Technology

Pat Wellenbach / AP

FairPoint Communications issued a rosier than usual second-quarter earnings report.

While there were some bright spots in revenue, the company said much of the more favorable financial picture is due to lower labor expenses since it settled with unionized worker earlier this year.

Screen shot / Vermont Health Connect

More than a third of Vermont’s population is enrolled in Medicaid. Their health care claims every year number in the millions, and those claims add up to well over $1 billion — on par with the size of Vermont’s General Fund, or even bigger. 

But, like a lot of the state government’s technology, the IT system the Medicaid program runs on is really old: 30 years old. 

A Vermont corporation is playing a role in bringing a much-talked about Tesla product to market. The Dynapower Company, based in South Burlington, is making energy storage inverters for Tesla's Powerpack battery system.

Firstsignal / iStock.com

The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is looking for brains. The center, in White River Junction, is run by the Department of Veterans Affairs and it's opening the world's first national brain bank for PTSD . It's a physical library of veterans' brain tissue to help researchers learn more about PTSD.

NASA

Shrugging off its ignominious downgrading from planet to dwarf planet status a few years back, Pluto burst back into the public spotlight when a space probe passed closer to it than any spacecraft ever had before, returning some stunning images of Pluto and its moons. 

stalkerstudent / iStock

It appears a troubled broadband service provider is still operating in Vermont, but officials say there’s a great deal of confusion over who’s operating it.

Bruce Duncan

The Terasem Movement Foundation is located in an unassuming yellow house on a dirt road in the woods of Lincoln Vermont. Inside, however, things are happening that seem more like science fiction than real life.

A robotic human head sits on a desk next to a computer, ready to discuss philosophy with visitors. In the basement, DNA samples are cryogenically frozen for the purpose of far-future cloning. And computers store the personality traits of volunteers, to be transformed into digital avatars or beamed into deep space.

Michael Dwyer / AP

A key strategy of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign is a plan to use social media to get his message out to millions of people.

Steve Zind / VPR

A lot has changed since 2010 when Springfield-based VTel was awarded $116 million in Rural Utilities Service grant and loan money, in part to help build a statewide wireless high speed broadband network called Wireless Open World.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

More and more members of the military are coming back from deployments needing medical attention, and Vietnam-era veterans are aging. 

mgpenguin86 / via Flickr

The Rutland City Police Department is participating in a nationwide initiative to make more data about police activity available to the public.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

The state of Vermont wants access to the claims data of companies that fund their own health insurance plans. But not all of them are willing to hand it over. And the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to resolve a legal dispute that could have national impacts on health care reform.

Mark Collier / Norwich University

About 20 high school students have been spending this week at Norwich University solving fictional crimes in cyberspace. They're attending a free summer camp funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency.

grecosvet / iStock.com

Big data is all the rage these days, especially in the world of health care. And as Vermont looks to compile a massive repository of insurance claims information, it’s become a legal testing ground for the future of health reform nationally. 

ILLUSTRATION: AMANDA SHEPARD/VPR / IMAGE: BOBAA22/ISTOCK

The use of technology in Vermont state government went from a background concern to a political flashpoint throughout the troubled rollout of Vermont Health Connect. But information technology in state government is ubiquitous and makes up a significant – yet unknown – portion of the state’s budget every year. 

DragonImages / iStock

Vermont has signed an agreement that will make it easier for colleges and universities to offer online courses across state lines. Currently that interstate approval process can be cumbersome, but now it’s getting streamlined.

VPR/Steve Zind

The weekly newspaper the The Herald of Randolph has a new publisher; only its fifth in the paper’s 140-year history. Despite the change, the paper will continue to be locally owned.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

On Wednesday morning, state officials invited members of the media to have a look under the hood of Vermont Health Connect. Administration officials hope the demonstration will boost confidence in a new piece of technology that the governor says will solve longstanding problems on the insurance exchange. But the program remains a work in progress.

It's human nature to be trusting. And it's the basic instinct that scam artists prey on, especially when targeting the elderly.

AARP Vermont recently conducted a survey of 800 adults of all ages in the state to see how Vermonters are being targeted in scams and how scammers are obtaining personal information.

Courtesy Designbook

Facebook sent a warning to a Burlington company last week suggesting that the company's name infringed on the social media giant's trademark.

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