National News

Don't have cable and want to watch the World Cup?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 08:34

While only about 3 percent of Americans claim men’s soccer as their favorite sport, the 2014 World Cup seems to have compelled some non-fans to pay attention.

For the next month, as 32 soccer teams face off in Brazil, people from around the globe will be glued to their TV screens. Most of them will be able to watch the games for free. But if you're part of an ever growing contingency of Americans known as "cord cutters," those who have boldly cancelled their cable subscriptions in favor of streaming content on the internet, you’re going to have to get a little more creative.

Four years ago, over 24 million Americans tuned in to watch the World Cup. (No small potatoes, but still a paltry figure when compared to the 111.5 million people who tuned in to watch this year's Super Bowl.) Since then, cord-cutting has increased by 44 percent, from 5.1 million to 7.6 million households.

If you live in one of those homes, the bad news is ABC is only broadcasting a handful of the matches for free on broadcast TV, and won't be putting any of them online. Most of the games will be shown on ESPN, meaning you'll need a cable subscription if you want to watch. (If you do have cable, you can use the WatchESPN digital video service to stream games.)

That is -- if you want to watch in English.

Spanish language broadcast network Univision may be your saving grace. Univision is streaming the first 56 matches at its website (Google's Chrome browser can translate the site if you can't read Spanish) and Univision will broadcast games after the quarterfinals on TV. Univision pulled in two times the number of viewers as ESPN during the 2010 Cup.

For the more savvy internet users among you, the thing all the cool kids are doing to watch this World Cup is to use a VPN, or virtual private network. VPNs essentially fool a streaming service that is restricted to a certain country into thinking you live there. Tunnelbear, VyprVPN, and Unotelly are all popular and easy to use VPNs.

And, of course, there’s always the old fashioned way: Knock off work early, head to your local bar, plop down on a stool, order a drink, look up at the TV and enjoy. This might not be the most healthy or economical way, but it could be the most fun. But as they say in the commercials, please drink responsibly.

Still not satisfied? Deadspin has put together an exhaustive list, game-by-game, or where you can watch each match online.

Can A Female Politician Be Insulted Without It Being Sexist?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 08:28

Debate is raging online about whether profane chants directed at President Dilma Rousseff during Brazil's World Cup match against Croatia were sexist.

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6 Questions About Contraception Coverage And The Supreme Court

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 08:19

The court is expected to render a decision that will determine the implementation of the Affordable Care Act's guarantee that no-cost prescription contraception be part of most health insurance plans.

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Obama Rules Out Troops In Iraq But Says U.S. Is Weighing Other Options

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 08:18

The president said any action in Iraq will be "targeted and precise" but must be accompanied by political action by Iraqis. The comments come as extremists seized control of parts of Iraq.

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Things your dad likes: Tools, electronics, crackers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 08:06

Father's Day is coming up, and while your dad probably said that all he wants is a pair of socks or a new tie for a gift, he's really got his eye on that awesome chainsaw or that shiny new smartphone, that is, if you go off of the findings from research organization YouGov, which has a survey of the best perceived brands by fathers. Power-tool maker Craftsman took the top spot, among other home improvement and technology brands.

According to YouGov's BrandIndex survey, household brand Clorox made the biggest leap in positive perception, taking the sixth place on the list, which is possibly indicative of the more active role fathers are taking in household responsibilites. Also moving up into the top 10 was cracker brand Ritz, reminding us of or dads' continued snacking needs as it joins on the list tech companies like Samsung, Sony and Amazon, and the media brands YouTube and the History Channel.

Moving out of the list compared to last year were Cheerios, Johnson & Johnson and M & Ms.

YouGov on their survey methods:

YouGov BrandIndex filtered their entire 1,100+ brand universe for respondents who identified themselves as men age 18 and over with children under 18 years old. The firm then ranked them using their flagship Index score, which measures brand health by averaging sub-scores on quality, satisfaction, impression, value, reputation and willingness to recommend. The scores reflect surveying over the past 30 days.

See the full list in the graphic below.

 

Critics Renew Calls For More Diverse Video Game Characters

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 08:03

Women make up a significant proportion of dedicated gamers, but they were hardly represented on stage and in games previewed at a big game industry trade event in Los Angeles.

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Pakistani Juice Drink Packs A Sweet And Spicy Punch

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 07:58

Sometimes NPR's foreign correspondents take a break from war and other serious business to enjoy daily life in their adopted cities. Here our Pakistan correspondent tries a 'miracle' drink.

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In A First, Afghanistan Is Set To Change Leaders At The Ballot Box

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 06:04

In a country shaped by warlords, Saturday's presidential election features two urbane men with doctorates vying to replace Hamid Karzai. Both want close U.S. relations, including a security deal.

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Crazy Bad Luck: It's Friday The 13th With A Full Moon

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 05:24

The next time this phenomenon will happen is Aug. 13, 2049.

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Exercise And Protein May Help Good Gut Bacteria Get Their Groove On

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 04:38

A new study of athletes suggests exercise may help support a rich, diverse mix of bacteria in the gut. But scientists say the athletes' high-protein diet may also be supporting the community.

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Dancing On A Lark: Gov. Christie Struts His Stuff On 'Tonight Show'

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 04:22

The New Jersey governor showed the Evolution of Dad Dancing with Jimmy Fallon, the show's host.

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iPads In Special Ed: What Does The Research Say?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 04:03

There are 8 million iPads in the classroom, but only a few thousand studies of their effectiveness.

