Weekend Edition Saturday

Uber Greases The Wheel With Obama's Old Campaign Manager

Uber is hiring David Plouffe, the mastermind of Obama's 2008 campaign, to power its own political strategy. What can a tech-savvy political animal offer a ride-sharing service?

Weekend Edition Saturday

New Camouflage Material Is A Color-Change Artist

Researchers say they've produced octopus-inspired materials that can sense color and change accordingly. NPR's Scott Simon talks to John Rogers, professor of engineering at the University of Illinois.

Coming Soon To A Pole Near You: A Bike That Locks Itself

Cyclists may soon have a convenient way to discourage bike thieves, thanks to new designs that use parts of the bikes themselves as locks.

Morning Edition

Islamic State Uses Online Strategies To Get Its Message Out

Experts say the videotaped killing of journalist James Foley is part of a broader propaganda strategy by Islamist militants. The group, the Islamic State, has become a master of the video medium.

Beheading Video Sets Off Debate Over How — Or Whether — To Portray It

A video that shows an American journalist being beheaded by extremist militants has sparked outrage, along with arguments over whether the images should be restricted online.

Ferguson Killing Inspires Young Black Activists

Activists around the country say Michael Brown's death and the police response have strengthened their resolve to fight injustice.

Morning Edition

Ex-Microsoft CEO Ballmer Steps Down From Company's Board

Steve Ballmer, 58, on Tuesday resigned from the software giant's board because of other time consuming commitments including his new ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.

All Things Considered

We Are What We Google: How Search Terms Reflect Our Wealth

David Leonhardt recently compared the terms people search for online in places The New York Times figures life is easiest, against the counties where it's hardest. He discusses the results with Robert Siegel.

Did You Hear The One About The Stand-Up Comedian And The Podcast?

It used to be that a TV appearance was the key to success for comedians. In the past five years stand-up comedy has seen a global revival thanks to the Internet, and in particular, thanks to podcasts.

Morning Edition

Technology Helps To Keep Rate Of Car Thefts Down

David Greene talks with Roger Morris, vice president of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, about the reasons for the dramatic decline in car thefts over the past 20 years.

Why Facebook And Twitter Had Different Priorities This Week

August 22, 2014
Beryl Lipton, left, douses Matt Lee during the ice bucket challenge at Boston's Copley Square, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 to raise funds and awareness for ALS.  (AP)

There’s no hidden agenda to the difference between most people’s Facebook and Twitter feeds this week. Just a hidden type of emotional content and case use. Digiday’s John McDermott explains.

Stunt Philanthropy In The Age Of Social Media

August 22, 2014
In this image from video posted on Facebook, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former President George W. Bush participates in the ice bucket challenge with the help of his wife, Laura Bush, in Kennebunkport, Maine. (AP)

The Ice Bucket Challenge: ALS, viral fundraising and how we give in the age of social media.

Our Week In The Web: August 22, 2014

August 22, 2014
An image of Earth from the International Space Station. (Reid Wiseman / Twitter)

On mixed media messaging, Spotify serendipity and a view of Earth from the International Space Station.

iPad Saturation: Have We Reached ‘Peak Tablet’?

August 21, 2014
A reporter films Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones on his IPad as he speaks to media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days on Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Hoover, Ala. (AP)

Sometimes it seems like everyone who wants — or can afford — a tablet computer already has one. So where do things go from here?

Making Do In A Makeshift Economy

August 21, 2014
Jen Joyce, a community manager for the Uber rideshare service, works on a laptop before a meeting of the Seattle City Council, Monday, March 17, 2014, at City Hall in Seattle. (AP)

We’ll look at workers trying to live and make a living in the age of TaskRabbit and computer-driven work schedules.

Marlborough Company’s ‘Exoskeleton’ Lets Some Paraplegics Walk Again

August 20, 2014
Gene Laureano, a 51-year-old Army veteran from the Bronx, uses the ReWalk exoskeleton. (WBUR/Sacha Pfeiffer)

Massachusetts-based ReWalk Robotics makes a motorized exoskeleton that allows some paraplegics to walk again.

Unscratchable Screen Tops List Of iPhone Rumors

August 19, 2014
Apple's iPhone 5S included a fingerprint scanner instead of a passcode. Consumers are now trying to anticipate what will be different about the iPhone 6. (Apple)

Today is the beginning of what is, unofficially, new smartphone launch month. Apple is set to release its new iPhone on Sept. 9.

The Militarization Of America’s Local Police Forces

August 19, 2014
Police wait to advance after tear gas was used to disperse a crowd Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, during a protest for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer last Saturday in Ferguson, Mo. (AP)

“War zones” in America. Local police departments with military grade equipment – how much is too much, and what it would take to de-militarize America’s police force.

Are We Losing Touch In The Doctor-Patient Relationship?

August 18, 2014
More studies are calling into question the measurable value of the physical examination. Is there still a place for physical touch in the doctor-patient relationship?(Children's Bureau of the Department of Health and Human Services/ Flickr)

A physician laments the decline of the physical exam and asks whether there’s still a place for touch in the digital age.

What Happens To Forecasting When America's Weather Satellites Die?

August 14, 2014
This Aug. 5, 2014 satellite image provided by NASA shows two tropical Pacific Ocean hurricanes - Iselle at center and Julio at right - bearing down on Hawaii, top left. (AP)

We look at what’s at stake for the future of weather forecasting when our aging weather satellites die.

12-Year-Old App Developer Explains His $5 Bill Murray

August 13, 2014
In this screenshot from Avery Miller's YouTube tutorial, Abraham Lincoln is transformed into Bill Murray. (YouTube)

Avery Miller is too young to see some of Murray’s films, but old enough to tell his viewers how to turn Abe Lincoln into Bill Murray.

White House Launches Effort To Upgrade Federal Websites

August 12, 2014
The website is photographed in Washington, Nov. 29, 2013. (Jon Elswick/AP)

Mikey Dickerson, an engineer who took a leave from Google to oversee fixes to, will lead the effort and a team of experts.

‘Event Monitoring’ Software At Boston Calling Raises Big Surveillance Questions

August 11, 2014
A Dig Boston report says "biometric surveillance" was used at Boston Calling in May and September 2013. (Beep./Flickr)

If you attended Boston Calling last year, you might have been a guinea pig for high-tech surveillance software.

A Look Inside The Emoji Craze

August 11, 2014
"Face Screaming In Fear" is one of thousands of emoji.

As another 250 are set to be released, we discuss the role of emoji and emoticons in our messages — both personal and professional.

What Will Robots Mean For Jobs?

August 7, 2014
Robots weld the bodies of Porsche Macan SUVs at the new heavily automated Porsche Macan factory at the Porsche plant in February in Leipzig, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A new survey by Pew Research finds some experts in technology and policy expect robots to have a profound impact on U.S. employment.

Coding Boot Camps Try To Fill Tech Worker Gap

August 7, 2014
Bill Rice of WCPN paid a visit to the Software Craftsmanship Guild boot camp in Akron, Ohio. (Bill Rice/WCPN)

Students are trained to write code in just three months, rather than spending four years in college studying computer science.

Most Popular