technology

Teen's App Helps Pay Family's Bills

May 5, 2014

Michael Sayman is a 17-year-old game developer from Miami, whose app — 4 Snaps — has been going strong in the iTunes App Store. Sayman was highlighted at Facebook's development conference last week by Mark Zuckerberg. He graduates from high school this month and starts an internship at Facebook headquarters later this summer. Sayman spoke with Tell Me More about his app, how he used the proceeds to help his family and how some schools and teachers are overlooking the importance of tech.

How did you get into tech?

moodboard / Thinkstock

Okay, here's a borrowed analogy. My grandmother talked about the light bill to refer to what you call the electricity bill. And, that's because she lived at a time when literally, that's all electricity did-power the lights. And now, all sorts of things run on that same power. 

Danny Hope / Creative Commons

April was all about cybersecurity: fixes for the so-called "Heartbleed" bug, alerts about exploits in Internet Explorer, and a now, a security initiative spearheaded by UConn.

Around the country, there are lots of tinkerers working on what they hope will be the next brilliant idea — but who don't have the tools in their garage to build it.

In dozens of cities, those innovators can set up shop in a "maker space" — community workshops where members have access to sophisticated tools and expertise.

Maker spaces have become hotbeds of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. Now, governments, universities and big corporations are taking notice — and beginning to invest in them.

Twitter is growing and its brand is spreading but Wall Street is unimpressed. On Tuesday, the company announced it had doubled its quarterly revenue from a year ago to $250 million. The social networking site also increased its number of active users to 255 million, up 25 percent from a year earlier.

But despite the gains, Wall Street analysts have called the growth tepid. Twitter went public last November, and its shares have traded as high as $74; on Wednesday, it opened at under $38.

Governor Dannel Malloy is being honored in Washington, D.C. for his efforts to bolster affordable housing in Connecticut. The National Low Income Housing Coalition presented Malloy with the Edward W. Brook Housing Leadership Award on Tuesday at the group’s annual Housing Leadership Awards Reception.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Do you ever wonder how the banner ad that pops up on your favorite website gets there, and who chooses what you’ll see?

At the moment, the buying and selling of digital ads is largely controlled by big legacy agencies. But there’s a tiny upstart company in Stamford that wants to disrupt the growing market.

Daniel Novta / Flickr Creative Commons

We cover a lot of ground on this hour's Scramble. We begin with the editor of Salon.com in a conversation about a story that dominated the headlines this weekend, the racist remarks attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling.

Dave Daley sees Sterling and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy as part of a pattern. I don't. Not exactly, anyway. Dave also talks about Thomas Piketty, the first rock star economist in, well, a really long time.

SpaceX will launch an official protest against the Air Force for its no-bid national security launch contracts to Boeing and Lockheed, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a televised press conference.

He said his company thought the process was "unfair" and that he wanted to shine a light on the process.

"As I've said, sunlight is the best disinfectant. If everything's fine, then I guess that's great," Musk said. "But that seems unlikely to me."

Pratt and Whitney

A $400 million tax relief package for United Technologies is on its way to Governor Dannel Malloy's desk after the legislation passed the state senate.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This was a week when Connecticut professors got rambunctious, when pine tar was discovered in places it shouldn't have been, and when President Obama played soccer with a robot. I can't guarantee which of these things will make its way onto our weekly pop culture roundtable, The Nose, except definitely the professors.

This one from UConn mocked and challenged the arguments of a creationist, and this one from Eastern was caught railing against Republicans, calling them "racist, misogynistic, money-grubbing people" and saying colleges will close if the GOP takes over the Senate.

Google, Intel, Facebook and many other tech giants are pooling their money together — for the first time — to fix a glaring hole in cybersecurity. They're launching a multimillion-dollar fund to protect open-source code — the code that anyone can use for free, and that often gets overused and underprotected.

