technology

Metro-North Derailment
5:33 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

N.Y. Train Crash Spotlights Push For Automatic Safety System

A police officer stands guard at the scene of a Metro-North passenger train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York on Dec. 1.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 11:36 am

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Debit Cards
8:38 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Security Lapse at JP Morgan Chase Affects Connecticut Residents

Credit Elph / Creative Commons

More than 14,000 Connecticut residents may have had their personal information compromised in a data breach from JP Morgan Chase. 

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Communication
3:32 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Robot And Chimpanzee: It's Evolution At Work

Humans and chimpanzees — like this individual at a zoo in Australia — are animals who have evolved to forge extensive and elaborate social connections.
Lisa Maree Williams Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 1:27 pm

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Code Switch
3:32 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Why Isn't Open Source A Gateway For Coders Of Color?

The hands of this ostensibly black stock photo model might be coding on an open-source project. But probably not.
istockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 7:03 am

All this month, our friends at Tell Me More are digging into the role of blacks in technology. You can join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #NPRBlacksInTech.

Software development is a huge and growing industry, and there are likely to be far more jobs in the future than there are folks to do them. But today, there's a paucity of blacks and Latinos in software development positions.

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Technology
11:22 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Getting To Know Black Innovators, One Tweet At A Time

Pitch Mixer founder Ayori Selassie speaks at an entrepreneur forum.
Tamara Orozco

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 12:37 pm

There is no question that Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, Silicon Beach and all of the other places we associate with tech entrepreneurism face diversity problems.

African-American innovators represent just 5 percent of America's scientists and engineers, according to a 2010 study by the National Science Foundation.

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Online Retail
9:52 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Delivery By Drone? Amazon Says A New Era Looms

In an image taken of a test flight, an Amazon Prime Air drone carries a package. The online retailer could begin 30-minute deliveries within four to five years, CEO Jeff Bezos told 60 Minutes Sunday.
Amazon

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 12:21 pm

Amazon is looking at drastically reducing its delivery times — to 30 minutes or less — as it plans a new service called Prime Air that it says could debut in a few years. In an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, CEO Jeff Bezos said the giant online retailer plans to use semi-autonomous drones to carry purchases to customers.

That's got tech experts buzzing about whether the idea will fly.

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Affordable Care Act
10:19 am
Sun December 1, 2013

HealthCare.gov Is Now Working Smoothly, White House Says

The HealthCare.gov website.
Jon Elswick ap

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 11:07 am

White House officials say the government's health insurance website, which has been plagued with problems ever since it launched in October, is now working smoothly for most users.

"The site is now stable and operating at its intended capacity with greatly improved performance," Jeffrey Zients, the president's appointee to fix the site, said during a telephone conference with reporters on Sunday. The bottom line, said Zients, is that Healthcare.gov is "night and day" from what it was at launch.

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Retail
3:24 am
Wed November 27, 2013

How Shopping Malls Are Adapting In An Online World

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 11:49 am

Traditional shopping malls took a big hit after the economic collapse. Problems at big retailers Sears and J.C. Penney — two of the biggest mall tenants — could signal even more troubles.

But malls are trying to adapt. As online shopping grows, things are getting more and more competitive out in the real world of brick-and-mortar retail.

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Technology
5:29 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

The Misery Of Holiday Travel, In One Real-Time Map

FlightAware Misery Map combines weather and flight data into a live map." href="/post/misery-holiday-travel-one-real-time-map" class="noexit lightbox">
The FlightAware Misery Map combines weather and flight data into a live map.
FlightAware

As I write this, snowstorms are swirling over the East Coast, threatening Thanksgiving holiday travel plans for millions of travelers. How much time in the purgatory of airports will this mean for you? Check out FlightAware's MiseryMap, which combines weather and flight data into a live map that lists which airports are being struck by storms, the number of delays and cancellations, and graphs that show flight destinations and the chances they'll actually make it on time.

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Entrepreneurship
9:06 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Small Firms May Soon Turn To Crowdfunding To Sell Shares

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:28 pm

Crowdfunding is popular among musicians, filmmakers and artists looking for a way to finance their next project.

Now the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering rules that, for the first time, would allow small companies to solicit investments over the Internet and sell shares to the general public.

