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In its first-ever transparency report, Uber has revealed that it has given federal and local U.S. agencies information on more than 12 million riders and drivers between July and December 2015.

This kind of report is not uncommon in the tech industry, but this particular one does something extra: It uses the report to take regulators to task for what Uber sees as excessive data sharing, making a case that it frequently tries to narrow the scope of requested information.

Emojis were supposed to be the great equalizer: a language all its own capable of transcending borders and cultural differences.

Not so fast, say a group of researchers who found that different people had vastly different interpretations of some popular emojis. The researchers published their findings for GroupLens, a research lab based out of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The head of the IRS has some not-so-encouraging words for taxpayers. Fraudulent returns continue to plague the agency and are causing problems for hundreds of thousands of Americans. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

It sounds like a joke. A goat walked into a Starbucks ...

But it's true.

It happened a couple of days ago in Rohnert Park, Calif., when a goat whose name is Millie somehow got away from her home and ambled over to the nearby strip mall. Employees dangled a banana in front of the goat in the hope of apprehending her, but she preferred to chew on a cardboard box. Police officers took the ruminant to an animal shelter, where her owner reportedly reclaimed her.

Physicist Stephen Hawking and billionaire Yuri Milner have a vision of interstellar exploration — taking place over the course of not thousands of years, but decades.

Together with a team of scientists, they suggest that within a generation, humans could send a probe to Alpha Centauri — more than 4.3 light-years away, or 25 trillion miles — on a trip that would take just over two decades. That's 1,000 times faster than the current fastest spacecraft, the scientists say.

They're thinking big — by thinking very small.

A leading brand of home and garden pest-control products says it will stop using a class of pesticides linked to the decline of bees.

Ortho, part of the Miracle-Gro family, says the decision to drop the use of the chemicals — called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short — comes after considering the range of possible threats to bees and other pollinators.

"While agencies in the U.S. are still evaluating the overall impact of neonics on pollinator populations, it's time for Ortho to move on," says Tim Martin, the general manager of the Ortho Brand.

Updated at 11:52 a.m. ET with a response from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Inventors and entrepreneurs have logged years of complaining about the patent system, and there are some good reasons. In 2015, patent litigation rose 13 percent from the previous year according to a study by Unified Patents, and two-thirds of those suits were brought by nonpracticing entities, or so-called "patent trolls."

A college student in New Jersey, tired of his crooked teeth, decided to fix them — all by himself, using a 3-D printer and other digital fabrication tools.

Amos Dudley is about to graduate from the New Jersey Institute of Technology with a degree in digital design. The 24-year-old is a self-described hard core geek with a passion for 3-D printing. So it was this technology he turned to when he decided he wanted to straighten his teeth.

The Internal Revenue Service says it's seeing a surge in phone scams. More than 5,000 victims have been duped out of $26.5 million since late 2013. It's hard to know what exactly con artists are thinking when they target their victims. But now, we know what they are saying.

Before we get started, keep this in mind: The IRS says it doesn't call about outstanding taxes without first mailing you a bill.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And now we turn from the lab to a lone inventor. In New Jersey, a college student decided that he was tired of his crooked teeth. So he fixed them all by himself using a 3-D printer and some other digital fabrication tools. Jon Kalish reports.

Artificial limbs have come a long way since the days of peg legs and hooks for hands. But one thing most of these prosthetics lack is a sense of touch.

Zhenan Bao intends to change that.

Days after they declared a spacecraft emergency over the Kepler space telescope, NASA engineers say the craft has now recovered and that they're working to figure out what happened.

Kepler, which is currently nearly 75 million miles away from Earth, placed itself into Emergency Mode sometime in the middle of last week. But it wasn't until a scheduled contact on Thursday that mission engineers discovered the problem. That led NASA to declare a wider emergency, giving the mission priority access to communications through its Deep Space Network.

The number of tigers in the wild has risen from an estimated 3,200 in 2010 to about 3,890 in 2016 — a gain of more than 20 percent after a century of decline, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The group says the tiger populations have grown in at least four countries: India, Russia, Nepal and Bhutan.

Wearing a Fitbit?

If so, you already know that electronic fitness trackers can let you keep records on your smartphone of how many steps you've walked, how much you've slept, maybe your heart rate, or even where you've been.

But what can the gadget tell your doctor? A few things that are pretty useful, it turns out.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It takes a village to move a dog.

In the past seven years, my family and I have moved to three continents: from Maryland to the Kenyan highlands in Nairobi then on to Kathmandu in Nepal's Himalayas and, most recently, to Ankara in Turkey's central Anatolian steppe. We've repeatedly packed our worldly belongings in a 40-foot-long container and then said goodbye for months as they've traveled by sea via multiple ports and then overland by truck to our next destination.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

YouTube Star Revives Traditional Alaskan Culture

Apr 9, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On a small Israeli military base at Nahal Oz, next to the Gaza border, there's a windowless room where soldiers peer 24 hours a day at video screens. They're watching live footage from cameras monitoring the Gaza Strip, controlled by the militant group Hamas.

Soldiers see a lot – a damaged home getting slowly repaired after the 2014 war, donkeys guided by farmers, suspected Hamas militants on motorcycles. But they can't see underground, where tunnels beneath the border may pose the biggest threat to Israel here.

Residents in Altamonte Springs, just outside of Orlando, have a new public transportation option — Uber.

The city will be the first in the country to partially subsidize Uber fares. The city will cover 20 percent of any ride beginning or ending in Altamonte Springs — 25 percent for rides to or from the local commuter rail station. An earlier plan to build an on-demand bus system fell through.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

SpaceX launched a resupply rocket to the International Space Station today. The Falcon 9 rocket is carrying thousands of pounds of cargo and an inflatable space module. What happened after the launch got people really excited.

Friday was a landmark day for the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It launched into space a resupply capsule bearing a new inflatable habitat for the International Space Station. Then the rocket's "first stage" returned to Earth for a sea landing — without exploding.

FBI Director James Comey gave a speech this week about encryption and privacy, repeating his argument that "absolute privacy" hampers law enforcement. But it was an offhand remark during the Q&A session at Kenyon College that caught the attention of privacy activists:

The thought of the FBI chief taping over his webcam is an arresting one for many.

Although the FBI says it has successfully unlocked the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, a separate legal standoff between Apple and the government continues — in a drug case in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Virtual reality enthusiasts are drawing ire when they forget about actual reality. On public transit, in cafes and on sidewalks people wearing VR headsets are getting judged, hard.

High schools around the country are increasingly turning to external, for-profit providers for "online credit recovery." These courses, taken on a computer, offer students who have failed a course a second chance to earn credits they need for graduation, whether after school, in the summer or during the school year.

The KQED podcast Love in the Digital Age explores "how technology changes the way we experience love, friendship, intimacy and connection." The most recent episode focuses on two people — a Los Angeles radio host and his wife — who have drawn great strength from their online communities and social media as they face his diagnosis of terminal cancer. You can listen to the podcast here.

Sweden got its own phone number and invited the world to call.

Poaching and destruction of habitat have decimated wild tiger populations around the world, especially in Cambodia.

There are no longer any breeding tigers left in the wild in that country, and the species is considered "functionally extinct" there, according to the World Wildlife Foundation.

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