Molly Webster

Molly Webster appears in the following:

Cartography comes of age with digital cellphone applications

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Anybody who knows anything about Harry Potter has drooled over the Marauder's Map — a handy little tool that shows Harry, in real time, the location of every person at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (see below for details). Today, that fantastical map seems to be turning into reality: GPS applications on our cell phones, like Amigo Mapper, allow us to track our friends via their cell phones. But are there people, or companies, other than our friends who would be interested in knowing where we are? Yes, says John Markoff, technology reporter for the New York Times and author of an article on geographical cell phone technologies in today's Science Times. He joins The Takeaway to talk about the implications around the rise of GPS technologies in handheld devices.

For more, read John Markoff's article, The Cellphone, Navigating Our Lives in today's New York Times.

Comments [1]

Population growth throws energy conservation a curveball

Friday, February 06, 2009

Okay, okay, we heard you. You, our listeners, smartly pointed out that with all the energy efficient appliances in the world (and thousands of pounds of algae) future energy consumption will continue increasing because population is increasing. The Power Trip was shaking it's head — how could we forget to talk about this? Today, we'd like you to meet David Biello, an associate editor at Scientific American online who joins The Takeaway to talk to about population, energy, and why when one goes up, it's still possible for the other to come down. (Come on, you're as surprised as we are.)


Turning wild ideas into new energy technologies

Friday, February 06, 2009

Before every new technology there comes the moment of invention. Before there was ethanol, someone had to look at biomass and say, "There's energy in them thar leaves." For the last day of our Power Trip energy series, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla joins The Takeaway from the TED conference in Long Beach, California. Khosla, whose company risks millions of dollars every year to fund upstart energy technologies, ruminates on creating billion dollar industries out of wild ideas.

Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and philanthropist, addressed the crowd at this year's TED conference with his thoughts on saving the world with a new kind of philanthropy. It's long, but funny. Really.

Comments [1]

The Green Googleplex

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Just how power hungry is internet giant Google? The Takeaway's Power Trip heads to the Google campuses in Mountain View, California to find out. John Hockenberry sits down with Bill Weihl, the company's green energy czar (that's his title, no joke). On the interview agenda: the company's top picks for which alt-energy sources will rule the future clean energy economy, including solar with a twist. Plus, Weihl talks about the need for government energy subsidies, and why the company still ain't talking about the power consumed by a Google search


Comments [1]

Energy's Little Black Box

Thursday, February 05, 2009

If you knew where all the energy zooming into your house was being used and wasted, would you change the way you consume power? One company is banking on it. Our Power Trip heads to Redwood City, California to talk to Joe Polastre, CTO and co-founder of Sentilla. The company has invented an unassuming rectangular box that tracks —dollar by dollar, watt by watt—how much energy the appliances in your home are using. Clothes dryers and air conditioners beware: your energy guzzling ways are secrets no more.

Comments [2]

Reconditioning the air conditioner (sounds hot, right?)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Energy experts have a theory: It won't be a fancy new technology straight out of a science fiction novel that will help us reduce our energy consumption. Rather it will be something simple, sleek, a mere re-design if you will. The concept that will slow down how much energy we eat? Energy efficiency. Some energy efficient products are already out there—CFL lightbulbs and Energy Star refrigerators. Others are in the pipeline. As part of The Takeaway's Power Trip energy series, John Hockenberry heads to Novato, California, where some wacky guys are using the human lung to create better air conditioners.


Turning polluted water into liquid gold

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

When most people stumble across a polluted pond, they would sigh over the fate of our beloved planet and maybe quote some Thoreau. Fortunately, there are some very crafty individuals out there who see a polluted pond and devise a way to both clean up the pond and create a renewable energy source. As part of our Power Trip we go visit an algae company in Washington State where green goo in dirty water is being turned into biofuel.

Want to see the algae start-up in action? Watch the video. For more stories from our Power Trip, click here!


With energy, where do we go from here?

Monday, February 02, 2009

President Barack Obama has pledged to reduce our carbon emissions by 80 percent come 2050, and that means saying goodbye to carbon-spewing coal and oil plants. But we can't wave a magic, rhetoric wand to change from black energy to green. So how do we move forward in establishing a new, clean power economy? To launch our Power Trip energy series, The Takeaway is joined by Garry Golden, a futurist and energy blogger who lays out the yellow brick road toward green energy.

Listen to more from Garry Golden in The Takeaway's Power Trip series:
More on the future of energy from Garry Golden and Introducing the new energy economy.

Comments [12]

The Next Y2K? Switching from analog to digital TV

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Last night, the Senate voted to delay the nationwide transition from analog to digital television, opting to push it back from February 17th until June 12th. But reporter Tekla Perry says timing is not the issue: technology is. Perry, a senior editor at the trade publication "IEEE Spectrum," explains that it'll take millions of Americans more than a delay, a government coupon, and $40 box to give their TV a digital upgrade. She joins the show to offer advice on how to make the transition without missing Sweeps week.

