11:33 am
Thu November 6, 2014

U of M study: Facebook = :(

Credit Flickr - Maria Elena

Over the past decade, social media has transformed the way we communicate. Walk into any restaurant or coffee shop and you’ll probably see more people with their eyes glued to their smartphones than talking to the person sitting next to them. The latest Nielsen report says Americans spend an average of 12 hours using Facebook alone every month. But how does the time we spend in the digital world impact how we feel about our actual lives?

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Science & Technology
1:07 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Ag Expo focuses on education, technology

The Michigan Ag Expo is held on the campus of Michigan State University and will host more than 200 exhibitors.
Credit Flickr

Thousands of farmers from all over Michigan will take some time away from the fields next week to visit the Michigan State University campus for Ag Expo. Starting Tuesday, the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will be joined by MSU AgBioResearch scientists and MSU Extension educators to conduct education programs. And, farm equipment producers always bring the latest in farming technology to display.

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Politics & Government
1:10 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Michigan roads: Is the solution in the asphalt?

Consultant Rahn Bentley explains how asphalt cement is blended with crushed rocks and other aggregates to form road pavement. Lansing Asphalt in Delta Township heats the mix to more than 300 degrees Fahrenheit and can produce up to 400 tons of asphalt each hour.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

The $1-billion road funding package that Michigan lawmakers have been struggling to pass in the final days of the session failed to achieve consensus last night. As of this morning, the Michigan Senate will have just a few hours to try to cobble together  a plan to raise the revenue to fix the state’s roads.

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12:19 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Volunteers enlisted to protect state from cybercrime

Lohrmann says that the need for an emergency response team was at the center of the Corps' creation.
Credit Flickr - marsmet tallahassee

Anyone who ever uses a computer gets hit now and then with e-mail spam or the occasional computer virus. Many are just minor hassles that try to derail our plans, but some do cause significant damage. Now imagine how often large companies and government agencies get hacked by those seeking to inflict harm. To address this, the state of Michigan is creating an all volunteer defense team, the Cyber Civilian Corps.

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Politics & Government
1:22 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Net neutrality debate: Will the way we use the internet change?

Credit Flickr - Jason Mcleod

There has been a lot of recent buzz around the idea of net neutrality and how it will affect people’s everyday use of the internet. Net neutrality is the debate over free use of the internet and has been going on for several years now.

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Science and Technology
2:00 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Ann Arbor emerging as global leader in connected vehicle technology

Connected cars can talk wirelessly with each other and with other parts of the traffic system to adjust to road conditions and avoid accidents.
Credit Flickr - Sherman Mui

If you were a fan of the 1980’s TV show “Knight Rider,” you’ll remember actor David Hasselhoff riding around in a modified Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that could talk, fly and even scan other vehicles. It was cutting edge TV sci-fi at the time, but so-called “smart cars” are not that far away (minus the flying, of course).

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1:56 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

MSU students work to make clean water more accessible in developing world

MSU Engineering students (L to R) Grant Golasa, Scott Oldham, and Shenli Pei with their recently developed water purification device. The mechanism includes a small, battery powered mercury bulb and switch. Its light neutralizes impurities.
Credit Emanuele Berry/WKAR

Earlier this year, Current State welcomed John Barrie from the Appropriate Technology Collaborative to Studio S. He explained that the collaborative  creates new technologies to improve the quality of life in developing countries worldwide. The organization also collaborates with universities. This year, a team of Michigan State Engineering students worked to build a water purification system for low income countries.

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Science & Technology
1:42 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

For Golden Anniversary, Abrams reassembles original star projector

Courtesy of John French

This year MSU’s Abrams Planetarium is celebrating 50 years. To mark the milestone the Planetarium's original star projector is being resembled by one of the original staffers. Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke with John Hare, who worked at Abrams nearly 50 years ago.

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Science & Technology
1:47 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

MSU cybercrime expert looks at hierarchy of hackers

Jared Andrews of MSU has seen cybercrimes that range from being minor, repairable annoyances to more invasive breaches.
Credit Flickr - Steve Petrucelli

Last December, some high tech grinches tried to steal Christmas for one major retailer. Computer hackers broke into the Target Corporation mainframe and downloaded some 40-million credit card numbers.  The breach was executed despite the fact that Target had installed malware detection software months before.

