's proposal.

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Shots - Health News
12:15 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

How Well Do Your Apps Protect Your Privacy?

Google Maps scored an A on PrivacyGrade.org.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 8:21 am

When you open up your Skype app to make a call, it's probably no surprise that it's accessing your phone's call history. But would you expect your Nike+ Running app to collect that information too?

If you're like most people, the answer is no.

That's why the Nike+ Running app gets a B on PrivacyGrade, a site for people to figure out what information their apps might be collecting. Right now it only looks at Android apps, but the site already lists hundreds of them from Google Maps to Instagram to WebMD.

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Around the Nation
4:27 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Huge Dazzling Billboard Fights For Attention In Times Square

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 7:20 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
11:21 am
Wed November 19, 2014

You Can Monitor Your Baby's Vital Signs 24/7, But Should You?

The Owlet, which is not yet on the market, is designed to measure a baby's heart rate and blood oxygen levels.
Courtesy of Owlet Care

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 5:23 pm

I'm sure I'm not the only parent who has hovered over a newborn's crib, wondering, "Is she breathing?" Tech companies are now offering to help parents manage that anxiety with devices that monitor a baby's vital signs and beam them to a smartphone.

But that might not be such a good idea, according to Dr. David King, a pediatric researcher at the University of Sheffield. He first heard baby vital signs monitors being discussed on the radio, and "I suspected there wasn't much evidence behind it, because I knew cardiovascular monitoring wasn't recommended in SIDS."

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Technology
7:35 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Students Develop App That Has Smartphone Users Looking At People

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 9:02 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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The Two-Way
8:51 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Bill Limiting NSA Surveillance Practices Fails In Senate

The USA Freedom Act had the support of not only the White House and Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy but also that of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, but the bid to reform the NSA failed late Tuesday after it didn't receive enough votes to cut off debate.

After a 58-42 vote, the measure had the support of the majority – but it didn't get the 60 votes necessary to break a Republican filibuster. It was something of an odd end for a bill that had been approved by the Republican-controlled House back in May.

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