Science & Technology http://wesa.fm en A New Phase in the Net Neutrality Public Comment Period http://wesa.fm/post/new-phase-net-neutrality-public-comment-period <p>Net Neutrality is the principle that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications, regardless of the source and <a href="http://internetassociation.tumblr.com/post/91745103183/enforceable-rules-need-to-guarantee-an-open-internet">without favoring or blocking particular products or websites</a>.</p><p><without blocking="" favoring="" or="" particular="" products="" websites.=""> During the most recent comment period, the Federal Communications Commission has <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/07/15/the-fcc-is-so-swamped-with-net-neutrality-comments-its-extending-the-deadline/">received an overwhelming response from the public on this issue</a>. <an from="" issue.="" on="" overwhelming="" public="" response="" the="" this=""> In addition, Google as well as other companies are in support of the initiative. Orion Czarnecki Founder/Director of the security company known as Threat Level. He says when it comes to “paid privatization,” a phrase that’s at the heart of the issue, an ISP can charge a service provider or edge provider an additional fee for faster access by end users.&nbsp; </an></without> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:05:02 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 33173 at http://wesa.fm A New Phase in the Net Neutrality Public Comment Period On Social Media, a New Way to Mourn the Loss of Loved Ones http://wesa.fm/post/social-media-new-way-mourn-loss-loved-ones <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Teresa Ferguson was not on Facebook before October 2008. Now she finds it indispensable.</span></p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:33:43 +0000 Larkin Page-Jacobs 33011 at http://wesa.fm On Social Media, a New Way to Mourn the Loss of Loved Ones How Soon Are 3D Printers Likely to Become a Household Product? http://wesa.fm/post/how-soon-are-3d-printers-likely-become-household-product <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Unless you are&nbsp;a researcher or&nbsp;technology professional, 3D printers are probably an unknown technology for you. But now Home Depot <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/07/16/home_depot_gets_into_3_d_printing_with_makerbot.html">will carry and&nbsp;sell</a> desktop 3D printers.</p><p>Locally, the <a href="http://www.carnegielibrary.org">Carnegie Library</a> has offered sessions on the basics of how 3D printing works. It’s the latest innovation in high-tech manufacturing for the masses.</p><p>Senior Librarian Wes Roberts runs the Job and Career Education Center at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and said that the <a href="http://www.carnegielibrary.org/events/details.cfm?event_id=106941">3D printing workshops</a> show computing education workshop participants a new world.</p><p>"Providing access to education in this new realm of&nbsp;digital manufacturing. So that was the whole crux. To get people connected we do a lot of classes on general computing, Microsoft Office, but to bring them to this higher tier of creative design, the idea was to kind of welcome people to the new world of technology."</p><p>Despite the already big benefits of the workshop Roberts said that the programs will continue to grow and develop.</p><p>"Moving forward, it's at a pretty beginning stage with this technology, but I think we've got a really good ground work for what we're doing with our children's and our teen programs. So that we'll keep building on it for the adult level and really kind of merge them all together."</p><p>With patents expiring and more companies getting on board with the product, Roberts predicts that the price of 3D printers will drop from thousands of dollars into the&nbsp;hundreds of dollars range.</p><p>But until that time, <span style="line-height: 1.5;">Arden </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Rosenblatt</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, co-founder and CEO of Pittsburgh-based </span><a href="http://www.piecemaker.com"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Piece Maker</span></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://www.piecemaker.com"> Technologies</a> said&nbsp;you can create and design items for 3D printing at Piece Maker Technologies.</span> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 22:13:23 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 32944 at http://wesa.fm How Soon Are 3D Printers Likely to Become a Household Product? CMU's Supercomputer Gets a Boost http://wesa.fm/post/cmus-supercomputer-gets-boost <p>When computer science students return to Carnegie Mellon University this fall, many will be able to get their hands on a parallel computing system that is roughly 500 times faster than the best laptop computer on campus.</p><p>CMU was recently shipped 448 “blades” that were being decommissioned by the Los Alamos National Laboratory. As the federal facility upgrades its supercomputing system it usually sends the stripped down computers or “blades” to research facilities like CMU to allow students to experiment.</p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 21:25:22 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 32730 at http://wesa.fm UV Robots Zap Germs in UPMC Hospitals http://wesa.fm/post/uv-robots-zap-germs-upmc-hospitals <p></p><div><p>Hand washing,&nbsp;floor scrubbing, sterilizing instruments--all standard techniques to thwart hospital-acquired infections. &nbsp;Now&nbsp;UPMC hospitals are evaluating new technology to help prevent infections.