technology

Tech News
10:17 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Will Microsoft's Nokia Deal Shake Up Mobile?

Nokia was the only large phone manufacturer in the world to commit to selling phones running Microsoft's operating system. Now Microsoft is buying Nokia's mobile phone business.
Timothy Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:30 am

Nokia was once the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world, the most valuable company in Europe and an icon in its home base of Finland. But the rise of Apple and Android smartphones knocked the company on its heels.

Now comes news that Microsoft is buying Nokia's mobile phone business for $7.2 billion. NPR's Steve Henn answers some questions about the deal.

So what is Microsoft getting here?

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Stories Of The End
6:00 am
Fri August 30, 2013

The Conversation Faces The End

Producers David Hyde, Arwen Nicks and host Ross Reynolds.
Credit KUOW Photo/Michael Clinard

The World Is Not Ending! But What If It Was?

Some people believed the world would end on December 21, 2012, and they were completely wrong about that. David Hyde asked listeners how they would spend their last day on earth. Thankfully, the apocalypse did not come so we can bring you the best of listeners’ plans for their final hours on earth.

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High-Tech Turnover
11:50 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Announces Retirement

Retiring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

One year: That’s how long that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has before he retires as the head of the company. In a news release today, Microsoft announced that the chief executive officer will stay until the company has chosen his successor.

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Ballmer Retirement
8:34 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Microsoft Chief Steve Ballmer To Retire Within 12 Months

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer is to retire from the technology giant within the next 12 months.

Shares in Microsoft, criticised for its slow response to the booming market for mobile devices, leapt 9% on the news.

Ballmer, who last month unveiled a restructuring to address the criticism, said in a statement: "There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time.

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Canada, Culture, Commerce
10:00 am
Wed August 14, 2013

News From Canada, Robert Horton On Film, And Tech News

Flickr Photo/Alex Indigo (CC BY-NC-ND)

Les Layne from the Victoria Time Colonist brings us the latest news from Canada. Film critic Robert Horton joins us with a look at the movies. Then, Todd Bishop brings us the latest business and technology news.  

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Science
10:36 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Humans Look Forward To Turning Into Robots

Tali Sharot's book "The Optimism Bias"

  Are you optimistic about the future of science? A recent Pew Survey found that 71 percent of Americans believe artificial arms and legs will perform better than natural ones by 2050, and 69 percent believe there will be a cure for most forms of cancer by then.

Will most Americans be springing for artificial limbs in 40 years? Maybe not. But we are certainly optimistic about the possibility of it all. Ross Reynolds talks with Tali Sharot, research fellow in the department of cognitive, perceptual and brain sciences at University College London and the author of “The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain.”

Work-Life Balance
9:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Science News, And Women Rejoining The Workforce

Flickr Photo/World Bank Photo Collection

Science News
What does laboratory hamburger meat have in common with Mars Rover “Curiosity” and Jeff Bezos? They’re the focus of Alan Boyle’s science news update. He's the science editor for NBC News Digital. He'll tell us what you’ll be eating, reading and dreaming about in the years to come.

The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, many successful women left the workforce to stay home and raise children. The trend was documented in a 2003 New York Times Magazine cover story called “The Opt-Out Revolution.” Now many of these same women want back in. In this week’s follow-up issue, journalist Judith Warner explores why so many women who once opted-out are opting back in, and how their lives have changed. What about you? If you left the workforce to have children, what did you give up? If you’re just now rejoining the workforce, what challenges are you facing? Share your thoughts by emailing Weekday.

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Public Safety
10:47 am
Thu August 8, 2013

AMBER Alert Goes Cellular

  The AMBER alert system began in Texas in the mid 1990s and has grown from small town partnership to satellite system. According to the Office of Justice program website AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. The acronym was created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and then brutally murdered. 

The wireless AMBER alert system was introduced in December to send alerts automatically based on cell phone location. It is a nationwide program operated by FEMA, the FCC and commercial cellular companies. Last night some of you may have received an AMBER alert on your phone. The alert originated in California, then was sent out in Oregon and then statewide here in Washington, as they believed the suspect was heading up to Canada. Ross Reynolds talks with Washington State Patrol's program manager for the Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit, Carrie Gordon, about how the cellular alerts work. 

High-Stakes Gaming
9:02 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Video Gamers Descend On Benaroya Hall For International Championship

The 2013 League of Legends Championship stage in Los Angeles.
Courtesy of Riot Games Inc.

You might see an unexpected crowd at Seattle's Benaroya Hall over the next few days. From Wednesday through Sunday, professional video gamers from all over the world will be there for a high-stakes tournament known as The International. The winning team will take home a $1.4 million prize. Tickets to the tournament sold out in less than a minute.

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Entrepreneurship
7:57 am
Thu August 1, 2013

'Hackerspaces' Double As Private Incubators For Entrepreneurship

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 10:17 am

"Hackerspaces" are popping up all over the Northwest. But these aren't dens of computer infiltrators.

What we're talking about are community workshops for tinkering, machine tooling, 3-D printing and any other hands-on creativity you can think of. Some market themselves under the more benign-sounding label of "maker space." These workshops are now drawing attention as private incubators for entrepreneurship.

But let's straighten out this name business.

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Humans vs. Computers
1:53 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

The Elusive Digital Stradivarius

Data from 12 different locations let violin maker Joseph Curtin digitize a violin's sonic fingerprint.
Credit David Schulman, courtesy of PRX

Ever since the ballad of John Henry, the man who raced against a steam drill to see which could lay railroad tracks the fastest, we've had a fascination with pitting humans against machines. People like Henry lost the battle long ago, at least when it comes to labor. Next, computers outwitted us in math and then chess. The arts have held out the longest. Surely a computer couldn't replicate the unmistakably human sound of a Stradivarius violin? Think again.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 31:

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Famous Duos
10:00 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Canada, Culture, And Commerce

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Hollywood's most famous dancing duo.
From Wikipedia.


Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer brings us the latest news from Canada. Then, film critic Robert Horton looks at some of Hollywood's most famous duos. Finally, Geekwire's Todd Bishop wraps up the news from the world of tech.

Lunar Development
11:24 am
Fri July 19, 2013

NASA Builds A Laser From The Moon To The Earth

Flickr Photo/NASA Goddard Photo and Video

NASA is returning to the moon this summer, but not to plant a flag and hit a golf ball. The space agency is building lasers to send information. Why are lasers the new technology for space communication? Ross Reynolds hears from Don Cornwell, the mission manager for the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration at NASA.

Technology
11:29 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Digital Dementia

Got a question? Ask Google. Can’t remember a name? Go to your smart phone. But are digital conveniences making us more forgetful? Tom Stafford psychologist at the University of Sheffield in the UK says no. He explains why our brains are just actually adapting.

Baseball Accessibility
10:09 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Beeping Balls Allow Blind Players To Step Up To The Plate

Jessica Robinson/ Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:25 am

For most Northwest baseball fans, the Mariners games against the Astros are where the action is at this weekend. But there's another set of games on Saturday like none you’ve ever seen in America's pastime.

The athletes in this league are blind. That's right: baseball for the visually impaired.

It's a warm afternoon in Spokane. The smell of cut grass and barbecue is in the air. And Bee Yang is up to bat.

A teammate who has partial vision directs Yang to the plate: “Keep going, 20 feet forward, 10, 5, homeplate, tap.”

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