NPR


Amazon's Cashier-Less Seattle Grocery Opens To The Public

NPR

Shoppers roam through an Amazon Go store in April. The automated grocery, which had been restricted to Amazon employees, will now be open to the general public starting Monday. Shoppers roam through an Amazon Go store in April. The automated grocery, which had been restricted to Amazon employees, will now be open to the general public starting Monday. Amazon on Monday will open its automated grocery in Seattle to the public, replacing cashiers with a smartphone app and hundreds of small cameras that track purchases.


What's The Best Way To Help Refugees Land A Job?

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Syrian Kurds take cover from the rain after crossing the border between Syria and Turkey. Syrian Kurds take cover from the rain after crossing the border between Syria and Turkey. It wouldn't make any sense to send a French-speaking refugee to a German-speaking town in Switzerland. But under Switzerland's current system of placing refugees, that's a situation that can easily happen. This problem isn't unique to Switzerland, and it's not the only kind of mismatch that might happen.


Drone Used To Save 2 Teens Caught In Dangerous Australian Waves

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Two teenage boys, struggling to make their way back to shore, were saved by a drone in Australia on Wednesday, in what officials say is a first-of-its-kind rescue mission by an unmanned aircraft -- one captured by the drone's camera and later broadcast by Arab News and other outlets. A beachgoer caught a glimpse of the distressed swimmers, 15 and 17, who were fighting dangerous waves off Australia's Far North Coast in New South Wales. He alerted lifeguards, who happened to be in the middle of a drone training session, learning how the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) work. Lifeguard supervisor Jai Sheridan got the call and piloted the drone, dubbed "Little Ripper," toward the swimmers, about 2,300 feet over the ocean. Within 70 seconds the drone was hovering over the boys and had dropped a self-inflating rescue pod into the water.


Established Automakers Announce Bold Moves In Electrification

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But recently, those headlines have also been about production delays and quality control problems, which is giving older car companies like Toyota, Mercedes Benz and General Motors a chance to catch up. SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: The keynote speaker at the Consumer Electronics Show, a former furniture executive turned University of Michigan athletic director turned car CEO. GLINTON: Dressed in a black sweater vest, Hackett seemed to channel his best Steve Jobs. Hackett is coming to CES to make the case for Ford being a mobility company. They won't just build cars, but offer rental or ride hailing - go way, way beyond just making and selling cars.


Man As God: 'Frankenstein' Turns 200

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"A man is a god in ruins," wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th century. Ever since people contemplated the existence of a divine dimension -- and this belief must go back to the very early stages of Homo Sapiens or even earlier -- with Neanderthals, a split occurred between the human condition and the eternal. As humans, it is our curse and our blessing to be aware of our own mortality -- and to suffer with the loss of our close ones -- and, in a broader sense, with the predicament of others. In 1818, Mary Shelley published the first edition of Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, a novel that has captured our collective imagination like few others in history. The genesis of the tale is well known, a ghost-story writing competition between Mary, her husband Percy Bysshe, and Lord Byron, during a stormy night on June 1816 on Lake Geneva.


Siri, Cortana, And Alexa Carry The Marks Of Their Human Makers

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Jimena Canales is a faculty member of the Graduate College at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a research affiliate at MIT. She focuses on 19th and 20th century history of the physical sciences and science in the modern world. Her most recent book is titled The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson and the Debate That Changed Our Understanding of Time. You can learn more about her here. Resolutions abound at this time of year: The close of 2017 and the start to 2018 presents a symbolic "fresh start."


'Least Desirable'? How Racial Discrimination Plays Out In Online Dating

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In 2014, user data on OkCupid showed that most men on the site rated black women as less attractive than women of other races and ethnicities. That resonated with Ari Curtis, 28, and inspired her blog, Least Desirable. In 2014, user data on OkCupid showed that most men on the site rated black women as less attractive than women of other races and ethnicities. That resonated with Ari Curtis, 28, and inspired her blog, Least Desirable. I don't date Asians -- sorry, not sorry.


How Robots Are Helping A Furniture Shop Without Putting Workers Out Of Jobs

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Furniture making is a job associated with old fashioned handiwork. But robots are coming to the field, not to replace workers but to help U.S.-based companies survive.


Star 'Treknology': Imagining The Future Into Being

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Sonequa Martin-Green, center, a cast member in "Star Trek: Discovery," poses with original "Star Trek" cast members Nichelle Nichols, left, and William Shatner at the premiere of the new television series on Sept. 19 in Los Angeles. Sonequa Martin-Green, center, a cast member in "Star Trek: Discovery," poses with original "Star Trek" cast members Nichelle Nichols, left, and William Shatner at the premiere of the new television series on Sept. 19 in Los Angeles. We live in a unique moment of human history where the tools our parents used are not the ones we take in hand. The pace of technological (and hence societal) change is so fast now, compared with a few centuries ago, that we've developed an entire branch of storytelling dedicated to imagining where those changes are headed. It's called science fiction and -- whether you like its forms or not -- it has already changed your life.


U.S. Autonomous-Car Startup Signs Deal With VW And Hyundai

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An image released by Hyundai shows a hands-off driver checking his phone and drinking coffee. The company is partnering with Aurora, a U.S. startup, to boost its autonomous vehicle program. An image released by Hyundai shows a hands-off driver checking his phone and drinking coffee. The company is partnering with Aurora, a U.S. startup, to boost its autonomous vehicle program. Aurora, a startup company led by three veterans of Google, Tesla, and Uber, has signed deals with both Volkswagen and Hyundai with the goal of putting autonomous vehicle technology on the market within three years -- and doing so "quickly, broadly and safely."