Morning Edition

USA's 'Mr. Robot,' HBO's 'Ballers' Among Picks For Best Summer TV Series

As a flood of at least 120 new and returning series come to TV this summer, NPR's TV critic picks four shows most worth binge watching by the pool.

All Things Considered

Flood Maps Can Get Much Sharper With A Little Supercomputing Oomph

Entrepreneurs are turning to Oak Ridge National Lab's supercomputer to make all sorts of things, including maps that are much more accurate in predicting how a neighborhood will fare in a flood.

Asked To Divide Zero By Zero, Siri Waxes Philosophical (And Personal)

Siri's elaborate reply easily surpasses the simple "Does not compute" with which robots in old sci-fi movies used to announce a bout of cognitive dissonance.

All Things Considered

SpaceX Rocket Explosion Raises Questions About Private Space Companies

NPR's Robert Siegel interviews Andy Pasztor, aerospace reporter for the Wall Street Journal, about insurance options for SpaceX flights and launches.

Solar-Powered Airplane Begins Long Journey From Japan To Hawaii

It's expected to be the longest leg of the Solar Impulse's planned around-the-world flight, a trip that will last five days and five nights.

Morning Edition

Can Technology Ease The Burden Of Caring For People With Dementia?

Things like activity trackers and sensors might make it easier to keep people with dementia safe and help caregivers. Researchers are going to test that idea in the real world.

When It Comes To Learning For The Deaf, 'It's A 3-D Language'

English nursery rhymes don't translate well to ASL, a visual language. One team is merging high tech with cognitive research to improve language learning for deaf and hard of hearing children.

Wildlife Forensics Lab Uses Tech To Sniff, Identify Illegal Wood

International timber trafficking is an estimated $100 billion business. A lab that usually focuses on endangered animal cases is using a sophisticated machine to identify contraband wood shipments.

From Ice Cream To Ian McKellen: Reactions To Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

There was jubilation among supporters of same-sex marriage after the Supreme Court declared it legal in all 50 states. We've rounded up some of the best reactions.

Morning Edition

Service Jobs, Like Uber Driver, Blur Lines Between Old Job Categories

Uber is appealing a California Labor Commission ruling that one of its drivers is an employee. Uber says she is an independent contractor. A new type of job category is emerging: dependent contractor.

Google Is Manipulating Search Results, Study Finds

June 30, 2015
A woman googles something on an iPad. (cogdog/Flickr)

The study by top legal and economic scholars found the search engine giant knowingly buries its competitors. Google refutes the findings.

The Worldwide Space Race

June 30, 2015
In this image provided by NASA/JSC, astronauts Steven L. Smith and John M. Grunsfeld are photographed during an extravehicular activity (EVA) during the December 1999 Hubble servicing mission of STS-103, flown by Discovery. The Hubble Space Telescope, one of NASA'S crowning glories, marks its 25th anniversary on Friday, April 24, 2015.

Global plans for outer space. We’ll look around the world at who has what agendas for out there.

Smart Meters: An Experiment In Power Grid Innovation

June 29, 2015
John Phelan with Fort Collins Utilities inspects the smart meter at his home. (Dan Boyce)

In Fort Collins, Colorado, customers can now see their energy use in 15-minute increments, instead of just once per month.

What Happens If Workers Become Obsolete?

June 29, 2015
Precision fitters and assemblers at work in the Ministry of Labour Training Centre at Waddon, England on May 19, 1931. Here, in a large factory building, miners from the depressed mining areas all over the country are being trained for entirely new jobs in a scheme which aims to cut unemployment figures. (AP)

The rapid rise in technology and machines has some experts predicting that workers could become obsolete.

Practicing Thumbmanship And Other Neat Tricks Of The Smartphone Age

June 26, 2015
Barbara Leedom: "Recently, it became clear: It was time to text. But how?" (Timothy Valentine/flickr)

Recently, it became clear: It was time to text. But how?

Apple Music Opens New Front In Streaming Debate

June 23, 2015
Taylor Swift accepts the award for top artist at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Las Vegas.  (AP)

Taylor Swift takes on Apple over royalties and wins. We’ll look at the latest battles in music streaming – the players, the artists, and the music itself.

Low-Cost Clothes Wage High-Stakes Battle

June 22, 2015
In this May 14, 2012 file photo, shoppers walk by the GAP store at a shopping mall in Peabody, Mass. On June 16, 2015, the company announced it would be closing up to a quarter of its North American stores. (AP)

The battle to sell you clothes. J. Crew, Abercrombie, GAP are in trouble. New ways, new retailers, piling in.

Why Did An MIT Student Record His Own Brain Surgery?

June 19, 2015
Steven Keating has 3-D printed versions of his tumor, that took up 10 percent of his brain. (Courtesy Steven Keating, photo by Paula Aguilera & Jonathan Williams)

Steven Keating is on a quest for medical transparency, calling for legislation to create open source medical records.

The Computer Will (Literally) See You Now

June 18, 2015
In this file photo, a New York Police Department SkyWatch observation tower is stationed in midtown Manhattan, Wednesday, July 31, 2013 in New York. Behind it is a billboard filled with people's photographs. (AP)

Facial recognition technology is suddenly all over. The government’s push to rein it in has just blown up. What happens to your privacy?

Virtual Reality A Major Player At Gaming Trade Show

June 16, 2015
Microsoft's HoloLens is among the virtual reality technologies being demoed at E3. (Microsoft)

The annual E3 – Electronic Entertainment Expo – is a showcase for new games, consoles and new developments from major franchises.

Match CEO Explains The Algorithms Of Love

June 15, 2015
It used to be there was a stigma attached to online dating, but not so much anymore. (jordansmall/Flickr)

Sam Yagan, who also co-founded OKCupid, is a leading figure in the online dating world. He shares his perspective.

Credit Cards With Chips To Alter Culture Of Buying

June 12, 2015
A chip-based credit card, in Philadelphia. U.S. banks, tired of spending billions a year to pay back fleeced consumers, are in the process of replacing tens of millions of old magnetic strip credit and debit cards with new cards that are equipped with computer chips that store account data more securely. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Experts say the new chip technology could have prevented massive card thefts at The Home Depot and Target.

Are Apps Like Tinder And Grindr Fueling A Rise In STDs?

June 12, 2015
A screenshot from

Public health officials are blaming dating apps for contributing to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases.

Using Cockroach Legs For Prosthetics Research

June 10, 2015
Lego figures prepare to battle with cockroach legs. (Screenshot)

Undergraduate engineers at the University of Pennsylvania are experimenting with different ways to control the insect’s legs.

Bringing Dinosaurs To Life In ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Jurassic World’

June 10, 2015
The Tyrannosaurus rex in a scene from the original "Jurassic Park." (Universal)

The Academy Award-winning special effects artist who was “dinosaur supervisor” on the 1993 film, joins us.

Low-Price Airfare Is One Big Hassle

June 10, 2015
A Southwest Airlines passenger plane crosses the waxing gibbous moon in Whittier, Saturday, May 30, 2015.  (AP)

The web was supposed to make buying cheap airline tickets easier. So, why isn’t it? We’ll look at the tricky tangle of air travel.

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