technology

Under CC license from Flickr user Beatrice Murch

In San Francisco’s Richmond District, where Geary Boulevard meets Park Presidio, there stands a bright, white, defunct Christian Science church. There are big white columns out front, with pink steps leading up to iron double doors.

But, what goes on inside this church is not quite what you’d expect.

  Sandip Roy tries to call his mother, but it proves to be more challenging than one would expect.

City Visions: Can Tech Be a Force for Good?

Aug 12, 2014

August 18, 2014:  City Visions' guest host Victoria Thorp talks with leaders who are drawing on tech knowledge to solve key problems in San Francisco and across the country:

Catherine Bracy from Code for America

Clara Brenner from Tumml

Rose Broome from Hand Up

Jake Solomon from Code for America

Produced by Victoria Thorp

This week on KALW's showcase for the best in public radio podcasts . . .

One with Farai "Hacking Race & Technology" Technologist Kimberly Bryant talks with Farai about why she founded the nonprofit Black Girls Code.

Your Call: Is coding the new literacy?

Jul 30, 2014

  

 

 

On the July 30th, 2014 edition of Your Call, we're talking about what skills are necessary for success in the digital age. The Department of Labor predicts that there will be 1.2 million new computer-science related jobs by 2022, but fewer computer science majors are graduating today compared to the 1980's. Is coding the key to securing a good paying job? If so, how can we make it accessible to all? How are organizations reaching out to underserved communities? Join us on the next Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

http://www6.sfgov.org/index.aspx?page=246

At the corner of Sanchez and Market, Jason Dorn pulls out an iPhone. He’s at one end point of the access area for San Francisco Free WiFi, a free wireless network that the city launched this past December. It spans Market Street, from Castro Street to the Embarcadero.

When you’re trying to figure out a piece of information online, your search will typically bring you to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia about practically everything.

But, what if you wanted to know something about Oakland – like why 880 is also called the Nimitz freeway – there’s another place you might land: Oakland Wiki.

Back in 1992, toy company Mattel nearly had to recall its “Teen Talk” Barbie. Women’s groups protested the doll’s use of the phrase “Math class is tough.” They called it out for indirectly perpetuating a harmful stereotype-- that boys and men are better at math than girls and women. Research -- especially over the last 10 years -- has shown there is no innate difference in math ability between males and females. And yet the stereotype persists. Women earn 43% of all college math degrees, yet their presence is scarce in the higher echelons of mathematics.

There’s a statue at the Letterman Digital Arts center in San Francisco’s Presidio depicting a classically handsome man. He’s holding some rolled-up papers in one hand, and gazing at something that looks like an overly large, oddly shaped light bulb, which he holds in the other. At his side is a box that most everyone will recognize as an early television.

Womens Audio Mission


Picture a scientist in a white lab coat holding a test tube up to the light. Or a brilliant computer geek hunched over a keyboard. These are stereotypes we associate with STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. But there are a lot of industries involving STEM skills that don’t fit those stereotypes.

KALW's Ashleyanne Krigbaum

Groups like Open Oakland and Code for America want to help improve digital efficiency in the city, and now, a new government office is joining that effort. This past January, Bryan Sastokas became Oakland’s first Chief Information Officer (CIO). He has held the role in two cities previously, most recently Modesto. He oversees all things tech in city government, and it is his job to figure out how technology can solve communication breakdowns between residents and City Hall, or within the network of city departments. 

It’s a Tuesday evening in Oakland’s City Hall. A group of people ranging in age from their 20s to 50s are sitting, many in front of their laptops. This is an Open Oakland hacking meeting. Though a lot of jargon is thrown around, some of the people here have no tech backgrounds at all, including Anna Mathai.

  

Flickr user Public Citizen

 

Trade representatives from twelve countries have been discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership for four years. They’re discussing removing tariffs, protecting the environment, and stopping the piracy of copyrighted  material - all in the name of freer international trade.

Not much is known about what’s in this agreement, but based on what’s been leaked, here’s what we think we know about a couple of key components that will affect Californians: cows and computers.

On the farm

 

While some high-profile women--like Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook, or Marissa Meyer at Yahoo--have made it to the top of the tech world, few women are waiting to succeed them. In 2010, women earned JUST 18% of computer science degrees. And while women are the main users of online social networking and e-commerce, most leaders of these companies are men.

Five Percent Movement via www.fivemovement.org

 

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 http://www.flickr.com/photos/utnapistim/73429019/

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.

Guest:

Photo courtesy of http://www.benetech.org/about/

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 feedback@yourcallradio.org.  Who are the women in the computer world that you admire?  It’s Your Call with Holly Kernan, and you.

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