Science & Technology





Google Pay teams with Cubic so transit riders can pay fares with Android phones

Cubic Corp., which makes fare collection technology for some of the world's largest public transit agencies, is working with Google to make it easier for riders to use their Android smartphones to pay for fares.

Cubic is collaborating with Google to add transit cards to the Google Pay platform, allowing unbanked riders, youth and others without...Read more

How this 31-year-old Pacific Beach surfer makes millions selling sunglasses

SAN DIEGO -- Chase Fisher looks like your typical Pacific Beach bro. The 31-year-old surfer is tanned and freckled, his hair gelled back to give that permanent ocean-wet vibe. With bright-colored shades slung around his neck, he looks more like a DJ than a retail entrepreneur.

But Fisher is the sole owner of Blenders, a rapidly growing sunglass...Read more

Tech Q&A: The rush is on to upgrade Windows 7 by January

There is nothing like a deadline to get millions of PC owners moving.

Windows 7 users face a Jan. 14 deadline for the end of Microsoft security updates and need to move to Windows 10 or risk being hacked.

There are still an estimated 300 million Windows 7 users worldwide. Corporate users can buy Windows 7 security updates for three more years....Read more

Earthquake struck on unusual section of San Andreas fault known for 'creeping'

LOS ANGELES -- The magnitude 4.7 earthquake Tuesday east of Monterey Bay hit on a unique section of the San Andreas fault that has long generated interest from scientists.

The quake was felt across a wide area and caused no major damage. But it offered a reminder of the San Andreas' presence as a dangerous seismic presence in California.

THE '...Read more

Sound Advice: Kicker Bullfrog BF400 weatherproof speakers are a great buy

Q. I want to upgrade my patio sound system. I have been using a pair of outdoor speakers connected to a receiver, but now I want a portable, wireless solution that can fill a large area with sound. What are your recommendations for weatherproof speakers in the $500 price range?

-- B.G., Somers Point, N.J.

A. The Kicker Bullfrog BF400 is a ...Read more

Breathalyzer for weed could be a 'game changer' for legalization efforts

PHILADELPHIA -- When New Jersey lawmakers debated earlier this year whether to legalize recreational use of marijuana, the Garden State's police organizations were adamantly against it.

The cops said that legal weed might lead to an explosion in the numbers of impaired drivers operating under the influence. And the police would be caught ...Read more

Clock ticks as SpaceX builds craft for NASA

Two weeks ago, the head of NASA seemed sick of waiting for SpaceX and Boeing Co. to finish developing the capsules that are supposed to carry U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

As SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk unleashed fanfare about his passion project -- preparing to unveil SpaceX's Starship Mars spaceship ...Read more

Powerful Typhoon Hagibis projected to hit Tokyo

TOKYO -- Japan is bracing for powerful Typhoon Hagibis on Friday, a month after a strong storm pummeled the Tokyo area, disrupting transport and causing massive power outages.

Two rugby World Cup matches scheduled for Saturday have been canceled because of the expected impact of Hagibis, organizers said.

The typhoon could also affect the ...Read more

An ancient whale gets a new name to honor a UCSD professor

SAN DIEGO -- He's discovered many animal fossils. But to have a species bear his name?

University of California San Diego paleontologist Dick Norris didn't see that coming.

"My mom is tickled pink and I think my father would have been very delighted," said Norris, a researcher at UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

He is the son of ...Read more

Americans increasingly fear violence from people who are mentally ill. They shouldn't

Political rhetoric that blames people with mental illness for spasms of mass violence appears to be seeping into the national psyche.

Americans increasingly see people with schizophrenia or major depression as a threat not only to themselves but to others, new research reveals. That wariness even extends to those who have difficulties coping ...Read more

Employees of Microsoft's GitHub demand company cancel its contract with ICE

GitHub became the latest technology company to come under fire for its supporting role in the Trump administration's immigration clampdown Wednesday, with employees of the Microsoft-owned company demanding Chief Executive Nat Friedman cancel a $200,000 contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In an open letter on Twitter, ...Read more

CarePartners Plus exploring joint venture for software built to prevent suicide in veterans

PHILADELPHIA -- CarePartners Plus, a healthcare software firm based in Horsham, Pa., wants to get its product into consumers' hands as soon as possible.

After years of waiting on the Veterans Administration, CarePartners Plus is now in discussions with bankers and financial advisors to sign a joint venture or strategic partnership with a larger...Read more

Waymo is mapping L.A. in hopes of someday introducing driverless taxis

LOS ANGELES -- Waymo this week set three Chrysler Pacifica minivans crawling Los Angeles streets to make maps -- but not the kind made for humans.

Google's autonomous vehicle offshoot deployed the vans not to chart the layout of the city's streets and avenues, but instead to craft 3-D maps of the infrastructure around which cars travel -- curbs...Read more

A new gaming company wants to disrupt the industry

SEATTLE -- The man responsible for the insanely popular Halo franchise, which garnered $3 billion in the span of its first three releases, is ready to talk about his new project.

Harold Ryan, the former studio head and then later president of Bungie, the game development company responsible for the Halo, Age of Empires and Destiny franchises, ...Read more

Report says workers are biggest data-security threat

MINNEAPOLIS -- Headlines about cybersecurity breaches and data theft from government agencies and companies such as Caribou Coffee, Target and Medtronic in recent years can inspire fear of bad guys exploiting the internet from dark places on the web.

However, most of the online swiping comes from insiders.

"Organizations are overlooking the ...Read more

In creating so-called mini-brains, how close to a real human brain is too close?

Do I exist? Do you exist? How do I know you exist?

These ancient questions have been given new urgency by 21st century science. Some of San Diego's top researchers met recently in La Jolla to discuss them.

The topic was so-called mini-brains, pea-sized structures of human neurons grown from stem cells. Called human brain organoids by ...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to upgrade an e-mail program without losing mail

Q: I've been using a POP (Post Office Protocol) account to access my Comcast e-mail; it deletes old mail from the server once I download it to my PC's Outlook mail program. Now I want to switch to an IMAP (internet Message Access Protocol) e-mail account, which would keep all my mail on the server so I can access it from both my phone and tablet...Read more

Alaska Natives and fishermen sue EPA for reversing Pebble Mine decision

SEATTLE -- Trump administration officials broke the law when they reversed course and gave a green light to a proposed copper and gold mine near Alaska's Bristol Bay, mining opponents said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Alaska Native, commercial fishing and economic development organizations said the Environmental Protection Agency's decision July...Read more

Sound Advice: These noise-canceling headphones could negate need for hearing aid when listening to audiobooks

Q. I read your columns about ZVOX AccuVoice AV50 noise-canceling headphones and VoiceBud VB20 hearing aids and I have something of an odd question. Can they work together? The reason I ask is I fly from California to Pennsylvania often to see my children and grandchildren, and would like to enjoy some audiobooks during the long flight. Given my ...Read more

Study: Mice that vaped nicotine for a year had big increase in tumor growth

New research in mice suggests that long-term exposure to vaping liquids that contain nicotine greatly increases the risk of cancer.

After breathing in the vapor for 20 hours a week for more than a year, 22.5% of the mice had cancerous tumors in the lining of the lungs, and 57.5% developed growths in their bladder tissue that can be precursors ...Read more