Science & Technology





CES trade show to spotlight big tech trends in 5G, self-driving cars, 8K TVs and more

Some technology trends for the New Year are easy to predict, such as the continuing hype around faster, more reliable 5G cellular networks.

Others, however, are harder to forecast. What new artificial intelligence service will blossom to become the next Amazon Alexa or Google Home? Can self-driving car technology take a meaningful step forward?...Read more

Review: 'The Book of Science and Antiquities,' by Thomas Keneally

"The Book of Science and Antiquities" by Thomas Keneally; Atria (289 pages, $28)

Australian writer Thomas Keneally can be a hard sell. Brilliant, visionary and astoundingly prolific, he has written such bestsellers as "Schindler's List" and "The Daughters of Mars," as well as more than 40 other books, mostly novels, that showcase his mastery of...Read more

NASA's SLS moon rocket readies for next pit stop on way to Kennedy Space Center

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The next rocket NASA wants to send to the moon is about to leave the house it was built in for a new home, but isn't quite ready for Kennedy Space Center.

First, the Space Launch System core stage with its four attached RS-25 engines will make its way by NASA's Pegasus barge from the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to ...Read more

CES, the tech industry's big show, to feature keynote from Ivanka Trump

With the new year, the tech industry's attention turns to Las Vegas and the stage at CES, where attendees will find ... Ivanka Trump.

The presidential adviser and daughter will join Consumer Technology Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro to discuss the future of work on Tuesday, opening day of the annual tech bacchanal and showcase.

...Read more

Amazon and Google to hit CES with digital assistants in tow

LOS ANGELES -- The world's biggest technology companies are heading to Las Vegas for the annual CES trade show next week, with even Apple Inc. making a rare official appearance. But don't expect any breakthrough new hardware. Inc. and Google will promote existing digital-assistant technology through their own internet-connected ...Read more

In 2020, Californians will have new privacy rights online. But they might have to show ID

The internet is going to look, and work, a little different starting today. That's because Californians have new rights over how their personal information is gathered, stored and sold by any company operating in the state as of Jan. 1, thanks to the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA.

As businesses scramble to get in compliance with the ...Read more

You've likely never heard of the world's greatest ocean migration. Satellite data is helping scientists study it

The greatest animal migration on Earth is likely something you never heard of and few have witnessed: legions of tiny marine creatures rising to the ocean surface every night to feed on tiny plants, then sinking back into the deep, dark water at dawn.

Called the diel vertical migration, it was first recorded nearly 200 years ago by hauling ship...Read more

India plans another shot at moon landing this year after earlier crash

NEW DELHI -- India will try to land on the moon this year, after a previous attempt failed just minutes before a scheduled touchdown on the lunar surface, in a bid to restore its credentials as an ambitious space power.

The South Asian nation's Chandrayaan-3 mission to the moon will consist of a lander and a rover, and will use inputs from an ...Read more

Sound Advice: Projectors are a worthy buy

Q. I have space in my home for a movie room with a screen over 100 inches in size, perhaps 150-160 inches. Do you think I am better off with a projector with a large screen, or an 82-inch flat panel? I like the idea of a projector but I have not seen a real good one, unless it is extremely expensive. When I think of home projection I tend to ...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to simplify PC photo management

Q: My many photos are being stored in many different places and I'd like to simplify the situation. The photos on my Windows 10 PC are synced with Microsoft OneDrive (currently full), Google Drive (currently full) and Dropbox (not sure how full it is.)

In addition, there are multiple copies of some photos, and the Picasa program I used to ...Read more

Artificial intelligence has come to medicine. Are patients being put at risk?

Health products powered by artificial intelligence, or AI, are streaming into our lives, from virtual doctor apps to wearable sensors and drugstore chatbots.

IBM boasted that its AI could "outthink cancer." Others say computer systems that read X-rays will make radiologists obsolete.

"There's nothing that I've seen in my 30-plus years studying...Read more

What's the difference between an HSA and an FSA? It matters for end-of-year health spending.

Every December, it can seem that the only break we get from holiday shopping ads is pitches to buy new eyeglasses, so we can use up all our pretax health dollars before the new year and not lose them.

But don't be deceived -- those ads are referring to flexible spending accounts, or FSAs. If you have a health savings account, or HSA, there's no...Read more

California is rewriting the rules of the internet. Businesses are scrambling to keep up

A sweeping new law that aims to rewrite the rules of the internet in California is set to go into effect on Jan. 1.

Most businesses with a website and customers in California -- which is to say most large businesses in the nation -- must follow the new regime, which is supposed to make online life more transparent and less creepy for users.

...Read more

Drones need huge tracking network for expanded flights, FAA says

WASHINGTON -- All but the smallest civilian drones would have to broadcast radio tracking data to ensure greater safety and prevent terrorism under a sweeping proposal unveiled by U.S. regulators Thursday.

The long-awaited draft rules call for a massive new tracking network for everything from toys to larger commercial drones so that law ...Read more

Inside YouTube's year of responsibility

YouTube spent 2019 answering critics with some of the most drastic changes in its 15-year history. With each step, it gave those activists, regulators and lawmakers more reasons to attack its free-wheeling, user-generated business model.

Susan Wojcicki, YouTube's chief executive officer, announced her goals in April. "My top priority," she ...Read more

5G arrived in Chicago in 2019. What will happen with the fifth generation of wireless in 2020?

Wireless companies will continue developing their 5G networks in Chicago in 2020, but it will be years before most consumers take advantage of the ultrafast download speeds.

Businesses are figuring out how they can best use the fifth generation of wireless, and expect it will lay the foundation for high-tech advancements. But before it's widely...Read more

(c)2019 Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Tech Q&A: Just being careful won't keep you safe on Windows 7

Q: We've all been told that Windows 7 won't get security updates after mid-January, and that if your computer can't handle an upgrade to Windows 10 you need to buy a new Windows 10 PC.

But, based on what I've been able to learn, malware infections are mostly caused by operator errors, such as clicking a link in a suspect e-mail or downloading ...Read more

New study: Adaptive cruise-control and other driver-assistance systems may increase distracted driving

Drivers familiar with using adaptive cruise-control and other driver-assistance systems are more likely to drive while distracted, a new study says.

The study found that drivers who own cars with the assistance technology are nearly twice as likely to engage in distracting behavior -- such as texting, fidgeting with the radio or not keeping ...Read more

Sound Advice: Price not always best gauge for audio quality

Q. I'm adding speakers to a mid-size man cave (26-by-15 feet) to replacing my college-era Large Advent speakers. My stereo dealer let me take two pairs of speakers home to try in my room. I was stunned (in a good way) when I heard the $999 Focal Aria 906 bookshelf speakers and the way they easily fill the room with plenty of bass, even without a...Read more