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New Britain
11:43 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Documentary Profiles Inventor's Obsession With Jan Vermeer's Painting Technique

Inventor Tim Jenison spent years recreating Vermeer's "The Music Lesson" using the same technique he believes Vermeer used in his masterpieces.
Tim Jenison

The New Britain Museum of American Art will show a documentary film on Thursday about one man's quest to duplicate the painting technique of Dutch master Jan Vermeer. "If my idea was right, we're seeing color photographs, more or less, from 350 years ago," said inventor Tim Jenison.

In the documentary "Tim's Vermeer," Jenison is convinced Vermeer used optical gadgets to achieve his almost photographic paintings, and becomes obsessed with figuring out exactly how.

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Waze
3:36 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Officers Ask Map App To Remove Police Tracking

Waze's police reporting tool is one of several features in the app. Users can also share reports of traffic and construction in real time.
Courtesy of Waze

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:50 pm

Waze, the popular navigation app boasting more than 50 million users worldwide, has a new critic: police officers. Over the past few weeks, law enforcement officials have been urging the app and its owner, Google, to disable a feature that allows users to report when they've spotted a police officer, in real time, for all other Waze users to see.

Sergio Kopelev, a reserve sheriff in Orange County, Calif., is one of the law enforcement officials behind the push to remove Waze's police tracker. He says he first discovered the feature through his family.

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Airline Safety
8:44 am
Fri January 23, 2015

To Keep Planes From Disappearing, NTSB Urges Constant Tracking

One of many relatives who waited in vain for news of loved ones aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The NTSB hopes to get faster answers by requiring better technology, especially on planes that fly over large bodies of water.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 12:48 am

In a response to recent incidents in which large commercial airliners have vanished into oceans, the National Transportation Safety Board is calling for new regulations requiring all passenger planes that fly over large bodies of water to be equipped with more sophisticated flight tracking technologies.

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Business
9:43 am
Sat January 17, 2015

As Cities Push For Their Own Broadband, Cable Firms Say Not So Fast

Provo, Utah, is one of three cities in which Google is rolling out its Google Fiber gigabit Internet and television service.
George Frey Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 12:07 pm

Americans increasingly see decently fast Internet as more like a functioning sewer line than a luxury.

And a number of cities are trying to get into the Internet provider business, but laws in 19 states hamper those efforts. President Obama announced this week that he wants to lift those restrictions, and supporters of what is known as municipal broadband can't wait.

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Black and White
2:57 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

What's Next for the Newspaper Industry?

Tony Casale, 11, selling papers in Hartford, Conn. in March, 1909.
Lewis Hine U.S. National Archive

The Internet has changed almost everything... especially newspapers. For many years, readers were able to access newspaper articles for free online. Stories were reaching more readers, but losing revenue. On WNPR's Where We Live, newspaper reporters and editors discussed the controversial "paywall."

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Do Newspapers Need Paywalls to Survive in the Digital Age?

How much would you pay for a digital subscription to your local newspaper?
Jon S Creative Commons

Last month, The Hartford Courant followed the trend of newspapers across the country by implementing a paywall on its website.

We sit down with two editors to explain the change, and to talk more broadly about the status of "print" journalism today. What is working, and what’s not working, as publications grapple with an increasingly digital world?

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Municipal Internet
5:16 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Broadband A 'Necessity,' Obama Says, As He Pushes FCC To Expand Access

President Obama speaks at Cedar Falls Utilities in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Wednesday. He encouraged the Federal Communications Commission to pre-empt state laws that stifle competition for high-speed Internet service.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:58 pm

Updated at 4:48 p.m. ET

President Obama is expected to lay out plans today intended to make it easier for cities, towns and rural communities to offer their citizens fast and cheap broadband Internet.

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Higher Education
9:22 am
Wed January 14, 2015

UMass Amherst Replacing Book Store With Amazon

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 4:31 pm

UMass Amherst will replace its on-campus textbook store later this year with a virtual store operated by Amazon.

  Under a five-year contract Amazon will provide online textbook ordering through the UMass Amherst website, operate an on-campus pick up location and provide free delivery to off campus addresses in Amherst and five surrounding communities.  UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski said the change is being made to save students money.

  "Up to about $380 annually per student based on national estimates of what students pay for books," said Blaguszewski.

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Technology
5:20 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

A Closer Look At Obama's Plan To Protect Consumer Data

President Obama speaks Tuesday at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Va.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 6:55 pm

This week, in the lead up to his State of the Union address, President Obama is talking about cybersecurity — how to ensure our safety in the digital world.

