Science & Technology





Researchers call for oversight of burgeoning brain stimulation market

As the market for brain stimulation devices and apps grows, a University of Pennsylvania instructor and a Canadian neuroethicist are calling for more oversight of the largely unproven technology.

In an essay in Thursday's issue of the journal Science, the two argue that consumers want and need better information about direct-to-consumer ...Read more

Is it time for a federal data protection agency?

State and federal lawmakers have pushed for privacy laws after myriad online breaches and scandals. Now, saying the United States faces a "crisis," advocacy groups are going a step further and calling for a new data protection agency.

"The U.S. needs a federal agency focused on privacy protection, compliance with data protection obligations, ...Read more

Your sustainable diet for the year 2050: More nuts, less sugar and red meat

Good news, Earthlings! An international team of scientists reports that it is indeed possible to feed everyone on the planet a healthy and environmentally sustainable diet by the year 2050.

All it will take is a wholesale, radical change to what foods we eat and the way we produce them.

"We call it the Great Food Transformation," said Jessica ...Read more

Concern about Snap exodus grows

When Tim Stone joined Snap Inc. as chief financial officer in May 2018, investors breathed a sigh of relief.

With 20 years at Inc. under his belt, Stone was hailed as a veteran who could bring stability to the social media company, led by 28-year-old co-founder and Chief Executive Evan Spiegel, that had veered off course after an ...Read more

As shutdown drags on, scientists scramble to keep insects, plants and microbes alive

Three days a week, Don Weber shows up to work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture campus in Beltsville, Md. The parking lot is empty and the hallways are dark. Like other federal facilities across the country, the lab is closed because of the partial government shutdown.

"It's like a ghost town," said Weber, an entomologist.

But he has to ...Read more

Red Hat investors approve $34B merger agreement with IBM

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Red Hat investors gave their blessing Wednesday to the $34 billion merger agreement between the Raleigh-based company and IBM.

Of the more than 176 million outstanding shares of Red Hat, around 141 million voted in favor of the merger and only 181,848 voted against it during a meeting at its office tower in downtown Raleigh.

...Read more

Government can't force people to unlock phones using facial recognition, fingerprints: federal judge

A federal judge in Oakland ruled that law enforcement agencies cannot force people to use biometric features such as facial-recognition to unlock their phones and other devices in a case that highlights the fight between Big Tech and law enforcement over users' privacy.

The decision arose out of an extortion case in which two suspects allegedly...Read more

Sound Advice: Technics has two exciting new turntables

Q. I have a vintage high-end sound system made up of Crown, Nakamichi and dbx components. I am looking to replace my old Bang & Olufsen turntable and would consider spending up to $1,500. What is your top recommendation in that price range?

-- D.B., Milwaukee

A. Typically I would encourage you to spend an extra $200 plus the cost of the ...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to stream PC music to another device

Q: I'm trying to stream music from my Windows 10 PC to my Samsung Blu-ray player (model BD-J5700) using the Windows "cast to device" feature. When I did this with my previous PC, the music went over my home Wi-Fi network to my Blu-ray player, then played on my TV's stereo speakers.

But with this PC, the "cast to device" software doesn't seem to...Read more

Can St. Paul startup succeed where Theranos failed? Ativa bets on $8 blood tests

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A flash of sparkles appears as an industrial-grade laser unleashes a blast of energy, precisely manufacturing channels in laminated tape for a medical device component.

Someday, a laser-cut strip of tape almost exactly like this could be used in a tabletop analyzer at a clinic to count your blood cells or check your urine for...Read more

After the bitcoin bust and a local bankruptcy, Washington county doubles down on blockchain

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Wash. -- Even as much of the world seems done with cryptocurrency, central Washington's bitcoin boomtown is doubling down.

In Douglas County, where easy access to cheap hydropower sparked a cryptocurrency boom in 2017 -- followed by a collapse in 2018 -- local officials are betting that the high-speed computers and the complex "...Read more

VR gets reality check with significant decline in investment

LAS VEGAS -- A few years ago, virtual reality was all the rage in Hollywood, helping to fuel the rise of Silicon Beach with the promise of reinventing the entertainment business.

At its peak, investors pumped $253 million into two dozen deals involving virtual and augmented reality start-ups in L.A. and Orange counties in 2016, hoping that ...Read more

State laws slow down high-speed internet for rural America

WASHINGTON -- Electric cooperatives want to help bridge the digital divide between rural and urban America as more federal funding becomes available for rural broadband.

But a 77-year-old law may prevent one of the nation's poorest states from fully tapping into millions of new federal dollars to expand high-speed internet service to needy ...Read more

One day our sun will solidify into a giant crystal orb

Our sun and billions of stars just like it are headed for a strange, cold destiny.

New research suggests that long after our roiling, boiling life-giving star runs out of fuel it will slowly form a cold, dead, super-dense crystal sphere about the size of the Earth that will linger like a translucent tombstone for close to eternity.

"In tens of...Read more

Bungie splits from Activision, retains rights to its Destiny game series

Two giants of the video game industry -- Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision Blizzard and Washington-based game developer Bungie -- are getting a surprise divorce, with just one year left to go on a 10-year contract inked in 2010.

Bungie announced the split in a blog post Thursday afternoon, and both companies published a joint statement ...Read more

Google shareholder sues board, alleging cover-up of sexual misconduct claims

When Google was revealed to have paid large severance packages to executives accused of sexual misconduct, outrage swelled, criticism piled on and employees stopped working and walked out of their offices.

Months later, the company is still dealing with the repercussions.

A shareholder on Thursday sued the company's board of directors, ...Read more

'Fortnite' game maker scores an 'F' rating from the Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina has levied an "F" rating against the Cary, N.C.-based video-game maker Epic Games, and says the company has exhibited a pattern of not responding to customer complaints.

Epic Games, which was recently valued at more than a billion dollars on the back of its popular "Fortnite" game, had 279 ...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to make e-mail better for you

Q: I use the Windows 10 Mail program to access my Comcast and Gmail accounts. But when I turn on the PC, I get a pop-up message that says "Either there is no default mail client or the current mail client cannot fulfill the messaging request. Please run Microsoft Outlook and set it as the default mail client." But I don't use Outlook. What ...Read more

Concussion-detection device developed by Minnesota doctor gets FDA OK

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared a new medical device invented by a Twin Cities neurosurgeon to detect signs of concussion by tracking a patient's eye movements.

The device, called the EyeBox, was invented by Minnesota neurosurgeon Dr. Uzma Samadani following the discovery that slight discrepancies in how a patient's eyes track...Read more

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile selling customers' real-time locations: report

If like most people you keep your cell phone handy, your mobile-service provider knows where you are nearly all the time. And several major cell companies are selling that information to firms that sell it onward in a practice that could let stalkers and criminals find out your location in real time, according to a new report.

"A wide variety ...Read more


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