technology

Scientists say progress is being made on technological replacements for animals in research and testing.
Flickr photo/Understanding Animal Research (CC BY 2.0)

Marcie Sillman talks with Joanne Zurlo,  senior scientist with the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, about how far science must go to develop alternatives to using animals in research and testing.

Google has a lot of algorithms. And the company updates them on a regular basis. But one update that started rolling out Tuesday has tech writers across the Internet warning of a coming "Mobilegeddon."

The change is only taking place on Google searches made on smartphones. The results will favor websites deemed "mobile friendly," giving them higher rankings than sites that are only optimized for desktops and laptops.

Most people can't imagine living without smartphones or the Internet, let alone without electricity. But even today — even in the United States — there are still people who live without lights and refrigeration. Many are Native Americans living on tribal reservations.

For many, electricity is a luxury; it can even be magical. Derrick Terry remembers the first winter when there were lights on at his grandmother's house.

The space shuttle twin solid rocket boosters separate from the orbiter and land in the ocean, where they are collected for reuse by NASA.
Flickr Photo/NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Geekwire's Todd Bishop about the latest frontier in the race between space entrepreneurs Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos: landing a rocket on a floating barge in the open ocean.

Last week, as a big storm bore down on Rockford, Ill., students in a Purdue University classroom prepared to track its effects using Twitter.

Using software jointly developed by Purdue, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Weather Service, they huddled around laptops to analyze a tiny sample of the tweets from the storm's immediate vicinity. They were looking for keywords like "damage" or "tornado" and for pictures of funnel clouds.

Micrsoft technology
Flickr Photo/Fabien Lavocat (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Dr. Annette Estes, the director of University of Washington's autism center, about employing people with autism.

LA Schools To Apple: You Owe Us

Apr 16, 2015

The Los Angeles Unified School District is demanding that Apple Inc. refund millions of dollars for Pearson software that had been loaded onto iPads for the district's 650,000 students.

If an agreement on the dispute cannot be reached, the nation's second-largest school district could take Apple to court.

Two years after the district launched the most expansive school technology initiative in the country, its attorney said it is "extremely dissatisfied" with the work of Pearson, the publisher of the Common Core learning software.

Computer security experts have warned for years that some voting machines are vulnerable to attack. And this week, in Virginia, the state Board of Elections decided to impose an immediate ban on touchscreen voting machines used in 20 percent of the state's precincts, because of newly discovered security concerns.

The problems emerged on Election Day last November in Spotsylvania County. The AVS WINVote touchscreen machines used in precinct 302 began to shut down.

Oregon and Washington are close to joining neighboring states in specifically outlawing "revenge porn."

Flickr Photo/Laia Ros (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks to Bill Schrier, former chief technology officer for the City of Seattle, about Tacoma's city-run internet and cable program and why the city is considering leasing it to a private company. 

Seattle streets, seen from the 40th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Editor's note: The city of Seattle says it began Monday to install new parking meters with expanded features that make them more user-friendly. This report originally was published on Nov. 7, 2014. 

Seattle's new parking meters, scheduled to replace 2,200 outdated meters, are kind of a big deal. Their guts and brains are state of the art, with speedy cellular service, bigger screens and a numeric keypad capable of ingesting complex kinds of information, such as license plate numbers.

Dr. Jill Tarter, 2009 TED prizewinner, at the Allen Telescope Array
Flickr Photo/TED Conference (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Recent astronomical discoveries make this an especially exciting time to ponder the potential for life on other planets. Throughout her career Dr. Jill Cornell Tarter has sought to illuminate that inquiry.

Tarter is an American astronomer and the former director of the Center for SETI  Research in Mountain View, California. SETI refers to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. 

More taxpayers are falling victim to identity theft. A federal report says 2.5 million tax-filers had their identities stolen and their tax refunds delayed in 2013.

That’s double the number of people affected the previous year.

Flickr Photo/krupp (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov came up with three laws of robotics: a robot may not harm a human, a robot must obey humans and a robot must protect its own existence.

The Washington State Senate thinks even more regulating laws are necessary. On Wednesday senators voted unanimously to outlaw ticket bot computer software that buys up to 40 percent of the tickets for a concert before the public gets a stab at them.  This is only the latest effort to regulate robots and robotic software.

Would you be willing to hand over your health information to a life insurance company, in exchange for financial rewards?

Activity trackers have become increasingly popular over the past few years, tracking everything from how many steps you walk to your location throughout the day.

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