Technology

American Underground
www.americanunderground.com

African-American startup companies are vying for a coveted spot in Durham's Black Founders event.

Durham-based American Underground, along with the Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange Program, is organizing the week-long event later this year as a way to encourage diverse business startups, according to Jessica Averhart, American Underground's Director of Corporate Partnerships. 

Aminatou Sow

Note: This program is a rebroadcast.

About five years ago, Aminatou Sow was working for a technology company in Washington D.C. and came across an article detailing how few women work in tech. The statistic did not match her personal experience as she knew of a number of women working in tech-related fields, from NASA to the National Security Agency.

As technology advances, certain jobs will be lost to machines and automation in the future. Some fast food restaurants are already using more self-serve kiosks instead of cashiers.
Beau Giles / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina is home to a growing number of startup companies that are trying to stay ahead of today's constant need for innovation.

The upside of that innovation is business opportunity. Cities and states across this region are redirecting investments to try and claim the title of Silicon Valley of the South. 

A picture of a patient and a doctor meeting over a web connection.
Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems employees can now make appointments at the tech company's private medical practice in the Research Triangle Park.

The new LifeConnections Health Center offers medical, mental, vision, telehealth and holistic care, and an in-house gym. It replaces a smaller telehealth-only clinic on the grounds. RTP is the third of Cisco's LifeConnections Centers. This facility will serve about 5,000 employees and their families.

Laws Against Revenge Porn

May 8, 2015
North Carolina may join 16 states criminalizing "revenge porn."
Pixbay.com

North Carolina lawmakers are considering legislation to criminalize revenge porn- the distribution of sexually explicit images without the subject's consent.

The proposal would make it a felony to distribute certain kinds of revenge porn, also called nonconsensual pornography. Sixteen other states have criminalized revenge porn, but not all the laws are created equal, according to University of Miami law professor Mary Anne Franks

AOL founder Steve Case
Robert Scoble / Wikimedia Commons

Nearly two-thirds of the nation's venture capital goes to three states: New York, Massachusetts and California. 

But innovative ideas are not limited to these areas. Start-ups across the country are developing new solutions and a competition called Rise of the Rest seeks to reward these entrepreneurs. Local businesses compete for $100,000 today at the Carolina Theater in Durham at 3 p.m. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with venture capitalist, AOL co-founder and Rise of the Rest leader Steve Case.

In addition to taking on education initiatives, PAGE encourages girls to produce photography and digital stories.
Madison County Photo Exhibition / carolinapage.org

Rural communities in western North Carolina are in the midst of an economic shift.

The rise and fall of the family farm means places like Madison County are looking for new ways to support themselves. The answer could be in the tech industry. But technology businesses rely on a steady stream of well-educated workers. 

A panel discussion tonight at Duke University, "Rethinking Appalachia," examines ways to develop a high-tech workforce in rural Appalachia.

Native Appropriations And New Media

Mar 31, 2015
Adrienne Keene is the Cherokee writer behind Native Appropriations.
Matika Wilbur

Washington's NFL team made headlines last year but not because of their record.

The name, offensive to many, became the subject of public debate. Native communities used social media to make their voices heard on the mascot debate and other important issues.

CJ Scarlet

CJ Scarlet is an entrepreneur who believes that technology can curb violence. She founded the company 10 for Humanity that aims to use emerging technology to reduce acts of crime and violence by 10 percent in the next decade, starting with the Tiger Eye Sensor, a wearable personal security device that will record video footage and call the police when a wearer yells “help.”  

A laser beam is projected from the Keck II telescope in Hawaii.
Paul Hirst / Creative Commons

This week, Duke University is hosting a conference with the world's foremost experts in light-based technologies.

The science of photonics studies how light interacts with matter. Fiber optic cable and lasers are two goods that were developed through photonics.

Janna Register is an organizer of this week's symposium at Duke’s Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics.

Mary-Dell Chilton is a pioneer in the field of agricultural biotechnology. As a young scientist at Washington University, she led the team of researchers that produced the first genetically-modified plant. Chilton moved to North Carolina in the early 1980s to begin her corporate career and has continued to conduct research that shapes the agricultural production of corn, cotton, and other crops.

Teens can't control impulses and make rapid, smart decisions like adults can — but why?

