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Robot Construction Workers Take Their Cues From Termites

Termites are masters of construction in the insect world, working together to construct complex, sky-scraping homes with neither blueprint nor foreman. Harvard engineers have created 8-inch-long robots that can build in the same way — by sensing their environment, and applying a few rules.
NPR

Apple Steps Up The Pressure On 'Conflict Minerals'

The maker of the iPhone has announced that its suppliers are no longer using the mineral tantalum sourced from conflict regions. Apple says it is listing all of its smelters and refiners and the status of the minerals they use.
NPR

Are Tech Execs Uncomfortable Around Young Black Men?

The organizers of a recent hackathon in California asked whether a smartphone app could have saved Trayvon Martin. They're also looking at the bigger question about why more young black males aren't excelling in tech. Host Michel Martin speaks with hackathon organizer Kalimah Priforce.
NPR

Through The Internet, Gay Teens Connected To Larger Community

Chat rooms and websites offered support for many gay kids growing up in small towns in the 1990s who felt detached from their peers. In the span of 20 years in the same Louisiana town, one teen today has had a very different experience than a woman who grew up there in the '80s.
NPR

Dating Sites Offer Chance At Love — And A Lesson In Economics

When economist Paul Oyer returned to the world of dating, he started logging on to match-making websites. As he explains in a new book, he discovered that his academic expertise was entirely relevant to his foray into online dating.
NPR

Niche Online Dating Promises A Different Site For Every Preference

The cyber-dating industry is stretching far beyond its mass-market beginnings, with niche dating sites for every lifestyle or preference. "You name the obscure interest, there's probably a site for it," says online dating expert Dan Slater.
NPR

Scientists Say Their Giant Laser Has Produced Nuclear Fusion

Researchers from California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory say they've figured out how to get their laser to squeeze hydrogen atoms together to make helium atoms, releasing energy in the process. It's an important step in the decades-long quest for fusion energy.
NPR

Weekly Un-Innovation: There's Nothing To See Here

Forget high-tech gadgets that are supposed to make your life easier. Today, we're writing about ... Nothing. Pim de Graaff, a copywriter from Amsterdam, creates handmade black wooden blocks called Nothing to remind you that you already have enough stuff.
NPR

How Not To Get Swept Off Your Feet By A Sweetheart Scam

Some Americans are discovering the high cost of love. That's because some online flings are pumping them for money — sometimes tens of thousand of dollars. It's what experts call a "sweetheart scam." Host Michel Martin finds out more from consumer columnist Sheryl Harris.
NPR

The Internet Flexes Political Muscle With Anti-NSA Protest

It won't be as powerful as the strike against SOPA and PIPA in 2012, when Wikipedia blocked its site, Google blacked out its logo and millions of people joined in. But "The Day We Fight Back" on Tuesday is intended to show lawmakers that there's ongoing public pressure to reform mass surveillance laws.

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