technology | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

technology

Andrew Hart / Creative Commons

As Republican and Democratic leaders in the General Assembly inch closer to a budget deal, one casualty of the negotiations may be the Office of State Broadband. Elimination of the office has been proposed in at least two budget plans, despite costing the state no money.

On a wall in Greg LeRoy's office is a frame with a custom-engraved wrench and a photo of workers in front of the Diamond Tool and Horseshoe factory in Duluth, Minn. It's from his days helping unions fight plant closings — when he first started digging into the convoluted financial relationship of corporations and local governments.

These days, LeRoy is the guy to call if you want to know about corporate subsidies. Lately, his phone has been ringing about one company in particular: Amazon.

Feng Wei / Creative Commons

President Trump decertified the internationally-supported Iran nuclear deal Friday but didn't walk away from it. Instead, he kicked it to Congress to determine whether to reimpose sanctions even though the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified Iran was in compliance with the deal.

WNPR

Russian hacking, fake news--if the last election  taught us anything, it’s that your vote is a valuable commodity.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Medical students are turning from the two-dimensional pages of their textbooks to the three-dimensional world of hand-held models. That’s because 3-D printing is changing the way doctors learn complex procedures, a development which could make medicine more personalized.

The presidential election is long past, but online attacks aimed at shaping the U.S. information environment have kept right on coming.

This week brought a slate of fresh examples of ways in which users — some of them demonstrably Russian, others not — continue to try to use Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to jam a crowbar into existing American political divisions and wrench them further apart.

On the side of a busy expressway in northern Puerto Rico, dozens of cars stand in a line, parked at careless angles off the shoulder. Drivers hold their phones out of car windows; couples walk along the grass raising their arm skyward.

This is not a picturesque stretch of road. It's about 90 degrees out, and the sun is beating down relentlessly. All you can hear is the rumble of cars and trucks passing by, sometimes dangerously close. Then, inside a Ford Escape near the edge of the highway, Casandra Caba exclaims, "Look!"

Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

As pressure grows on credit monitoring bureau Equifax over its massive data breach, it’s still not clear how many people in Connecticut may have been affected by the hack. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In a dramatic turn of events this weekend, several Democratic lawmakers crossed party lines and allowed the Connecticut General Assembly to approve the Republicans budget plan. Yet Governor Malloy has vowed to veto the GOP budget -- so what happens now?

Lord Jim / Creative Commons

A New Britain couple, seriously hurt in a cellphone-related car accident on Route 8 in Harwinton, received a $1.3 million settlement in November. The previous year, a jury awarded a Torrington woman $1.4 million after a driver, talking on his cellphone while turning, struck her head-on, breaking her wrist and causing permanent injuries to her neck and back.

Chase Elliot Clark / flickr

At some point in the near future we will all drive our last drive. We will get into our normal car, drive to a dealership and ride out in our first self-driving car. And that's it: The end of driving as we know it, forever and ever, maybe.

Japanexperterna.se / flickr creative commons

Actually, it's The Atlantic that wonders "Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?" And, of course, the answer is, in a word: No. But then, high school kids are less interested in driving than they used to be. Or something. So there's almost a mental health crisis. Or something. The Nose gets into it.

wikimedia

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday the Justice Department will aggressively pursue the leaking of classified information that undermines national security. This announcement was made following the release by the Washington Post of transcripts between Trump and leaders from Mexico and Australia. 

Apple put investors at ease Tuesday with its quarterly report. Wall Street was expecting a slowdown in iPhone 7 sales. Instead, sales of the iPhone 7 were up 1.6 percent year over year.

Analysts thought that consumers would wait for the highly anticipated iPhone 8 before they upgraded. Apple is expected to make significant changes in its upcoming 10th anniversary edition — such as wireless charging and facial recognition software.

Digital Game Museum / flickr

It should be no surprise that video games have the potential to become addictive. But a spate of recent events has shown they can also be deadly: From young players dying of mid-game heart attacks to parents so immersed in their virtual environment that they forget to feed their children.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, speaking to U.S. governors this weekend, told the political leaders that artificial intelligence poses an "existential threat" to human civilization.

