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March 6th, 2013
02:29 PM ET

One in a million: The plight of Syria's refugees

The United Nations says more than one million Syrians are now refugees. That means nearly one out of every 22 citizens have fled for safety.

The news come as the country approaches the second anniversary of its civil war.

The U.N.'s refugee agency tweeted this picture after announcing the alarming new number. It says, "Meet Bushra, the millionth registered refugee from Syria."

The sign in her hands says, "One in a million." It's a reminder of the many, many others who share her desperate situation.

She also holds a small child. The U.N. says around half of the refugees are children. Most are under the age of eleven. It's hard to imagine the things they have seen and experienced in their young lives.

As Syria's deadly conflict grinds on, more and more people are making the difficult decision to seek shelter in another country. The UNHCR notes, "They arrive traumatized, without possessions and having lost members of their families."

The U.N. estimated there would be 1.1 million refugees by the end of June. But more than 400,000 Syrians have fled their homes since the start of 2013. And it's only March.

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Filed under: Arab Unrest • Data
March 1st, 2013
05:00 PM ET

How do sinkholes happen?

Sinkholes happen fairly often in Florida. But rarely do they occur with such drama.

A 36-year-old man is presumed dead after a sinkhole suddenly opened beneath his bedroom Thursday night. The victim's brother says the crash of the collapse sounded like a car driving through the house.

The sinkhole in suburban Tampa was originally reported to be 100 feet (30 meters) across. An engineer says that is actually the diameter of the safety zone, while the sinkhole is about 20 to 30 feet across.

Sinkholes can suddenly happen when bedrock dissolves but the surface stays intact. The void eventually collapses.

Authorities in Florida currently believe this one happened naturally, meaning the rock was probably eroded away by groundwater. Sometimes manmade situations, such as water main breaks, can be responsible.

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Filed under: Weather
February 28th, 2013
08:25 AM ET

Day 3 at MWC

Most top tech brand showcase their latest products at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Of course, one big name is missing. Apple never attends shows like this.

And it feels like other companies are starting to follow suit.

The Verge's David Pierce says it feels like Samsung is starting to pull away. He notes that the Galaxy S4 will come out in two weeks in New York, though it did announce the Galaxy Note 8 in Barcelona. HTC unveiled its flagship phone last week. Google executives are in attendance, but the company does not have booth and announced its new Chromebook last week. And Pierce feels Nokia fell flat, failing to announce anything big.

So is the Mobile World Congress going the way of Las Vegas's Consumer Electronics Show?

Pierce says, ""There's a lot here but it seems like a show like this, and even CES, they're becoming traditional trade shows again where it's industry people coming to getting to know each other and make deals. There's a putting green upstairs just for making deals. It seems like, in a sense of big consumer show where we see the really exciting stuff, it's starting to slow or at least lull."

And there are many movers-and-shakers at MWC. Check out our Day 3 highlights below:

Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley

PayPal President David Marcus

BlackBerry's Vivek Bhardwaj, the man behind BB10 OS

Plus, a fun look at how FC Barcelona reaches its fans through apps!

February 27th, 2013
10:10 AM ET

Day 2 at MWC

As you might imagine, mobile phones are front and center at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. We've already highlighted Nokia's big push with cheaper phones.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop also hinted the company is looking to launch a tablet. He told Kristie Lu Stout, "We're considering what's the right way to enter, if we were to enter. How do we differentiate in that market. How do we as confidently stand up with a tablet as we do with the Lumia smartphones. We want to make sure we understand all of that."

Three of the biggest new products at the show this year are tablets. They are the latest offerings from Hewlett-Packard, Samsung and Sony.

HP is back in the tablet market with the 7-inch Slate 7. But CNNMoney's Adrian Covert says, "(It) is not a premium-grade tablet, nor a remarkably cheap device."

Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 takes aim at Apple's iPad Mini. Covert calls the Galaxy Note 8 "fast and speedy." But he notes that while 8 inches is small for a tablet, it's huge for a phone. It is still  unclear if the phone-enabled version will be sold in the U.S.

Covert says Sony's Xperia Tablet Z could be the best tablet at the Mobile World Congress. And at 10.1 inches, it is also one of the biggest.

Among our other Day 2 highlights:

Discussing the rise of Chinese smartphones

Nvidia's Project SHIELD and its new vision for gaming on the go

Sitting down with Greg Sullivan, Microsoft's Senior Marketing Manager

February 26th, 2013
02:43 PM ET

We're at the Mobile World Congress

News Stream is at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. It's the mobile industry's biggest event of the year.

In the coming days, we will speak to the biggest names in the business, as we look for the software and gadgets that will dominate our lives in the years ahead.

On Day 1, we talked to Google's Matias Duarte. He's the Director of Android User Experience. And his description of the latest OS is both awesome and slightly scary.

Duarte says, "We've been rolling out amazing, powerful new features that are almost like a superpower. Like Google now with Jellybean. Your phone is actually your companion. It knows what you want to search for before you do and can offer that information."

February 1st, 2013
02:11 PM ET

Drone technology takes off

Usually when you hear about drones, it's in reference to an air strike on suspected militants.

But they've also been used by a filmmaker to capture incredible views of mountains in Pakistan.

In Kenya, conservationists hope drones can protect endangered rhinos from poachers.

And some drones are just fun toys. Even if they are difficult to fly.

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Filed under: Technology
January 29th, 2013
02:46 PM ET

Can RIM score a perfect 10?

Research in Motion is getting ready to roll out its much-delayed new operating system, BlackBerry 10.

But will it be too little, too late? News Stream will be covering the launch extensively all this week.

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Filed under: Technology
January 15th, 2013
10:22 PM ET

Coca-Cola: Anti-Obesity Crusader?

Play a game of word association and there's fat chance (pun entirely intended) you'd pair "Coca-Cola" with "healthy". Perhaps that's exactly why the world's most valuable brand is pumping millions of ad dollars into convincing us it cares about our bodies.

FULL POST

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Filed under: General • Health • Personal musings
January 14th, 2013
02:18 PM ET

Off-the-charts pollution in China

China's capital has adopted emergency response measures to deal with record smog.

People in Beijing say the air tastes like coal dust and car fumes.

According to state media, the city will remain covered in gray until Wednesday, when the wind will sweep in to the rescue and blow the smog away.

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Filed under: China • Weather
December 21st, 2012
07:31 AM ET

Why I love my Raspberry Pi

My name was on the waiting list for the first batch of Raspberry Pi machines long before I traveled to Cambridge to meet Eben Upton.

Something about the tiny computer sent me back to my childhood days. It could plug into your TV, it could use the same programming language that I used in primary school. It was all very retro.

Only after I got my hands on one did I realize how useful the little thing actually is. At first I was excited about using it as an introduction to Linux and to refresh my dormant programming skills. It was only after I put some media software on it that it really became part of the furniture. FULL POST

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Filed under: Gadgets • General • Personal musings • Technology
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