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NPR Music's Alt.Latino podcast recently released its year-end list of 2018's best songs and albums. Along the way, the team has done some reading and deep thinking about a trend that started in 2017 has only gained momentum: In the world of streaming music services, Latin artists have been cleaning up.

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Cuba now has 3G mobile wireless. What that means is that Cubans can get Internet on their phones, but it comes from the state-run monopoly. NPR's Jasmine Garsd reports.

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DEBBIE ELLIOTT, HOST:

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DEBBIE ELLIOTT, HOST:

The Federal Communications Commission has launched an investigation into a phone and Internet outage that disrupted 911 services across the country starting Thursday.

How Much Of The Internet Is Fake? A Lot.

Dec 28, 2018

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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Tammy Fox wanted to help, after a friend took ill with a rare and difficult-to-diagnose autoimmune disorder that required many trips to the Mayo Clinic.

While Fox couldn't do anything medically, she knew there was a way to ease some of the burden of medical bills and costs associated with doctor visits. She turned to the website GoFundMe and set up a site for her friend.

"You've got meals; you've got hotel stays," she says. "And gas. So that all needed to be covered."

NASA tried a communications experiment with its latest mission to Mars, and it turned out spectacularly well.

On Nov. 26, as the probe known as InSight plummeted through the Martian atmosphere on its way to the planet's surface, two miniature spacecraft — known collectively as MarCO — relayed telemetry from InSight to Earth, assuring all those watching that the landing of the probe was proceeding successfully and was soft.

From inside the overly-lit interior of a 1960s strip mall, software programs and science are helping an urban farm fire up the flavor of fennel fronds and control the size of nasturtium leaves. By carefully monitoring each variable and its impact on the way a plant tastes, looks and grows, Fresh Impact Farms is inching closer to its goal: delivering edible flowers and herbs catered to the taste preferences of top-tier chefs.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now it's time for All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHAPIRO: We've spent the last few weeks taking stock of the changes 2018 brought to the tech world and our relationship with the technology we use every day.

Self-driving cars, once a futuristic projection, have already become old news in California. More than 60 companies currently hold permits to test autonomous vehicles, according to the state's Department of Motor Vehicles.

But on Friday, California passed a new milestone when it allowed one self-driving car startup, Zoox Inc., to transport passengers for the first time.

The Words The World Turned To In 2018

Dec 22, 2018

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New images of Mars show an enormous crater that measures nearly 51 miles across and is filled with ice year-round, the European Space Agency reported.

Known as the Korolev Crater, located near the Martian north pole, it's topped by "what appears to be a large patch of fresh, untrodden snow – a dream for any lover of the holiday season," said a statement by ESA, which released the images Thursday.

Updated at 8:35 p.m. ET

Shoot it down. Jam it. Use a missile or maybe a net.

There's no shortage of ideas about how to stop a drone, but as the past few days at London's Gatwick Airport show, the reality is far more difficult.

From Wednesday night to Friday morning, flights in and out of Gatwick were halted after a small drone, or perhaps multiple drones, were spotted over the airfield. Hundreds of flights were canceled and thousands of passengers saw their holiday travel plans grounded.

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Next Frontier.

About Lisa Nip's TED Talk

Earth may not be the only place in our solar system with life, says James Green. New data shows life might have existed on Mars, and could exist now. But what does that mean for us on Earth?

About Lisa Nip

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Next Frontier.

About Stephen Petranek's TED Talk

Stephen Petranek says, in the next decade, we will send humans to colonize Mars. He lays out the technology--from water-extraction to bricks made of Martian soil--that'll make life possible there.

About Stephen Petranek

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Next Frontier.

About James Green's TED Talk

Earth may not be the only place in our solar system with life, says James Green. New data shows life might have existed on Mars, and could exist now. But what does that mean for us on Earth?

About James Green

When an Amazon customer in Germany contacted the company to review his archived data, he wasn't expecting to receive recordings of a stranger speaking in the privacy of a home.

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

NOEL KING, HOST:

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NOEL KING, HOST:

I've been an audio engineer ever since I started recording my own songs on a Tascam 424 Portastudio. That was in 1990. Since then, I've mixed for theater, public radio and have produced the audio for over 400 Tiny Desk Concerts at NPR. Recording and mixing every genre of music at the Tiny Desk is a dream — from jazz to folk to hip-hop to whatever Superorganism is, I love capturing and mixing live music at Bob Boilen's desk.

A crew of engineers in the middle of the ocean will try to fix a device that was intended to clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic have coalesced into a field of debris twice the size of Texas.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Yassiry Gonzalez goes to bed early. But often she wakes up around 1 or 2 in the morning. And from then on, sometimes all the way through dawn, the New York City high school student is on her phone — on FaceTime with close friends, or looking through Instagram.

"Sometimes, I'm so tired that I'll just fall asleep in school." She estimates the all-nighters happen once or twice a week. And on the weekends? "There's no sleep. No sleep."

Looking back, 2018 may be the year that a critical mass of people started wondering: Am I spending too much time on my phone?

For nearly two weeks in September, developers who created apps for Facebook were able to access user photos that they should never have been allowed to see, the social media company announced Friday.

Up to 6.8 million users may have been affected, Facebook says.

The "bug" affects users who gave permission to a third-party app to access their Facebook photos. Normally, that would only include photos that someone actually posted to their timeline.

Apple plans to build a 133-acre campus in Austin, Texas, that will cost $1 billion and employ 5,000 new workers, the company announced Thursday. The company says the move is expected to make it the largest private employer in Austin.

Apple already employs more people in that city, some 6,200 workers, than it does in any other city outside of its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The company now plans to add substantially to that figure.

As the U.S. government investigates the breach of Marriott's Starwood chain hotel reservation system, it appears Chinese state hackers are mostly likely responsible for the data breach. The information of about 500 million customers worldwide was exposed.

Updated at 3:19 p.m. ET

Google CEO Sundar Pichai made his public debut before Congress on Tuesday, spending much of his testimony countering Republicans' allegations of anti-conservative bias in the company's search results.

He also faced scrutiny of how much data Google collects on users and on the company's work on a censored search tool for China.

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