The Madeleine Brand Show for April 27, 2011

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How safe is your data online? PlayStation hacked

Last week people who use Sony's PlayStation for gaming, listening to music and watching movies found they couldn't access the network. Sony acknowledged there was a problem, but said little else. Now Sony has announced that "malicious hackers" have accessed the personal data of the network's 77 million users--and that could include credit card numbers. Is it time to freak out? We ask Brian Krebs, a reporter specializing in computer security.
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Ben Bernanke gives Fed's first press conference

Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, is answering questions from reporters in what is the central bank's first press conference ever. He's been preparing for weeks, getting ready to speak in layman's terms and explain what's going on to the general public. Not only is he going to be talking about the country's economic future, but depending on how he does, the stock market could rise, or fall. Jacob Goldstein of NPR's Planet Money joins us.
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Not all Brits have royal fever

Maybe you're thinking, as an American, I could care less about the royal wedding. Well, it turns out that Britons aren't in a tizzy either. According to a recent poll, most really don't care about the marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland says, monarchy is just a part of the furniture in England. He worries that all the fairy tale pageantry outshines Britain's achievements as a modern state. And even though many UK citizens agree that monarchy is a few centuries out-of-date, don't expect the Queen to be ousted anytime soon.
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The search for life in outer space has been put on hold. The non-profit SETI Institute no longer has the funds to search for signals from alien civilizations. Located in Northern California, near Mount Lassen, scientists there say that ending the program is the modern-day equivalent of putting "the NiƱa, Pinta and Santa Maria into dry dock." Was the Institute anywhere near a breakthrough? We hear from SETI senior astronomer Seth Shostak.
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John Darnton has the New York Times in his blood. He was a reporter and editor there for 40 years. Before that, his older brother and his mother worked there. And even more significantly, his father, Byron Darnton, one of the Times most celebrated reporters, died covering the Second World War. John was just 11 months old. He never knew his father, but he does now. He's written a memoir called Almost a Family and in the course of his research was able to unpack the myth of Byron Darnton as the perfect husband, father and journalist.
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