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technology

  Bill Radke speaks with local filmmaker Delaney Ruston about her documentary "Screenagers."

Artificial limbs have come a long way since the days of peg legs and hooks for hands. But one thing most of these prosthetics lack is a sense of touch.

Zhenan Bao intends to change that.

The KQED podcast Love in the Digital Age explores "how technology changes the way we experience love, friendship, intimacy and connection." The most recent episode focuses on two people — a Los Angeles radio host and his wife — who have drawn great strength from their online communities and social media as they face his diagnosis of terminal cancer. You can listen to the podcast here.

A new era for living in space may be about to start.

A prototype habitat is headed to the International Space Station for a two-year trial. What makes the module unique is it's launched folded up, and it's inflated to its full size once in orbit.

A new Rembrandt painting unveiled in Amsterdam Tuesday has the tech world buzzing more than the art world.

That's because the painting is the creation of a 3-D printer — and not the Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn himself, who has been dead for almost 450 years.

Renewable energy like solar and wind is booming across the country as the costs of production have come down. But the sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't blow when we need it to.

This challenge has sparked a technology race to store energy — one that goes beyond your typical battery.

Heat Storage: Molten Salt And A Giant Solar Farm

Batteries are often used to store solar power, but it can be a costly endeavor.

Bill Radke speaks with Lisa Stiffler, author of a GeekWire series following eight women who joined the tech workforce twenty years ago. Stiffler was interested to learn how the women made their way in an industry dominated by men.

When the FBI tried to force Apple to unlock an iPhone last month, it was a battle of titans. There were high-powered lawyers and dueling public relations strategies. But when police encounter a privacy technology run by volunteers, things can be a little different.

Malware Attacks On Hospitals Put Patients At Risk

Apr 1, 2016

The first sign seems innocuous enough if you don't know what you're looking at: Files in the computer appear as decrypt.html, or decrypt.txt instead of their usual names.

Then, you click. A box pops up that gives you an ultimatum: Want the file? You'll have to pay up, and probably in bitcoin.

Finding people's homes in Nigeria is a nightmare.

ZIP codes don't exist. House numbers are random. In poorer areas of the city, there's no such thing as urban planning. Houses are built wherever people can find a plot of land, for example. And many parts of the city aren't mapped out on GPS. Then, of course, there's the traffic.

Tesla, the maker of electric vehicles, Thursday night unveiled its mass-market Model 3. The car is expected to have a range of 215 miles at a base price of $35,000 ($27,500 after federal tax credits).

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told a crowd of loyal fans in Hawthorne, Calif., he is "fairly confident" the vehicle will go on sale in 2017. That the assembled crowd laughed at the statement is a sign of the near-cult following Tesla (and Musk) enjoy.

By 10 p.m. PDT, the company had received 140,000 advance orders, according to Musk, for a car almost no one had seen.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Seattle's mayor has announced that the city, Comcast and now Google are collaborating to make the Internet more accessible. Mayor Ed Murray revealed an action plan Wednesday for his ongoing Digital Equity Initiative.

Micrsoft technology
Flickr Photo/Fabien Lavocat (CC BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/6FfQtk

Bill Radke speaks with reporter Dina Bass about Microsoft's chat bot that (she says) will not lead to a new race of robot Terminators that try to destroy humans.  

The FBI's success in unlocking, without Apple's help, the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists marks a dramatic end to the heated dispute between the Justice Department and the tech giant about the scope of the government's power to compel a company to weaken its digital security for a criminal investigation.

Below are some of the key takeaways — and mysteries — left in the aftermath of the case.

When You Become The Person You Hate On The Internet

Mar 29, 2016

I was feeling cheeky one afternoon when I posted to Facebook that the '90s hit "Breakfast at Tiffany's" was the worst song of all time. It had been nearly two decades since the release of that single — about a bickering couple who reconcile thanks to an Audrey Hepburn film — but I heard the chorus in passing that day, and it got stuck on this crazy-making loop in my brain.

