Science & Technology





Who owns Dispute puts future of fact-checking site in question

SAN DIEGO -- Fact-checking site is asking readers to save the advertising-funded sleuthing service, which is in dire financial straits. The company is seeking donations through a GoFundMe campaign, which has raised upward of $130,000 of its $500,000 goal in a matter of hours.

The reason for the plea is this: Behind the scenes, Snopes...Read more

Science proves it: Money really can buy happiness

They say money can't buy happiness, but science begs to differ.

An international research team has demonstrated that you really can make yourself happier by paying other people to do your time-consuming chores.

It doesn't matter whether you're rich or poor, the new study suggests. If you feel pressed for time, your life satisfaction can be ...Read more

Lyft to build its own self-driving technology, open lab in Palo Alto

SAN FRANCISCO -- Lyft said on Thursday it will develop its own autonomous driving technology and open a laboratory in the Silicon Valley city of Palo Alto to help build the hardware and software.

Lyft's plan to build in-house self-driving technology is a pivot from what has been a strategy of primarily focusing on building partnerships with car...Read more

NC island's mysterious birth appears on NASA satellite images

NASA has released satellite images that show North Carolina's newly formed Shelly Island was born in November.

The photos, acquired by the Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite, show the sands that grew into the island first registered in November 2016 in the shoal area off Cape Point.

A second image, taken in January 2017, shows ...Read more

Research shows a way to teach babies second language if parents only speak one

SEATTLE -- For decades, researchers have built a compelling amount of evidence that the earlier you introduce a child to a second language, the stronger his or her bilingual skills will be.

An infant's brain also appears to benefit from early exposure to two languages. Earlier this year, for example, a team at the University of Washington used ...Read more

Jennifer Van Grove: Help finding the right streaming TV package and other cord-cutting tidbits

This week, instead of elaborating on a new streaming service or delving into the life of a would-be cord-cutter, I've decided to gather a hodgepodge of interesting cord-cutting tidbits.

I hope they either help shed some light on column-related decisions I've made in the past or inform you as to what cable alternative might be the best option ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Deleting unwanted Android photos synced from Google app

Q: To free up storage space on my Android smartphone, I often go to the photo gallery and delete some pictures. But I can't seem to delete the 203 photos that were synced to my phone from Google's Picasa online photo app. How can I get rid of these photos?

--John Knoderer, Manning, S.C.

A: The Picasa photos were automatically downloaded to ...Read more

Netflix stock hits all-time high after strong earnings report

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- It was Netflix at the open and Netflix at the close, as the internet streaming TV giant conquered the stock market Tuesday.

The Los Gatos-based company's quarterly report pleased just about everyone, from its subscribers to its investors and the Wall Street analysts that cover the company.

Netflix shares climbed 13.5 ...Read more

Sound Advice: Getting good sound from computer speakers

Q. I know computer speakers will never take the place of full-sized audio equipment, but I'm facing a situation where my listening will be centered around my office desktop computer. What can you recommend for this less-than-ideal scenario? I enjoy crisp and honest sound in my music, so I'm looking to make the best of this compromise.

--D.A., ...Read more

Helpware: 3 huzzahs, 1 raspberry for these tech support teams

Software and computer companies are judged by the quality of their products. But I also judge a company on how well it supports its products. I write about my tech support winners and sinners and customer service experiences more often these days because I've realized the quality of support can go from great to awful practically overnight.

I ...Read more

How Silicon Valley silences sexual harassment victims

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Even as Silicon Valley applauds the bravery of more than a dozen women who have come forward to report sexual harassment in recent weeks, some tech companies and venture capital firms muzzle their own employees with policies that prevent them from speaking out.

Tech workers often sign nondisclosure agreements promising not ...Read more

Consultant helps med-tech companies with what comes after FDA approval

MINNEAPOLIS -- Medical technologies often take years to transform from an inventor's idea into a government-approved product. But getting Food and Drug Administration approval is no longer the end game. Med-tech buyers want scientific proof that a device will work as intended often enough to justify the expense. Industry consultants like Joe ...Read more

Silicon Valley investors embrace a new vision of college

SAN FRANCISCO -- Make School, a for-profit startup in this city's South of Market district, is one of the most unusual schools in the country: It lets students enroll in classes for free if they agree to pay later after they land a job.

"We can only make money if the students are doing well," co-founder Ashu Desai, 24, said during an interview ...Read more

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

If that were to happen, as many as 5.6 million kids who are alive today would be spared a tobacco habit that will ultimately lead to their death, according to the authors of a report published ...Read more

Google's federal foe in gender-discrimination pay battle slammed by judge

SAN FRANCISCO -- In a withering decision, a federal judge attacked the federal government's gender-discrimination probe against Google, calling the U.S. Department of Labor's theory in the case "little more than speculation."

But the Labor Department nevertheless declared victory, saying the judge's order will give it access to the data it ...Read more

Best Buy rings up a rebound

LOS ANGELES -- Five years ago Best Buy Co. looked like a retail dinosaur, another victim of e-commerce juggernaut and other online sellers.

The big-box electronics chain was suffering dwindling sales and profits in good part because of "showrooming," when shoppers would come in to a Best Buy store to check out televisions, computers ...Read more

Since its IPO, Snap Inc. did exactly what it said it would, so why is its stock struggling?

The Los Angeles tech company behind Snapchat offers a simple sales pitch to investors: We'll release features niftier than anything our competitors can produce.

In its first four months as a publicly traded company, Snap Inc. has kept its part of the bargain. It introduced a mapping tool that reveals the location of friends and trending events,...Read more

Uber gives up the wheel in Russia, merges with rival Yandex

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Hitting another pothole on its rough road to global domination, ride-hailing company Uber on Thursday ceded control of the Russian market in a merger with rival Yandex.

The two will create a yet-to-be-named company worth $3.7 billion, of which Yandex will have majority ownership, according to a joint news release.

Yandex, ...Read more

Iceberg the size of Delaware loose in Antarctic

Sometime in the last few days, a block of ice the size of Delaware broke away from Antarctica and is now floating freely in the Weddell Sea.

The iceberg, which at around 1 trillion tons is one of the largest on record, poses no immediate threat to sea levels. But scientists say the break may have altered the profile of the continent's western ...Read more

Net neutrality supporters say online rally is just the start of fight to keep tough FCC rules

WASHINGTON -- Some of the web's biggest names -- Amazon, Google, Netflix and Twitter -- joined thousands of smaller websites Wednesday in urging users to tell Washington to leave the internet the way it is.

On website banners, pop-up widgets, blog posts and videos, web companies said that could only be accomplished by keeping tough net ...Read more

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