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When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled on Capitol Hill last month, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked him whether his company faces any real competition: "If I buy a Ford, and it doesn't work well, and I don't like it, I can buy a Chevy. If I'm upset with Facebook, what's the equivalent product that I can go sign up for?"

In a big grass pasture in the shadow of Mount Rainier in Washington state, hundreds of chickens crowd around a little house where they can get water and shelter from the bald eagles circling overhead. This is the original location of Wilcox Family Farms, an egg farm that also has locations in Oregon and Montana.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Apple is preparing to release quarterly earnings, and Wall Street is a bit nervous. NPR's Laura Sydell reports that Apple's costly and much-hyped iPhone X apparently isn't selling as expected.

Ellen Stofan saw her first rocket launch when she was 4 years old. Now, more than 50 years later, she's director of the National Air and Space Museum — the first woman to hold the position.

Stofan, a former chief scientist at NASA, comes to the position with more than 25 years of field experience. But before all that, she was just a kid who fell in love with science — specifically, with rocks.

President Trump has a heaping plate of foreign policy background to consume in May, which will see a possible summit with the leader of North Korea, a deadline to decide on restoring Iranian sanctions, and the move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In the past, most presidents have leaned on the intelligence community for guidance and context — but Trump has made plain his differences with the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

"Alexa, why is Pluto so awesome?"
"Alexa, what is seven plus three?"
"Alexa, who is Harry Potter?"
"Alexa, I'm bored."
"Alexa, where do babies come from?"*

Families who have an artificially intelligent "smart speaker" at home like Amazon's Echo may be used to kids saying stuff like this. And Amazon (which is a financial supporter of NPR) has just announced that Alexa's going to get better at answering them.

(*Except that last one. Alexa's reply: "People make people, but how they're made would be a better question for a grownup.")

How do we find a real connection in a digital world?

In Mary H.K. Choi's debut novel, Emergency Contact, Penny and Sam strike up a text-based romance, and soon become take-your-phone-to-the-bathroom inseparable. But for different reasons, they have trouble making it real.

Last week, a van plowed into a busy Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people in what appeared to be a deliberate act.

The suspect in the attack, Alek Minassian, was quickly linked to an online community of trolls and violent misogynists who call themselves "incels" — a term that stands for "involuntarily celibate."

A passenger from the Southwest Airlines flight on which an engine part exploded has sued the carrier.

Lilia Chavez, a California native, boarded a flight on April 17 at New York's LaGuardia Airport that was bound for Dallas. Twenty minutes later and at an altitude of 32,000 feet, the oxygen masks fell.

At any given moment, volunteers and paid workers are writing fictional narratives that they present online as news stories, and some of those will get picked up and shared — perhaps thousands of times — on social media.

Hoaxes are presented as fact, conspiracy theories are offered as truth, and some of them may even end up on Wikipedia, one of the most-visited sites online.

After you read this sentence, pause for a moment to think back on advertisements you first heard when you were a child.

Perhaps you recall a favorite jingle or the catchphrase of a cereal mascot. You probably can remember more than just one.

On this week's Hidden Brain radio show, we look at the shelf life of commercials. According to University of Arizona researcher Merrie Brucks, an ad we watched when we were five years old can influence our buying behavior when we're fifty.

The shot is stunning at first glance. In the top half of the frame, stars hang like a spangled canopy above the vast grasslands, which would be desolate if not for the tall termite mound in the foreground. The hill glows with the bioluminescence of click beetle larvae, their fluorescent speckle looking for all the world like the stars' mirror.

A critical part of NASA's next $2 billion rover mission to Mars broke during testing earlier this month.

The Mars 2020 mission's heat shield was undergoing stress-testing when it developed a crack that appeared around its entire circumference. The shield is designed to protect the rover as it enters the Martian atmosphere.

Amazon demolished Wall Street's profit expectations for its first quarter, thanks to a boom in online sales and huge demand for its cloud services.

NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports for our Newscast unit that the retail giant's profits more than doubled from a year ago.

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