Science & Technology



NASA shifts plan for Jupiter probe

The team behind NASA's Juno spacecraft has made a key change to its operating plan. For the rest of its primary planned mission, the satellite will continue to circle Jupiter in its long 53-day orbits instead of transitioning to shorter 14-day cycles.

The decision, made in response to technical difficulties with the plumbing for the spacecraft'...Read more

Spooked by spike in cyber extortion, businesses are stockpiling bitcoin for payoffs

SAN FRANCISCO -- U.S. corporations that have long resisted bending to the demands of computer hackers who take their networks hostage are increasingly stockpiling bitcoin, the digital currency, so that they can quickly meet ransom demands rather than lose valuable corporate data.

The companies are responding to cybersecurity experts who ...Read more

Kennewick Man skeleton may be on its way back to ancestral home

SEATTLE--The 9,000-year-old skeleton Native Americans call The Ancient One and scientists refer to as Kennewick Man may be headed back to his ancestral home very soon.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed Friday morning that representatives from the Corps and the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic ...Read more

Industrial pollution has contaminated even the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean

Industrial pollution has reached even the most remote corners of Earth: the deepest part of the sea.

Scientists have discovered "extraordinary levels" of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in the Mariana and Kermadec trenches, two of the deepest ocean chasms on the planet.

"Trenches have been considered as pristine environments, but also (...Read more

Defying gender stereotypes, Ind. school pushes girls into science

GARY, Ind. -- In 20 minutes, D'Jharea Joyce and her group needed to build a free-standing structure with limited materials able to withstand the weight of 1 1/2 boxes of spaghetti.

When their triangular-shaped structure made from spaghetti and marshmallows held -- unlike others in the room, she didn't believe it.

"It was just suspense and ...Read more

To prevent serious conditions, scientists should be able to edit people's DNA, panel says

Scientists should be allowed to alter a person's DNA in ways that will be passed on to future generations, but only to prevent serious and strongly heritable diseases, according to a new report from the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

However, tinkering with these genes in order to enhance or alter traits such...Read more

Troy Wolverton: Net neutrality should be Silicon Valley's next fight

Silicon Valley is rightly focused on President Donald Trump's immigration order. But it should be gearing up for another fight that's vital to both tech companies and their customers.

Net neutrality is in the crosshairs again. Ajit Pai, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has made it clear that he's no fan. He's already ...Read more

Helpware: New Corel movie-making software makes pros of amateurs

Though my film career has been set mostly in movie theaters and my private screening room at home, I've been making movies for more than 50 years. An early adapter, I bought my first Super 8 movie camera while I was still in college. The movies I made using that hand-held device, influenced by auteurs like Fellini and Cassavetes, were unscripted...Read more

Tech Q&A: How a PC virus scam really happens

Q: After reading your column about updating Windows 7 (see, I typed your tinyurl address into my browser and got strange results. A repeating audio warning said I had a virus and spyware infection, and that I should call the number on the screen (855-257-9669) before the PC became disabled. I restarted the PC and got the ...Read more

Kohl's CTO: E-commerce may have hurt department stores, but tech also can help

NEW YORK -- The rise of online shopping hasn't been kind to traditional department stores. It's Kohl's Chief Technology Officer Ratnakar Lavu's job to bring the retailer up to speed with how its customers shop today.

Lavu worked in e-commerce at Macy's and was chief technology officer at Redbox Automated Retail before joining Kohl's in 2011. ...Read more

No time to run? Tsunami pod aims to save lives — at a price

OCEAN PARK, Washington -- When Jeanne Johnson lived in New Orleans, she figured out how to weather hurricanes. When the family moved to Kansas City, she taught her kids to take cover from tornadoes. So when Johnson recent bought a house on Washington state's Long Beach Peninsula -- about 110 miles southwest of Seattle -- she set out to improve ...Read more

How do you cool a city in a warming world?

LOS ANGELES -- Globally, 2016 was the warmest year on record. In Los Angeles, temperature records were shattered last summer during scorching heat waves that saw highs of 100 degrees for five days straight.

If you think the city is too hot, you've got company at City Hall. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti agrees, and he wants to do something ...Read more

Web Buzz: Making the world of radio smaller

Feeling disconnected? Click to hear live radio stations around the globe.

Name: Radio Garden

What it does: The website's interactive map of Earth lets you tap into radio stations around the world in real time. It also recounts listeners' stories about how they've used radio to make themselves at home in the world.

What's hot: Take an auditory...Read more

Science entering a new frontier: Politics

Like many scientists, Aaron Parsons doesn't have a history of political engagement.

Instead of focusing on earthly concerns, the University of California, Berkeley radio astronomer spent most of his time scanning the outer reaches of the cosmos, searching for the earliest stars in the universe.

"We're looking for when the lights turned on," he...Read more

As bee populations dwindle, robot bees may pick up some of their pollination slack

One day, gardeners might not just hear the buzz of bees among their flowers, but the whirr of robots, too. Scientists in Japan say they've managed to turn an unassuming drone into a remote-controlled pollinator by attaching horsehairs coated with a special, sticky gel to its underbelly.

The system, described in the journal Chem, is nowhere near...Read more

Company betting big on satellite broadband with upcoming launch

SAN DIEGO -- About eight years ago, ViaSat Chief Executive Mark Dankberg bet the company he co-founded on satellite broadband, eventually spending $1 billion to transform a technology considered barely better than dial-up into a service that smoothly streams YouTube video.

At the time, the space industry didn't believe ViaSat could build a ...Read more

Tech Q&A: 'Internet of things' is vulnerable to hackers

Q: I read about the hacker attack last October that used household electronics, such as security cameras, to bombard a website with messages, causing the site to crash. Is there any way that people can protect their electronic devices so that won't happen again?

--Sue Frenzel, Minneapolis

A: Internet experts are still looking for a solution.

...Read more

One bot to rule them all? Not likely, with Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft virtual assistants

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- It's no wonder titans of tech are locked in an epic battle of the bots, racing furiously to produce the best virtual assistant.

Their respective help-bots -- Apple's Siri, Google's Assistant, Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana -- promise consumers one of the most valuable commodities in the world: free time.

Thanks to ...Read more

Low-cost mobile carrier CEO finds his calling

LOS ANGELES -- The gig: David Glickman, 51, is co-founder and chief executive of Ultra Mobile, a prepaid mobile carrier that provides low-cost, no-contract SIM cards with a focus on immigrants living in the U.S. The company, headquartered outside Los Angeles, leases wireless telephone and data infrastructure from T-Mobile.

The pitch: Glickman ...Read more

Troy Wolverton: Startup's personal robot designed to touch your emotions

If you've been dreaming for years about having your own R2-D2 or BB-8, get ready.

Just don't expect your new robot companion to do too much, because you might be disappointed.

A new generation of personal robots and devices is in the works and several are slated to head to homes beginning later this year. Among the more notable is Kuri, a ...Read more