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Police seek Amazon Echo data in murder case (updated)

Amazon's Echo devices and its virtual assistant are meant to help find answers by listening for your voice commands. However, police in Arkansas want to know if one of the gadgets overheard something that can help with a murder case. According to <i>The Information,</i> authorities in Bentonville issued a …

How University Costs Keep Rising Despite Tuition Freezes

Ballooning fees are leaving some students feeling nickel-and-dimed.<p>DAYTON, Ohio—At a time when public anger is laser-focused on tuition charges that are rising three times faster than inflation, something less well understood has actually been largely responsible for pushing up the cost of college: …

Higher Education

How the Justice System Pushes Kids Out of Classrooms and Into Prisons

The playwright and professor Anna Deavere Smith explored the link between schools and incarceration in her one-woman show Notes From the Field.<p><i>This is the third installment in our series examining the intersections of education and entertainment in 2016. Read previous entries on</i> <i>a</i> <i>documentary and</i> …

Education

The good news and bad news about homelessness in America in 2016

Homelessness in the US has dropped 15% since 2007, with 97,000 fewer Americans living on the streets or in shelters, according to a year-end report (pdf) from the Department of Housing and Urban Development,<p>It’s a nice metric for the Obama administration to leave office on, but it’s worth asking …

Homelessness

Navigating Campus Together

First-generation faculty can steer first-generation college students toward success.<p>I knew Sarah was one of them on the first day of class. We made eye contact as I reviewed the lengthy roll of campus resources listed on my syllabus. “Just so you know,” I said, “all of these people are here to help …

College & University

Escaping the Disability Trap

What’s the best way to prepare special-needs students for the workforce?<p>Today, more than 1 million students are trapped in an education system that wasn’t built for them. That system wasn’t designed to accommodate their disabilities—the kinds of intellectual, cognitive, communicative, and physical …

Education

These climate change truths are much worse than inconvenient

THE EARTH’S natural systems are so complex that it can be hard to prove links between specific instances of extreme weather and the long-term shifting of global temperatures that humans are causing. But that does not suggest there are no links, or that warming is not happening. In fact, experts are …

Climate Change

How to Support Mental Health Through Urban Planning

This group advocates designing cities with emotional well-being in mind.<p>TheTokyo-based psychiatrist Layla McCay founded the Center for Urban Design and Mental Health over a year ago, and it’s grown at a more rapid pace than she expected. “Be careful of finding an unmet need,” she jokes, noting that …

A New Missouri Law Could Give Kids Serious Criminal Records For School Fights, Schools Say

A new Missouri statute is drawing the ire of civil rights advocates over concerns that it unnecessarily criminalizes children. However, a state lawmaker says that the statute is being mischaracterized and does not spur significant change.<p>A letter to parents and guardians that Hazelwood School …

Justice

Post-concussion exercise may help children, teens recover: study

Exercise increases blood flow to brain and could help speed up healing, improve cognitive function, researchers said.<p>TORONTO – Getting physical …

The Brain

D.C. Council votes for expansive paid family and medical leave for private-sector workers.

The D.C. Council gave final approval Tuesday to a plan that will provide private-sector workers some of the nation’s most generous family and medical leave benefits, fighting off a last-minute revolt by the city’s business establishment and Mayor Muriel E. Bowser.<p>The bill, which passed by a …

Health Care

The Interesting Case of LCD Screens and Post Concussive Headaches

<b>Nellie Develops Post Concussive Syndrome (PCS)</b><p><i>Nellie is a 12-year-old girl who was hit by a sailboat boom five days ago. She did not pass out, but has headaches, fatigue, dizziness and nausea. Read more about her injury in the blog post "Anatomy of a Concussion."</i><p>Wednesday morning, she developed …

Headaches

Drinking on Antidepressants

“So why did you stop drinking?” my friend Brad asked recently when we were out for dinner. “You never seemed to have a drinking problem.”<p>The question surprised me, coming as it did a full two years after my decision to take a “break” from alcohol. He was scanning the wine list, and I sensed he was …

Alcohol

How Much Is Too Much? New Study Casts Doubts On Sugar Guidelines

By now, you've very likely heard the case for limiting sugar.<p>Over the past two years the World Health Organization and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines have begun urging us to consume no more than 10 percent of our daily calories from added sugar. Drinking more than one sugar-sweetened soda a day can …

Diabetes

Our Automated Future

How long will it be before you lose your job to a robot?<p>There are many accounts of the genesis of Watson. The most popular, which is not necessarily the most accurate—and this is the sort of problem that Watson himself often stumbled on—begins in 2004, at a steakhouse near Poughkeepsie. One …

