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Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The Ethel Walker School in Simsbury recently hosted a fair showcasing its STEAM summer program. The program gives kids in pre-K through fifth grade from Hartford Public Schools an opportunity to develop skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

WBZ-TV

Rhode Island’s new toll program made more than half a million dollars in one month.  But only tolling tractor-trailers has led to a lawsuit by the trucking industry not to mention criticisms from some Rhode Island politicians.  

James Vaughan / Flickr

Humans are great at making a mess of things. So far, however, that mess has been confined to Earth. But as we develop into a spacefaring species, our capacity for destruction, pollution, and prejudice (towards aliens of earthly and unearthly origins) threatens to have cosmic consequences.

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Governor Dannel Malloy announced a new fuel cell project in New Britain that is predicted to bring in thousands of new jobs.

Some online sales are about to start costing more.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can require retailers to collect and remit sales taxes on out-of-state purchases. The 5-to-4 decision reversed decades-old decisions that protected out-of-state vendors from sales tax obligations unless the vendor had a physical presence in the state.

J Stimp / Creative Commons

Nearly ninety-percent of Americans own a smartphone.

On average, we spend more than four hours a day on our phones, which adds up to about 56 full days a year. That's like sealing yourself in a room on the first day of summer and not emerging until the kids head back to school. 

mikael altemark / Creative Commons

Connecticut school districts have been working over the last two years to comply with new privacy laws around student data, but many have been struggling to make the July 1, 2018 deadline.

Frontiers Conferences / flickr

Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, etc. These are just the beginning of what experts believe will be a future filled with verbally interactive, digital and robotic assistants. And as we become more accustomed to interacting with machines, the machines are becoming more life-like.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

United Technologies intends to hire 35,000 employees over the next five years, including 2,000 new jobs in Connecticut.

Jamie / Creative Commons

This hour: the deadly reality of counterfeit drugs. We discuss the history and proliferation of fake pharmaceuticals with Dr. Muhammad Zaman, author of Bitter Pills: The Global War on Counterfeit Drugs, and consider their impact both internationally and at home. 

Also: a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines an alarming trend in the U.S. -- fleas, ticks, and mosquitos are on the rise. But what, exactly, is driving the increase? And what does it mean for public health?

Adam Tiner / flickr creative commons

Lauren Bacall probably does have the most famous line about smoking in all of cinema. But there are other good ones too. "What are you gonna do? Charge me with smoking?" "Smoke if ya got 'em." And many more.

Cigarettes have been such an integral part of movies for so long that one big concern in the lead up to Disney and Fox's planned merger is -- seriously -- all the smoking in Fox movies.

Nelo Hotsuma / Flickr

From its humble, South Korean origins in the early 2000s to its current place as an international, cultural phenomenon, esports is certainly on the rise. Huge venues including Madison Square Garden, the Staples Center and others are routinely selling out to diehard fans of these competitive video gaming tournaments

Evan Kalish / Postlandia

When Alexis de Tocqueville toured America in the early 1830's to gather observations that he would later put on the pages of Democracy in America, he was impressed with the efficiency of our American Postal Service.

Facebook announced changes to its content review policy Tuesday, adding an appeals process for removed content and releasing the internal guidelines it relies on to make content determinations.

While the social media giant has listed a set of publicly available community standards for several years, the latest update includes the more detailed guidelines that content reviewers use internally when deciding whether to allow or remove posts.

Will Clayton / Creative Commons

Joe Biden is seriously thinking about running for president in 2020. He's got a wealth of political experience and institutional knowledge. He's vibrant and in good health.  He's also seventy-five-years-old. Many of us are quietly wondering if he's too old for the job.

Drones: Law Enforcement’s Newest Recruits

Apr 16, 2018
MIKI Yoshihito / Creative Commons

Rapidly advancing technology is changing the way we do a lot of things... including policing.

This hour: police drones are coming to Hartford. Are they an invasion of privacy or a helpful tool for law enforcement? And how are lawmakers debating this new technology? What do you think about police using drones? Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Wes Anderson is a... particular sort of filmmaker. With his typewriters and his pipe smoking. With his monochrome sets and props and costumes. With his perfectly symmetrical compositions. The one place where Anderson's tweeness is maybe softened a bit is in his old-school, stop-motion, animal-centric animated films. There was Fantastic Mr. Fox. And now there's Isle of Dogs. Dogs isn't without its own problems, though. The Nose weighs in.

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

Mark Zuckerberg faced dozens of senators — and the American television audience — to take "hard questions" on how Facebook has handled user data and faced efforts to subvert democracy.

