technology

Seattle streets, seen from the 40th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Editor's note: The city of Seattle says it began Monday to install new parking meters with expanded features that make them more user-friendly. This report originally was published on Nov. 7, 2014. 

Seattle's new parking meters, scheduled to replace 2,200 outdated meters, are kind of a big deal. Their guts and brains are state of the art, with speedy cellular service, bigger screens and a numeric keypad capable of ingesting complex kinds of information, such as license plate numbers.

Dr. Jill Tarter, 2009 TED prizewinner, at the Allen Telescope Array
Flickr Photo/TED Conference (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Recent astronomical discoveries make this an especially exciting time to ponder the potential for life on other planets. Throughout her career Dr. Jill Cornell Tarter has sought to illuminate that inquiry.

Tarter is an American astronomer and the former director of the Center for SETI  Research in Mountain View, California. SETI refers to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. 

More taxpayers are falling victim to identity theft. A federal report says 2.5 million tax-filers had their identities stolen and their tax refunds delayed in 2013.

That’s double the number of people affected the previous year.

Flickr Photo/krupp (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov came up with three laws of robotics: a robot may not harm a human, a robot must obey humans and a robot must protect its own existence.

The Washington State Senate thinks even more regulating laws are necessary. On Wednesday senators voted unanimously to outlaw ticket bot computer software that buys up to 40 percent of the tickets for a concert before the public gets a stab at them.  This is only the latest effort to regulate robots and robotic software.

Would you be willing to hand over your health information to a life insurance company, in exchange for financial rewards?

Activity trackers have become increasingly popular over the past few years, tracking everything from how many steps you walk to your location throughout the day.

A proposal to make it illegal to hold a cell phone while driving has died in the Washington House. The measure failed to get a vote before a key deadline Tuesday.

A rash of new Web domain suffixes has popped up in recent years to supplement .com and .net — terms such as .bargains or .dating.

Several new suffixes seem to invite negative feedback. There are .gripe and .fail. There's even .wtf — a colorful variation on "what the heck." And soon, there will be .sucks.

J. Scott Evans says his objection isn't that it sounds whiny — it's the price. Evans is associate general counsel at Adobe Systems, and for a trademark owner like his to claim Adobe.sucks would cost $2,500 a year. That's more than 100 times the typical fee.

Amazon unveiled a new shopping tool for Prime members for certain products.
Screenshot from YouTube

Marcie Sillman talks with Geekwire's Todd Bishop about Amazon Dash, a new service the retailer hopes will make ordering Amazon goods as simple as pressing a button.

A department at UW uses reverse engineering to improve flight technology based on nature.
Flickr Photo/Steve Edwards (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with Tom Daniel, director of the University of Washington Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas, about how reverse engineering biology can improve flight technology.

Amgen is moving out, and Expedia is moving into Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Chas Redmond (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with Douglas Quinby, vice president of research for Phocuswright, a travel industry research firm, about Expedia's 20 years of innovation. The online travel company recently announced that it would move its headquarters from Bellevue to Seattle by 2018.

Author Bruce Schneier.
Flickr Photo/Berkman Center for Internet & Society (CC-BY-NC-ND)

We live in a brave new digital world, and there’s much to appreciate about that. It’s efficient. It’s fun. It’s convenient. But what are we giving up when corporations and governments follow our whereabouts, buying habits, interests and orientations? What privacies do we trade away for the convenience of having a phone, a computer and a credit card?

Bruce Schneier is a cryptographer, privacy specialist and the author of “Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World.”

He spoke about his book and his views on what he calls “the golden age of surveillance” at Town Hall Seattle on March 9. Thanks to Anna Tatistcheff for our recording. 

Using the Internet is an easy way to feel omniscient. Enter a search term and the answers appear before your eyes.

But at any moment you're also just a few taps away from becoming an insufferable know-it-all. Searching for answers online gives people an inflated sense of their own knowledge, according to a study. It makes people think they know more than they actually do.

Goats graze near Interstate 5 in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/cleverclevergirl (CC-BY-NC-ND)

When Amazon launched its Amazon Home Services this week, the stars of the new initiative were …

Goats.

Seattle goats, specifically, ready to trim back your pesky shrubbery.

The videos are almost unbelievable. Ketchup slides out of the jar and you don't even have to give it a thump. Glue slips out of the bottle without a molecule left inside. And what about getting that last smidgen of toothpaste from a used tube? No problem.

Welcome to the world of LiquiGlide.

Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler says Premera Blue Cross has been cooperating with an investigation of a cyberattack that exposed data on millions of customers.

Kreidler hopes the investigation will reveal exactly how 11 million customers had their social security numbers and medical information compromised.

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