Science & Technology



Why American voters were primed for a president who talks like Trump

When in the grips of oratorical passion, President Barack Obama liked to paraphrase the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. about the "long arc of history" bending toward justice.

But when it comes to the oratory of American politicians, history's long arc is bending away from such lofty rhetorical flourishes. New research finds that the punch-and-jab ...Read more

For scientists, the ripple effects of the government shutdown are still spreading

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Helgeson knew it was time to pull the plug.

For weeks, the University of California, Santa Barbara professor of chemical engineering had held out hope that politicians in Washington would find a way to end the government shutdown. If they did, his graduate students could still make their long-planned trip to Maryland to ...Read more

Amazon lets amateurs publish custom Alexa apps to reach broad audiences

Amazon is enlisting customers to create voice-controlled games, broadcast lectures and sermons, and turn blogs into audio presentations available to anyone, through its growing universe of Alexa-enabled speaker-and-microphone devices.

The move, rolled out this week, represents a potentially significant advancement for voice-first computing and ...Read more

NASA declares Opportunity dead after unequaled Mars mission

Opportunity, the intrepid NASA rover that spent 15 years on Mars climbing in and out of craters to gather evidence of the planet's watery past, has been brought down by tiny particles of dust.

It's a humble ending for a machine that survived a 300 million-mile journey through space, executed a hole-in-one landing, and set a record by driving ...Read more

Twitter's Jack Dorsey gives himself a 'C' grade for fighting online abuse

Self-criticism can be difficult. Especially when you're someone who is in the public eye and it can seem like everyone who knows your name is critical of every move you make.

Few know that feeling like Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey. His company, along with other social-networking kingpins such as Facebook, has come under fire for what ...Read more

Job market in Silicon Valley slows as region reaches full employment

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The job market in Silicon Valley grew by 2.2 percent during 2018, the slowest pace of employment growth since the Great Recession ended a decade ago, according to a new report released Wednesday.

The employment gains in 2018 also marked a noticeable downshift from the pace of growth in 2017, when Silicon Valley's job market ...Read more

Robot mail delivery trucks developed in Detroit ready for China, US

Looking like a delegation of toasters from space, a generation of electrically powered, self-driving mail trucks will roll out of a suburban Detroit industrial park later this year. Their mission: revolutionize mail and package delivery.

About 2,000 of the boxy, shiny Quadrobot U1 four-wheel-drive, four-wheel-steer delivery vans will begin ...Read more

Solar jobs are up in Minnesota, but down nationally

Minnesota posted an eight percent increase in solar industry jobs last year, bucking a national solar employment decline of 3.2 percent, said an annual report released Tuesday by The Solar Foundation.

The state tallied 4,602 solar jobs last year, up from 4,256 in 2017 and 1,995 in 2015. Minnesota ranked 15th in the nation in 2018 in total solar...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to find photos in MS Word documents

Q: I've been running Microsoft Office 365 on a desktop computer and two laptops. But after a few months, the program suddenly stopped saving images that I'd previously added to Word documents. When I called up the documents, the photos were gone. This happened on the two laptops at the same time, even though they aren't networked together. What ...Read more

Opportunity's record-setting mission on Mars appears to have reached its end

LOS ANGELES--Halfway up the slope of a crater on Mars lies a small robotic geologist that won't wake up.

The Smart car sized rover got caught in an epic dust storm that enveloped the Red Planet in June, and it hasn't been heard from since.

For the last eight months, scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have desperately ...Read more

San Diego neuroscientist says brain-buzzing device causes weight loss

A San Diego entrepreneur just took first place in a big startup competition put on by all the University of California schools, winning judges over with its brain-manipulating wearable device used for weight loss.

Neurovalens makes a headset (worn like headphones) that stimulates a region of the brain tied to appetite. Wearing the device for an...Read more

Amazon further strengthens smart home play with Eero acquisition

Amazon's acquisition of Wi-Fi device maker Eero could help it knit together the various devices the commerce giant has imbued with its voice-recognition technology in a quest to dominate the smart home.

Eero, begun in 2014 in San Francisco, makes routers and extenders designed to cover all the rooms of a house with speedy wireless signals. The ...Read more

Hardcore porn and real-money gambling apps snuck into iPhones: report

Apple bans pornography and real-money gambling apps from its App Store, but an investigation has revealed that the operators of at least two dozen such applications sidestepped the store to put their products in front of iPhone users.

The Cupertino iPhone giant, stung by recent revelations that Facebook and Google scooted around Apple's rules ...Read more

Climate change is already making Atlantic hurricanes more fierce, study finds

MIAMI -- Climate change has already made Atlantic hurricanes more fierce, driving up the number of storms that rapidly intensify, become more lethal and difficult to forecast, according to new research led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Published Thursday in the journal Nature, the research looked at storms churning in ...Read more

'Why are you looking at me? I see you watching me.' Smart devices like Nest getting hacked in digital home invasions

Arjun and Jessica Sud routinely use a baby monitor to keep tabs on their 7-month-old's bedroom. Last month, they heard something chilling through the monitor: A deep male voice was speaking to their child.

"Immediately I barge into the room because I'm like, 'Oh my God, maybe someone got in there,'" said Arjun Sud, 29. "The moment I walk in, it...Read more

2018 was one of the hottest years on record — and this year could be even hotter

All five of the hottest years on record have occurred in the last five years, according to global temperature data released Wednesday by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

While 2018 was slightly cooler than the three prior years, Earth still had its fourth-warmest year since scientists began keeping records in 1880, ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Missing e-mail photo is still there

Q: When I receive an e-mail containing an embedded photo (a picture within the text of the message), I can't see the photo. In its place is a box with a red X in the corner. The only way I can see the picture is to copy the blank box and paste it into Microsoft Word. I use the Outlook e-mail program contained in Microsoft Office 365. How can I ...Read more

Scientists scour the cosmos to find the origins of the periodic table's 118 elements

Since the invention of the periodic table 150 years ago this month, scientists have worked to fill in the rows of elements and make sense of their properties.

But researchers have also pursued a parallel quest: scouring the cosmos to figure out where all 118 elements came from.

After centuries of effort, they have determined that the vast ...Read more

Common sense in robots isn't so common, but this Pictionary-like game could help change that

SEATTLE -- Super Bowl commercials this year featured robots and intelligent assistants interacting with humans in ways that far surpass the capabilities of real-world systems today. In one rather meta advertisement for a telecom provider, robots brainstorm with humans to come up with the premise for another commercial.

At the Allen Institute of...Read more

To save the Earth someday, team builds spacecraft to crash into an asteroid and shove it off course

BALTIMORE -- A team of scientists, astronomers and engineers meets weekly in a conference room on a Howard County, Md., research campus and plans to save the world.

"Keep calm and carry DART," reads a poster on the wall.

DART -- the Double Asteroid Redirection Test -- is their plan to avert catastrophe. It's also NASA's first mission not to ...Read more


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