technology | KUOW News and Information

technology

kids drawings
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Compost-pooping robot dog! Smog-cleaning penguins! Treehouses! Wikes (wind + bikes)!!! 

Those are just a few of the fantastic and whimsical ideas submitted to our drawing contest that asked kids to imagine one way Seattle can save energy.

Pedestrians cross the street at Amazon headquarters in Seattle in September.
KUOW Photo / Megan Farmer

Carbon emissions by the tech giants that dominate cloud computing are surging, even as companies like Amazon and Microsoft take steps to tame their climate impact.

The Seattle-area competitors — two of the nation’s largest electricity consumers — take different approaches to their clouds' carbon problems. One favors sunshine; the other, secrecy. Internal documents obtained by KUOW break through that secrecy.

Mary Haddish, 14, left, shops with her father, Daniel Ghebre at Amazon Go on Monday, January 22, 2018, on 7th Ave., in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Nobody likes to wait in line. So today, Amazon removed that unpleasantness from the neighborhood grocery store. At Amazon Go, you walk in, pick up your groceries and walk out.

Who can say why some gimmicks take off and others flop? But the Google Arts & Culture app tapped into the zeitgeist over the weekend, until it seemed like just about everyone with access to a camera phone and a social media account was seeking and sharing their famous painting doppelganger.

“This is a drawing of a bus that runs on electricity. More people will take the bus.”
Tala, Age 6

Hey parents, families or teachers! Do your kids like to draw? 

Invite them to enter KUOW’s climate-friendly drawing contest. Winners will take home prizes and may have a chance to discuss their ideas on air!

The contest is part of our series on climate change, The Burning Question.

James Damore, the former Google engineer who was fired after he wrote a memo sharply criticizing diversity efforts at the company, has filed a class-action lawsuit against his former employer alleging that the tech giant discriminates against conservative white men.

"Google executives and employees condemned Damore, his memo, and his views," according to the lawsuit, filed Monday. Damore says he was laughed at, personally insulted and attacked, before ultimately being fired in August.

Boxed items are shown on conveyer belts leading to docks where they will be loaded onto trucks at an Amazon fulfillment center on Friday, November 3, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Peter Goodman, the European economics correspondent for The New York Times, about why workers in Sweden are not worried about robots replacing their jobs. And we hear from Carolyn Adolph and Joshua McNichols about how robots are changing the way humans work at Amazon and what the economic future of our country might be as more jobs are replaced by artificial intelligence and automation.

It was the summer of 2016, and M was worried her ex-husband was stalking her. She would get out of town and stay with friends. But, as she noted in court documents, her ex seemed to know exactly where she was and whom she visited — down to the time of day and street.

M started to change the way she drove — slowing down, driving in circles — in case a private investigator was following her. She didn't see one. Then she went online and learned about GPS trackers — small devices you can slip into a car to monitor where it goes 24/7. She looked for one and couldn't find any.

The first thing Neha Mahajan did when she received her authorization to work in the United States was apply for a social security number. Then, she opened up her own bank account.

“I will no longer be my husband’s wife, only,” she declared to PRI’s The World in an interview at the time. Her voice was clear and crisp, groomed from years of working as a broadcast journalist in her native New Delhi.

Aurora, a startup company led by three veterans of Google, Tesla, and Uber, has signed deals with both Volkswagen and Hyundai with the goal of putting autonomous vehicle technology on the market within three years — and doing so "quickly, broadly and safely."

The partnerships will pair Aurora's sensors and software — its machine learning and artificial intelligence technology — with two companies that together produce more than 15 million vehicles each year.

Self-driving Hyundai models will be on the market by 2021, the company says.

An iridescent streak lit up the sky over Southern California on Friday night, stopping traffic and leading some residents to marvel and others to worry about a UFO or even a nuclear bomb attack. In reality, it was a SpaceX rocket lifting off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, north of Santa Barbara, Calif., carrying 10 satellites for the Iridium constellation. They will be used in mobile voice and data communications.

How Drones Are Helping Washington's Moose

Dec 22, 2017

Deep in the forests of northeastern Washington, snow blankets the ground. Through the trees, it’s hard to see the moose wandering in the woods.

But from a bird’s eye view? You can see a little brown splotch — with antlers.

Wildlife researchers are ditching the usual (costly, time consuming and invasive) ways they count moose. They’re taking to the sky and taking a new drone for a spin.