HIV/AIDS Rally; Keno Game Could Be a Certainty

Apr 22, 2014

Hundreds of people with HIV/AIDS rallied at the state capitol today to meet with legislators for the 10th Annual AIDS Awareness Day sponsored by the CT AIDS Resource Coalition. Governor Dannel Malloy, Lt.  Governor Nancy Wyman and state comptroller Kevin Lembo were all on hand for the rally. Nationally, it’s estimated that 25% of all those living with HIV don’t know it.

America is less religious than ever before. The number of Americans who reported no religious affiliation has been growing rapidly, doubling since 1990. That kind of rapid change matches another societal trend — growth in Internet use. The percentage of Americans who say they used the Internet went from nearly zero in 1990 to 87 percent this year.

NASA

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio is scheduled to make his ninth spacewalk. The Waterbury native will repair a failed computer outside the International Space Station. 

Having a teenager lost in his or her cellphone — texting friends and communicating with parents in monosyllabic grunts — has become a trope of the Internet age. But teens are not the only ones distracted by their devices.

Many parents have the same problem. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm one of them.

A couple weeks ago, my 12-year-daughter, Ella, staged an intervention. She and my wife basically threatened to take my phone and break it.

Flickr user Chris Hunkeler/ Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy has released a plan to protect Connecticut's utilities against cyber attacks. Connecticut's electric, natural gas, major water companies and the regional distribution systems have already been penetrated in the past.

When asked just how many cyber attacks have happened, Arthur House, chairman of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, said he can't go into much detail.

After speaking to a crowd that was estimated at 100,000 people Sunday, Pope Francis moved through the audience in his popemobile — and then delighted some of those in attendance by getting out of the vehicle and posing for photos with them.

Francis posed for photos several times during his circuit through St. Peter's Square, where throngs of the faithful had gathered to hear him speak on Palm Sunday.

"After the ceremony, the pope hopped onto his popemobile and moved through the crowd, often getting off to pose for selfies with young people," NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports.

The National Security Agency says it did not know about a critical security bug until it became public earlier this month.

Harland Quarrington / Creative Commons

UConn will partner with cable giant Comcast on a new center to study cyber security.

digitalbob8/flickr creative commons

New research out of Yale University is claiming clairvoyance. It's called "neuroimaging," a fancy way of saying scientists are reading your mind.

Customers chat, read the paper and order sandwiches and espresso drinks at the counter of August First Bakery & Cafe in Burlington, Vt., but there's something different here. Where there used to be the familiar glow of laptop screens and the clicking of keyboards, now the devices are banned.

"I was here working on my laptop when I looked over and saw that there's a sign that says 'laptop-free,' " says Luna Colt, a senior at the University of Vermont.

Michael Himbeault / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Obamacare enrollment website did well enough this year to attract the interest of other states. Officials from Access Health CT said they are finalizing a deal with the state of Maryland to share computer code.

Governor DannelTech stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School. The new school will be located at Norwalk High School. By the start of the next academic year there will be about 27 of these schools across the country. The schools integrate high school and college curricula for grades nine through 14. Students who complete the program graduate with both a high school diploma and an associates degree in applied science at no cost.

Vancouver Film School / Creative Commons

State officials are to announce today that Connecticut’s first P-TECH model school will open in September.

P-TECH stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School, and by the start of the next academic year there will be about 27 of these schools across the country.

Jon S / Creative Commons

The state's daily newspapers, and its towns and cities, remain divided over how to change the state’s laws on printed legal notices.

Doctors say children shouldn't log more than two hours a day of screen time, though what with phones, computers and TV most children put in much more.

But it may be that not all screens are equally evil.

Researchers from the University of Michigan found that sixth-graders who watched a lot of TV were more likely to eat junk food and drink soda than their peers who spent the same amount of time on the computer or playing video games, researchers from the University of Michigan say.

Google. Twitter. Facebook. Back before they got big, companies like these were just startup ideas, born in dorm rooms and run out of garages. Then came the venture capitalists: rich, older men ready to fund the brilliant ideas of younger, creative men.

But what if you are a woman with a startup idea? A new study says you might not do so well. It's been well-documented that businesses started by women receive very little venture capital money.

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