Technology

When you sleep in unfamiliar surroundings, only half your brain is getting a good night's rest.

"The left side seems to be more awake than the right side," says Yuka Sasaki, an associate professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University.

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Larry Downing/Reuters

It’s been eight years since DJ Patil — then the data and analytics lead at LinkedIn — helped coin the term “data scientist,” and the profession has already become one of the most popular in the country.

When Defense Secretary Ashton Carter landed in Iraq for a surprise visit this week, he came armed with this news: More than 200 additional U.S. troops are headed to that country. They'll join the fight to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State.

As that battle unfolds on the ground, a parallel war against ISIS is unfolding in cyberspace.

For days, the tech media was mesmerized: Rumors were running amok about the mysterious third party that helped the FBI unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone and one particular Israeli security company landed in the spotlight.

As weeks go by, the expectations that the third-party helper or its mysterious technique would be revealed are quickly declining. The theories, however, continue to ripple out.

A solar-powered plane called the Solar Impulse 2 is preparing to resume its flight around the world after nine months on the ground for repairs.

The team's goal: to be the first plane to circumnavigate the globe using only solar power.

NPR's Geoff Brumfiel tells our Newscast unit that the plane is getting ready for liftoff in Hawaii. Here's more from Geoff:

Saying its customers "have a right to know when the government obtains a warrant to read their emails" — and that Microsoft has a right to tell them about gag orders — the tech giant has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department.

Microsoft is asking a judge to declare part of a federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. § 2705(b), unconstitutional under both the First and Fourth Amendments.

As NPR's Aarti Shahani reports for our Newscast unit:

OfferUp website shows goods being offered near the user.
Screen grab 4/14/2016

A Bellevue startup wants to move in on the buy-and-sell market created by Craigslist. Private investors seem to think OfferUp could do it: They have estimated the company's value at more than $800 million.

Rebecca Yeung (left), and Kimberly Yeung retrieve the Loki Lego Launcher outside Ritzville, WA, after the ballooncraft returned from the stratosphere.
Courtesy of the Yeung Family

Kim Malcolm speaks with Seattle sisters Rebecca, 11, and Kimberly Yeung, 9, about bringing their "spacecraft," the Loki Lego Launcher, to the White House Science Fair

Before the White House, the Loki Lego Launcher was just a family project. The girls built the craft at home, with equipment and instructions they found online. They made it out of plywood, arrow shafts, rope, a helium balloon and some styrofoam feet "in the event of a water landing." 

Ian Burkhart, now 24, was paralyzed in 2010 after diving into a wave in shallow water. The accident left him with some arm movement but no use of his hands.

Some users of LSD say one of the most profound parts of the experience is a deep oneness with the universe. The hallucinogenic drug might be causing this by blurring boundaries in the brain, too.

Mark Zuckerberg has laid out a 10-year master plan for Facebook. It's bold. It's savvy. And it glosses over a key detail: the dark side of making the world more connected.

Emojis were supposed to be the great equalizer: a language all its own capable of transcending borders and cultural differences.

Not so fast, say a group of researchers who found that different people had vastly different interpretations of some popular emojis. The researchers published their findings for GroupLens, a research lab based out of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Updated at 11:52 a.m. ET with a response from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Inventors and entrepreneurs have logged years of complaining about the patent system, and there are some good reasons. In 2015, patent litigation rose 13 percent from the previous year according to a study by Unified Patents, and two-thirds of those suits were brought by nonpracticing entities, or so-called "patent trolls."

  Bill Radke speaks with local filmmaker Delaney Ruston about her documentary "Screenagers."

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