technology

Technology
6:34 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

'Holy Cow' And 'Kangaroo Court': Panel Grills HealthCare.gov Officials

Todd Park, U.S. chief technology officer, answers questions in a House Oversight Committee hearing about problems with the federal HealthCare.gov site. One Democrat on the committee called the hearing "a kangaroo court."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:46 pm

A House oversight hearing examining the troubled start of HealthCare.gov was contentious from the start Wednesday, as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sought to cut short the opening remarks of one of the first officials to speak, Frank Baitman, the deputy assistant secretary for Information Technology in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, asked Baitman to conclude his statement, noting that the panel's time was short. The interruption came as Baitman discussed the work of his agency to save taxpayers money.

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Technology
9:47 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Can Connecticut Retain Its Star Tech Companies?

Credit Harland Quarrington / Creative Commons

Connecticut has its share of tech giants, like Priceline.com and TicketNetwork. But it's increasingly up against stiff competition from other states to grow and retain technology companies. 

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Technology
10:58 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Tag Him, Track Him, Hug Him, Love Him

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 12:43 pm

In Dave Eggers' terrific new novel, The Circle, set at a California computer company, a cult of connection is slowly taking over the United States and spreading around the globe. An evolving cultural preference for constant sharing by way of computer and camera is turning any citizen's wish for privacy into a scorned, misanthropic secrecy.

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Where We Live
8:39 am
Thu November 7, 2013

The Excitement and Terror of Buying a Car

Credit aldenjewell, creative commons

Most of us have gone through the process of buying an automobile. It can be both exciting and excruciating. And sales are up to almost pre-recession levels. A boom caused by “more widely available credit, an increasingly aged fleet, and a host of new models.”

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Technology
4:12 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Twitter Looks To Its News Role In Upcoming IPO

Screenshot of Twitter feed.

Expectations are high this week as Twitter gets ready to go public.

The company raised its initial public offering price yesterday to $25 a share, up from $23. That would put the company’s value at around$13.6 billion — almost 12 times the value of its projected 2014 sales.

Twitter has 230 million users and not all of them are following Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber. A new Pew study shows 8 percent of Americans use Twitter to get news.

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Code or be Coded
1:59 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Bill Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg and Snoop Dogg Agree: Learn to Code

More and more sites are popping up that teach people how to code.
Ben Simo Creative Commons

It may not be enough anymore to just be tech-literate. There is a mainstream push to teach people, both kids and adults alike, to be code-literate. On an episode of Where We Live, there was a discussion with people who code, making the case for more code education.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:52 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Narrative in the Age of Distraction

Noah Rosenberg is the founder, CEO, and Editor-In-Chief of Narratively, a long-form journalism start-up in New York City.
Chion Wolf

Okay, this is sad. Like a lot of people, I have trouble achieving the deep focus needed to enjoy long fiction. And, like a lot of people, I have trouble finding time to read novels.

Recently, I came up with a solution. I go to the gym, get on a recumbent bike, and I read while I pedal for an hour, so yes,  I kill two birds with one Robert Stone.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:46 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Mystery Surprise Monday Theater 3000 (Ep. 2)

Credit epSos.de, Flickr Creative Commons.

This is one of our new Monday shows where right up to show time, I'm not 100% sure what we're talking about. I know for sure we'll discuss the time change you experienced over the weekend and the ever-swelling choir of voices suggesting that its harms outweigh its advantages, assuming there are any real advantages.

I'm also dying to discuss the attempt by Saturday Night Live to address on this weekend's episode another ever-swelling choir, the voices of people who say the show is not diverse enough. It's not, and the show pretty successfully made a joke out of that this weekend without really committing to doing anything about it. 

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Technology
10:40 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Google's Eric Schmidt Says Reports Of NSA Spying Are 'Outrageous'

Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt speaks at the Chinese University in Hong Kong on Monday.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 11:24 am

Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt says reports that the NSA circumvented the Internet giant's efforts to protect its users' data are "outrageous."

Schmidt made the comments in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

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WAMC News
10:26 am
Mon November 4, 2013

A Library With No Printed Books May Be In Springfield's Near Future

The Liberty Street Library, which was closed earlier this year, may become an all-digital library

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:51 pm

Officials in Springfield, Massachusetts are looking to create an entirely digital public library

   The director of the Springfield City Library is pursuing funding to use a recently closed branch library as a place where people could sit at computer terminals to access the internet and take out hand-held electronic reading devices on-loan loaded with downloaded books--but visitors would not find any paper copies of books. 

