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Fiber optics
Groman123 / Flickr

COVID-19 has shown the Internet is more important than ever. From Google Classrooms for distance learning to endless Zoom meetings for some professionals, the Internet has become even more essential during the pandemic.

But how many Connecticut residents still don’t have access to a high-speed connection? This hour, we look at Connecticut’s digital divide.

How does the lack of broadband in communities exacerbate existing disparities in education and economic opportunity? We talk with experts and hear how some communities want to address the issue.

We want to hear from you, too.  Have your children struggled to access remote learning?

Travis Isaacs / Creative Commons

Humans typically make enough collective noise to keep the earth vibrating at a steady hum. But the pandemic has quieted that hum enough to let seismologists study the vibrations that can be hard to detect in the din of our noise.

Quick Quarantined Play Festival / Facebook

While certain public places are finding ways to reopen safely, theaters still have a long way to go. Socially distancing the audience is doable but probably not cost-effective. And what about the actors? Keeping 6 feet apart onstage could make for a bizarre evening of theater.

Cottonbro / Pexels.com

JCT 600 / Flickr Creative Commons

A state report released last month sets out a pathway for getting at least 10 times as many electric vehicles on Connecticut roadways by 2025.

Ramping up electric vehicle use from roughly 12,000 to at least 125,000 in five years is ambitious by any measure. But with the country now sliding into recession, gas prices in free fall, and unemployment at record highs, the goals outlined in the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s 109-page Electric Vehicle Roadmap appear especially daunting.

Padaguan / Wikimedia Commons

Have you invited friends over virtually to visit your dream island home on Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Or maybe your weekly board game night has moved onto Zoom.

This hour, we take a break from the heavy stuff and talk about the ways people are staying connected and having fun while isolated from friends and family. From multiplayer video games to Yahtzee over Skype, we learn how you can play games with your crew while still staying home.

And later, we check in with NPR TV critic Eric Deggans to get his recommendations on what shows to binge during quarantine.

hartford symphony orchestra
hartfordsymphonyblog.com

You’ve probably heard the old showbiz saying “The show must go on.” Well, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is going ahead with its annual gala this weekend. Only, this year, people will be sipping cocktails in their tuxes and gowns and enjoying the music from the comfort of their own living rooms.

Travis Isaacs / Creative Commons

Humans typically make enough collective noise to keep the earth vibrating at a steady hum. But the pandemic has quieted that hum enough to let seismologists study the vibrations that can be hard to detect in the din of our noise.

Disney

Last Friday night, Disney released the #1 movie in the country -- Pixar's Onward -- for digital download on iTunes/Amazon/etc. It's safe to say, that's the first time that's ever happened.

When you say "the #1 movie in the country," you're talking about what was #1 last weekend or maybe last week. Onward was also the #1 movie in the country specifically on last Thursday... when it made $33,296. There are times when movies make that per screen.

There's a movie on that domestic chart that one person went to see. It made $6. That movie, though, wasn't at the bottom of that chart… because there are three movies on that chart that no one went to see. In the country.

Carmen Baskauf / Connecticut Public Radio

It’s tax season. Filing taxes can be a complicated and intimidating process. And ProPublica has found that big names in e-filing, like TurboTax, are actually making it more difficult for Americans to file easily and free of charge. This hour, we talk with a reporter behind the investigation, and find out whether you can file your taxes for free.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The town of Wethersfield will step up public surveillance in 2020 by installing cameras at several traffic locations. But the enhanced law enforcement is alarming to people who have criticized the way Wethersfield’s police department operates.

Pixabay

If your smartphone screen cracks, do you get it fixed or trade it in for the latest model? Repairing items can be less wasteful, but there are also growing legal challenges for people whose business is to repair technology from smartphones to tractors.

Groman123 / Flickr Creative Commons

Most of us enjoy high-speed internet. But in some areas in Connecticut, residents still don’t have broadband access.  A recent court ruling may make it easier for municipalities to provide broadband services.  But is a city or town-run internet service the best way to bridge the ‘digital divide’?

Later, NPR TV critic Eric Deggans joins us with an update on the latest players to enter the streaming market, services like Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus. Just how many streaming services are you willing to pay for?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Last Thursday, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla's Cybertruck and Sacha Baron Cohen gave the keynote address at an Anti-Defamation League summit. Both performances have drawn mixed reactions.

And: The Mandalorian is the big, new, original, launch title for Disney's new streaming service, Disney+. It's a half(ish)-hour western set in the Star Wars universe, and three episodes have dropped so far.

