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As much as Silicon Valley is an actual place, it has no official borders or capital. It's a nickname, not a name on a map. But now there might be a monument about its glory.

The San Jose City Council approved a design competition for a landmark that would symbolize the tech industry's power and influence. There isn't a single architectural icon to represent Silicon Valley, like the Hollywood sign or the Empire State Building.

While the headlines about special counsel Robert Mueller's report have focused on the question of whether President Trump obstructed justice, the report also gave fresh details about Russian efforts to hack into U.S. election systems.

Foyes Ullah's first thought was — burglars! It was 2 in the morning in a crowded part of the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh, and a commotion had just jolted him awake. People outside were yelling. The walls of his shelter were trembling. He could hear bamboo snapping as if someone were ripping apart a neighboring hut.

His neighbor was screaming, "Who is hitting my house? Who is there? But no one was responding," Ullah says. He wanted to go outside but his wife stopped him, saying, "They will kill you."

This summer, musician Katie Sucha will be touring England. And she's scared.

"It really is a serious mental challenge to walk through those doors and get on the plane," she explains. Sucha's fear of flying is so bad that when she was a teacher in Mississippi and wanted to visit her family in Michigan, she'd take a 14-hour bus ride rather than spend two hours in the air.

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We're going to look now at the state of artificial intelligence this month in All Tech Considered.


Workers on an oil rig about 135 miles offshore from southern Thailand noticed something stunning in the water: a dog.

The animal swam toward the rig's platform on Friday and clung to it as team members tried to figure out how to save him, Vitisak Payalaw, an offshore planner for Chevron Thailand Exploration & Production, told NPR.

Video that Payalaw posted on Facebook shows the shivering animal partially submerged in water, staring up at the workers.

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You can tell Tolstoy that not every happy family is alike after all.

Along the Mississippi River in Illinois lives an unusual family of six bald eagles. Two males and one female are caring for three eaglets — with the world watching on a livestream.

The two males, Valor I and Valor II, and the female, Starr, have been together since 2017, in the backwaters of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Tax Troubles, Tax Triumphs

Apr 15, 2019

Ah, April 15. The day most Americans come together as a nation and file their taxes. Maybe this year you used TurboTax? Or hired a tax preparer or some other service? Or you did them entirely by yourself the old-fashioned way?

One thing’s for sure – if Congress passes the so-called Taxpayer First Act, you won’t be able to file using free software via the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The bipartisan bill would prevent the IRS from creating its own tax filing service.

As they have with so many other industries, apps are shaking up the weight loss business, including big-name companies like Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers. And it's basically because more consumers feel the way Jessica Holloway-Haytcher does.

A couple years ago, she tried diet shakes and supplements. She hated them. She also hired a former NFL player turned personal trainer — but his schedule never matched hers.

She spent $600 a month for programs that weren't sustainable. She says she couldn't keep up with the "astronomical" costs.

Copyright 2019 WGBH. To see more, visit WGBH.


If you have ever wanted to get paid to lie in bed, then this job is for you: NASA, the European Space Agency and the German Aerospace Center are offering $18,500 for people to lie in bed for two months.

The job is based in Cologne, Germany, and it's part of a study designed to better understand how the body adapts to weightlessness. The agencies are currently looking for people who are female, between the ages of 24 and 55 and who speak German. The official name of the study is Artificial Gravity Bed Rest Study.

But there's a catch.

When Merdis Wells visited the diabetes clinic at the University Medical Center in New Orleans about a year ago, a nurse practitioner checked her eyes to look for signs of diabetic retinopathy, the most common cause of blindness.

At her next visit, in February of this year, artificial intelligence software made the call.

The clinic had just installed a system that's designed to identify patients who need follow-up attention.

Get Paid To Stay In Bed, For Space Science

Apr 14, 2019

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Malak Silmi was taking her first real journalism class last January when her professor said something that changed her life: Watch what you post on social media because it might just come back to bite you.

Silmi's Twitter account at the time was one she'd had since she was 14. It was a public profile with her content ranging from memes and status updates to opinions on foreign policy. But she decided something had to change if she wanted to be taken seriously as a journalist. So, she deactivated it.