Reflecting on Robert Gates; Net Neutrality; Safer Streets; Bitcoin Rush

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Vice President Joe Biden, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen during the United States Forces-Iraq change of command ceremony in Iraq (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty)

Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was on the show yesterday, and talked about Hillary Clinton, the war in Iraq, the NSA and criticizing a sitting president. New York Times Chief Washington Correspondent David Sanger analyzes Gates' sometimes surprising opinions. Then: the significance of this week’s net neutrality decision. Plus: reducing the number of pedestrian traffic deaths; the problems with the Spanish-language version of the Obamacare website, and the rush to mine bitcoins.  

Reflecting on Robert Gates' (Sometimes Surprising) Views

Robert Gates is talking about his new book everywhere. But on yesterday's show, he said a few surprising things that deserve follow-up. David Sanger, New York Times national security correspondent and author of Confront and Conceal, discusses some of Gates's comments - on everything from Hillary Clinton to the war in Iraq, deals in Iran, criticizing a sitting president, and the NSA.

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The Net Neutrality "Nightmare"

John Herrman, Buzzfeed tech reporter, explains just how significant this week's net neutrality ruling was, and what open web advocates plan next.

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Can We Really Stop All Traffic Deaths?

Lindsey Ganson, chief operating officer for Transportation Alternatives, co-author of the 2011 report "VISION ZERO: How Safer Streets in New York City Can Save More Than 100 Lives a Year"(PDF), talks about Mayor de Blasio's new working group to reduce the number of traffic fatalities in NYC to zero.


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How Do You Say "Co-Pay" in Spanish?

Is poor translation under-serving Spanish-language speakers and recent immigrants? Dr. Jane Delgado, President of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, says that the controversy over poor translation is masking bigger concerns about the lack of features on the site. At the moment, doesn't have a feature to shop for different plans in the same way the English site does. Delgado also says a big challenge is finding ways to best represent the "language of healthcare" to non-English speakers.

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The Bitcoin Boom and Bust

Can you explain what a bitcoin is? Our guest can. Ashlee Vance, technology writer for Bloomberg Businessweek, explains the current bitcoin craze: if it's possible to make money, where to spend bitcoins, the companies that have sprung up to service the virtual currency, and why the value fluctuates so wildly.

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