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Technology

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This was not exactly the decision VG Media had hoped for.

The collective of German publishers had sued Google, arguing that the tech giant has infringed on copyright protections by offering snippets of the publishers' articles in search results. Those snippets, according to VG Media, hurt the publishers' bottom line by sating potential readers' curiosity and violated a 2013 German law that requires compensation for those snippets of text.

The Walt Disney Co. reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Tuesday.

Theme park profits, which climbed 20 percent, and movie incomes, which soared 21 percent, helped the company beat analysts' estimates for the January through March quarter.

Adding to the company's success was the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. The remake of the 1991 animated movie has become the highest-grossing PG-rated movie of all time in the U.S.

NATO Takes Aim At Disinformation Campaigns

May 10, 2017

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Federal Communications Commission's public commenting system experienced delays Sunday night. That was the same night comedian John Oliver did a segment about net neutrality on his HBO show, Last Week Tonight and encouraged viewers to file comments on the FCC's website.

Well, he did it — sort of.

In April, Carter Wilkerson set out on a mission to get free chicken nuggets for a year. What he may not have known was that his inquiry would become the most retweeted tweet of all time.

It was his fondness for nuggets that inspired Wilkerson to ask Wendy's how many retweets he needed to get free chicken nuggets for a year. Wendy's, playing along, set the bar high: 18 million.

Challenge accepted.

In a decision that could have global consequences, an Austrian court ruled on Friday that Facebook must delete postings deemed to be hate speech.

In 1995, NPR's All Things Considered invited tech writer Walt Mossberg on to the show to report on an increasingly popular phenomenon: the World Wide Web.

Mossberg shared a tool that helped to make sense of a disorganized and chaotic Internet, a website called Yahoo. At the time, Yahoo was a directory service for searching online, he explained.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

When three sacred staples of the South weren't safe from the cloudy, salty water in his town, Clay Duffie knew there was a problem.

"It'd kill your azaleas if you irrigated with it; your grits would come out in a big clump, instead of creamy like they should," Duffie said.

Even the sweet tea.

"Your tea would come out all cloudy," Duffie said. "Oh man, it was bad news."

When You're Not Quite Sure If Your Teacher Is Human

May 8, 2017

A couple of years ago, Ashok Goel was overwhelmed by the number of questions his students were asking in his course on artificial intelligence.

Goel teaches computer science at Georgia Tech, sometimes to large classes, where students can ask thousands of questions online in a discussion forum.

With a limited number of teaching assistants, or TAs, many of those questions weren't getting answered in time. So, Goel came up with a plan: make an artificial intelligence "teaching assistant" that could answer some of students' frequently asked questions.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

New Software Can Mimic Anyone's Voice

May 5, 2017

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Federal Communications Commission will vote on May 18 to formally begin the process of loosening regulations that enforce the so-called net neutrality rules for Internet providers.

Ajit Pai, who became chairman of the commission in January, says he supports a free and open Internet, which rests on a basic principle of "net neutrality."

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Yesterday afternoon, an email went out to all NPR employees. It was marked with one of those red exclamation points to indicate that you'd better read it.

Updated at 10:34 a.m. ET Friday with Amazon's statement

The European Commission announced Thursday that it is concluding its antitrust investigation of Amazon over e-books, citing key changes to the contracts that inspired the probe in the first place.

The executive arm of the European Union had been wary of clauses that required publishers to alert Amazon about terms offered by the company's competitors — clauses that Amazon has now promised to modify.

Twitter, Google and Facebook have been sued for knowingly supporting the Islamic State by relatives of some of the victims killed in the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif.

In the lawsuit, the families say the tech giants have allowed the Islamic State to build a vast online presence and spread its extremist beliefs — as well as enlist recruits and promote attacks such as the shooting at the Inland Regional Center on Dec. 2, 2015.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's your first word on the day's news, starting with Republicans trying one more time.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There's a decent chance you — or someone you know — just got an odd email inviting you to edit a document in Google Docs. The email could be from a stranger, a colleague or a friend, but it's addressed to a contact that boasts a whole string of H's in its name.

In other words, it looks a little something like this:

Or, if you're looking at the invite in Gmail, it likely looks more like this:

Either of these look familiar to you? Here's a handy tip: Don't open the link.

Faced with a recent spate of violent videos and hate speech posted by users on its network, Facebook has announced plans for a heap of hires: 3,000 new employees worldwide to review and react to reports of harm and harassment.

"Over the last few weeks, we've seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook — either live or in video posted later. It's heartbreaking, and I've been reflecting on how we can do better for our community," CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Wednesday in a Facebook post.

Immigration advocates claim that about half of the most lucrative startups in America were founded by immigrants. But it's complicated for a foreigner to start a company in America — there's no such thing as a startup visa.

That's why some entrepreneurs are "hacking the system" through a workaround that started as an experiment in Massachusetts and has expanded to five other states.

The city of San Francisco has settled with Airbnb and HomeAway, concluding a lawsuit brought by the two short-term home rental companies by agreeing to new registration procedures for prospective hosts. The case, which had been heard in federal court, hinged on how the companies comply with a recently instituted city law.

Coal has long had a grip on American politics. That's why politicians worry about its fate. They tout the fossil fuel's contribution to the U.S. economy, but lately they've also been trying to find a way to clean up coal's image.

Turkish residents were unable to access Wikipedia on Saturday after the government blocked the site, citing content "showing Turkey in coordination and aligned with various terrorist groups," according to the Anadolu news agency.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The National Security Agency is scaling back the way it spies on some communications over the Internet.

The NSA says it discovered what it called "lapses" in compliance with U.S. law.

They're called "about" communications: The NSA not only watches messages traveling to and from a foreign target, but those that mention one.

That can mean the NSA sometimes sweeps up data from Americans without a warrant. In the past, officials said the spy agency was still mindful of citizens' privacy.

The Circle, the film based on the novel by Dave Eggers, presents a dystopian view of the direction Silicon Valley is taking the world. And, as a longtime Silicon Valley correspondent, I have to say there is a lot that this comic and spooky film gets right.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Accessing the Internet in Cuba isn't easy. Home Internet connections are rare, and public access Wi-Fi hotspots costs $1.50 an hour — very expensive for most Cubans.

But in the nation that has been called "one of the most restrictive media environments in the world," watching YouTube got faster this week.

New York City is set to begin giving body cameras to its police officers on Thursday.

Under the police department's pilot program, 1,200 officers in 20 precincts will receive the cameras. The officers will also be studied by scientists to see what effect the cameras have on policing.

As police don body cameras across the country, scientists are increasingly working with departments to figure out how the cameras change behavior — of officers and the public.

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