&nbsp; At Passavant Hospital, staff is using a robot to help sanitize a room with ultraviolet-C rays.&nbsp; Fittingly, the robot’s name is “Violet”.</p><p>Dr. Joseph Romano, chairman of the Passavant Hospital Infection Prevention and Control Committee, said "Violet"&nbsp;is turned on after a room has been disinfected in the usual way.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 20:36:20 +0000 Charlee Song 32335 at http://wesa.fm UV Robots Zap Germs in UPMC Hospitals It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A Drone...Is Pittsburgh Ready? http://wesa.fm/post/its-bird-its-plane-its-droneis-pittsburgh-ready <p>On June 26, cameras at PNC Park <a href="http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/06/27/man-flies-drone-over-pnc-park-during-game/">caught a mysterious flying object</a> hovering over the field during a Pirates game. The object hung in the night sky with a blinking light and several propellers whirling.</p><p>It didn’t take long for the commentators to surmise that this UFO was actually a remote controlled drone, whose owner was soon spotted walking on the North Shore.</p><p>Police almost immediately forced the man to ground his flying camera, and the FAA launched an investigation the week after.</p><p>Drones are becoming a bigger part of the everyday lives of American citizens, especially in a city famous for its robotic creations. Joining us to look at the role drones will play in our future is Illah Nourbaksh, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University and author of the recently released book<a href="http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/robot-futures-0"> Robot Futures</a>. He explained what made the drone over PNC Park different from the remote controlled toy helicopters we've seen marketed for years. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 21:21:16 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 32259 at http://wesa.fm It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A Drone...Is Pittsburgh Ready? Peduto Hosts Roundtable On Maker Movement http://wesa.fm/post/peduto-hosts-roundtable-maker-movement <p>President Barack Obama wants some advice from Pittsburgh’s “maker” community.</p><p>That’s why Mayor Bill Peduto hosted a roundtable Monday afternoon to discuss the achievements and future of the city's “Maker Movement,” which refers to using tools such as 3D printers and computer-aided designs to build everything from circuitry to jewelry.</p> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 21:55:32 +0000 Jessica Nath 30626 at http://wesa.fm CMU Spin-Off Technology Allows Research of Hippo-Infested Waters http://wesa.fm/post/cmu-spin-technology-allows-research-hippo-infested-waters <p>Technology from Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute spin-off Platypus LLC has gone where no man has gone before. Small, autonomous airboats were sent to Kenya to monitor water quality in hippo pools on the hippo-heavy Mara River. Researchers want to know how the animals are affecting water quality, but they couldn’t get into the pools to collect samples.</p> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Deanna Garcia 29753 at http://wesa.fm CMU Spin-Off Technology Allows Research of Hippo-Infested Waters Science Friday's Ira Flatow Talks Pocket Protectors and YouTube Hits http://wesa.fm/post/science-fridays-ira-flatow-talks-pocket-protectors-and-youtube-hits <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Just as it would be difficult for TV viewers to imagine Saturdays without </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Saturday Night Live</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, it would be equally challenging for public radio listeners to contemplate Fridays without </span><a href="http://sciencefriday.com/"><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Science Friday</em></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p>The weekly public radio show has engaged listeners and scientists in all things science, every Friday for the past 25 years and can be heard weekly on <a href="http://wesa.fm/programs/science-friday">90.5WESA from 2-4 PM</a>.</p><p>Founder and host, Ira Flatow&nbsp;is an award winning NPR host and science correspondent who spent six years writing for the Emmy-award-winning program <em>Newton’s Apple</em> on PBS as well as reporting on science for CBS.</p><p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 18:23:30 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 30498 at http://wesa.fm Science Friday's Ira Flatow Talks Pocket Protectors and YouTube Hits Tech Conference To Bring Developers And Operators Together http://wesa.fm/post/tech-conference-bring-developers-and-operators-together <p>Some of the brightest minds in software development and information technology (IT) will gather in Pittsburgh this week for DevOpsDays.</p><p>The international conference, started in Belgium in 2009, looks to bring tech developers (Dev) and operators (Ops) together to raise the bar on how technological advances can improve people’s lives, such as the development of cloud computing.</p><p>Event organizer Andrew Clay Shafer said the conference brings more well-deserved attention to Pittsburgh’s blossoming high-tech industry.</p> Tue, 27 May 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Michael Lynch 29619 at http://wesa.fm World Science Fair Coming To Pittsburgh Via Live Stream http://wesa.fm/post/world-science-fair-coming-pittsburgh-live-stream <p>The World Science Festival might be in New York City, but science enthusiasts can still take part without leaving Pittsburgh because Carnegie Science Center is live streaming two programs that align with its mission.