Host Ira Glass finds the men behind a bot, whose job was to generate random inspirational quotes and images. But the bot ended up making something more surprising.
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Sean Cole talks to reporter Garrett Graff, who read the 247 pages of interview summaries of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Graff concludes that it’s not the scandal most people thought it was.
The first step for refugees trying to get out of limbo in Greece has been calling (and calling) the asylum office… on Skype.
Three teenage girls explain why they are constantly telling their friends they are beautiful on Instagram.
Jane, Julia and Ella continue describing the complex social map that is constantly changing in their phones.
Host Ira Glass and Zoe Chace from NPR’s Planet Money talk with Jim Logan and Richard Baker of Personal Audio, which claims it holds a patent used by all podcasters. Podcasters, they say, owe them money.
Anton DiSclafani tells the story of her desperate search to find a stranger who left something on her porch. Anton's book The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls comes out next summer.
Host Ira Glass talks with science writer Paul Hoffman about a mathematician named Frank Nelson Cole, who demonstrated a groundbreaking idea at a conference in 1903. Paul explains that in addition to their celebrated breakthroughs, many of the greatest thinkers in history have entertained some very crazy ideas.
One day a successful cancer researcher named Jonathan Brody gave a talk at his alma mater, about how people in his field need to think outside the box if they're going to find a cure. Afterward Jonathan's old music teacher Anthony Holland shared an idea that was way out of the box: Killing cancer cells with electromagnetic waves. Gabriel Rhodes tells what happened next.
We sent a reporter named Dan Grech to the Hundred Year Starship Public Symposium, which aims to tackle the technological problems related to interstellar space travel. And as host Ira Glass explains, Dan found this gathering to be way more adventurous than your average scientific conference.
There's a derogatory term in Silicon Valley for companies that amass huge troves of patents and make money by threatening lawsuits: "patent trolls." When Jeff Kelling's Internet company Fototime was sued - along with more than 130 other companies - for violating someone's patent, he wondered if it was a troll (which the company denies), and then settled out of court.
Laura and Alex continue their story about Intellectual Ventures and the practice of patent trolling. They learn why the buying and selling of patents is likely to continue being a huge, controversial business that affects the entire tech industry.
One day, Joe Lipari had a frustrating encounter with a worker at the Apple Store. And then Joe did what a lot of us would do: He vented.
Ira Glass speaks with Paul Davies, chair of the Post-Detection Task Force of SETI. That stands for the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, and Paul’s task is to figure out what to say to space aliens if we find them.
Host Ira Glass talks with Andy Woolworth, an executive vice president in charge of new product development at the world's largest manufacturer of mousetraps, Woodstream Corporation, in Lititz, Pennsylvania. About once a month, Andy is contacted by someone who thinks he's invented a better mousetrap.
Three guys who go by the names Professor So and So, Jojobean and YeaWhatever spend part of each day running elaborate cons on Internet scammers. They consider themselves enforcers of justice, even after they send a man 1400 miles from home, to the least safe place they can bait him: The border of Darfur.
In this show, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Ira and David Hauptschein explored this now utterly quaint question: Are people having experiences on the Internet they wouldn't have anywhere else? Several hundred listeners sent in samples of what they were finding on the Internet. A guy offers a girl a late-night tour of Microsoft...and this actually makes him seem hot.
Host Ira Glass talks with Andy Woolworth, an executive vice president in charge of new product development at the world's largest manufacturer of mousetraps, Woodstrean Corporation, in Lititz, Pennsylvania. About once a month, Andy is contacted by someone who thinks he's invented a better mousetrap.
Reporter Jack Hitt explains the alarming difference between theory and practice when it comes to computerized voting machines—specifically, those made by a company called Diebold.
Host Ira Glass surveys the effects DNA has had on the criminal justice landscape. He talks with Huy Dao, at the Innocence Project, where they are waist-deep in 2,000 letters from prisoners claiming DNA can prove them innocent.
The story of Tyler Cassity and how he's trying to remake one of our oldest rituals of commemoration.Tyler is one of the owners of a cemetery called Hollywood Forever, and he's been introducing 20th-Century technology to American funerals, which haven't changed much since the Civil War. At Hollywood Forever, the cost of a burial includes a video of your life: to be shown at your funeral, to be viewable at kiosks on the cemetery grounds, and to be posted—for eternity—on the Internet.
There are thousands of voices passing through your body right now on radio waves—signals from cellular phones and cordless phones, military transmissions and baby monitors. You're not supposed to listen in on these.
Producer Alex Blumberg with people who listen in on the invisible world on the nether reaches of the radio spectrum, mostly illegally...and what they find there.