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Science & Technology
12:59 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

MSU breaks ground on historic FRIB project

Site preparation for the FRIB project.
Credit Courtesy of

This is a big day at Michigan State University for one of the biggest projects in mid-Michigan. A host of dignitaries are formally breaking ground at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, commonly known as FRIB.

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Science & Technology
12:30 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Looking at Google Glass through the eyes of an early user

Ari Adler is a Google Glass explorer from Lansing.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

One of the newest gadgets that is fascinating and disturbing to people is the Google Glass. You wear it on your face like a pair of glasses, and you’re able to get information, take pictures, and all kinds of things, mostly through voice and touch commands. Google has asked people to become “Explorers,” to get feedback on the product, and we found one right here in Lansing. Ari Adler is the Michigan House GOP press secretary, and also a Google Glass Explorer.

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Science & Technology
12:33 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Survey finds Americans' interest in science remains strong

Prof. John Besley says the science community is making sure there are good quality, credible science resources available online.
Credit Flickr - Ocean Networks Canada

Despite all those studies that show America’s education system lagging further behind in the world, it turns out all is not lost when it comes our collective knowledge about science and technology.

A portion of a big national survey released late last week measured the public perceptions of science and technology and compared the data to similar studies around the world.  The results show that while Americans, like much of the rest of the world, still have some basic things to learn, there is a keen interest in the latest scientific and technological discoveries.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:22 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Creatives invited to Lansing's Maker Space

In October, the Lansing Makers Network held a take-apart clinic at the downtown Lansing Library. Kids as young as age 9 were shown how to disassemble electronic devices.

After months of planning and work, the Lansing Makers’ Network marks its official Grand Opening tomorrow.   The group’s shared work space near downtown offers members a unique chance to use dozens of tools and resources.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:31 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Women in STEM fields look to increase their ranks

The enrollment of women in the MSU College of Education is up 30% this year.
Credit Flickr - Dartmouth Flickr

This fall, Michigan State University’s College of Engineering enrolled some 1,300 freshmen.  More than 200 of those students are women.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:15 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Michigan hackfest turns state data into useful apps

Civic coding is the act of creating works of software for the purpose of promoting government transparency.
Credit flickr - freefotouk

An event this weekend in Detroit bills itself as “a three-day hackfest aimed at building great apps for the State of Michigan.”  The term “hackfest” may conjure up some negative connotations.  It’s real name –“Code Michigan” -- is a chance for techno geeks to unite for a noble cause.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:56 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

How should we deal with increasing electronic waste?

Old desktop computers can be donated at Green Earth Electronics Recycling events where they are refurbished and provided to those who could not have previously afforded the technology.
Credit Wikimedia commons

As new consumer technology becomes more rapidly available, unwanted electronics are building up in America's landfills. Jim Grandholm, founder of Michigan-based Green Earth Electronics Recycling, discusses how these items become e-waste and how they can be safely disposed of or donated.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:46 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

3D printing at the forefront of technology

3D printing technology has been used in many fields, including jewelry, health care and automotive.
Credit Flickr/Creative Tools

3D printing was in the news recently when a Texas group called Defense Distributed posted instructions on its website for printing a functional plastic handgun using a 3D printer. Although the State Department had the group remove the postings, the story brought 3D printing to the headlines.

Current State host Mark Bashore speaks with Dr. Patrick Kwon, a professor of mechanical engineering at MSU, about the technology of 3D printing.

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12:43 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

MSU research on cyberbullying shows signs for concern

Studies conducted by MSU professors found cyberbullying is just as detrimental to youths as physical bullying.

Bullying isn't just happening the the schoolyard anymore. In the age of technology, online aggression is everywhere.

Two recent reports by MSU professors focus on the world of cyberbullying.

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12:00 am
Tue April 10, 2012

‘E-Pathways’ Designed to Close Lansing Area I-T Workforce Gap

Despite the noticeable strengths of Lansing’s economy, a number of employers struggle with a shortage of qualified I-T workers.  Increasingly, information technology jobs go unfilled for weeks and months.  Employers and job-seekers alike are hoping a new, multi-million dollar skills initiative—E-Pathways--will help close the gap. 

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3:02 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Prima Civitas Launches Ultra-High Speed Internet Effort

WKAR file photo

An East Lansing-based economic development agency is coordinating an effort to spread the use of ultra-high speed internet in the area. 

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