For more, read IEEE Spectrum's blog posts Will A Delayed Analog TV Shutdown Fix the Transition? Not Likely and CES 2009: Analog TV Shutdown: Get on with it already!

Comments [2]

Kids of the crack generation

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The 1980s were an era of heavy rock and hard drugs. The drug of choice? Cocaine. At the time, public health experts predicted a coming generation of "crack babies" — a wave of children who were mentally and physically disabled after having been exposed to crack in the womb. But scientists are finding that despite the rampant drug use, the predicted generation of children never appeared. We are joined by Susan Okie, a New York Times reporter, who has been reporting on this story.

Read Susan Okie's article, The Epidemic That Wasn't in today's New York Times.


What?! Teleportation does exist?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Scientists have teleported information between two atoms. All it took was zapping them for a few picseconds with laser pulses while they were trapped in a vacuum that was surrounded by metal electrodes and an invisible cage of electromagnetic fields. Sound wacky? Well, it is quantum mechanics. Before you start singing, "Beam me up, Scotty," listen to The Takeaway's favorite physicist Brian Greene talk teleportation.


America's Briefing Book: Redesigning the FDA

Friday, January 16, 2009

Scandals like Avandia in 2007 and the recent recall of generic drugs from India have some people wondering if the Food and Drug Administration has been sampling too many free pharmaceuticals. This week in the journal Nature, Dr. Steven Nissen writes about the problems with the FDA, most notably, its "culture of secrecy." He joins us to discuss how the new Obama administration might shake things up a little.

Click here for more selections from America's Briefing Book.


Happy birthday to the Mars rovers!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

When the Mars rovers were deployed to the red planet in 2003, they were only expected to last three months. But here we are, five years later celebrating Spirit and Opportunity's anniversary. During their adventure, what have the Rovers discovered? How much longer can we expect Spirit and Opportunity to be with us? Ray Arvidson, Deputy Principal Investigator on the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, joins us as we look back at the last five years and forward into the next.


Macworld opens without Steve Jobs

Monday, January 05, 2009

If you know anything about Macintosh computers, you know that the annual Macworld trade show that kicks off today in San Francisco is one of the biggest events for the Apple community. But in December, Apple stunned its followers when it announced that Apple CEO Steve Jobs would not giving his traditional keynote speech. Not only that, Apple announced that after 2009, they will no longer be part of the expo. Questions abound: Why is Apple going AWOL? And is Jobs sick, again? WIRED magazine journalist Steven Levy joins The Takeaway from Macworld to discuss.

Steve Jobs' 2008 keynote address in 60 seconds

Comments [1]

The science behind keeping (and breaking) New Year's resolutions

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Gained five pounds when you wanted to lose ten? Started smoking again after swearing you wouldn't? Not eat vegetables at every meal? Forget to not watch television? Who hasn’t had a New Year's resolution fail? The Takeaway’s science contributor Jonah Lehrer joins the show to tell us why our brain actually prevents us from changing everything at once.

Want more Jonah Lehrer? Read his book Proust Was a Neuroscientist. Guaranteed to make you smarter!


New report analyzes the Columbia space shuttle wreck

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In 2003, the Columbia space shuttle disintegrated in the skies above Texas. All seven astronauts were lost. A 400-page NASA report released yesterday investigates the equipment failures during the final moments aboard the shuttle. New York Times science journalist John Schwartz joins The Takeaway to discuss.

For more John Schwartz, read his article in today's New York Times. He also has an article covering the future of NASA.


Personalized medicine may help drugs work better

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Most pharmaceutical drugs only work for about half the people who take them. Why? Because our DNA can inhibit them from functioning in our bodies. But personalized medicine -- in which each person's individual genes are matched with appropriate pharmaceuticals -- might offer a solution. Joining The Takeaway to explain more is Andrew Pollack, a reporter for the New York Times and author of today's front page story on the topic.

For more on this fascinating subject, read Andrew Pollack's article.


The science of gift giving

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Feeling a little sheepish because you got your sister socks, and she got you a new purple iPod? Evolution can be blamed for the guilt — if not your poor taste in gifts. Jonah Lehrer, author of "Proust Was a Neuroscientist," gives us the dirt on why we feel the need to give as much as we receive.

Comments [1]

What President-elect Obama needs to know about water

Monday, December 22, 2008

With a fixed amount of water on earth, a growing population means the competition for water is increasing.

Comments [1]

The DSM gets a makeover

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Psychiatry's number one diagnostic manual is being re-written -- and it's making everyone crazy. Gender identification disorder may be in, while sleepwalking disorder is on the outs. By 2012, the American Psychiatric Association hopes to have published a new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) -- the diagnostic manual used to determine if a patient has a mental disorder. Proposed changes are already being challenged by patients, insurance companies, and the pharmaceutical industry. The New York Times science journalist Benedict Carey explains.

For more information, read Benedict Carey's article in today's New York Times.