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This Apple Update Could Prove To Be A True Lifesaver

Jun 18, 2018

With about 80 percent of 911 calls made from mobile devices, it's sometimes difficult for emergency responders to pinpoint the location of those callers.

Ben Zimmerman lives in a suburb of Chicago. Like a lot of 9-year-olds, he's fond of YouTube, Roblox, and Minecraft.

And, like a lot of parents, his mom and dad wanted to make sure Ben wasn't spending too much time on those activities. They tried to use Google's "Family Link" parental control software to limit screen time for Ben and his older sister, Claudia.

The Seattle City Council brought the short-lived "head tax" into the world last month — and last Tuesday, the council proved that it could take it out too.

The Obama-era federal regulations known as net neutrality are done – at least for now. Though whether anything will change depends on where you live, and what internet service providers choose to do with their newfound freedom.

If a shopper clicks "buy" for a product that costs $1,000 or more, it's twice as likely to be a man than a woman. That's one of the results revealed in a new NPR/Marist poll about online shopping.

KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

A first-of-its kind conference gets underway in Seattle this morning, its organizers say. Hundreds of people are getting together to talk about blockchain.


Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing Facebook and Google for campaign finance violations. The lawsuits filed Monday allege the companies failed to keep records about who purchased political advertising from them.


Arguably, these eyebrows are on fleek.
Public Domain

We all have those words. The ones you hesitate to say because you've only ever seen them written (which have a large overlap with the ones you realize you've been using wrong for your entire life). Where do you go to be enlightened? To the dictionary, of course.

Merriam-Webster editor-in-chief Peter Sokolowski says the data from those lookups can move words onto a list of ones to watch - a status recently achieved by "thirst trap." 

New biometric technology will match your face with your passport photo at airport customs. Is this a cause for celebration or concern?
Flickr Photo/Kat (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/6gTcVm

Assumptions about which passport line you belong in, the president's so-called Muslim ban, "random" screening that seems to target certain populations - airports are increasingly a frontier of ethnic and religious bias. Could we bypass some of those problems by taking the human element out of screening?

If you’re looking to get outside on Memorial Day weekend, you might first check your phone. The U.S. Forest Service launched a mobile app this week that provides trail maps and updates on wildfires and road conditions for all of the Pacific Northwest’s national forests, a national grassland and one scenic area.

Facial recognition software has the potential to transform our surveillance ability: for better or for worse.
Flickr Photo/Sam Cox (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/S7S39Y

So you're walking down the street - probably not making eye contact with anyone, if you're from Seattle. But with Amazon's help, even if you're not looking at anyone, law enforcement might be looking at you.


Seven different companies have notified Washington's Department of Licensing that they plan to test self-driving vehicles on roads in the state. Oregon transportation officials have gotten notifications from two other companies.

A military doctor sets up surgical tools
Flickr Photo/US Army Africa (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/RRummb

Andy Hurst talks with Politico editor Arthur Allen about a new report from the Pentagon that found massive problems with the U.S. military's effort to modernize health records. 

Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET

The Senate approved a resolution Wednesday to nullify the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rollback, dealing a symbolic blow to the FCC's new rule that remains on track to take effect next month.

The final vote was 52-47. As expected, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, joined Democrats in voting to overturn the FCC's controversial decision. But two other Republicans — Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — also voted in favor of the resolution of disapproval.

Economist and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

'If you can't explain the economy in a language young people can understand, you are clueless yourself.'

So says former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, whose book "Talking to My Daugher About the Economy" is a testament to his own mastery of the subject. 

Uber riders who experience sexual harassment or assault will now be able to take their claims to court, instead of being forced into private arbitration, the ride-hailing app announced Tuesday.

Uber, like many companies, has a clause in its user agreement — and its employment contract — that requires a person to waive his or her constitutional right to take Uber to court. Instead, disputes are taken before a private third-party arbitrator, who is paid by the company.

The DNA molecule is elegant, personal, and can give away a lot more secrets than it lets on.
Flickr Photo/Michał Kosmulski (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/BTfEMJ

The Golden State Killer’s arrest last week brought closure to victims and community members affected by a ten year spree of rapes and murder. The trail went cold in 1986, and it stayed that way until the FBI made a fake profile for the killer on a genealogy website. They used this to trace 500 partial matches, screen for 100 potential matches, and eventually narrow down to former police officer Joseph DeAngelo.

