Technology

Word of Mouth
1:38 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

3.12.15: Gross Solutions To Serious Problems, Investigating Office Fridge Theft, & Uncommon Core

Credit Jesús Perera Aracil via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/49YiYx

Across the world more than 750 million people lack access to safe drinking water, and at least two billion don’t have proper sanitation. On today’s show, we’ll look at a project aiming to solve both problems by turning waste into drinkable water. And why disgust may prevent it from becoming a reality.

Then, we investigate a problem facing many American workers: food theft. We’ll find out why some people feel it’s ok to steal treats from the office fridge. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
12:51 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Good Gig: Lighting Designer* Laura Frank

Credit Photo: LuminousFX.com

Laura Frank is the founder of Luminous FX, and as she says in her bio on her website: “I am not a designer, and I am not a technician. What I am is a creative partner. I’ve called my role a technologist, a visualist, a mediator, but ultimately I think I am a great editor. I take the genesis of the designer’s concept and make it thrive in the chaos of production.” The Super Bowl halftime show with Paul McCartney? That was some of Laura’s work. 

Read more
Word of Mouth
1:52 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

3.10.15: The Transhumanist Presidential Candidate & The First African Americans In Space

The symbol for transhumanism.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

We’ve seen this dance before: presidential hopefuls stumping in New Hampshire. On today’s show, we’ll talk to the official candidate from the Transhumanist Party who says we need a new political party and new tactics for the issues of our time.

Then, Jackie Robinson’s major league debut was an obvious, watershed moment in America’s troubled racial history. But we’ll look at a lesser known moment for American civil rights: breaking NASA’s color barrier and the story of the first African Americans in the space program.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
1:30 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

2.11.15: Fine Jewelry's Decline, Fifty Shades Of Excited, & The 1st Annual Wommie Awards

Credit Judy van der Velden via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/b3PGUM

Diamonds are forever. Or so we thought. Turns out that global sales of diamonds and fine jewelry have been sluggish since the global recession. On today’s show,  from iPhones to better production of costume bling, is technology killing the jewelry industry?

Then, Selma, Gone Girl, and Interstellar are among this year’s Oscar snubs. We’ll approach the academy’s cold-shoulder from a different angle, and reveal entire categories notably absent from the awards.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
1:36 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

1.14.15: The New Puberty, Hits And Misses From CES, & A History Of Cheerleading

Credit Maurizio Pesce via Flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/kJ2MCk

Kids grow up so fast…and it turns out that girls are growing up even faster. Why is this generation of girls going through puberty much earlier than previous ones?

And while the international Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas may be over, journalist David Ewalt remains giddy after touring it. He’ll recap some of the best and worst product ideas he saw at the show.

And then we’ll take a look at the sordid history of cheerleading.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
2:00 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

12.22.14: Let The Online Buyer Beware, Overlooked Books: 2014, & Cuba's Last Tycoon

Sale signs on sale in a shop that sells sale signs.
Credit the justified sinner via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/4NKfhs

With the countdown to Christmas now measured in hours instead of days, the online holiday deals you may have shrugged off a few weeks ago are now looking downright clickable. On today’s show we’ll discuss why those offers are often too-good-to-be-true.

Plus, a literary wrap up of 2014. We’ll venture off the best-seller list for a sampling of the best overlooked books of the year.

And a glimpse of pre-revolutionary Cuba through the story of Julian Lobo, a sugar trader and financier, considered to be Cuba’s last tycoon.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
1:52 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

12.16.14: The Best Of What's New & Hollywood's Pretty Little Secret

Gorilla brand clear repair tape.
Credit Via Popular Science / bestofwhatsnew.popsci.com

For the past 27 years the editors of Popular Science have identified products and technologies designed to change our world. On today’s show we’ll review some of 2014’s groundbreaking technology.