</p> Mon, 26 May 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Jessica Nath 29742 at http://wesa.fm Local Students Compete at World's Largest High School Science Fair http://wesa.fm/post/local-students-compete-worlds-largest-high-school-science-fair <p>Can you use math to calm traffic and prescribe fish dinners to help patients with multiple sclerosis?</p><p>Those are just a couple of the questions being asked by some of the brightest high school students in the world at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles this week.</p><p>Approximately 1,700 young scientists and engineers from nearly 70 countries are showcasing their science and engineering projects and vying for more than $4 million in awards and scholarships.</p> Wed, 14 May 2014 09:29:37 +0000 Liz Reid 29170 at http://wesa.fm Local Students Compete at World's Largest High School Science Fair New Bio Lab To Be Open To All Pittsburghers http://wesa.fm/post/new-bio-lab-be-open-all-pittsburghers <p>Unless you're attending a university, most Pittsburghers do not have access to microscopes, pipettes, and other high-end scientific equipment — but a new lab opening this fall aims to change that.</p><p>Duquesne University and entrepreneurial group Urban Innovation 21 are constructing Pittsburgh’s first community biotechnology laboratory.</p> Tue, 13 May 2014 19:50:45 +0000 Jessica Nath 29149 at http://wesa.fm Annual DATA Event Expands to Bring More Innovative Works http://wesa.fm/post/annual-data-event-expands-bring-more-innovative-works <p>A golf ball-shaped dome that uses the light from its windows to project a reflection is only one of the many works of creative technology on display&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">at a two-day event starting Wednesday at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education Center.</span></p><p>DATA 2014, featuring an interactive exhibition, innovation conference and awards ceremony, will bring together artists, investors and innovation leaders to network and share their work.</p> Wed, 07 May 2014 11:54:15 +0000 Julian Routh 28776 at http://wesa.fm Fluffy Innovation: New CMU Printer Makes Teddy Bears http://wesa.fm/post/fluffy-innovation-new-cmu-printer-makes-teddy-bears <p>Most 3D printing technology deals only in plastic or metal, but a Carnegie Mellon University professor’s latest invention produces much softer results.</p><p>Scott Hudson, a professor in CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, collaborated with Disney Research Pittsburgh to develop a 3D printer that prints in needle felt and yarn.</p><p>“This creates things that have a very different aesthetic,” Hudson said. “A really soft aesthetic.”</p> Thu, 01 May 2014 20:57:10 +0000 Julian Routh 28471 at http://wesa.fm This CMU-Built, Trash-Talking Robot Wants To Beat You At Scrabble http://wesa.fm/post/cmu-built-trash-talking-robot-wants-beat-you-scrabble <p>Victor sits in the lounge of Carnegie Mellon University’s computer science building ready to take on anyone in a game of Scrabble.</p><p>He’s cocky, and his taunts can be heard across the room.</p><p>“Is that all you’ve got?” he shouts from behind his virtual Scrabble board.</p><p>Victor has an attitude not atypical of a 17-year-old college freshman. But here's the thing: He’s a robot.</p><p>Created by Reid Simmons, a research professor at CMU’s Robotics Institute, Victor is the latest in a series of social robots designed as a tool to study human-robot interaction.</p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Michael Lynch 26643 at http://wesa.fm This CMU-Built, Trash-Talking Robot Wants To Beat You At Scrabble New App Connects Tourists, Residents with Mount Washington Businesses http://wesa.fm/post/new-app-connects-tourists-residents-mount-washington-businesses <p>Not only does Mount Washington have a famous view -- it now has an app.</p><p>“The app is designed so that anyone coming up to Mount Washington can download it for free and very quickly find any businesses nearby, whether they’re hungry, they need an ATM, they need a gas station,” Christina Howell, the Manager of Outreach and Events at the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation (MWCDC), said.</p><p>Howell said users of “The Mt. Washington Guide” app can either type in a business’s name or search by category.</p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Jessica Nath 26580 at http://wesa.fm Researchers Conclude That For Sepsis Treatment, It's Not How Agressive, It's How Soon http://wesa.fm/post/researchers-conclude-sepsis-treatment-its-not-how-agressive-its-how-soon <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have concluded that a standardized approach to diagnosing and treating sepsis in its early stages does not affect survival rates.</span></p><p>The five-year, $8.4 million study examined 1,351 patients with septic shock in 31 hospitals across the U.S. and found no difference in treatment effectiveness.</p><p>Dr. Donald Yealy, chair of Pitt’s Department of Emergency Medicine, was one of the lead researchers in the study. He said it doesn’t matter what type of treatment a patient receives, as long as it’s early.</p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 14:36:20 +0000 Michael Lynch 25980 at http://wesa.fm Google Executive Ross LaJeunesse Visiting Pittsburgh to Discuss the Digital Age http://wesa.fm/post/google-executive-ross-lajeunesse-visiting-pittsburgh-discuss-digital-age <p>More than 2 billion people in the world have access to the Internet, but what does the future hold for the web? Will the Internet become more censored, or more open? How will the 5 billion individuals without access get connected to the web?