Technology

Middle East
2:05 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Syrian Exiles Seek To Spread Word On Internet Radio

Protests in Syria have carried on despite the crackdown by the government's security forces. New Start Radio, an Internet radio station, has reported on events by speaking to citizen journalists around the country. Here, protesters take part in a March 2 demonstration in northern Syria.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 5:12 pm

We can't tell you where Hussam and Rania live, but we can tell you they used to live in Syria's capital, Damascus.

Hussam was a creative director at a small marketing company he founded with a friend. Rania was the morning host for a radio station owned by the cousin of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Then came the protests all around Syria. Then came the phone call.

"The radio station called me, at home, and they said, 'Rania we have to say the truth,' " Rania says.

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Technology
10:47 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Fixing The Cutting-Edge: Innovation Meets Table Saw

David Butler and one of his safer tools.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 11:14 am

When you think of cutting-edge technology, power tools don't generally come to mind. Take the table saw: Many woodworkers are using 30-year-old saws in their wood shops and, among the major tool companies, there hasn't been much innovation since those decades-old tools came out.

But more and more inventors are trying to make these saws safer — and David Butler is one of them. At his home in Cape Cod, Mass., Butler flips on the fluorescent lights in his basement turned wood shop.

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All Tech Considered
4:02 am
Mon April 2, 2012

You Should Keep Tax Records — But How, And For How Long?

A pile of IRS Form 1040 tax documents is seen in this file photo. Personal finance experts recommend keeping most records for three years after they're used in a tax return.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 10:01 am

Tax Day 2012 is looming — and after we file our returns, many of us will try to figure out what to do with the seemingly innocuous but possibly crucial documents we use to prepare our returns. Filing electronically can make those records easier to manage. But what should we really keep, and for how long?

Most experts recommend holding on to financial records for three years after they're used in a tax return — that's the amount of time the IRS has to audit taxpayers.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:26 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Don't You Kids Have Somewhere To Go?

Photo by Id-iom via Flickr Creative Commons

The First Amendment protects the freedom to assemble peacefully – and incidentally, the freedom to loiter in front of downtown storefronts nationwide.  And yet, shopkeepers persist in employing any means possible to drive away teenage yobs (as the British call them) without sending away paying customers.

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All Tech Considered
11:31 am
Tue March 27, 2012

To Keep Customers, Brick-And-Mortar Stores Look To Smartphones

A shopper searches on her BlackBerry for coupons inside a Target store. Consumers with smartphones are changing the way stores set prices and track customer tastes.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 8:23 pm

Best Buy must live in fear of shoppers like Ave Lising. He and a group of friends walk through the Stanford mall in Palo Alto, Calif., their cellphones clutched in their hands.

Lising visited the electronics retailer recently, shopping for a video game.

"I went to Best Buy [and] looked at the price," Lising says. "I was like, 'Ehh — I'm sure I can find this cheaper online.' "

So he whipped out his smartphone and scanned the barcode, found it cheaper and ... no sale for Best Buy.

There's a word for that kind of in-store comparison shopping: "showrooming."

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:05 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Who's selling Iran the gear to spy on its own people?

Photo by Hapal via Flickr Creative Commons

Late last week, an investigative report from Reuters’ Enterprise Team uncovered the details of a big money contract between the Chinese telecommunications equipment company ZTE and the Telecommunication Company of Iran that included technology that can be used to conduct surveillance and crack down on dissidents. The details of the deal revealed surprising end-runs being made by Iran around global sanctions.

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All Tech Considered
5:03 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Wanted: Digital Bloodhounds For The Hotel Industry

Kelsey Blodget of Oyster.com photographs the lobby of New York's Trump SoHo hotel. The website relies on tech-savvy workers to create online reviews and track hotel bookings.
Oyster.com

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 6:35 pm

These days, hotels aren't just looking to hire bellhops, concierges and housekeepers. What the industry really needs are digital bloodhounds: people who understand how to use new technologies to track — and attract — potential guests.

One of those newfangled workers is Greg Bodenlos. At 24, he's just a couple of years out of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. His official title is digital marketing strategist at The Mark Hotel, a luxury hotel in New York City.

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All Tech Considered
1:58 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Finding Cheaper Gas With Your Smartphone

The GasBuddy app and website rely on crowdsourcing — people across the country sending in gas prices.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 6:35 pm

Gasoline prices seem to be going up every day, and motorists are looking to squeeze every penny of savings out of each fill-up. Well, as it turns out with so many things these days, smartphone apps can help.