Then, we’ve come to accept retouched images on magazine covers and billboard ads, but now the practice has moved to movies and television. We’ll take a look at the latest advancement in digital-alteration: frame-by-frame beauty work.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
1:50 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

12.14.14: Unruly Presidential Kids, Pitfalls Of Public Wi-Fi, & What's In Your OJ?

Colorado's Mount Sopris serves as the W's backdrop this week.
Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

Last week, a GOP staffer resigned after political Facebook faux-pas - criticizing President Obama’s daughters for dressing like teenagers. On today’s show, we’ll take a look back at the long and fraught history of judging the President’s kids.

Then, these days just about every coffee shop, bookstore, and restaurant touts a free Wi-Fi hotspot – but at what cost? We’ll find out the hidden dangers of public Wi-Fi.

Plus, the industry secret behind the robust flavor of orange juice.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Smartphone Searches And Free Speech On Facebook: Interpreting The Constitution In The Digital Age

Even the U.S. Constitution has a Facebook page
Credit via Facebook

Our legal system seems to be struggling with how to interpret the Constitution when it comes to today’s technology -- from threats made on social media to whether police need a warrant to search a smartphone. We’ll look at the debate over how to apply principles established more than two centuries ago to our high-tech society. 

GUESTS:

Read more
Word of Mouth
1:52 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

12.2.14: The Mental Impact Of Space Travel & The Cruise Ship Of The Future

Virgin Galactic's Sir Richard Branson shows off his White Knight Two aircraft that will carry Spaceship Two into sub-orbital space.
Credit David Malkoff via flickr Creative Commons

The recent disintegration and crash of a Virgin Galactic suborbital space plane raised questions about the safety and viability of space tourism. On today’s show, we consider another issue for commercial spaceflight: the psychological effects of leaving earth.

Then, touted as the world’s most advanced ship, Royal Caribbean’s cruise-liner Quantum of the Seas is outfitted with virtual balconies, robot bartenders, Bladerunner-esque elevators, and smart apps. While the ship’s technology is impressive, we’ll find out where it all falls short.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
12:30 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

11.30.14: Nuclear Tourism, Computers That Deceive, & M.C. Escher

Credit mbeo via flickr Creative Commons

Some people spend their vacations relaxing on a beach, others visit museums and fine restaurants. On today’s show we go off the beaten path to look into nuclear tourism. A science writer visits the site of the Chernobyl disaster, and finds it not the wasteland you may expect.

Plus, from walk sign buttons that don’t reflect reality to digital signs over-estimating wait times at amusement parks, we’ll consider why technology is sometimes designed to give us the illusion of control.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Women In Gaming And Tech

Credit John / Flickr/CC

While just as many females as males play, the gaming world has a reputation as a less-than-welcoming community for women, with some extreme harassment in a recent controversy dubbed Gamergate. We’ll look at the conversation since Gamergate, from why gaming culture has these elements, to the challenges women face in the tech industry.

GUESTS:

Read more
Word of Mouth
4:55 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

11.16.14: Innovations That Made The Modern World, The Whiteness Project, & Bacterial Fingerprints

Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

Among the things we take for granted in today’s America is knowing the time, which makes transportation, business and national events possible. This, however, was not always the case.

On today’s show, from building sewers to standardizing time, the invisible innovations that got us where we are today. And, protests in Ferguson, Missouri prompted calls for a national conversation about race and racism. A filmmaker asks: Can we have a productive discussion if the privileged majority can’t name what it means to be white?

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
2:10 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

A Luminous Dress Inspired By The Firefly

Charlie Lemay

Biologists call it “signaling”, traits and behaviors that evolved because recipients respond to them in ways that benefit the signaler. Among humans, signals may not be quite as overt as the peacock fanning its tail:

or fireflies courting and sparking on a summer night:

Read more
The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Is There An Upside To Screen Time? The Research And Reality Of Setting Limits

Credit Brad Flickinger / Flickr/CC

As laptops, iPads, and smartphones become commonplace in kids’ lives at home and school, parents are increasingly uneasy about where to set limits, or even what counts as 'screen time.' We’ll talk about that, and then also another conundrum of the digital age: whether taking time to teach kids handwriting and cursive in school still has value.

