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Tech Week: Robots, Turkish Twitter And A Frustrated Zuckerberg

Happy weekend! If you've missed our tech coverage and the larger conversation at the intersection of technology and culture this week, here's your look back. ICYMI is what we reported on NPR, The Big Conversation includes news from all sorts of places, and Curiosities are important or fun links we think you should check out.

What was on your radar? What should we look out for next week? Tell us in the comment section below. We do read them, you know.


Robot apocalypse? Nah, but we covered 'em anyway! All Tech reporter Steve Henn looked at the significance of Google buying up robotics startups and why the military might be motivated to invest in AI. But humans still have their strong suits, it turns out: Science reporter Rob Stein covers a doctor in Michigan who helped a baby breathe by creating a new windpipe using 3-D printing. Meanwhile, in Turkey, Internet users who have been blocked from using Twitter are finding creative ways around the ban.

And your weekly gaming fix: National reporter Claudio Sanchez examines the food choices at a college hackathon; game-developer wizards united at a magical conference in San Francisco; and Laura Sydell tries out Oculus Rift, virtual reality goggles that bring the action right in front of your eyes. And in the physical world of physical gaming, pro sports teams can connect with their fans (and critics) in real-time now, and that means a good public relations team is more important than ever.

The Big Conversation

Women in the industry: As NPR's Tell Me More continues its month of recognizing women in the tech industry — including a successful app developer who happens to be a Victoria's Secret model — the topic dominated conversations this week. The first female developer hired at GitHub resigned claiming she felt intimidated by a sexist culture at the startup. And statistician Nate Silver's defense for the dearth of women at his digital news startup kicked up a debate over whether these new media companies are just reinforcing traditional cultures. We put together a reading list to get you caught up.

Snooping backlash: Facebook made public its CEO Mark Zuckerberg's frustration with the reach of government surveillance. Midweek, the NSA's top lawyer said that tech companies actually knew about the government's tactics all along, suggesting the companies are only reacting with outrage now that the news is public. Friday, the White House hosted Zuckerberg — and a number of other tech company leaders — to hash things out, the second of such meetings on the surveillance topic.


Wall Street Journal: Social media reacts to Turkey's Twitter ban

Turkey's Internet watchdog blocked Twitter late Thursday, and Twitter conversations exploded.

Los Angeles Times: Dorian Nakamoto hires lawyer to clear his name of Bitcoin claim

The man Newsweek named as the creator of the crytpocurrency says he's not it, and he may sue. And that being named has killed his chances at finding gainful employment, after already being in difficult financial straits.

Washington Post: NSA Powerpoint art greatest hits, vol. 1

When the NSA's vast metadata gathering operation, PRISM, was exposed, so was the agency's Powerpoint ... artistry.

Twitter: Discover your first Tweet

The social giant put out this website so you can look back on your first tweet. They're mostly embarrassing, since you were likely tweeting at no one. Case in point:

And a final note from your blog host, Elise...

This weekly post is sometimes written by Emily Siner, whom regular All Tech readers have probably gotten to know over the past six months. She's headed soon to our NPR member station in Nashville, so I wanted to close out this post by saying thank you and goodbye to Ms. Siner, who we will miss tremendously. Nashville Public Radio, you're getting a real talent.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit


Smithsonian In Talks Over London Outpost — Its First Overseas

If negotiations are successful, the Smithsonian would join other attractions at the site of London's Olympic Park.

Why Dump Treated Wastewater When You Could Make Beer With It?

An Oregon company has developed a high-tech process for turning sewage into pure drinking water. Now it's asking the state for permission to give its recycled water to a group of home brewers.

White House Won't Seek To End 529 College Tax Break

All 50 states and the District of Columbia sponsor 529 plans. Critics had called the proposal to limit them a tax hike on the middle class.

Yahoo Plans To Spin Off Remaining Stake In Alibaba

Yahoo has announced it will spin off its 15 percent stake in the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba. Shareholders had been waiting for that decision. The move needs regulatory approval.

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