Science & Technology



Why is Jupiter extra-hot over the Great Red Spot? Scientists puzzle over superstorm

Scientists scanning Jupiter's atmosphere have found a mysterious spike in temperature high above the Great Red Spot -- that massive, swirling storm that has graced the planet's face for centuries.

The discovery, described in the journal Nature, may hint at a deeper connection between the dynamics of the gas giant's upper and lower atmosphere, ...Read more

SpaceX will spend $300 million on Red Dragon Mars mission, NASA says

LOS ANGELES -- SpaceX is likely spending about $300 million on its unmanned Red Dragon Mars mission, according to NASA estimates.

The topic came up at a NASA Advisory Council committee meeting Tuesday, when agency official Jim Reuter said SpaceX's spending on the mission was about 10 times that of NASA's, according to Space News.

NASA said it ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Helping a 'smart' TV connect to Netflix

Q: I own a Samsung Smart TV that can't connect to Netflix, even though it connects to every other streaming service available through the TV. I called Samsung, and they told me to call Netflix. I called Netflix, and they said to contact Comcast, my internet service provider. A Comcast technician said there's something wrong with my TV's Netflix ...Read more

Cloned animals don't age any faster than conventional ones, study says

Dolly the sheep, the world's first clone of an adult animal, died in middle age. But a new study makes the case that the extraordinary circumstances of her birth did not play a role in her untimely death.

After examining more than a dozen cloned sheep old enough to be considered senior citizens -- including four clones of the same ewe as Dolly ...Read more

Web Buzz: Dream about where to rest your head

Do all hotel booking sites look the same after a while? Get ready to be amazed.

Name: Little.Voyage

What it does: This website opens the door to immersive travel through distinctive properties around the world. Hotels are grouped according to category: boutique, eco-friendly, fabulous, hideaway, quirky and shoestring.

What's hot: It's ...Read more

Dark matter eludes the world's most sensitive detector

It's official: Scientists with the Large Underground Xenon dark-matter detector have combed through 20 months of pristine data and found, buried deep in the measurements ... nothing out of the ordinary.

The findings, presented at the Identification of Dark Matter conference in Sheffield, England, were not unexpected -- though they do highlight ...Read more

Bay Area girls stream into summer coding camps

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- It already feels like the dead of summer, but the girls over at Adobe's coding camp are making it snow.

"They're programming each and every snowflake on the screen and using code to make them fall," says instructor Prerna Vij, a 29-year-old Adobe software engineer helping to bridge the yawning gender gap in today's male-...Read more

Success of 'Pokemon Go' begs question: How augmented should reality be?

LOS ANGELES -- The magic of "Pokemon Go" is in the way it overlays the Pokemon world atop the real world. Step outside and you'll spot cartoonish creatures to capture. Head to a place where people congregate -- say a park or a bus stop -- and you'll battle other players or encounter the rarest beasts.

In the two weeks since the app's launch, ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Beware of 'untrusted certificate' websites

Q: My Google Chrome Web browser occasionally gives me a warning about an "untrusted certificate" when I visit websites. There is a choice to "block" or "allow," and I always press block, but I continue to get the warning. What's causing this?

--Calvin Helmer, Denham Springs, La.

A: The warning means that your browser isn't sure if the website ...Read more

Troy Wolverton: After Pokemon, where does Nintendo go?

If you're like millions of other Americans, you've spent much of your last week or so playing Pokemon Go.

But will it lead you to buy other Nintendo games or its next game console that will hit store shelves next year?

That's the multibillion-dollar question facing the venerable video game vendor after the runaway success of the augmented ...Read more

The human eye can detect a single photon, study finds

Your eyes may be more sensitive than you ever thought possible.

In a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications, researchers report that our warm, wet, multicellular eyes have evolved such a high level of sensitivity that they can, on occasion, detect a single photon aimed at the retina.

Even the most sophisticated man-made devices ...Read more

Technology offers hope for end of animal testing

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- Hoping to make the lab rat a thing of the past, scientists at Lawrence Livermore Lab in this East Bay Area city are testing technology that replicates vital human tissues on microchips.

Animal rights advocates are encouraged that the technology may one day end experiments on mice, rats, snakes and other animals used to test...Read more

Can't remember your password? No problem, banks say

PITTSBURGH -- Banks were the first to teach us that we couldn't live without passwords. Now they're showing us that we can.

Big banks increasingly are offering customers the option of using fingerprints, voices, retina scans and other biometric technologies to access their accounts instead of passwords.

Convenience for customers and better ...Read more

Nostalgia pays off for Nintendo

SEATTLE -- The video-gaming industry is surging into the future with cutting-edge hardware and photo-realistic displays.

Sony is on the cusp of releasing a virtual-reality headset for its world-beating PlayStation 4. Microsoft says it is working on the most powerful living-room game console of all time. Smartphones have made gamers out of ...Read more

Technology offers hope for end of animal testing

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- Hoping to make the lab rat a thing of the past, scientists at Lawrence Livermore Lab are testing technology that replicates vital human tissues on microchips.

Animal rights advocates are encouraged that the technology may one day end experiments on mice, rats, snakes and other animals used to test products and develop drugs...Read more

Some earthquakes on San Andreas Fault triggered by gravitational tug of sun and moon

LOS ANGELES -- The gravitational tug between the sun and moon is not just a dance of high and low tides: It can also trigger a special kind of earthquake on the San Andreas Fault.

This phenomenon has fascinated scientists for years. Like sea levels, the surface of the Earth also goes up and down with the tides, flexing the crust and stressing ...Read more

SpaceX launches supplies to International Space Station, lands rocket booster

SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket laden with supplies for the International Space Station early Monday, and successfully landed its first-stage rocket booster back on land.

The launch occurred at 12:45 a.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

About eight minutes after liftoff, the first-stage rocket booster returned to land...Read more

Flailing phone business forces Microsoft to back off hopes for Windows 10

Microsoft says it will take more time than it thought to get a billion devices running Windows 10 because of its sharply curtailed ambitions in the smartphone business.

The company last year set a goal of reaching 1 billion devices running the new operating system by mid-2018.

But in a statement to ZDNet, the company says it will "take longer"...Read more

Culture, not biology, may define which musical chords sound sweet and which don't

When it comes to musical aesthetics, beauty is in the ear of the beholder. A new study finds that people who haven't been exposed to Western music don't find certain "discordant" sounds unpleasant at all.

The findings, described in the journal Nature, show that Western musical sensibilities aren't hardwired into the human auditory system. They ...Read more

Zika epidemic in Latin America may have peaked, and scientists predict it will be over in 3 years

Researchers modeling the rampant spread of the Zika virus say that, like a wildfire consuming a parched landscape, the epidemic that has caused a plague of birth defects in Brazil is already showing signs of slowing and is likely to largely burn itself out in three years.

Peak Zika spread may already have passed, said researchers writing in the...Read more