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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.

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