Research into how the human brain develops helps explain. In a teenager, the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls decision-making, is built but not fully insulated — so signals move slowly.

"Teenagers are not as readily able to access their frontal lobe to say, 'Oh, I better not do this,' " Dr. Frances Jensen tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Google Fiber is officially coming to North Carolina. The news was announced Tuesday in Raleigh. Charlotte, and Raleigh-Durham will both benefit from the service.

The last thing my 11-year-old does before she goes to sleep is put her iPod on the nightstand. And that could mean less sleep for her, researchers say.

There's plenty of evidence that children who have televisions in their rooms get less sleep. This is one of the first studies to look at whether having a small screen like an iPod or smartphone in the room also affects rest.

Photo of Former State of Things Producer Meghan Modafferi and Producer Anita Rao try out sitting on the other side of the glass in "host attire" on Meghan's last day.
Jorge Valencia

As 2014 comes to a close, The State of Things producer Anita Rao takes a look back at some of her favorite segments from the show this year. 

Teachers and students say the new case (similar to an OtterBox) is part of the reason fewer tablets are breaking.
Jeff Tiberii

Students in Guilford County have tablet computers...again. The federally funded initiative first began in August of 2013, but school officials suspended the program weeks later after more than 10-percent of the devices broke. Now, middle school students have tablets from a different manufacturer.

At Jamestown Middle School several students surround a table in the media center. Their necks careen downward and their fingers move comfortably across glass screens. These tablets have games in math, social studies and science.

Pat Nathan

  

As a chemist in the 1970s, Pat Nathan was quite often the only woman in the room.

She remained one of the only women in the room as she rose through the rankings at the Dell computer company during the dot-com bubble. She entered the industry at a time when it was grappling with how to dispose of computer waste responsibly.

Image of Duke Professor Missy Cummings, drone advocate and expert.
Missy Cummings

  

Although the word drone may at first evoke an image of a stealth killing machine, the work of Mary 'Missy' Cummings proves drones are much more than that initial thought. 

A look at some of the Apple Health apps that are part of the HealthKit bundle.
Apple.com

Duke University Hospital is testing a new Apple product called HealthKit. The feature was announced as part of Apple's new operating system last week.

It allows users to share personal health data, like blood pressure or workout times, between apps. The trial with Duke University is an attempt to connect that personal health data with the hospital's records system.

HCL Logo
HCL Technologies

A $5 billion global tech company announced today that it's expanding its operations in Wake County.  Now, the company plans to create more than 1,237 new jobs in Cary.

HCL Technologies is an India-based information technology company. They cover a huge range of services, from equipment manufacturing to airline transport logistics, to energy utility billing.

Rajiv Sodhi is the chief workforce competitive officer at HCL. He says they were looking for a place to centralize service for customers on the east coast.

Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?

Aug 28, 2014

Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Fiber Optics
Michel Tronchetti

Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Winston-Salem have signed on to an agreement with AT&T for high-speed fiber optic Internet service. The service operates at one gigabit per second, which translates to 25 song downloads per second. Still can't wrap your head around the incredible speed of fiber? Check out this video that uses water to demonstrate.

This ultra-fast Internet service is not new everywhere in the state. The cities of Wilson and Salisbury started working on their own fiber systems years ago. That was before a 2011 state law restricted municipalities from building publicly-owned broadband networks. 

Michelle Lewis

In the last few years, Chase Lewis has patented two life-saving inventions, been a finalist in five national science competitions, and earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Silver Award. Oh, and he’s only 14 years old.

Lewis, who is homeschooled, has long been interested in science and inventions.

“My grandfather was an aeronautical physicist who worked on the Apollo program,” Lewis said. “I’ve gotten to spend some time with him, and we talk about science and inventions all the time.”

Kerry Crocker

Many people tote smartphones around all day. But what is the nature of the relationship to smartphones and how do they change the perception of reality?

Erika
Doug Coombe / Moogfest

Erika Sherman was a preteen when she started running an early BBS or electronic Bulletin Board System from her bedroom. When she was 17, she received a drum machine and was invited to join the Detroit techno group, Ectomorph. Erika was a born technophile. Today, Erika performs primarily as a solo artist; she released her first solo album, Hexagon Cloud, last year. She also founded erika.net, a freeform internet radio station. 

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