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All Tech Considered
2:51 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Clever Hacks Give Google Glass Many Unintended Powers

Stephen Balaban has re-engineered his Google Glass to allow for facial recognition.
Courtesy of Stephen Balaban

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 8:55 pm

At Philz Coffee in Palo Alto, Calif., a kid who looks like he should still be in high school is sitting across from me. He's wearing Google Glass. As I stare into the device's cyborg eye, I'm waiting for its tiny screen to light up.

Then, I wait for a signal that Google Glass has recognized my face.

It isn't supposed to do that, but Stephen Balaban has hacked it.

"Essentially what I am building is an alternative operating system that runs on Glass but is not controlled by Google," he said.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:49 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Carnegie Hall's Barnstorming Youth Movement

Cellist Angelique Montes, resident advisor Melissa Willams and clarinetist Tom Jeon arrive at Purchase College, State University of New York to begin their NYO-USA adventure.
Chris Lee courtesy of Carnegie Hall

This is the kind of opportunity most classical musicians can only dream about: to be invited to spend part of the summer with an orchestra touring the world — Washington, Moscow, St. Petersburg and London — with two of the biggest names in classical music, conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell.

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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Rolling Stone's Tsarnaev Cover: What's Stirring Such Passion?

Rolling Stone's latest cover.
Rolling Stone

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:42 am

(Click here to see an excerpt from the Rolling Stone story.)

Even before it hit newsstands, Rolling Stone's latest cover caused controversy: It features a full-page photograph of alleged Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sulking, his curly hair messily tossed in front of his eyes.

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Music Interviews
2:25 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Jason Isbell Locates His Musical Compass On 'Southeastern'

Jason Isbell was previously a member of Drive-By Truckers. His solo albums include Sirens of the Ditch and Here We Rest.
Eric England Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 10:38 am

When singer-songwriter Jason Isbell used to get drunk, he'd sometimes tell his then-girlfriend, the musician Amanda Shires, that he needed to quit the bottle — and that if it was going to take, he'd have to go to rehab. Eventually, she said the next time he told her that, she'd hold him to it. And she did. And he went. And, he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "The jury is still out on whether or not it worked, but it worked today and all the days leading up to this."

Initially, he says he was scared about what sobriety would do to his personality and his creativity.

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The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Economy's Growing At 'Modest To Moderate Pace,' Fed Says

Part I of the news from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday was Chairman Ben Bernanke's signal to the financial markets that the central bank won't be shifting away from its "easy money" policy just yet.

Part II was just released. In its latest "Beige Book" review of economic conditions around the nation the Fed says that:

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The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Mandela Has Made 'Remarkable Progress,' Daughter Says

On the eve of Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday, street vendors in Pretoria, South Africa, were selling T-shirts to mark the occasion. Madiba is Mandela's tribal name.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 2:42 pm

Nelson Mandela is making "remarkable progress" and could be released from a Pretoria hospital soon, his daughter tells Sky News on the eve of the anti-apartheid icon's 95th birthday.

Zindzi Mandela, 52, also says her father is communicating with his eyes and hands, watching television and that "you can see he is there in his eyes; the same energy and strength."

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NPR Story
1:50 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Would You Let Your TV Watch You?

(espensorvik/Flickr)

A study released last week by Boston-based Strategy Analytics has revealed that, in general, Americans really don’t want their TVs watching them.

The research found that “43 percent of people would never allow a camera or sensing device to be connected to their TV.”

On the other hand, 14 percent said they’re okay with their TV viewing their behavior and their data being collected.

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Can Oregon Pay College Tuition Forward?

The idea for "Pay It Forward" was born out of a seminar at Portland State University. (Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:05 pm

Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that federal student loan debt now tops a trillion dollars.

Many people across the country are trying to figure out a solution to that problem. One proposal from Oregon has been attracting a lot of attention.

It’s called “Pay It Forward,” and it would allow students to learn now and pay later based on a percentage of their future income.

The idea grew out of a seminar class at Portland State University.

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NPR Story
1:35 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Uncertain Future For Fannie And Freddie

The Fannie Mae headquarters is seen in Washington, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:05 pm

For the first time since the big housing crash five years ago, it appears that some lawmakers are getting serious about replacing the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fannie and Freddie back most of the mortgages in the country. Now, two prominent senators — one a Democrat and one a Republican — have a proposal to phase them out.

NPR’s Chris Arnold explains what this could mean for the future of the housing finance system.

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The Salt
1:25 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Your Love Of Quinoa Is Good News For Andean Farmers

Farmer Geronimo Blanco shows his quinoa plants in Patamanta, Bolivia, in February. A burgeoning global demand for quinoa has led to a threefold price increase since 2006.
Juan Karita AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:15 pm

Quinoa lovers have been put on a bit of a guilt trip with stories suggesting that the increased demand in the U.S. has put the superfood out of reach for those living closest to where it's grown.

How can poor Bolivians in La Paz afford to pay three times more for quinoa than they would pay for rice, critics have asked?

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