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Tsunami Aftermath
1:03 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Japan Aims To Contain Nuclear Contamination With Wall Of Ice

NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane and other NRC officials stand in the darkened interior of Reactor 4 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex on December 13, 2012.
Flickr Photo/Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Japanese officials are still battling radioactive groundwater that is leaking as a result of the Fukushima Nuclear plant meltdown triggered by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The latest effort to block contaminated water from leaking into the Pacific Ocean is a $470 million ice wall. How do you build an ice wall and how does it work? Larry Applegate, the president of Seattle-based firm SoilFreeze, a company that  creates frozen walls and tunnels, explains the technology to Marcie Sillman.

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New CEO
11:52 am
Wed September 4, 2013

The Future Of Microsoft Without Steve Ballmer

Retiring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

There are many changes afoot at Microsoft these days. CEO Steve Ballmer announced his retirement last month, giving the company an opportunity to move in a new direction.

Just this week the company also announced it was acquiring Nokia's mobile phone business in a $7.2 billion  deal. So what does the new CEO need to do to keep the company relevant and innovative?

Sandeep Krishnamurthy is the dean of the business school at UW Bothell. He talked with us about the future of Microsoft after Ballmer’s exit.

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Fight For Smartphones
5:37 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Microsoft Buys Nokia Devices For A New Shot At The Smartphone Market

Flickr Photo/Vernon Chan

Microsoft’s $7 billion purchase of Nokia’s mobile device business is an important step toward gaining ground in the worldwide smartphone market, analysts say.

But bigger challenges await as the company works to get consumers to love the Windows Phone.

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Earthquake Research
10:30 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Research Cruise Makes New Discoveries About Cascadia Megaquake Fault

Cascadia Advective Conductive Heat Expedition. Launching the ROV Jason, the unmanned minisub which deployed heat flow sensors and probes on the seafloor.

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 5:50 pm

It's been a busy summer on the high seas for researchers trying to figure out the inner workings of an ominous earthquake fault. The Cascadia Subduction Zone runs offshore from Vancouver Island to Northern California. When it rips, we could have a magnitude 9 catastrophe.

University of Washington geophysicist Paul Johnson led a nearly month-long research cruise to the likely epicenter for the Big One. His ship carried an unmanned minisub to probe the seafloor directly over the still somewhat mysterious Cascadia earthquake fault.

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Tech News
10:17 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Will Microsoft's Nokia Deal Shake Up Mobile?

Nokia was the only large phone manufacturer in the world to commit to selling phones running Microsoft's operating system. Now Microsoft is buying Nokia's mobile phone business.
Timothy Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:30 am

Nokia was once the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world, the most valuable company in Europe and an icon in its home base of Finland. But the rise of Apple and Android smartphones knocked the company on its heels.

Now comes news that Microsoft is buying Nokia's mobile phone business for $7.2 billion. NPR's Steve Henn answers some questions about the deal.

So what is Microsoft getting here?

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Stories Of The End
6:00 am
Fri August 30, 2013

The Conversation Faces The End

Producers David Hyde, Arwen Nicks and host Ross Reynolds.
Credit KUOW Photo/Michael Clinard

The World Is Not Ending! But What If It Was?

Some people believed the world would end on December 21, 2012, and they were completely wrong about that. David Hyde asked listeners how they would spend their last day on earth. Thankfully, the apocalypse did not come so we can bring you the best of listeners’ plans for their final hours on earth.

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Science
12:03 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Wise Old Whooping Cranes Keep Captive-Bred Fledglings On Track

This young whooping crane is on its first fall migration, guided by an Operation Migration ultralight aircraft. Each whooper in this population wears an identification band, and many carry tracking devices that record their movements in detail.
Joe Duff Operation Migration USA Inc.

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 11:40 am

Being a wildlife biologist in the 21st century increasingly means rescuing rare animals from extinction. Among the success stories is the whooping crane. Seventy years ago there were only about 16 birds left on the planet. Now there are about 600.

