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Humans vs. Computers
1:53 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

The Elusive Digital Stradivarius

Data from 12 different locations let violin maker Joseph Curtin digitize a violin's sonic fingerprint.
Credit David Schulman, courtesy of PRX

Ever since the ballad of John Henry, the man who raced against a steam drill to see which could lay railroad tracks the fastest, we've had a fascination with pitting humans against machines. People like Henry lost the battle long ago, at least when it comes to labor. Next, computers outwitted us in math and then chess. The arts have held out the longest. Surely a computer couldn't replicate the unmistakably human sound of a Stradivarius violin? Think again.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 31:

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Famous Duos
10:00 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Canada, Culture, And Commerce

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Hollywood's most famous dancing duo.
From Wikipedia.


Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer brings us the latest news from Canada. Then, film critic Robert Horton looks at some of Hollywood's most famous duos. Finally, Geekwire's Todd Bishop wraps up the news from the world of tech.

Lunar Development
11:24 am
Fri July 19, 2013

NASA Builds A Laser From The Moon To The Earth

Flickr Photo/NASA Goddard Photo and Video

NASA is returning to the moon this summer, but not to plant a flag and hit a golf ball. The space agency is building lasers to send information. Why are lasers the new technology for space communication? Ross Reynolds hears from Don Cornwell, the mission manager for the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration at NASA.

Technology
11:29 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Digital Dementia

Got a question? Ask Google. Can’t remember a name? Go to your smart phone. But are digital conveniences making us more forgetful? Tom Stafford psychologist at the University of Sheffield in the UK says no. He explains why our brains are just actually adapting.

Baseball Accessibility
10:09 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Beeping Balls Allow Blind Players To Step Up To The Plate

Jessica Robinson/ Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:25 am

For most Northwest baseball fans, the Mariners games against the Astros are where the action is at this weekend. But there's another set of games on Saturday like none you’ve ever seen in America's pastime.

The athletes in this league are blind. That's right: baseball for the visually impaired.

It's a warm afternoon in Spokane. The smell of cut grass and barbecue is in the air. And Bee Yang is up to bat.

A teammate who has partial vision directs Yang to the plate: “Keep going, 20 feet forward, 10, 5, homeplate, tap.”

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Publicly-Accessible Telescope
3:57 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Local Company Uses Crowd Funding To Launch Space Telescope

Local company Planetary Resources successfully completed a campaign to crowd fund a publicly accessible telescope.
Flickr Photo/NASA Goddard Photo and Video

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.

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Unused Vaults
10:21 am
Tue July 16, 2013

State Acknowledges Washington Data Center Was Overbuilt

Consolidated Technology Services. This image shows one of the “built out” data halls in Washington’s new data center.

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 3:58 pm

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.

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Universal Internet
9:51 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Mayor McGinn's Broadband Dreams Slow To Materialize

CondoInternet's Chief Operating Officer Joe Bangah (left) and CEO John van Oppen (right) enjoy lightning-fast internet in Belltown.
Credit KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

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.

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Predictions
1:47 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Imagining The Future With Seattle Luminaries

Portrait of Maggie Wilson watching a 3-D movie.
Credit Flickr Photo/Mike Licht

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.”

Google translate anyone?

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Internet Ownership
12:01 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Jaron Lanier Asks: Who Owns The Future?

Jaron Lanier's book "Who Owns the Future?"

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."

This program originally aired May 31, 2013.

Canada, Culture, Commerce
10:00 am
Wed July 3, 2013

How To Catch A Foul Ball, And Animated Film

Flickr Photo/Eric Molina

 

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.

Online Silk Road
11:13 am
Thu June 20, 2013

The Silk Road: Online's Wild West

   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. 

Government Spying
11:31 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Organizations Ban Together In Protest Of NSA Surveillance

Flickr Photo/Chris Hardie

 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.

Internet Surveillance
2:16 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

How To Cover Your Digital Footprints

Credit Flickr Photo/rafolio

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.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, June 12:

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Smart Phone Theft
10:52 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Tech Columnist Monica Guzman On Privacy And "Halfalogue"

A "halfalogue" is the one-sided part of the conversation you overhear when someon is on the phone, which can be unavoidable in public places.
Flickr Photo/Emiliano

 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.

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