What's the first step of learning?

Paying attention.

Which may be hard for students to do when they're constantly peeking at their phones. So, as the adage goes: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

One app that teachers are embracing is Snapchat. That's the one where you send a video or picture, and then it disappears 10 seconds after you open it.

The high-profile public and legal dispute between the government and Apple is officially over after the FBI managed to unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists without Apple's help.

The Justice Department says it has successfully retrieved the data from the phone and is asking the court to vacate its order for Apple's assistance.

File photo of tech computer
Flickr Photo/World Bank Photo Collection (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/eUtLoM

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Natasha Lamb, director of equity research and shareholder engagement for Arjuna Capital, about activist investing and the firm's role in pressuring tech companies to close the gender pay gap.   

Ken Yeh is the director of technology at Ontario Christian Schools, a private K-12 school near Los Angeles with about 100 children per grade. Three years ago, the school began buying Google Chromebook laptops for every student in middle and high school.

The students would be allowed to take them home. Yeh says parents "were concerned" about what they might be used for, especially outside of school.

Editor's note: This post contains language that some readers might find offensive.

Her emoji usage is on point. She says "bae," "chill" and "perf." She loves puppies, memes, and ... Adolf Hitler? Meet Tay, Microsoft's short-lived chatbot that was supposed to seem like your average millennial woman but was quickly corrupted by Internet trolling. She was launched Wednesday and shut down Thursday.

Last summer, Jacky Alciné learned just how biased computers can be. Alciné, who is African-American, took a bunch of pictures with friends at a concert. Later he loaded them into Google Photos, which stores and automatically organizes images.

Google's software is able to group together pictures of a particular friend, or pictures of dogs, cats, etc. But when it labeled a picture of one of Alciné's friends, who is also African-American, it left him speechless.

The Justice Department on Thursday filed its latest argument in the dispute with Apple over access to a locked iPhone, accusing Apple of "false" rhetoric and "overblown" fears in its public refusal to cooperate with a court order.

Blue Origin team members Bretton Alexander and Jeff Ashby, founder Jeff Bezos, NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver, and team members Rob Meyerson and Robert Millman at the company’s headquarters in Kent in 2011.
Flickr Photo/NASA HQ Photo (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/aSA5N4

Audio Pending...

Bill Radke interviews reporter Alan Boyle about his recent tour of Blue Origin -- the Jeff Bezos' space tourism and rocket factory that opened its doors to reporters for the first time this week.  

The FCC has unveiled a proposal that would restrict Internet providers' ability to share the information they collect about what their customers do online with advertisers and other third parties.

A curious crowd lingered around Amal Graafstra as he carefully unpacked a pair of gloves, a small sterile blanket and a huge needle. A long line of people were waiting to get tiny computer chips implanted into their hands.

Graafstra had set up shop in a booth in the middle of an exhibit hall at the Austin Convention Center in Texas' capital, where he gathered last month with several hundred others who call themselves "body hackers" — people who push the boundaries of implantable technology to improve the human body.

Bridget Quigg plays guitar on stage during her one-woman show 'Techlandia.'
Chelon Towner/Courtesy of Bridget Quigg

Bill Radke speaks with Bridget Quigg about her one-woman show, 'Techlandia.' Quigg uses her 11 years of work experience in the tech industry to poke fun at and explain the mystery of these companies in Seattle. 

AP Photo/Manuel Valdes

Bill Radke talks with privacy advocate Jared Friend about a bill in the state legislature that would restrict public access to police body camera footage. Friend is director of technology and liberty at the ACLU of Washington. We also hear from state Rep. Drew Hansen, who is backing the bill.

One day after congressional lawmakers grilled the FBI chief and Apple's top lawyer about government's access to encrypted data, another smaller, less spotlighted panel convened on Capitol Hill — to tackle the question of the government's warrantless geolocation tracking.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scolding employees for what he calls "several recent instances" of people crossing out "black lives matter" on signature walls at the company's headquarters and writing "all lives matter" instead.

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