Science & Technology





Dell shareholders vote to take tech giant public again

Dell Technologies shareholders on Tuesday voted to take the Round Rock, Texas-based tech giant public after five years as a private company.

Based on a preliminary vote tally, shareholders approved the reverse merger -- valued at more than $23.7 billion -- which industry analysts expected would pass. The vote means that Dell will once again be ...Read more

A Miami 'unicorn' is born — parking startup worth more than $1 billion after funding

Miami is now officially home to its first unicorn.

On Monday, ParkJockey, founded in 2013 by entrepreneurs Ari Ojalvo and Umut Tekin and based on Brickell Key, announced an investment by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. The companies declined to state the exact figure, but according to sources familiar with the matter, the investment is in the ...Read more

Sound Advice: These LP Gear turntables come pre-mounted with A3S3 cartridge

Q. I would like to buy a new turntable that includes the highly recommended LP Gear The Vessel A3SE cartridge. It seems like all the turntables I am considering include some sort of Audio-Technica cartridge or an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge. Am I forced to buy the A3SE cartridge separately and mount it myself? I don't know how to mount and align a ...Read more

Global warming today mirrors conditions leading to Earth's largest extinction event, study says

More than two-thirds of life on Earth died off some 252 million years ago, in the largest mass extinction event in Earth's history.

Researchers have long suspected that volcanic eruptions triggered "the Great Dying," as the end of the Permian geologic period is sometimes called, but exactly how so many creatures died has been something of a ...Read more

Ancient ancestor of the bacteria that causes plague found in 5,000-year-old human remains

In an ancient grave in Sweden, scientists have unearthed the oldest known strain of a deadly bacteria that has killed millions of people over thousands of years.

They call it Yersinia pestis. You may know it as the plague.

The new discovery suggests that the microscopic bacteria has been wiping out great swaths of the human population for more...Read more

Google gave users different search results for gun control, immigration, DuckDuckGo says

Google users get different results when they search for the same terms, even when logged out of their Google account and in private browsing mode, according to a study by DuckDuckGo, a Google rival based in Paoli, Pa.

Google said the study was flawed.

DuckDuckGo said most of its 87 survey participants received unique lists of links when ...Read more

'Shadow workforce' at Google calls for better pay, benefits

A group claiming to represent Google's "shadow workforce" has launched an appeal to company Chief Executive Sundar Pichai in hopes of getting higher wages and equal benefits for thousands of temporary and contract workers.

In an open letter posted Wednesday on Medium, the temporary, vendor and contract workers (TVCs) say Google's "silence has ...Read more

Video-greeting company says it's 'safer than it's ever been' after celebs duped into taping anti-Semitic messages

CHICAGO -- Cameo, a company that allows people to pay for personalized video greetings from athletes, celebrities and social media influencers, has been having a banner year.

The two-year-old company recently raised $12.5 million in a funding round led by Silicon Valley firm Lightspeed Venture Partners. Cameo made Time magazine's 2018 Genius ...Read more

Quora reports data breach affecting 100 million users

Quora, a question-and-answer website, has reported a data breach affecting about 100 million users.

In a blog post, Chief Executive Adam D'Angelo said user account information such as user names, email addresses, encrypted passwords and data imported from linked networks "may have been compromised."

Users' histories -- including public ...Read more

Helpware: A lonely guy's gift list

A wag writing in Esquire magazine many years ago defined a lonely guy as someone who eats cold beans out of the can over the kitchen sink. Since nobody buys gifts for lonely guys, we have to buy them for ourselves.

Here are some gifts this lonely guy bought:

--Apple iPhone XS Max. It's got a great camera, and if you have an 8-year-old grandson...Read more

Tech Q&A: What to do if e-mails suddenly disappear

Q: When I opened my Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail program, I kept getting the message: "Do you want to compact all local and offline folders to save disk space? This will save about 229 megabytes."

I always said no because I didn't know what "compacting" did. But I must have accidentally accepted, because now some of my e-mail folders are empty. ...Read more

Waymo One, the first commercial robotaxi service, is now picking up passengers in Arizona

Robot cars are now officially a real business. Waymo on Wednesday launched a commercial robot ride-hailing service in Arizona called Waymo One.

Like Uber or Lyft, customers will summon a ride with a smartphone app. But in this case, the car will be driving itself.

"This is a game changer. It's historical in nature," said Grayson Brulte, who ...Read more

Qualcomm touts 5G in 2019, launches new processor for flagship smartphones

Qualcomm said Tuesday that another milestone has been hit in efforts to bring ultra-fast 5G wireless devices to consumers next year when a smartphone using its latest modem chip operated on a 5G network at an event in Hawaii.

Verizon conducted the 5G demonstration on its network using a Samsung prototype device with Qualcomm's X50 modem at Maui...Read more

Beware the holiday 'smart toys' that spy on your kids

Children talk to their toys as if they're really listening, sometimes confiding in dolls and stuffed animals.

Now toys are actually listening. And remembering.

This holiday season, shoppers can buy "smart toys," internet connected playthings equipped with microphones, cameras, and the ability to collect reams of data about children.

Consumer ...Read more

How Art Basel and Uber-style apps are helping fuel Miami's private jet industry

MIAMI -- Art Basel's Miami Beach fair brings booming business for many high-end service providers. Think $500-per-night hotels, celebrity-chef restaurants, caterers, chauffeurs.

Add private jet travel to the list. Spurred by Art Basel and the dozens of other art fairs opening this week, this once-sleepy South Florida industry is taking off.

...Read more

Sound Advice: These cooking machines make great gifts

Culinary additions to my holiday gift guide: I love to cook and every once in a while I find something that warrants inclusion in the column, like the Panasonic Countertop Induction Oven I raved about in 2017. Here are two nifty cooking machines that will make great gifts.

Panasonic High Speed Toaster Oven NB-W250S with Convection, $99: This ...Read more

This new atomic clock is so exact, it could be used to detect dark matter

Scientists have invented a new clock that keeps time more precisely than any that have come before.

The clock is so accurate that it won't gain or lose more than one second in 14 billion years -- roughly the age of the cosmos. Its ticking rate is so stable that it varies by only 0.000000000000000032 percent over the course of a single day.

...Read more

Helpware: The case for iPads

I scored a sixth-gen iPad during the month-long Black-Friday gotta-have-it-thon for $100 off the regular price, if there is such a thing as a regular price. My first move -- even before I turned it on -- was finding a protective case with the right combination of price and quality. Sifting through dozens of highly-rated cases on Amazon was like ...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to clear a hard drive to speed up a PC

Q: I've downloaded about 10 gigabytes of arcade game software updates to my used PC, a Dell Latitude E6400. Recently the PC has slowed down, and I discovered that its hard drive was nearly full (probably the previous owner left some data on it.) Which files should I delete?

-- Tim Karash, Isanti, Minn.

A: Clearing files from your relatively ...Read more

Austin solar power startup's vision: Put product 'on every rooftop'

AUSTIN, Texas -- A few years ago, Omeed Badkoobeh was living in China and often traveling to remote locations when he noticed a trend that intrigued him -- how often towns were relying on fuel-based generators for power

As a global studies graduate who had been studying solar power policy, Badkoobeh saw a market -- and a need for -- clean solar...Read more

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