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My mother swears I learned to read by watching The Electric Company on TV, so maybe that's why I was initially a bit lax when it came to my daughter and screen time.

But after realizing she would be perfectly content to spend every free minute switching between the PBS Kids app and toy unboxing videos on YouTube, my husband and I drew several lines in the sand and drastically limited her screen use by both time and content.

Doctors Test Drones To Speed Up Delivery Of Lab Tests

Sep 13, 2016

Three years ago, Geoff Baird bought a drone. The Seattle dad and hobby plane enthusiast used the 2.5-pound quadcopter to photograph the Hawaiian coastline and film his son's soccer and baseball games.

Bill Radke talks to Nina Cesare, University of Washington sociology doctoral student, about the study she co-authored with fellow doctoral student Jennifer Brandstad that explored the way people discuss death on Twitter and how that changes the conversation around death. 

Apple giveth, Apple taketh away.

Every year about this time, the tech giant unveils its latest iPhone. Company executives proclaim it the best iPhone yet. And fans can't wait to get their hands on the shiny new toys.

Dogs can be trained to do a multitude of tasks. Most can learn to sit, lie and stay; others can guide the blind, rescue the injured and maybe even detect cancer. But the hardest thing of all might be to train them to do nothing. Stop scratching. Don't wag your tail. Don't drool. Don't even lick your chops.

Apple had waited many years to send its very first tweet. It finally happened on Wednesday, with a release of a sponsored tweet, promoting the new iPhone 7: "New cameras. Water-resistant. Stereo speakers. Longer battery life."

Except — oops! — CEO Tim Cook had yet to announce the new version of the smartphone. When he finally did, he said, as always: "It's the best iPhone that we have ever created."

Productivity, a key measure of the economy's health, has been growing more slowly in recent years — and it has dropped for the past three quarters. Can Facebook and other social media distractions on the job be partly to blame?

Growth in the U.S. economy has been frustratingly slow during the recovery from the Great Recession. And it has fueled a lot of political discussion this year. One characteristic of that slow growth has some economists scratching their heads and others promoting grand theories to explain it.

The Seattle Police Department says it accidentally deleted more than 2,000 police dash-cam videos. The videos spanned two days of traffic stops and arrests in July. Seattle police and technology staff say there was a glitch in the system that stores dash-cam recordings.

Bill Radke speaks with Jen McEwen and Jesse Adams about their transition from working on an adult entertainment app store to a new secure browser app called Tenta

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 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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. 

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