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Science
6:00 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Weird Science: The Conversation Explores The Natural World

David Montgomery's book "The Rocks Don't Lie"

The world is a mysterious place. In labs and observatories around the world, people are trying to make sense of nature’s secrets. This hour on The Conversation we talk to scientists and science writers about the natural world around us and what scientists are doing to harness its power.

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High-Tech Turnover
11:50 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Announces Retirement

Retiring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

One year: That’s how long that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has before he retires as the head of the company. In a news release today, Microsoft announced that the chief executive officer will stay until the company has chosen his successor.

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Ballmer Retirement
8:34 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Microsoft Chief Steve Ballmer To Retire Within 12 Months

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer is to retire from the technology giant within the next 12 months.

Shares in Microsoft, criticised for its slow response to the booming market for mobile devices, leapt 9% on the news.

Ballmer, who last month unveiled a restructuring to address the criticism, said in a statement: "There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time.

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Science And Stories
9:00 am
Mon August 19, 2013

War Stories, The Science Of Aggregation, And David Sedaris

Flickr Photo/NOAA's National Ocean Service

War Stories

War is often remembered through history textbooks. Shortly before Veteran’s Day 2004, Weekday took a look at war through the eyes of soldiers and their families. Steve Scher talked with two Medal of Honor recipients: retired Air Force Col. Joe M. Jackson and retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady.

Aggregation: Swarming, Flocking And Schooling

Many of us have experienced "the wave" at a baseball game, and most of us have marveled at fish swimming in schools or starlings whirling around in the evening sky. In 2009, Steve Scher talked with Julia Parish, associate director of the school of aquatic and fishery sciences at the University of Washington, about why animals move together.

David Sedaris On Smoking

In this past month, Washington state cut funding for the smoking cessation hotline. Humorist David Sedaris has a different approach to quit smoking. Instead of calling the hotline, Sedaris moved to Japan. His story "The Smoking Section" is just one of 17 essays in his book “When You Are Engulfed in Flames. Steve Scher talked with David Sedaris back in 2008 about smoking and other tales.

Canada, Culture, Commerce
10:00 am
Wed August 14, 2013

News From Canada, Robert Horton On Film, And Tech News

Flickr Photo/Alex Indigo (CC BY-NC-ND)

Les Layne from the Victoria Time Colonist brings us the latest news from Canada. Film critic Robert Horton joins us with a look at the movies. Then, Todd Bishop brings us the latest business and technology news.  

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Science
10:36 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Humans Look Forward To Turning Into Robots

Tali Sharot's book "The Optimism Bias"

  Are you optimistic about the future of science? A recent Pew Survey found that 71 percent of Americans believe artificial arms and legs will perform better than natural ones by 2050, and 69 percent believe there will be a cure for most forms of cancer by then.

Will most Americans be springing for artificial limbs in 40 years? Maybe not. But we are certainly optimistic about the possibility of it all. Ross Reynolds talks with Tali Sharot, research fellow in the department of cognitive, perceptual and brain sciences at University College London and the author of “The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain.”

Work-Life Balance
9:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Science News, And Women Rejoining The Workforce

Flickr Photo/World Bank Photo Collection

Science News
What does laboratory hamburger meat have in common with Mars Rover “Curiosity” and Jeff Bezos? They’re the focus of Alan Boyle’s science news update. He's the science editor for NBC News Digital. He'll tell us what you’ll be eating, reading and dreaming about in the years to come.

The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, many successful women left the workforce to stay home and raise children. The trend was documented in a 2003 New York Times Magazine cover story called “The Opt-Out Revolution.” Now many of these same women want back in. In this week’s follow-up issue, journalist Judith Warner explores why so many women who once opted-out are opting back in, and how their lives have changed. What about you? If you left the workforce to have children, what did you give up? If you’re just now rejoining the workforce, what challenges are you facing? Share your thoughts by emailing Weekday.

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