technology

The App Store's 'Middle Class' is Drying Up

Mar 4, 2016
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Tony Wagner

The market for mobile apps is (still) booming. Analytics firm AppAnnie predicts revenue will pass $100 billion by 2020, and Apple loves to tout the millions of developer jobs created by its iOS App Store. But a new report on the Verge shows how all that money is masking seismic shifts in the industry, and once-profitable app start-ups are tanking.

Making Robots Human

Mar 3, 2016
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Donna Tam

In the Disney movie “Big Hero 6,” the young protagonist befriends a health-conscious robot named Baymax. The futuristic bot is covered in what looks to be a layer of flexible, squishy skin — making him more Stay Puft marshmallow man than Wall-E. But this skin is key to his functions; it transforms to help him perform tasks, like scan vitals and display information.

Ed Schipul via Flickr.com / Creative Commons

General Electric is promising to boost its earnings by about 15 percent in each of the next three years and dole out $67 billion to shareholders as CEO Jeffrey Immelt tries to create a "digital industrial" company.

Open Grid Scheduler / Flickr

An effort is underway to bring high-speed internet to residents across Connecticut and create competition for the existing cable and broadband companies. The CT Gig Project includes public officials who say it is needed for economic development, competition, and innovation. Opponents don't think the government should get involved in the internet business. 

While Apple and the FBI fight in court over the government's demand that the tech company to help it break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, Congress is trying to find its own solution to the digital security/national security debate.

While the dispute over cracking into an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter is at the center of a legal case between Apple and the FBI, the company recently told a federal court that it has received — and resisted — similar orders to help unlock iPhones and an iPad in recent months.

Radu P / Creative Commons

Imagine a farm sprayed with pesticides. You're likely to think of crop-dusting biplanes,  but a new pest-control idea is using a much smaller, and more natural source: bumblebees.

General Electric

The departure of General Electric hangs over this legislative session like a cloud. And the public debate over what it really means for Connecticut is still no clearer.

Jamelle Boule / Creative Commons

Donald Trump's win in this weekend's South Carolina primary was bigger than most establishment Republicans, and the media, want to admit. It comes after a week that would have sunk the other candidates; he tangled with the Pope, said the Bush administration didn't protect us from 9/11, and almost supported Obamacare's health care mandate, before he took it back. Are his supporters irrational, or do they just not care about his gaffes? Can anyone really still stop him?

Jackson Mitchell

An elder from a remote village in Nepal visited a Hartford high school last week to meet with students who helped create solar and wind systems that are powering secluded parts of his country.

The Department of Justice has filed a motion to compel Apple to cooperate with a government investigation and help access data on an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino assailants.

The motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (read it in full below) lays out the government's legal case for why Apple should provide technical assistance.

When a federal judge ordered Apple earlier this week to unlock a phone used by one of the assailants in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., she cited a law from 1789. It could make you wonder if the nation's legal system is having a hard time keeping up with the fast pace of technological change. So, I asked a few legal experts if our old laws can apply to this particular situation.

Remember the cryptex, the little handheld safe from The Da Vinci Code where entering the correct combination will reveal the secret message and entering the wrong one will destroy it?

Now replace the little safe with an iPhone, and instead of a secret message, it's holding evidence in a terrorism case. The critical combination? It's a passcode — one the FBI doesn't know, and one that Apple is reluctant to help the agency figure out.

It was a rumor that had many Twitter old-timers up in arms: Twitter is changing its signature structure of real-time posts in reverse chronological order.

It's true. The company now says it's got a new algorithm to predict which tweets you might not want to miss. Those selected tweets, minutes or hours old, will display at the top when you log in after an absence. The rest of the tweets below will remain in real-time and reverse chronology.

President Obama used his final State of the Union address Tuesday night to reflect on his legacy. But he also put forth some specific proposals for his remaining year in office. And the very first one was "helping students learn to write computer code."

Robots were popular on the big screen this holiday season. The newly released film Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought us more of C-3PO, R2-D2 — those sweet and capable robots that have enchanted us for decades — and the debut of BB-8.

At this year's big consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, known as CES, there were more robots on display than ever. Some even looked like the Star Wars characters.

The most promising by appearance was Pepper. It has humanoid features — eyes, arms, a mouth. Pepper can even be a little self-conscious.

Here's a stark fact: Most American children spend more time consuming electronic media than they do in school.

According to Common Sense Media, tweens log 4 1/2 hours of screen time a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. For teens, it's even higher: nearly seven hours a day. And that doesn't include time spent using devices for school or in school.

Bikes Abandoned at UConn Find New Homes in Hartford

Dec 24, 2015
BiCi Co. / Facebook

Dozens of bicycles found abandoned at the University of Connecticut or impounded by the school are finding new homes in Hartford.

Steup / Flickr Creative Commons

To the list of things you can't avoid -- death and taxes -- we now add losing your job to a machine. A worry typically reserved for those in manufacturing, automation in the workplace is now a reality of nearly all occupations, and it's only getting worse... or is it?

If you typed "Lamar Odom" into the Google search bar this year, you're certainly not alone.

The former NBA player and reality TV star was the most popular search item of the year, Google says.

praline3001 / Creative Commons

Two musicians-turned web developers have created a product inspired by an online dating app, but filled with pictures of cats.

Ross MacDonald

Flags are at half-staff in Connecticut on Monday on the anniversary of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in 2012.

Dominik Skya flickr.com/photos/dominiksyka-photography/ / Creative Commons

A Connecticut judge said police have been improperly using data from cell phones to track the location of suspects.

kyz / Creative Commons

New bio-technology is making gene editing easier and more accurate than ever before, but it's also raising a number of ethical questions. 

Amazon has released a glimpse of what its much-anticipated drone deliveries could look like, although it warns the service is still very much in a testing phase.

Wicker Paradise / Creative Commons

Speaking on NBC's "Today" show Tuesday, actor Charlie Sheen revealed he is HIV-positive and has spent millions trying to hide it. This hour, we take a closer look at the words Sheen used in discussing his actions and illness. 

David DesRoches / WNPR

A group of teenage boys hoist a red Columbia racing bike into the air, and lock it into place on a bike lift. They’re replacing the brake hoods – devices that house the thing you squeeze when you want to stop.

Peter D / Creative Commons

It's not uncommon to see someone wearing a prosthesis, especially after wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sent many veterans home minus a limb. While losing a limb is a life-changing event, a good prosthetist can "carve" a prosthesis with just the right fit. It's a long process that can take years to perfect. 

Limbs today vary from simple body-powered prostheses moved by cables to a "fully robotic arm that has 26 joints, can curl 45 pounds and is controlled by the wearer's mind." As the stigma of a prosthesis lessens, amputees are seeking enhancement over replacement, opting for limbs that transcend what's biologically possible, even if lacking the aesthetic of a natural limb.

Known for its talented writers and in-depth reporting, ESPN's sports and culture website, Grantland, was suddenly shut down early Friday afternoon.

The sports media giant released a statement, saying Grantland was suspended, "effective immediately." The statement reads, in part:

"After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise.

Alma Dzib-Goodin / Flickr

Tonight the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets face off in game one of the 2015 World Series. A lot has changed in the 29 years since either of these clubs won the Series: a tenfold increase in the average player's salary, the commercialization of fantasy baseball, and four new expansion teams. And 'America's pastime,' has become increasingly multi-cultural with players coming from around the world.

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