GUESTS:

Read more
NH News
5:26 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

STEAM Ahead: Manchester Tech Companies Throw Coal In The Local K-12 Engine

The classroom of Rachel Belmont, who is tying world geography into paleolithic cave paintings and tool making.
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  About 60 9th grade students in Manchester High School West are participating in a new science-focused magnet program called STEAM Ahead, this year. The partnership between the school district and several local tech companies also involves state colleges. It aims to boost the local workforce and retain youth and talent.

It’s morning in biology teacher Christine Aspinwall’s class. The students are scrambling to fill beakers with pureed food.

Read more
All Things Considered
4:22 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Granite Geek: Wearable, Flexible Tech The Next Big Electronic Frontier

Credit Press Release Finder via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/CL7zT

The next big digital frontier seems to be wearable technology. One example that comes to mind is the newly-announced Apple Watch, but what if the device in question wasn’t a device per se, but electronics built into what you’re already wearing?

Read more
NH News
3:53 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Boosted By Grant, Manchester Video Game Developer Workspace Readies For Launch

About 60 people attended their fifth monthly meet-up earlier this week at Joker's in Manchester.
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

 A newly-formed group of independent video game developers in Manchester looks poised to open a game developers’ incubator in the city’s Millyard by the end of the year.

Local game developer David Carrigg is one of the founders of the state chapter of the International Game Developers Association, which is leading the creation of the incubator called Game Assembly.

Read more
Word of Mouth
12:54 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Cell Phone For The Super Rich

An orange phone we can support, an orange phone that can cost up to $10,000 is a stretch.
via vertu.com

We spoke to Gabriel Roth, who took the Aster for a test drive at one of Vertu’s upscale boutiques and wrote about the phone for Fast Company, "The Cadillac Bentley of Cell Phones." The Aster starts at a meager $6900 for the 'entry-level' calf leather model and rises to $9700 for a bright pink ostrich skin model.

Read more
Word of Mouth
12:53 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

10.9.14: What Happens When You Survive A Lightning Strike & The Truth About Amazon Women

Credit Jeremy Weber via flickr Creative Commons

Tesla cars…Louis Vuitton luggage…Philippe Patek watches…luxury brands are selling well. How about a $10,000 cell phone? On today’s show, we’ll learn about the new handcrafted cell phone with optional concierge service that’s become a new symbol of conspicuous consumption.

Also today, from fierce fighters in the Trojan wars to Wonder Woman, Amazons have been described as figures of myth. A classics scholar sifts through new DNA evidence and other proof that these female warriors on horseback were real.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Robots And The Future Of Work

Credit a_Inglis / Flickr/CC

As computers and robotic machinery grow more sophisticated, there are concerns that automation is making it harder for human workers to compete. But others say robotic workers will lead to better jobs, more productivity, and even an age of leisure for humans. We’ll hear from the experts on how the rise of the robot may change the face of the workforce.

This program was originally broadcast on 8/21/14.

GUESTS:

Read more
Word of Mouth
12:01 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

10.1.14: Is Kindness A Virtue In Surgeons & The Evolution Of The House Key

Credit Phalinn Ooi via flickr Creative Commons

Surgery requires years of education, steady hands, extreme confidence, and…kindness? On today's show we ask: when it comes to being a good surgeon, does bedside manner matter? We'll also look into the growing digital house key market and the complicated math behind queue design.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
12:55 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

9.28.14: Enchanted Objects, Regulating Robots, & Prison Gang Origins

The Glow Cap pill bottle lights up when it's time to take your medicine.
Credit glowcaps.com

In Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001 A Space Odyssey, fear of future technologies takes center stage in the form of Hal 9000, the sentient, yet sinister, computer in charge of spacecraft Discovery One.

On today’s show, an instructor at the MIT Media Lab envisions a brighter future, in which the interaction between humans and technology will be useful, and even playful.

