Technology

Bill Radke speaks with Luis Ceze about why we should store digital data in DNA and how it can be done. Ceze is a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington. He's working with Microsoft researchers on this project. 

Thomas Furness is known as the pioneer who stood at the inception of what we know today as virtual reality.

About 40 percent of Americans belong to a racial or ethnic minority, but the people who participate in clinical trials tend to be more homogeneous. Clinical trials are the studies that test whether drugs work, and inform doctors' decisions about how to treat their patients. When subjects in those studies don't look like the patients who could end up taking the treatments, that can be problematic. In short: Clinical trials are too white.

The camera on your smartphone is powerful. You use it to record your baby's first steps. Take a panorama shot or selfies at the Taj Mahal. Every day, we're finding new uses.

And recently, a startup in Silicon Valley realized: That camera on the phone could be used by people who are blind, to get help seeing remotely. The company Be My Eyes has created a novel kind of volunteer opportunity on the Internet.

Confusion gets a bad rap.

A textbook that confuses its readers sounds like a bad textbook. Teachers who confuse their students sound like bad teachers.

But research suggests that some of the time, confusion can actually be a good thing — an important step toward learning.

Is a drone a toy or a (tiny) airplane?

To the Department of Transportation, the question is far from complicated.

"Unmanned aircraft operators are aviators and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on Monday while unveiling new drone registration rules.

Citing a potential fire hazard, major U.S. airlines are banning hoverboards from their cabins and cargo holds. Announcing its ban, Delta acknowledged the toy's "presence on many gift lists this holiday season" but said safety comes first.

The bans come as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says it's looking into at least 10 reports of the self-balancing electric scooters bursting in flames — an occurrence that's allegedly been captured on video, in some cases.

Children's personal information isn't supposed to be an online commodity. But whether kids are using Google apps at school or Internet-connected toys at home, they're generating a stream of data about themselves. And some advocates say that information can be collected too easily and sometimes, protected too poorly.

Remember net neutrality?

Right, it's that brain-flexing term that refers to the idea that phone and cable companies should treat all of the traffic on their networks equally. No blocking or slowing their competitors, and no fast lanes for companies that can pay more.

In fact, the term itself was so nerdy that it's been "re-branded" as Open Internet.

Updated 3:44 p.m. ET Dec. 8 to add an editor's note on Internet-connected phones and the definition of a landline.

Nearly half of U.S. homes don't have a landline and rely on cellphones instead, according to a federal report out this week.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012.
Flickr Photo/JD Lasica (CC BY NC 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1N4lDVX

Bill Radke talks to Whitney Williams, director of the local charity consulting firm Williams Works, about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's pledge to donate 99 percent of his shares to charitable causes — and how it compares to Seattle's own billionaire philanthropist, Bill Gates.

You couldn't look anywhere on Facebook without seeing it: friends, celebrities and complete strangers dumping buckets of ice water to raise awareness of ALS, a neurodegenerative illness also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

The 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge ended up raising more than $115 million for ALS research and reached an unprecedented bar for a charity social media campaign — unprecedented and inimitable.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. at KUOW Public Radio on Tuesday.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

A large statue of George Washington, the first U.S. president, looms large over the University of Washington’s main campus.

Should the statue’s inscription read “slave owner”? Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. believes so.

T-Mobile employees protest outside the company's headquarters in Bellevue.
Courtesy of Communication Workers of America

Jeannie Yandel speaks to Angela Agganis about her lawsuit against T-Mobile. She says the company forced her to sign a nondisclosure agreement after she reported being sexually harassed by her supervisor.  

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