Martin Kaste http://wgcu.org en In The Land Of Razor Clams, Dinner Hides Deep Within The Sand http://wgcu.org/post/land-razor-clams-dinner-hides-deep-within-sand As soon as you drive into town, it's pretty clear that Long Beach, Wash., is all about the razor clam. The first clue is the giant frying pan. It's 14 feet tall and a relic of the clam festivals of the 1940s. And then there's the clam statue that spits when you insert a quarter.<p>But if you really want to see how much people here love their clams, you'd have to be like Karen Harrell and get up before dawn and drive out onto the blustery beach to go clam digging.<p>Harrell is one of hundreds of people already out on the beach, just ahead of the low tide, tramping around in rubber boots. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:13:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 9459 at http://wgcu.org In The Land Of Razor Clams, Dinner Hides Deep Within The Sand Apple Upgrade Tracks Customers Even When Marketing Apps Are Off http://wgcu.org/post/apple-upgrade-tracks-customers-even-when-marketing-apps-are The people who design marketing apps are celebrating a change in the way <a href="http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6048">iBeacon</a> works on iPhones. That's the Bluetooth-based system that lets a store track a customer's movements, and capitalize on them. For instance, if iBeacon detects you lingering in the shoe department, it might send you a digital coupon for socks.<p>IBeacon has been around for a while, and marketers liked the concept in principle. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:50:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 9335 at http://wgcu.org Apple Upgrade Tracks Customers Even When Marketing Apps Are Off Survey: Americans Skeptical Of Prison For Non-Violent Drug Crimes http://wgcu.org/post/survey-americans-skeptical-prison-non-violent-drug-crimes Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Now to a new survey from the Pew Research Center that's found more evidence of a shift in public attitudes toward illegal drug use.<p>As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, the survey indicates growing public skepticism about prison terms for nonviolent drug offenders.<p>MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: This shift has been going on for a while now. Previous polls already showed a new majority in favor of legalizing marijuana. But in this survey, you also see changing attitudes toward harder drugs.<p>Carroll Doherty is Pew's director of political research. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 20:16:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 8928 at http://wgcu.org Washington Landslide Takes A Grim — And Fluctuating — Toll http://wgcu.org/post/washington-landslide-takes-grim-and-fluctuating-toll Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel.<p>It's been nine days since the devastating mudslide in the tiny community of Oso, Washington, and it's now apparent that the death toll will not be nearly so high as it once been feared. The loss is still terrible. State officials that 21 people are confirmed dead, dozens are listed as missing. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:37:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 8843 at http://wgcu.org Your Smartphone Is A Crucial Police Tool, If They Can Crack It http://wgcu.org/post/your-smartphone-crucial-police-tool-if-they-can-crack-it New software and gizmos are revolutionizing police work, with <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/02/28/284131881/as-police-monitor-social-media-legal-lines-become-blurred">social media scanners</a>, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/10/28/228181778/a-look-into-facebooks-potential-to-recognize-anybodys-face">facial recognition</a> and other high tech items. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 18:58:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 8633 at http://wgcu.org Your Smartphone Is A Crucial Police Tool, If They Can Crack It Caution And Concern Prevail In Days Following Washington Landslide http://wgcu.org/post/caution-and-concern-prevail-days-following-washington-landslide Officials in Washington say they've received 108 reports of people missing in the region hit by a recent landslide. But they say that is a "soft number" and rescue efforts continue. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 20:16:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 8596 at http://wgcu.org Sand Grinds World's Largest Tunneling Machine To A Halt http://wgcu.org/post/sand-grinds-worlds-largest-tunneling-machine-halt Contractors working for the state of Washington are planning a high-stakes operation to rescue Bertha — the world's largest tunneling machine.<p>Bertha is supposed to be boring a 2-mile highway tunnel under downtown Seattle, but it got stuck in December.<p>Bertha is on Seattle's waterfront, between South Main and South Jackson streets, about 60 feet straight down. At first, they thought the machine was being stymied by a big glacial rock. Then attention focused on the chewed-up remains of a metal pipe. Sat, 01 Mar 2014 10:43:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 7840 at http://wgcu.org Sand Grinds World's Largest Tunneling Machine To A Halt As Police Monitor Social Media, Legal Lines Become Blurred http://wgcu.org/post/police-monitor-social-media-legal-lines-become-blurred Social monitoring started in the world of marketing, allowing companies to track what people were saying about their brands. But now, with software that allows users to scan huge volumes of public postings on social media, police are starting to embrace it as well.<p>Many police departments in Britain use a product sold by CrowdControlHQ. CEO James Leavesley calls it a "social media risk media and monitoring" company, <strong>meant primarily as a means of staying in touch with the public</strong>. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 21:01:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 7832 at http://wgcu.org As Police Monitor Social Media, Legal Lines Become Blurred In 'Domain Awareness,' Detractors See Another NSA http://wgcu.org/post/domain-awareness-detractors-see-another-nsa Police are like the rest of us; they suffer from information overload. The data pour in from 21st century sources ranging from license plate readers to Twitter. But as the information comes in, it hits an old-fashioned bottleneck: human beings.<p>"They all have access to different databases," says Dave Mosher, vice president of program management at Microsoft Services. He describes the typical law enforcement command center as a room full of people at computers. Fri, 21 Feb 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 7607 at http://wgcu.org In 'Domain Awareness,' Detractors See Another NSA New Animation Details What Went Wrong In 2010 Plant Explosion http://wgcu.org/post/new-animation-details-what-went-wrong-2010-plant-explosion The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has released its draft report into the causes of a devastating 2010 explosion at a Tesoro refinery on Puget Sound. Thu, 30 Jan 2014 19:53:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 6874 at http://wgcu.org New Animation Details What Went Wrong In 2010 Plant Explosion Holder Favors Pot Banking, And Legal Dealers Shrug http://wgcu.org/post/holder-favors-pot-banking-and-legal-dealers-shrug When I heard late Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder had come out in favor of bank accounts for <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/us/legal-marijuana-businesses-should-have-access-to-banks-holder-says.html">state-sanctioned pot businesses</a>, I assumed the industry would react with cheers. