Science & Technology



Washington attorney general sues Google over location tracking

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing Google in an effort to change how the company handles users’ personal data.

Ferguson joined attorneys general in Texas, Indiana and the District of Columbia in filing a lawsuit Monday alleging the company misled consumers about its location-tracking services and, at times, collected data ...Read more

Deaths of Florida's starving manatees surge amid winter chill

ORLANDO, Fla. — Chilly temperatures are rekindling a manatee die-off in Central Florida’s Indian River.

“Winter is here,” said Martine de Wit, a state veterinarian and scientist.

Along a Brevard County piece of the Indian River on Thursday, which turned warmer and sunny, a snapshot of the ominous, protracted plight of manatees came ...Read more

Dirk Shadd/TNS

Florida lead factory faces $518,000 more in fines for environmental violations

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa lead factory is facing $518,000 in additional fines following a two-month inspection by local environmental regulators prompted by a Tampa Bay Times investigation.

If finalized, the penalty against Gopher Resource would be the largest in the history of the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission, said ...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Kamala Harris announces wildfire money in California visit

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — With large, damaging wildfires becoming more common due to the effects of climate change, the federal government is redoubling its efforts to mitigate them.

That’s the message Vice President Kamala Harris delivered Friday during a visit to San Bernardino in which she highlighted billions of dollars in federal ...Read more

Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Comcast is teaming up with Nokia to sell private 5G networks to big business, government

Comcast has partnered with Nokia to sell businesses private 5G networks, the new high-speed wireless internet that could power ports, factories, and other large enterprises.

The cable giant's business services unit, Comcast Business, will deploy its first private 5G network at the Wells Fargo Center during the first quarter this year, company ...Read more

Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS

Central Florida manatees finally eat lettuce offered to them to hold off starvation

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Manatees started eating lettuce being offered to them by wildlife officers this week, in the first success of an unprecedented effort to prevent another season of starvation.

The effort to feed them began in November near the Florida Power & Light plant in the Indian River Lagoon. But it took place without any known ...Read more

Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS

December storms allow for 'modest increase' in state water deliveries

LOS ANGELES — Nearly two months after extreme drought conditions forced the state to eliminate water allocations along the massive State Water Project, regulators have announced a modest increase in deliveries because of a recent series of drenching storms.

December’s surprising but welcome surge of record-breaking rain and snow — ...Read more


Intel CEO 'thrilled to be launching the Silicon Heartland in Ohio'

Intel's promise to invest $20 billion to build two semiconductor plants in Licking County could be just the start for what the Silicon Valley giant has in mind for Greater Columbus, the company's CEO told The Dispatch.

The plants, also called fabs, will employ 3,000 workers, and 7,000 construction workers will be needed to build them, Intel ...Read more

Mark Hume/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Yosemite National Park may limit visitors this summer due to major construction projects

Concerned about nightmarish traffic jams at Yosemite National Park from more than half a dozen major new construction projects, park leaders are drawing up plans that could limit the number of visitors this summer by requiring reservations for day visits.

“This summer is going to be a crazy construction season in Yosemite like you have never ...Read more

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

A sign the drought is easing: California officials to ship more water to farms, cities

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — State officials said Thursday they will increase deliveries to farms and cities that belong to the State Water Project — a sign that this winter’s rain and snow has eased drought conditions in California.

The Department of Water Resources said farm and municipal water districts can expect to receive 15% of requested ...Read more

Los Angeles Times/TNS

Kamala Harris to announce wildfire money in visit to California on Friday

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris plans to visit a San Bernardino fire station Friday to announce the federal government will provide California $600 million to help the state recover from a historically severe wildfire season while highlighting plans to spend $5 billion more to prevent fires, an administration official said.

The ...Read more

Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Federal agents return 4,000-year-old artifacts to Iraqi government

LOS ANGELES — Federal agents on Thursday returned two ancient stone artifacts to representatives of the Iraqi government at the country’s consulate in Los Angeles.

The artifacts — a fragment of a stone tablet inscribed with cuneiform characters and a hexagonal prism used to teach schoolchildren the cuneiform alphabet — are believed to ...Read more

Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Chicago ranks 3rd in US in deaths and health costs related to diesel pollution, analysis shows

CHICAGO — People around the world breathed cleaner air after the economy ground to a halt during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Chicago and its suburbs missed out on the temporary reprieve from lung-damaging, life-shortening pollution.

A new analysis suggests a key reason why dirty air problems continued here while other ...Read more

Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Elon Musk's brain implant company is inching toward human trials

Elon Musk’s brain implant company Neuralink is now hiring a clinical trial director, an indication that the company’s longstanding goal of implanting chips in human brains is coming closer.

The trial director position would oversee the startup’s long-promised human trials of its medical device, according to the listing. Neuralink’s ...Read more

THOMAS HENGGE/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Nearly 28,000 miles of Pennsylvania's streams are impaired by pollution, report finds

PHILADELPHIA — One-third of all Pennsylvania waterways are now considered polluted enough to harm wildlife, recreation or drinking water, according to a report released this week by the state's Department of Environmental Protection.

The DEP listed 27,886 miles of streams it found impaired in one or more ways, which is about 9% worse than its...Read more

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Editorial: Caution is warranted in 5G rollout

We've been hearing for a long time about how much the fifth generation of wireless service will speed up and smooth out our internet-dependent lives, and now the moment has …

… not completely arrived.

But it is quite a mess.

Overseas airlines with flights heading to this country canceled some of them on Wednesday or changed the type of ...Read more


Apple AirTags connected to cases of stalking, car theft

DETROIT — Authorities say Apple AirTags, marketed as a way to keep track of easily-lost belongings, are increasingly connected to cases of stalking and car theft.

"The basic utility of them is to track objects or persons, and so it makes sense that someone would use it for nefarious purposes to that end," said Tom Holt, cybersecurity expert...Read more

Chris LaFortune/TNS/TNS

Jim Rossman: The wonder of Wordle: Guessing a five-letter word is easy, right?

What is Wordle? My latest online obsession — and a fun brain workout that won’t take all day.

My Facebook feed has been taken over by tiny grids of gray, gold and green squares. These are just people showing off their skill at a new online game called Wordle.

You’ve probably heard of it, or seen the shares in your social media. It ...Read more


Review: ‘Humankind’ a strong but flawed challenger to ‘Civilization’ series

Amplitude Studios introduces fresh ideas to historical strategy games but not all of them are fully realized

“Sid Meier’s Civilization” has been around for 30 years, yet it’s had few challengers in its strategy-game niche. Other competitors focus on a single era of history or they veer off toward the fantasy or sci-fi realms. Sure, ...Read more


Gadgets: Nexar Beam dashcam easy to mount, full of features

After setting up and using the Nexar Beam dashcam, I would have to agree it is exactly as advertised: a plug-and-play device loaded with features and reasonably priced.

It's also touted as the world's smartest dashcam, which is hard to confirm, so I'll take Nexar's word for it. Measuring only 2.5-by-2-by-1.45 inches, the Beam dash cam is easy...Read more