Sikorsky Aircraft

Fighting wildfires is a constant struggle in Southern California, but a Connecticut manufacturer has a way to help.

image of fiber optics
Groman123 / Flickr

Most of us enjoy high-speed internet access. But in some areas in Connecticut, residents still don’t have broadband access. We hear about a recent court ruling that could change this.

Sophie Vershbow has seen her share of "OK, boomer" memes in recent weeks. The phrase that's suddenly everywhere is meant to convey a fundamental disconnect between younger generations and baby boomers who cling to outdated, off-base ideas.

To Vershbow, a 30-year-old social media manager, the sentiment behind the memes is this: "I think it's a dismissive, 'OK, whatever you say.' "

Pixabay

If your smartphone screen cracks, do you get it fixed or trade it in for the latest model? Repairing items can be less wasteful, but there are also growing legal challenges for people whose business is to repair technology from smartphones to tractors.

This hour, we talk about the “Right to Repair” movement. It's a debate that pits concerns about users’ ability to modify their own items against big companies’ concerns about intellectual property rights.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Dan Taylr / Flickr Creative Commons

Predictions of a paperless future go back to the 1800s. Yet, despite a dizzying array of technological alternatives to paper, those prediction have not come true.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

What if you just don't really enjoy food very much? What if you're totally fine eating the same thing every single day? What if you think food is an inefficient way to get what you need to survive?

What if, rather than eating "food," you just mixed a white powder (that is definitely not made of people because it's made of soy protein isolate instead) with water and drank that in food's place?

This hour: a look at what you might call the non-foodie movement and the "powdered food" meal replacement product that is Soylent.

Terry Gross / Wikimedia Commons

Fear of sharks spiked last summer after a great white fatally bit a 26-year-old surfer off the coast of Cape Cod. The fever still runs high as reports of great white sightings coincide with people heading to the beach.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s Attorney General wants to know more about one tech giant’s outsize influence in the digital marketplace. William Tong is one of 50 attorneys general who have launched an anti-trust investigation into Google. 

Warner Bros

It's hard to believe, but The Matrix is 20 years old this year. And its influence is all over the culture with bullet time and red pills and the "woah" meme and so much more.

Christiaan Colen / Wikimedia Commons

As students head back to school, teachers and administrators in Wolcott, Connecticut will start the school year without access to important files.

The Wolcott Public School system computers were attacked by ransomware, a type of computer virus that holds essential data hostage unless the school agrees to pay attackers a ransom.

This hour, we take a look at why hackers have increased attacks on local governments and schools for ransomware. What does this mean for Connecticut, a state with hundreds of separate municipal governments and school systems?

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Thirty-one children have died around the country so far this year as a result of being left alone in hot cars. Senator Richard Blumenthal is endorsing a bill aimed at preventing these deaths. He said Monday the proposed law will require all auto manufacturers to include technology that alerts drivers to check the rear seat for passengers when a vehicle is turned off. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

There’s a new initiative in Hartford aimed at exposing area teenagers to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Seth Rogen. Er, no. That's not right. Carlos Mejia, I meant. / Connecticut Public Radio

Two things arrived this week that the world probably didn't previously know it needed: The Impossible Whopper and "the definitive Nicolas Cage interview." The Nose taste tests one of them live on the air and discusses both. I'll leave it a mystery which is which.

Plus, a look at two movies: the Charlize Theron-Seth Rogen rom-com Long Shot (now available on iTunes/Amazon/DVD/Blu-ray/etc.) and the Cambridge Analytica documentary The Great Hack (out now on Netflix).

Flowcharts of algorithms
Somepics/Wvbailey/Sakurambo / Wikimedia Commons

They are the force behind big companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Often hidden or misunderstood, these chunks of computer code drive pretty much everything we do online.

This hour: algorithms. They permeate throughout our lives, from credit scores to GPS driving directions. But how do algorithms work?

We talk about algorithms, machine learning, and the ethics of computer-problem solving.

Yale University
Pixabay

Yale University is offering a voluntary wellness program to some employees. The catch? You have to share your health data and there’s a financial penalty if you don’t participate. Now, Yale is now being sued by some of it workers over this program. This hour, we take a look at the legal questions surrounding employer-sponsored wellness programs. Does your job offer one?

Later, we take a look at the cost of childcare in Connecticut. Paying for daycare can be as much or more than in-state tuition in this state. We hear from an economist and the Commissioner of the Office of Early Childhood.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Saturday, July 20th marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. Several Connecticut companies played an important role in the historic mission.

82 year-old Donald Rethke was a mechanical engineer at Hamilton Standard in Windsor Locks in 1969. He helped design the life support systems and the heating system on the lunar module used in the moon landing.

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