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Along the fortified border that divides the Korean Peninsula, soldiers in both North and South Korea began dismantling loudspeakers that for decades helped wage a war of words — blaring propaganda over the armistice line.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

The world of online dating is about to get more crowded: Facebook announced on Tuesday plans to roll out its own matchmaking feature.

The news sent shares of Match Group tumbling. Match is an online dating conglomerate, with ownership in Tinder, match.com and OkCupid, among others. Shares of Match fell 22 percent for the day.

Senior officials with Match welcomed Facebook to online dating in statements made on Tuesday.

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled on Capitol Hill last month, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked him whether his company faces any real competition: "If I buy a Ford, and it doesn't work well, and I don't like it, I can buy a Chevy. If I'm upset with Facebook, what's the equivalent product that I can go sign up for?"

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Apple is preparing to release quarterly earnings, and Wall Street is a bit nervous. NPR's Laura Sydell reports that Apple's costly and much-hyped iPhone X apparently isn't selling as expected.

President Trump has a heaping plate of foreign policy background to consume in May, which will see a possible summit with the leader of North Korea, a deadline to decide on restoring Iranian sanctions, and the move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In the past, most presidents have leaned on the intelligence community for guidance and context — but Trump has made plain his differences with the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

"Alexa, why is Pluto so awesome?"
"Alexa, what is seven plus three?"
"Alexa, who is Harry Potter?"
"Alexa, I'm bored."
"Alexa, where do babies come from?"*

Families who have an artificially intelligent "smart speaker" at home like Amazon's Echo may be used to kids saying stuff like this. And Amazon (which is a financial supporter of NPR) has just announced that Alexa's going to get better at answering them.

(*Except that last one. Alexa's reply: "People make people, but how they're made would be a better question for a grownup.")

How do we find a real connection in a digital world?

In Mary H.K. Choi's debut novel, Emergency Contact, Penny and Sam strike up a text-based romance, and soon become take-your-phone-to-the-bathroom inseparable. But for different reasons, they have trouble making it real.

Last week, a van plowed into a busy Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people in what appeared to be a deliberate act.

The suspect in the attack, Alek Minassian, was quickly linked to an online community of trolls and violent misogynists who call themselves "incels" — a term that stands for "involuntarily celibate."

A passenger from the Southwest Airlines flight on which an engine part exploded has sued the carrier.

Lilia Chavez, a California native, boarded a flight on April 17 at New York's LaGuardia Airport that was bound for Dallas. Twenty minutes later and at an altitude of 32,000 feet, the oxygen masks fell.

At any given moment, volunteers and paid workers are writing fictional narratives that they present online as news stories, and some of those will get picked up and shared — perhaps thousands of times — on social media.

Hoaxes are presented as fact, conspiracy theories are offered as truth, and some of them may even end up on Wikipedia, one of the most-visited sites online.

After you read this sentence, pause for a moment to think back on advertisements you first heard when you were a child.

Perhaps you recall a favorite jingle or the catchphrase of a cereal mascot. You probably can remember more than just one.

On this week's Hidden Brain radio show, we look at the shelf life of commercials. According to University of Arizona researcher Merrie Brucks, an ad we watched when we were five years old can influence our buying behavior when we're fifty.

Amazon demolished Wall Street's profit expectations for its first quarter, thanks to a boom in online sales and huge demand for its cloud services.

NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports for our Newscast unit that the retail giant's profits more than doubled from a year ago.

Amazon's Alexa Will Help Kids Learn Manners

Apr 26, 2018

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European law enforcement agencies say they've arrested the administrators of a website that allowed users to pay to knock selected websites offline.

The site Webstresser.org let paying customers — for as little as 15 euros a month, according to the European law enforcement agency Europol — launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to shut down websites or Internet users.

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Despite criticism for sharing disinformation and sharing people's data, Facebook reported another quarter of record earnings. NPR's Aarti Shahani reports.

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Twenty-five years ago this week, a web browser called Mosaic was released to the public.

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Facebook announced changes to its content review policy Tuesday, adding an appeals process for removed content and releasing the internal guidelines it relies on to make content determinations.

While the social media giant has listed a set of publicly available community standards for several years, the latest update includes the more detailed guidelines that content reviewers use internally when deciding whether to allow or remove posts.

In a rare joint statement, the U.S and U.K. last week warned that Russia is actively preparing for a future cyberwar against the West.

From San Francisco to Washington, D.C., e-scooters and dockless bikes have become the latest transportation trend to grip urban spaces — and local governments are struggling to keep up.

The concept is simple: Riders download an app, find and unlock a scooter or bike, and leave it when they're done. Many cost as little as $1, and fans of the services tout them as faster, easier, and greener ways to get where they're going.

Killer robots have been a staple of TV and movies for decades, from Westworld to The Terminator series. But in the real world, killer robots are officially known as "autonomous weapons."

At the Pentagon, Paul Scharre helped create the U.S. policy for such weapons. In his new book, Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War, Scharre discusses the state of these weapons today.

Since long before anyone can remember, the big, fertile slopes of the Alazani Valley in eastern Georgia have been planted with grapevines. It's the heartland of winemaking in the country that invented it 8,000 years ago. But in recent months, the valley has been going through a new kind of ferment, because of bitcoin.

Amazon has been one of President Trump's favorite targets on Twitter.

He has accused the company of not collecting taxes (which it does), charged it with putting retailers out of business — and focused his attacks on the tech company's relationship with the Postal Service.

So the president might be surprised to learn that one of Amazon's biggest customers is, in fact, the federal government. Amazon's relationship with the government goes well beyond delivering packages — to playing a vital role in protecting America's national security secrets.

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A startup company in California is using machine learning and artificial intelligence to advise fire departments about how to plan for earthquakes and respond to them.

The company, One Concern, hopes its algorithms can take a lot of the guesswork out of the planning process for disaster response by making accurate predictions about earthquake damage. It's one of a handful of companies rolling out artificial intelligence and machine learning systems that could help predict and respond to floods, cyber-attacks and other large-scale disasters.

Tuesday's tax day computer glitch at the IRS prevented the agency from accepting millions of tax returns and forced the IRS to extend the filing deadline for another day.

We now have a better idea of what happened to cause the snafu.

According to an IRS official, the problem arose at 4 a.m. EDT Tuesday, which was the day tax returns were due and the busiest day of the tax year for the IRS.

The joint alert from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security last month warning that Russia was hacking into critical U.S. energy infrastructure may have shaken some Americans. But it came as no surprise to the country's largest grid operator, PJM Interconnection.

Robot Puts Together IKEA Chair

Apr 19, 2018

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