technology

Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

Back in the 20th Century, when you wanted to fly somewhere you had two choices: you could call the airline and buy a ticket, or you could call a travel agent, who for some magical reason could get you the same ticket for less money.

Then along came the online travel site revolution. Now, instead of making a two minute phone call, we can spend hours, even days, comparing prices and airline schedules before buying a plane ticket.

Intel Free Press / Wikimedia

Percentage-wise, New Orleans has more local businesses than most other American cities. In fact, the city has the fifth-best ratio of local to non-local businesses in the country.

So in New Orleans this year, there’s a push to make Cyber Monday more profitable for local businesses.

Mark Strella is the program manager for Stay Local, a group whose mission is to raise visibility for locally owned, independent businesses. He says when people shop online with big box retailers, very little of that money trickles down to  New Orleans.

Pelican Bomb

The success of the ongoing Prospect 3 biennial is proof that visual artists in New Orleans are part of a vibrant and growing community.

In recent years, local artists have been utilizing online platforms to expand the reach of their work beyond New Orleans.  

We talked with the operators of two of these online platforms, Pelican Bomb and Where Y’Art, about bridging the gap between the worlds of visual art and technology.
 

A company started by a retired engineer from Many, Louisiana, Suns River Technology, is one of eight research groups in the world nominated for the Desal Prize, announced this month.

Hill Kemp, 74, uses solar still technology to purify brackish groundwater and make it safe for drinking.

This competition was set up by USAID, in partnership with the governments of Sweden and The Netherlands. The teams must produce enough water for a farm family in the Jordanian desert.

To keep a better eye on head injuries in the past, the LSU football team has had concussion detectors installed in players’ helmets. This season, LSU became the first team in the NCAA to try high-tech mouth guards to measure hits.


University of New Orleans / UNO

Seventh and eighth graders participated in the very first UNO Space Day on Thursday. The event was co-hosted by NASA, Boeing Company, the National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (NCAM), and Jacobs Technology.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - PNNL / Flickr

Computer experts from around the world are meeting this week in New Orleans for the annual Supercomputing Conference, or SC14.

This year, the conference has a clear focus: HPC matters. HPC is high performance computing, which organizers say is “making the world better” through innovation.  

Wilfred Pinfold is the HPC matters chair. He says supercomputers can help solve problems in health care and finance, and in issues important to New Orleaneans — like weather prediction and climate modeling.

Steve Petrucelli / Flickr

The video game industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. One of the biggest gaming trade groups, Washington, DC-based Entertainment Software Association, released a report Tuesday about the economic impact of the computer and video game industries in each state.

Louisiana’s computer and video game industry paid workers more than $14 million in 2012, according to the study.

Janaya Williams / WWNO

Digital currencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin don’t enjoy widespread use yet. It turns out, most retail stores and consumers still prefer good old fashioned paper money.

But the currency is catching on with a few mavericks around the globe — including some innovative business owners right here in New Orleans.

At a few local stores, customers can open their virtual Bitcoin wallets to buy everything from antique jewelry and furniture — to french fries and po-boys.

Innovation and technology reporting on WWNO is supported by Bellwether Technology.

A flying dune buggy has Shreveport roots.

Startup flying car maker SkyRunner LLC is moving into the former Shreveport General Motors plant this week. An assembly line is being prepped for a pre-market, all-terrain vehicle with a powered parachute.

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