National / International News

Shhh! It's time for Formula E!

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-10 02:00

The new international championship for fully-electric racing cars just held its first major test session at the Donington Park circuit in Leicestershire, England.

The series kicks off with a race through the streets of Beijing in September. It will include events in 10 cities, concluding with an "E-prix" around London's Battersea Park next June.

Organizers hope it will transform the way we think about electric cars, as well as providing a test-bed for new technologies, which can help to improve their performance.

The Donington test marks the first time the cars have run in anger - and the first time members of the public have been able to see how they compare to more traditional racing machines.

The BBC's Theo Leggett went to see how the new cars look - and sound. Watch his report above.

Text and video courtesy of the BBC.

Boy, 3, found in swimming pool dies

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 01:43
A three-year-old who was found "unresponsive" in a swimming pool in Wiltshire dies.

More BBC TV 'may be made externally'

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 01:32
BBC director general Lord Hall sets out proposals to introduce an open market for programme-making at the corporation.

Cooling babies 'halts brain damage'

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 01:28
Cooling babies deprived of oxygen at birth improves their chances of growing up without disabilities such as cerebral palsy, research suggests.

China's Booming Real Estate Market Finally Begins To Slide

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 01:27

After years of stunning growth, China's go-go real estate market is in retreat. It has been one of the engines driving the world's second-largest economy, so economists are watching it closely.

» E-Mail This

AUDIO: Uncensored: Sassoon's Atrocities

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 01:16
Actor and director Samuel West reads the uncensored version of Siegfried Sassoon’s poem Atrocities.

Letter from Africa: Fight back against hate

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 01:14
Is Kenya doing enough to tackle rise of hate speech?

Animal procedures show small rise

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 01:14
The number of experimental procedures carried out on animals in Britain showed a small rise last year, despite a pledge by the government to reduce them.

Critics split on complex Richard III

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 01:04
An "ingenious" but "complicated" production of Shakespeare's Richard III earns mixed reviews for Sherlock star Martin Freeman.

Companies: stop making your employees use tablets

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-10 01:00

I followed the bank branch manager into one of those little offices to set up a recurring payment from my account. While I pulled out my ID and my bank card, I watched her pull aside tangled cords and guide her tablet through a clumsy re-docking process. The tablet itself - an Android - had a heavy-looking cover with oddly shaped handles and a plug for the dock.

"Is that thing helpful?" I asked. Her bright, officious bank manager expression slid away and was replaced by a rueful grin.

"Ehh..." She sighed. Then she brightened again. "It's much more portable," she said. 

"But are you doing stuff where you need it to be portable?"

"Honestly, not really." 

This is a perfect example of how companies are misreading the mobile revolution. They see that tablets are a hot item, and they want to be part of that hotness. It's why Microsoft still believes its powerful Surface tablets can get a leg up against the iPad and various Android options. It's why PC sales have taken a nosedive in the last few years. It's why, even though tablets are often only really being used for entertainment, companies are buying in. 

But it's not always the right move. At a fundamental level, tablets do the same things computers do, just usually with less powerful software and hardware. They are way more mobile - and that's a significant difference - but they're often less capable. Or we are less capable at using them for certain tasks. 

It's almost like companies are trying to mimic the television commercials showing how a certain company is totally revolutionizing the way you do business. The story boards write themselves:

The guy in America invents a product. He sends the designs from his tablet to a guy in China who looks at them on his tablet, which he also uses to deliver instructions to the production line. Then the shipping company guy in Germany uses his tablet to organize the process of filling orders.

Boom. Awesome. Isn't technology amazing? 

Look, I get it - in some cases, introducing tablets to your business helps your business do better. I have carried my tablet to Marketplace's morning editorial meeting and other workplace huddles. And from boardrooms to factory floors, people are using them to try to be faster, more "nimble." Maybe as a customer, I'm impressed sometimes when the person on the other side of the transaction is using a tablet. We're all wrapped up in how consumer electronics are all the rage these days, and if you squint your eyes and blur your vision enough, putting a tablet or a smartphone in every representatives' hands makes a company look more innovative. Really, it makes a company look cooler. There's value in that. But how much?

This week, Gartner released its latest estimates for tablet and PC sales. While PC sales continue to dip and tablet sales continue to grow, there is some leveling out in the data. That is partly about the cycle of upgrades for businesses and consumers, and the maturing of early adopter markets like the US. But part of it may also be that some companies are discovering more tablets don't always mean better, faster, stronger business. 

I told my bank manager story to someone, and they told me a similar story about going to a brick-and-mortar store for a major wireless carrier. The associate began to input the information into a tablet and started having problems. He threw up his hands, and said "I'll be right back." He disappeared into the back office and returned a few minutes later with all the data input for the transaction done. What magic was in the back room? An old fashioned PC. 

New device aims for paranoid-parent market

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-10 01:00

The electronics-maker LG is, like many of its competitors, making a foray into wearable technology. However, this device has a distinctly different purpose — not to keep the wearer informed, but to keep a parent informed on their child.

The device, the KizON, is a child-tracking wristband — paired with the band is a smartphone app, where parents can look on a map and see where their kid is.

They can also call the wristband and talk to the child — if the child doesn’t answer, it will still connect to the child and hear surrounding sound.

While the device may reduce parental paranoia, it could be hard to get kids, especially older ones, to wear it

“It’s still think it’s going to have a steep climb for total acceptance, and probably easier is something that’s built into something your child already wants,” says Lindsey Turrentine, Editor in Chief of reviews at CNET.

Singapore withdraws gay penguin book

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 00:59
Singapore authorities remove from libraries two children's books featuring same-sex couples, sparking controversy amid an ongoing debate on gay rights.

No-one wanted first penalty - Van Gaal

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 00:38
Louis van Gaal says two Netherlands players refused to take the first penalty in their World Cup semi-final shootout defeat.

Whisky boss: 'I've not been bullied'

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 00:27
The current chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association says no-one has attempted to bully him during the referendum campaign.

Six killed in US house shooting

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 00:26
A gunman suspected of shooting dead six people in the US, including four of his own children, surrenders to police near Houston.

Lloris signs new five-year Spurs deal

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 00:08
Tottenham's France international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris signs a five-year contract extension with the Premier League club.

England name women's World Cup squad

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 00:04
Richmond flanker Alex Matthews is included in a 26-strong England squad for the Women's Rugby World Cup in France next month.

The NHS budget: Five things we've learned

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 23:55
How new report lifts the lid on NHS finances

Emergency data law to be rushed in

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 23:44
Emergency legislation will be brought in next week to force phone and internet companies to log records of customer calls, texts and internet use.

Crash burns victim returns to skiing

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 23:33
A 20-year-old Wrexham woman who suffered 96% burns to her body returns to the ski slope as part of her recovery work.
ON THE AIR

KBBI is Powered by Active Listeners like You

As we celebrate 35 years of broadcasting, we look ahead to technology improvements and the changing landscape of public radio.

Support the voices, music, information, and ideas that add so much to your life.Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4