Tech & Science

Timothy Clemans (left) and Seattle Police COO Mike Wagers at the hackathon, Friday, December 19, 2014.
KUOW Photo/John O'Brien

The Seattle Police Department took an unusual step Friday to address issues surrounding the release of police video recordings: They invited area tech experts to the department’s first ever hackathon.

Updated at 6:00 p.m. ET

President Obama called Sony's decision to pull its film The Interview, following threats to movie theaters, a "mistake."

"We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States," the president said in his year-end news conference.

He added that he was "sympathetic" to Sony's concerns, but, "I wish they would have spoken to me first."

A ship full of marine scientists is floating over the deepest part of the world: the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. They're sending down probes to study life in one of the most hostile environments on the planet.

This week the researchers are targeting the two deepest spots in the trench — the Sirena Deep and the Challenger Deep — which each extend down about 7 miles beneath the ocean's surface.

It’s that time of the year when kids can come down with all manner of ailments. Of all the illnesses kids pick up, ear infections are the most common. About 80 percent of all children get one before the age of 3, and some susceptible children have recurring infections throughout their early years. From our tech partner IEEE Spectrum, Eliza Strickland has the story of a new smartphone tool that will soon help parents cope.

Amazon Fresh is one the big players in the trend of delivery-based grocery shopping.
Flickr Photo/Amish Patel (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Geekwire co-founder Todd Bishop about the latest in delivery-based grocery shopping  trends, including Amazon fresh.

The search is widening for tenants to fill Washington’s overbuilt data center. Efforts to lease the 26,000 square feet of highly-secure warehouse space to the private sector have so far been unsuccessful.

Marcie Sillman talks to Dr. Leroy Hood, president of the Institute for Systems Biology, about the the 100k Wellness Project. The project, which started a year ago, hopes to track what happens at the cellular level when a person goes from well to diseased. 

This segment originally aired August 12, 2014

Rick Horwitz, executive director of the Allen Institute for Cell Science, at a press conference on December 8, 2014, in Philadelphia.
Courtesy Allen Institute for Cell Science Facebook Page

Software billionaire Paul Allen announced plans to invest $100 million in a new cell biology institute in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. 

KUOW's Jamala Henderson spoke with biotech journalist Luke Timmerman about how this cell observatory will exist in the public domain and offers potential for predictive modeling.

King County has been working on different recycling products for Loop, aka waste treatment biosolids. One Seattle startup thinks biofuel is the answer.
Screen shot from YouTube/Loop biosolids

A Seattle startup hopes that in the near future, every time you flush your toilet you help power your car.

Vitruvian Energy has developed technology that turns biosolids – the dirt-like material left over once sewage has been treated at a plant and the inert water returned to the watershed – into biofuel. Right now the company is crowdfunding to launch their fuel locally.

It takes about 53 pounds of biosolids to make a gallon of EEB, Vitruvian’s biofuel. The biosolids are run through a series of biological and chemical steps to go from a dirt-like material to a clear liquid that has a sweet smell.

This post was updated at 11:10 a.m. ET for clarity.

How would you — or do you — identify on online dating sites? Gay? Straight? Bisexual? Well you're about to have many more options on OkCupid, one of the most popular sites for people seeking love and connection.

OkCupid has about 4 million users, and within the next few weeks the site will give all of them brand-new options for specifying their gender and sexual orientation — options like androgynous, asexual, genderqueer and questioning.

New York Police Department officer Joshua Jones wears a VieVu body camera on his chest during a news conference, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 in New York.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Marcie Sillman talks with Vievu CEO Steve Ward, who is also a former SWAT officer with the Seattle police, about his company's body cameras that have been implemented by 4,000 police agencies nationwide. This week, President Barack Obama set aside $75 million for police agencies to purchase body cameras.

File photo.
Flickr Photo/Lis Ferla (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to Joel Beckerman about his new book, "The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms The Way We Think, Feel And Buy," and about his work as a composer and sound designer.

The most closed country on earth — North Korea — is now denying its involvement in one of the biggest corporate hacks in history.

Someone attacked Sony Pictures Entertainment last week and made public troves of stolen data, including five unreleased films, medical records and salaries of nearly 7,000 global employees. But before a recent denial — another North Korean diplomat played coy about the country's involvement.

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