The U.S. has objected to the 1,000-mile-long pipeline, but Pakistan says it's needed to alleviate its energy shortfall.
For IT professionals, Microsoft has invented a holiday -- of sorts. The second Tuesday of every month is the day Microsoft releases the latest batch of security patches for it's software: Patch Tuesday. This week, the company has more than half-dozen security fixes, as cyber threats mount for Microsoft and Apple software.
A horrific series of disasters devastated Japan two years ago today. First an earthquake, then a tsunami and then a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Today's anniversary is being marked with protests against nuclear power in Japan. But can the country sustain a non-nuclear energy policy?
Whatever the science, consumers are jumpy about genetically modified foods. At least they are in Europe. For years, restaurants and grocery stores have trumpeted their products are GMO free. In the U.S., Whole Foods now plans to label products with the GMOs inside. But will our market follow Europe’s lead and shun modified food?
Also: Cardinals prepare to begin papal conclave; U.S. and Afghan soldiers killed in "insider attack;" Obama to continue "charm offensive;" Harvard faculty stunned by search of their emails.
Whatever the science, consumers are jumpy about genetically modified foods. At least they are in Europe. For years, restaurants and grocery stores have trumpeted their products are GMO free.
"Even McDonalds in Italy and in Great Britain advertises that its products don’t contain any GMOs. So it depresses use of genetically modified foods," says New York University food studies professor Marion Nestle.
In the U.S., Whole Foods now plans to label products with the GMOs inside. But will our market follow Europe’s lead and shun modified food? American farms grow the most genetically modified foods in the world, and our diet is already full of high-tech grains.
The real test may be price, says Harry Balzer of the NPD Group.
"Nothing will change your behavior faster -- short of a food safety issue -- than prices. And we will never let food prices rise faster than our incomes," Balzer says.
A study from Iowa State suggests non-genetically modified foods could end up costing 6 to 10 percent more around the world.
Experts worry that while the North has often made threats, now it's rhetoric is ratcheting up. That may make the new young leader, Kim Jong Un, feel as if he has to follow through on the threats in some way.
The bloated carcasses were first noticed on Tuesday. Authorities says they appear to have died as a result of a swine virus that cannot be transmitted to humans.
Also: the best books coming out this week; Mindy Kaling is writing another memoir; and Francine Prose explores dreams in literature.
A horrific series of disasters devastated Japan two years ago today. First an earthquake, then a tsunami and then a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Today's anniversary is being marked with protests against nuclear power in Japan. But can the country sustain a non-nuclear energy policy?
The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo joins Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to discuss the legacy of Fukushima and the clean up efforts still underway.
On Tuesday, 115 "cardinal electors" will be locked inside the Vatican to begin the secretive process of selecting the new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. It's one of the more spectacular and intriguing theatrical dramas on the planet.
Eight young people were in an SUV when it flipped over a guardrail and into a pond. All were from Warren, Ohio. "It's going to be a rough week, a rough rest of the school year," says the local school superintendent.
Hardware is a hot topic this year at the Texas-based festival famous for launching startups like Twitter and Foursquare.
There's another lengthy filibuster going on. This one is in Nebraska over a horse racing initiative that could bring in as much as $18 million a year in additional wagering, which the state collects taxes on. The problem is, some of the horses in these races might not even be alive anymore.
Nebraska lawmakers want to install video screens that would play old races to boost the state's gambling revenue. So the way it works is bettors know the horses' odds, but that's about it.
"When you go the machine you don't know when or where it was run, you don't know the names of the horses or anything like that, but you do have a form that you can look at," says Nebraska Senator Russ Karpisek, a supporter of the bill. "As soon as you bet, you can start it and watch the race.
Opponents say betting on old races on a video screen seems pretty random -- slot machine random. And Nebraska law prohibits slot machines.
Mark Nichols, economics professor at the University of Nevada in Reno, wonders how all that missing info about the race affects the odds.
"It is a little bit more guesswork, because to the extent that jockeys can have an influence on the outcome, which presumably they can, you don't know that information," Nichols says.
Why couldn't the state just introduce off-track betting, where gamblers can watch televised live races? Well, the Nebraska legislature killed that bill three years ago.
But could you drink your mint julep at one of these video screens? Senator Karpisek says why not?
"Well I think you could," he says, "and I would. Or at least beer."
