Focus

WILL - Focus - April 15, 2013

Blue Waters

If a person, multiplying two numbers together once every second, tried to do as many multiplications as the new UIUC’s super computer Blue Waters can do in a second, it would take them about 300 million years. This hour on Focus we talked about the technology and the problems Blue Waters is trying to solve.

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(Duration: 51:27)

The Blue Waters Supercomputer for Sustained Petascale Computing supported by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications or NCSA and the University of Illinois.

Simply explained, Blue Waters is a very big, very fast computer. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Bill Gropp who is Director of the Parallel Computing Institute and Deputy Director for Research at the Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He’ll tell us what makes Blue Waters so powerful, why the technology is worth the investment and what problems researchers hope to solve with one of the world’s largest super computers.

Categories: Technology

WILL - Focus - April 12, 2013

Coming up on Focus: Remembering Roger Ebert, Blue Waters and The Ordinary Acrobat

Do you have fond memories of Roger Ebert? What do you think of when you hear “circus?” Do you have questions about the UIUC’s new super computer Blue Waters?  Find out more about what’s coming up next week on Focus and join our conversation.

Coming up next week on Focus, we’re remembering Pulitzer Prize winning film critic, screenwriter and journalist Roger Ebert, talking about super computers and learning about how the circus is very serious business in other parts of the world. Find out more and our conversation!


WILL - Focus - April 12, 2013

Gardening Technology

What color is your thumb…green or black? This hour on Focus, we talked with Eduardo Torrealba who has been working on a project to help you if you answered “black” and Sandy Mason, UI extension horticulture expert. 

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(Duration: 51:33)

Plantlink

Over and underwatering plants is one of the key reasons why those of you who answered “black” are having trouble keeping your plants alive. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Eduardo Torrealba. He’s the CEO of Oso Technologies, a new company formed in Urbana. He and his colleagues have developed a new product called Plantlink that’s designed to help novice gardeners help their plants thrive and conserve water. Sandy Mason, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Expert, will also be here to answer questions about your lawn and garden.

Learn more about Plantlink:


WILL - Focus - April 05, 2013

Coming up on Focus: Mad Men, The War on Drugs, and Bond….James Bond

Are you a fan of AMC’s “MadMen”? Who do you think is the best James Bond? Is it time for the US to end the war on drugs?  Find out more about what’s coming up next week on Focus and join our conversation.

MadMen Cast

Coming up next week on Focus, we’ve got a little something for everybody – from James Bond to gardening, we welcome you to join our conversation!


WILL - Focus - April 04, 2013

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Calling them unmanned aerial vehicles sounds just as scary as calling them drones, but what do we really mean when we talk about this technology? This hour on Focus, we talked about drones, how they are being used and how they’re not. We also heard from an Urbana man working to advance the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in journalism and to inspire high school students to study math and science.

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(Duration: 55:01)

an unmanned aerial vehicle

The technologies encompassed by the term “unmanned aerial vehicle” are vast and include everything from hobbyist drones that look like toy helicopters to units that are equipped with cameras and are being used to monitor crop damage. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Matthew Schroyer, a graduate of the UIUC who is also the founder of the Professional Society of Drone Journalists. We’ll talk with him about the things drones could help us do, and we’ll ask him about the privacy concerns the technology raises. Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics, former Wired editor and founder of the website DIY Drones and Nancy Cooke, Professor at Arizona State University and Science Director of the Cognitive Engineering Research Institute in Mesa, Arizona, also join us.

Watch a video of Matt explaining and flying his drone. 

 

 

Are you excited by the possibilities of this kind of technology? Or does it scare you? Why? Join our conversation. Post in the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @Focus580.


WILL - Focus - March 29, 2013

Next Week on Focus: MLB Opening Day, Drones and The Lawyer Bubble

Do you love MLB Opening Day? Who’re you rooting for this season? Does the idea of drone technology scare you or excite you?  Find out more about what’s coming up next week on Focus and join our conversation.

Thursday on Focus, we'll talk about unmanned aerial vehicles.

Next week on Focus, we'll talk with the official historian for Major League Baseball and an Urbana man working with unmanned aerial technology for both journalistic purposes and to inspire high school students to study math and science. We'll also address the unmet need for homeless services in the area and talk about the growing disconnect between law schools and law firms in Illionis and why it matters. 


WILL - Focus - March 28, 2013

Cyber-Security a Growing Concern

Cases of computer hacking have been in the spotlight lately, especially since President Obama made cyber security one of his key priorities in this year’s State of the Union Address. But who is doing the hacking and why? Today on Focus we talked about cyber-security and what we’re doing to protect against cyber criminals.

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(Duration: 55:02)

people working at computers in a library

Cyber-security breaches at Apple, Microsoft, The New York Times, Twitter and Facebook are all just part of the growing concern in the US about computer hacking. Protecting digital information is quickly becoming a top priority for businesses and individuals, especially as computers and digital technologies play an increasingly important role in our lives when it comes to things education and banking.

Who are the hackers? How are they getting into our computers and why? This hour on Focus we talk with to University of Illinois Chief Privacy and Security Officer Michael Corn and Computer Science Professor Roy Campbell about cyber security. 


WILL - Focus - March 22, 2013

Coming up on Focus: Remembering Assembly Hall, Idioms and Stargazing

Are you fascinated by the stars? What is your fondest memory of Assembly Hall? How have our concerns about terrorism changed in the last decade?  Find out more about what’s coming up on Focus and join our conversation.

Assembly Hall

Coming up next week on Focus, we'll talk with one of the most well-respected researchers studying terrorism, an authority on idioms in the English language and with journalist Fred Kroner about his new book "A Saucer Coming to Rest, A Half Century of Assembly Hall." Find our more about what's coming up. 


WILL - Focus - December 11, 2012

Computers, Tablets and More

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(Duration: 51:22)

Picture of desktop and laptop computers and an iPad

Jim Eyrich of the University of Illinois and Bobbi Hardy from CITES join us. Jim works for the National Center for Supercomputering Applications and Bobbi is a User Services Specialist at the CITES Help Desk. Whether you’re looking for a new computer or tablet, have questions about online security, or need some troubleshooting advice, they’re happy to help.

Categories: How-to, Technology

WILL - Focus - November 05, 2012

The Future of the Publishing Industry: Print, Digital or Both?

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(Duration: 51:36)

According to the Association of American Publishers, last year, for the first time, e-books garnered more revenue than any other format of adult fiction. Overall, net sales revenue for electronic books more than doubled in 2011 compared to 2010, and there’s every reason to believe that transition will continue here in 2012 and beyond.

Meanwhile, the industry has felt the effects of the bankruptcy and closures of Borders stores nationwide, another signal of a rapidly changing industry.

As more people download novels to their Kindles and Nooks, what’s to become of the publishing industry? Could we see a day when actual physical books are no longer printed? Is what’s happening with the newspaper and magazine industries a harbinger of things to come for books?


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