Tech & Science

Woodland Park Zoo
Flickr Photo/Jug Jones (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks to Mike Keele, the former director of elephants habitats at the Oregon Zoo, about why he feels zoos are important. 

Note: On Monday The Record will interview Dr. Kathryn Gillespie of the University of Washington. She explains why we should rethink zoos. 

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.

A western gray whale has completed a nearly 14,000-mile journey from Sakhalin Island, Russia, to Baja California, Mexico — the longest mammal migration ever recorded.

In the early 1970s, scientists thought the western gray whale had gone extinct. Now researchers estimate about 150 individual whales remain.

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."

In space, all they have is instant.

"For an instant coffee, it's an excellent instant coffee," says Vickie Kloeris, who manages the space station's food supply for NASA. Astronauts are allotted up to three freeze-dried cups (pouches, actually) a day, and Kloeris says it's "extremely popular."

But, she adds, "Can it compete with brewed espresso? No."

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.

Dr. Stephen Tilles, the principle investigator for the peanut patch study in Seattle, with David Baty and his son Spencer, who suffers from a peanut allergy.
KUOW Photo/Amina al-Sadi

David Baty can remember the first time his son Spencer, then three years old, ate peanuts. He took the peanuts his dad gave him, and then he asked his dad for an ice pack. Spencer put it on his tongue as his cheeks started to get red.

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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