Science & Technology



With first atlas update in 30 years, clouds getting a whole new look

More than a cloud formation, what Jane Wiggins saw above the prosaic skyline of her central Iowa town looked like a foreboding, storm-incited sea at war with itself.

"It was frightening," Wiggins recalled Wednesday.

A professional photographer, she knew high drama when she saw it, and on that day a decade ago she took a picture that would ...Read more

With Trump in charge, scientists say it's time they got serious about politics

WASHINGTON -- Erin Macdonald has a Ph.D. in astrophysics, loves "Star Trek" and is education manager for World Space Week. She's also contemplating winning a seat in the Colorado state Legislature.

Macdonald wants to connect science and politics in the public eye, and running for office had been in the back of her mind for a few years. But the ...Read more

New view of dinosaurs could radically reshape their family tree

The dinosaur family tree may need to be radically rewritten -- and even uprooted and replanted elsewhere, a new analysis of about 75 different species shows.

The findings, published in the journal Nature, hint that dinosaurs may have originated in the northern hemisphere rather than the southern, and could upend an understanding of dinosaur ...Read more

Tech Q&A: A Wi-Fi network with too many gadgets

Q: I occasionally lose the email connections on my two Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphones when they are connected to my home Wi-Fi network. The network has a Linksys EA7500 router and a Comcast internet connection, and serves the two phones, a PC and a 4K digital TV (another PC uses a wired connection to the router.) Recently, the phones couldn't ...Read more

Ancient relative of crabs, shrimps and lobsters is named in honor of David Attenborough

Scientists have discovered the fossil remains of a 430-million-year-old crustacean previously unknown to science -- a proto-shrimp that they're naming in honor of British naturalist and television personality David Attenborough. The new species, described in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, could shed fresh light on crustacean evolution.

...Read more

Troy Wolverton: Faster cellular signals could mean slower Wi-Fi

You may soon see faster connections on your cellular service. But your Wi-Fi connection may pay the price.

Thanks to a recent regulatory decision, wireless companies like Verizon and T-Mobile will soon be transmitting data in the same part of the public airwaves that's used by Wi-Fi. The move will give the carriers more spectrum to play with, ...Read more

Helpware: When buying a PC or a car, never pay retail

Buying a PC can be like buying a car.

You can go to a dealership armed with information, make an offer, and spend the better part of an afternoon bargaining back and forth. Or, you can just accept the sticker price and expensive add-ons and drive away.

While I almost envy people in the latter group -- no one gets insulted, there's no back and ...Read more

Studies could finally reveal what peacock feathers are really for

AUSTIN, Texas -- Inside a chain-link-wrapped enclosure on the campus of Texas A&M University, one of the world's foremost peacock experts has strapped cameras onto the heads of the birds and arrived at a surprising answer to a question that has puzzled scientists since Charles Darwin's day: What, exactly, is the point of that spectacular plumage...Read more

Why global warming could lead to a rise of 100,000 diabetes cases a year in US

If the average temperature rises by 1 degree Celsius, sea levels will rise, crop yields will fall and vulnerable species will see their habitat shrink or disappear.

And, a new study suggests, the number of American adults suffering from diabetes would rise by more than 100,000 a year.

Experts have previously predicted that climate change could...Read more

Secretive billionaire reveals how he toppled Apple in China

BEIJING -- Duan Yongping is convinced Tim Cook didn't have a clue who he was when they first met a couple years ago. The Apple boss probably does now.

Duan is the reclusive billionaire who founded Oppo and Vivo, the twin smartphone brands that dealt the world's largest company a stinging defeat in China last year. Once derided as cheap iPhone ...Read more

T-Mobile moves the needle in its research lab to compete with larger rivals

SEATTLE -- For a couple of minutes in a small, nondescript T-Mobile US conference room, the future of wireless is here.

Two phone-book sized pieces of equipment stand about 8 feet apart, one representing a cell tower, the other the smartphone of the future. A nearby screen shows the transceiver is beaming download speeds that peak at 2,208 ...Read more

A chance for the Pluto-huggers? Scientist leads effort to restore underdog's planetary stature

BALTIMORE -- Ejected a decade ago from its place among the planets, the distant, icy world of Pluto still has its admirers.

The runt of the litter and ninth in line from the sun, Pluto was -- for 75 years after its discovery -- considered a peer of hefty Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. And then one day it wasn't.

"People like to root for the ...Read more

As the planet gets hotter, some mammals may get smaller

Fifty-six million years ago, about 10 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct, something strange happened to our planet.

It got hot.

Really hot.

Hotter than it had ever been since the Earth formed a few billion years earlier.

Carbon signatures in the geological record show that global temperature surged 5 to 8 degrees Celsius within ...Read more

Iranian immigrant rose to building Google's business, leading Twitter's board

SAN FRANCISCO -- Follow someone you know. That's how Twitter Executive Chairman Omid Kordestani, like many immigrants, found his way from Iran to Silicon Valley as a teenager.

The move was unexpected. So was his father's death from cancer, a moment of grief that left his family with a decision about where to go next. And as luck would have it, ...Read more

CEO of Silicon Valley networking firm looks to future

SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- At least on the surface, networking products aren't the most exciting tech gadgets. But they're what make the internet -- and all the devices, apps and services that communicate through it -- work.

Rami Rahim knows a thing or two about networking and how important it is. He's been at Juniper Networks, the innovative long-...Read more

Amazon invests in Costa Rica as tiny nation carves out profitable niche in world economy

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- In the 19th century, the customs house here brimmed with the imported wares that first helped this tiny Spanish-speaking nation become part of the wider world economy.

During a balmy weekend last month, the old brick and iron warehouse was packed again, this time with multilingual financial analysts and software ...Read more

Troy Wolverton: Unlimited data plans offer boon to consumers

In the wireless industry, it's back to the unlimited future.

Years after three of the big four carriers ditched their unlimited data plans, all the major companies are offering plans that promise users they can access the mobile internet as much as they'd like. Well, kind of. If you read the fine print, you'll find that there are some notable ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Telling phone apps to use free Wi-Fi

Q: I'm on a low-usage monthly phone plan. As a result, I'd love to be able to set most of my smartphone apps to use only free Wi-Fi internet connections, and to allow only a few apps to access my cellular connection. But I can't find any way to do it on my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. Is there an app that will let me control Wi-Fi and cellular ...Read more

Jennifer Van Grove: Your cord-cutting questions answered

Look, I've thrown a lot at you in this column over the past couple weeks. I know that. With that in mind, I think it's time for a commercial break.

As a reminder, this series is intended to help you navigate the changing landscape of broadcast television and teach you how to live -- happily, hopefully -- without cable TV if that's what you want...Read more

Study: People overestimate size of black men, perceive them as more threatening than white men

People consistently perceive black men to be bigger and more muscular than they actually are -- and as more of a threat -- than they do white men of the same size, a new study shows.

The findings, presented in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, shed light on the deadly link that such misconceptions might have to police shootings ...Read more