Artificial Intelligence

A Blueprint to End Mass Incarceration

A Brennan Center report argues that releasing the “unnecessarily incarcerated” could reduce U.S. prison populations by almost 40 percent.<p>Much of the debate surrounding mass incarceration is centered on its statistics: The United States has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of its …

Crime

Some NFL coaches want to outlaw one of the most exciting plays in football

As Justin Tucker measured his steps to line up a field goal Monday night, Shea McClellin stood on the other side of the line, a visual counterbalance to Tucker, and measured his own. Tucker had not missed a kick all season. The New England Patriots had discovered secrets Baltimore’s field goal unit …

NFL

Why Amsterdam Is Giving Up on Natural Gas

The city plans to wean its homes off domestic natural gas by 2050, starting now.<p>By 2050, Amsterdam hopes to put its gas-heated days behind it. In a city where natural gas warms 90 percent of all homes and contributes 30 percent of all carbon emissions, removing all those boilers won’t be easy—but …

Custody in crisis: How family courts nationwide put children in danger

In many cases across the country, family courts ignore evidence of sexual or physical abuse, putting kids in peril<p>Six years ago, in 2010, an appellate court in Tennessee affirmed a family court ruling that had awarded Darryl Sawyer primary custody of his six-and-a-half-year-old son, Daniel. (All …

Domestic Violence

Driverless-Car Makers on Privacy: Just Trust Us

Members of Congress are calling for new rules that determine how companies can use personal data collected by autonomous vehicles.<p>A self-driving car is, in the words of the roboticist Missy Cummings, “one, big data-gathering machine.” Which, on one hand, is great: For driverless cars to work, they …

Privacy

The Case for the Cuba Embargo

Senator Robert Menendez explains why he thinks Obama opened to the island too soon.<p>On November 26, the New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez held a press conference at the Union of Ex-Political Prisoners of Cuba, a human rights group based in Union City. Known colloquially as “Havana on the Hudson,” …

Cuba

Your Conversation On The Bus Or Train May Be Recorded

When you ride on buses or trains in many parts of the United States, what you say could be recorded. Get on a New Jersey Transit light rail train in Hoboken or Jersey City, for example, and you might notice an inconspicuous sign that says "video and audio systems in use."<p>A lot of riders are not …

Privacy

Scholars Delve Deeper Into The Ethics Of Artificial Intelligence

In 1941, science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov stated "The Three Laws of Robotics," in his short story "Runaround."<p>Law One: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.<p>Law Two: A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such …

Artificial Intelligence

Sure, why not? FBI agrees to unlock iPhone for Arkansas prosecutor

The FBI, which just a few days ago was attempting to convince the country of its helplessness in the face of encrypted iPhones, has generously offered its assistance in unlocking an iPhone and iPod for a prosecutor in Arkansas, the Associated Press reports.<p>TechCrunch has contacted the prosecutor’s …

Privacy

Judge orders woman to unlock iPhone with her fingerprint

It's still not perfectly clear whether or not law enforcement can force you to unlock your phone with your fingerprint, but an LA court isn't waiting to find out: for the first time in a federal case, a judge has ordered a person to unlock her smartphone using her digits. The FBI obtained a warrant …

Privacy

The Overwhelming Barriers to Successful Immigration Reform

LBJ led crucial legislation in 1965, changing the demographics of the U.S. But it offers a difficult model for future presidents to follow.<p>Nearly every new American president of the modern era has viewed the nation’s immigration policies as deeply flawed. Yet few of these modern executives have …

Immigration

Local Cops Ready for War With Homeland Security-Funded Military Weapons

A decade of billions in spending in the name of homeland security has armed local police departments with military-style equipment and a new commando …

FBI Will Help Local Police Unlock iPhones

In a letter from the FBI obtained by CBS News, the agency has pledged to share its newfound iPhone-cracking ability with local police departments. …

Privacy

How to Stand Up Against a Bigoted Attack

Reports of hate crimes apparently tied to Donald Trump’s election are surging. Here’s how to be an active witness.<p>Black university students added to a “N---er lynching” text message group at the University of Pennsylvania. Elementary schoolers chanting “build the wall” in Michigan. Latino high …

Snow in the U.S. Hits an 'All-Time Low'

There’s scarcely any powder in the Lower 48 outside of the high mountains.<p>If you want an indication of how abnormally warm it is in the U.S., look down. Chances are you don’t see any white stuff, because the country is suffering from a major deficit in snow.<p>In fact, snow cover is the lowest it’s …