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New Tech City

Putting heart and the human experience into tech coverage, WNYC's New Tech City with Manoush Zomorodi investigates what all the data, constant connectivity, and perpetual "upgrades" really mean for daily life. Follow @newtechcity and subscribe to the podcast for stories of discovery on how the digital age is altering our brains, relationships, and values. 

On The Media

Scholars Ask For Facebook's "Emotional Contagion" Study to Be Withdrawn

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Last month, Facebook announced that it had conducted an experiment in which it purposely showed a group of users only negative posts from their friends' news feeds. The premise was to test what the academics behind the research of "emotional contagion," the notion that moods can spread across networks. Well, everyone was annoyed at being manipulated, and the lead researcher in the study has apologized. The Electronic Privacy Information Center has asked for an investigation from the FTC, saying Facebook was duplicitous, manipulative, and failed to inform users of the experiment. Now, Maryland Law Professor (and friend of TLDR) James Grimmelmann, along with colleague Leslie Meltzer Henry and the faculty of the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University have asked the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences to retract the Facebook study.

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On The Media

TLDR #8 - THE PACE PICANTE SALSA ROBOT HAS GONE HAYWIRE

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This is a repeat of TLDR #8. This episode contains some explicit language.

This week, we investigate one of the few internet hoaxes we actually deeply enjoyed being fooled by -- about a social media bot for Pace Picante Salsa going insane and inadvertently revealing an entire world of corporate conspiracy. We talk to the comedian behind the hoax, Randy Liedtke, who has his own very funny podcast called The Bone Zone.

 

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Microsoft Will Cut As Many As 18,000 Jobs

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A large layoff is under way at Microsoft, as the technology company says it will cut 13,000 jobs in the next six months. All but 500 of those layoffs are related to the Nokia phone division.

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Morning Edition

Google Experiments With Mapping Climate Change

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Google and the Environmental Defense Fund have teamed up to detect methane leaks in a few U.S. cities. The leaks don't usually pose an immediate threat, but they do contribute to climate change.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

When Rights Collide

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The rhetoric about immigration is heating up in Washington as lawmakers debate what to do about the 57,000 minors who have crossed the border since October. But we want to hear from you: What should should we do about this recent border crisis? Plus: Discussing the potential fallout after the Brooklyn DA's recent announcement that he'll stop prosecuting low-level marijuana offenses, grading Mayor de Blasio on housing and development after six months, and the co-founder and President of Lyft discusses the contested legality of his ride-sharing app.

Freakonomics Radio

Why You Should Bribe Your Kids

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Educational messaging looks good on paper but kids don’t respond to it -- and adults aren’t much better.

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All Things Considered

Visa Makes Big Move To Boost Consumer Spending Online

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ever try shopping on your smartphone and decide you don't want to put in your credit card number? Visa says it's a big problem and came up with a tool that combines improved security and convenience.

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How Much Time Do You Spend On Your Smartphone? Let's See

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This week's innovation pick: a mobile app that's designed to quantify your iPhone usage. It keeps tabs on how much you're using your phone and updates you throughout the day.

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Don't Fire The Comcast Guy, Says Caller Who Tried To Cancel

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The man whose frustrating call to Comcast went viral says the customer service rep should not be fired. Ryan Block says the problem he encountered is far more systemic than one person.

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On The Media

Google Plus Dropped Its Real Name Policy

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Three years after launch, Google Plus users can use (almost) whatever fake name they want.

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Studio 360

David Mitchell's Creepy Short Story on Twitter

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fans of David Mitchell rejoice: the Cloud Atlas author is publishing a short story inspired by his forthcoming novel The Bone Clocks right now. On Twitter.

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The Takeaway

Scientists Invent the World's Darkest Material

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Batman, Coco Chanel, and Johnny Cash all had a thing for classic black. But a new material is so strikingly dark, it makes these icons look like they're wearing faded gray. Vantablack is a color the human eye has never seen before.

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The Takeaway

A British Spy Agency is Manipulating the Internet

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

From changing the outcome of online polls to artificially increasing website traffic, GCHQ has been blurring the line between online surveillance and state propaganda, according to new documents from NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

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The Takeaway

White House Introduces New Climate Measures

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The White House will announce a new round of initiatives to address natural disasters that are often caused by climate changeeverything from coastal flooding to storm surges to protecting areas prone to landslides and regions that experience rough drought conditions.

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On The Media

Online Agitprop! Everyone's Doing It!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On the most recent TLDR, I spoke to Max Seddon, foreign correspondent for Buzzfeed, about some recently unearthed documents that show a massive online pro-Russia propaganda effort with ties to The Kremlin

In that interview, Max made it clear that Russia is far from the only government that does this sort of opinion influencing, citing an AP report from a couple months ago about US efforts to sway public opinion in Cuba by creating its own "fake twitter." from the interview:

USAID set up an entire fake social network for cuban people to get around all the internet filters to Cuba that was meant to create some sort of thing that they could use to influence popular opinion in Cuba, which is closed off to the US, and it's very difficult to do well. because On the internet, people are smart, it's very easy to compare things, and use multiple sources of information and come to the right conclusions. They can tell when something is fake.

On Monday, Glenn Greenwald's The Intercept produced another example of this governmental internet meddling, this time from Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). 

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WNYC News

Google Searching for Gas Leaks on Staten Island

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WNYC

In an experiment aimed at combating climate change, Google's 3-D camera cars have been outfitted with methane sensors. Their maps of gas leaks on Staten Island could be a tool in reducing pollution.

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The Takeaway

Today's Takeaways: Manipulating The Internet, The Darkest Material Known to Man, and A Dystopian Future

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

1. A British Spy Agency is Manipulating the Internet | 2. White House Introduces New Climate Measures | 3. Scientists Invent the World's Darkest Material | 4. The Takeaway Book Club: 'Sleep Donation'

New Tech City

Treating Bipolar with a Microphone

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Amber Smith is bipolar. Her mood swings are dangerous. But she's testing new technology that could spot trouble early by detecting patterns in the sound of her voice.

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Morning Edition

FCC Extending Net Neutrality Commenting Time After Site Buckles

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Heavy traffic to the FCC's commenting site crashed it on Tuesday. That was the original deadline for the public to weigh in on a controversial Internet proposal. You now have until Friday to comment.

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Apple Teams Up With Former Rival IBM On Business Apps

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The companies announced a deal Tuesday to sell Apple devices loaded with IBM software to big businesses all over the world

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