A screenshot from one of Professor Bongard's videos shows a robot "dreaming" about how to move.
courtesy of Josh Bongard

In order to be as useful as possible, robots need to be able to think and act for themselves. But with that autonomy can come serious concerns about human safety. We're talking about teaching machines how to be smart and independent, without kicking off a robot uprising.

The average smart phone is replaced roughly every 22 months, spurring calls across the country to protect customers' "right to repair" their electronics.
Bru-nO / Pexels

Have you ever tried fixing one of your electric gadgets? Even simply replacing the battery in your cell phone can require special skills or tools. You may not be allowed to do more advanced repairs without potentially voiding a warranty. That's led to demands across the country, including here in Vermont, for the "right to repair," the ability to perform basic repairs on items like smart phones, other electronics and more.

Stock image of fiber-optic cables.
kynny / iStock

At Town Meeting in March, 13 central Vermont communities will consider forming a communications union district, the sole purpose of which would be to bring fiber-optic internet service to the area.

Food scientists at UMass Amherst have come up with a technique they say could make it a lot easier to avoid food poisoning.

GPS systems and navigation apps sometimes face challenges navigating Vermont's roads.
Shannon McGee / flickr

A car that ended up in Lake Champlain made headlines after the out-of-town sightseers behind the wheel said they were steered out onto the ice by the Waze driving app.

We're talking about the challenges for navigation apps in a state like Vermont, with plenty of dirt roads and snowmobile trails, and a lower population of users. 

This file photo, taken on Dec. 13, 2016, shows the interior of an Uber car that is set to driverless mode on a San Francisco test drive.
Eric Risberg / Associated Press File

The Agency of Transportation says Vermont needs to get ready for the eventual arrival of self-driving vehicles.

XKCD, creative commons

Wikipedia, operated by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, is arguably one of the first stops anyone makes in online research.

mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan has joined a lawsuit challenging the Federal Communications Commission's rollback of so-called “net neutrality” regulations. 

Dr. Kyle Hagstrom, left, a psychiatrist at the Brattleboro Retreat, talks via computer with Dr. Jarred Zucker, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. Zucker is the one of the Retreat's newest telepsychiatrists.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Rural communities across the country face a shortage of doctors of all kinds, and Vermont is no different.

But as technology advances, and patients get more comfortable with video conferencing, health care officials say telemedicine might be one way to address the shortage.

In a unanimous decision, the Public Utility Commission found that Vermont can regulate Voice over Internet Protocol service under federal law.
Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

One often-cited barrier that gets in the way of young professionals moving to Vermont is the lack of high-speed internet in many communities around the state. And where something doesn't exist, it is incumbent upon someone to create it.

Members of Vermont's congressional delegation strongly oppose plans by the Federal Communications Commission to roll back "net neutrality" regulations
Kynny / iStock

All three members of Vermont's congressional delegation are urging the Federal Communications Commission not to repeal internet policies known as "net neutrality."

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, center, says Vermont lawmakers will consider numerous bills next year that would give Vermonters more recourse when their personal data is hacked.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont lawmakers say they’ll try to put new safeguards on residents’ personal data in the next session, after the massive security breach at Equifax earlier this year.

St. Michael's College students Sarah Hunzeker, Annie Ladue and Mia DelleBovi, left to right, are working on a project to convert toy cars into independent mobility devices for kids.
Melody Bodette / VPR

A 5-year-old girl from St. Albans has limited mobility due to muscular dystrophy, and during her school day that poses a big challenge. But now thanks to some professors and students at Saint Michael's College, she'll have a new way to get around: a battery-operated ride-on car.

Mike Stewart / AP

Millions of Americans were only vaguely aware of the credit bureau Equifax until earlier this month, when the company revealed that the personal data of more than 147 million people was exposed in a massive data hack.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court chose to hear a case over whether email providers must comply with government search warrants, even if the messages in question are stored outside the country. The state of Vermont is taking a central role in the case.

Supporters of Keep BT Local came out in droves to the Burlington City Council meeting Monday to voice their support for the co-op's bid to buy Burlington Telecom. The council advanced the bids of Tuecows/Ting and Keep BT Local.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The Burlington City Council voted Monday night to advance the bids of Keep BT Local and Ting  in the process to buy Burlington Telecom.

The Burlington Telecom building. The City of Burlington hopes to have a buyer for Burlington Telecom lined up by the fall. The City Council will vote to eliminate one of three bids from the sale process.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

The three bidders hoping to buy Burlington Telecom will be narrowed down to two after the city council meets on Monday evening.

Former reporter Charlotte Albright decided it was time to de-activate her Facebook account after learning Russians may have used it to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
screenshot:; illustration: Emily Alfin Johnson, VPR

Two weeks ago, I de-activated my Facebook account, after hearing that Russians may have used it to interfere with our last presidential election.

Pixabay/Public Domain

Librarian and privacy advocate Jessamyn West was outraged when she heard about the massive data breach affecting 134 million people at credit reporting agency Equifax. So the Randolph librarian decided to sue the multi-billion dollar company in Vermont Small Claims Court.

Christina Moore of Halifax, Vt. sits at her desk in San Juan where she is managing disaster relief, using software she developed.
Christina Moore, Courtesy

A Halifax resident who developed a software program to help with the federal disaster relief process is in Puerto Rico managing the relief effort there.