Weekend Edition Saturday

What Is Li-Fi And When Will You Use It To Download Everything Faster?

Li-Fi is a lot like Wi-Fi, but it uses light to transmit data. NPR's Scott Simon speaks to the man who invented the faster alternative: Harald Haas.

Weekend Edition Saturday

What Information Do Intelligence Agencies Need To Keep U.S. Safe?

In the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Bruce Hoffman of Georgetown University about what information intelligence agencies need to keep the U.S. safe.

Weekend Edition Saturday

Payoffs For Prediction: Could Markets Help Identify Terrorism Risk?

In a terror prediction market, people would bet real money on the likelihood of attacks. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about whether such a market could predict — and deter — attacks.

This Thanksgiving, Struggling To Skip The Instagram Obsession

"What's the point of taking photos if you can't post them on social media?" "When is it OK to pull out your phone at the table?" and other questions for modern family get-togethers.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Australia Testing Shark-Detecting Drones To Prevent Shark Attacks

The trials in the southeastern state of New South Wales are part of an $11.6 million program to protect beachgoers. Drones send real-time images of coastal waters to an operator using GPS coordinates.

All Things Considered

Rapid Learners: How Pixar Animators Created A Very Scary River

What would a small dinosaur look like in Class V rapids? That's the question Pixar filmmakers had to answer for their film The Good Dinosaur. So they piled into a raft to figure it out for themselves.

Used Rocket Is A New Breakthrough For Blue Origin's Space Plan

Blue Origin, the space company founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, has sent a craft past the edge of space and then landed its rocket safely – and vertically — in Texas.

The Future Of Nanotechnology And Computers So Small You Can Swallow Them

How tiny can a computer get and what can it do? Digital sensors are already traveling inside human bodies. Will shrinking sizes eventually do away with the bulky devices we use now?

5 Things To Know: FAA Task Force Recommends A Drone Registry

A task force created by the Federal Aviation Administration recommends that people flying drones heavier than a half-pound should register with the government. Here are a few things to know.

Taking The Temperature Of The 2015 Holiday Shopping Season

November 30, 2015
Shoppers walks in front of a holiday display Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in San Francisco.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond, we’ll add up the dollars and trends and bargains of the 2015 holiday shopping season.

Stand Up. Right Now.

November 27, 2015
Josh Baldonado, an administrative assistant at Brown & Brown Insurance, works at a treadmill desk in the firms offices in Carmel, Ind., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. (AP)

The end of sitting at work. A new call to get up off our chairs. To stand and move! We’ll look at how that works.

Why Film Is Dead And Digital Photos Won’t Last Forever

November 26, 2015
More and more people are using the camera's on their cellphones to capture special moments. (Pixabay)

Photographic process historian Mark Osterman says digital photos won’t stand the test of time unless they’re printed or shared widely.

First Major Virtual Reality Headset Is Now On Sale

November 24, 2015
A man tries out the 360-degree "The Hunger Games - Virtual Reality Experience," using the Samsung Gear VR, October 8, 2015 in New York City. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Samsung)

Kurt Wagner of Re/code reviews Samsung’s Gear VR and what it means for the virtual reality industry.

A New Way To Measure Taste: The Electronic Tongue

November 24, 2015
WSU Ph.D. student Kenny McMahon evaluated sparkling wine samples with the 'electronic tongue.' (Tom Banse/Northwest News Network)

Food scientists at Washington State University have an unusual new partner to help them evaluate drinks, medicines and sweeteners.

Meet A Bostonian Who’s Made $3 Million This Year Playing Daily Fantasy Sports

November 23, 2015
Saahil Sud stands in his apartment in downtown Boston before getting back to work at his full-time job playing daily fantasy sports. (Curt Nickisch/WBUR)

Saahil Sud quit his computer programming job to play daily fantasy sports for money full time, building an algorithm to help him make predictions. The choice has netted him millions in winnings.

New Tech To Get You Over The River And All The Way To Grandmother's House

November 20, 2015
Travelling home for the holidays doesn't have to be a drag. (Flickr / Retroama)

Technology to make holiday travel a little easier: from apps to gadgets to online deals.

Thanksgiving And Holiday Apps And Podcast Recommendations

November 20, 2015
Get out of the popular rafter this holiday season by trying out some great app and podcast suggestions. [Ed. Note: A 'Rafter' is the formal name for a group of turkeys.] (Flickr / Jim Gillum)

Tech, app, audio book podcast suggestions for your upcoming holiday travel trials.

Hiawatha Bray On Phone Encryption And The Fight Against Terrorism

November 19, 2015
Students at Bentley University had to put away their smart phones, computers, and other digital devices for a 48-hour digital fast. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Law enforcement officials are calling on tech companies like Apple and Google to loosen their encryption standards, but is weakening encryption worth it, or even effective?

Better Than A Tip Jar: Why Payment Apps Are Boosting Tips

November 19, 2015
Baristas Sarah Castro (left) and Caitlyn Feeney take coffee orders at Cappy's. (Beth Cortez-Neavel/Texas Standard)

When faced with the screen of an iPad suggesting various tip amounts, customers are apparently more likely to tip than opt out.

USDA Computer Program Is Overdue, Over Budget

November 18, 2015
Blake Hurst, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, in the cab of his combine, harvesting soybeans on his family’s northern Missouri farm. He’s watching satellite monitors that show yields, moisture content and fertilizer use. (Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media)

The MIDAS computer system was meant to modernize how the U.S. government pays farmers and ranchers. But things went wrong.

ISIS On The Unchecked Dark Web

November 18, 2015
CIA Director John Brennan speaks at the Global Security Forum 2015, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

ISIS is using PlayStations, encryption apps and more to increasingly avoid detection online. CIA director John Brennan is bucking limits on surveillance. The debate is on, again.

Encrypted Messaging And The Line Between Security And Privacy

November 17, 2015
Texting on a phone. (mariahdietzler/Flickr)

The attacks in Paris that left at least 129 people dead on Friday have reignited the debate over encrypted communication.

The Uberization Of Money

November 17, 2015
Receptionist Erin Gamboa holds her Green Dot prepaid debit card Tuesday June 14, 2011 in Monrovia, Calif. Gamboa closed her Chase bank account last December, frustrated the bank's high fees, and later became one of the 3.4 million Green Dot users. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

How technology will change the banking system. We’ll look at the uberization of money.

Why More Home Internet Providers Are Limiting Data Usage

November 10, 2015
Netflix customer Arthur Michelson demonstrates the online Netflix movie service Roku at his home in Palo Alto, Calif., Thursday, July 23, 2009. (Paul Sakuma/AP)

Home Internet providers are moving away from unlimited data, and toward the types of tiered plans cell phone companies offer.

Beyond Counting Footsteps: Wearable Tech That Measures How You Work

November 9, 2015
Ben Waber, CEO of Humanyze, wearing one of the company's sensors. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Humanyze builds devices to analyze things like how an employee talks, with whom they’re talking, body movement and location.

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