Science & Technology



Zoom security feature let unapproved users view meetings, researchers find

Zoom, the videoconferencing service that has exploded into the vacuum created by the COVID-19 outbreak, has endured the revelation of a string of privacy and security flaws in recent days. Now researchers have identified just such a flaw in a feature marketed specifically as a way to make meetings more secure.

Zoom said Wednesday it had fixed a...Read more

Washington University launches clinical trial on controversial drug to treat coronavirus

ST. LOUIS -- Washington University School of Medicine announced Thursday that it is launching a clinical trial to investigate the controversial drug chloroquine, among others, to treat the new coronavirus.

The trial will look at different combinations of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin. Hydroxychloroquine and ...Read more

Days after Idaho's earthquake, experts seek answers about historic, unexpected event

BOISE, Idaho -- About half an hour before the ground began shaking last week, Glenn Thackray had fired off an email to a colleague about launching more research on the Sawtooth Fault, a tectonic plate boundary in Central Idaho that Thackray discovered a decade ago.

So when the earth began rumbling later that night, Thackray's first thought was ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Caller ID said she called, but she didn't

Q: I'm getting calls on my iPhone 5 from people asking why I called them, even though I didn't. Apparently, my number shows up on their caller ID. What's wrong?

-- Nancy Green, Vernon, Conn.

A: Normally, I would suspect that someone -- perhaps a scam perpetrator -- was faking, or "spoofing," your caller ID information to get call recipients in...Read more

COVID-19: tips for people with neurologic issues, such as epilepsy and seizure disorders

Though patients with chronic neurologic conditions like epilepsy are not at increased risk to contract COVID-19, they are more susceptible to increased seizures as a result of growing stress and anxiety over the pandemic.

"We know that stress increases the environment for seizures to occur," says Dr. Joseph Sirven, a Mayo Clinic neurologist. "...Read more

Microsoft exec says coronavirus could spark big shift for AI in health care

Microsoft chief technology officer Kevin Scott grew up fascinated by the 1960s Apollo space program and then-President John F. Kennedy's vision of a moon shot. Now, he envisions just as ambitious a project taking shape as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Just as the U.S. government significantly invested to put Neil Armstrong and ...Read more

Coronavirus kills some people and hardly affects others: How is that possible?

The new coronavirus is not an equal opportunity killer.

We know COVID-19 is more deadly the older you get. It's also more dangerous for those who have chronic lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, weakened immune systems and other underlying health issues.

And yet our news feeds are full of stories about seemingly healthy young people ...Read more

Google publishes movement data to bolster war against coronavirus

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Google on Friday disclosed it is publishing the information it harvests from smartphones to help inform government officials how people's movements are changing in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The search giant said it has started to provide aggregated information about people's visits to stores, groceries, ...Read more

Did Quibi steal mobile technology? A rival wants a court to halt its launch

The legal fight over Quibi's mobile technology escalated on Wednesday as media and technology company Eko said it would request an injunction to block Hollywood's newest streaming service from launching on Monday.

Eko, a New York-based company, says that Quibi's app has a feature that uses technology stolen from Eko. The Quibi feature, called "...Read more

How to prevent trolls from Zoom bombing your online meeting

As students at the University of Tennessee were participating in a virtual "Milkshake Monday," an anonymous person jumped into the Zoom gathering and began berating everyone with racist rants.

"Zoom bombing has unfortunately become an issue at institutions across the country, and this is at least the second instance at UT Knoxville since we've ...Read more

Blockchain could transform supply chains, aid in COVID-19 fight

Companies that specialize in moving goods from one place to another are starting to use the technology that powers cryptocurrency to streamline their work, and they say it could help hospitals stay stocked and staffed during pandemics like the one caused by COVID-19.

Blockchain technology, as it's called, is already being adopted in the ...Read more

Not made in China is global tech's next big trend

Three years ago, manufacturing gadgets in China was a given. That's changed fundamentally in the era of trade wars and coronavirus.

Under the new reality, the world's electronics makers are actively seeking ways to diversify their supply chains and reduce their dependence on any single country, no matter how attractive.

Never has there been so...Read more

Tech Q&A: Backing up an iPhone while moving photos to PC

Q: I back up iPhone photos to iCloud, and I'd like to transfer them from iCloud to my PC. But I was surprised to read in your column how much data the photos lose during the iCloud-to-PC transfer (see

You suggested transferring photos from the iPhone to Dropbox and from Dropbox to the PC, but I'd rather not have to do that...Read more

How the virus that causes COVID-19 differs from other coronaviruses

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). So what makes those coronaviruses different from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19? Dr. Clayton Cowl, a pulmonologist and chair of Mayo Clinic's Division of ...Read more

Whales are dying, but numbers are unknown. Coronavirus has stalled scientific field work

As gray whales began their northern migration along the Pacific Coast earlier this month -- after a year of unusually heavy die-offs -- scientists were poised to watch, ready to collect information that could help them learn what was killing them.

The coronavirus outbreak, however, has largely upended that field work -- and that of incalculable...Read more

San Diego Angel Conference is still on amid COVID-19 closures — but it's going digital

One of the biggest San Diego events for startups seeking angel money is still on -- and it's writing a massive check to one lucky entrepreneur. But the whole thing has gone digital.

As expected during the coronavirus pandemic, the event is following government mandates to shift conferences online. The previously planned six-hour conference has ...Read more

Online shopping won't get you hard-to-find items during coronavirus. 'They're not going to have any more success getting toilet paper than you are.'

Think you're going to find online the frozen vegetables and toilet paper you can't find in stores? Think delivery is going to be quick?

Think again.

Grocery stores aren't just battling to stock shelves in stores. They also are swamped with online shoppers who are placing more orders and buying more. The average order at grocery delivery ...Read more

Facebook says it's sending contract workers home and paying them in full

After announcing it would give employees working from home because of coronavirus a $1,000 bonus to defray expenses for childcare, setting up home offices and other needs, the company said it was sending all its contractors home and paying in full even those unable to work from their residences.

Facebook said Tuesday that the continued pay was ...Read more

Apple's new iPad Pro supports trackpads, new camera system

Apple Inc. unveiled a new version of its iPad Pro that supports laptop-like trackpads as a new means of controlling the tablet, as well as upgraded cameras and microphones.

The company has also released a new MacBook Air model, with faster performance, a new keyboard, twice the storage capacity and a lower price, Cupertino, California-based ...Read more

Urban coyotes eat lots of cats — and human garbage, study of their poop reveals

A study that "dissected" 3,100 pieces of coyote poop discovered domestic cats are a big part of what urban coyotes eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, according to the National Park Service.

Human garbage was their chief source of food, however, the study found.

The multi-year study focused on coyotes roaming Southern California, a region ...Read more