For many companies, cloud computing is still kind of a fuzzy concept. But the IT professionals tell us that 2012 is the year it will come into sharp focus. Many businesses will spend this year figuring out how the cloud make sense for them, and how to integrate it into their IT strategies. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Harriet Jones

December’s a pretty intense month for many people – but imagine if you were a Christmas tree farmer.  As this busy season comes to a close, WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited Staehly’s Tree Farm in East Haddam to find out what kind of a year this has been for the state’s tree growers.

“Hi there… how are you….”

From the Occupy Wall Street movement to uproar over the prolonged power outages during the October snowstorm, people’s engagement in public space is alive and growing. A New Haven-based start-up is harnessing technology to make city governments and other public entities more accountable and efficient. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports.

Flickr Creative Commons, Kr. B.

I have a problem.

The computer that was the home base for my iTunes has died, so the only place my iTunes exist is on my iPod.

If you tell me I should have backed up my iTunes, I will hit you. I googled this whole problem and learned that solutions do exist. I tried one of them and was too stupid to be able to make it work.

Jerry Wong (Flickr Creative Commons)

Each year more than 350,000 Americans die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest – that’s more than the total death rate for breast cancer, lung cancer, HIV/AIDS, motor vehicle accidents, and violent traumatic events combined.

Health officials say widespread public access to Automated External Defibrillators or AEDs...small easy-to-use devices, could drastically reduce the death rate.

So why aren’t they more accessible?

Chion Wolf, respres, smiely, mike licht, wikimedia

The Pledge of Allegiance is a 20th century creature. It was written at the end of the 19th century by a Christian socialist minister as part of a general push toward American nationalism, with special regard for the flag. I find people all the time who think  it dates back to the founding of the United States. The phrase "under God" was added in the 1950s. There are all kinds of stores about how and why that happened. I think it's fair to sum it up as kind of a Cold War thing. The Soviets were godless. We weren't.

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 22

Nov 19, 2011
Cindy Papish Gerber

This week Steve Katz hooked us up with a corner table at Katz’s Deli in Woodbridge. (He also introduced us to 90 year old Ed Abrams, who you’ll hear in this week's conversation.)

We also welcomed guest editors Jeanette Kuvin Oren, Nanci Sklar and Joel Sachs.

We talked about the latest disappointments in the news - and our favorite new technologies.



Crowdsourced Science

Nov 18, 2011
Cano Vääri (Flickr Creative Commons)

Today, we’re talking about crowds...their power, and perhaps, their combined wisdom.

A recent Boston Globe column called the scientific world a closed society. But technological innovation has opened up the field to the ordinary citizen on the outside with online programs such as Foldit and Planet Hunters - attempts at “crowdsourcing” some of our trickiest problems.

Harriet Jones

Big box stores are under pressure. A drastic drop in consumer spending has gone along with a shift to making purchases online. But what does all this mean for the small independent retailer? WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it may actually represent an opportunity for the main street mom-and-pop store.

The retail industry is in turmoil. But while big box stores come and go, some things remain the same.

Chion Wolf

Yesterday more protestors were killed in Syria, Turkey bombed rebels in Iraq and the Greek protests turned violent...again.

The news looks pretty violent these days. But renowned psychologist Steven Pinker says that our ancestors were far more violent than we are today.

It is those stories of violence and mayhem that enter our homes on TV or even here on public radio. Those extraordinary stories get seared into our memory and we forget about the countless numbers of people who die of old age every day.

It’s well known that Connecticut’s economy is heavily dependent on defense spending. But concern usually centers around the state’s big employers like Electric Boat and Pratt & Whitney. A new survey aims to demonstrate what the effects might be of defense cuts on small subcontractors. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Cutbacks in the nation’s defense budget, once unthinkable, are now firmly on the table.

J Holt

Governor Dannel Malloy’s jobs summit Thursday brought together economic thinkers from inside and outside Connecticut to brainstorm about how to get the state’s economy moving. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, Malloy also used the event to launch a new initiative.

“Thank you very much – please – we’ve got work to do…..”

Governor Malloy signaled to the crowd gathered at the Connecticut convention center that his attention is now moving from the state budget to the state’s economy.

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 17

Oct 16, 2011
Cindy Papish Gerber

Episode 17 was recorded on Sunday October 16th at 116 Crown in New Haven.

Governor Dannel Malloy will kick off his highly anticipated one-day jobs summit today, a curtain-raiser to a special legislative session later this month, focused on the economy.  WNPR’s Harriet Jones has been talking to entrepreneurs, new and established, about how jobs are really grown in Connecticut.

Last year U.S. companies spent more than $26 billion advertising on the Internet. They’re on track to surpass that record number in 2011. In the latest in our occasional series, WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at the small Connecticut companies who are benefiting from that trend.

Times might be hard in many industries right now, but at the offices of WebSolutions in Meriden, you’d never know it.