Kathleen J. Davis

General Assignment & Technology Reporter

Credit Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Kathleen J. Davis covers news about just about anything at WESA. She’s also the primary reporter and producer of WESA’s weekly series Pittsburgh Tech Report. Kathleen originally hails from the great state of Michigan, and is always available to talk about suburban Detroit and Coney Island diners. She lives in Bloomfield.

Emails about robots and dinosaurs are welcome at kdavis@wesa.fm.

Allvision

The city of Pittsburgh and East Liberty-based startup Allvision IO are embarking on a mission to track down the city’s streetlights.

 

The city's PGH Lab program, a startup incubator, recently named Allvision as a member of its latest cohort. The team will be working with the Department of Innovation and Performance to create a database of the city’s streetlights for Pittsburgh's Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, or DOMI.

 

In City Farms

A sprawling indoor farm complex will open on the bank of the Monongahela River in Duquesne, Pa. next year. The campus will be on the site of a former steel mill, and is expected to bring more than 200 jobs to the area.

Women in Tech PGH

Women make up about one-quarter of technology workers in the U.S., and women of color are underrepresented to an even greater degree. An online community, Women in Tech PGH, aims to support and uplift women working in tech by compiling information about job opportunities, resources and events all in one place.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Machine learning is an integral part of Pittsburgh's tech economy, thanks to Carnegie Mellon University's position as one of the nation's foremost research centers on the topic. That's enticed tech giants such as Google and Uber to set up shop in the Steel City. 

On Tuesday, 16 universities across the United States and United Kingdom held #NoTechforICE events, urging the company Palantir to drop a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

U.S. Steel has announced it aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2030. The plan relies in large part on upgrades at two large facilities near Pittsburgh.

Graphic by Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

For months, PNC Bank customers have complained online that they’re having trouble using third party payment apps like Venmo.

Carnegie Mellon University

College students have access to an abundance of data to track their progress in classes, from test scores to grades on projects and assignments. Professors, however, often have to rely on subjective evaluations once a year to get a sense of how they are doing. A system developed by a Carnegie Mellon University team aims to give educators more data to work with so they can improve their teaching techniques.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board have found Uber's self-driving technology was not built to detect jaywalkers. The NTSB began investigating after a woman walking across the street with her bike was struck and killed in Tempe, Ariz. in March 2018.

University of Pittsburgh

Coaches are tasked with helping their athletes improve, but when those athletes are underwater, in the case of competitive swimmers, it can be hard to actually see if what they're doing is right. A University of Pittsburgh invention, called Impulse, helps coaches visualize a swimmer's form under water. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A package of bills meant to strengthen Pennsylvania's hate crime laws has been introduced in the state legislature. A group of democratic state representatives and senators announced the package Wednesday.

RedFlash Group

For first responders, communication is key to saving lives, but technology for these professionals has lagged behind traditional consumer products. A traveling codeathon coming to Carnegie Mellon University this weekend aims to encourage the development of apps for firefighters, EMTs and other public safety personnel.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Two bills moving through the Pennsylvania legislature would establish security grants for religious and community organizations. The legislation was in response to the Tree of Life synagogue shooting.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Sunday marks one year since the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, and several events have been scheduled in an effort to help people grieve and heal. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

More and more people are working from home; one in 20 Americans worked remotely in 2018. Developing the skills, however, to find a remote career can be tricky, especially when you have children. This problem is what local company Moms Can & Co. aims to solve. 

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The University of Pittsburgh has pulled experimental food delivery robots off its campus after just a few weeks of use on Oakland’s streets.

Scott Kelly / NASA via AP

A device created in Pittsburgh will be sent to the International Space Station next month. SoundSee, developed by technology company Bosch, uses artificial intelligence to detect mechanical problems based on sound. The project is in collaboration with Pittsburgh-based space robotics company, Astrobotic.

Walmart

Walmart rolled out a new grocery delivery service in Pittsburgh Tuesday that will bring goods into customers’ homes, even if they aren't there. The program is also being piloted in Kansas City, Mo. and Vero Beach, Fla.

Wilfredo Lee / AP

Airplanes are expensive to build, and relatively few are made each month. A Boeing press release from January touts the company has a seven-year order backlog for the Boeing 737, and is increasing production of the model to 52 airplanes each month.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

Some pumpkin farmers in western Pennsylvania have seen lower than normal crop yields this year. The culprit? Heavy summer rains that kept important pollinators away and spread fungal disease.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority on Thursday moved to delay its vote on a revised development agreement with the Pittsburgh Penguins, whose real estate affiliate holds exclusive development rights to the 28-acre former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill District.

USFWS Midwest Region / Flickr

Forty percent of Pennsylvania's birds are directly threatened by climate change, a new report from the Audubon Society finds. The sweeping paper estimates two-thirds of North American birds are at risk of extinction due to a warming planet.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

The firm overseeing the Diocese of Pittsburgh's fund for victims of clergy sexual abuse says it’s received 367 claims. The deadline to apply was September 30.

Whitethorn Digital

In an industry flooded with shooter games and adventure titles, one Erie company is branding itself as an oasis for stressed out gamers. Video game publisher Whitethorn Digital aims to give a platform to independent, chilled-out games.

Matt Rourke / AP

Soon-to-be introduced bills in the state legislature aim to change how Pennsylvania handles child custody proceedings. If passed, the measures would create Kayden's Law.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The city of Pittsburgh is asking the public for help in recovering lost and stolen government artifacts. 

Sean Spencer / 90.5 WESA

Students protested at Carnegie Mellon University Wednesday against a campus recruitment visit by software company Palantir. The business contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and its software has been used to aid the agency in workplace deportation raids. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Inside the Star Lab for sensor development at the University of Pittsburgh, professor Alexander Star holds a black box, about the size of a remote control. It's a breathalyzer developed to measure tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana.

Kathleen Davis / 90.5 WESA

This is the third part of a three-part WESA special on public libraries. The first part can be found here and the second here  

Leaders of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh system say they try to meet the needs of the community. For younger users that doesn’t always involve books.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Contract employees at Google's Pittsburgh campus are voting on whether to unionize Tuesday. If successful, this will be the first union with the Pittsburgh Association of Tech Professionals, a new arm of the United Steelworkers.

Renata Nelson, a Google contractor in Pittsburgh, said the main priorities are to improve wages and benefit, and to cement job security.

"Our salaries are fairly low compared to industry average," Nelson said. "We've seen people being hired at lower and lower rates recently."

Pages