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Where We Live
10:04 am
Mon November 4, 2013

What Do You Mean, Coding?

Code education is being pushed by politicians, CEOs and basketball stars alike.
Credit Ben Simo / Creative Commons

Our schools teach a variety of foreign languages: Spanish, French, even Latin. But should we be focusing on the language of computer programming? Even NBA star Chris Bosh is asking everyone from young kids to the homeless to learn to code. Why aren’t we teaching it more? It seems like President Obama needs an army of coders to fix the glitchy HealthCare.gov website.

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Mystery at Sea
9:38 am
Sat November 2, 2013

Barge Mystery Solved: Floating Structures Tied To Google

Two men fish in the water in front of a barge on Treasure Island in San Francisco on Tuesday. An unnamed source tells CBS the barge carries a building "constructed of interchangeable 40-foot shipping containers that can be assembled and disassembled at will, allowing it to be placed on barges, trucks or rail cars and taken anywhere in the world."
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Sat November 2, 2013 1:29 pm

Over the past week, two floating structures on opposite sides of the country have provoked a lot of speculation. Early on, the Internet settled on Google as a likely culprit. Could the barges off of San Francisco and Maine, the masses divined, be giant data structures built to circumvent NSA spying? Could they be huge, floating stores?

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Technology
3:10 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Kids And Screens, NSA And Our Data

A protester appears behind Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, at a hearing of the House intelligence committee this week in Washington.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:52 pm

Each week, we round up the tech and culture stories from NPR and beyond. Let's do this, folks.

ICYMI

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Technology
2:54 am
Tue October 29, 2013

How Video Games Are Getting Inside Your Head — And Wallet

Austin Newman, 10, of Menlo Park, Calif., is not allowed to play video games during the school week. His mother, Michelle DeWolf, says she had to take that step to keep her son focused on his homework during the week.
Michelle DeWolf

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:21 pm

This week on All Tech, we're exploring kids and technology with posts and radio pieces about raising digital natives. Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments, by email or tweet.

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Health Care
4:33 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Federal Data Crash Hits Access Health CT

Credit Jason T. Poplin

Connecticut’s health care marketplace is back in business after problems caused by the failure of a federal data hub. The storm of controversy over the federal healthcare exchange has largely left state exchanges like Connecticut’s untouched. Until this weekend.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:36 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Why You Should Be Really Afraid of the American Power Grid Going Dark

Credit Flickr Creative Commons, angeloangelo

The electrical grid has been described as the glass jaw of American industry. According to some reports, we’re just one solar flare or cyber-attack away from massive, cascading power failures. This has happened before. In 2012, a cascading power failure in India plunged around 680 million into darkness. And in 2011, some Connecticut residents found themselves without power for more than a week thanks to a freak October snowstorm. We’ll chat with energy experts about how to strengthen the electrical grid.

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Technology
7:03 am
Thu October 24, 2013

What's A 'Glitch,' Anyway? A Brief Linguistic History

Not all glitches are unintentional and problematic. Glitch art introduces, on purpose, digital typos that would otherwise be edited out in an image.
Kevin Wong Flickr

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 11:01 am

HealthCare.gov, the faulty website where people can sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, has become nearly synonymous with the word "glitch" — sometimes defensively, sometimes mockingly.

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Technology
7:40 am
Tue October 22, 2013

How Long Do They Really Have To Fix That Obamacare Website?

The mood wasn't sunny at the White House Rose Garden on Monday, as President Obama addressed the errors plaguing the computer system for health insurance enrollment.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 8:06 pm

They've got a few weeks.

But if federal officials can't get the new online insurance marketplace running smoothly by mid-November, the problems plaguing the three-week-old website could become a far bigger threat to the success of the health law, hampering enrollment and fueling opponents' calls to delay implementation, analysts say.

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Affordable Care Act
3:14 am
Tue October 22, 2013

How Politics Set The Stage For The Obamacare Website Meltdown

It all seemed so easy then. Back in June, the Supreme Court declared the Affordable Care Act constitutional. Waiting for that decision may have cost the administration precious time.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 12:23 pm

Since the Affordable Care Act's health care exchanges launched to a long series of error messages Oct. 1, most of the "what went wrong" fingers have been pointing at software developers.

But some say there's more to it than that — that politics has played a role as well.

