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Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Peering Into Space.

About Jedidah Isler's TED Talk

Scientists believe at the center of every galaxy is a supermassive black hole. Jedidah Isler describes how gamma ray telescopes have expanded our knowledge of this mysterious aspect of space.

About Jedidah Isler

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Peering Deeper Into Space.

About Natasha Hurley-Walker's TED Talk

Natasha Hurley-Walker explains how a new radio telescope helps us "see" without light. She says these telescopes can tell us about millions of galaxies — and maybe even the beginning of time.

About Natasha Hurley-Walker

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Peering Deeper Into Space.

About Sara Seager's TED Talk

In our galaxy alone, there are hundreds of billions of planets. And Sara Seager is looking for the perfect one, a "Goldilocks" planet — neither too hot nor too cold — that could support life.

About Sara Seager

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Peering Deeper Into Space.

About Allan Adams's TED Talk

In 2015, scientists first detected gravitational waves - ripples in space caused by massive disturbances. Allan Adams says this discovery helps answer some of our biggest questions about the universe.

About Allan Adams

A lick of cold, creamy gelato isn't just magic. It's mathematics.

"You have to respect the range," emphasizes Gianpaolo Valli, a senior instructor at Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy, who has spent decades drilling aspiring gelato chefs on the right ratio of solids to water in any given recipe. (FYI: Solids need to be between 32 and 46 percent.) If your numbers are off, you're likely to end up with a disaster instead of a dessert.

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Twitter says it has turned a profit for the first time last quarter, sending its shares surging. As of mid-morning Thursday its shares were up nearly 23 percent.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sounded an alarm this week: The Russians are already meddling in the 2018 midterm elections.

"The point is that if their intention is to interfere, they're going to find ways to do that," Tillerson told Fox News. "I think it's important we just continue to say to Russia, look, you think we don't see what you're doing. We do see it, and you need to stop."

As complicated as it as to launch and operate a telescope in space, it's almost as complex to move a space telescope around here on Earth.

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

A founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, John Perry Barlow, has died at the age of 70, according to a statement issued by the Foundation.

Roku devices and Samsung smart TVs have easy-to-exploit security vulnerabilities, according to testing carried out by Consumer Reports.

"We found that a relatively unsophisticated hacker could change channels, play offensive content, or crank up the volume," the magazine says. "This could be done over the web, from thousands of miles away."

On Tuesday, Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched its most ambitious rocket to date, the Falcon Heavy.

This is a transformative spacecraft, a behemoth that essentially straps three Falcon 9 rocket cores together. At 224-feet tall, it's smaller than NASA's giant Saturn V (363 feet) — but it is the largest privately built spacecraft to date. The Falcon Heavy is capable of lifting 70 tons of payload to low-Earth orbit and almost 30 tons to a geostationary transfer orbit.

The National Transportation Safety Board reported Tuesday that engineers falling asleep at the controls led to two recent New York City-area commuter train crashes that killed one person and injured more than 200 others. The investigative agency has sharply criticized the Trump administration for scrapping a proposed regulation aimed at preventing such fatigue-related events.

Best Buy has told music suppliers that it will pull all CDs from its stores this summer, according to a report from Billboard. This move should come as no big surprise: Between unlimited streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, and the ongoing vinyl revival, CDs just don't have the sway that they used to.

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Updated 2:38 p.m. ET

As people along the East Coast, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean were preparing for their day around 8:30 a.m. ET, a smartphone push notification warned of a possible tsunami.

The threat, as it turned out, was nonexistent, though there is some disagreement over who is at fault for the erroneous message.

The National Weather Service tells NPR that it was a "test message" released by at least one private company as an official warning. In a statement, spokesperson Susan Buchanan said:

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Parents today struggle to set screen time guidelines.

One big reason is a lack of role models. Grandma doesn't have any tried-and-true sayings about iPad time. This stuff is just too new.

But many experts on kids and media are also parents themselves. So when I was interviewing dozens of them for my book The Art of Screen Time, I asked them how they made screen time rules at home.

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NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce is in our studios. And, Nell, would you remind us the story of Elon Musk?

NELL GREENFIELDBOYCE, BYLINE: Elon Musk is a sort of showman/entrepreneur/rocket guy, electric car company guy.

Researchers have found a link between today's eight-legged spiders and an ancient group of arachnids that also possessed tails, according to two studies published in the latest issue of Nature Ecology & Evolution.

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The Winter Olympics in South Korea will be a chance for the country to show off its newest robot creations. NPR's Elise Hu reports that the peek into the future starts as soon as you land at the airport.

There's a battle brewing in a San Francisco courtroom over the future of self-driving vehicles. It involves two of the biggest names in Silicon Valley — Uber, and Google's subsidiary Waymo.

Opening arguments began Monday. At issue is whether Uber stole valuable intellectual property when it hired Waymo's star engineer, Anthony Levandowski.

One of the world's leading investigators into the ivory trade, Esmond Bradley Martin, was found stabbed to death at his home in Kenya on Sunday, The Associated Press reports.

Nicolas Kamwende, head of criminal investigations in Nairobi, told the AP that a family member had gone to check on Bradley Martin after he failed to respond to phone calls, and found his body on a bed with stab wounds to the neck.

Bradley Martin's innovative work as a conservationist and investigator made him one of the global authorities on elephant and rhino poaching.

The world of artificial intelligence has exploded in recent years. Computers armed with AI do everything from drive cars to pick movies you'll probably like. Some have warned we're putting too much trust in computers that appear to do wondrous things.

But what exactly do people mean when they talk about artificial intelligence?

A rocket more powerful than any other flying today is scheduled to blast off Tuesday for the first time, if all goes well.

Look up from this screen right now. Take a look around. On a bus. In a cafe. Even at a stoplight. Chances are, most of the other people in your line of sight are staring at their phones or other devices. And if they don't happen to have one out, it is certainly tucked away in a pocket or bag.

But are we truly addicted to technology? And what about our kids? It's a scary question, and a big one for scientists right now. Still, while the debate rages on, some doctors and technologists are focusing on solutions.

The Trump administration has reversed a key policy for protecting migrating birds. Officials say a century-old federal law is outdated and poses a burden for utilities and energy companies.

Editor's note: An unedited Web version of this story that had been inadvertently published has been removed.

Just How Real Is Virtual Reality?

Feb 4, 2018

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Virtual reality hasn't become a reality for most of us yet. So if you want to know how real virtual reality feels, listen as this young girl balances on a virtual plank and then steps off.