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The latest thing in smart phones is called "predictive technology." New apps will search your personal information and tell you things before you've thought to ask about them. Will users be relinquishing the ability to remember to a machine? Also, what if Congress votes against a Syria strike? On Today's Talking Point: Iran's former president threatened Israel's very existence. The new one has tweeted New Year's blessings to Jews on Rosh Hashanah.

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Making News What if Congress Votes 'No' on Syria Strike? 7 MIN, 31 SEC

President Obama will address the nation on Tuesday about an attack on Syria. Today, in Russia, he declined to say what he would do if Congress fails to give its approval. He did however emphasize that, "I think we will be more effective and stronger if, in fact, Congress authorizes this action. I'm not going to engage in parlor games…about whether or not it's going to pass, when I'm talking substantively to Congress about why this is important." Aaron Blake covers national politics for the Washington Post.


Aaron Blake, Washington Post (@AaronBlake)

Main Topic Do You Want Your Smartphone Telling You What to Do? 32 MIN, 49 SEC

Silicon Valley is developing smart phone apps that will send you information they think you need before you ask for it. It's called "predictive technology." After searching your email and your calendar, it will advise you what to pack for a trip to the country — even though you never told it you planned to go. Early users call it "seductive" and "creepy," both at the same time. Critics warn against letting computers take over the task of thinking. Will "predictive technology" change the human mind for better, or worse?  Will it make dealing with other people a lost art?

Claire Cain Miller, New York Times (@clairecm)
Joseph Janes, University of Washington (@joejanes)
Clive Thompson, Wired Magazine / New York Times Magazine (@pomeranian99)
Gary Small, University of California, Los Angeles (@DrGarySmall)

Today's Talking Point Iran Takes to Social Media for Diplomatic Outreach 10 MIN, 10 SEC

Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was famous for threatening to blow Israel off the face of the globe, but times have changed since he was replaced in recent elections. On Wednesday, as the sun was about to set in Iran, the new President, Hassan Rouhani, tweeted, "I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah." When the new Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, tweeted similar greetings, there was skepticism. But he followed up with Americans, including veteran reporter and writer Robin Wright, now a joint fellow at the US Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center.

Robin Wright, US Institute of Peace / Woodrow Wilson Center (@wrightr)

Rock the Casbah

Robin Wright

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