Imagine having no capacity for language acquisition.¬†Imagine developing a language with grammars that are completely independent from the spoken language of the surrounding hearing culture. Imagine¬†being unable to engage in any of the thought processes I'm using right now. ¬†Choosing words and bundles of words to convey meaning, pausing to ponder the interesting similarities between deafness and deficit. Grabbing for a phrase like language acquisition and appreciating the neat little package it represents.¬†
Let's take the most dire problem facing humankind: Climate change has so many negative implications it would take all day to list them. Meanwhile, there's the possibility of a sudden acceleration of a problem caused by the melting of Arctic ice, which exposes more ocean water to warming, which causes more melting, which causes more...well, you get the picture.
Ever wonder why children can so easily figure out how to work the TV remote? Or why they "totally get" apps on your smartphone faster than you? It turns out that young children may be more open-minded than adults when it comes to solving problems.
The summer of tech company demographic data dumps continues apace. Facebook is the latest big firm to share its staff's racial and gender breakdowns, following similar releases from Google and Yahoo. Other tech firms NPR has reached out to say they are having conversations about whether they will do the same.
Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 12:18 pm
Aereo, the company that lets subscribers watch TV stations' video that it routes onto the Internet, violates U.S. copyright law, the Supreme Court has ruled. The court's 6-3 decision reverses a lower court ruling on what has been a hotly contested issue.
Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 11:59 am
Of all of the things that were a big deal as a sprouting toddler, learning to talk was one of the major milestones.
"Ma-Ma," we uttered, wide-eyed, to camcorder lenses and disbelieving parents. "Da-Da."
Talking is a big part of who we are as humans: as families, as business partners ‚ÄĒ as a society. It's arguably one of the most powerful forms of expression, alongside writing and art. We use our voices to ask questions, to deliver bad news, to tell someone we love them.
It's not something you'd immediately associate with staying healthy: video games. A professor at Quinnipiac University is exploring whether or not digital avatars can encourage gay men in Mexico City to get tested regularly for HIV.¬†
Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:53 am
Facebook says it will pull from more user data, including browsing histories, to better target ads to consumers. As the changes roll out over the next few weeks, users will also have more control over their own data profiles, the ones that help determine which ads they see.
Connecticut's health insurance exchange said the owner of a backpack found on a Hartford street containing Social Security numbers and other data works for a call center vendor, and has been placed on administrative leave.¬†
This hour, we feature three international voices with Connecticut connections.¬†We begin with a local professor, who recently returned from serving as an elections monitor in Ukraine. He tells us about his experience and talks about what lies ahead for the country and its people.¬†
We also talk with a Nigerian-American artist, who has found a way to create beautiful prints using just his fingers and an iPad.¬†We learn as well the story of a Polish hero, and find out what a top Polish official in America thinks of Ukraine‚Äôs chances for success.
There are smartphone apps for monitoring your diet, your drugs, even your heart. And now a Michigan psychiatrist is developing an app he hopes doctors will someday use to predict when a manic episode is imminent in patients with bipolar disorder.
People with the disorder alternate between crushing depression and wild manic episodes that come with the dangerous mix of uncontrollable energy and impaired judgment.
Apple announced Wednesday that it is acquiring Beats Electronics, agreeing to pay $3 billion for the audio equipment and subscription streaming music service founded by Dr. Dre and producer Jimmy Iovine.
But not just any car: a car that drives itself. In an effort to create a fully, 100 percent self-driving vehicle ‚ÄĒ something that needs no human being at the steering wheel ‚ÄĒ the company is building a car without a steering wheel.
Scientists at the company's research wing, Google X, have been working on this project hush-hush for the past year.
This month marks the centennial of the American Radio Relay League. That‚Äôs the largest association of ham radio hobbyists in the United States that is headquartered in Newington, Conn. WNPR paid a visit to¬†‚Äúthe mecca of ham radio‚ÄĚ where each year hundreds of people converge to broadcast signals across the globe.
Los Angeles blogger Rebecca Woolf uses her blog, Girl's Gone Child, as a window into her family's life. Naturally, it includes oodles of pictures of her four children.
She says she's probably taken tens of thousands of photos since her oldest child was born. And she remembers the moment when it suddenly clicked ‚ÄĒ if you will ‚ÄĒ that she was too absorbed in digital documentation.
Before and after shots taken by a Mars-orbiting satellite have detected a newly created impact crater half the size of a football field near the planet's equator.
NPR's Joe Palca says that while objects are striking Mars all the time (with big chunks surviving until impact, thanks to the Red Planet's thin atmosphere), this is the first time scientists have been able to determine the exact day a meteor struck ‚Äď in this case, sometime on March 28, 2012.
Online marketplace eBay says it was the target of a cyberattack in which hackers accessed a database of its encrypted passwords. The auction site says no financial data were revealed ‚ÄĒ but it's urging its users to update the passwords on their accounts.
EBay says that it hasn't seen any sign of fraudulent activity since the problem was first detected "about two weeks ago." It also said that it stores financial data and customer records in different places and that accounts of its direct-payment subsidiary, PayPal, were not affected by the data breach.