</p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Haldan Kirsch 25446 at http://wesa.fm Google's Ross LaJeunesse on Freedom in the Digital Age http://wesa.fm/post/googles-ross-lajeunesse-freedom-digital-age <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">The internet is used globally by over 2.7 billion people. In the next decade it’s expected that 5 billion people will come online, continuing the change in how we communicate with each other, as well as who controls the internet. </span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">Google Head of Free Expression and International Relations Ross LaJeunesse</span><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">&nbsp;joined us for a discussion of freedom and power in the digital age.</span> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 20:04:14 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 25107 at http://wesa.fm Google's Ross LaJeunesse on Freedom in the Digital Age Pittsburgh's Pothole Problem May Have a Solution http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburghs-pothole-problem-may-have-solution <p>A Pennsylvania company may have invented the machine we’ve been dreaming of, to repair our potholed roadways. <a href="http://roadmixer.com/">Road Mixer</a> is an asphalt plant mounted on a truck and it could be a quick solution to fixing our streets.</p><p>So why isn’t the city of Pittsburgh using it? We posed that question to&nbsp;Darren Geesamen, project manager for the Road Mixer company.</p><p>The idea for mobile mixer trucks started many years ago. They use hot asphalt to ensure that potholes will be permanently fixed. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 22:24:22 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 24977 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh's Pothole Problem May Have a Solution Worldwide Magazine Recognizes Pittsburgh Web Studio http://wesa.fm/post/worldwide-magazine-recognizes-pittsburgh-web-studio <p>Five years was all it took for Matt Griffin and his team of web developers to step from a leaky basement in Wilkinsburg into the international spotlight.</p><p>“A quarter of the ceiling dripped water whenever it rained or snowed, so we couldn’t put any computers over there,” Griffin said, chuckling. “That’s fairly humble beginnings.”</p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 20:52:13 +0000 Julian Routh 23993 at http://wesa.fm Steel City Codefest Shows the Potential for Open Data http://wesa.fm/post/steel-city-codefest-shows-potential-open-data <p>Pittsburgh's second <a href="http://www.steelcitycodefest.org/">Steel City Codefest</a>&nbsp;is almost here. The second annual 24-hour technology competition&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">aims to create relevant and useful apps for the Pittsburgh area. </span></p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 20:34:14 +0000 Marnie Schleicher 23785 at http://wesa.fm Steel City Codefest Shows the Potential for Open Data Right to Know Law Could Be Less Important with #OpenPgh http://wesa.fm/post/right-know-law-could-be-less-important-openpgh <p>Pittsburgh plans to join 19 other American cities and counties in releasing city data for public use online. As the city works out the details of how this initiative will take shape, they’re <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/16jIQAxABoKx6FXYUFPgdy6NeQo4_R7ufKb-x4gePxNc/edit">looking for public input</a>.</p><p>Debra Lam, Mayor Peduto's pick for <a href="http://pittsburghpa.gov/mayor/executive-team/debra-lam">Chief of Innovation &amp; Performance</a> and Laura Meixell, data and analytics manager for the City of Pittsburgh, say the initial ordinance brought to city council last month is meant to change the perceptions of how Pittsburghers think about data and city disclosure of information.</p><p>“It sets the default to open.” Laura Meixell explains, “There’s a whole variety of state laws around what information is public and what isn’t, in the PA Right to Know law. And here in the city we’ve been following those rules since that legislation was enacted, but much more on the basis of, if folks asked for information we would provide it. With this [open data] legislation we’re going to&nbsp; have the chance to go ahead and be proactive, to open things up and to make things more available and useful in the short term.”</p><p>City organizations have encouraged the software community to creatively use municipal data, even before the introduction of this legislation, through <a href="http://http://steelcitycodefest.org/">Steel City Codefest</a>. Mon, 03 Feb 2014 23:05:40 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 23834 at http://wesa.fm Right to Know Law Could Be Less Important with #OpenPgh The Pitfalls of Predicting Weather a Season in Advance http://wesa.fm/post/pitfalls-predicting-weather-season-advance <p></p><p>From the earliest years of our nation’s history there have been two books published each year to guide gardeners, cooks, housekeepers and farmer’s on a range of topics, including seasonal weather.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.farmersalmanac.com/">Farmer’s Almanac</a> and the <a href="http://www.almanac.com/">Old Farmer’s Almanac</a> include long range predictions of weather in the United States. This year, both books predicted a colder than normal winter for our area. But what about the rest of the country? How accurate are the famed Almanacs, which use centuries-old<a href="http://www.farmersalmanac.com/farmers-almanac-forecasts/"> secret formulas</a> for predicting seasonal weather? Sat, 01 Feb 2014 01:05:19 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 23720 at http://wesa.fm The Pitfalls of Predicting Weather a Season in Advance