Amazon employee and ship dock manager Zach Mudd, center, leads a group chant as employees return from their lunch breaks at an Amazon fulfillment center on Friday, November 3, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It’s the last few days before Christmas and Amazon warehouses are buzzing with human activity — and with robots. The robots are getting more intelligent, and experts say robots will soon take more of those jobs. There are things humans can do to get ready for that future. Amazon intends to help them prepare.


KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A survey by researchers at Oxford and Yale universities indicates that by 2060, robots will be able to perform jobs better than people can. That means millions of people could eventually be out of work.

Automation has been part of our world for a long time. And in general, automation has led to new jobs – especially service jobs. Artificial intelligence is changing that. Because machines are learning how to think, they can eliminate jobs without creating new ones.

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

After a brief security evacuation, U.S. telecom regulators have voted to repeal so-called net neutrality rules, which restrict the power of Internet service providers to influence loading speeds for specific websites or apps.

After weeks of heated controversy and protests, the Republican majority of the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to loosen Obama-era regulations for Internet providers.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and state lawmakers say they'll take action to preserve net neutrality rules for internet providers. This in light of an expected Federal Communications Commission vote Thursday to roll back Obama-era regulations.

A wide range of business groups and universities from Oregon, Washington and British Columbia are teaming up to nurture science and tech startups. Nearly 50 organizations involved in business development signed on to the new Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network.

The price of bitcoin set another new all-time high Wednesday, shooting past $13,000. The meteoric rise in the value of bitcoin and lesser known virtual currencies is having a real world effect in the Pacific Northwest.

Entrepreneurs are bombarding the public utilities in Central Washington with requests for cheap hydropower to run bitcoin computers.

The delicate art of paper folding is playing a crucial role in designing robotic artificial muscles that are startlingly strong. In fact, the researchers say they can lift objects 1,000 times their own weight.

A team from the University of Washington has won a major award for artificial intelligence: the inaugural Alexa Prize from Amazon.

The $500,000 award was announced today at Amazon’s AWS re:Invent 2017 conference in Las Vegas.

This week, another big name in tech was toppled by accusations of sexual harassment — venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, an investor in Tesla and SpaceX who left his prominent Silicon Valley company.

The big-money world of Silicon Valley remains dominated by men and remains a hard place for women to speak out if they want to join the ranks of its richest. And some women think the best way to fight harassment is to tread carefully and get to the top.

Think "renewable energy" and the wind and sun come to mind, but someday it may be possible to add ocean energy to that list.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved its first digital drug: a pill embedded with a sensor that transmits whether someone has taken it.

Although the approval is a big step for digital medicine, there are concerns about privacy, convenience and cost.

You scroll through your friend's Instagram feed and see the most beautiful setting, and think: "I want to go there." And so you do.

According to travel photographer Brent Knepper, you are part of the problem.

In The Outline's article "Instagram is Loving Nature to Death," Knepper says that thanks to the photo sharing app, some of the best-kept secrets of the natural world are drawing big crowds and literally altering the landscape.

There has been a lot of talk about potential Russian manipulation of the 2016 presidential election. Now there's concern about shadowy online electioneering filtering down to the state and local level. It comes in the aftermath of a high-stakes state Senate race in Western Washington.

Facebook
Flickr Photo/Franco Bouly (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/6rk2Qf

Bill Radke talks to Anna Lauren Hoffmann, associate professor at the University of Washington's Information School, about the implications of Facebook's idea to stop revenge porn and nude pictures from circulating on their site. 

A little girl looks over her father's shoulder at a smartphone.
Flickr Photo/Lynn Friedman (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/s29eap

How do old parenting dilemmas adapt to new technologies? Parents: when you’re raising kids in the technological age, how much wiggle room with screen time do you give them? How has your own tech use changed in response to what you want them to be doing? And … is it really tech time if everyone is playing with a sensor-enabled ball, but you’re all outside?

In July 2016, the aftermath of a police shooting of an African-American man was broadcast live on Facebook. Instantly, Americans of all stripes used the platform to step up the race wars and attack each other.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, and Manafort's business associate Rick Gates have pleaded not guilty to felony charges of conspiracy against the U.S. and other counts.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Tech giants testify before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday about Russian efforts to spread disinformation in the U.S.

Representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Google, along with two national security analysts, will speak with lawmakers about ways that Russia has used the social media platforms.

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