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Thursday December 17, 2009

U.S. Predator Drones Vulnerable to Hackers

This undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Air Force shows a MQ-9 Reaper, armed with GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided munitions and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, piloted by Col. Lex Turner during a combat mission over southern Afghanistan. (AP/Lt. Col.. Leslie Pratt, US Air Force)

An unmanned aerial vehicle during a combat mission over southern Afghanistan. (AP/Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt, US Air Force)

Pentagon and U.S. intelligence officials say Iraqi militants have managed to use $26 over-the-counter software to hack into unmanned drone surveillance video feeds, with the potential ability to monitor U.S. military operations. We speak to Siobhan Gorman, intelligence correspondent with the Wall Street Journal.

‘The Music Room’

English author William Fiennes weaves together his story of growing up in Broughton Castle, which has been in his family since the 15th century, with the history of scientific knowledge of the brain and his story of coming to terms with his brother’s epilepsy and brain damage.  We speak with Fiennes,author of “The Music Room.”

Russia and Ukraine and Natural Gas

Will Ukraine’s state energy company be able to make its payments to Russia? We’ll get a report from the BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse.

The Sales Tax Quandary

Workers unpack a truck inside the 800,000 sq. ft. Amazon.com warehouse in Goodyear, Ariz, Nov. 16, 2009,. (AP)

Workers unpack a truck inside the 800,000 sq. ft. Amazon.com warehouse in Goodyear, Ariz, Nov. 16, 2009,. (AP)

If you’re doing any of your holiday shopping online or through catalogs, there’s a good chance you’re not being charged sales tax. But if you also live in any of the 45 states that impose a sales tax, did you know that you still owe that tax to your state? States are losing out on billions of dollars of desperately needed revenue because of Internet shopping, and it’s only going to get worse this holiday season. Scott Peterson is the executive director of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board.

The Christmas Chronicles

This is the time of year when kids start wondering — How does Santa travel the world in one night? Can reindeer really fly? And does Rudolph’s red, shiny nose lead Santa’s sleigh? Professor Tim Slover set out to answer those questions while his children were growing up, and now he’s turned those stories into a beautifully crafted radio drama called “The Christmas Chronicles.” Slover tells us about the stories, and how they came to life on KBYU public radio in Provo, Utah. Slover is associate professor in the Department of Theater at the University of Utah.

Spotlight

Here & Now resident chef and cookbook author Kathy Gunst shares her list of the best cookbooks of the year.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

December 17 2 Comments

Atticus Lish’s ‘Preparation For The Next Life’

The author's debut novel centers on an unlikely romance between an Iraq veteran and a Uyghur from China.

December 17 3 Comments

Diagnosing Ear Infections With Your Smartphone

The CellScope Oto is a clip-on gadget that turns a smartphone into an otoscope — the tool doctors use to check out a patient's eardrum.

December 16 Comment

‘Sacred Journeys’ Documents Religious Pilgrimages

In a new documentary series on PBS, Bruce Feiler accompanies Americans on pilgrimages to six of the world's holiest sites.

December 16 4 Comments

Jewish Cuisine — It’s Not Just Chopped Liver

Janna Gur shares some history of Jewish cuisine, as well as three recipes from her new cookbook "Jewish Soul Food."