Technology

Engineers at Oregon State have created a free, open-source computer program that can determine a stream or river’s potential as an energy source. They released the program last Thursday.

OSU’s new software compiles a network of global climate data and calibrates it with local data collected by users to assess a region’s hydropower potential.

Kendra Sharp, a professor of humanitarian engineering at OSU, said giving previously off-the-grid areas power was the main goal of the program.

Varsha Raghavan, backstage at Cafe Nordo in Seattle's Pioneer Square
KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

Varsha Raghavan defies the tech-bro stereotype.

For one thing, as a woman, technically she’s not a bro. And while Raghavan works as an Amazon programmer, she isn’t obsessed with all things computer.

Before the folk rock band The Lumineers released their newest album, Cleopatra, in April, they played a series of secret shows. Emphasis here on "secret."

"There was a large concern about the album being sort-of released via grainy video and leaked out online," said Wesley Schultz, the band's lead singer.

So the band decided to lock up people's phones — not take them away, exactly, but just lock them up for the show. Like a timeout.

Updated 1:40 a.m. ET with Juno orbit maneuver

After a nearly five-year journey, NASA's solar-powered Juno spacecraft achieved orbit around Jupiter on Monday night. Juno navigated a tricky maneuver — including slowing by around 1,212 mph — to insert itself into orbit in what NASA calls "the king of our solar system."

At 11:18 p.m. ET, Juno transmitted a radio signal to Earth that meant its main engine had switched on. It stayed on for 35 minutes, placing Juno into exactly the orbit that mission managers had planned for.

An Ohio man died while driving his Tesla car in its semi-autonomous mode in May, according to a Tesla statement this week. The accident occurred when Joshua Brown’s car hit a tractor-trailer that it didn’t brake for because the cameras on the car couldn’t distinguish the trailer from the bright sky. Brown also failed to see the truck.

The accident comes to light as many automakers are developing self-driving cars. Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Mike Regan of Bloomberg Gadfly about what the accident means for the industry.

Dr. Michael Katze of the University of Washington microbiology department.
University of Washington

Kim Malcolm talks with Buzzfeed News reporter Azeen Ghorayshi about the sexual harassment allegations against University of Washington microbiology professor Dr. Michael Katze.


Frigatebirds, seagoing fliers with a 6-foot wingspan, can stay aloft for weeks at a time, a new study has found. The results paint an astonishing picture of the bird's life, much of which is spent soaring inside the clouds.

The Department of Homeland Security might start requesting some travelers' social media handles.

That's according to a proposal submitted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection last week.

The proposed policy — which is currently open for public comment — would ask for social media "identifiers," such as handles or usernames, from travelers entering the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program.

Surgery can make anyone anxious, but it is especially hard for young children. Kids going into surgery may be separated from their parents for the first time in a frightening new environment, and they may not understand what's happening.

The latest episode of the podcast Invisibilia explores the idea that personality — something a lot of us think of as immutable — can change over time.

Todd Bishop and KUOW's Bill Radke geek out over nausea-free virtual reality in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Bill Radke talks to Todd Bishop about why some tech companies are leaving Seattle for Silicon Valley. 

By a 52-48 percent margin, the popular vote in the United Kingdom last night moved to detach the country from the European Union.

During his daily bus commute in the bustling Indian city of Hyderabad, there was something that really bothered Narayana Peesapaty.

"Everybody was eating something on their way to work," says Peesapaty, who was working as a sustainable farming researcher for a nonprofit organization at the time. But it wasn't his fellow bus riders' snacking habits that troubled him. It was their plastic cutlery.

The protest that played out Wednesday on Capitol Hill wasn't quite plebiscite by Periscope. But it came close.

Colorful acrylic paintings on red and gray rock formations and profiles of people smoking cigarettes, signed with a repetitive "Creepytings," caused an uproar on Reddit more than a year ago. Now, the uproar is calming.

After spending a month drawing and painting on the rocks in seven national parks, Casey Nocket, 23, of San Diego, was banned this month from national parks and other federally administered lands, according to the National Park Service.

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