Up To Date
8:03 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Kansas City Entrepreneurs Make Wearable Tech For Women, Pets

The last wave of smart watches may have under whelmed, but the future of wearable technology may be geared towards smaller, more personal devices with specific tasks.
Credit Flicker-CC

From FitBits to Smart watches and Google Glass, tech developers want to incorporate their products into our everyday uniforms. But as the makers of Google Glass found out in January, creating wearable technology that people actually want to use is harder than they they thought. 

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Arts & Culture
9:55 am
Thu February 5, 2015

The Nelson-Atkins Museum Gears Up For Big Data To Shape Visitor Experiences

Julián Zugazagoitia is the director and CEO of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Big Data – it’s a catch phrase these days. But museums in cities across the country, from New York to Dallas to Cleveland, are taking cues from corporations and shopping malls, and collecting data to track visitor behavior. It’s starting to shape what’s on view.

In December, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art hired Doug Allen as its first chief information officer, to help analyze data and map a technology strategy.

"Technology will allow us to enrich the experience of a visit, and also allow for a pre-visit," says director and CEO Julián Zugazagoitia.

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Central Standard
5:11 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

The Future Of Television Commercials In A Digital World

The Super Bowl is a national celebration of football... and advertising. For one day a year, we all gather around our television screens to watch commercials so we can partake in the sport of reviewing them the next morning. But is this still a relevant platform for advertising? Local ad experts weigh in.


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Up to Date
3:24 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Surveying the Battlefield Of Technology Titans

  When it comes to personal technology in America, Google and Apple are locked in a battle of the titans for supremacy. We take a look at that fierce competition, and the risks each is willing to take, in their quest to be on top.


  • Fred Vogelstein, author of Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution

HEAR MORE: Fred Vogelstein speaks at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Central branch of the Kansas City Public Library.

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10:36 am
Sun January 25, 2015

Kansas City Students Put Hand-Crafted Robots To The Test At FIRST Tech Challenge

Student built robots attempt to capture wiffle balls and put them in tall bins at the FIRST Tech Challenge qualifier.
Cody Newill KCUR

Nearly 500 students from the Kansas City metro area competed in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST, Tech Challenge qualifier Saturday. 

Thirty-seven teams of middle and high school students filled UMKC's Swinney Recreation Center. Each team brought a small remote-controlled robot to roll around small arenas. The students guided their robots to try to collect Wiffle balls and place them in tall bins.

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Central Standard
2:19 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

The Future Is Now: How 2015 Stacks Up Against Predictions

We don't have flying cars, and futurists guess we never will. That's an infrastructure thing. On the other hand, leaps in communication technology have changed our lives in ways that surpass most of our wildest dreams. How does the 2015 we are living in compare to the 2015 visited by Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part II? Up next: Blade Runner, 2019.


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Up To Date
2:11 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Planned Use For Drone At University Of Missouri

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) hovers over a cornfield.

In the Middle East the U.S. military has used drones with great effect.  More properly called UAS or UAV for Unmanned Aerial Systems or Vehicle, their use on American soil for more peaceful purposes have been a source of controversy.

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Central Standard
3:56 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Introducing Audiofiles: Central Standard's Podcast Review Show

Through podcasts, listeners curate audio experiences. Our experts provide lots of listening material to choose from.
Credit Carolyn Williams, Flickr

A whole podcast genre has developed around devices that put giant sound libraries inside people's pockets. Podcast-lovers enjoy the "headspace you can crawl into when you're listening to incredible radio," says audio-whiz Andrea Silenzi. "You kind of travel to this other space with a podcast." Our guests debate the hugely popular Serial, and discuss their top recommendations for podcast listening.

Audiofiles Recommend:

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1:01 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Wristwatch Store In Parkville Shows Even Older 'Wearables' Are Still In Style

Jim Summers has been a watchmaker for 55 years. He has such a large collection of watches that he doesn't even know how many he owns. He shows off the watch he's wearing today, a 1970s Seiko Skindivers watch.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

One of the latest trends in fashion and technology is based on a very old technology.

Even as cellphone manufacturers and other tech companies are trying to pack every possible gadget into a "wearable" device, some people, young and old, are opting to wear old-fashioned wristwatches.

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Central Standard
9:54 am
Thu December 4, 2014

The Return Of The Wristwatch

Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Watches are about more than telling the time these days. They can monitor your body, connect to the internet, and play music. Techies at Garmin in Olathe, Kan., are busy re-inventing the wristwatch of the 21st century, while old-school techies are dedicated to keeping vintage timepieces ticking. 


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Central Standard
4:09 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Technology And Relationships: Can More Communication Be Less?

