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  • ideas-NB03-robot-tease

    NewsBeast: Ideas

    Watch out, Bono. A new machine orchestra may be the future of music.
  • nukes-nb40-wide

    Is There Any Kind of Safe Energy?

    The world holds its breath as Japan’s damaged nuclear reactors continue to spew radiation. In the worst case, a cloud of radioactive material could be blown inland, endangering millions. The crisis has forced a reexamination of American nuclear policy.
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    Measuring Tsunamis

    The NOAA took 20 years to develop a reliable tsunamograph, an apparatus that provides accurate, real-time data on tsunamis. It consists of an anchored, ocean-bottom pressure recorder and a companion buoy (called DART, for Deep-Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis). The recorder, sitting at a depth of up to 5,000 meters, measures changes in pressure due to changes in water level. The recorder transmits acoustic signals to the buoy, which, in turn, relays the measurements of wave height to satellites. This information is then used to forecast the progress of a tsunami. Although each tsunamograph costs a mere $200,000, there are only about 50 in operation worldwide. There are scarcely any in the middle of the Pacific, and practically none in the Indian Ocean. Each dot on the map above represents a single buoy, an object about five feet wide that resembles a flying saucer. Many countries, such as India and Indonesia, have resisted acquiring DARTs from the NOAA out of a sense of ...
  • brain-begley-FE10-hsmall

    The Science of Making Decisions

    The Twitterization of our culture has revolutionized our lives, but with an unintended consequence—our overloaded brains freeze when we have to make decisions.
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    'CSI' Backlash: Forensics on Trial

    When it comes to criminal cases, scientific evidence can seem like cold hard facts. But recently, advocates worry that both bad science and internal corruption is making forensics faulty—and innocent people are going to jail.
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    Apple's Battle With Amazon Over Books on the iPad

    Content is supposed to be king. But in the world of electronic devices, Apple seems to be placing the crown on its own head, apparently believing that its iPad and iPhone are more important to customers than the books, movies, and music they store on them.
  • sleep-SC93-vl

    How to Improve Your Memory With Sleep

    Getting a good night’s sleep has long been known to cement the day’s memories, moving them from short-term storage into long-term holding, but new research shows that it’s not automatic.
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    Dictator-Proofing the Internet

    When authorities in Egypt shut down Internet connections during last week’s uprising, hackers around the world started scrambling to create a work-around. Before they could succeed, the blackout was lifted. But now people are worried that similar shutdowns might occur in countries like Jordan, Syria, and Yemen—and so hackers are working to set up alternative networks in those countries, just in case.
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    Why Some People Choose Anxiety

    Considering that anxiety makes your palms sweat, your heart race, your stomach turn somersaults, and your brain seize up like a car with a busted transmission, it’s no wonder people reach for the Xanax to vanquish it. But in a surprise, researchers who study emotion regulation—how we cope, or fail to cope, with the daily swirl of feelings—are discovering that many anxious people are bound and determined (though not always consciously) to cultivate anxiety. The reason, studies suggest, is that for some people anxiety boosts cognitive performance, while for others it actually feels comforting.
  • geo-enteering-sc40-wide

    Begley: Problems With 'Geo-Engineering' Plans

    It sounded like a panacea for climate change: “geo-engineering” the atmosphere to block some sunlight and counter global warming. Now scientists scrutinizing the approach say it could produce dangerous cascade effects, severely disrupting weather and agriculture—and might fail to block the worst of the greenhouse effects anyway.
  • mammograms-fe97-hsmall

    The Debate Over Digital Mammograms

    There is no evidence digital mammograms improve cancer detection in older women. But thanks to political pressure, Medicare pays 65 percent more for them.
  • quora-lyones-FE98-hsmall

    Ask a Celebrity Geek

    For people who already have their hands full keeping up with Facebook, scanning Twitter tweets, and answering email too, here’s a heads-up. The cool kids and big egos of Silicon Valley are busy colonizing a new social network—and soon you may want to as well.
  • LIST-internet-enemies-INTRO.jpg

    Left Out of the World Wide Web

    As protests continue in Egypt, the government has cracked down by suspending the country’s Internet service and disrupting much of the cell-phone coverage. Reporters Without Borders closely monitors how nations restrict the Internet access of their citizens. Here are the worst violators.
  • apples-seeds-of-innovation-image10

    Apple Moves In on Your Wallet

    A chip that links an iPhone to your bank account could break mobile commerce wide open in the U.S. and could be Apple's possible next category killer.
  • cory-booker-snow-hsmall

    Cory Booker's Snowspiration

    Cory Booker used Twitter to help dig out residents of Newark during the last blizzard. Now, with much of the Eastern Seaboard covered in snow, more Americans implored the mayor to come to their aid. While Booker can't be everywhere, ordinary citizens inspired by his example often heeded the call.
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    Very Personal Trainers

    The history of televised fitness is almost as long as the history of television. From syndicated shows to videos on demand, exercise shows have been capturing our attention for years—and making their stars national icons. Here’s a look at some of the most notable figures and biggest milestones in fitness TV.
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    Why Almost Everything You Hear About Medicine Is Wrong

    If you follow the news about health research, you risk whiplash. First garlic lowers bad cholesterol, then—after more study—it doesn’t. Hormone replacement reduces the risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women, until a huge study finds that it doesn’t (and that it raises the risk of breast cancer to boot). Eating a big breakfast cuts your total daily calories, or not—as a study released last week finds. Yet even if biomedical research can be a fickle guide, we rely on it.
  • jobs-fe06-tease

    What an Apple Without Steve Jobs Might Look Like

    Apple CEO Steve Jobs has gone on a medical leave. With luck this will be temporary, like his last medical leave, in 2009, when Jobs, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, received a liver transplant. But what if he doesn’t come back? Ever since the previous time, people have wondered if the company could carry on without him.
  • jobs-fe06-tease

    The Genius Dilemma

    Just how essential is a company’s visionary founder? Apple and Google are about to find out.
  • LIST-nasa-innovations-intro.jpg

    NASA Inventions Headed to Your Home

    NASA’s Spinoff 2010 report, which the agency publishes annually to promote the commercial applications of its investments in technological research, highlights a number of innovations that affect our lives every day. Here are some of the highlights.