For some small firms, these new rules come as welcome news.

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Small Biz, Big Tech
12:00 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Small Business After Hours: The Big Connect

Credit Wonderlane, Creative Commons

This hour, we listen back to our live conversation from The Big Connect at the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, our last "Small Business After Hours" event of the year.

We get together a few times a year to talk about issues concerning small business, and what's a bigger, broader topic than "technology?"

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:18 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Catching Fire, Culture, Condoms, and the Law

Can Bill Gates inspire inventors to make a condom that's stronger, thinner, and more sensitive?
Credit Robert Elyov on Flickr Creative Commons

Why should sex feel bad? It shouldn't, and Bill Gates is offering $100,000 to the inventor of a condom that puts the pleasure back in sex. And, it isn't just about pleasure. Scientists at the University of Manchester's National Graphene Institute say a "redesigned condom that overcomes inconvenience, fumbling, or perceived loss of pleasure would be a powerful weapon in the fight against poverty."

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Technology
5:57 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Hard-Core And Casual Gamers Play In Different Worlds

Kelly Kelley, who goes by the gaming pseudonym MrsViolence, streams her play nightly for her many fans to watch.
Twitch.TV screenshot

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 6:49 pm

This holiday season, the video game industry is looking to reignite sales as two game titans, Sony and Microsoft, launch the next generation of game consoles.

Their target demographic is the group of dedicated players known as hard-core gamers. Dive into the wide world of video game culture on YouTube and you'll hear that term being thrown about.

So what exactly is a hard-core gamer?

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First Five
3:20 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Pitney Bowes to Remain in Stamford, Get State Loan

Pitney Bowes' Stamford headquarters

Technology giant Pitney Bowes has announced it will remain in Stamford, ending a months-long search for a new location. The company will also add 200 new jobs in Connecticut, after striking a deal with the state for a low-cost loan.

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Engineering
10:32 am
Wed November 20, 2013

UTC Funds $10 Million Engineering Institute at UConn

A Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter: just one of the complex engineering systems built by United Technologies.
Credit UTC

United Technologies is to donate $10 million to UConn to found a new engineering initiative. The UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering, as the new partnership will be known, is expected to be accepting students by next spring. 

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Press One For America
1:15 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Call Center Legislation Could Affect Connecticut Businesses

Call Center, State Farm

When we think of jobs in Connecticut, the call center industry isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But according to the Communication Workers of America, there are more than 49,000 call center jobs in the state: people answering phones for companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon Wireless, and Cablevision.

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Technology
12:55 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Landlines, It Turns Out, Aren't Vanishing Everywhere

A Cambodian gambler talks on 18 cellphones at once at a boxing match in Phnom Penh in 2010. There are nearly 132 cellphones for every 100 Cambodians, but the country has also seen a surge in the number of landlines.
Tang Chhin Sothy AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 7:03 am

On All Things Considered, NPR's Martin Kaste reported Monday on U.S. landline infrastructure. One fact stood out: 96 percent of homes had landlines in 1998, and that number is down to 71 percent today.

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Language
9:10 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Picture This: Selfie Is 'Word Of The Year'

If old bloggers are doing it when they bike, then you know the word "selfie" has gone mainstream.
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 1:19 pm

Oxford Dictionaries has decided that 2013's word of the year is selfie — and if you don't know what the word means, you may not be a somewhat self-absorbed type who likes to share photos you take of yourself. (Just kidding, selfie fans!)

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Tue November 19, 2013

NSA Releases Some Files On Electronic Surveillance

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 10:17 am

Reporters on the national security beat are sifting through about 1,000 pages of newly declassified documents that the National Security Agency released late Monday.

The heavily redacted records, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement, "demonstrate the care with which NSA's foreign intelligence collection ... is run, managed, and overseen."

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Where We Live
4:03 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Hartford Insurance Scandal Unfolds, and Dialing Up the Future of Call Centers

WNPR's Jeff Cohen.
Chion Wolf WNPR

According to a union count, Connecticut has nearly 50,000 call center workers, mostly in the telecom industry. A growing sector for this industry is health care, especially after the Obamacare rollout.

