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Technology

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It's 5 p.m. on a Friday at a hip bar and hostel in East Austin. Half a dozen people occupy the blue velvet booths and alternative dance music blares overhead. Leigh Salinas walks in carrying a duffel bag. She's there to spend the weekend studying – sort of.

"I was certainly impacted by the presidential election in a lot of the ways that other people were," says the 31-year-old who works as an accountant for a local food company.

Salinas says she wants to run for local office.

Cybersecurity experts are confirming that a computer malware attack dubbed "Olympic Destroyer" hit select networks and Wi-Fi systems at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang on Friday, but they would not say for sure whether Russia or North Korea are to blame.

Users with a @pyeongchang2018.com email address were targeted in the attack, which lasted less than an hour on Friday night, experts said.

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Porn And The Teenage Brain

Feb 12, 2018

There is a lot of pornography on the internet. There are a lot of teenagers with smartphones. It seems obvious that teens would watch.

But maybe it isn’t.

John Perry Barlow, who died last Wednesday at 70, was one of those unusual figures whose obituaries find no point of common agreement. An Internet evangelist who once wrote song lyrics for the Grateful Dead, Barlow was also a poet, activist, cattle rancher and corporate consultant, whose peripatetic career defied easy summarization.

If the Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov were alive today, what would he say about smartphones? He might not think of them as phones at all, but instead as remarkable tools for understanding how technology can manipulate our brains.

Jerry Bergman is sitting in the audience at a Broadway matinée performance of The Band's Visit. Despite the fact that a huge sign above the stage tells the audience — in English, Hebrew and Arabic — to turn off cellphones, Bergman is keeping his on so he can read closed captions while watching the show.

He is one of an estimated 48 million Americans who have some degree of hearing loss. And he is availing himself of new technology that allows deaf and hearing-impaired people to enjoy shows with something most people have in their pocket — a smartphone.

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Technology is marching on, bringing us smart speakers and smartphone updates and cars that drive themselves down the street. And yet it's the little challenges that bedevil.

The dreaded blinking orange light.

(SOUNDBITE OF PAPER RUSTLING)

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Uber has reached a settlement valued at $245 million with Google's self-driving car subsidiary Waymo, in a major trade secrets trial that began Monday.

A long time ago, when I was working on my Ph.D. research, I learned to use supercomputers to track the complex 3-D motions of gas blown into space by dying stars.

Using big computers in this way was still new to lots of researchers in my field and I was often asked, "How do you know your models are right?"

A lick of cold, creamy gelato isn't just magic. It's mathematics.

"You have to respect the range," emphasizes Gianpaolo Valli, a senior instructor at Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy, who has spent decades drilling aspiring gelato chefs on the right ratio of solids to water in any given recipe. (FYI: Solids need to be between 32 and 46 percent.) If your numbers are off, you're likely to end up with a disaster instead of a dessert.

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Twitter says it has turned a profit for the first time last quarter, sending its shares surging. As of mid-morning Thursday its shares were up nearly 23 percent.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sounded an alarm this week: The Russians are already meddling in the 2018 midterm elections.

"The point is that if their intention is to interfere, they're going to find ways to do that," Tillerson told Fox News. "I think it's important we just continue to say to Russia, look, you think we don't see what you're doing. We do see it, and you need to stop."

As complicated as it as to launch and operate a telescope in space, it's almost as complex to move a space telescope around here on Earth.

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

A founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, John Perry Barlow, has died at the age of 70, according to a statement issued by the Foundation.

Roku devices and Samsung smart TVs have easy-to-exploit security vulnerabilities, according to testing carried out by Consumer Reports.

"We found that a relatively unsophisticated hacker could change channels, play offensive content, or crank up the volume," the magazine says. "This could be done over the web, from thousands of miles away."

The National Transportation Safety Board reported Tuesday that engineers falling asleep at the controls led to two recent New York City-area commuter train crashes that killed one person and injured more than 200 others. The investigative agency has sharply criticized the Trump administration for scrapping a proposed regulation aimed at preventing such fatigue-related events.

Best Buy has told music suppliers that it will pull all CDs from its stores this summer, according to a report from Billboard. This move should come as no big surprise: Between unlimited streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, and the ongoing vinyl revival, CDs just don't have the sway that they used to.

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Updated 2:38 p.m. ET

As people along the East Coast, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean were preparing for their day around 8:30 a.m. ET, a smartphone push notification warned of a possible tsunami.

The threat, as it turned out, was nonexistent, though there is some disagreement over who is at fault for the erroneous message.

The National Weather Service tells NPR that it was a "test message" released by at least one private company as an official warning. In a statement, spokesperson Susan Buchanan said:

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Parents today struggle to set screen time guidelines.

One big reason is a lack of role models. Grandma doesn't have any tried-and-true sayings about iPad time. This stuff is just too new.

But many experts on kids and media are also parents themselves. So when I was interviewing dozens of them for my book The Art of Screen Time, I asked them how they made screen time rules at home.

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The Winter Olympics in South Korea will be a chance for the country to show off its newest robot creations. NPR's Elise Hu reports that the peek into the future starts as soon as you land at the airport.

There's a battle brewing in a San Francisco courtroom over the future of self-driving vehicles. It involves two of the biggest names in Silicon Valley — Uber, and Google's subsidiary Waymo.

Opening arguments began Monday. At issue is whether Uber stole valuable intellectual property when it hired Waymo's star engineer, Anthony Levandowski.

The world of artificial intelligence has exploded in recent years. Computers armed with AI do everything from drive cars to pick movies you'll probably like. Some have warned we're putting too much trust in computers that appear to do wondrous things.

But what exactly do people mean when they talk about artificial intelligence?

Look up from this screen right now. Take a look around. On a bus. In a cafe. Even at a stoplight. Chances are, most of the other people in your line of sight are staring at their phones or other devices. And if they don't happen to have one out, it is certainly tucked away in a pocket or bag.

But are we truly addicted to technology? And what about our kids? It's a scary question, and a big one for scientists right now. Still, while the debate rages on, some doctors and technologists are focusing on solutions.

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