3:09pm

Thu July 19, 2012
All Tech Considered

As Wikipedia Gets Pickier, Editors Become Harder To Find

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 3:38 pm

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales speaks during "Wikimania 2012," an international Wikimedia conference, in Washington, D.C.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Admit it. You've used the free, crowd-sourced entries of Wikipedia to brush up on history or look up a fact or two in many a trivia conundrum. And you're not alone. Since Wikipedia was launched more than a decade ago, millions of Web users have "Wikied" this or that.

But what have you done for Wikipedia lately?

Maybe you've added a sentence or two to an entry, or even created a new page about for your favorite up-and-coming indie artist.

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2:39pm

Thu July 19, 2012
The Two-Way

A First As A Public Company, Microsoft Reports Quarterly Loss

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 3:18 pm

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer comments on the Windows 8 operating system before unveiling Surface, a tablet computer to compete with Apple's iPad.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Microsoft made a $6.2 billion accounting adjustment this quarter that threw it into negative territory for the first time as a public company, the AP reports.

Microsoft took the charge mostly based on the acquisition of aQuantive, an online advertising company Microsoft acquired in 2007.

As MSNBC reports, the "charge was an acknowledgement that the company's struggling online services division — which lost about half a billion dollars in the previous quarter — is a significant financial drag on the company." Microsoft, remember, is the owner of the search engine Bing.

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2:25pm

Thu July 19, 2012
Around the Nation

When Hyphen Boy Meets Hyphen Girl, Names Pile Up

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 5:43 pm

Sasha Harris-Cronin and her partner struggled with their daughter Shannon's last name. They finally decided on two middle names and a hybrid hyphenated last name: Shannon Bayard Cronin Harris-Taylor.
Courtesy of Sasha Harris-Cronin

Those born at the height of the name-hyphenating craze will be the first to tell you — having two last names can be more trouble than it's worth. There's the perennial confusion at school and at the doctor's office, and the challenge of squeezing your name onto forms.

And now that the hyphenated generation is marrying and parenting, a whole host of new tricky situations has emerged.

Take Leila and Brendan. Their story is one of those fairy tale stories of love at first sight. She was in the lobby of her apartment building when this cute guy started moving in.

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2:19pm

Thu July 19, 2012
The Salt

As Drought Kills Corn, Farmers Fight Over Ethanol

Stunted corn grows in a field next to a cattle feed lot in rural Springfield, Omaha, Neb.
Nati Harnik AP

We often talk about the "farm lobby" as though farmers spoke with a unified voice. And it's true, they usually try to.

But an unusually bitter and public fight is breaking out right now between the farmers who grow corn and other farmers who need to buy that corn.

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2:10pm

Thu July 19, 2012
The Veepstakes

From Rival To Running Mate? Possible For Pawlenty

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 3:38 pm

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaign in Las Vegas on Oct. 17, 2011.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

As he shadowed President Obama's bus tour in Pennsylvania early this month, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty gave a pretty good impression of a man auditioning for a job.

There was Pawlenty as attack dog, one of the traditional roles of a running mate.

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2:04pm

Thu July 19, 2012
The Two-Way

$20K For Drumsticks? GSA Back In Limelight For Conference Spending

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 3:56 pm

The General Services Administration, which is tasked with developing the rules followed by other government agencies, is back in the limelight for the money it spent on a one-day event in the Washington, D.C. area.

In a letter to House members, the agency's inspector general says it has launched an investigation after its initial findings showed the GSA spent $268,732 on the event.

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1:47pm

Thu July 19, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

How You Move Your Arm Says Something About Who You Are

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 10:47 am

Researchers studying brains want to know what's happening in an area called the premotor cortex — the place in the brain that gears up for something the body is about to do, like swimming. Above, Michael Phelps dives off the starting blocks in the final heat of the men's 400-meter individual medley during the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials in Omaha, Neb., on June 25.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

When Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps steps onto a starting block a few days from now, a Stanford scientist named Krishna Shenoy will be asking himself a question: "What's going on in Michael Phelps' brain?"

Specifically, Shenoy would like to know what's happening in an area called the premotor cortex. This area doesn't directly tell muscles what to do. But it's the place where the brain gears up for something the body is about to do, like swimming.

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1:24pm

Thu July 19, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

South African Doctors Uneasy About HIV Prevention Pill

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:54 pm

Longtime AIDS activist Dr. Ashraf Grimwood says South Africa has made huge strides in confronting HIV. But he worries that giving anti-retroviral drugs to healthy people could have negative consequences in the long term.
Jason Beaubien NPR

The news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week approved the use of Truvada, an AIDS drug, to prevent infections in people who are HIV-negative is being greeted with skepticism, derision and even worry by some doctors in South Africa.

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1:20pm

Thu July 19, 2012
The Two-Way

As Fighting In Syria Intensifies, U.S. Worries About Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 1:49 pm

Syrian President Bashar Assad waves at supporters during a rare public appearance in Damascus on Jan. 11.
AFP/Getty Images

"Deathly afraid."

That's what one U.S. official says about the prospect that Syria's vast stockpile of chemical weapons might be used against rebel forces. From a U.S. national security standpoint, an even worse outcome would be for those weapons to fall into the hands of terrorists.

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12:19pm

Thu July 19, 2012
The Salt

High-Tech Shortcut To Greek Yogurt Leaves Purists Fuming

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 9:30 am

A supermarket's dairy case with shelves of yogurt.
Benjamin Morris NPR

America's food companies are masters of technology. They massage tastes and textures to tickle our palates. They find ways to imitate expensive foods with cheaper ingredients.

And sometimes, that technological genius leads to controversy.

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