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The conflict in Syria has been raging for three years now. While other Arab countries witnessed the "Arab Spring", Syria's spring hasn’t happened yet. The government is shelling territory held by rebels – the Free Syrian Army – and it's gotten so messy with other militant groups infiltrating the country, that it is a completely chaotic situation.

Some Syrians, including Syrian Americans, have lost hope in any political process to solve the crisis, and have found other ways to help their country from right here in the Bay Area.


  Note: Will Durst is a comedian and you may find some of his material offensive, or worse, not funny. His views do not necessarily reflect those of KALW.

Hey guys,

Your watch is your personal trainer. Your headband is making an action documentary of your life. Your bracelet congratulates you on your daily water intake and suggests eating more power foods. This isn’t a page from a science fiction novel, it’s the next big thing in tech: making computing less about smartphones, and more about being a smart—human. 150 people gathered in San Francisco recently to try on some technology.

Mary Willis

Dan Barbus

School districts are increasingly teaching technology as part of their regular curriculum, but the high cost of computers and tablets can hinder that effort. Last year, the federal government pitched in to help some schools out. Hundreds of school districts participated in the Race to the Top program, which is awarding major technology education funding to three school districts in California. One is in the Bay Area, Haven Unified, which serves Union City, in Alameda County.




Before Chatroulette, there was ham radio

Aug 2, 2012

As you read this, a dead language is flying through the air all around you -- at least, it’s dead for most official uses. It’s the Morse code, a binary digital system that dates back to the 1850s. Among its primary users today are amateur radio operators, better known as hams. I am one of these and am proud to say I’m fluent in Morse. I was texting way, way before it was cool.

Ham radio is a pastime dating back more than a century. Hobbyists built transmitting and receiving equipment long before radio stations, such as KALW, went on the air.

On today's Your Call we’ll rebroadcast a conversation we had with Jason Benlevi, author of “Too Much Magic: Pulling the Plug on the Cult of Tech; Secrets they won’t tell you about your digital life.”  Benlevi writes “those who are in the business of providing the technology and services will serve their own agenda (money and power) before they will serve yours.”  Do you have concerns about who controls your digital technology?  Is concentrated control over technology affecting our democracy?  It’s Your Call with Rose Aguilar, and you.


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The Silicon Valley company Benetech’s motto is “Technology serving humanity.” It’s a different type of tech venture. It measures its success not in dollars, but by service to society and the environment. The man who founded Benetech is Jim Fruchterman, a former rocket scientist turned pioneer in this field called “social technology.” He was named a Macarthur Fellow, a “genius,” for his work. Fruchterman came by spoke with KALW’s Hana Baba about why he chose social good over monetary profit.

On today's Your Call, we’ll talk about the role of women in computer technology.  The proportion of undergraduate Computer Science degrees received by women in the US declined from 37% in 1985 to 22% in 2005.  Are women more afraid of technology?  Is it affecting their job prospects?  How are women innovating with computer science?  What would it take for more to get involved?  Join us at 10 or email  Who are the women in the computer world that you admire?  It’s Your Call with Holly Kernan, and you.