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2:40am

Wed August 15, 2012
All Tech Considered

Twitter Lets Customers Skip Recordings, And Make Choices

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 7:48 am

For customer Laura Hargrove, the choice between moving-truck companies Budget and Penske came down to how they use Twitter.
NPR

Once used mostly for one-time promos and marketing, Twitter is now something businesses are relying on to provide customer service. For instance, Southwest Airlines tweets to alert folks about delays. And Best Buy responds to questions and complaints via Twitter. And they're not alone.

Let's say you're thinking of ordering a pair of shoes online and you want to know the store's exchange policy. You could pick up the phone — but then you'll hear the old recording: "To ensure quality service, your call may be monitored or recorded."

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2:39am

Wed August 15, 2012
Law

The Law — And Reality — Of Gun Access

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:44 am

Federal law bars gun sales to the mentally ill only if they've ever been deemed by a judge to be mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed. States reporting of such things to the federal database is spotty, and very often, it doesn't show up when a gun seller does a background check.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Timothy Courtois' family had been worried about him for weeks. They repeatedly told police in Biddeford, Maine, that the 49-year-old was off his meds for bipolar disorder. And police were also told he had guns. But still, because he wasn't doing anything that rose to the legal definition of imminent threat, police said their hands were tied.

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2:38am

Wed August 15, 2012
National Security

Taliban Showing New Willingness On Prisoner Swap

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:14 am

This image provided by IntelCenter on Dec. 8, 2010, shows a frame grab from a video released by the Taliban containing footage of a man believed to be Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The 26-year-old Army sergeant was captured by the Taliban more than three years ago.
AP

There are new glimmers of hope for the only known U.S. prisoner of war held captive in Afghanistan — 26-year-old Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban more than three years ago. After lengthy discussions, it appears his captors may be more receptive than ever before to finding a way to send him home.

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1:51am

Wed August 15, 2012
Humans

Changing Climate May Have Led To Earliest Mummies

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:14 am

a recent National Geographic story shows a long-buried corpse, preserved by one of Earth's driest climates, Chile's Atacama Desert, where it has retained centuries-old skin, hair and clothing." href="/post/changing-climate-may-have-led-earliest-mummies" class="noexit lightbox">
A photo from a recent National Geographic story shows a long-buried corpse, preserved by one of Earth's driest climates, Chile's Atacama Desert, where it has retained centuries-old skin, hair and clothing.
Enrico Ferorelli National Geographic

A couple of thousand years before the Egyptians preserved some of their dead, a much simpler society made the first known mummies.

The Chinchorros, the first mummy makers, lived about 7,000 years ago in South America, on the coast near the border between modern-day Peru and Chile. The desert area where they lived was so dry, dead people turned into mummies naturally.

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1:48am

Wed August 15, 2012
The Record

My American Dream Sounds Like The White Stripes

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 2:27 pm

The White Stripes.
Autumn De Wilde Courtesy of the artists

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