Category Archives: Consumer

Is Progress Outpacing Precaution? Experts Weigh In

Illustration by An Arres.

No one expects the machinery of progress to roll backwards, but sometimes it seems that no one is watching the speedometer (or manning the brakes, assuming any exist).  Is this a fair assessment? If so, should we be worried — and what can we do about it?

In this feature, experts on technology, risk, science, policy and neuroscience discuss risk, innovation and how our values affect our conceptions of both.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Experts Weigh the Risks of Innovation

The Foggy Future of Refrigerants

Freon tanks await recycling. Image courtesy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Stable, nontoxic refrigerants changed the world, transforming food storage, expanding Sun Belt populations, even helping early movie theaters succeed. But they also wrecked the ozone layer — Earth’s shield against harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Today, as stockpiles dwindle — and prices rise — due to phase-outs set by the Montreal Protocols 30 years ago,  the future of Freon and its successors remains in doubt.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
As Stockpiles Dwindle, Freon Prices Rise

Beneath Downtown Phoenix, More Hohokam Finds

Photo courtesy City of Phoenix.

Archaeologists have uncovered more remains of a Hohokam settlement at the site of the next CityScape development in downtown Phoenix.

The site sits in the heart of downtown, near Chase Field and Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Hohokam Farm Found On Site of Future Phoenix Fry’s

Amazon’s Alexa is Belle of the CES 2017 Ball

You can do better. Photo by kirillt.

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas brought another bumper crop of tech for geeks and gearheads alike.

As usual, this year’s show was more about evolution than revolution. That, and the proliferation of sensors in everything from hairbrushes to toothbrushes. But one technology was clearly the belle of the geek prom: Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Amazon’s Alexa Shines At CES 2017

Found in Translation: The Risks and Rewards of Video Game Localization

Video game localization has come a long way since a sub-par port of Zero Wing gave us the classic “All Your Base are Belong to Us” meme. As  game companies have gone international, and as their products have ballooned from small-batch text-and-sprite diversions to interactive blockbusters, the industry that makes those games accessible to other cultures has done its best to keep pace – despite too often being treated as an afterthought by game companies .

Find out how this process has evolved from basic text translation to fully embrace cultural norms, preferences and taboos as I explain …

How Video Game Localization Works