At the bipartisan National Governors Association in Rhode Island, Musk also spoke about energy sources, his own electric car company and space travel. But when Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada, grinning, asked if robots will take everyone's jobs in the future — Musk wasn't joking when he responded.

Yes, "robots will do everything better than us," Musk said. But he's worried about more than the job market.

The practice of creating music specifically designed to "succeed" on streaming platforms and playlists swirled into a controversy for Spotify this past weekend, after an article written nearly one year ago was resurfaced in a story that mainly focused on how some people are financially "gaming" the Spotify system.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state of Connecticut has issued what it’s calling a comprehensive strategy to combat cybersecurity threats. The strategy brings together seven principles, which the state hopes will guide an action plan to safeguard vital infrastructure from malicious attack. 

The state of Massachusetts planned to require more internet retailers to collect sales tax starting July 1st. But the initiative has been pulled just days before it would take effect.

Under the Baker administration plan, internet retailers with sales of $500,000 and 100 transaction per year in Massachusetts would have to charge the tax.

But the state rescinded the plan after two lawsuits were filed. The Department of Revenue said it will reintroduce the tax through a new regulation this fall.

President Trump plans to nominate Republican Brendan Carr, the general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, to fill one of the agency's two empty leadership seats.

Carr is a former legal adviser to current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and was a lawyer with Wiley Rein LLP, which has worked with telecommunications companies including AT&T and Verizon.

The White House announced the president's plan late Wednesday.

Mattza flickr.com/photos/27762949@N00/33602814/ / Creative Commons

Amazon’s announcement that it plans to acquire Whole Foods means we could soon see significant changes to the way people do their grocery shopping. Meanwhile, CNBC has reported that the online retailer is also considering ways it might break into the multi-billion dollar pharmacy market.

allenallen1910 / Creative Commons

More and more, medical professionals in Connecticut are turning to tablets and cell phones to connect remotely with patients. It’s called “telehealth,” and it’s facilitating everything from after-hours examinations to post-surgery check-ins.

Jay Phagan / Creative Commons

This hour: privacy, policy, and the post-Snowden era.

Coming up, we hear how an exhibition at Hartford's Real Art Ways is challenging perceptions of corporate and government tracking. 

The WannaCry ransomware that attacked computers in 150 countries has lines of code that are identical to work by hackers known as the Lazarus Group, according to security experts. The Lazarus hackers have been linked to North Korea, raising suspicions that the nation could be responsible for the attack.

When the National Security Agency lost control of the software behind the WannaCry cyberattack, it was like "the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen," Microsoft President Brad Smith says, in a message about the malicious software that has created havoc on computer networks in more than 150 countries since Friday.

Updated Sat. May 13 at 10:10 a.m. ET

Cyber security experts are still scrambling to contain a global ransomware attack that has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, Ukraine, and India.

Updated at 9:25 p.m. ET

President Trump suggested on Twitter Friday morning there might be recordings of his private conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, whom he fired earlier this week, in an apparent attempt to caution Comey against "leaking to the press."

When three sacred staples of the South weren't safe from the cloudy, salty water in his town, Clay Duffie knew there was a problem.

"It'd kill your azaleas if you irrigated with it; your grits would come out in a big clump, instead of creamy like they should," Duffie said.

Even the sweet tea.

"Your tea would come out all cloudy," Duffie said. "Oh man, it was bad news."

The Federal Communications Commission will vote on May 18 to formally begin the process of loosening regulations that enforce the so-called net neutrality rules for Internet providers.

Ajit Pai, who became chairman of the commission in January, says he supports a free and open Internet, which rests on a basic principle of "net neutrality."

Leo Leung / Creative Commons

A Milford-based entrepreneur is launching a training course designed to help with a shortage of web and mobile software developers -- an issue that’s only expected to get worse in coming years. 

Pages