There's a silence in the conversation. Does your hand start inching involuntarily toward your phone? The speed and easy access of communication technology has changed the way we relate: to each other, our surroundings, ourselves, and our time. But as we communicate more quickly and more often, are the bonds we forge any stronger?


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Central Standard
11:20 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Turning Kansas City Into A "Smart" City

Technology is all around us, and it's extending into the fabric of our cities as well. Kansas City, Mo., currently has a letter of intent with Cisco to explore the feasibility of implementing a "smart city" framework. Some are calling Kansas City a potential "laboratory" for the smart city concept. What does that mean, and how can we expect it play out in the day-to-day lives of Kansas Citians? 


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Central Standard
4:40 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

The Variable Of Race In Online Dating

Online dating has opened up new ways to make first impressions. What happens after that depends as much as ever on the whims of chemistry and compatibility. But what informs that first impression? OK Cupid's Christian Rudder has mined his site's data and concluded that race has more to do with it than most of us acknowledge.


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Up To Date
3:06 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Technology Gives Us 'Enchanted Objects'


Traveling via teleportation. Umbrellas, trash cans, wallets, and cars that communicate with us. Pill bottles that pester us until we take our medication, and credit cards that monitor our exercise and reward us monetarily.

In this broadcast of Up to Date, we look at the impact of technology on things we use everyday. Steve Kraske explores the power and connectivity of these "enchanted objects" with entrepreneur and MIT instructor David Rose.


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11:35 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Kansas Bitcoin Company Shut Down For Allegedly Taking Millions From Customers

Leawood, Kan., based company Butterfly Labs was recently shut down by the FTC for failing to deliver Bitcoin mining equipment on time.
Credit BTC Keychain / Flickr-CC

A federal commission has shut down Leawood, Kan., based company Butterfly Labs Inc., for failing to deliver high-powered Bitcoin mining equipment to customers on time. 

The Kansas City Business Journal reports that the Federal Trade Commission believes Butterfly Labs took between $20 million and $50 million in specially designed computer orders from customers. Many of those orders didn't get delivered on time, or at all. 

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Up to Date
11:52 am
Mon August 11, 2014

TEDxKC: From Fission To Fusion

Michel Laberge hopes to make it possible for solar energy to power the grid.

The idea of nuclear power is nothing new, but the traditional method of producing it by fission is being challenged by the safer and greener process of fusion.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk with the founder of an energy company making a fusion prototype to supply commercially-viable and competitive power generation.


  • Dr. Michel Laberge, founder and chief scientist at General Fusion
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Up to Date
11:37 am
Mon August 11, 2014

TEDxKC: Making Hitchhiking A Real Method Of Transport

CarmaHop seeks to increase hitchhiking to make car transportation more efficient.
Credit CarmaHop / Facebook

Next time you drive, look to your right, then in the back. Are your passenger seats empty? You may be alone in your car, but you're not the only one in this situation.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk with TEDxKC presenter Jenny O'Brien about why she's advocating hitchhiking as a way to fill those seats and make our transportation more efficient.


  • Jenny O'Brien, community manager for CarmaHop
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Harvest Public Media
8:21 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Drone To Fly Over Livestock Operations And 'Ag-Gag' Laws

Using unmanned aerial vehicles is a controversial practice, whether to scout farmland or to skirt laws outlawing the filming of farms.
Credit Lima Pix / Flickr--CC

An independent journalist says he’s found a way around the so-called “ag-gag” laws – flying drones over large livestock operations to document animal welfare problems and pollution.

Will Potter, a Washington D.C.-based environmental blogger, raised $75,000 on Kickstarter to buy drones and other equipment to do investigative work tracking animal abuse and pollution problems on large livestock operations.

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Central Standard
11:42 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Balloon Launch Combines Space Exploration And A Treasure Hunt

Volunteers keep the balloon steady as Paul Verhage prepares for launch.
Credit Christina Lieffring

For Bill Brown, the “father” of high altitude ballooning, it all started when he saw a documentary of a man who parachuted from 100,000 feet above ground.

“The description he gave of being able to see for hundreds of miles in all directions and see the blackness of space and the curve of the earth … I wanted to see that for myself,” he said. “Some people strapped a bunch of balloons to a lawn chair, but that seemed a little risky, so I decided to come up with a camera and a small video camera to put up in a small weather balloon.”

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Central Standard
4:39 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Photographer Captures Landscapes From Near Space

This weekend, 'near space explorers' will be gathering  in Hutchinson, Kan. for the annual Great Plains Super Launch.  They are hobbyists who launch weather balloons and track their progress using GPS or HAM radio.

