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Alexander Rhodes stumbled on internet pornography accidentally at the age of 11. His initial curiosity soon became compulsion, and from there, addiction.

Isaac Asimov inspired roboticists with his science fiction and especially his robot laws. The first one says:

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Artist and roboticist Alexander Reben has designed a robot that purposefully defies that law.

"It hurts a person and it injures them," Reben says. His robot pricks fingers, hurting "in the most minimal way possible," he says.

The company involved in a data breach involving Northwest fish and game licenses is a vendor the state of Washington has been trying to part ways with for years.

Online fishing and hunting license sales have now been suspended in Washington, Oregon and Idaho following a hacking incident. A Washington state official says some 7 million records across the three states were compromised, but the information was not terribly sensitive.

Anglers can fish for free and without a license in Washington waters through next Tuesday. That announcement from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on Thursday comes as the sale of all hunting and fishing licenses is temporarily suspended because of a cybersecurity breach. The Department said some personal information was accessed because of a vulnerability involving an outside vendor. Online license sales in Oregon and Idaho are also temporarily suspended. 

To a mathematician, it's a violent explosion that shoots out missiles of hot, wet air, slamming a turbulent cloud of moisture into anybody or anything that crosses its path.

To the rest of us, it's a sneeze.

They call it the octobot.

The squishy eight-legged robot described in the journal Nature is made entirely out of soft, flexible materials, runs on hydrogen peroxide, and looks like a 2-centimeter-tall baby octopus.

Vincent Van Gogh's paintings might not make it obvious that he was an artist troubled with depression and mania. But a computer algorithm might be able to figure that out. Computer programs are getting pretty good at discovering health information by studying heaps of social media data.

A computer script analyzed galleries of photos posted to Instagram and accurately predicted if the users had depression, according to a study posted this month to the public online repository arXiv.com.

Think before you post.

That's not the message you typically get from Internet companies. The ethos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is to (over) share. But Nextdoor, a social network, has decided to block users from publishing certain posts, specifically when they appear to be racial profiling.

A techie tackles race

Talking about race and racial profiling does not come naturally to Nirav Tolia, the CEO of Nextdoor. And yet, he's doing it anyway.

Gamers want video games at the Olympics already!

Aug 22, 2016
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REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

The next Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo in 2020. The host city made quite an entrance during the closing ceremonies Sunday night. In a pre-recorded skit, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe transformed into Super Mario and proceeded to travel to Rio via pipe. Like from the Super Mario video games.

Then, in Rio, emerging a pipe in the middle of the stadium, suddenly it's Super Mario live. He changes out of his costume and he's ... Prime Minister Abe.

 

Henry Ford would be proud of T-Mobile, says telecom analyst Roger Entner.

One of the most famous quotes by the legendary Ford Motor founder was on the availability of the Model T in only one color: "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black."

Police officers pause next to a sign outside a restaurant as they observe a May Day anti-capitalism march, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Seattle.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Videos of police arrests and shootings around the country this year have put a spotlight on police behavior. A new Seattle City Council proposal would reinforce the right to record police. A council committee discussed the idea Wednesday.


Bill Radke talks to Martha Bellisle, investigative reporter for the Associated Press, about the trial of Roman Seleznev. He is the son of a Russian parliament member who is accused of stealing over a million credit card numbers, including many patrons of local pizza restaurants and small businesses. 

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Scenes from a mega videogame championship at Key Arena

Aug 13, 2016

Outside Key Arena in Seattle, gamers from all over the world have converged to watch the Dota 2 championships.

Dota stands for Defense of the Ancients. The strategy of this game is pretty simple. Two opposing teams try to capture the other’s base. Think about capture the flag when you were a kid.

Back in the early '60s, computer dating was a pretty new idea. Only a handful of services existed and they used massive computers — the size of an entire room — to calculate compatibility.

But John Matlock and his future wife, Carol, both decided to take a chance on the new technology.

They filled out questionnaires about themselves and put them in the mail.

Their answers were fed into the computer on a punch card.

Then, they waited for a match.

Computer programs often reflect the biases of their very human creators. That's been well established.

The question now is: How can we fix that problem?

A group of recent studies on technology in education, across a wide range of real-world settings, have come up far short of a ringing endorsement.

The studies include research on K-12 schools and higher ed, both blended learning and online, and show results ranging from mixed to negative. A deeper look into these reports gives a sense that, even as computers become ubiquitous in classrooms, there's a lot we still don't know — or at least that we're not doing to make them effective tools for learning.

First, a quick overview of the studies and their results:

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Courtesy of the Diamond Foundry

Silicon Valley is a playground of sci-fi wonders: Driverless cars. Virtual reality arcades. The robots that will soon replace your dog.

I’m here to check out the latest: A diamond mine the size of a passenger van that can be controlled with an iPhone.

When you sink $40 million into a state-of-the art digital two-way radio system, you don’t expect to hear complaints. But delays, dead air and garbled transmissions have bedeviled a new Washington State Patrol radio system.

Todd Bishop of GeekWire
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Bill Radke talks to Geekwire's Todd Bishop about Apple's purchase of the Seattle company Turi and what that means for our region. 

There was a time when people went to bars to talk to other people, maybe even meet someone new. But that was in the BC era — before cellphones.

"I've been in the pub industry for a long time, and progressively it's become less and less social and more and more antisocial," Steve Tyler, the owner of the Gin Tub in Sussex, England, tells NPR's Scott Simon.

To be human is to be constantly at war between our lofty goals and our immediate impulses.

Future Me wants me to run five miles. Right Now Me wants a cookie.

Unfortunately, that totally understandable tendency is one factor that can stop people from completing their education:

  • Ninety-three percent of high school seniors say they intend to go to college, but 1 in 10 of those never apply.
  • Between 10 and 15 percent of those who are admitted never register for classes.

Kim Malcolm talks with Melissa Crowe, research director for the Puget Sound Business Journal about the challenges faced by victims of revenge porn.


Baltimore County police shot and killed Korryn Gaines, a 23-year-old black woman, after an hours-long standoff on Monday — during which Facebook and Instagram, at police request, temporarily shut down Gaines' accounts.

New York Bans Registered Sex Offenders From Pokémon Go

Aug 2, 2016

At least 22 percent of Pokémon Go's millions of users are minors, according to a Survey Monkey study obtained by Forbes. With that many kids and teens playing the game — which is rated for users 9 years old and up — they become potential targets for child sex offenders.

A few years ago, Silicon Valley engineer Bindu Reddy was raising money for a new startup. An investor offered to contribute — not because of what she was trying to do, but because she was a woman.

That rubbed Reddy the wrong way, and she wrote about it — then the backlash began.

Marissa Mayer will go down in history as the last CEO of Yahoo. The great Internet pioneer is having its core business auctioned off to Verizon. When Mayer came on board four years ago, Yahoo was in a critical, make-or-break moment. It needed a decisive leader.

But in interviews with Mayer and people who worked with her, a different truth emerges: The CEO treated Yahoo more like a think tank than a sinking ship.

The trip had mechanical setbacks, and the plane's average speed would be legal on many American streets. But when the Solar Impulse aircraft touched down in Abu Dhabi in the early morning darkness Tuesday, it successfully completed a round-the-world voyage using only solar power.

Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg took turns flying the single-seat aircraft that began its trip on March 9 of 2015, flying more than 26,700 miles in a total of 17 stages (23 days) as they soared under the sun's power and then glided through the night.

Verizon is buying Yahoo for $4.8 billion, acquiring its "core Internet assets" — search, email, finance, news, sports, Tumblr, Flickr — in essence writing the final chapter of one of the longest-running Internet companies.

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