technology

'Week in Review' panel Gyasi Ross, Ron Sims, Jonathan Martin and KUOW's Bill Radke.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

How come America isn’t mocking Washington state as unrepresentative and irrelevant? Also, why do people of color favor Hillary Clinton? A pilotless car self-drives around Kirkland, is that our future? And what is the lesson of the shooting in the Jungle?

Bill Radke interprets this week’s news with former King County Executive Ron Sims, lawyer and activist Gyasi Ross, and Seattle Times editorial writer Jonathan Martin.

OK, Google, Where Did I Put My Thinking Cap?

Feb 5, 2016

Take a look at this question: How do modern novels represent the characteristics of humanity?

If you were tasked with answering it, what would your first step be? Would you scribble down your thoughts — or would you Google it?

Terry Heick, a former English teacher in Kentucky, had a surprising revelation when his eighth- and ninth-grade students quickly turned to Google.

"What they would do is they would start Googling the question, 'How does a novel represent humanity?' " Heick says. "That was a real eye-opener to me."

Engineering researchers at the University of Washington are working on ways to improve bus service in the Puget Sound area.
Flickr Photo/Dan Ox

On a rainy Seattle morning, Cameka Knock stands at a bus stop near Edmonds and Rainier in Columbia City.

She takes the bus to school, and she says that recently the one she was trying to catch passed her by because it was full.

Intel has a new report out today. It's not about semiconductors. It's about diversity: how Intel is doing when it comes to women and underrepresented minorities on its staff. The results are mixed — some strong and some, frankly, failures. Still the sheer amount of information is exceptional, and a direct challenge to other Silicon Valley giants who've chosen to hide their data.

Be Engineers About Diversity

Let's start with some numbers.

Google self driving car at the Computer History Museum.
Flickr Photo/Don DeBold (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/o7T6qb

Bill Radke speaks with University of Washington transportation expert Mark Hallenbeck about the future of automated, or self-driving, cars in Washington state. 

As many know, parenting isn't an easy job. It can be hugely frustrating and even lonely trying to figure out what's best for your kid. Should you be a taskmaster or a best friend? Is there a middle ground? The pressures of full-time work and round-the-clock activities can make that question even more challenging to tackle.

One of the Northwest’s selling points is its cheap hydropower. That’s why in recent years data centers have sprouted along the Columbia River in both Washington and Oregon.

But in north central Washington, an emerging power-hungry industry is meeting with some resistance. It involves the making and managing of the virtual currency called bitcoin.

Washington prison officials have said a computer programming error led to the accidental early release of more than 3,000 inmates over 13 years. Documents obtained by public radio reveal that a decade ago sentencing calculation errors plagued a major IT upgrade.

As the Islamic State uses social media and the Internet to recruit followers, a group of American Muslim millennials are also using the same tools to clear up misconceptions.

Tired of being called a terrorist, Ranny Badreddine, a youth from Evansville, Ind., joined other young teens to create World Changers, an initiative that uses the cyberspace to combat misconceptions about Islam.

If FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has his way, most people who subscribe to cable will stop paying a monthly fee to rent a set-top box from their provider.

As we've reported, about 99 percent of cable TV subscribers rent their cable boxes, netting cable companies about $19.5 billion a year.

This is a guest post from WNYC's Note to Self podcast, which explores effects of technology on our lives. Its "Infomagical" challenge will launch on Feb. 1, and you can sign up on the WNYC website.

When the first Mac computer came out in 1984, it cost nearly $2,500 and had a floppy drive for storage. In 2016, a spate of computers with a price as low as $5 and a lot more storage are hitting the market, and they may be opening up a new era of experimentation.

Recently, I got a look at one of these low-cost computers — the $9 CHIP, which has 4 gigabytes of storage.

Computer technology keyboard
Flickr Photo/Anonymous Account (CC BY-NC-ND)/http://bit.ly/1Zj35Hj

A few years ago, University of Washington professor David Levy studied the effects of mindfulness meditation on multi-tasking. He trained his subjects, human resource managers in Seattle and San Francisco, for eight weeks in mindfulness meditation. Those who learned the techniques tested with lower stress levels and switched tasks less often.

Now Levy is applying these methods to our digital culture.

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

Bill Radke speaks with Todd Bishop about how a virtual reality cottage industry has grown up in Seattle.  

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