Science & Technology



Plant-eating dinosaurs may have dined on crustaceans on special occasions, study says

Think dinosaurs didn't mix things up at mealtime? Think again. Researchers studying fossilized dinosaur feces from about 75 million years ago have discovered that at least some plant-eating dinosaurs also snacked on shellfish.

The discovery of crustacean remains in the droppings, described in Scientific Reports, reveals that large herbivorous ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Fixing a PC that shuts off by itself

Q: My desktop PC has started turning itself off less than five minutes after I turn it on. But when I restart the PC, it stays on with no problem. I run anti-malware software daily. What's wrong?

-- Maggie Freese, Plymouth, Minn.

A: If your PC has an electrical short circuit that's causing it to shut off, fixing it will be a job for a repair ...Read more

Hearing offers peek at what Uber stands to lose in Waymo trial

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- With three weeks to go until the explosive Waymo v. Uber trial begins, court-watchers got a peek Wednesday at the hefty price tag Uber could face if it loses.

Waymo is seeking $2.6 billion in damages for just one of the nine self-driving car trade secrets it claims Uber misappropriated, lawyers disclosed at a hearing in ...Read more

Facebook moves to block offensive terms from targeted advertising campaigns

Advertisers on Facebook no longer can use offensive search terms such as "Jew hater" and "how to burn Jews" to target specific audiences, the company said Wednesday.

The new policy comes a week after ProPublica published a story demonstrating how advertisers could reach thousands of Facebook users by entering hateful search terms on the social ...Read more

Scientists say recent quake swarm at Mount Rainier is not unusual

SEATTLE -- Nearly two dozen small earthquakes have rattled Mount Rainier over the past week, but seismologists say there's no cause for worry.

"In the past, these swarms last a couple of days to a week or so and then die out," said Paul Bodin, of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington.

The first of the 23 quakes ...Read more

Jennifer Van Grove: Apple TV 4K: Save your money

Earlier this month, Apple promised an "incredible" TV experience. It delivered a snooze fest.

Starting at $179, the new Apple TV, dubbed the Apple TV 4K and available on Sept. 22, is an upgrade worth skipping.

Really, for that price, all you get is the fourth-generation Apple TV with support for super-high resolution content, aka 4K. Otherwise...Read more

Helpware: Making movies like the masters

When I bought my powerful new iMac, I had one task in mind: editing old home movies. Most are on ancient VHS tapes, needing to be digitized. Some digitizing devices, including One Touch Video Capture from Diamond Multimedia, which I bought online, cost less than $50. As I've explained in earlier columns, they work as a bridge between a VHS ...Read more

Mayo Clinic offers first aid assistance via Amazon's Alexa digital assistant

MINNEAPOLIS -- Alexa, forget my grocery list and morning traffic reports. Tell me about CPR.

Alexa, Amazon's voice-activated digital assistant for the home, has learned a new skill -- dispensing medical information about first aid from one of the best-known names in medicine, Minnesota's Mayo Clinic.

The information is accessible by speaking ...Read more

Video streaming pioneer Roku aims to raise up to $252 million with IPO

Roku Inc., the leading maker of devices for streaming internet video on televisions, hopes to raise up to $252 million with an initial public stock offering.

The Los Gatos, Calif., company's IPO registration filing Monday came the day after the growing popularity of streaming video platforms such as Netflix was evident at the Emmy Awards, where...Read more

If Google invests in Lyft, what does that mean for Uber?

SAN FRANCISCO -- Uber was the indisputable No. 1 player in the domestic on-demand transportation industry. And by its workforce size, passenger count and capital raised, it still is.

But reports on Thursday from Bloomberg and Axios that Google's parent company, Alphabet, is mulling a $1 billion investment in Uber's archrival, Lyft, suggest that...Read more

As NASA's Cassini mission flames out over Saturn, scientists mark bittersweet end of mission

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. -- In the dark of the early morning, planetary scientist Andy Ingersoll stood alone and slightly stooped at a coffee cart at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. More than 900 million miles across the solar system, the 2-ton Cassini spacecraft that he worked on for more than 20 years was being ripped apart and ...Read more

Cassini, the NASA spacecraft that expanded the search for life beyond Earth, dies in Saturn's sky

Cassini, the NASA spacecraft whose breakthrough discoveries about Saturn and its many moons revolutionized the search for life beyond Earth, disintegrated Friday morning in the skies above the ringed planet. It was one month shy of its 20th anniversary in space.

The explorer's death was swift and deliberate. Traveling at 76,000 mph, it hurtled ...Read more

'Conscience of a Conservative': Sen. Jeff Flake defines Republican as anti-Trump

"Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle" by Jeff Flake; Random House (160 pages, $27)

Some politicians write books with one guiding principle: Upset no potential supporter.

Jeff Flake has decided to be plenty upsetting. His book, released last month, braves the enmity of the president, tears...Read more

In space capsules, little room but big improvement

LOS ANGELES -- In 1961, an American astronaut reached space for the first time and soared through the heavens in a gumdrop-shaped capsule.

Since then, people have flown to the moon, created space planes and designed rockets that return to Earth for precision landings. But when astronauts lift off next year from U.S. soil for the first time in ...Read more

Caricatures become an obsession

LOS ANGELES -- For Anokhy Desai, a new haircut or outfit requires more than a trip to the shopping center. These days, she also finds herself also diving into the Bitmoji app to chop hair and replace clothes.

It's there that Desai and millions of other people have created personalized caricatures of themselves. Bitmoji attaches the cartoonish ...Read more

New iPhones may spur a surge in augmented reality

SAN FRANCISCO -- The runaway success of "Pokemon Go" last year taught the world at least two things. One: Lots of people love Pokemon. And two: Creating good augmented reality -- the kind that superimposes 3-D objects into the real world and convinces people they're actually chasing a Pikachu -- is really, really hard.

"It's not so hard that it...Read more

100-plus contenders want Amazon's second headquarters

SEATTLE -- The Amazon gold rush is on.

At least 101 cities, states, provinces and counties in the U.S. and Canada have indicated they are interested in the Seattle company's second headquarters in the week since Amazon announced it was seeking bidders for the megaproject.

They range from obvious big-city candidates like Chicago, to a joint ...Read more

Scientists tinker with gene-mapping device to make DNA editing safe

AUSTIN, Texas -- Ilya Finkelstein chuckles when recounting the origins of the project that landed the University of Texas scientist and his colleagues in the prestigious academic journal Cell.

According to a peer-reviewed article, they found a way for scientists to more safely use a new kind of gene editing technique called CRISPR -- a ...Read more

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is on final approach for fatal rendezvous with Saturn

LOS ANGELES -- The course has been set. The end is in sight. There's no turning back now.

After 13 years of making dazzling discoveries in the Saturn system, Cassini's time is just about up.

In the early hours of Friday morning, the NASA spacecraft will dive into Saturn at 76,000 mph. Within minutes it will vaporize in the cloud tops of the ...Read more

Waymo v. Uber: Uber's second arbitration push thwarted, case speeds on toward trial

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Thwarting Uber's second attempt to push its high-profile, high-stakes trade secrets battle with rival Waymo into private arbitration, a panel of federal appellate judges on Wednesday ruled the case instead will proceed toward its October trial date.

That means the legal battle, which will have a major impact on Uber's self-...Read more

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