Technology

3:55pm

Sun January 6, 2013
Business

iPads, China: Twin Threats To Wisconsin's Paper Industry

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 6:11 pm

The Nekoosa Paper Mill was established in 1883. Its mill in Nekoosa, Wis., sits on the banks of the Wisconsin River, and is now owned by a Canadian paper company.
Mike De Sisti Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, lumberjacks still cry "timber," just not as often as they once did. Across the state, milling lumber into good paper, the kind called "knowledge" grade for books, has employed thousands for more than a century, and created a distinct culture.

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3:58pm

Fri January 4, 2013
On Aging

Baby Boomers' Last Wishes: Motorcycle Hearses And Facebook Obits

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Lew Bird says that before passing away, his friend requested that his funeral include one last ride on a motorcycle.
Peter Gray for NPR

Old Aristocracy Hill isn't a part of Springfield, Ill., that draws a lot of attention. The quiet neighborhood dates back to before the Civil War, its historic homes now carefully preserved by proud business owners.

But outside a stately funeral home, a large black-and-chrome Harley Davidson motorcycle trike pulls out of the parking lot, towing a matching casket in its glass-sided trailer.

It's not something you would expect to see, but it's exactly what 67-year-old Lew Bird says his friend Dave Rondelli wanted: one last ride.

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2:49pm

Fri January 4, 2013
Shots - Health News

Online Grades For Doctors Get An Incomplete

The wisdom of the crowd is hard to find if too few patients rate their doctors.
Illustration by NPR staff

Crowdsourced review sites like Yelp can be just the trick for finding a great restaurant or avoiding a bad one.

But when it comes to finding a good doctor, there still aren't enough reviews on sites that rank doctors to make them reliable, a study of urologists' ratings suggests.

Urologists averaged just 2.4 reviews on the big online doctor rating sites like Healthgrades.com, Vitals.com and RateMDs.com. The paltry number of participants means that one cranky patient's complaint — or a rave from one doctor's relative --can skew a rating.

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12:09pm

Fri January 4, 2013
Planet Money

3-D Printing Is (Kind Of) A Big Deal

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:15 pm

The printed cup.
via Shapeways

The first key to thinking about 3-D printers is this: Do not think printer. Think magic box that creates any object you can imagine.

In the box, razor-thin layers of powdered material (acrylic, nylon, silver, whatever) pile one on top of the other, and then, voila — you've got a shoe, or a cup, or a ring, or an iPhone case.

It's miraculous to see. Press a button, make anything you want. But just how important is 3-D printing? Unlike earlier big-deal technologies (like, say, the tractor) 3-D printing won't really replace what came before.

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11:41am

Thu January 3, 2013
The Two-Way

FTC Closes Google Inquiry; Tech Giant Makes Changes And Avoids Antitrust Charges

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 12:25 pm

Google has agreed to change some of its business practices, in an agreement made with the Federal Trade Commission that will end the U.S. agency's antitrust probe of the search and technology company.

In the terms of the deal, Google agrees not to appropriate content such as users' reviews from other sites for use in its search and mobile offerings. The company also pledged to make it easier for advertisers to compare the value of running ad campaigns through Google compared to advertising on rivals Yahoo and Microsoft.

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