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Home Cooking
11:57 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Coffee Maker Cooking: Brew Up Your Next Dinner

Parallel processing: Couscous cooks in the coffee maker's carafe while broccoli and cauliflower steam in the basket.
Morgan Walker/ NPR

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 7:36 pm

A few months ago, we introduced you to the wild world of dishwasher cooking. Poach salmon while cleaning dirty plates? No problem.

But some of you expressed concerns about having your sockeye sit so close to soapy water and the high energy cost of running a dishwasher.

Well, we've stumbled upon another wacky cooking method that may overcome these issues: using your coffee maker.

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Dave Eggers
3:08 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'McSweeney's': Quirky Quarterly To Publishing Powerhouse

Dave Eggers is the author of What is the What, Zeitoun and, most recently, The Circle.
Tina Fineberg AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:58 pm

In the late 90s, before Dave Eggers wrote a bestselling memoir (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), before he penned the screenplay for Where the Wild Things Are, before any of his novels, he was a young guy sitting in his kitchen tearing open envelopes filled with literary submissions.

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Technology
12:34 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Internal Emails Reveal Warnings HealthCare.gov Wasn't Ready

Henry Chao, the project manager of HealthCare.gov, is sworn in to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 4:42 pm

HealthCare.gov could barely function on the day the health insurance marketplace debuted, and internal emails show at least some top health officials could see the failure coming.

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Audible Math
9:11 am
Thu November 14, 2013

The Sound of Sorting

Credit panthema.net

Ever wonder what an algorithm sounds like when it's being sorted? Wonder no more. A demo program called "The Sound of Sorting" visualizes algorithms and provides interesting sound effects, too -- low notes for smaller values, and high notes for higher values.

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Technology
6:34 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

'Holy Cow' And 'Kangaroo Court': Panel Grills HealthCare.gov Officials

Todd Park, U.S. chief technology officer, answers questions in a House Oversight Committee hearing about problems with the federal HealthCare.gov site. One Democrat on the committee called the hearing "a kangaroo court."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:46 pm

A House oversight hearing examining the troubled start of HealthCare.gov was contentious from the start Wednesday, as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sought to cut short the opening remarks of one of the first officials to speak, Frank Baitman, the deputy assistant secretary for Information Technology in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, asked Baitman to conclude his statement, noting that the panel's time was short. The interruption came as Baitman discussed the work of his agency to save taxpayers money.

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Technology
9:47 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Can Connecticut Retain Its Star Tech Companies?

Credit Harland Quarrington / Creative Commons

Connecticut has its share of tech giants, like Priceline.com and TicketNetwork. But it's increasingly up against stiff competition from other states to grow and retain technology companies. 

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Technology
10:58 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Tag Him, Track Him, Hug Him, Love Him

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 12:43 pm

In Dave Eggers' terrific new novel, The Circle, set at a California computer company, a cult of connection is slowly taking over the United States and spreading around the globe. An evolving cultural preference for constant sharing by way of computer and camera is turning any citizen's wish for privacy into a scorned, misanthropic secrecy.

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Where We Live
8:39 am
Thu November 7, 2013

The Excitement and Terror of Buying a Car

Credit aldenjewell, creative commons

Most of us have gone through the process of buying an automobile. It can be both exciting and excruciating. And sales are up to almost pre-recession levels. A boom caused by “more widely available credit, an increasingly aged fleet, and a host of new models.”

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Technology
4:12 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Twitter Looks To Its News Role In Upcoming IPO

Screenshot of Twitter feed.

Expectations are high this week as Twitter gets ready to go public.

The company raised its initial public offering price yesterday to $25 a share, up from $23. That would put the company’s value at around$13.6 billion — almost 12 times the value of its projected 2014 sales.

Twitter has 230 million users and not all of them are following Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber. A new Pew study shows 8 percent of Americans use Twitter to get news.

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Code or be Coded
1:59 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Bill Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg and Snoop Dogg Agree: Learn to Code

More and more sites are popping up that teach people how to code.
Ben Simo Creative Commons

It may not be enough anymore to just be tech-literate. There is a mainstream push to teach people, both kids and adults alike, to be code-literate. On an episode of Where We Live, there was a discussion with people who code, making the case for more code education.

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