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In an effort to take advantage of expanding local government data capabilities, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, has hired Alan Howze to fill a new position — chief knowledge officer. The role merges public service, government efficiency, and transparency, several things he is passionate about, Howze said in a Facebook post.

If you feel like your smartphone has a mind of it's own, it's not just you. After years of stacking new systems on top of generations of old technology, things have become so complicated no one really understands it. 

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Doing online research is almost required in school these days, but how can you do that without a reliable way to connect to the internet? Michael Liimatta, who manages the ConnectHome initiative for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, says that with more than half of public school kids living in poverty, plenty of people who should have web access still just can't afford it.

Internet-connected water and electrical meters as well as new technology like leak detection in underground pipes means public utility providers now have huge opportunities to increase efficiency. Rolling out that new tech can not only help cut costs and head off expensive failures, but can also create new revenue streams for cities.

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We hear a lot about the challenges and benefits of the internet for musicians trying to make a buck off their music?  What's the dynamic for local bands? Is a digital presence -- songs, promotion, social media -- a bane or boon?

Guests:

gigabitcitysummit.com

As more and more cities across the United States get access to gigabit Internet, more are asking the question — what do we do with it?

And a lot of those cities turn to Kansas City for help finding the answer.

When Google announced in 2011 that it would bring super-fast internet to Kansas City, Kan., many metro residents were eager to sign up. On today’s program, a panel discusses how gigabit download speeds have changed the region in the five years since.

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The University of Kansas is taking a bold step into the fight against cybercrime. It recently announced a $4.7 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to train a new generation of cyberdefense experts who will be dedicated to public service.

Guest:

  • Bo Luo is an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at KU and the program leader of CyberCorps.

How many times have you dreamed that your workplace was anywhere but a cubicle in an office? Perhaps a beach somewhere? On this edition of Up To Date, we speak with people who have given up their permanent residence for a laptop, a passport and a travel guide.

Guests:

Cody Newill / KCUR

Kansas City area residents have joined a nationwide effort petitioning Sprint to keep offering internet for nonprofit organizations through its WiMax service.

WiMax provides low-cost, high-bandwidth internet access with no data caps through mobile hotspots. Providers Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen use the service to hook up schools and other nonprofits.

Sprint acquired WiMax along with telecommunications company Clearwire in 2013, and decided to shut down the service and migrate customers over to its LTE service instead.

Pornography is readily available and free and young people are taking advantage of that. We talk about how porn can affect their relationship expectations and where it can turn into an addiction.

Guests:

  • Dr. Wes Crenshaw is a psychologist board certified in couples and family psychology.
  • Michael Kraske is the online editor of The Harbinger at Shawnee Mission East High School, where he has written about this subject.
  • Morgan (real name withheld) is a student at UMKC.

 As the world continues to consume content in different ways, are we seeing the demise of cable TV? Some think that we've reached the end of cable — as we know it. 

Guest:

  • Michael Pandzik spent 21 years as the founding president and CEO of the National Cable Television Cooperative.
Frank Morris / KCUR

When Google Inc. selected Kansas City, Kansas, as the first recipient of its ultra-fast Internet network, the news made headlines around the country.

Yet Kansas City wasn't the first to have gigabit service. In fact, we were years behind. Before Google even announced its contest for the first city to get Google Fiber, Chattanooga, Tennessee, already had deployed its own fiber optic network.

We built it ... but will they come?

Low-income residents in Kansas City soon will have access to high-speed broadband in public housing as part of a national initiative to improve Internet access.

“I think we have a real responsibility to make sure everyone has access to the Internet and the really life-changing capabilities it can bring,” says Rick Usher, assistant city manager.

Kansas City is one of 27 cities participating in the ConnectHome Initiative, which President Obama announced Wednesday in Durant, Oklahoma.

Connecting for Good

Connecting for Good, a Kansas City-area non-profit that’s working to provide digital literacy and computer access across the metro, established a computer lab last year across from the Juniper Gardens Housing Project in Kansas City, Kansas. The organization recently added 25 computers, because the lab became so popular.

Wikipedia’s gender trouble is well-documented. Research by the Wikimedia Foundation determined that less than 15% of its contributors identify as female, which creates a great disparity in the popular online encyclopedia's content. We discuss what organizations in Kansas City and around the world are doing to fix this problem.

Guests:

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

The best way to visualize a school district’s Internet connection may be to compare it to a busy network of highways:

First, an Internet service provider, like Time Warner or Google Fiber, sends in the Internet on one big eight-lane freeway to a district’s main servers. Here, the Internet connection may meet some firewalls and content filters — think of these as tollbooths — and then, the Internet is streamed out to the district’s schools through fiber cable on what you might think of as two-lane country roads.

The DLC / Flickr / Creative Commons

Online restaurant reviews on sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon have become an integral part of the restaurant industry today. Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann explores the credibility of these user reviews. Do they change the way chefs and restaurant staff manage their business? 

You can post just about anything you want on the internet, but when it comes to e-commerce, the online world is dominated by a few major players.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we examine the corporate giants that control the online marketplace and discuss how consumers might revolt against their monopolies.

Guest: 

Kansas City was selected as the first place in the country to receive Google Fiber. Now that fiber networks have been established in the many communities in the metropolitan area, users have experienced internet connection that is 100 times faster than typical broadband speeds.

As Google Fiber and other fiber networks expand to other cities we explore how well Kansas City is capitalizing on it's head start and where it might be falling short. 

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The Kansas City Dating Scene

Feb 10, 2014

Bring on the chocolates, teddy bears and red roses, Valentine's Day is on Friday. Does the holiday make your heart sing or does it make your eyes roll? Today we talk about dating in Kansas City, which has been ranked one of the worst places to find a partner.

Guests:

Do all those reviews on sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor really matter for small businesses

What began as a lofty goal to increase access to high-speed Internet has become a reality with Google Fiber. However, questions about the methods behind implementing this service still remain.

Salman Khan thinks he's seen the future of education and it involves more student-teacher interaction, more technology, and more creativity.

Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry

Jan 16, 2013

Ten years ago, the United States stood at the forefront of the Internet revolution. With some of the fastest speeds and lowest prices in the world for high-speed Internet access, the nation was poised to be the global leader in the new knowledge-based economy.

bigstock.com

It appears that Missouri has lost more than $2 billion in revenue over the past nine years because it does not collect sales taxes on purchases made over the Internet. 

From knowyourmeme.com

The internet is a limitless source of information and has provided us a new avenue for dialog and discussion.  But, when conversations are logged in perpetuity, open to the world and never ending, do they lose relevance?

Although the Internet seems like a tangled network, there is an underlying structure that guides its development.

andrewsmcmeel.com

If you’ve ever wondered if your cat is planning to bump you off, you're not alone: The cartoonist behind the quirky web comic The Oatmeal is right there with you.

On Monday's Up to Date, Matt Inman, who also knows five good reasons to punch a dolphin in the face, joins us in the studio to discuss the unique world views of his comic strip.

favim.com

A gentle touch . . . eyes that find yours across the room . . . a lowering of the voice.  These are physical signs that can be taken as flirting in a face-to-face situation.

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