The worry over coordinated cyber attacks against U.S. computer systems from foreign enemies or terrorists has been larger than any damage that’s occurred so far, perhaps, but the bad guys are getting better and threats are growing, according to Massoud Amin, who heads a new Master’s program in security technologies at the University of Minnesota.

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Many Americans mistakenly conclude they have a rare illness after attempting self-diagnosis on the Internet, according to a recent study by researchers are Microsoft. The company conducted the study to improve its own search engine.

Microsoft studied health-related Web searches on popular search engines and surveyed 500 of its employees about their health-related searching. Microsoft’s Eric Horvitz, an artificial intelligence expert and medical school grad, says Web search engines can increase our health-related anxieties and lead us to believe worst-case scenarios.

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Scientists at the University of Rochester are working on a different kind of encoding that promises to make sound files 1,000 times smaller than MP3s.

The new method is not a recording technology. Instead, it recreates music in a computer based on what it knows about the real-world physics of an instrument and its human player.

Researchers say the real benefit is expressiveness, not file size.

This story originally aired April 10, 2008

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The average sentence length of a Twitter message is 1.40 sentences. Gerunds are more popular on Twitter than off. The second most popular word on Twitter is “I.”

These are a few of the things the Oxford English Dictionary has learned by studying millions of Twitter messages.

Guest: Jesse Sheidlower, editor-at-large of the OED

This segment originally aired June 8, 2009

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