NPR : News

Filed Under:

Tech Week That Was: New iOS Design And Grand Theft Auto

It's time for the weekly roundup of what happened here on All Tech and on our airwaves, and a look back at the big conversations in technology.


This week featured the much anticipated release of Grand Theft Auto V, which raked in $800 million on its first day out. Our digital culture correspondent Laura Sydell talked to the female fan base of the violent adventure game about its allure. On the phone front, the Obama administration is petitioning the Federal Communications Commission to let consumers unlock their phones without penalty. It's part of a larger debate over how much control wireless carriers should have over your devices, as Laura wrote. And on our All Tech segment on All Things Considered, I discussed the big business of fantasy football.

Regular readers know we're fascinated with how social media are changing us — this week we looked at the ways Twitter might be boosting our brains and how Facebook might not make us lonelier after all. Emily Siner, our digital news intern, wrote about the pitfalls of schools' monitoring for cyberbullies. Steve Henn wrote about a dare for hackers to crack the fingerprint ID system in the new iPhone 5s. And our weekly innovation pick was Robot Turtles, a tabletop board game that helps preschoolers learn the concepts of coding.

The Big Conversation

Google may stop using cookies in favor of "more sophisticated technology" to track user activity. And Apple's latest iPhones went on sale Friday, despite warnings that shipments may be low. Space Gray is expected to be the most popular color, so maybe this is your chance to go for gold? (These gold jokes never get old for me, I tell ya.) But what will affect more of us than the new hardware is the new iOS 7 design for the phone. The New Yorker explains how users will feel like the software in their phone was "squished flat." Dwight Silverman from the Houston Chronicle loves it, and BuzzFeed features the reactions of people who were blindsided by the software update.

What We're Reading

Wired: A Brilliant Anatomy App That Blurs The Line Between Learning And Play

The Human Body app is kind of like Robot Turtles, but for big kids and grown-ups.

The New Yorker: From Mars: A Young Man's Adventures In Women's Publishing

It turns out that before Bleacher Report co-founder Bryan Goldberg wrote his widely mocked debut for his new women's site,, The New Yorker's Lizzie Widdicombe was busy working on this profile of him. He's an interesting dude and this is an engaging read.

Grantland: Rot Your Brain

The craze over Candy Crush hasn't escaped our attention. Grantland explores what makes it so addictive.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit

WAMU 88.5

Anne Tyler: "A Spool Of Blue Thread" (Rebroadcast)

In her first live radio interview ever, Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler joins Diane to talk about her 20th novel, "A Spool of Blue Thread."


Fine Brine From Appalachia: The Fancy Mountain Salt That Chefs Prize

An artisanal salt producer is processing brine from ancient ocean deposits below West Virgina's mountains. The company, J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, ships to top chefs who value the salt's minerality.

Downed Russian Warplane Highlights Regional Divide On Syria

Hugh Pope, director of communications and outreach at the International Crisis Group in Brussels, explains the growing divide between Turkey and Russia on their priorities inside Syria.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.