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Technology
4:06 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Online Security: A Battle You Just Can’t Win?

Hlib Shabashnyi/iStock Thinkstock

The highly publicized hacking of Sony Pictures and Monday’s infiltration of Central Command’s Twitter account are just two of the most recent examples of Internet crime.

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Amber Alerts
1:10 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Facebook To Post Amber Alerts To Help Find Missing Kids

An example of what Facebook's Amber Alerts will look like.
Courtesy of Facebook

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 1:16 pm

Starting today, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will begin sending out Amber Alerts on Facebook's news feed. The alerts will include a photograph of the missing child and the location where the possible abduction took place.

Facebook has 185 million users in the U.S., and the notices will be tailored to location — so users will receive alerts about missing children in their area.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Inside Cyber Security: Experts Talk Tech

Christian Schauer Flickr Creative Commons

Threats against cyber security seem to be everywhere these days. From viruses slowing down your computer or smartphone, to major attacks on international companies. It’s hard to go a day without hearing about some new and increasingly sophisticated cyber attack. Incidents at Target, Home Depot, and most recently Sony Pictures all illustrate the problems of living in a world more digitally connected than ever.  

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Education
12:28 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Meet The Classroom Of The Future

A blended learning classroom at David Boody Jr. High School in New York City.
Courtesy of New Classrooms

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 1:17 pm

The classroom of the future probably won't be led by a robot with arms and legs, but it may be guided by a digital brain.

It may look like this: one room, about the size of a basketball court; more than 100 students, all plugged into a laptop; and 15 teachers and teaching assistants.

This isn't just the future, it's the sixth grade math class at David Boody Jr. High School in Brooklyn, near Coney Island. Beneath all the human buzz, something other than humans is running the show: algorithms.

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Entertainment
7:23 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Big Wins For 'Transparent' Make It Clear: TV's Undergoing A Revolution

Tina Fey, Margaret Cho and Amy Poehler talk onstage during the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards. Fey and Poehler hosted the awards for the third (and, they say, final) time.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 11:25 am

Surrounded by his cast mates and the show's executive producer, Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor faced a crowd of journalists backstage at the Golden Globe awards Sunday, and made the case for why his win as best actor in a comedy meant more than a typical Hollywood honor.

"This is about changing people's lives," said Tambor, who won his award playing a 70-year-old coming out as transgender. Earlier, while accepting his award on national TV, he dedicated his award and performance to the transgender community.

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Resupply Mission
7:32 pm
Sat January 10, 2015

SpaceX Launch Successful; Recovery Attempt 'Close, But No Cigar'

The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Saturday.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Sat January 10, 2015 6:46 pm

SpaceX has successfully launched another resupply mission to the International Space Station months after a competitor in the private space-launch business suffered a catastrophic lift-off that resulted in the unmanned rocket's destruction.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:44 am
Fri January 9, 2015

The Nose Wraps its Head Around Satire

Jacques Lamarre is the Director of Communication & Special Projects at the Mark Twain House and Museum.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Later in the show, we discuss this essay in praise of the conventional office life, but first, Colin writes: 

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Cutting the Cord
2:10 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

ESPN Ventures Onto the Web

ESPN on the web: the cord-cutter's dream?
ESPN

It’s news that might be keeping some cable executives up at night: for the first time, viewers will be able to stream ESPN over the web. 

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Technology
3:27 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Why Buy When You Can Borrow? App Connects People And Stuff

Peerby allows people to share their stuff through a mobile app for free.
Peerby

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 1:41 pm

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Border
11:43 am
Tue December 30, 2014

US Creates App For Border Wait Times

Champlain border crossing

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 11:15 pm

People who cross into the United States by land a have new tool to help them learn where the shortest lines are at some border crossings.

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Yik Yak Mobile App
10:36 am
Tue December 30, 2014

'Yaks' Threaten East Lyme and College Campuses Everywhere

Yik Yak logo for the popular social media app.
Yik Yak

Local, state police, and federal law enforcement are investigating a post on social media threatening a "hail of bullets" in East Lyme.  The post, which appeared anonymously Dec. 24 on the mobile app Yik Yak, said East Lyme should "get ready for the hail of bullets."

