Tech

News about computers, smartphones, gadgets, apps, the Internet and the tech industry.

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Republicans call their tax bill the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. But critics say maybe it should have been named the Tax Cut and Robots Act.

That's because it doesn't create new tax incentives that specifically encourage companies to hire workers and create jobs, some employers and economists say. But it does expand incentives for companies to buy robots and machines that replace workers.

Republicans say that lowering taxes will boost the economy and spur job creation. But critics say that the tax legislation would create an imbalance favoring machines over workers.

Airlines including American, Delta and Alaska have announced restrictions on so-called smart luggage because the lithium-ion batteries found in many of these suitcases pose a fire risk.

These kinds of bags have proliferated in recent years, including motorized suitcases you can ride and one pitched as an autonomous "robot companion" that follows you around.

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Jessica Ladd was sexually assaulted while at Pomona College, just as one in five college women are. She says she found the reporting process, "more traumatic than the assault" itself. She felt "like I didn't have control. A lack of agency. I wasn't believed, and ended up regretting reporting."

Jim Beam Presents The Smart Decanter

Dec 6, 2017

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Good morning. I'm David Greene. I bring you the perfect drinking buddy.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD, "JIM BY JIM BEAM")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As man) Hey, JIM, what's the weather today?

Former President Barack Obama's tweet this summer in response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., was the most-liked among those on Twitter's most-retweeted list for 2017.

Ask The FCC

Dec 5, 2017

From late night TV to your Twitter feed, the Federal Communications Commission’s vote on net neutrality is a hot topic.

The FCC has been reversing and revising a number of regulations, bringing a new level of attention to a federal body that’s usually not the subject of so much public debate.

Gen Z is the generation that follows millennials. The oldest members are now going into college, they have tons of buying power, and marketers are trying to figure how to sell to them. Youth Radio's Rhea Park reports on how fashion trends reach Gen Z.

I used to be addicted to an Internet phenomenon called haul videos. It sounds kind of weird. But I'll watch someone sitting in their room, trying on clothes and talking about how they fit.

How A Virtual Friendship Turned IRL

Dec 5, 2017

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Now a story about people using coding to find a way through political polarization. This is in Brazil, where civic hackathons have become popular. Reporter Catherine Osborn went to a hackathon in Rio de Janeiro.

The First Text Message Celebrates 25 Years

Dec 4, 2017

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The students entering college are not millennials. The next generation, Generation Z, has arrived. The oldest in the group are in their early 20s.

Not only have they never known a world without the Internet, some have had smartphones since middle school.

And for this group, memes, animated GIFs and emojis are second nature, says Geoff Nunberg, a linguist who does features on language on NPR's Fresh Air.

The Ground Beneath Our Feet

Dec 4, 2017

During a major soil catastrophe — the Dust Bowl — President Franklin Roosevelt told state governors, “The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.”

Still, we treat our soil like dirt. By growing food and storing carbon dioxide and water, the loam and peat that coats the earth sustains us all. In return, we till it, treat it with chemicals and generally walk all over it.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro says his country will create a cryptocurrency system called the "petro," backed by oil reserves and other natural resources, in his latest attempt to cope with an abysmal national economy and multiple rounds of U.S. sanctions.

Unveiling the petro plan on his weekly national TV program Sundays with Maduro, the president said the cryptocurrency (in Spanish, criptomoneda) could help Venezuela evade international sanctions.

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