1997 as seen from 1965

When technology – and time – overtake research

For the past three decades, I have been a psychological test subject. Not in a creepy NSA-and-tin-foil-hat kind of way, but as part of a long-term study designed to understand how mental abilities change as people age. Yet as time affects cognition, technology is encroaching on the study itself. The Seattle Longitudinal Study is something… Read More


Chemical computer: Researchers develop programming language to control DNA molecules

Programming languages tell computers what to do, and now researchers from the University of Washington want to do the same for scientists working with chemical reactions. In what could potentially pave the way for an advanced drug delivery system or disease detector, the UW researchers have written a programming language that can control the movement… Read More

Oren Etzioni

Going beyond Siri and Watson: Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen taps Oren Etzioni to lead new Artificial Intelligence Institute

Perhaps no one has been more synonymous with the startup ethos at the University of Washington than computer science professor Oren Etzioni, a mainstay on campus for more than two decades and an inspiration for budding entrepreneurs in academia. An expert in search, data mining and machine learning, Etzioni’s technologies have formed the basis of startup… Read More


Oregon’s top research universities form accelerator to create more startups

In an effort to spur startup growth, Oregon legislators just passed a bill that will help the University of Oregon and Oregon State University come together to pump out small companies based on research done at the schools. Senate Bill 241 will create the South Willamette Valley Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network — also known as RAIN —… Read More


Want to control a computer with your brain? Better practice

Research has already shown the potential for brain-computer interfaces and how people can control machines such as robotic limbs simply by thinking about a certain task. Now a study out of the University of Washington goes deeper and shows how the process of improving brain-computer skills is very similar to improving simple motor skills like throwing… Read More


Microsoft research: 4 habits of the multi-screen viewer

Nowadays, with all the gadgets available to us, multi-tasking with multiple devices has become a regularity. While watching the game on TV, we’ll Tweet about it on our smartphone. When shopping on our PCs, we might use a tablet to find reviews. And if we have more questions about the cast members while watching The… Read More

Paul Allen

Youth movement: Paul Allen donates $7.5 million to five up-and-coming scientists

Paul Allen is giving his money to five young scientists he thinks need a little cash to answer fundamental questions in biology. The Paul G. Allen Foundation announced today $7.5 million in funding to the second round of the Allen Distinguished Investigators, a three-year grant program that supports scientists’ research. The foundation says that these five… Read More


U.S. Census Bureau opens new research center at UW

The U.S. Census Bureau and the University of Washington today formally announced the opening of a new Census Research Data Center at the university’s College of Arts and Sciences. It becomes one of 15 Research Data Centers (RDCs) across the country, allowing researchers to dig deep into demographic, economic, public health and household surveys. “This Census Research… Read More

P-I newspaper boxes. Photo Kurt Schlosser

Many residents in state live in ‘rural information ghetto’

Researchers at Washington State University have concluded that large segments of the state are marooned in what they call a “rural information ghetto,” stuck with a lack of news coverage exacerbated by poor Internet access, bad cellular coverage and dwindling local journalism. For example, the report notes that 3.8 percent of the state’s residents do not… Read More


Chart: Who is using Twitter?

Do you use Twitter on a daily basis? If so, you are one of eight percent of Americans who do so. That’s the latest statistic from a report out by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. As you’ll see in the chart above, daily Twitter use is on the rise, from two percent… Read More

Facebook's data center in Prineville, Oregon

Data furnaces: The next big thing in home heating?

Data centers produce massive amounts of heat, so much so that companies like Facebook have gone to extreme lengths to develop innovative cooling systems to make sure that servers don’t overheat. But what if you could turn the excess heat from data centers into a home heating solution? Researchers at Microsoft and The University of… Read More


Amazon.com, Costco among the most trusted brands

Amazon.com has been taking some hits lately, with at least two congressmen arguing that the company’s new Silk browser for Kindle could violate the privacy of consumers. But that possible setback isn’t having an impact on American shoppers –at least not yet. Amazon.com ranked that the second most trusted company in a new study released… Read More


IPO window closes, raises fears among venture capitalists

Over the course of the past week, I’ve bumped into a venture capitalist and a high-tech lawyer who shared with me nearly identical information. Basically, they said things are slowing down. And now here’s more evidence of that fact. During the third quarter, just three venture-backed companies completed IPOs. That’s down 77 percent from the… Read More


UW, WSU score $80M to turn wood products into biofuels

Seattle’s biofuels industry took a big hit a few years ago when Imperium Renewables canceled its IPO, laid off staff and lost key contracts. But the biofuels industry (including Imperium) may be on the rebound. And the industry is getting a major shot in the arm today when U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announces… Read More


Intel to cook up the ‘smart kitchen’ and other inventions at new UW research center

Dieter Fox, a University of Washington associate professor of computer science and engineering, has been chosen to co-lead the new Intel Science and Technology Center on the UW campus. The robotics and artificial intelligence researcher, working alongside Intel’s Anthony LaMarca, will develop new technologies that bring computing and sensing into “everyday devices and environments.” That… Read More


Good news, IE users: Media flunked IQ test, not you

[Update, 10:50 a.m.: The people behind "AptiQuant" now admit the study was a hoax, saying it "was all meant to be a lighthearted joke." They say their real business is a comparison shopping website.] Remember all those news reports last week about a study showing users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser scoring significantly lower on IQ… Read More