Oscar Pulkkinen, the author's son, was asked to make Alexa fart for the good of journalism. Instead, he asked the device to make 'an elephant sneeze noise.'
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

I debated whether to share this fart story with you, because farts are – unfairly, in my opinion – maligned as juvenile and bad manners. But I decided in favor, because farts are one of life’s daily inevitabilities, and also because farts are hilarious.

Oscar Pulkkinen, 4, the writer's son, asks Alexa to make an elephant sneeze. She obliged. Alexa is an artificial intelligence device from Amazon. It is voice controlled; users can turn on lights, play songs and make purchases by saying, 'Hey, Alexa.'
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

I debated whether to share this fart story with you, because farts are – unfairly, in my opinion – maligned as juvenile and bad manners. But I decided in favor, because farts are one of life’s daily inevitabilities, and also because farts are hilarious.

Flickr Photo/MicrosoftPDC (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/8NHryn

Bill Radke talks to the former CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer about the results of his data initiative that takes numbers provided by the U.S. government to track everything from demographic shifts to the financial stability of the country. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Flickr Photo/Alessio Jacona (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/EixX1V

"Mr. Zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?"

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seemed taken aback by the question, but eventually stammered out a "No." That delivery was in marked contrast to the smooth admission that his data had been exposed to Cambridge Analytica, along with that of 87 million other Americans. Zuckerberg is the head of the world's most successful tech company - why does he seem to think about privacy differently if it's online?

In the wake of school shootings like Sandy Hook and Parkland, everyone from school officials and parents to first responders and politicians have looked for ways to protect children from gunfire. Now sensor technology originally made for missiles is being put to the test.

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before a joint Senate Committee on Wednesday, he led off with a mea culpa. Just a few paragraphs into his opening statement, he took personal responsibility for the disinformation:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Flickr Photo/Alessio Jacona (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/Du4kZU

In the wake of revelations that the data of 87 million users was exposed to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress under oath.

A notoriously awkward public speaker, Zuckerberg’s primary battle may be to “stay on script while keeping his armpits dry,” writes Slate senior technology editor Will Oremus. He joined Marcie Sillman to discuss what we can expect from this week’s hearings, and what Facebook might be afraid of.

Todd Bishop and KUOW's Bill Radke geek out over nausea-free virtual reality in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

You walk briskly into an airport. You're running late. You need to know your departure gate. But that board! That big board with all the flight information that's not your flight. You have to squint and scan while the security line gets longer and longer. Well what if that board only displayed your flight information? And that guy standing behind you? He looks at the board and only sees his flight information.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, turning his back on the camera as we might wish to turn our backs on his network.
Flickr Photo/Alessio Jacona (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/Du4fYm

#DeleteFacebook is trending right now… on Twitter. And that’s part of the problem, says Abby Ohlheiser. She reports on digital culture for the Washington Post, and says that while we wish we could kick our social network habits, the reality is much more complicated than it seems.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

Personal information of up to 87 million people — mostly in the United States — may have been "improperly shared" with Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm used by the Trump campaign that has recently come under fire.

Dan Shefet is an unlikely tech revolutionary. He's not a young math geek who builds driverless cars, nor does he promise to make a tech product for the masses. His crusade is different. The 63-year-old year old Shefet has staged an astonishingly effective campaign in Europe to thwart the torrent of fake news and damaging personal attacks that course through the Internet by taking on the tech giants.

Updated at 3:40 a.m. ET on Wednesday

A woman with an apparent grudge against YouTube for what she claimed was censoring and de-monetizing her videos, opened fire at the video-sharing service's San Bruno, Calif., headquarters, wounding several people before fatally shooting herself, according to police.

Standard Oil depicted as an octopus, parodying its status as a monopoly.
Public Domain

In 1890, the Sherman Act was passed. Its purpose was to preserve a competitive marketplace against potential consumer abuses.

But the law isn't supposed to punish "innocent monopoly," or monopoly achieved by merit alone. So the question is: how innocent is Amazon’s monopoly? 

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