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Theft
2:59 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

The Booming Black Market For Stolen Smartphones

Customers line up in front of an Apple Store to purchase the new iPhone 6 on September 23, 2014 in San Francisco, California. The rise in the popularity of smartphones has also spawned a lucrative and complex black market around stolen phones. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 6:45 pm

It is no secret: the smartphone industry is booming. But as the number of users rise to one-third of the world’s population, so rises the number of smartphones stolen and traded on the black market.

It is a multibillion dollar industry growing increasingly complicated as security analysts look for answers and black market entrepreneurs work to stay ahead of the curve.

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Movies
8:20 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

'The Interview' To Play In More Than 200 Theaters On Christmas Day

A poster for The Interview. Some theaters now say they will show the comedy, which Sony Pictures had pulled following threats.
Jim Ruymen UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 8:32 am

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

More than 200 theaters will now show The Interview on Christmas Day, a spokesperson for Sony Pictures tells NPR.

Sony had pulled the controversial comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after ominous threats were made, allegedly by a group that hacked the studio's emails. The nation's largest theater chains had also said they won't show the movie starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.

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Bioprinting
8:02 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Baby Thrives Once 3-D-Printed Windpipe Helps Him Breathe

Jake and Natalie Peterson and their son Garrett in October 2014.
Courtesy of Brittany Jacox

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 4:20 pm

Garrett Peterson was born in 2012 with a defective windpipe. It would periodically just collapse, because the cartilage was so soft, and he'd stop breathing. This would happen every day — sometimes multiple times a day.

"It was really awful to have to watch him go through his episodes," says his father, Jake Peterson of Layton, Utah. "He'd be fine and then all of a sudden start turning blue. It was just like watching your child suffocate over and over again."

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Technology
7:44 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Is Sony Hack Really 'The Worst' In U.S. History, As CEO Claims?

Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton says the computer hacking against his company is "the worst cyberattack in U.S. history." Experts say other attacks have affected more people.
David McNew Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:54 pm

The CEO of Sony Pictures has been saying that the cyberattack against his company is "the worst cyberattack in U.S. history." And you can see where he's coming from. An entire feature film got canned — at least for now. And his corporate networks were so damaged, Sony workers had to revert to using fax machines to communicate. That said, "the worst" is a big claim.

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White House
2:10 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

President Obama Closes the Year With a Press Conference

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Alan Gross, who was en route to the United States from Cuba, in the Oval Office on December 17.
Pete Souza White House

President Barack Obama claimed an array of successes in 2014, citing lower unemployment, a rising number of Americans covered by health insurance, and an historic diplomatic opening with Cuba. 

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Sounds of the Past
2:06 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Modern Technology at UConn Breathes Life Into Antique Instruments

Sina Shahbazmohamadi works with a 3D-printed instrument piece and measurement device at UConn's Center for Clean Energy Engineering in August.
Peter Morenus University of Connecticut

They just don’t make 'em like they used to, unless you put a bunch of Ph.D.s in a room with a 3D printer. 

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Libraries
3:48 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Book News: The Future Of The Public Library May Lie In The Coffee Shop

Get your sci-fi with a side of cappuccino.
e_rasmus iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 1:27 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing and the occasional author behaving badly.

For a public library to expect to survive today, it must begin to take crucial cues from coffee shops. At least, that's the key recommendation offered by a much-anticipated report on British public libraries, which is set to be released Thursday.

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Cyber Attack
3:02 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

White House Says Any Response To Sony Attack Needs To Be 'Proportional'

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:26 pm

The White House says the devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures was done with "malicious intent" and was initiated by a "sophisticated actor" but it would not say if that actor was North Korea.

Spokesman Josh Earnest says the matter is still under investigation.

"Regardless of who is found to be responsible for this, the president considers it to be a serious national security matter," Earnest says.

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Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
11:55 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Website Partners With Connecticut Startups

LaunchEZ's website aims to act as a one-stop portal.

A new website for Connecticut entrepreneurs aims to launch 500 new companies in the state. The grassroots effort connects inventors with investors and help services.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
8:49 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Cracking the Code of Alan Turing

Priscilla Lydia McKenzie worked in Bletchley Park, recording movements of German ships.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Let me set the stage a little: A movie called "The Imitation Game" will be released nationwide Christmas day, the latest of several attempts to tell the story of Alan Turing. That story is so big, it can only be told in little pieces.

The piece most people focus on is Turing's work as the single most important code breaker in World War 2, the man who built a machine that broke apart the deeply encrypted Nazi code, and then gave the Allies an advantage that they were forced to conceal.

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