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 22:10:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 6658 at http://wgcu.org Holder Favors Pot Banking, And Legal Dealers Shrug In Seattle, No Simple Answers For A Stalled Tunneling Machine http://wgcu.org/post/seattle-no-simple-answers-stalled-tunneling-machine Ever wonder what happened with Bertha — the world's biggest tunneling machine, stuck under Seattle? We <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/12/22/256275571/bertha-still-stuck-in-her-tunnel-under-seattle">last checked in on the story right before Christmas</a>, when engineers were preparing to send down inspection teams to identify the blockage. People (OK, the media) were having a grand time, floating ridiculous guesses about what the mysterious object might be. An old ship? Dinosaur bones? Bigfoot?<p>One month later, there's still no clear answer. Thu, 23 Jan 2014 23:05:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 6627 at http://wgcu.org In Seattle, No Simple Answers For A Stalled Tunneling Machine Marijuana 'Hash Oil' Explodes In Popularity, And Kitchens http://wgcu.org/post/marijuana-hash-oil-explodes-popularity-and-kitchens If you think the recent liberalization of marijuana laws around the country is only about smoking leaves and buds, think again. For users younger than 25, "hash oil" is where it's really at. This concentrated resin of marijuana is creating new public safety headaches — even in places where it's legal.<p>There have always been forms of the substance, but the resins available today are much stronger than in years past. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 22:32:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 6225 at http://wgcu.org Marijuana 'Hash Oil' Explodes In Popularity, And Kitchens 'Bertha' Still Stuck In Her Tunnel Under Seattle http://wgcu.org/post/bertha-still-stuck-her-tunnel-under-seattle Transcript <p>RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The people of Seattle are puzzled by a mystery unfolding underground: the world's biggest tunneling machine is stuck about 75 feet under street level where it's digging a nearly two-mile-long highway right under downtown Seattle. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, engineers say it'll take until January to figure out what is causing the block.<p>MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: They call the machine Bertha, and it has a circular cutting face five stories high, with special attachments for chewing up boulders. Sun, 22 Dec 2013 14:45:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 5714 at http://wgcu.org A Majority In U.S. Favor Legal Pot, But Will That Stick? http://wgcu.org/post/majority-us-favor-legal-pot-will-stick <em>As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year. They're numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we live in. </em><p>This year, for the first time, national polls show a majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. Tue, 17 Dec 2013 23:06:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 5579 at http://wgcu.org A Majority In U.S. Favor Legal Pot, But Will That Stick? Washington State Growers Roll The Dice On New Pot Licenses http://wgcu.org/post/washington-state-growers-roll-dice-new-pot-licenses Washington residents thinking about jumping into the state's new legal marijuana industry need to act soon. The deadline to apply for a state license to sell recreational pot is Dec. 19, and the applications are flooding in.<p>Danielle Rosellison, a loan officer in Bellingham, Wash., applied for her pot-growing license on the first day. "It's so cool," she says, laughing. "We have butterflies in our stomach all the time. Tue, 03 Dec 2013 21:06:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 5109 at http://wgcu.org Washington State Growers Roll The Dice On New Pot Licenses Is It The End Of The Line For The Landline? http://wgcu.org/post/have-we-reached-end-landline America's traditional phone system is not as dependable as it used to be. Just last month, the Federal Communications Commission told phone companies to start <a href="http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/problems-long-distance-or-wireless-calling-rural-areas">collecting stats on calls that fail to complete</a>. According to one estimate, as many as 1 in 5 incoming long-distance calls simply doesn't connect.<p>The problem may be in the way those calls are being routed — often via the Internet, which is cheaper. Mon, 18 Nov 2013 22:05:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 4663 at http://wgcu.org Is It The End Of The Line For The Landline? There May Be A Green Light For Pot, But Not For Driving High http://wgcu.org/post/there-may-be-green-light-pot-not-driving-high Western states have led the way in the legalization of marijuana, first with medical marijuana, and then with the legalization of recreational pot in Colorado and Washington last November.<p>It's been quite an adjustment for the police. Washington State Patrol is adapting to the new reality in a variety of ways, from untraining dogs that sniff out pot, to figuring out how to police high drivers.<p><strong>A Smell Once Forbidden</strong><p>I'm driving through Seattle on Interstate 5. Wed, 06 Nov 2013 22:01:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 4277 at http://wgcu.org There May Be A Green Light For Pot, But Not For Driving High A Look Into Facebook's Potential To Recognize Anybody's Face http://wgcu.org/post/look-facebooks-potential-recognize-anybodys-face Revelations about NSA spying have left people wondering about the privacy of their digital data. Mon, 28 Oct 2013 07:38:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 3907 at http://wgcu.org A Look Into Facebook's Potential To Recognize Anybody's Face So What Happens If The Movement To Label GMOs Succeeds? http://wgcu.org/post/so-what-happens-if-movement-label-gmos-succeeds I have a story on <em>All Things Considered </em>Wednesday (click on the audio link above to hear it) about the campaign to put labels on food containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The idea is gaining ground in the Northeast — Maine and Connecticut passed labeling laws this summer, though they won't take effect unless more states do the same. And GMO labeling is on the ballot this November in Washington state.<p>One aspect I didn't have room for in the radio story is the question of what might happen if the movement succeeds. Wed, 16 Oct 2013 22:39:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 3558 at http://wgcu.org So What Happens If The Movement To Label GMOs Succeeds?