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All Tech Considered
4:06 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Can A Computer Grade Essays As Well As A Human? Maybe Even Better, Study Says

Some autoreaders can read and grade 16,000 essays in 20 seconds, but there are many areas where the software falls short.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:15 pm

Computers have been grading multiple-choice tests in schools for years. To the relief of English teachers everywhere, essays have been tougher to gauge. But look out, teachers: A new study finds that software designed to automatically read and grade essays can do as good a job as humans — maybe even better.

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

VIDEO: Northern Lights Seen In Minnesota

The Northern Lights in Minnesota.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 5:02 am

Last night was pretty spectacular in some parts of Minnesota.

Fergus Falls, for example, got a rare showing of the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights. Douglas Kiesling, of Storm Chasing Video, posted this video of them on YouTube:

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It's All Politics
3:20 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

As The Campaign Hits Cruising Altitude, Critics Again Target Presidential Travel

President Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, en route to Florida, on April 10. Whenever a president runs for re-election, his travel tends to become a political issue.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

The White House has been fielding questions lately about President Obama's travel — what's official, what's political and whether taxpayers are getting stuck with the bill. It's the same issue that rolls around every time a president runs for re-election.

Take President Obama's trip to Florida earlier this month. It featured an official presidential speech on the economy at Florida Atlantic University. On the same trip, the president hit two fundraisers.

How do you sort that out?

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Space
3:14 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Tech Entrepreneurs Bet Big On Asteroid Mining

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Today, a group of entrepreneurs unveiled a new company that aims to mine precious metals and other resources from asteroids. The idea of exploiting the natural resources on asteroids has been around for more than a century, and this is not the first company to lay out such grand plans.

But as NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports, this one does have the financial backing of some big names in high tech.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
3:06 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Both Community And Garden Grow In 'Seedfolks'

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

April showers bring May flowers, and in this case they bring us a selection from the garden for NPR's Backseat Book Club. Each month we ask young people to read a book along with us, and for this month, our pick is Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman.

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