Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Join as a sustainer and support independent local news for your community.

Brat Pack America, Family Projects for Smart Objects, & What is DDOS?

Craig Duffy via Flickr CC

80s movies like Back to the Future and The Breakfast Club banked on the boredom, buying power and  dramatic urges of teenagers - but were they groundbreaking cinema classics?  A superfan says John Hughes and his teen flick colleagues got at truths beyond adolescence angst and suburbia. 

Then, a group calling itself New World Hacking took down the websites for BBC Global in January, 2016 through denial of service – or DDOS attacks. Other hacks have hit the Trump campaign and MasterCard. The hackers say it’s just the beginning. That could affect all of us, thanks to our increasingly connected lifestyles. Our tech dude explains the internet of broken things.

Listen to the full show

Brat Pack America

Sixteen years in, the 21st century is an awkward adolescent - about the age of Molly Ringwald's character in Pretty in Pink,  director John Hughes’ movie about a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who falls for a rich classmate

That movie is 30 years old now...one of the teen-centric 80s movies adored by people who may now have teenaged kids of their own. Kevin Smokler makes the case that movies like Back To The Future, Fast Times At Ridgmont High, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club and other big-haired classics represented the first time teenagers were portrayed as human beings. And though dated by side ponytails and acid washed jeans, they belong in the American film canon.

His new book is called Brat Pack America: a Love Letter to 80s Teen Movies

Brat Pack America

Best Enjoyed By

It's 9pm and you're hungry for a late night snack - you pull out a box of cereal and grab the milk... But before you pour, you take a sniff. And then, you hunt for that date that will tell you, yes - your milk is fine. Or no - time to pour it down the drain.  Of course, it's not just consumers that check the expiration date.  This story comes to us from Roman Mars of 99% Invisible.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

Family Projects for Smart Objects

John Keefe heads up WNYC's data news team. They turn numbers into visual tools to illustrate what is--and isn't--happening in and around New York City. Whether it's mapping stop & frisk searches, tracking school performance, or the heat in subway stations in real time, their work has become a model for data-driven investigative reporting.

After work, John is a father who committed himself to making one playful, useful, "smart object" each week for a year. With all that under his belt, he's out with a new guide to making simple, sensory circuits that can be assembled at a kitchen table.

Related: Family Projects for Smart Objects

Family Projects for Smart Objects

What is DDOS?

In January, 2016 the BBC experienced one of the largest and highest profile distributed denial of service (or DDOS) attacks to date. "New World Hacking," the group behind the attack, promised that it would be just the beginning. DDOS attacks have since prevented access to web sites for political campaigns, banks, and other financial websites including MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal.

For more on what DDOS means and why denial of service has become the most publicized tool for digital sabotage, we're turning to Rob Fleischman: principal engineer at Akamai Technologies - the group which restored service to the BBC in that 2016 attack - and our go-to tech guy.

What is DDOS?

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.