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Spotting Talent
8:04 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Manufacturing Event Targets Future Workforce for Connecticut-Made Products

The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. had several 3D printers on display.
Sujata Srinivasan

October is “Manufacturing Month” in Connecticut, and efforts are underway to create the next generation of engineers and innovators as part of the state’s “Dream It. Do It” program. Companies, nonprofits, academic institutions and the state government are working together to promote the high-tech sector to youngsters through month-long events such as “Manufacturing Mania,” where school kids are exposed to manufacturers and career opportunities.

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Technology
3:06 am
Thu October 17, 2013

If A Tech Company Had Built The Federal Health Care Website

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 5:25 pm

HealthCare.gov was meant to create a simple, easy way for millions of Americans to shop for subsidized health care.

Instead, in a little two more than weeks, it has become the poster child for the federal government's technical ineptitude.

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Technology
2:37 am
Tue October 15, 2013

A Company's Tweets Can Help Make It Creditworthy

Courtesy of Kabbage

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:25 pm

For many online and other small businesses, getting a loan or a big cash advance is tough. Banks and other traditional lenders are often leery of those without years of financial statements and solid credit scores.

But some lenders and other financial services companies are beginning to assess credit risk differently — using criteria you might not expect.

Jeffrey Grossman is an acupuncturist in Bellingham, Wash. He's also a small businessman. He creates media marketing materials for other acupuncturists hoping to expand their practice.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:50 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Here's How to Feel Less Guilty When You Buy Stuff

Credit Flickr Creative Commons, AndrewBrownNWA

Consumer activism is older than the nation. The colonists’ rejection of British imports started a tradition of voting with your knife, fork, teacup and credit card. But it’s complicated! Whole Foods isn’t perfect. And maybe you should reward Wal-Mart for at least trying to improve.

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Technology
11:45 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Startups in Connecticut Develop Software Talent Pipeline

Derek Koch of Independent Software in New Haven.
Credit The Grid New Haven

The job of software developer is one of the hottest occupations in the world right now, and demand for developers is only expected to accelerate. That poses a dilemma for startup technology companies here in Connecticut. In an incredibly competitive marketplace, how do they find and cultivate the right talent? One program in Connecticut is trying to come up with a solution.

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Technology
3:58 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

How Reddit Emerged From A Rejected (And Very Different) Idea

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 6:36 pm

Reddit calls itself "the front page of the Internet." The social news site and global discussion board has become increasingly popular since it launched in 2005. Topics range from politics and entertainment to animal videos and conspiracy theories. Many public figures have used Reddit to reach out to fans and supporters, and last year, President Obama used the site to answer voter questions live.

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Outsourced
3:25 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Northeast Utilities Will Outsource 200 IT Jobs

Credit Devcore / Wikimedia Commons

Northeast Utilities has revealed its plans to outsource 200 information technology jobs to Indian firms. The news comes after weeks of pressure on the company. Northeast Utilities employees had heard rumors that some jobs might be outsourced as the giant company reorganizes in the wake of its merger with Massachusetts-based NStar.

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Privacy
5:58 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

NSA Reportedly Uses Data To Chart Americans' Social Ties

Efforts by the National Security Agency to track potential suspects and find connections between them have led the agency to collate its reams of data with information drawn from sources that include GPS locators and Facebook profiles, according to The New York Times. The newspaper cites documents provided by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contract worker, as well as interview with officials.

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Can You Hear Us Now?
6:14 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

WNPR Gets A Shiny New Satellite Dish!

Where We Live
10:30 am
Fri September 27, 2013

The Excitement and Terror of Buying a Car

John DeSimone, Modern Tire
Chion Wolf

Most of us have gone through the process of buying an automobile. It can be both exciting and excruciating. And sales are up to almost pre-recession levels. A boom caused by “more widely available credit, an increasingly aged fleet, and a host of new models.”

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Technology
3:02 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Students Find Ways To Hack School-Issued iPads Within A Week

Customers test out iPad minis on display in Los Angeles. Students who received free iPads from the Los Angeles Unified School District in a deal with Apple are finding ways to use them for more than just classwork.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 10:53 am

Los Angeles Unified School District started issuing iPads to its students this school year, as part of a $30 million deal with Apple. The rollout is in the first of three phases, and ultimately, the goal is to distribute more than 600,000 devices.

But less than a week after getting their iPads, almost 200 of the districts' high school students found a way to bypass software blocks on the devices that limit what websites the students can use.

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