Google, Facebook and other major technology companies are boosting their efforts to control Internet transmission networks. They’re building private fiber-optic cables across the world, rivaling telecom companies like Verizon and Sprint.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google began to build its network in 2008, long before the National Security Agency data mining scandal broke.
Tech executives say they’re building their own cable fiber networks to keep costs down and improve services as online traffic continues to grow.
Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 4:17 pm
Were access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, the nation's busiest span, closed as political retribution against a mayor who didn't publicly endorse New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's re-election?
The governor denies that politics played a role in the traffic-snarling decision, but the controversy has put an ever-growing stain on Christie's glossy November re-election victory. And the episode could have an impact on Christie's White House ambitions.
Pope Francis continues to shake up the Vatican establishment. This time, in what observers are calling a major move, he reshuffled the membership of the Congregation for Bishops, one of the most important organizations in the Vatican.
In the biggest shakeup announced on Monday, Francis removed Cardinal Raymond L. Burke from the group and replaced him with another American, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C..
Joel (left) and Ethan Coen wrote and directed Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man and True Grit. Their latest film is Inside Llewyn Davis.
Credit Alison Rosa / Long Strange Trip/CBS Films
An orange tabby cat co-stars alongside Oscar Isaac in the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis. "The whole exercise of shooting a cat is pretty nightmarish because they don't care about anything," Ethan Coen says.
Credit Merrick Morton / AP
Jeff Bridges (from left), John Goodman and Steve Buscemi starred in the Coen brothers' 1998 film The Big Lebowski. It didn't do particularly well in the theaters, but on the home movie market,"it became some sort of cult thing," says Joel Coen. "How do you explain that? I have no idea."
If you ask the Coen brothers about how they write their films, you might not get a straight answer. "It's mostly napping," Ethan tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
"We go to the office, we're there, we're in a room together," Joel adds. "We take naps, but, you know, the important thing is that we're at the office, should we be inspired to actually write something."
The brothers don't split up writing responsibilities — they "talk through" the dialogue and "work it out together," Joel explains.
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher's body has been exhumed more than a year after he killed his girlfriend and himself so that his brain can be examined for signs of a degenerative condition linked to repeated concussions.
Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 4:51 pm
President Obama just wrapped up a meeting with high-tech luminaries at the White House, focusing on an agenda of how to clean up HealthCare.gov, and how to stop the snooping by the National Security Agency from continuing to cast a pall over high-tech profits.
The group has a lot to discuss. On Monday, a federal judge ruled that the NSA's collection of millions of telephone records may be unconstitutional.
Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 8:57 am
When I was growing up my mom gave me a multivitamin every day as a defense against unnamed dread diseases.
But it looks like Mom was wasting her money. Evidence continues to mount that vitamin supplements don't help most people and can actually cause diseases that people are taking them to prevent, like cancer.
Many children want to participate in social media sites like Facebook before they're old enough to legally sign up.
Credit Courtesy of Itay Eshet
A screen grab of Nipagesh's chat feature. When a school joins the network, its entire student body, along with parents and teachers, are signed up at once. Children can flag posts that make them uncomfortable.
For the first time in decades, America's obesity rate remained flat this past year, according to the United Health Foundation. Tell Me More host Michel Martin speaks with Dr. Reed Tuckson about the report. Marquette University Professor Andrew Williams, who is developing a robot to help children exercise and make better nutritional choices, also joins the conversation.
We all know that Kansas City likes to be, well, up to date, and several new businesses are helping make that happen.
In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, reporter Kevin Collison joins us to take a look at the top ten developments in Kansas City businesses this year. We'll examine Cerner's announcement for a new campus on Bannister Road, the GSA's move downtown, the sale of Boulevard Brewery to a Belgian company, and more.
A woman picks her Mega Millions lottery numbers at a shop in New York's Penn Station on Tuesday. The Mega Millions jackpot soared to $636 million on Monday, still short of the $656 million U.S. record set in a March 2012 drawing.
Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:55 am
Update at 12:43 p.m.
The Mega Millions jackpot is now the second-highest lottery jackpot in U.S. history: It swelled to about $636 million, on the back of strong ticket sales ahead of the drawing at 11 p.m. Tuesday.
On Monday, lottery officials estimated that the jackpot had risen to $586 million. And there could be a Christmas miracle: The jackpot could reach a seemingly impossible $1 billion if no one wins by Dec. 24. That would shatter the record of $656 million, set in a March 2012 Mega Millions drawing.
Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 1:57 pm
American expat Mark Kelleher, 56, is an English teacher in Chelyabinsk, Russia. He has lived there for a dozen years with his Russian wife, Tatiana. They have twin daughters, Caitlyn and Maggie, who are 7.
Somali refugees lead their herds of goats home for the night outside Dadaab, Kenya. A new study shows that animals in many parts of the developing world require more food — and generate more greenhouse emissions — than animals in wealthy countries.
Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:53 am
To feed all 7 billion of us, address climate change and live longer, we all need to eat less meat. From Al Gore to the Meatless Monday movement to Harvard epidemiologists, that's been the resounding advice offered to consumers lately.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, the chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco, will be next chief executive officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world with a $40 billion endowment.
The AP reports that the foundation has been looking for a CEO since Jeff Raikes announced his retirement in September.
As 2013 comes to a close, we remember some of the local public figures who died this year. This list is by no means exhaustive, but recognizes some of the most prominent people who were lost in the philanthropic, arts and media communities of the Kansas City region.
As always, share your comments (or additions to the list) below.
Indian workers remove Tuesday a barricade that had been erected as a safety measure outside the main entrance of U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. The move follows the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York.
Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:11 am
The crash of a military aircraft Tuesday in Afghanistan killed six members of the International Security Assistance Force who were on board, military officials say, and NPR's Tom Bowman has been told by military sources in a position to know that all six were Americans.
Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 8:58 am
Around a million people get hip or knee replacements a year, and those operations cost Medicare and private insurers a lot of money. For the first time, the federal government is evaluating how good a job individual hospitals are doing.
Medicare has identified 95 hospitals where elderly patients were more likely to suffer significant setbacks and another 97 hospitals where patients tended to have the smoothest recoveries. (It's a long list that you can sift through here.)
South African President Nelson Mandela was remembered as a freedom fighter and a forgiving man at a memorial service in Kansas City Monday night.
A local children’s choir sang the South African National Anthem at the event at the Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral as people offered prayers for the world leader who died this month at the age of 95.
Ester Holzendorf of Grandview, Mo., came to the service at Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church with her daughter.