Alex Kacha

S U R V I V E's 'Stranger Things' Spotlight Shines on Austin's Synthesizer Scene

The hit Netflix series “Stranger Things” is a supernatural thriller set in the 1980s peppered with nostalgic pop culture references and scored with a synth-heavy soundtrack by the Austin band Survive.
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In Mountain View, Calif., a couple of miles down the road from Google, there's a new pizza shop. Only instead of a dozen blue-collar workers pouring marinara sauce, Zume Pizza has — you guessed it! — robots and algorithms running the show.

Their job is to solve a familiar problem: It's game night. You order pizza for you and your buddies. It arrives later than you'd hoped, aaaand it's cold.

"Pizza is not meant to sit in a cardboard box, ever," Zume co-founder Julia Collins says. "The best pizza you ever had came right out of the oven."

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Education should be a lifelong pursuit, but who has that kind of time? That’s why the idea of one-day university would be intriguing to those looking to expand horizons in a tight time frame. So, earlier this week, some Austinites packed up their number two pencils and swim trunks and headed off to Barton Springs University.


Jon Shapley for KUT News

Public school districts in Texas are required to follow a lot of state rules, but a new state law allows those districts to receive exemptions from various regulations. It’s called a district of innovation plan and at least four Central Texas school districts are developing plans. 


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The deadline for Texas and the federal government to negotiate the refugee resettlement budget for next year is today, which means officials will give word regarding whether or not they will stay in the program.

Earlier this month, Texas officials threatened to leave the resettlement program if the feds didn’t cap the number of people resettled here and beef up security measures for next year. 


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUTX

People picked up in Austin for public intoxication downtown may no longer be headed straight to jail or the emergency room. Austin and Travis County leaders are moving forward with plans to open a sobriety center.


Courtesy Simon & Schuster

From Texas Standard:

Wolf Boys” explores how a couple of Texas teenagers went from playing under the Friday night lights to working as assassins for Los Zetas, one of Mexico's most dangerous drug cartels.

The book reads like fiction, but it's a true story written by former Wall Street Journal reporter Dan Slater.


There's been a lot of fuss made about U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s recent decision to support Donald Trump for president after he famously refused to endorse him at the Republican National Convention this summer. But he's not the only Texas leader who’s expressed a change of heart.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

City auditors told the Austin City Council Wednesday that the office processing citizen complaints against officers of the Austin Police Department needs to do a better job. But the office also may need more power to improve.


Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall's public fight with the chancellor of the system he oversees isn't over yet. 

With the clock ticking on his time on the board of regents, Hall has filed an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court to get access to confidential student records that Chancellor Bill McRaven has denied him. 

Artificial intelligence is one of those tech terms that seems to inevitably conjure up images (and jokes) of computer overlords running sci-fi dystopias — or, more recently, robots taking over human jobs.

But AI is already here: It's powering your voice-activated digital personal assistants and Web searches, guiding automated features on your car and translating foreign texts, detecting your friends in photos you post on social media and filtering your spam.

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