PBS NewsHour


The lionfish zapper hits the open seas

PBS NewsHour

The America's Cup sailing race kicked off this week in Bermuda, but a month ago, a different type of competition was held in the island's lucid waters. A year prior, RISE had formed when Colin Angle, the CEO for iRobot and the maker of the Roomba robotic vacuum, visited friends and marine biologists on Bermuda and they explained how lionfish quickly became king of the Atlantic's coral reefs. The environment is their playground," said Todd McGuire, program director of sustainability organization 11th Hour Racing, which hosted the #EatLionfish Chefs' Throwdown in Bermuda where the Guardian LF1 debuted publicly in mid-April. "We try to promote sustainability at all of the stops along the America's Cup world series and raise awareness about local problems," McGuire said.


At Moogfest, the music revolution will be synthesized

PBS NewsHour

Moogfest, named after inventor Robert Moog, is a celebration of the art, engineering and technology of synthesizers, machines that create sounds electronically. Creative director Emmy Parker says the big idea behind the festival is in the name of the instrument, to synthesize.


Brace yourself: This prosthetic engineer is giving animals a leg up

PBS NewsHour

Derrick Campana kneels beside Angel Marie, a three-legged mini horse who wears a prosthetic leg made by Campana. Campana made the jump to the animal field 12 years ago when few, if any, people created artificial limbs for dogs and other pets. Derrick Campana holds the prosthetic paw he made for Kenna, a three year-old golden retriever born without a front paw. Derrick Campana holds the molds for prosthetic legs he made for two Thai elephants who lost limbs in landmine explosions.


Are robots coming for your blue-collar jobs?

PBS NewsHour

With America's workers already squeezed by forces ranging from international competition to offshoring to new information technologies, concern is growing about the impact of robots on jobs and wages. In "Robots and Jobs: Evidence from U.S. Labor Markets," Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo find that deployment of robots reduces employment and wages, but caution that it is difficult to measure net labor market effects. The researchers focus on how the adoption of a specific type of automation technology -- industrial robots -- affects local labor markets. The researchers find large and robust negative effects of robots on employment and wages.


Scientists dive into the political fray

PBS NewsHour

KISHORE HARI, March for Science: Science has been political since the time of Galileo. NAOMI ORESKES, Harvard University: This rally isn't about promoting a particular policy. MILES O'BRIEN: Naomi Oreskes is writing a new book, science fiction that imagines a society that embraces climate change science and renewable energy. GEOFFREY SUPRAN, MIT Scientist: This is where we make next-generation LEDs and solar cells.


Ask the Headhunter: Why recruiters aren't always good for the economy

PBS NewsHour

New research and analysis from Federal Reserve economists reveal a problem of mismatches between workers, salaries and productivity, but doesn't identify and discuss the structural cause of the problem: counterproductive recruiting, writes Ask the Headhunter columnist Nick Corcodilos. In this special Making Sen$e edition of Ask The Headhunter, Nick shares insider advice and contrarian methods about winning and keeping the right job, on one condition: that you, dear Making Sense reader, send Nick your questions about your personal challenges with job hunting, interviewing, networking, resumes, job boards or salary negotiations. New research and analysis from Federal Reserve economists reveal a problem of mismatches between workers, salaries and productivity, but doesn't identify and discuss the structural cause of the problem -- counterproductive recruiting. With the Department of Labor reporting lower unemployment and increasingly scarce talent, employers are rushing to fill jobs by relying on methods that yield staggeringly low signal-to-noise ratios.


Uber supends self-driving vehicle program following Arizona accident

PBS NewsHour

A self-driven Volvo SUV owned and operated by Uber Technologies Inc. is flipped on its side after a collision in Tempe, Arizona, U.S. on March 24, 2017. Uber Technologies Inc. on Saturday halted a pilot program for self-driving vehicles following an accident on Saturday in Arizona. Josie Montenegro said the Uber vehicle, a Volvo SUV, was not responsible for the accident, which caused the car to flip on its side. A report released in March indicated that while Uber's self-driving vehicles are increasing the number of miles driven autonomously, they are falling below the company's expectations.


Typing sentences by simply thinking is possible with new technology

PBS NewsHour

As part of an early stage clinical research study led by Stanford University, Degray and two other volunteer participants with ALS had small sensors implanted in their brains in an area called the motor cortex, which controls movement. DENNIS DEGRAY, Clinical Research Participant: To move the pointer around, I imagine a ball lying on a table and with my hand lying on the ball. CAT WISE: That improved efficiency in the BrainGate operating system, which has been in development for more than a decade, is at the heart of a new research paper Dr. Henderson and his colleagues released. CAT WISE: Study co-author Krishna Shenoy says his broader research with neural prosthetics shows people are comfortable with much more now than just knee replacements, for example, electrodes to control Parkinson's tremors.


Why did humans evolve big brains? We don't know, but math can help

PBS NewsHour

Evolutionary biologists devised these equations to tease apart the relationship between human brain size and the cost of maintaining a large brain. The final model states that adult skill level equals adult brain mass times the cost of maintaining brain tissue divided by the cost of memory times a constant. Stated in laymen's terms, this idea means as adult brain mass increases, so too does adult skill, assuming that the costs of maintaining the brain mass and memory stay constant. Many anthropologists look at the pace of brain growth in terms of social interactions, he added, but "this paper is saying maybe social relationships don't have anything to do with it.


Amazon releases Echo data in murder case, dropping First Amendment argument

PBS NewsHour

After several months of pushback, Amazon has agreed to release user data from an Amazon Echo device involved in a high-profile Arkansas murder trial. "I am pleased that we will have access to the data from the Defendant's Echo device since the Defendant consented to its release," Smith said. According to a court order, Bates consented to the disclosure, which then prompted Amazon to agree to the release of the data March 3. Kathleen Zellner, Bates' legal counsel, said in a statement to the NewsHour: "Because Mr. Bates is innocent of all charges in this matter, he has agreed to the release of any recordings on his Amazon Echo device to the prosecution."