Since the beginning of June, Barton Gellman has been reporting on classified intelligence documents given to him by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor. As a result of the Snowden leaks, Gellman and reporter Laura Poitras broke the story of the PRISM program, which mines data from nine U.S. Internet companies, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google and Facebook.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:07 pm
Satellite imagery and seismic data have identified two huge underground aquifers in Kenya's drought-prone north, a discovery that could be "a game changer" for the country, NPR's Gregory Warner reports.
The aquifers, located hundreds of feet underground in the Turkana region that borders Ethiopia and South Sudan, contain billions of gallons of water, according to UNESCO, which confirmed the existence of the subterranean lakes discovered with the help of a French company using technology originally designed to reveal oil deposits.
Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:21 pm
When we first approached Bill Callahan to do a Field Recording in New York City, we asked him if he had any special place in mind. His reply surprised me: "A community garden." I guess I'd stereotyped him in my head, because after all those years of dark, thoughtful songwriting — first as Smog and then on the pensive records he's made under his own name — I'd imagined a library, someplace quiet and dark.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:20 pm
The U.S. Appeals Court in San Francisco refused Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit that accuses Google of violating federal wiretapping laws by collecting emails and data about people's Web surfing habits as the company's Street View cars crisscrossed the world.
Millions of people use unencrypted wireless networks in their homes to access the Internet. The lawsuit alleges Google's Street View cars were listening in to those digital conversations and making recordings of the traffic in violation of federal law.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:52 pm
I noticed in The Guardian that there's a book coming out this week listing the 20 biggest challenges for modern science. I'd like to go over 10 of them today, perhaps coming back to the other 10 next week.
When I saw it for the first time, here's what I knew: It's a Google image found on Google Maps, taken by a satellite, plucked and blogged by photographer/sleuth, Mishka Henner. It's a patch of land near a town called Coevorden, in The Netherlands. There's a road on one side, plowed farmland all about, some trees on the lower left and then, weirdly, grey, black, white, golden, green and brown patches crunched together in an almost-rectangle. Those couldn't be natural, I thought.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:07 pm
It's one of the great paradoxes of our time: Hundreds of millions of people go hungry, and yet we waste a whopping 1.43 billion tons of food — one third of what we produce. Food waste is a problem in rich countries and poor countries alike, and it's happening throughout the supply chain — from the farm to the truck to the warehouse to the store to your refrigerator.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:05 pm
On this third day of Sports Illustrated's five-part series that exposes what the magazine says are sweeping problems in Oklahoma State University's football program — including money being paid to players, tutors doing players' schoolwork and women from a "hostess program" having sex with recruits — the school's president is vowing to investigate it thoroughly.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:25 pm
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to treat foreign multinational companies on a par with the country's own state-owned enterprises, but he warned that an economic rebound remains fragile.
Li, speaking at a business forum in the northeastern city of Dalian on Wednesday, cautioned that the global economic outlook was a "complex situation" and outlined a series of steps designed to keep the country on a moderate but sustainable growth path.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 2:06 pm
If you are wondering what NSA insiders think of the millions of us who are being watched by the agency, we now have a clue.
As part of a slide deck that shows how the NSA can use location information collected by mobile phone users, someone at the NSA apparently thought it would be amusing to play with images from Apple's "Big Brother" ad from 1984 and make allusions to Orwell's body of work.
Now it's time to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back from Isn't It Ironic, Jessica Morello; from Minimum Sentence, Whitney Reynolds; from Sensational Spelling Bee, Virginia Roberts; and from Nursery Rhyme News, Kevin Maroney.
EISENBERG: They'll be playing our Ask Me One More final round, and I'm going to ask puzzle guru Mary Tobler to lead our final game.
Professional competitive eaters Crazy Legs Conti and Eric "Badlands" Booker join Ask Me Another for a round that'll make you hungry. House musician Jonathan Coulton quizzes them about different types of baked goods, with clues sung to the tune of the Twisted Sister anthem "We're Not Gonna Take It." Plus, find out how many pounds of quiche Crazy Legs can put away, and get a taste of Badlands' other talent—competitive eating-themed hip-hop.
Some people have a last name that is also a verb, so their full name forms a complete sentence--like George Burns and Stevie Nicks. (If you're one of these people, we salute you.) In this game, house musician Jonathan Coulton gives contestants clues about famous people whose names also tell a story--a very short story.