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Google's Robot Brigade

Friday, April 18, 2014

Google has recently scooped up more than a half dozen robot companies. Their specialties range from artificial limbs to 3D machine vision to scurrying insect-bots and humanoid soldiers. But Google has kept mum about why they're acquiring these technologies. Brooke talks with Henrik Christensen, a professor of robotics at Georgia Tech, about what Google might do with its new toys. 

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On The Media

Field Recordings From a Virtual World

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Triple A video game titles (meaning the ones that cost hundreds of millions of dollars and have huge launches) are always trying to push for greater and greater verisimilitude. This is one of the reasons that there is a new round of consoles every 7 years or so, and why sound design in games is ever evolving to better evoke a sense of place. These audio environments are now interesting enough that at least one person has decided to record these habitats for posterity.

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TLDR #21 - There Is No Such Thing As Silence

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Continuing our expose into the very hush-hush world of Silence, we look at an app that promises to deliver you four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence. PJ talks to Larry Larson, who helped design the 4'33" app.

 

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On The Media

Pistorius TV

Friday, April 11, 2014

How the new Oscar Pistorius Trial Channel - a pop up satellite-TV channel that covers the court proceedings 24/7 - has irrevocably altered the South African media landscape.

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On The Media

The Camera and the Color Line

Friday, April 11, 2014

As a kid, writer and photographer Syreeta McFadden was never satisfied with the way she looked in pictures. But it wasn't physical appearance that bothered her; it was the way the camera captured—or, failed to capture—her dark skin. Brooke talks to Syreeta about how racial bias lies within the chemistry of photography.

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On The Media

On Letterman, Colbert and America

Friday, April 11, 2014

David Letterman, who boasts the longest tenure of a late night host on broadcast TV, announced his retirement. The news was quickly followed by the announcement of his replacement – Stephen Colbert. Brooke and Bob discuss the problems of bringing a comedian so associated with the political left onto network television, and the loss of a national satire icon.

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On The Media

100 Days in Rwanda

Friday, April 11, 2014

Monday marked the 20th anniversary of the start of Rwandan Genocide. In the massacre, which took place over one hundred days, more than 800,000 minority Tutsis were slaughtered by members of the Hutu majority. In 2002, Brooke spoke with director and producer Nick Hughes about his film 100 Days in Rwanda, and about creating an historical fiction which used a love story to humanize the slaughter.

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On The Media

Attacking the Koch Brothers, Remembering Rwandan Genocide, and More

Friday, April 11, 2014

A fond farewell to Stephen Colbert's character, remembering the genocide in Rwanda 20 years ago, and a report on the skin lightening industry.

On The Media

#21 - There Is No Such Thing As Silence

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Continuing our expose into the very hush-hush world of Silence, we look at an app that promises to deliver you four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence. PJ talks to Larry Larson, who helped design the 4'33" app.

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On The Media

Punishing Propagandists, Covering Climate Change, and More

Friday, April 04, 2014

A conversation with former FCC commissioner Michael J. Copps, communicating climate change to the public, and EU sanctions against Russia's chief propagandist.

On The Media

Fact Checking Affordable Care Act Numbers

Friday, April 04, 2014

The deadline for signing up for Obamacare was this week, and the White House says it has reached its projected number of 7 million new enrollees. But how accurate is that claim? Bob talks with Glenn Kessler, who writes for the Washington Post's Fact Checker blog, about what we know and don't know about the ACA's numbers.

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Television Without Pity

Friday, April 04, 2014

Television Without Pity began as a Dawson’s Creek fan site in the late 90s, and was bought by NBC Universal in 2007. Now NBC Universal is shutting down the site, and the forums it spawned. Brooke speaks with Emily Nussbaum, the New Yorker’s television critic, who came to TWOP early and then stayed and stayed. 

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On The Media

Case Closed

Friday, April 04, 2014

A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) not only presents dire evidence of global warming's impact, it also offers a different narrative about who is at risk, putting humans at the center of the story. Brooke talks with science journalist Cristine Russell about the IPCC's media-ready case.

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On The Media

Correcting False Balance

Friday, April 04, 2014

This week the UK Parliament released a report that recommended ways to improve communicating climate change to the public, criticizing the media in particular for promoting false balance. Bob talks with Bob Ward of the London School of Economics about the report and the chief offender.

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On The Media

Hunting For YouTube's Saddest Comments

Friday, April 04, 2014

YouTube's infamous for having one of the worst comment sections on the internet. There's no reason to ever read them. Unless you’re writer & filmmaker Mark Slutsky.

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On The Media

A Crisis of Cartographic Proportions

Friday, March 28, 2014

While Russia annexed Crimea with scarcely a shot fired, the crisis has grown heated between cartographers. An editing war broke out on Wikipedia's map of Russia, and National Geographic sparked outrage by suggesting it would map Crimea as Russian territory once the Kremlin made it official. Bob talks with Michael Blanding, author of the forthcoming book The Map Thief, about how map-making by nature is a risky geopolitical game.

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Which Public Radio Hosts Are Our Hosts?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Brooke and Bob share their results from a number of quizzes - including Which Public Radio Host Are You? - and discuss what (if anything) they've learned about themselves and this viral sensation. 

By the way, we have our own quiz, too! Find out which 19th century media baron you are here

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The World According to Google Maps

Friday, March 28, 2014

On Google Maps, Crimea is still a part of Ukraine, though Vladimir Putin is urging the mapping behemoth to redraw Russia's borders to include the Black Sea peninsula. Whatever Google decides, it’s sure to be politically and culturally fraught.

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On The Media

The History of the Quiz

Friday, March 28, 2014

The BuzzFeed quiz is ubiquitous; it seems as irresistible as it is inescapable. But when did we first start taking quizzes? Writer Sarah Laskow recently embarked on a quest to find out. She takes Brooke through her search for the Ur Quiz.

Try On the Media's first (and maybe last) quiz: Which 19th Century Media Baron Are You?

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On The Media

Russian Media Tropes, At Home and Abroad

Friday, March 21, 2014

Michael McFaul has just returned to Stanford University after a couple of tumultuous years in Moscow as the U.S. ambassador to Russia. He talks with Brooke about the tropes he saw in the Russian media while he was there, and what he's noticed in the American media since he's been back.

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