Technology

Reporting on technology in central and northern New York state.

Don McCullough / via Flickr

After several instances of small drones being spotted near New York City’s largest airport, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is becoming more concerned about safety and privacy concerns over the unmanned aircraft.

Schumer says some recent near-misses between small drones and commercial aircraft and helicopters in New York City show a need for safety and privacy regulations to be released from the Federal Aviation Administration as soon as possible.

Ars Electronica / via Flickr

There have been 1,020 small unmanned aerial vehicle flights -- what most people call drones -- in Canada this year, according to the Canadian transportation officials.

That's up from 945 in 2013 and 347 in 2012, Transport Canada reported.

"In Canada, as globally, UAV is exploding," said Joe Barnsley, an aviation attorney in Winnipeg, Canada. "It’s a huge growth area."

Meanwhile, the U.S. drone industry is simmering more than exploding. 

David Rodriguez Martin / via Flickr

The commercial drone industry says privacy advocates are unfairly targeting it when it comes to privacy and surveillance concerns.

The unmanned aerial systems industry wasn’t even expecting to have to fight over privacy when it came to the integration of drones into the national airspace.

"When the FAA bill passed, we had no idea privacy was going to be the issue de jour, of the day, for the next years to come," said Mario Mairena, who handles government relations for the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a leading industry trade group.

Marufish / via Flickr

Syracuse common councilors are adding their voice to the ongoing fight for better internet access to the City of Syracuse.

Lawmakers unanimously agreed to a resolution that encourages Verizon to apply to the Public Service Commission for a franchise agreement that would establish FiOS internet and cable service inside city limits. Right now the fiber optic system is only available in select Syracuse suburbs.

Council President Helen Hudson says that’s not right.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the first private drone flights over upstate New York as part of a national testing program.

The Northeast UAS (unmanned aerial systems) Airspace Integration Research Alliance, or NUAIR, has spent the better part of the year waiting for the FAA's approval to begin testing remotely piloted aircraft.

Central New Yorkers trying to help victims of domestic violence are happy that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that deals with the changing technology.

Vera House Executive Director Randi Bregman says the world of domestic violence and harassment has changed as technology allows people to become more plugged in.

"It used to be aggravated harassment was primarily making a phone call," Bregman explained. "Now it’s texting, Facebook messaging, email and the GPS piece."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Technological times have changed since the Tech Garden set up shop on Warren Street in Syracuse almost ten years ago.

Six months ago, the technical infrastructure at the Tech Garden was sadly lacking.

"The projection wasn’t widescreen, it wasn’t high-definition," said Seth Mulligan, Tech Garden Innovation Services vice president. "The Internet was crashing and it was slow.”

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Besides some clouds on Nov. 12, 2013, Air National Guard crew members recalled to accident investigators that it was a nice day for flying.

But it was a cold, late fall day, just below freezing on the ground at Fort Drum, where the Air National Guard launches its remotely piloted aircraft for training missions over upstate New York. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Young people today are a giving generation, according to a recent poll that shows that  75 percent of millennials donated to causes in the calendar year.  

But the tried and true charitable strategies of galas and golf tournaments often don't cross the generational divide. With this in mind, one Syracuse start-up is hoping to offer charities a chance to reach younger givers using something they relate to: social media.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Air Force's investigation into the crash of a drone aircraft into Lake Ontario last fall is nearing completion and should be made public later this spring.

Investigators from the Air Force Investigations Board wrapped up the on-site investigation at Hancock Airfield on March 20, according to 174th Air Guard Attack Wing spokeswoman Maj. Sandy Stoquert.

Investigators did not give the 174th a preliminary report or portions of its finding yet, Stoquert said.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

There's another $1 million in the recently passed state budget for upstate New York's new drone testing program, which means the site now has enough funding to get through at least its first year of operations.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

There was no federal funding attached to the Federal Aviation Administration’s designation of upstate New York as a drone research site, but the coalition that will run the testing needs money to begin operations itself.

The coalition that won the bid just before the New Year, known as NUAIR, will be based at the former Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome. The research lab there is upgrading a former hanger to house drones and equipment.

Corning Inc Gorilla Glass

Upstate glass manufacturer Corning Inc. has developed the first antimicrobial glass for our proliferating smart devices, lap tops, and TVs. The glass is more resistant to bacteria but, doubts are emerging about the benefits of antibacterial products.

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

Tuesday’s executive budget proposal address included a $10 million initiative from the Cuomo administration to create a statewide police information database.

The New York State Protection Cloud is designed to make it quicker and easier for local police departments to share information across jurisdictions.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A company has already signed on to use upstate New York's newly designated commercial drone testing site just days after the state was named as one.

