Laura Sydell

Laura Sydell appears in the following:

Hey Siri, What Did You Say? Why Computers Still Mispronounce Names

Monday, October 05, 2015

Computer voices sound perfect in sci-fi films, but in the real world computer voices such as those used for Siri, Cortana and Google Now don't seem to be able to say some words correctly.


Federal Judge Rules 'Happy Birthday' Is In The Public Domain

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled that "Happy Birthday" should be in the public domain. Piano arrangements were copyrighted in 1935, but they apparently don't cover the lyrics.


Apple TV, App Makers Try To Move Casual Gamers To Bigger Screen

Monday, September 21, 2015

In 2015, mobile games revenues are expected to hit more than $30 billion worldwide. Apple wants these casual gamers to play their mobile games on its streaming TV console.


In Loaded Launch Event, New Apple TV May Merit Closest Look

Thursday, September 10, 2015

While Apple's new phones and tablet mostly follow the faster-bigger-sharper formula, Apple TV's voice functionality and app ecosystem could be a breakthrough.


New Film Asks: Were Steve Jobs' Flaws Uploaded To His Machines?

Friday, September 04, 2015

Alex Gibney's documentary joins a growing list of Steve Jobs biopics and biographies. The director's thesis seems to be that Jobs' flawed character was infused into the machines he made.


How A Suit Against Uber Could Redefine The Sharing Economy

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

A federal judge has allowed some drivers to proceed with a class-action suit against the ride-hailing service. The case could affect other companies in the sharing economy such as Airbnb and Lyft.


Online Stars Feel Cheated As YouTube, Facebook Battle Over Videos

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Many popular videos on Facebook originated on YouTube, and YouTube stars say it means they're losing money. Facebook says it takes intellectual property rights seriously and is working on a solution.


DIY Tractor Repair Runs Afoul Of Copyright Law

Monday, August 17, 2015

Like a lot of machines, tractors are increasingly run by computer software that has proprietary locks. But if farmers break those locks to fix their John Deere, they are also breaking the law.


Cellphone Service Down For Thousands, But Regulators May Never Know Why

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

State officials say years of deregulation have made it nearly impossible for authorities to find out details from telecom companies.


After Wireless Outage, Some Wonder If Old Phone Networks At Fault

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

On Tuesday, the four major cell phone providers had an outage that effected tens of thousands. The cause is unclear, but experts say our wireless carriers still rely on aging phone infrastructure.


Politics Overshadows U.S. Tech Firms' Hopes For Entering Iran

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

With a young, well-educated population, Iran has the potential to be a boom market for tech. But sanctions and negative political implications for doing business there seem to limit prospects.


Twitter Faces Challenges As It tries To Balance Profitability, Popularity

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The social network Twitter is popular with users, but that's not enough. It also needs to be profitable, and by its 140-character nature that's a challenge.


Twitter Takes Down Unoriginal Jokes, But All Of Yours Are Probably Safe

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A freelance writer got the company to take down several unauthorized uses of her humor by what she says are robot accounts, but legal scholars say proving copyright on jokes is difficult.


Nintendo CEO Iwata: 'In My Heart I Am A Gamer'

Monday, July 13, 2015

Satoru Iwata, who helped Nintendo innovate and launch its revolutionary Wii game console, has died. His business card summed him up this way: "I run a game company, in my heart I am a gamer."


What's Next For Reddit?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Ellen Pao stepped down Friday amid criticism following the company's dismissal of a popular employee. The challenge ahead will be keeping Reddit an open and vital community — and a profitable one.


Apple Bets Big That You'll Start Paying To Stream Music

Monday, June 29, 2015

Millions listen to services like Spotify and Pandora, but relatively few of them subscribe. Why should they when there are so many free options? The new Apple Music will be free for only 3 months.


The Legendary Mr. Miyamoto, Father Of Mario And Donkey Kong

Friday, June 19, 2015

Super Mario Bros. turns 30 this year. NPR's Laura Sydell met up with the video game's famed creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, who was in Los Angeles this week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.


Gaming Industry Pushes Virtual Reality, But Content Lags

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Developers are showcasing immersive virtual reality games at the E3 expo. But aside from VR headsets and demos, there isn't much software available yet to take advantage of the new technology.


Apple's New Music Streaming Service Under Antitrust Scrutiny

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Investigators want to know if music companies are colluding with subscription services such as Apple Music to squeeze out free, ad-supported streaming.


Apple Jumps Into The Music Streaming Business

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The tech giant, whose iTunes store is the recording industry's largest retailer, finally unveiled its streaming service, which will cost $9.99 a month for unlimited access to music.