"We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I'm sorry," the co-founder and CEO of Facebook, uncharacteristically wearing a suit, said in his opening remarks. "I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here."

JD Lasica / Creative Commons

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying on Capitol Hill to answer questions about protecting user data. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will face Congress in two separate hearings this week, as his company grapples with intense scrutiny over privacy and security on the social media site. It will be Zuckerberg's first appearance on Capitol Hill.

On Tuesday afternoon, more than 40 senators will crowd into a hearing room, where members of the Senate judiciary and commerce committees will have four minutes each to question Zuckerberg. A similar scene will play out Wednesday, when he is set to appear before members of House Energy and Commerce Committee.

As the Facebook scandal over Cambridge Analytica's misuse of the personal data of millions of users continues to unfold, Facebook is suspending another data analytics firm over similar allegations.

According to reporting by CNBC, Cubeyou collected data from Facebook users through personality quizzes "for non-profit academic research" developed with Cambridge University — then sold the data to advertisers.

After weeks of remaining conspicuously out of sight, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told NPR's Steve Inskeep that she doesn't know if companies other than Cambridge Analytica exploited users' private data without their consent.

"We don't know," she said, leaning into a black leather swivel chair at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on Thursday.

Sandberg said Facebook has launched an investigation and audit to determine whether user information has been compromised by other firms.

Time is running out for the city of Atlanta, which was given until Wednesday to pay off the cyberattackers who laid siege to city government data and are threatening to wipe the computers clean.

It looks like one of the marquee cases before the U.S. Supreme Court is about to go bust — sabotaged by a needle in a legislative haystack.

The question in the case is whether a U.S. technology company can refuse to honor a court-ordered U.S. search warrant seeking information that is stored at a facility outside the United States.

Oral arguments took place at the Supreme Court last month, and they did not go well for Microsoft, the tech giant that is challenging a warrant for information stored at its facility in Ireland.

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

The November midterms are fast-approaching -- raising concerns about election security and the safeguarding of local voter identity.

This hour, we look at how Connecticut is responding with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

Plus: a Middletown-based prison program gives incarcerated adults the opportunity to work towards an Associate degree behind bars.

We learn about the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education and its recent degree-granting collaboration with Middlesex Community College.

And finally: Have recent weather reports left you feeling underwhelmed? Don’t be upset with your local forecaster, says Quinnipiac University professor Ben Bogardus.

Coming up, Bogardus joins us along with NBC Connecticut Chief Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan. And we want to hear from you. 

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

A self-driving car operated by Uber struck and killed a pedestrian who was walking her bicycle in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday night. The incident could be the first pedestrian death involving a self-driving vehicle.

The car was in autonomous mode but had a human riding along to take control of the vehicle if necessary, according to the Tempe Police Department. The victim, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was struck while walking outside a crosswalk, police said. She was immediately transported to a local hospital, where she died.

Film Sufi / filmsufi.com

Cambridge Analytica, a data company backed by Republican donor Robert Mercer and headed by Steve Bannon, harvested private information from almost 50 million Facebook users without their permission to develop and exploit psychological profiles in the 2016 U.S. election.

A phone with social media apps
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Are you constantly pulling out your phone to check that notification from Instagram or Facebook? If so, you’re not alone—nearly seven in ten American adults are on social media, according to a recent Pew survey.

This hour: social media has made our world smaller, but do virtual networks make us feel more connected? A recent study found that those who spend more time on social media actually tend to feel more socially isolated. We ask researchers and a psychiatrist why.

Netflix

In this week's Ridiculous Moments in Late-Stage Capitalism: Pizza Hut's new shoes -- because there are Pizza Hut shoes, apparently; they're, of course, called "Pie Tops" -- will pause live TV when your pizza delivery arrives. Amazon's Echo devices have started spontaneously laughing at people, which might really be scarier than it is funny. And, to celebrate International Women's Day, KFC is introducing the world to Colonel Sanders's wife, Mrs. Claudia Sanders.

And: Netflix's Seven Seconds is not, it turns out, the prequel to a Luke Perry vehicle, rodeo movie it sounds like. It is instead "the contrived, misery-riddled show" that you maybe won't be able to stop watching. And it is also maybe the coldest Netflix show.

Arthur Caranta / Flickr

They may not look like R2D2 or BB8, but in 2018, robots are an important part of our world.

This hour we talk about ​automation—new advances in “smart” technology during a period of time that’s been dubbed the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

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