Mon July 6, 2015

With Real Costs In Mind, Growing Colorado Cities Are Reevaluating Water Tap Fees

This new development close to the Children's Hospital in Aurora is subject to a new tap fee structure which results in higher water users paying higher tap fees.
Maeve Conran KGNU

As cities in Colorado expand to accommodate a growing population, so are costs of providing services and utilities. Some communities, like Aurora, a city of 350,000 east of Denver, are reevaluating how they charge for services like water and how those costs might encourage smarter growth.

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Sun July 5, 2015
All Tech Considered

Reddit CEO Says Miscommunication Led To Blackout Protest

Originally published on Tue July 7, 2015 1:19 pm

Interim CEO Ellen Pao says Reddit is working on improved tools for the site's moderators.
Beck Diefenbach Reuters /Landov

This past week, users of the social-sharing platform Reddit — one of the busiest sites on the Internet — hit a wall when moderators on several of the site's largest sections, called subreddits, locked users out.

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Fri July 3, 2015
All Tech Considered

How Personal Should A Personal Assistant Get? Google And Apple Disagree

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 8:04 am

Google's upcoming "now on tap" feature will let smartphone users ask a question within an app like Spotify.
Google Inside Search

The smartphone has become a staple of life. But what about the personal assistant inside that phone? Not so much.

Maybe you turn to Apple's Siri or Google Now for a quick search or a snarky answer to a question. But imagine a world where your phone actually gets you. You, personally. Turns out two tech giants — Google and Apple — disagree on whether that's a worthy goal.

Introducing 'Now On Tap'

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Fri July 3, 2015
All Tech Considered

Ever Dream You Could Fly? 'Jetman' Has. Let Him Tell You About It

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 8:38 am

Former Swiss pilot Yves Rossy, known as Jetman, is the first person to fly a jet-fitted wing.
Kamran Jebreili AP

This is the first story in an occasional series exploring gadgets that can give you real-life superpowers.

Summer is the season of superhero movies. Coming soon to a theater near you: Fantastic Four and Ant-Man.

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Thu July 2, 2015

Want A Better Bike Helmet? Fort Collins’ Incubators Are Shepherding One Along

A prototype helmet after a 11-lb spike was dropped on it from above. It's got some cracks, but an ordinary bicycle helmet would have broken apart.
Stephanie Paige Ogburn KUNC

Safety glasses securely in place, Clint Bickmore is hoisting a large metal plug into the air. His business partner, Nathan Saam helpfully points out that "you might want to step back a little bit." Beneath the affectionately named "spike of doom" sits a primitive-looking G.I. Joe-style helmet, dull black in color.

"So we accelerate this spike to almost 15 miles an hour and we drop it on top of the shell to see if we get penetration in the helmet," Saam said.

The spike plunges down, and with a clunk, hits the top of the shell. Three large cracks spiral out of the plastic, but it's not broken. In fact, it's barely dented. If it was like most helmets, it would have shattered or at least suffered a big indentation with a small fracture pattern, said Saam.

This destruction has a point. Saam and Bickmore are trying to build a better bike helmet.

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