Planetary Resources, a company based in Bellevue, decided to bridge the gap between the planet and the cosmos with the world’s first crowd-funded, publicly-accessible telescope. Their Kickstarter campaign recently raised over $1.5 million from 17,614 people in just 33 days.
Critics of Washington’s new $300 million data center complex have been saying for years that it was overbuilt. Now, the state acknowledges as much. In a new report, Washington’s Chief Information Officer concludes two of the four data halls will not be needed.
When Mike McGinn ran for mayor in 2009, he campaigned on the promise of high-speed internet for all of Seattle. But once elected, he struggled to implement anything close to that. Four years later McGinn still presides over a city of internet haves and have-nots.
When science fiction author and casual prophet Isaac Asimov wrote about his visit to the World’s Fair in New York in 1964, he imagined what the world would be like in 50 years. Almost 50 years later he seems to have gotten a few things right: “Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The IBM exhibit at the present fair has no robots but it is dedicated to computers, which are shown in all their amazing complexity, notably in the task of translating Russian into English.”
Jaron Lanier is a pioneer in virtual reality and the Internet. But in recent years he’s become more and more skeptical of the promises of the Web. Ross Reynolds talks to Jaron Lanier about his new book, "Who Owns the Future."
Canada, Culture And Commerce: Vaughn Palmer, Robert Horton, Todd Bishop Vancouver Sun political correspondent Vaughn Palmer brings us the latest news from Canada. "Despicable Me" opens in theaters June 3 ahead of the Independence Day holiday. Film critic Robert Horton talks about what makes a good animated film. Then, Todd Bishop reviews the latest tech news including an app that can help you catch a foul ball at a Mariner’s game.
Based on recent reports by the Guardian and intelligence leaks by former CIA employee Edward Snowden, it’s clear that the federal government can track online activity pretty easily. But there’s also a mysterious far-off corner of the internet, one that’s much harder to track. It’s a place where people go to buy illegal drugs and even dangerous weapons. And they pay for all of it in electronic currency. Andy Greenberg, Forbes Magazine writer, tells David Hyde about this online black market, also known as the Silk Road. Greenberg is author of the book "This Machine Kills Secrets," a chronicle of the history and future of information leaks, from the Pentagon papers to Wikileaks and beyond.
In the wake of revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance program, a coalition of nearly 90 organizations from Greenpeace USA to the Electronic Frontier Foundation have come together to protest the NSA and FBI’s surveillance program. The coalition formed the website Stop Watching Us, which calls for the immediate end to internet and phone record surveillance without probable cause and a full public account of the data collection program.
In January 2012, many of these same internet groups showed their power by successfully stopping the anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA that would have expanded law enforcement’s ability to combat online crime such as copyright infringement and counterfeit goods trafficking. David Hyde talks to Rainey Reitman, Activism Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and listeners voice their concerns (or lack thereof) about government surveillance.
Want to evade the prying eyes of the NSA? Not that you have anything to hide; but even if you did, covering your digital footprints is complicated business. Just because you delete that racy video you uploaded to YouTube doesn't mean it's gone forever.
Realistically, no one can become a digital ghost. Your personal data is like a child you once clothed and fed; a child who has now left home and begun telling embarrassing stories about you to people you don't know.
There are methods, however, for protecting your reputation among regular people without NSA security clearance. Methods that involve obfuscating rather than obliterating your online legacy.
According to the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans with smart phones has just exceeded the halfway point. But more fancy phones could mean more cell phone theft. A recent Harris Poll showed that one out of every 10 mobile phone users has had their phone stolen at some point.
Seattle Times Tech columnist Monica Guzman had an article in the Sunday paper about smart phone theft specifically. She’s also a writer for GeekWire, and she appears regularly on The Conversation to talk about the latest tech news. This time she discusses cell phones and “halfalogue” with David Hyde.
Taxi cabs have a new breed of competitors. New companies like Lyft, Uber and Sidecar give smartphone users the ability to reserve a ride through an app on their phone. Some of the companies use private car owners as their main drivers. Will traditional taxis fall by the wayside? How are these new companies regulated? Ross Reynolds talks with KUOW’s transportation reporter, Derek Wang.
After numerous high-profile lawsuits against tech companies, a Bellevue-based patent company is now setting its sights on the financial industry.
On Tuesday, Intellectual Ventures announced it has filed lawsuits against two banks, JP Morgan Chase and Fifth Third Bank, for patent infringement. This is Intellectual Ventures’ second round of lawsuits targeting financial firms in the past week. On May 29, the company filed suit against First National Bank of Omaha and PNC.
You are under surveillance when you go online. The information gatherers include the government, advertising companies and brokers who sell your data. Christopher Soghoian, chief technologist for the national ACLU, explains that the constantly updating world of technology has also changed the government's ability to spy Internet communications and mobile telephones.
Everyone who uses a computer these days likely agrees to many "terms and conditions" agreements every year. But what are you really signing? Ross Reynolds interviews director Cullen Hoback, who takes a closer look at questions of privacy and consumer rights in a new documentary.
The 1920s and 1930s are sometimes called "the age of the dirigible." Dirigibles were giant, steerable blimps and zeppelins, and they used to be a popular way to transport crowds of people from place to place. But then there was the fiery Hindenburg disaster. And during wars airplanes could easily shoot them down. After that airships were pretty much reduced to flying above football games and other kinds of surveillance.
Audio from a broadcast of the Hindenburg disaster in 1937
A Persistent Problem Overcome
Dirigibles never regained popularity because of a basic problem: they could only dock at special places where they could be tied down. Otherwise, they'd spring up into the air the moment you off loaded the cargo.
Now engineers have overcome that problem by simply compressing the helium upon landing. It's such a simple fix that its inventors are kicking themselves for not having thought of it sooner, and because dirigibles can lift extremely heavy loads much more efficiently than airplanes, the new airship's inventors believe we could see a new age of dirigibles.