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E3 expo highlights virtual reality's never-ending challenge: to get real

LOS ANGELES -- When Elizabeth Ching took off her headset, she was panting.

She had just finished playing a new virtual reality boxing game called "Creed: Rise to Glory" at E3, the nation's biggest video game convention, and she'd knocked her computer opponent out cold. With the exception of a few boxing classes she'd taken, this was the closest...Read more

NASA engineers hope Opportunity rover will sleep through continent-sized dust storm on Mars

LOS ANGELES -- NASA's Opportunity rover is incommunicado after being hit by a severe, continent-scale dust storm on Mars, space agency officials said Wednesday -- and they're not sure exactly when they'll hear from it again.

Officials say the rover has probably fallen asleep after being unable to generate enough energy from its solar panels due...Read more

Study: In 25 years, West Antarctica tripled its rate of ice loss

The Antarctic ice sheet lost nearly 3 trillion metric tons of ice from 1992 to 2017 and tripled its rate of loss over that time for West Antarctica, according to an international collaboration involving some 80 scientists.

The finding published in Nature reveals that Antarctica's ice is shrinking at an unprecedented rate and would mean an even ...Read more

Santa Monica tells scooter companies: OK, you can stay — but there are new rules

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- The motorized scooters are staying in Santa Monica -- at least for a while.

Santa Monica's City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to approve a 16-month pilot program that will allow scooter rental companies such as Bird and Lime to continue operating in the city, as long as they meet certain conditions.

Under the ...Read more

Sound Advice: Sbode Bluetooth Sports Earphones are back

Sbode earphones are back: A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent influx of questions regarding the Sbode Bluetooth Sports Earphones, which had disappeared from Amazon to the dismay of potential buyers. I praised the earphones for their comfort, fit and great sound, all for only $23.99. Many of the emails I received were from people who loved ...Read more

Sound Advice: Sennheiser Flex 5000 transmits TV audio to wired headphones

Q. My wife cannot hear the TV very well. I have been able to resolve the problem by using a C.Crane FM Transmitter 2. It takes an input directly from the TV and turns it into an FM signal. She then uses an FM radio with headphones to listen. While this works quite well, it is sometimes difficult to find a clean FM frequency. Are you aware of a ...Read more

Sound Advice: Sound Advice: Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 is a high-quality photo printer

Q. I have a Canon Pixma 5320 photo printer and since my Mac's latest update, my drivers are no longer compatible. I tried downloading new drivers from Canon, but it still does not work. Since the printer is more than 5 years old I started thinking that perhaps I should just replace it. What do you recommend in a photo printer selling for under $...Read more

Sound Advice: Normal for turntable sound to drop after installing Vessel A3SE cartridge

Q. I have an Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB turntable. I bought the pre-mounted LP Gear The Vessel A3SE cartridge after reading your review and recommendation. The sound is great, but the volume dropped compared to the original cartridge (an Audio-Technica AT95E.) Is this normal, or is something wrong?

-- S.R., South Bend, Ind.

Q. LP Gear's The ...Read more

Sound Advice: Kodak PixPro is solid pick for compact camera

Q. I am looking for a good small purse camera with a long zoom for trips. I recently got my first smartphone (an iPhone 6) and it takes great pictures, but I like using memory cards to store and save pictures. I am not very tech-savvy and I like the simplicity of a camera and memory cards.

I would like to spend $100 to $200. Do you have camera ...Read more

Sound Advice: Buttons make VicTsing Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter worthwhile

Q. I saw your review of the VicTsing FM Bluetooth car adapter, which adds Bluetooth call capability to older cars that do not have hands-free functionality. I bought the newer model, the one without buttons, and it ties up Siri so I can't use Siri at all when it is connected. What about the older model, does it do the same thing?

-- L.M., ...Read more

Sound Advice: Epson Perfection V550 is a great investment for digitizing photos

Q. I cut out and kept a copy of your column from August 15, 2015, about the Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner. I'm finally ready to go through boxes and boxes of old photographs and digitize the ones I want to keep.

Almost three years have passed since your review. Is the $179 V550 scanner still a wise investment and a simple way to digitize ...Read more

Sound Advice: Edifier R1700BT bookshelf speakers make great gifts

Q. My wife thought a nice set of powered speakers (for use with a computer and iPhone) would be a great graduation gift for a niece who plays jazz sax. Do you have any suggestions under $200?

-- J.K., Atlantic City, N.J.

A. Check out the $149 Edifier R1700BT powered bookshelf speakers. These compact speakers do what you want and also offer the...Read more

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