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Technology

Time is running out for the city of Atlanta, which was given until Wednesday to pay off the cyberattackers who laid siege to city government data and are threatening to wipe the computers clean.

It looks like one of the marquee cases before the U.S. Supreme Court is about to go bust — sabotaged by a needle in a legislative haystack.

The question in the case is whether a U.S. technology company can refuse to honor a court-ordered U.S. search warrant seeking information that is stored at a facility outside the United States.

Oral arguments took place at the Supreme Court last month, and they did not go well for Microsoft, the tech giant that is challenging a warrant for information stored at its facility in Ireland.

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

The November midterms are fast-approaching -- raising concerns about election security and the safeguarding of local voter identity.

This hour, we look at how Connecticut is responding with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

Plus: a Middletown-based prison program gives incarcerated adults the opportunity to work towards an Associate degree behind bars.

We learn about the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education and its recent degree-granting collaboration with Middlesex Community College.

And finally: Have recent weather reports left you feeling underwhelmed? Don’t be upset with your local forecaster, says Quinnipiac University professor Ben Bogardus.

Coming up, Bogardus joins us along with NBC Connecticut Chief Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan. And we want to hear from you. 

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

A self-driving car operated by Uber struck and killed a pedestrian who was walking her bicycle in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday night. The incident could be the first pedestrian death involving a self-driving vehicle.

The car was in autonomous mode but had a human riding along to take control of the vehicle if necessary, according to the Tempe Police Department. The victim, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was struck while walking outside a crosswalk, police said. She was immediately transported to a local hospital, where she died.

Film Sufi / filmsufi.com

Cambridge Analytica, a data company backed by Republican donor Robert Mercer and headed by Steve Bannon, harvested private information from almost 50 million Facebook users without their permission to develop and exploit psychological profiles in the 2016 U.S. election.

A phone with social media apps
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Are you constantly pulling out your phone to check that notification from Instagram or Facebook? If so, you’re not alone—nearly seven in ten American adults are on social media, according to a recent Pew survey.

This hour: social media has made our world smaller, but do virtual networks make us feel more connected? A recent study found that those who spend more time on social media actually tend to feel more socially isolated. We ask researchers and a psychiatrist why.

Netflix

In this week's Ridiculous Moments in Late-Stage Capitalism: Pizza Hut's new shoes -- because there are Pizza Hut shoes, apparently; they're, of course, called "Pie Tops" -- will pause live TV when your pizza delivery arrives. Amazon's Echo devices have started spontaneously laughing at people, which might really be scarier than it is funny. And, to celebrate International Women's Day, KFC is introducing the world to Colonel Sanders's wife, Mrs. Claudia Sanders.

And: Netflix's Seven Seconds is not, it turns out, the prequel to a Luke Perry vehicle, rodeo movie it sounds like. It is instead "the contrived, misery-riddled show" that you maybe won't be able to stop watching. And it is also maybe the coldest Netflix show.

Arthur Caranta / Flickr

They may not look like R2D2 or BB8, but in 2018, robots are an important part of our world.

This hour we talk about ​automation—new advances in “smart” technology during a period of time that’s been dubbed the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Roman Vanur / flickr creative commons

Consciousness has been an elusive enigma for philosophers and scientists alike for about as long as there've been philosophers and scientists.

And, while it's long been thought that artificial intelligence would bring us the next big breakthroughs in our understanding of consciousness, A.I. authority David Gelernter has a different idea entirely.

He looks for answers to these fundamental questions in, instead... literature.

Lori Mack/WNPR

The Federal Communications Commission has ordered Obama-era net neutrality rules to end April 23. That essentially opens the door for internet service providers to treat certain content differently. That has technology companies raising the alarm.

"Starman" in Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster with Earth in the background
SpaceX / Flickr

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made history in February when his Falcon Heavy rocket launched a red Tesla convertible into outer space. In the driver seat is a dummy astronaut dubbed “Starman” who’s now flying through space, orbiting the sun.

Cybersecurity experts are confirming that a computer malware attack dubbed "Olympic Destroyer" hit select networks and Wi-Fi systems at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang on Friday, but they would not say for sure whether Russia or North Korea are to blame.

Users with a @pyeongchang2018.com email address were targeted in the attack, which lasted less than an hour on Friday night, experts said.

Food scientists at UMass Amherst have come up with a technique they say could make it a lot easier to avoid food poisoning.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

What happens when a river fills with ice?

Dan Taylr / flickr

Predictions of a paperless future go back to the 1800's. And since then, as technology has advanced, such predictions  have only increased. Today, despite a dizzying array of technological alternatives to paper, those prediction have not come true.

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