Intrade, the online betting site, has shut up shop. The Irish based company allowed customers to bet on a wide range of non-sporting events including U.S. elections and the Academy Awards. Yesterday the firm said it had ceased trading while it investigates possible financial irregularities.
Intrade has been in trouble for several months. Late last year, U.S. regulators dealt the company a potentially fatal blow when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued the firm to stop it from taking bets from American customers, who were the main users of the site. Americans were banned and visitor numbers plummeted. Observers in Dublin say this is the likeliest reason for the company’s closure:
“Most people are drawing a straight line from their problems with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to the closure of the company today” says Peter Flanagan , a business reporter with the Irish Independent.
It’s not yet clear whether Intrade will re-open. If not, its loss will be lamented not only by gamblers -- academics and journalists prized the site as a novel and effective way of predicting diverse outcomes ranging from a North Korean missile launch to the identity of the next Pope.
China's government has announced plans to remove power from the agency that oversees the country's one-child policy. Observers say this could spell the beginning of the end for the rule.
Follow more of our coverage on China's one-child policy:
For the past 34 years, China has limited urban couples to one child in an effort to curb massive population growth. Though the family planning policy has always been controversial, nowadays many urban couples are content with one child due to mounting economic pressures such as inflation.
To hear more about why China's government is rethinking its one-child rule, click on the audio player above.
"FYI,” one of the astronauts eventually told ground control, “the station's still flying straight."
Well, Earthlings, prepare to reboot. Tomorrow is "Patch Tuesday:" Microsoft's release of software fixes to correct bugs. And expect more of these fixes as hackers become increasingly aggressive, says Chester Wisniewski with network-security company Sophos.
"We see 20,000 new malicious web URLs every day on the Internet. This is a very wide-scale problem," he says, and not just for PCs. "We’ve seen well over a million [Macs] compromised in the last 12 months. So that could be the beginnings of, unfortunately, the Mac catching up with the PC."
But why do the updates have to be so irritating, with pop-up windows and computer restarts?
Wolfgang Kandek, chief technical officer at computer-security firm Qualys, says there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
"The older the software is and the less time a vendor has invested into this mechanism, the more cumbersome it is. Newer softwares do this in a better way," he says. Kandek says more software will update without users even knowing it.
Yet it’s also worth remembering that the only thing more annoying than a security update is getting hacked.
For those who rely on technology to speak, there are a limited number of voices. "Perfect Paul" sounds robotic, and "Heather" can seem too old for some. Now, a researcher is using sound samples from people who have never been able to speak to create new, personalized voices for them.
The Leap Motion Controller senses and tracks hand motions to allow users to browse the Web, play games and open documents. It represents another step in a goal of computer scientists: to make interactions with machines feel natural and easy, and to take away the barriers between humans and computers.
Kenichi Togawa was working at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan the day the earthquake and tsunami struck. His family is still living in temporary housing. For many people, the stress and isolation brought on by the disaster could pose more persistent hazards than the radiation.
Women who took aspirin at least a couple of times a week for five years or more cut their risk of melanoma by 30 percent. The new study adds to the mounting pile of research suggesting that cheap, common aspirin lowers the risk of many cancers, including colon, breast, esophagus, stomach, prostate, bladder and ovarian cancer.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) uses satellite radio waves to map restaurants on our smartphones, guide cars and monitor aircraft. For those who want to stop others from tracking their movement, GPS signals can be jammed -- albeit illegally. And now, GPS signals can also be "spoofed."
"A GPS spoofer, instead of just trying to jam the signal, tries to mimic [it]," says Todd Humphreys, a professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas, who spoke during a recent session at South by Southwest. "And if you can do this precisely enough, you can fool a receiver into tracking your [spoofed] signals instead of the authentic ones."
Humphreys and some of his students set out to test the possibility. They got an $80,000 pilotless aircraft -- a drone -- and flew it over an otherwise empty football stadium.
"The drone was commanded to hover in place, holding its position," says 23-year-old graduate student Daniel Shepard, who ran the experiment. The team then told the drone's GPS receiver that it wasn't hovering -- it was rising. "In response it plummeted towards the ground in rather dramatic fashion."
The demonstration got the attention of Congress and Homeland Security which unlocked some funding to try to protect the GPS system from spoofing.
To hear more about the possibility of GPS spoofing, click on the audio player above.