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Technology

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To everyone reading this story: This is not about you. This is about the 4.4 billion other people on this planet who have never been online.

Amsterdam is famous for its laissez-faire attitude about extracurricular activities, its beautiful canals and of course, its bicycles. Now, even if you only have a layover at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, you can get in some pedaling, and power your phone and other devices at the same time.

Netflix has thus far found its highest-profile successes in original content by competing with award-ready premium television with Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards.

But there's more to running a network than winning awards, and the reminder of that came this morning with an announcement that Netflix has made a deal to be the exclusive home of four movies to star and be produced by Adam Sandler.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Facebook has apologized for a policy that drew criticism from LGBT groups after it led to the deactivation of dozens of accounts belonging to drag queens. While the policy itself will stay in place, Facebook says, it will be changing how the rule is enforced.

Vermont is known for its green pastures, farmsteads and roads free of billboards. The founders of the new social network Ello live in the state, and they want to bring Vermont-like serenity to the Internet.

"We set out to prove that a social network will survive and thrive that doesn't have a business model of selling ads to its users," says CEO and co-founder Paul Budnitz.

A big breakup is happening in the business world. Online retailing giant eBay is splitting up with its payments operation, PayPal, sometime in 2015. The move comes at a prime opportunity for PayPal, as the future of online payments is still being charted.

When PayPal first came on the scene in the late 1990s, it simplified making online purchases in a way that users adopted, fast.

The walls are lined with robots and movie posters for Star Wars and Back to the Future. But this is no 1980s nerd den. It's the technology lab at Westside Neighborhood School in Los Angeles, and the domain of its ed-tech coordinator, Don Fitz-Roy.

"So we're gonna be talking about digital citizenship today."

Nicholas Carr's books are the nagging, tech-wary conscience of the digital age. In The Shallows, he warned that surfing the Internet is destroying our attention span.

Now in his new book, The Glass Cage, Carr warns us that computers are making more and more decisions for us, and we risk forgetting how to make those decisions ourselves.

As throngs of pro-democracy protesters continue to organize in Hong Kong's central business district, many of them are messaging one another through a network that doesn't require cell towers or Wi-Fi nodes. They're using an app called FireChat that launched in March and is underpinned by mesh networking, which lets phones unite to form a temporary Internet.

Years ago, Lil Miss Hot Mess created a Facebook profile.

"The way that I move through the world as a drag queen is different than how I move through the world every day," she says. With her stage name, she has a different social circle, a different way of being online.

Her page was shut down early last week, and she wasn't the only one whose account was deactivated. Facebook also closed the pages of other queens after they were reported for not using their "real" names on Facebook.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's time for your weekly look back at the tech headlines from NPR and beyond. Let's get to it ...

Hundreds of millions of computers and networks are at risk after a bug called Shellshock was found this week. It turns out it's actually been around for a while — it took 22 years to discover this bug. If exploited by hackers, the impact could be huge.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You wake up feeling gross – stuffy and full of aches. A quick Google search of your symptoms confirms that yes, you probably have a cold and not the plague. But what if you were directed to a site that had a legitimate sounding name but wasn't really accurate at all?

It sounds like a problem from the ancient days of the Internet. Since then people have learned that .gov leads to bona fide government sites, but .com could be anyone selling you anything.

Hollywood is getting the green light to fly its own drones.

The Federal Aviation Administration is giving approval to six movie and TV production companies to use drones for filming. And the move could pave the way for the unmanned aircraft systems to be used in other commercial ventures.

The FAA will permit the six companies to use remote-controlled drones to shoot movies and video for TV shows and commercials, but there will be certain limitations.

For the past several weeks, the video game industry has been embroiled in a heated, sometimes ugly, debate, under the hashtag #Gamergate.

It's a debate about a lot of things and it involves a lot of people, but at its heart, #Gamergate is about two key things: ethics in video game journalism, and the role and treatment of women in the video game industry — an industry that has long been dominated by men.

The consumer technology industry generally follows a few rules when it comes to developing new products: faster, thinner and (often) bigger. But the push toward increasingly svelte devices has a clear end point: No device can become thinner forever before running into the obvious challenges posed by physics and daily use.

Judaism, like most religions, operates in the moral and ethical choices that happen every single day, but there are also times set aside for really digging deep, like the Days of Awe, a 10-day period that begins at sunset Wednesday. Sunset also marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

"It's a kind of spiritual taking of stock, both regarding what we've done in the past and how we're going to proceed in the future," says Lawrence Schiffman, who teaches Judaic studies at New York University.

Traffic in Nairobi is so mind-numbing it makes Los Angeles' Interstate 5 look like the Autobahn. Motorcycles squeeze between cars and trucks that practically park on major boulevards and highways. Street peddlers walk to and fro selling newspapers, flowers, air fresheners and children's toys to captive audiences. Roundabouts become cartoonishly clogged.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's 10:10. Do You Know What Time That Is?

Sep 22, 2014

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's been about two weeks since Apple announced it was entering the watch industry. CEO Tim Cook slyly unveiled the new Apple Watch.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

TIM COOK: We have one more thing.

(APPLAUSE)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

There are many things Uber customers love about the service; confusion surrounding the navigation process is not one of them.

Following complaints that Uber drivers didn't know the best routes to customers' destination, the company rolled out a new in-app navigation feature. It allows customers to plug in their destination before entering the car and provides turn-by-turn directions to drivers once the trip begins.

In San Diego, A Boot Camp For Data Junkies

Sep 20, 2014

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

It was a big Friday for Alibaba, which opened trading on the New York Stock Exchange at the wildly high $92.70 per share. But that wasn't the only tech news this week, so let's get to our roundup.

Yahoo has made a number of bad bets in its up-and-down history. But the decision to buy a $1 billion stake in the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba was hands down a winner.

Alibaba's successful IPO — its stock shot up 38 percent on the first day of trading Friday — will give Yahoo around $8 billion in return. But it was a masterful move, almost a decade ago, that made this mega-payday possible.

Yahoo Was A Pawn

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Earlier this week NASA announced that two private companies will build spaceships to take astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA hopes that both models will eventually be used by space tourists to get into orbit. Which got us wondering, which one would we rather fly in?

OK, I sort of made it to Broadway. It's WNYC's Greene Space in SoHo, the New York City neighborhood.

Friday is date night. But even if you are flying solo, come join us in person, or on Twitter.

We have a terrific lineup of some of the most exciting playwrights working today to talk about Broadway.

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