Science & Technology





Rich people experience happiness in a more self-centered way than poor people, study suggests

Rich people are different from the rest of us -- and that includes the way they experience happiness.

Instead of feeling positive emotions that involve connections with other people, their happiness is more likely to be expressed as feelings that focus on themselves, new research shows.

However, this difference doesn't necessarily mean that ...Read more

Cargill, Ecolab look to jump-start food innovation

In an effort to jump-start innovation in the agriculture industry, Cargill Inc. and Ecolab said Monday they will launch a program to fund entrepreneurs and startup companies in early 2018.

The companies are working with Techstars on an initiative called the Farm to Fork Accelerator. The focus will include business ideas with potential to impact...Read more

Helpware: Software companies want your money over and over again

The software business is changing, and for some people that's not good news. Instead of paying for a program once and upgrading only when needed, many companies require monthly or yearly fees with what they call "free" upgrades. Don't believe it. If you're not a serial upgrader, those "free" upgrades will cost you plenty.

I've used Microsoft ...Read more

Sound Advice: Alexa more reliable than Siri

Q. My wife and I have been discussing electronic personal assistants. Which do you prefer, Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri?

-- G.R., South Bend, Ind.

A. That is an easy one, though one is a smartphone assistant, the other more of a home assistant. I much prefer Amazon's Alexa. First of all, because it actually works, almost 100 percent of the ...Read more

Sound Advice: Micro Four Thirds system good for low-light photography

Q. I go to concerts often and need a good low-light camera because flash photography is not only forbidden, it is annoying to the performers and those around me. I'm typically close to the stage so I don't need a super zoom. It needs to be small as SLR cameras and big, protruding lenses get scrutinized at shows. Price is not an issue; what do ...Read more

Sound Advice: High quality speakers for a $1,000 budget

Q. I am in college and want to buy speakers that make a realistic 3-D soundfield. Ohm Walsh speakers are outside of my $1,000 budget. What do you recommend?

-- R.F., New York

A. As you obviously know, Ohm Walsh speakers are one of the best choices for reach-out-and-touch-it, 3-D sound. If you can stretch your budget, until the end of January ...Read more

Sound Advice: Cambridge Audio SE1 wired earphones are high quality, raise money for charity

Q. Can you recommend high quality wired earphones for listening to music? They will be used with my phone so I need a mic, and I am willing to pay what is necessary to get great sound.

-- J.W., Santa Clara, CA

A. How about excellent high-end earphones that are not only affordable, but generate a substantial charitable donation when you buy ...Read more

Sound Advice: Will OLEDs be available in the 47-50-inch range?

Q. We're buying a new television and like yourself, we think OLED is the best choice for picture quality. We would like one in the 47-50-inch size range. Do you know if OLEDs in this size will be available soon?

-- L.H., Milwaukee

A. I don't know of any upcoming sub-50 inch OLEDs, but I finally found an LED-LCD TV with a great picture I could ...Read more

Sound Advice: Technics speakers have high-end sound at incredible price

Q. My daughter wants lenses for her iPhone for Christmas. What do you think of them, and do you have any favorites?

-- E.H., Bethel Park, Pa.

A. Personally, I have never really taken to accessory lenses for a phone camera. The digital zoom has always sufficed for my needs, though it cuts image quality a bit. I use my interchangeable lens ...Read more

Sound Advice: How to connect an old receiver to Bluetooth devices

Q. Is there a way to connect my old receiver to Bluetooth headphones or Bluetooth speakers so we can listen to the headphones wirelessly inside, or send music outside to my porch? If it is possible, what Bluetooth headphones would you recommend for my wife and me, and what Bluetooth speaker to use outside?

-- A.K., South Bend, Ind.

A. In the ...Read more

Sound Advice: Vibes Hi-Fidelity earplugs can be used with light machinery

Q. Are the Vibes Hi-Fidelity earplugs you recently wrote about also OK to use for operating leaf blowers and stuff like that?

-- J.F., Mt. Lebanon, Pa.

A. I contacted the manufacturer and they say the earplugs can be used with light machinery, providing their specified 22 dB of reduction. While not as effective as over-ear protection, they ...Read more