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Technology

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.

Tony Hisgett / Flickr Creative Commons

Sand is the most abundant material on Earth. And, other than water and air, sand is the natural resource we consume more than any other -- more, even, than oil.

This Project ChildSafe lock is type of cable lock. The long braided steel cable is stuck down the ejection port and down the magazine well of the gun. The end of the cord fits into the large padlock with a key used to secure the device.
Paul Rubiera / WUNC

Since 2005, if you purchase a gun in the United States, you’re going to be given a free gun lock. It’s a federal law. But many gun safety experts don’t believe the most popular kind of these locks are effective at keeping people, especially older children, from gaining access.

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 this 4th of July. 

Samantha Celera / Flickr

October of 2018 was an unremarkable month. That is, to everyone who wasn't working for Youmail. During that month, the California-based company which provides voicemail and call blocking technology, noticed something special:  On average, 164 million robocalls were being placed every single day around America. That's nearly 7 million per hour, and nearly 2,000 per second, for a grand monthly total of over 5.1 billion. It was a new national record!

Grendelkhan / Wikimedia Commons

What would you do with all that time if you didn't have to drive during your daily commute?

This hour: Like it or not, autonomous vehicles (AVs) will be a major part of our not-too-distant transportation future. We take a look at some of the promises and challenges of automating vehicles and ask what they will mean for the cities of our future.

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.

Pexels

Connecticut remains riveted by the unfolding saga of Jennifer Dulos, the wealthy, white New Canaan woman last seen almost four weeks ago. It's a tragic and familiar story. Yet, few cases receive the notoriety of this particular case. 

Amherst2005 / CreativeCommons.org

The idea of what a college education should be has changed over the years. This hour: what’s the value of a liberal arts degree in the twenty-first century?

We hear why tech giant Infosys has teamed up with Trinity College in Hartford to train and recruit new hires. Later, we learn how some colleges are bringing together the best parts of a liberal arts program with a focus on the skills needed in today’s workforce.    

6eo tech / Flickr Creative Commons

Sometimes new technology, like the iPhone, comes to us in flashy, attention-grabbing presentations. But other times, it creeps up and changes our world... without us noticing!

One technology that’s made its way into the headlines is artificial intelligence (AI). For some, those two words might stir up images of Ultron or HAL 9000. But AI's role goes well beyond movies or books. In fact, it's been in the real world for decades. And it's becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives.

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.

The view of Expo Fest in 2018.
Skills21

When people think of middle and high school kids presenting sophisticated technology or engineering projects, they usually think of a science fair. But according to Matt Mervis, Expo Fest looks more like a Silicon Valley start-up competition.

The Truth About Lies

May 29, 2019
Mike Roberts / Flickr Creative Commons

Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, the only place left in what was once America. Laszlo's job is to bring the worst criminals to justice, those who tell lies. In his new novel, Ben Winters creates a world which might sound Eden-esque in our era of misinformation. 

By Amherst2005 (www.creativecommons.org)

The idea of what a college education should be has changed over the years. This hour: what’s the value of a liberal arts degree in the twenty-first century?

We hear why tech giant Infosys has teamed up with Trinity College in Hartford to train and recruit new hires. Later, we learn how some colleges are bringing together the best parts of a liberal arts program with a focus on the skills needed in today’s workforce.    

Screengrab / Connecticut Public Radio

There’s been increased attention surrounding police officers and how they can provide a transparent view to the public of their interactions with civilians -- especially after two recent police shootings in Wethersfield and New Haven. 

6eo tech / Creative Commons

Sometimes new technology, like the iPhone, comes to us in flashy, attention-grabbing presentations. But other times, it creeps up and changes our world... without us noticing!

One technology that’s made its way into the headlines is artificial intelligence (AI). For some, those two words might stir up images of Ultron or HAL 9000. But AI's role goes well beyond movies or books. In fact, it's been in the real world for decades. And it's becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives.

José Francisco Salgado / Flickr Creative Commons

It could be argued that you will never understand yourself if you don’t understand the universe. And the universe is full of both beautiful and scary things. At least once, something has come roaring out of the skies to reconfigure completely life on earth. So it might be a good idea to study the heavens.