The Federal Aviation Administration still has to give final approval for testing to begin, something economic and elected officials hope will happen soon.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Upstate New York winning a civilian drone testing site from the Federal Aviation Administration is a step in the wrong direction for the Syracuse Peace Council. The anti-drone activists are trying to shutdown military drone activity in the region.

On Monday, New York won one of six coveted commercial drone test sites from the FAA. On Friday, Ed Kinane and other peace activists will be a court over their protests against military drones.

Cornell University

Researchers in upstate New York have created an app that will allow users to test their cholesterol levels through a blood sample that’s analyzed directly through their smartphone.  

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Upstate New York has won a coveted test site designation for unmanned aerial systems - or drones - from the Federal Aviation Administration as part of that agency's work toward developing regulations for drones' integration into U.S. skies.

But for many here in upstate New York, the designation is more about the jobs and dollars that surround the booming drone industry, estimated to be worth $100 billion globally over the next decade. Industry trade groups predict the business will generated 70,000 jobs nationwide.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

WRVO's Ryan Delaney recently returned from a reporting trip to Kenya funded through a fellowship from the International Center for Journalists. You can find more of his reporting here.

Kenya is eyeing technology as a way to propel it into the developing world, but the digital divide remains daunting.

Ashley Hirtzel / Innovation Trail

University at Buffalo researchers are developing an underwater internet system. The wireless network aims to improve the detection of tsunamis and could potentially save lives. The deep-sea system integrates acoustic underwater networks with the Internet.

A network of acoustic sensors placed on the ocean floor collects data. That information is then sent up to a buoy on the surface, where it’s converted into radio waves.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

WRVO's Ryan Delaney recently returned from a reporting trip to Kenya funded through a fellowship from the International Center for Journalists. You can find more of his reporting here.

Along the main road between Nairobi, the capital, and Mombasa, on the coast, sits the future home of Kenya's "Silicon Savannah," but right now it’s just a regular savannah. Dry grasslands stretch on for miles, except for a fenced-in plot where a few shacks house guards ready to greet visitors.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

WRVO's Ryan Delaney recently traveled to Kenya funded through a fellowship from the International Center for Journalists. You can find more of his reporting here.

Inside an office building along the main road leading west out of downtown Nairobi, is the heart Kenya’s startup community.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

WRVO's Ryan Delaney recently traveled to Kenya funded through a fellowship from the International Center for Journalists. You can find more of his reporting here.

Trash and sewage is a common site along rutted dirt paths in Baba Dogo, one of the informal settlements, or slums, in the capital Nairobi. It all culminates in the middle of an open field.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Upstate Medical University's new Neuroscience Research Building is on the cusp of bringing brain researchers together at last. The $72 million building is an expansion at Upstate's Institute for Human Performance.

VIPs toured the block-long, five-story building this week. At this point it's a shell, full of empty labs and dark rooms. It's the $50 million worth of high tech equipment coming later this year that'll make a difference in brain research, according to Upstate's Vice President for Research Rosemary Rochford.

It’s taken 13 years, but an upstate New York company, Logical Images, has finally received a patent for the software that runs its visual diagnostic system. The tool is used by physicians to lower the rate of diagnostic errors. Though the company says the patent was vital to their commercial viability and the protection of their product, not everyone thinks software should be patentable.     

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

New York's senior senator, Charles Schumer, has formally joined the lobbying effort to see that upstate New York becomes a federally designated drone testing site.

Elerts.com

Mobile technology is driving the modernization of disaster relief and public safety response.  And, according to a recent report from the Brookings Institution, the rapid expansion of mobile devices and mobile driven data has already begun to save lives and alleviate suffering in disaster-struck communities.

Federal officials visited BAE Systems near Binghamton recently to announce $13 million in grants for fuel cell-powered mass transit. The grants went to a range of manufacturers and transit agencies across the country.

At a refurbished IBM plant in Endicott, BAE’s Sean Murphy explained the zero emissions engines that are now being made there.

“The four components are a generator, so we need to generate electricity, being an electric motor that drives it.”

NYSFair/flickr

Among the improvements to the infrastructure of the New York State Fairgrounds this year, is an upgrade of the fair's surveillance system.  New high-tech cameras are replacing an older system that will keep an eye on anyone visiting the 375 acre fairgrounds.

Phase one of the installation involves laying down the infrastructure for the new cameras and installing them in certain areas, according to Assistant Fair Director Troy Waffner.

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Two years after its enactment, a New York state law governing the recycling of electronic waste is making an impact according to a progress report.

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