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Technology

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We spend a lot of time talking to Alexa and Siri. Imagine if such artificial personalities were put inside a cute, adorable robot. That's what Alexander Reben has done. The artist created what he saw as the perfect interview machine to see how much he could get people to reveal to the robot.

Our series, "Take A Number," is exploring problems around the world — and the people who are trying to solve them — through the lens of a single number.

Twenty-one days. If you get sued for debt in Utah, that's how long you have to respond to a complaint in the mail.

The complaints are fine-print legalese and they're confusing. But despite that, 98.5 percent of the state's debtors try to navigate the process themselves, without any legal help. And they often end up paying more than they should.

The Trump administration is tightening the rules for companies that contract out high-skilled workers who are in this country on H-1B visas.

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Iran has announced its intent to establish a national cryptocurrency. In a tweet posted Wednesday, an Iranian official said that a test model for a "cloud-based digital currency" is being developed for submission to the Iranian banking system.

The official, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, heads Iran's Ministry of Information and Communications Technology. Jahromi made the announcement after a meeting with the state-owned Post Bank of Iran.

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SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket Thursday morning.

But the hard part came next: trying to catch the rocket's falling nose cone with a big net on a ship in the ocean.

Wait, what?

The Federal Communications Commission is working toward officially taking current net neutrality rules off the books. The agency took the requisite formal step of publishing the rules on Thursday, opening the door for lawsuits from a number of state attorneys general and advocacy groups.

A quarter of a million Americans die every year from sepsis, which is the body's reaction to overwhelming infection. This cascade of organ failure can be nipped in the bud if health care workers know it's ramping up, but that's often not easy to do.

A 500-foot-tall clock designed to encourage long-range thinking is being constructed inside a mountain range in West Texas on property owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Bezos released a time-lapse video of the installation on Tuesday.

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In two different power centers yesterday, students, teachers and families from Parkland, Fla., confronted their representatives.

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America's top spies say to expect more interference in the 2018 elections, but politicians may not have much defense against one of the most potent weapons — their own inboxes.

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Shaorong Deng is sitting up in bed at the Hangzhou Cancer Hospital waiting for his doctor. Thin and frail, the 53-year-old construction worker's coat drapes around his shoulders to protect against the chilly air.

Deng has advanced cancer of the esophagus, a common form of cancer in China. He went through radiation and chemotherapy, but the cancer kept spreading.

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Catastrophic wildfires. Devastating hurricanes. Extreme temperatures. Sea levels that are too high. Ice levels that are too low.

Needless to say, planet Earth (and by extension, humanity) is going through a lot right now.

Could our future be in the stars?

For a company that's all about the future of communication, Facebook is looking to the past to solve at least some of its problems.

After months of intense scrutiny over the role the company played in the 2016 presidential election, the social network giant announced it wants to use postcards to verify the identity of advertising buyers to prevent future foreign meddling.

Directions, weather reports, water bottles. Those are some of the things we've seen robots offering at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics — helping to host thousands of visitors and media. They're also helping South Korea present itself as a tech-savvy nation with an eye on the future.

Most of the robots we've seen in Pyeongchang and Gangneung, the two areas where the Winter Games are being held, weren't made to look human. Instead, they present a wide range of looks — and autonomy.

In 1984, two men were thinking a lot about the Internet. One of them invented it. The other is an artist who would see its impact on society with uncanny prescience.

First is the man often called "the father of the Internet," Vint Cerf. Between the early 1970s and early '80s, he led a team of scientists supported by research from the Defense Department.

Initially, Cerf was trying to create an Internet through which scientists and academics from all over the world could share data and research.

Like a lot of science fiction fans, I read William Gibson's visionary novel Neuromancer not long after it came out in 1984. It painted a dystopian world where people spent most of their time on computers communicating across networks in "cyberspace."

When I read it, I thought it was an engaging fantasy. Now, over 30 years later, the prescience of Gibson's novel is unquestionable. In the intervening years, I've wondered how he and other artists were able to imagine the future when the technologies they wrote about had barely been invented.

In the fall of 2008, Omega Young got a letter prompting her to recertify for Medicaid.

But she was unable to make the appointment because she was suffering from ovarian cancer. She called her local Indiana office to say she was in the hospital.

Her benefits were cut off anyway. The reason: "failure to cooperate."

Atlanta Police are seeking an Uber Eats driver who they say killed a customer during a delivery.

The department confirmed to NPR that officers responded to a call of a person shot in the Buckhead neighborhood in north Atlanta on Saturday around 11:30 p.m. Investigators learned from witnesses that the victim left his apartment to meet an Uber Eats driver, took his order and began walking away from the delivery vehicle.

Food scientists at the University of Massachussetts Amherst have come up with a technique they say could make it a lot easier to avoid food poisoning.

The main piece of equipment? Your smartphone.

Currently, to identify the bacteria that can get you sick, like E. coli or salmonella, food scientists often use DNA testing.

They obtain samples from, say, raw spinach or chicken skin, by rinsing the food and collecting a tiny bit of bacteria from the water. Then they let that bacteria multiply over 24 hours to get a big enough sample.

While Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was on lockdown, with an active shooter in the building, students were on their phones.

Tired of annoying online ads? There could be some relief starting Thursday, if you're one of the vast majority of people who use Google Chrome as your default browser.

Google is launching a built-in blocker in Chrome that is designed to filter out ads it says repeatedly violate standards put out by the Coalition of Better Ads. Pop-up ads? Check. Auto-playing video ads? Yep. Large sticky ads? You know, the ones that stay on your screen even as you try to scroll past them. Those are on the blacklist, too.

Richard Klein switched doctors last year. The new doctor put him on a new blood pressure drug.

But it didn't help.

The failure was entirely predictable.

Klein, an associate professor at Florida International University in Miami, realized later that he had tried the same medicine unsuccessfully a few years before, but he hadn't remembered that fact during the appointment.

It was an understandable mistake for Klein and his doctor.

YouTube and Instagram are being asked to take down videos and photos at the center of a controversy involving a prominent Russian billionaire and a senior Russian government official.

This follows a high-profile investigation into the men's relationship by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

A team of engineers at Dartmouth College has invented a semiconductor chip that could someday give the camera in your phone the kind of vision even a superhero would envy.

The new technology comes from Eric Fossum, a professor of engineering and his colleagues at Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering.

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