On Thursday's Central Standard, we talk with participant John Flaig who uses these balloons to take dramatic photographs from the upper reaches of the atmosphere.


John Flaig, near space photographer

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Up To Date
11:44 am
Fri May 23, 2014

The Best Travel Apps For Your Summer Excursions

No matter where we go, our smartphones are a constant presence. Steve Kraske gets some good travel app recommendations on Friday's 'Up to Date.'
Credit David Goehring / Flickr-CC

The summer months are fast approaching, which means summer vacations are too. Whether you're taking a day trip or an international excursion, travel apps can take some of the burdens of planning, booking, even packing, off your shoulders.

In the first half of Friday's Up to Date, guest Dustin Jacobsen joins Steve Kraske with his recommendations for travel apps to help with everything from currency conversion to finding good hotel deals.


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Up to Date
9:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Navigating Without A Technical Crutch

John Huth is the author of 'The Lost Art of Finding Our Way.'

When you get in your car, do you turn on your GPS? What would you do if it didn’t work?

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we take a look at the lost art of navigating, based on experience and innate directional sense, and not blindly following Siri’s instructions as you turn each corner.


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Central Standard
12:22 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Artificial Intelligence In The Palm Of Your Hand

Credit Biswarup Ganguly / Wikimedia Commons

This week, innovators in mobile technology descend upon Kansas City for the Mobile Midwest conference hosted by Kansas City IT Professionals (KCITP.) Among them is Raj Singh, the developer of a mobile calendar application that goes beyond storing and retrieving scheduling information. This application is actually designed to help you make your appointments, arrive at meeting places and in some cases, communicate with your colleagues to let them know you're running late.

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1:07 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Making 'Tinkering' An Art

Karen Wilkinson is the co-author of The Art of Tinkering.

"Tinkering" might conjure up images of a garage workshop or someone just puttering around, but a new book is putting a different spin on the term.

On Friday's Up to Date, author Karen Wilkinson joins us to discuss what she calls "the art of tinkering" and some of the creative ways anyone can become a tinkerer.


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Up to Date
12:55 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Tech-Savvy Students Contend In Local Robotics Competition

High school students will put their robots up for competition this weekend.
Credit North Charleston / Flickr-CC

It seems like we depend on machines for nearly everything we do, and a whole new breed of mechanical wonders is invading Kansas City this weekend for the 2014 KC Regional First Robotics Competition. 

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about the competition that's attracting more than a thousand high school students who have designed their own robots.


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Business & Tech
9:50 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Kansas On Bloomberg's List Of Most Innovative States

Kansas, in all its prairie glory, ranks among Bloomberg's most innovative states.
Credit Roy Montgomery / Flickr--CC

Kansas is among the most innovative states in the nation, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The state came in 18th out of 20.

States were ranked on the number of STEM professionals in the state, science and technology degree holders, percentage of utility patents and a three-year analysis of productivity change, among other things. 

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1:25 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

How You Filled In The Blank: You Know You’re A KC Techie When …

You know you’re a Kansas City techie when “@KCUR wants to know.”

That’s how Kansas City Startup Village (Twitter: @KCSV) filled in the blank on Twitter when we asked our listeners and followers on social media to complete this sentence: You know you’re a Kansas City techie when …

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KC Currents
5:33 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Should Entertainment Venues Encourage Cell Phone Use?

Credit Jgoge / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Should entertainment venues, like theaters, sports arenas and music halls allow smartphone use?

More than 56 percent of Americans own smartphones and many use them at events like concerts and movies, or at least try to.

Rather than discourage or prevent their use, some venues in Kansas City are trying to take advantage of the new connectivity.

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Up to Date
10:50 am
Wed November 13, 2013

How Smartphone Videos Aid Investigators

Advances in technology mean much more footage of public events is available today than in 1963.
Credit PaulSteinJC/Flickr-CC

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, the Zapruder film provided investigators with key evidence of the shooting. Fifty years later, crime scene investigation has evolved into a complex science, and now, with smartphones, and other mobile devices, video footage of events is readily available to assist investigators in solving crimes.

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Central Standard
6:14 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

App Development In Kansas City

Credit / Flickr - CC

Imagine you go to the doctor's office, and instead of being handed a clipboard with the usual paperwork, they hand you a tablet. You fill in all of the information digitally and send it via the tablet to their office database. Then, with that same tablet, you have a list of digital magazines to browse instead of making a trip to the magazine stand. Suddenly, the paper trail you used to leave during your doctor's visit has been made completely digital. With new app technology, this could become the norm in many business settings.

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