View of a forest from above
Geran de Klerk / Wikimedia Commons

From dying coral reefs to fires and coastal flooding, the effects of climate change are already being felt around the world. And it will only get worse.

A 2018 report from climate scientists from around the globe found that some of climate change’s disastrous consequences will be in full force if Earth’s temperature rises past 1.5 degrees--something that could happen as early as 2040 at current emissions rates.

Pascal Walschots / Creative Commons

We're outraged that wealthy parents illegally paid to get their kids into elite colleges they would otherwise not qualify to enter. Despite evidence to the contrary, we still want to believe that America is a meritocracy. It's not. And believing that it is might be bad for you.

This week, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp suffered major worldwide outages, and Twitter previewed some possible new changes. And people took to (what else?) social media to (what else?) complain.

And: The Ringer asks the age-old question, if a TV show falls in the woods, and no one talks about it, can it be certified fresh? Or something like that.

And finally: Captain Marvel is the 21st feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the ninth movie in the MCU's Phase Three. It is, chronologically, a sequel to 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger and a prequel to 2008's Iron Man. I didn't follow much of that, but I get this part: After 11 years and all those previous movies, it's the first one with a female lead.

Grendelkhan / Wikimedia Commons

What would you do with all that time if you didn't have to drive during your daily commute?

This hour: like it or not, autonomous vehicles (AVs) will be a major part of our not-too-distant transportation future. We take a look at some of the promises and challenges of automating vehicles and ask what they will mean for the cities of our future.

The Truth About Lies

Mar 7, 2019
Mike Roberts / Creative Commons

Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, the only place left in what was once America. Laszlo's job is to bring the worst criminals to justice, those who tell lies. In his new novel, Ben Winters creates a world which might sound Eden-esque in our era of misinformation. 

Terri D'Arcangelo

How do you make a 100-meter telescope that folds down to three meters so you can tuck it inside a space vehicle? How do you make a heart stent that folds out inside the human body? In each case, researchers have turned to masters of origami, the thousand-year-old art of paper folding.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Forensic scientist Dr. Henry C. Lee has been a well-known figure in Connecticut courtrooms for decades. His expertise led to high-profile work investigating famous crimes from the O.J. Simpson trial to investigating the murder of child beauty queen, JonBenét Ramsey.

Last fall, Corey Chase drove 6,000 miles around his state to ground-truth what every Vermonter with a cell phone knows: there are many, many places in the state where you simply can't get a signal, not to mention the 5 megabits per second data download speeds the carriers were claiming.

The six-week effort involved six cell phones, a state-owned Prius and an app from a software developer in Bulgaria.

James Vaughan / Flickr

Humans are great at making a mess of things. So far, however, that mess has been confined to Earth. But as we develop into a spacefaring species, our capacity for destruction, pollution, and prejudice (towards aliens of earthly and unearthly origins) threatens to have cosmic consequences.

Harrison Weber / Flickr

When you sit down to watch a favorite TV show, do you check the program schedule for a weekly listing?  Or do you turn on Netflix or Hulu and start binging?

This hour, we take a look at what the rise of internet-based streaming services means for the television industry. And we want to hear from you, too.  Have you cut the cord on cable?

Zoo Fanatic / Creative Commons

It's been easy to overlook Trump Administration environmental policies that are contributing to the destruction of wildlife and habitats.

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Forensic scientist Dr. Henry C. Lee has been a well-known figure in Connecticut courtrooms for decades. His expertise led to high-profile work investigating famous crimes from the O.J. Simpson trial to investigating the murder of child beauty queen, JonBenét Ramsey.

But in addition to his testimony on famous cases, Dr. Lee has been a staple of forensic science in Connecticut for the past 40 years--from serving as the state’s chief criminalist to helping found the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory.

RoboCup2013 / Flickr

Athletes, therapists, comedians, and public radio producers: All jobs which require a human touch, right? Perhaps not. Even now, we're beginning to see some of these rolls being performed by robots. But while machines may be capable of doing such work, is there any demand for it among humans?

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