KRWG

Technology

Please note:  Sometimes, NPR publishes headlines before the story and/or audio is ready; check back for content later if this occurs.  We also publish national/world news on our home page.

Roma is being called director Alfonso Cuarón's masterpiece. Epic black-and-white shots, stunning performances, and an artful story line have led to speculation about Oscar nominations.

But behind the scenes, the film is part of a battle over who gets to premiere movies: streaming services like Netflix, or theaters?

It's an increasingly common question in the film industry, and the stakes are high.

Just over half of Native Americans living on American Indian reservations or other tribal lands with a computer have access to high-speed internet service, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The low rate of subscription to a high-speed internet service — 53 percent — in these often rugged, rural areas underscores the depth of the digital divide between Indian Country and the rest of the U.S. Between 2013 and 2017, 82 percent of households nationally with a computer reported having a subscription to a broadband internet service.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Twenty-four workers at an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey were taken to area hospitals after being exposed to bear repellent on Wednesday morning, when a robot punctured a can of the aerosol spray.

Once the backbone of the nation's transportation system, the nation's aging interstate highways are now overused and worn out, according to a new federal report. And failure to invest billions in modernizing the system will likely lead to more potholes, slower traffic jams, and increased costs to drivers and the nation's economy.

Solar panels will be a required feature on new houses in California, after the state's Building Standards Commission gave final approval to a housing rule that's the first of its kind in the United States.

Set to take effect in 2020, the new standard includes an exemption for houses that are often shaded from the sun. It also includes incentives for people to add a high-capacity battery to their home's electrical system, to store the sun's energy.

Just days after President Trump announced a "BIG leap forward" in relations between the U.S. and China, tensions between the two economic heavyweights are escalating once more. This time, the focus of the friction is on Meng Wanzhou, scion of a Chinese telecommunications giant.

Facebook's leaders gave certain big tech companies access to users' data — and the company refused such access to competitors, including the video app Vine, which the social media giant targeted right after it was launched by Twitter.

Cuba's state telephone company will allow mobile phone customers to use the Internet via a new 3G network, starting on Thursday. But as with previous tech advances in the island nation, only those who can afford it will be able to take advantage of the access — which remains under the control of the autocratic government.

Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET

House Republicans' campaign operation suffered a cyberattack during the 2018 midterm election cycle, it said Tuesday.

A spokesman working on behalf of the National Republican Congressional Committee acknowledged the compromise and said it was reported to authorities.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

When she's trying to decide which art supplies to buy for her class, Tennessee art teacher Cassie Stephens hops on Instagram. She'll post the question on her Instagram story, and within minutes, other art teachers will send her ideas and videos.

Just days after Marriott International disclosed a massive cybersecurity breach, Quora has announced that it, too, has been attacked by hackers. The popular question-and-answer website said Monday that a "malicious third party" may have lifted the account information of some 100 million users.

A Saudi dissident based in Montreal, Canada, filed a lawsuit this week against the NSO Group, an Israeli cyber security firm. The suit alleges the Saudi government used software from the company to spy on conversations with the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Omar Adbulaziz filed the case in Tel Aviv. He told NPR he had exchanged hundreds of text messages with Khashoggi through encrypted messaging apps, before being informed that their communication had been intercepted.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

This month as we get ready to say goodbye to 2018, we're taking stock of the year in tech on All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CHANG: Today, how the year went for one person in particular.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A recent study conducted by researchers in Canada found that tweets by Canadians tend to have more positive words than tweets by Americans.

The study used a data set of 40 million tweets – it eliminated bots and tweets that were not in English – to determine characteristics of Canadian users versus American users. Bryor Snefjella, a researcher at McMaster University in Ontario, was the lead author in the study.

More than 1 in 10 U.S. workers' work is in retail. That's not counting hundreds of thousands more who sort and pack orders in retail warehouses, answer retail customer service calls, deliver retail packages — or otherwise work for the benefit of the American shopper and the retail companies.

Is your job associated with shopping or warehousing? NPR plans to explore the shifting retail workforce in an upcoming series and we want to hear from you.

Americans are expected to spend $3.8 billion on Amazon's Echo Dot, Google's Home and other smart home devices this holiday season. And that figure doesn't include the even wider market of other Internet-connected devices.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

In one of the largest cybersecurity breaches in history, Marriott International said Friday that information on up to about 500 million of its customers worldwide was exposed in a breach of its Starwood guest reservation database dating as far back as 2014.

The world's largest hotel chain said it learned of the breach on Sept. 8.

Bitcoin has lost a lot of its value this month. Financial experts aren't sure why. And they're not sure where the popular cryptocurrency will go next.

Prices fell last weekend, reaching below $3,600 at one point — about 40 percent less from where it had been just two weeks earlier. Prices continued down Monday but closed slightly up Tuesday.

Then they surged, topping $4,300 Wednesday — though that's nowhere near the $6,000 or more the cryptocurrency commanded for several months until mid-November.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

General Motors is planning to shutter five plants in North America and lay off thousands of workers. One of the plants is in Warren, Ohio. And we spoke with that town's mayor, William Franklin.

If someone were to tell you they have a meeting with an investor next week, would you assume that investor was a man?

The artificially intelligent Smart Compose feature of Google's Gmail did and, after the problem was discovered, the predictive text tool has been banned from using gendered pronouns.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

And time now for All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF ULRICH SCHNAUSS' "NOTHING HAPPENS IN JUNE")

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Brad Churchill, a slaughter operations manager at Cargill Meat Solutions, has worked in the cattle industry for more than 30 years — and has seen many employee injuries caused by livestock.

"A young man did nothing to provoke this 1,600-pound Angus steer who turned on him in an instant," Churchill said of one incident last year. The man crawled through an escape hatch, and ended up with a dislocated shoulder and few fractured ribs.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Several Google employees have gone public with their opposition to the tech giant's plans for building a search engine tailored to China's censorship demands.

The project, code-named Dragonfly, would block certain websites and search terms determined by the Chinese government — a move that, according to a growing number of workers at Google, is tantamount to enabling "state surveillance."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Walk into a U.S. supermarket on any given day and you're pretty much guaranteed to find apples.

In our globalized economy, we expect nothing less than to be able to consume our favorite fruits and vegetables all year, even when they're not in season locally. Placing strawberries from Mexico in your shopping cart in February and stocking up on kiwis from Chile in July – that's pretty much normal, even expected.

Pages