Plus, we’ll take a closer look at prison gangs, their ability to maintain order behind bars and how they influence life on the outside.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
12:29 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

9.22.14: Objects In The Future Will Be 'Enchanted' & Nuclear Tourism

The Living Room of the Future! From the 1979 book Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century
Credit Matt Novak via flickr Creative Commons

In Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001 A Space Odyssey, future technologies take center stage in the form of Hal 9000, a sentient, yet sinister, computer aboard the spacecraft Discovery One. On today’s show, an instructor at the MIT Media Lab envisions a brighter future, in which the interaction between humans and technology will be useful, and even playful. 

Plus, a science writer plays nuclear tourist and visits the site of the Chernobyl disaster, where he finds some surprising imagery.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
2:34 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

9.10.14: Researching What Makes Something Funny & Designing Technology To Deceive

This cat, is not amused.
Credit myri_bonni via flickr Creative Commons

At her funeral on Sunday, fellow comedians applauded Joan Rivers for her sharp wit, biting humor, and irreverent routines. What really made Joan Rivers so funny? On today’s show, the director of the Humor Research Lab offers some theories into what makes us laugh. Plus, from walk sign buttons that don’t reflect reality to digital signs over-estimating wait times at amusement parks; we’ll consider why technology is sometimes designed to give us the illusion of control.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments. 


Read more
Word of Mouth
12:42 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

8.25.14: The Climate Saving Power Of Whale Poo & China's Internet Superpower

Credit kohane via Flickr CC

 

  Today, about 70 percent of the earth’s oxygen comes from marine plants. We slip beneath the surface to find out how a rebounding whale population could help spur phytoplankton growth…and slow climate change. But first: more than 4000 wells have been drilled since 2008, and the county expects to be pumping for decades. A UNH professor explains why he set out to learn more about North Dakota’s oil country, by walking 65 miles across it. Plus, we take a look at the China-based e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, the most powerful company you’ve never heard about.

Read more
Granite Geek
12:50 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Granite Geek: 3-D Printers Help Turn Libraries Into Makerspaces

"I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."
Credit Harris County Public Library, via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/AuFTA

Attention residents of Milford: we don’t want to alarm you, but there is a replicator in your library.

Actually, it's a Makerbot Replicator 2, and it’s not as sinister as it might sound. This device is better known as a 3-D printer.

David Brooks tested out the printer for his Granite Geek science column for the Nashua Telegraph and Granite Geek.org, and he walks us through the process.

Read more
Word of Mouth
2:04 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

7.28.14:The Fuel Walk, The Power Of Whale Poo, And The Biggest Company You've Never Heard Of

Credit National Marine Sanctuaries via Flickr CC

The oil boom is on in McKenzie county, North Dakota. More than 4000 wells have been drilled since 2008, and the county expects to be pumping for decades. Today, a UNH professor explains why he set out to learn more about North Dakota’s oil country, by walking 65 miles across it. Then, about 70 percent of the earth’s oxygen comes from marine plants. We slip beneath the surface to find out how a rebounding whale population could help spur phytoplankton growth…and slow climate change. Plus, we take a look at the China-based e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, the most powerful company you’ve never heard about.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


Read more
Word of Mouth
1:15 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

7.02.14: Amateur Sleuths, A Pet Owl and Oculus Rift

Credit user ZaCky via Flickr Creative Commons

The National Institute of Justice estimates that up to 40,000 unidentified human remains have been collected and stored in evidence rooms across the country. Today, we talk to Deborah Halber about the growing number of internet sleuths trying to solve America’s coldest cases. Then, we look into the growing digital house key market. Plus, a heartwarming tale of a man and his owl. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
12:00 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

6.24.14: Preserving The Past For The Good Of The Future

Credit Liz West via flickr Creative Commons

From tailfins to compact discs, America’s economy hums along on technology that goes out of date. Today on Word of Mouth, the collectors, sentimentalists and other hold-outs to market obsolescence.

Read more

Pages