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Technology

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In 2009, food writer Emma Christensen began brewing beer at home. She quickly grew to love each stage of the hours-long process, much of which is spent tending to a crock of boiling wort, or unfermented beer, and adding hops every few minutes. Over the course of making more than a hundred batches, she has become skilled at the art of turning barley, water, hops and yeast into beer.

It was the lawsuit that rocked Silicon Valley.

In 2012, tech investor Ellen Pao sued her employer, the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, for gender bias. She accused her bosses of not promoting her because she was a woman — and then retaliating against her when she complained.

An official from Toronto has called Amazon's search for the second headquarters "the Olympics of the corporate world."

It's a unique situation of its kind and scale. Typically, cities and states vie for factories or offices behind the scenes. This time, Amazon's public solicitation of bids from essentially all major metropolitan areas in North America has prompted reporters and analysts across the continent to run their own odds on potential winners.

What's at stake?

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This new chapter in Amazon's history inspired us to look at its past. We found an interview with Jeff Bezos from the mid-1990s.

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A feature of Apple's new high end iPhone X called Face ID — the phone will unlock when you look at it, or rather when it looks at you — has got privacy advocates nervous.

The new feature set off a fairly silly joke meme on Twitter with jibes such as "Face ID is the worst thing to happen to Beverly Hills plastic surgeons." But critics are taking the feature seriously, in part because Apple is likely to make Face ID very appealing and simple to use.

Galloping Ghost, one of the largest video-game arcades in the world, sits in an unassuming, single story brick building in Brookfield, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, that seems to go on forever, each corner bursting with beeping, blinking and flashing arcade cabinets.

Owner Doc Mack says they have more than 600 games. He says he didn't set out have quite that many.

"I have a huge collecting problem that I've had since childhood so I should have seen it coming, but who knew?" Mack asks rhetorically.

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A couple of high-tech entrepreneurs thought they'd put a personable name on an impersonal product.

Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan, formerly of Google, unveiled a box this week with glass doors, stocked with nonperishable items, that people can unlock with their cellphones while a camera records what they take and charges them.

It's essentially a tech-connected vending machine. But the entrepreneurs chose a name for their venture that many people found offensive: Bodega.

Vevo, the music video platform co-owned by the three major labels along with Google's parent company and the Dubai-based Abu Dhabi Media, was the victim of a hack by the prolific group OurMine in the early hours of Friday. The hack was revealed by OurMine in a blog post.

Systematically paying women less than men. Promoting them more slowly. And denying them opportunities.

These are the allegations in a lawsuit against Google filed Thursday in San Francisco on behalf of three female former employees.

They're seeking class-action status to sue on behalf of all women employed by Google in California over the past four years. "The lawsuit appears to be the first to make class action sex bias claims against Google," according to Reuters.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Future Consequences.

About Sam Harris's TED Talk

Does superhuman artificial intelligence sound like science fiction? Not for Sam Harris. He says it's not a question of if but when — with potentially destructive consequences.

About Sam Harris

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It's an administrative task for the ages.

Medicare is getting ready to issue all 60 million of its beneficiaries new cards with new ID numbers as way to combat identity theft and fraud.

The rollout begins next April, but the agency is already beginning its outreach campaign.

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Last week, as Irma approached, Tesla increased the battery life of its electric cars to help drivers evacuate. As Julia DeWitt from our Planet Money podcast reports, this was a welcome surprise that also raised some questions in the minds of Tesla owners.

The Department of Transportation released its revised guidelines on automated driving systems Tuesday, outlining its recommended — but not mandatory — best practices for companies developing self-driving cars.

Early leaks of new designs had stirred anticipation for Apple's new smartphone — and on Tuesday Apple delivered on all the predictions with a $699 iPhone 8 and a $999 special-edition iPhone X (as in "10"). The 10th-anniversary iPhone is the biggest redesign in years, with an all-screen front that eliminates the home button and can use facial recognition to unlock the display.

But it was the new Apple Watch that got Wall Street — and many tech observers — excited on launch day.

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Today at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple CEO Tim Cook made a dramatic introduction.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TIM COOK: This is iPhone 10. It is the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.

Tesla owners who were in Hurricane Irma's path in the Southeast recently got an unexpected boost to help them, after the carmaker remotely upgraded vehicle batteries to their highest capacity.

The boost gave customers' cars an extra 30 to 40 miles, but it's also temporary: The batteries will lose their extra juice this weekend.

The move came at the request of a customer who was worried about traffic and the range between charging stations during a massive evacuation that saw millions of Americans leave their homes in Florida, Georgia and neighboring states.

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Today, we are just getting a clearer picture of the destruction that was caused by Hurricane Irma. In different spots across Florida, first responders are on the ground, still searching for people stranded or needing help.

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Journalist Franklin Foer worries that we're all losing our minds as big tech companies infiltrate every aspect of our lives.

In his new book, World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech, Foer compares the way we feel about technology now to the way people felt about pre-made foods, like TV dinners, when they were first invented.

Back in 2007, the hype around Apple's new phone was all about the keyboard — or lack thereof.

"In fact, some experts think the days of the telephone keypad are numbered," NPR's Laura Sydell wrote in advance of the release of the very first iPhone by Steve Jobs. It's fair to say, the forecast triumph of the on-screen keyboard has proved true (RIP BlackBerry Classic).

President Trump continues to learn things about his job and the rest of us continue to learn things about Donald Trump.

Last week, faced with one natural disaster festering in Texas and another impending in Florida, Trump used a storm relief bill to save Congress from a fiscal disaster of its own making.

Moreover, he did it by shunning his own party's leaders in the House and Senate and cutting a deal instead with the leaders of the opposition.

Tropical Storm Harvey disrupted at least 17 emergency call centers and 320 cellular sites, and it caused outages for more than 148,000 Internet, TV and phone customers, according to the Federal Communications Commission. It left many people unable to reach out for help or get in touch with family and friends to say they were alive.

It's likely that a similar scenario will occur with Irma, one of the most potentially devastating storms in the state's history, hitting Florida.

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A massive hack of the company Equifax has compromised the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans. Regulators have launched an investigation into what appears to be one of the most serious data breaches ever. NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

Friday News Roundup - International

Sep 8, 2017

The island of Barbuda has been effectively wiped out by the record-breaking Hurricane Irma, which also devastated many other island locales, including Anguilla and St. Maarten. And more storms are on the way. How much destruction will this hurricane season bring to the Caribbean?

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Sep 8, 2017

Congress is back! Now what?

The legislature’s first major deal with the White House this session was steered by… Democratic leaders.

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We're covering a couple natural disasters on this morning. Let's begin with this powerful earthquake that toppled houses and damaged schools and hospitals in the south of Mexico.

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