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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.

Earlier this month, the toy-giant Mattel announced it had pulled the plug on plans to sell an interactive gadget for children.

The device, called Aristotle, looked similar to a baby monitor with a camera. Critics called it creepy.

Powered by artificial intelligence, Aristotle could get to know your child — at least that was how the device was being pitched.

Right after the U.S. election last year, Mike Tippett saw an opportunity.

He'd been talking to his friends in Silicon Valley and they were nervous about the newly elected president's attitude toward immigration.

"Many of the start-ups and technology companies in the States and across the globe are made up of people who are not necessarily from that country," Tippett says.

Almost half of all American start-ups were actually founded by immigrants.

Last week in the Russia investigations: Washington, D.C., gears up for the big show; Trump campaign data firm's guru tried to link up with WikiLeaks; and Clinton, DNC helped pay for infamous dossier on Trump.

Get Ready For The Big Show

After weeks of buildups, letdowns, surprises, scoops and headlines, this is it: Three central players in the world of Big Tech are set to face off across the witness table this week from members of Congress.

Lines of code
Flickr Photo/markus spiske (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/XLGzE5


Thinking of making a career switch? Maybe you should consider coding.

No, really — it’s not as hard as you probably think. That’s according to Cheri Allen, a software engineer and educator at the University of Washington and Unloop.

A box containing an order from Amazon.com is shown after it was delivered to a house in Etters, Pa, Wednesday, Sept 16, 2005.
AP Photo/John Zeedick

Bill Radke talks with Washington Post opinion columnist Christine Emba about Amazon Key, a new delivery service from Amazon that drops off packages inside customer's homes.

Emba's latest column in titled "Amazon Key is Silicon Valley at its most out of touch."

Tesla has used its solar panels and batteries to restore reliable electricity at San Juan's Hospital del Niño (Children's Hospital), in what company founder Elon Musk calls "the first of many solar+battery Tesla projects going live in Puerto Rico."

The project came about after Puerto Rico was hit by two devastating and powerful hurricanes in September, and Musk reached out about Tesla helping.

For years, Amazon has been testing the limits of online deliveries — expanding the number of things you can order at the click of a button (sometimes literally), pushing shipments to arrive faster, toying with delivery by drones.

Police in Honolulu on Wednesday will begin writing tickets for people who get distracted by their cellphones while walking in a crosswalk. Honolulu is the first major city in the country to pass such a law, citing a high rate of pedestrians being hit in crosswalks.

"Starting today, texting while walking in a crosswalk can get you a ticket," Hawaii Public Radio's Bill Dorman reports for our Newscast unit. "In fact, a downward glance at a screen of any kind will cost you — a phone, a tablet, a video game."

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