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Technology

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The burger place downtown? Check. The Ethiopian restaurant we visited that one time? Check. The sports bar near school we've been meaning to try? Maybe tonight is the night.

To help users keep track of points of interest, Google Maps is rolling out a new feature — for both Android and iOS devices — to create lists of locations and share them with friends.

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As immigrant communities across the U.S. watch the battle over President Trump's administration ban, there is also concern among some scientists and medical groups.

They say there should be a welcoming atmosphere for the thousands of international researchers and students who attend conferences every year in the U.S. and help shape medical and technical advances.

Many scientific, academic and medical groups signed onto a letter urging the president to rescind his original immigration executive order.

It's nice to have a friend who's a good listener, but a doll called My Friend Cayla listens a little too well, according to German regulators who say the toy is essentially a stealthy espionage device that shares what it hears and is also vulnerable to takeover by third parties.

Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, best known for their time in The Turtles in which they recorded the hit song "Happy Together," have spent the past several years fighting a byzantine battle for the rights to get paid for their music being played by digital broadcasters, filing putative class actions in California, New York and Florida on behalf of artists with similar questions around their own catalogs. At issue is whether Volman and Kaylan, jointly represented in court under the name Flo & Eddie Inc.

Using The Blockchain To Change Prisons

Feb 17, 2017

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Yahoo is warning some of its users that their accounts might have been breached by intruders using forged cookies, allowing them to access private information without knowing users' passwords.

Cookies are pieces of code stored by browsers to, among other things, keep track of whether a user is logged into a password-protected account. They're also used for innocuous functions, such as keeping track of online shopping cart contents.

Recipe For New Sports? Just Add A Drone

Feb 16, 2017

You may have heard of drone racing, but people keep coming up with new ways to enjoy these flying machines.

One of the latest twists on drone sports comes from Latvia.

Wind power is the largest source of renewable energy in the United States. But a broad swath of the country has had no large, commercial wind farms — until now. A new one with 104 towers is up and running near Elizabeth City, N.C., where it spans 22,000 acres.

5 Ways Teachers Are Fighting Fake News

Feb 16, 2017

As the national attention to fake news and the debate over what to do about it continue, one place many are looking for solutions is in the classroom.

With the Trump administration vowing to tighten rules for skilled workers entering the United States, India's software services companies are worried. Indian IT giants outsource tens of thousands of tech specialists to the United States each year, and limiting the visa program that brings them in could disrupt their multibillion-dollar industry.

In the world of electric cars, there's a chicken-and-egg problem: More people might buy electric vehicles, or EVs, if they were confident there would always be a charger nearby. And businesses might install more chargers if there were more EVs on the road.

A prominent YouTube star has lost a lucrative contract after The Wall Street Journal pointed out a series of anti-Semitic jokes and Nazi-related images in his videos.

Felix Kjellberg is better known as PewDiePie — a profane, prolific video producer and comedian. He rose to prominence largely through videos of him playing video games, but now creates a wide range of popular videos, from pranks to sketches to commentary.

In California, construction crews are trying to lower the level of Lake Oroville and repair emergency spillways at the Oroville Dam, about 75 miles north of Sacramento, to prevent catastrophic flooding downstream.

A secondary spillway was opened Monday after the main spillway, which is supposed to safely release water when the lake level is too high, had developed a huge hole, as we reported.

During his campaign and now as president, Donald Trump has made Twitter part of the daily news cycle, with a single early-morning or late-night Trump tweet setting the news agenda for hours, if not days.

A utility in California is cutting a small fraction of its information technology jobs and shipping them off to India. By doing so, Pacific Gas and Electric is stepping into a complex debate in Washington right now about immigration, jobs and the H-1B, a visa designed for high-skilled labor.

The logic behind sending IT jobs to India is straightforward: Workers there are cheaper.

Brian Hertzog, a spokesperson for PG&E, says the utility is offshoring 70 jobs, which he describes as routine IT work the company plans to eventually phase out.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV, which is now hitting the market, could be the first of a new wave of game-changing electric vehicles.

Its longer range and lower price could attract new buyers to the electric car market, but there's uncertainty over whether federal tax incentives will continue and whether California will be allowed to keep tougher emissions rules under President Trump.

If a snake bites you in a remote Amazonian village like Pampa Hermosa, Peru, and the local doctor is out of the right anti-venom, it might be wise to prepare some goodbyes. The nearest resupply, in a town called Contamana, is up to six hours away by riverboat, and you might not last that long. But you might last 35 minutes, the travel time between Pampa Hermosa and Contamana as the drone flies.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

Reading The Game: The Flame In The Flood

Feb 12, 2017

For years now, some of the best, wildest, most moving or revealing stories we've been telling ourselves have come not from books, movies or TV, but from video games. So we're running an occasional series, Reading The Game, in which we take a look at some of these games from a literary perspective.

Let me tell you about the first time I died.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A few days before Rex Tillerson's confirmation as secretary of state, Tillerson's Danish counterpart stood before an audience at a Copenhagen conference on the future of diplomacy and announced he would soon be naming a new ambassador. That would hardly be news — except this ambassador will not be heading to the U.S. or any other country. Instead, he or she will be serving as Denmark's chief diplomatic connection to the tech industry at large.

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Getting Better

About Jennifer Brea's TED Talk

Doctors told Jennifer Brea that her symptoms were psychosomatic, so she filmed herself and turned to the Internet for guidance. She describes how her online community helped her find the right diagnosis.

About Jennifer Brea

The promise of automated cars is that they could eliminate human-error accidents and potentially enable more efficient use of roadways. That sounds, at first blush, like self-driving cars could also mean traffic reduction and lower commute times.

But researchers aren't so sure.

Hesham Rakha is an engineering professor at Virginia Tech who studies traffic's flow — or lack thereof.

The Office of Government Ethics is back in the news as its website crashed, for the second time in less than a month, again under a flood of inquiries.

The advisory agency typically works to vet people who run the country and detangle them from financial ties that may influence their work in public office. And typically, this work happens quietly in the background when administrations transition from one president to another.

Our relationships with and access to music lie between rocks and hard places; the rocks that own it, the hard places that distribute it to us. Those relationships are constantly evolving, and to figure out what might come next, we've combed through the recent earnings statements of some of the largest record labels and tech companies to reveal how they're preparing for 2017 and beyond.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says the U.S. needs to "do a better job to vet" residents of seven majority-Muslim countries that the Trump administration has temporarily banned from entering the U.S.

In an interview with Morning Edition host Rachel Martin, the retired Marine Corps general said the ban, which has been blocked by a district court order that is now being reviewed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, "is not based on religion in any way."

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