Tech

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

When Katlyn Burbidge's son was 6 years old, he was performing some silly antic typical of a first-grader. But after she snapped a photo and started using her phone, he asked her a serious question: "Are you going to post that to Facebook?"

She laughed and answered, "Yes, I think I will." What he said next stopped her.

"Can you not?"

That's when it dawned on her: She had been posting photos of him online without asking his permission.

Smartphone chip maker Qualcomm Inc. has agreed to buy NXP Semiconductors for $38 billion. The agreement allows Qualcomm, which makes chips for Apple and Android, to become the top seller of semiconductors for the car business.

Qualcomm's core business is in processors and wireless chips for smartphones. The deal allows the San Diego-based company to reduce its dependence on smartphones, a huge business that has reached a plateau.

The federal government, filled with creaky computer systems that are a poor match for the cybersecurity threats that agencies face from an array of hackers, criminals and foreign governments, is hoping for a multibillion-dollar capital infusion to modernize its IT infrastructure.

Twitter shocked the Internet Thursday with a farewell to Vine: "In the coming months we'll be discontinuing the mobile app."

We could have seen it coming. The six-second looped-video site hasn't gotten much love from Twitter, which is grappling with self-reflection: another quarter of losses, layoffs of 9 percent of the staff, constant rumors of a potential sale.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We have an obituary now for a subject who was far too young, who was beloved and whose passing should be a reminder to all of us of our own mortality. Here's NPR's Rose Friedman on the death of Vine.

"It's the consumers' information. How it is used should be the consumers' choice." So said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler as the commission adopted rules requiring Internet service providers such as Comcast and Verizon to get customers' permission before selling the data they collect to marketers.

The vote was 3-2 along party lines.

Hours after announcing a 9 percent staff cut, Twitter says it's also cutting the Vine looping-video app, which burst to popularity after its launch in 2013 but has struggled to match that growth in the past year.

The shutdown of Vine, which recently claimed more than 200 million monthly viewers, will occur "in the coming months," the company says in a blog post about the move.

Tesla surprised Wall Street Wednesday by posting a profit of nearly $22 million for the third quarter. It's a surprise because it's only the second time in the company's history that it has posted a quarterly profit.

Today may be the day when cable and telecom execs shake their heads at Google with a smug "I told you so."

The tech giant is scaling back its plan to wire American cities for hyper-fast Internet — the project called Google Fiber.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This presidential election year has tested the limits of free speech on Twitter. It's a prime political platform for Republican candidate Donald Trump, for the correspondents covering both presidential candidates, and for the purveyors of hate speech.

Emily Bell is the director for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School. NPR's Steve Inskeep talked with Bell about the challenges Twitter faces.


Interview Highlights

On the quality of debate on Twitter

Cori Bargmann's new job description includes "to help cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century." That's quite a lofty goal.

Bargmann is a neuroscientist and president of science for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the joint venture of pediatrician Priscilla Chan and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. The couple pledged $3 billion to solve major medical problems by helping scientists and engineers collaborate long term, over 25, 50, even 80 years.

In case you needed more evidence of the toll this divisive campaign is taking on America, a new survey says more than a third of social media users are "worn out" by the amount of political content they encounter.

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