Companies have applications for most smartphones out there to help people find the cheapest gas in town. I tried out six applications on an iPhone and narrowed the selection to two that I found the easiest to use: GasBuddy and Fuel Finder.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:23 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Siri v. Everyone Else

We begin with the implications of man-made beings in the 21st century, and some potential legal questions recently posed by New Hampshire attorney John Weaver.

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All Tech Considered
3:41 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Digital Technologies Give Dying Languages New Life

In an undated photo, members of the Siletz tribe gather for the Siletz Feather Dance in Newport, Ore. The tribe is using digital tools to help preserve its native language.
Courtesy of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 8:45 pm

There are some 7,000 spoken languages in the world, and linguists project that as many as half may disappear by the end of the century. That works out to one language going extinct about every two weeks. Now, digital technology is coming to the rescue of some of those ancient tongues.

Members of the Native American Siletz tribe in Oregon say their native language, also called "Siletz," "is as old as time itself." But today, you can count the number of fluent speakers on one hand. Siletz Tribal Council Vice Chairman Bud Lane is one of them.

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Thu March 15, 2012

The Wild And Crazy 'Tweets Of Steve Martin'

Steve Martin has won two Grammys for his comedy albums. His film credits include Father of the Bride, Parenthood and The Spanish Prisoner.

After 40 years on the stand-up stage, countless comedy albums and iconic movies, Steve Martin is still finding new ways to make people laugh.

The comedian got on Twitter in 2010, and by now he has attracted nearly 2.5 million followers with his funny and slightly demented tweets.

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Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength
4:35 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

On Utah's 'Silicon Slopes,' Tech Jobs Get A Lift

Josh James co-founded the Web analytics site Omniture in 1996, then sold it to Adobe for $1.8 billion in 2009. Domo is James' latest startup.
Derek Smith

Last year, Utah created jobs at a faster pace than any other state in the country — with the single exception of North Dakota. While the boom in North Dakota is being driven by oil and gas, the hot job market in Utah is being powered by technology companies.

Computer-system-design jobs in Utah shot up nearly 12 percent in 2011. Scientific and technical jobs jumped 9.7 percent. With job opportunities expanding, the state is having little trouble attracting new residents.

For Jill Layfield, the decision to move here from Silicon Valley was not a tough call.

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Asia
12:01 am
Mon March 12, 2012

iPad Workers: Plant Inspected Hours Before Blast

Workers burned during an explosion at an Apple supplier factory in Shanghai are seen at a hospital where they are receiving continued treatment for their injuries. According to the factory, 24 workers were burned in the explosion.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 1:06 pm

Apple's new iPad goes on sale this Friday, the latest version of a wildly popular product from an iconic company. In the past couple of months, though, Apple has come under criticism for working conditions in Chinese factories that help build iPads.

A New York Times investigation focused on an explosion at an Apple supplier factory last May. In December, another explosion struck a different Apple supplier factory in Shanghai.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Forget The Robots: Venture Capitalists Change Their Health Care Investments

Surgical robots like this one are wildly expensive. Before the economic troubles began, investment in such high-tech medical devices was plentiful. Now, hospitals are looking for comparatively simple solutions to cut costs: streamline medical billing and even investing in $1 catheters that can save upwards of $50,000.
Frank Perry AFP/Getty Images

It wasn't that long ago that money flowed steadily to entrepreneurs who dreamt up whiz-bang medical devices.

Hospitals souped up their surgical suites with robots or high-tech radiation machines for cancer treatment. Cost wasn't an issue: They just got passed along to insurance companies, who passed them on to employers and patients.

But after the Great Recession hit and the 2010 health law passed, the financiers behind the medical arms race started to rethink their investment calculus.

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Apple Expected To Unveil New iPad

An Apple logo is seen at the entrance of Yerba Buena Center for Arts on Tuesday in San Francisco, one day before Apple holds a press event, to make a special announcement.
Kimihiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 8:49 am

As has been the case with all of Apple's product unveilings, there is a shroud of secrecy surrounding today's impending announcement.

Today, Apple has invited media to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for a 1 p.m. ET. event. The only clue provided by Apple was a typically cryptic invitation with a picture of an iPad and a few words: "We have something you really have to see. And touch."

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