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Bergdahl Back In The U.S. To Continue Recovery

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 03:55

The Army sergeant spent five years as a captive of the Taliban. He arrived at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio early this morning after spending nearly two weeks recuperating in Germany.

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Shiite Leaders Urge Iraqis To Rise Up Against Sunni Extremists

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 03:25

The militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria already controls the cities of Mosul and Tikrit, and has now taken towns in Diyalah province.

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PODCAST: Open sourced electric cars

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 03:00

Elon Musk announced that Tesla would be opening up its patents for other companies to use. This open source policy could be a shrewd move for the company -- the more there is a culture around electric cars, the better chance they have of actually selling electric vehicles. Plus, President Obama makes his first visit to a Native American reservation as president. Also, with the U.S. market for fish being made up of 90 percent imports, its problematic that one third of that fish is caught illegally. More on the issues involved in combating illegal fishing.

Tesla's move to open source may be good for business

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 03:00

Tesla Motors is going open source. Its CEO, Elon Musk, says the electric car company will no longer enforce its patents, in effect allowing competitors not only to peek at the technology Tesla has pioneered, but to copy it.

“Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters,” Musk said in a statement. “That is no longer the case. They have been removed in the spirit of the open source movement for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.”

“It is important to understand that, in many ways, patents are a tradeoff,” says R. Polk Wagner, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania. “Just because you have patents doesn’t mean you get anything out of them, necessarily.”

Sure, they can be valuable, but getting them and enforcing them is expensive.

According to Andrea James, an analyst with Dougherty & Co., the reason Tesla is doing this is “to accelerate electric vehicle adoption and innovation.”

“Tesla is really far ahead, and I think they just want to grow the overall market,” she says.

To succeed, Tesla needs more Americans to feel comfortable driving and buying electric cars. If more companies were to make them, that would help.

“It’s not a charity move,” says Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst with AutoTrader.com. “It’s a very smart business move.”

Competitors could use the network of charging stations Tesla is installing, or they could buy Tesla batteries.

Other car companies have charted a similar course in the past.  Volvo decided not to enforce its patent for the three-point safety belt. GM shared the technology behind its catalytic converter.

Tesla says the move is in good faith. The company will still apply for patents, and if necessary, Musk says the carmaker won’t be afraid to fight back.

 

Obama will see problems on reservations first hand

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 02:47

President Barack Obama's visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota Friday will let him get a first-hand look at the challenges facing Native Americans. And there are many.

The Census Bureau says 27 percent of Native Americans are poor. Helen Oliff of National Relief Charities says on the reservations her organization serves, the poverty rate is actually higher, which exacerbates another problem: many Native Americans have little access to fresh, healthy food.

“You have a lot of convenience stores on the reservations," Oliff explains. "Many people are 30 to 60 miles away from the nearest regular grocery store.”

That leads many people to eat the pre-packed foods the convenience stores sell. 

Unemployment is also problematic, partly because it's hard to reach jobs from remote reservations.

“When our reservation area was created, back in the day, it really put us in a box, literally," says Scott Davis, a Lakota Sioux and head of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission.

Davis says the Obama administration has given tribes more autonomy, and President Obama has included the Choctaw Nation in his Promise Zone program, which helps impoverished communities access federal resources. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data on our data: 100,000 malware implants

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 02:30

This month marks the first anniversary of the Edward Snowden leaks that changed our understanding of online privacy. Just like the subject matter of the leaks, the reporting over the last year has offered a deluge of information. So this week, we're posting a short series about all that data. Every day we'll bring you another number that reminds us how much we have learned in the last year about online surveillance and the reach of the NSA.

85,000-100,000

malware implants

This number refers to the bits of malicious software that the National Security Agency has put onto computers around the world. The software allows the government to conduct surveillance, but it's also essentially building a network of weaknesses in our vast system of computing devices.

“This often introduces vulnerabilities to computer systems, and can have far-reaching effects if criminals are able to learn from some of this highly advanced code being deployed by the government,” says Chester Wisniewski of the cybersecurity firm Sophos.

I think this last data point is really profound. No matter how we conduct war, it’s important to remember that when we build new weapons, we run the risk, and the threat, of those weapons being used against us. The question is when and if it's worth it.

Silicon Tally: NSA my name

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 02:00

It's time for Silicon Tally. How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?

This week we're joined by Glenn Greenwald, a journalist with The Intercept, and the author of "No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the U.S. Surveillance State".

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Obama will see problems on reservations first hand

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 02:00

President Barack Obama's visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota Friday will let him get a first-hand look at the challenges facing Native Americans. And there are many.

The Census Bureau says 27 percent of Native Americans are poor. Helen Oliff of National Relief Charities says on the reservations her organization serves, the poverty rate is actually higher, which exacerbates another problem: many Native Americans have little access to fresh, healthy food.

“You have a lot of convenience stores on the reservations," Oliff explains. "Many people are 30 to 60 miles away from the nearest regular grocery store.”

That leads many people to eat the pre-packed foods the convenience stores sell. 

Unemployment is also problematic, partly because it's hard to reach jobs from remote reservations.

“When our reservation area was created, back in the day, it really put us in a box, literally," says Scott Davis, a Lakota Sioux and head of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission.

Davis says the Obama administration has given tribes more autonomy, and President Obama has included the Choctaw Nation in his Promise Zone program, which helps impoverished communities access federal resources. 

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