Science & Technology

Some 66 million years ago, about 75 percent of species on Earth disappeared. It wasn't just dinosaurs but most large mammals, fish, birds and plankton. Scientists have known this for a long time just from looking at the fossil record. If you dig deep enough, you find lots of dinosaur bones. And then a few layers up, they're gone.

But scientists couldn't figure out exactly what had caused this phenomenon. Of course, there were lots of theories.

This news ...

"For the last four months, Chinese hackers have persistently attacked The New York Times, infiltrating its computer systems and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees."

... appears to be "part of a broader campaign against American media reporting on Chinese leaders," NPR's Louisa Lim reports from Beijing.

Keeping Up With Kids' Online Privacy

Jan 30, 2013

"Youth are much savvier about their online privacy than most adults give them credit for," says Rey Junco, a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. In the final installment of Tell Me More's series Social Me, Junco tells NPR's Michel Martin that research into teenagers' online behavior on sites like Facebook show that they adjust privacy settings and behave in ways that prove "they're very aware of privacy issues."

Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.

Two hackers associated with the group Anonymous will serve time in jail. A British judge handed down the sentence after the two were convicted of perpetrating attacks against the Paypal and Mastercard websites.

The BBC reports Christopher Weatherhead, 22, and Ashley Rhodes, 28, will serve 18 months and seven months respectively. The BBC adds:

"Co-defendant Peter Gibson was given a six-month sentence, suspended for two years, while another defendant, Jake Birchall, 18, will be sentenced later."

Ramen Bowl Offers Built-In iPhone Dock

Jan 24, 2013

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renée Montagne with a new invention for the lonely diner - a ramen bowl with a built-in iPhone dock. Eating the popular noodle dish normally requires two hands - one for chopsticks, the other for a spoon. Designers at a Taiwanese company noticed a guy trying to do that while juggling his cell phone. So they came up with a way to slurp it up while watching videos or reading emails hands free.

One flaw - no splash guard for the brothy dish. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

What holds energy tech back? The infernal battery

Jan 23, 2013
Mark Hunter / Flickr

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As 21st century technology strains to become ever faster, cleaner and cheaper, an invention from more than 200 years ago keeps holding it back. It's why electric cars aren't clogging the roads and why Boeing's new ultra-efficient 787 Dreamliners aren't flying high.

And chances are you have this little invention next to you right now and probably have cursed it recently: the infernal battery.

  Gamification is the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts in order to engage users and solve problems. We discuss the ups and downs with our tech guru, Jesse Feiler.

Brian Vasconcellos / Flickr

NEW YORK (AP) -- Video game maker Atari's U.S. operations have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to separate from their French parent company, which is filing a similar motion separately in France.

In a statement, Atari says the move is necessary to secure investments it needs to grow in mobile and downloadable video games.

What began as a company's suspicion that its infrastructure was being hacked turned into a case of a worker outsourcing his own job to a Chinese consulting firm, according to reports that cite an investigation by Verizon's security team. The man was earning a six-figure salary.

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