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Tech Week That Was: Sharing Economy, The New PS4 And Snapchat

The sharing economy was the feature of our All Tech theme week.
Are You Gonna Eat That
The sharing economy was the feature of our All Tech theme week.

It's time for your week in review. In case you missed any of the technology and culture coverage on the airwaves and around the Internet this week, here's a look back:


Our theme week was the sharing, or peer, economy, which describes the brave new-ish world of putting to use underutilized assets like our couches, talents, time and in one case, leftover food. Steve Henn reported on Airbnb and the big rise of this movement, Laura Sydell looked back at the earlier online sharing world of Napster, Sonari Glinton took ride-sharing service Lyft for a ride and I explored how the sharing economy is changing the modern workplace. Our friends at the Two-Way blog also "shared" in this reporting, introducing us to a way to rent your car out while you're out of town, instead of just parking it at the airport.

Elsewhere on the blog, Laura previewed the big gaming console releases (next week is gaming week on All Tech), we showed you how you, too, can make a 3-D printer, and for the weekly innovation we picked the PiePal, which lets you push a button to order a pizza. Yep.

The Big Conversation(s)

How much is Snapchat worth? It's clear its founders think the answer is more than $3 billion. The ephemeral photo-texting service rejected a buyout offer from Facebook, and not long after that news broke, Snapchat got implicated in a child pornography investigation in Canada. Meanwhile,'s tech woes were the focus of a House Oversight panel investigation, and a separate House panel released documents showing the July warnings that things weren't looking good, preparation-wise. IT procurement is getting more love and attention from Washington figures, so earlier in the week we featured a handful examples of government IT projects that actually worked.

Other Curiosities

The Washington Post: Google Books Ruling Is A Huge Win For Online Innovation

After a decade, a judge ruled in favor of Google's effort to scan millions of books and build a book search engine.

Pacific Standard: Even For Dropouts, Being On The Right Side Of The Digital Divide Matters

This study suggests that kids who drop out of school but have computers at home do better than those who graduate but don't have home computers.

Business Insider: Come On, Apple Fans, It's Time To Admit The Company's Blowing It

Quick take: "It's pretty obvious Apple is in trouble."

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Elise Hu is a host-at-large based at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Previously, she explored the future with her video series, Future You with Elise Hu, and served as the founding bureau chief and International Correspondent for NPR's Seoul office. She was based in Seoul for nearly four years, responsible for the network's coverage of both Koreas and Japan, and filed from a dozen countries across Asia.