Science & Technology





Warehousing tech elite's wealth? New path urged for Silicon Valley charity

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation grew into the largest philanthropy of its kind over the last decade by jumping on a trend: It offered technology's nouveau riche an attractive charitable account that shields their wealth from taxes, but doesn't require them to disburse it right away to charities.

Now, as the foundation seeks new ...Read more

Sound Advice: Onkyo TX-8020 a better receiver than TX-8220

Q. You often recommend the Onkyo TX-8020 as the top pick in an affordable (under-$200) receiver. Have you ever evaluated the new Onkyo TX-8220, which includes Bluetooth?

-- B.R., San Jose, Calif.

A. I have not evaluated the TX-8220 and after looking at the specifications, I don't need to. I would not buy one and will still be recommending the ...Read more

DreamBox Learning gets $130 million for math education software

Bellevue, Wash., education-software company DreamBox Learning has received a $130 million investment from private equity firm TPG. The money, more than triple what the company has previously raised in its 12-year life span, is intended to bring accessible math education to more schools across the world.

The investment is from TPG's division ...Read more

Facebook to be the focus of a 'Frontline' investigation on PBS

On a day when Facebook revealed it has removed dozens of pages that were using "coordinated inauthentic behavior" intended to interfere in American politics ahead of the midterm elections, PBS held a media conference to promote an upcoming "Frontline" investigation into the social networking giant.

"The Facebook Dilemma" is a two-part ...Read more

To promote financial technology, Trump administration proposes streamlining regulations

WASHINGTON -- A Treasury Department report released Tuesday calls for regulatory changes to advance new financial technology companies and services, known in the industry as fintech.

Some of the recommendations are controversial, including endorsing the ability of fintech firms to operate nationwide and urging Congress to develop national rules...Read more

Hearing Amazon's footsteps, Walgreens unveils new digital platform to connect patients to doctors

Walgreens has unveiled a new digital platform to connect customers to medical services, just weeks after its stock dove on news that Amazon is expanding into the pharmacy business.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens' new Find Care Now platform, available online and on the pharmacy chain's app, allows patients to schedule appointments at its in-...Read more

A year after data breach: Atlanta-based Equifax unbowed

A year after the worst data breach in U.S. history to date, Atlanta-based Equifax has been chastened, but its business model is unchanged and the company churns on, virtually undamaged by legislative, regulatory or prosecutorial penalties.

It was a year ago that the company noticed the first signs of historic trouble -- hackers had slipped ...Read more

How opioids reshape your brain, and what scientists are learning about addiction

PHILADELPHIA -- None of us has the brain we were born with. Brains grow and adapt. This process, called neuroplasticity, doesn't end when you step out of the classroom. Even habits -- reaching for cookies when stressed out, keeping your head down during staff meetings -- cut "trails" in the brain throughout life that can be hard to overcome.

...Read more

The longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century is coming on Friday: Here's what you need to know

The longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century is coming up, and you don't want to miss it.

On Friday, the moon will be fully engulfed in the heart of Earth's shadow for 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds.

It doesn't get much better than that. The longest possible duration of a lunar eclipse is one hour and 47 minutes, according to more

Electronic skin allows amputees to 'feel' pain and touch

BALTIMORE -- When Gyorgy Levay lost parts of all four extremities, including most of his left arm, to meningitis in 2010, he resolved to make the best of a bad situation.

He mastered his state-of-the-art prosthetic replacements. He switched the focus of his graduate studies from electrical to biomedical engineering. The native Hungarian even ...Read more

Grubhub to buy LevelUp mobile ordering and payment company for $390 million

CHICAGO -- Grubhub is set to pay $390 million for mobile ordering and payment company LevelUp in an effort to reach more diners, the company announced Wednesday.

The acquisition of the Boston-based company has not closed. LevelUp works with more than 200 restaurant chains, providing a platform for customers to place orders for pickup, among ...Read more

U.S. House votes to kill sales tax on medical devices

WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to kill a sales tax on medical devices that the medical-technology industry have battled for nearly a decade.

Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen of Minnesota introduced the stand-alone repeal legislation. The bill had 277 cosponsors and a seal of approval from the White ...Read more

Sound Advice: How to repair vintage Panasonic camera

Q. The lens of my husband's "action camera" has a scratch right in the middle. The camera is a nice little Panasonic DMC-ZS3. It has a Leica lens that goes down to an effective 25mm wide angle, and this very wide angle is very useful. He is considering having a repair shop replace or repair the lens. Do you have any suggestions as far as repair?...Read more

Autonomous decision-making one of biggest challenges for flying cars, industry expert says

Despite several proposals to create flying taxis, industry has a ways to go to master how those vehicles will operate without human pilots and make crucial flight decisions on their own, an industry expert told a congressional committee hearing Tuesday.

The meeting of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology -- billed as the first ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Windows 10 update creates fake drive

Q: Following a Windows 10 update, I got a warning that said, "You are running out of disk space on disk (E)." I've never had a disk E, but now File Explorer shows it as a drive with a capacity of 449 megabytes, of which only 42 megabytes are available. Yet when I click on drive E, File Explorer shows that it's empty. What should I do?

-- Keith ...Read more

Write about Trump or review a Tesla, get driven off Twitter

Has Twitter become too toxic?

Once again, the answer is yes, at least for a couple of high-profile users of the medium: a White House reporter for the New York Times, and an auto columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

For better or worse, Twitter has helped start revolutions and elect a president. But its immediacy, brevity, plus the anonymity...Read more

'Valley of Genius': Silicon Valley's many magical moments in the legends' own words

Oh, to have been there in 1979 when Steve Jobs had an epiphany while getting the demo of Xerox PARC's Alto computer, complete with a graphical user interface and a mouse.

Thanks to a new book by Adam Fisher, a self-professed geek who grew up tinkering with computers and video games in Silicon Valley, readers can just about eavesdrop on historic...Read more

Tremors shove Washington state west, offer clues to next big earthquake

SEATTLE –– Thousands of tiny tremors over the past few months have moved parts of Washington state and Vancouver Island westward. It's a near-annual event that backs expectations by some scientists that a big earthquake may hit the Seattle area harder than their previous models suggested.

The recent wave of activity began in May and appears...Read more

With an insatiable demand for data centers, some are worried Illinois can't keep up

Entering the data center that occupies the former Chicago Sun-Times' printing facility is like walking through the set of a James Bond film.

There's a 10-foot-tall steel fence encircling the property on the Lower West Side. There are gates, buzzers, a security desk, cameras and doors that use fingerprints as their key. The final entry into the ...Read more

Research suggests another way Neanderthals were like us: They could start their own fires

Humans may not have been the only hominids who knew how to start a fire long ago. New research suggests that as early as 50,000 years ago, Neanderthals wielded this power as well.

The work, published Thursday in Scientific Reports, provides new evidence that Neanderthals may have created flames-on-demand by striking a small piece of pyrite ...Read more

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