technology

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Many people who live in urban areas take high-speed internet for granted. But in parts of rural Wisconsin, internet service is slow or unreliable. 

State and federal lawmakers are working to expand broadband access. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson held a couple of meetings in Milwaukee on Monday to discuss the issue and search for answers.

Aprelle Rawski of Rhinelander is a typical, frustrated computer user. "It's just unbelievable. You're constantly being kicked out of your computer, no matter what you do. It just says: 'Internet Explorer stopped working. Goodbye.'"

AnnElise Henzl WUWM

For the last couple of months, people arriving to and departing from Milwaukee County's jail have had their eyes scanned. That's in addition to having their fingerprints taken during the booking process.

Commander Aaron Dobson says the scans are an extra step to ensure proper identification. "No two people have the same iris."

Dobson and his staff showed the scanning devices to the media last week. The scanners are about the size of a digital camera. They're hooked up to a computer, which checks the image of a person's iris against others in a national database.

Courtesy of MIAD

The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design has a long history of connecting art students with industry. MIAD's signature program is the industrial design major, whose students have gone on to work for everyplace from GE Healthcare to Johnson Controls and companies around the world.

Christine Carr is about to graduate with a degree in industrial design, and her senior thesis features two projects that have one key inspiration in common: Carr’s six-year-old daughter, Lilly who has autism and is nonverbal.

MealSteals

With the abundance of Yelp - and other - reviews on the Internet, it can take a lot of time and research to figure out where to grab Sunday brunch or drinks with friends. 

A new app created by Milwaukeeans Ben Bourgeois and Brian Kopp, aims to make this dining decision-making process easier. Called “MealSteals,” the app points users to local restaurants and bars based on their current discount offerings. 

iconimage / Fotolia

Every time you post to Twitter or Facebook, these sites are collecting data about you. At this point you ought to expect that by participating in social media sites, you’re giving up some of your privacy. It’s just the name of the game.

Some see big data from social media sites as a god send for researchers - a perfect way to study social habits with huge numbers of people. But what happens when that data with your personal details still attached is published for a study, for the world to see?

BestForYou / Fotolia

The holidays are often a time for giving and receiving long-awaited gifts. How many times has a plea for something new ended with, “Well, if you’re good, maybe Santa will bring it?” So it’s no wonder that many teens are hoping December will bring a new cell phone, table, or even a gaming system. But as the capabilities of these devices has increased, so too has the need to set some boundaries around these connected gadgets.

Jandrie Lombard / Fotolia

In today’s technology-immersed world, how much technology is too much for a growing child? Outside of the computers and tablets they may use in school, much of a typical kid’s social or entertainment time these days might be of the electronic variety.

Sergey Nivens / Fotolia

Smartphones are everywhere in our lives today. It often takes an extraordinary set of circumstances for us not to be connected in multiple ways with the wider world, whether we're checking our email on an airplane or surfing the web before shutting off the light and going to sleep.

Susan Bence

For decades at this time each summer, Wisconsin farmers have gathered to talk technology. Wisconsin Farm Technology Days began back in 1954 with a simple hay baling contest in Waupaca County.

This week a farmer south of Geneva Lake hosted.

Kyle Scott came to check it out. He works for a crop farmer northeast of here. He and his wife also farm their own five-acre parcel.

Michelle Maternowski

Strong internet connections can play a huge role these days in the economic viability of an area.  As growing numbers of devices and systems are being connected to the internet, cities across the country are looking to keep up with what’s called the Internet of Things, or IOT. Milwaukee is no different.

The city is in the early stages of examining what it means to be a "Smart City," or a city that uses technology and the internet to enhance performance.

The City of Milwaukee is ready using smart technology connected to the internet to improve lives and services.

Courtesy of ONKÖL

What would you do without the internet? These days, it’s probably hard to imagine being unconnected, right? Well, it might only be the beginning. Depending on the study, it’s estimated that by the year 2020, up to 100 billion devices could be connected to the internet. The movement is called the “Internet of Things” and  some local companies are part of the wave.

The general concept behind the Internet of Things, or IoT, is pretty basic.

The Johnson Controls name is one of the most iconic brands in Milwaukee today. Their products, high-tech batteries and temperature regulators like thermostats, are leaders in their industries. But if things had gone differently, the company could have been just as well-known in a different industry.

Today employees at Johnson Controls headquarters in Glendale pass a little piece of that history every day as they walk one of the corridors on the campus: a 1910 Johnson Empress sedan. 

Kaspars Grinvalds / Fotolia

There are probably still a few cars on the road that have only a radio, or perhaps even a cassette deck. However nowadays, it's kind of a throwback to even find a CD player in some newer models.

Electronics are a huge deal in the cars of the 21st century, from the way the engines themselves are controlled, to how drivers and passengers are kept safe and how they’re entertained.

Morgan / Flickr

The White House issued its first-ever college scorecard this week.  It’s a website designed to help people compare costs and offerings across all the public and private colleges and universities in the country.  It’s a tool that its designers hope will be useful in connecting schools with their future students.

Penguin Random House

Computers today are doing things that we thought were impossible, even just a few years ago.  They're doing everything from study legal briefs to driving cars, to vacuuming the house.  And that has society edging toward a tipping point.

"We've reached a point where the technology is now so advanced that it is eliminating jobs faster than it's creating new ones. That has never happened before," says Fortune magazine's senior editor at large Geoff Colvin

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