Science & Technology



Microsoft and Walmart signed a broad, five-year deal for the retailer to use Azure cloud services

Walmart and Microsoft have signed a broad five-year cloud-computing deal as both companies try to find a way around Amazon in the race to the top.

Walmart will use Azure, Microsoft's cloud-computing system, and Microsoft 365, the Redmond company's suite of office software on the cloud, to run the retailer's internal operations, power its ...Read more

Jeff Bezos is now the richest man ever in modern history — and here's how Silicon Valley billionaires compare

With his net worth topping $150 billion, Jeff Bezos is now the wealthiest person in modern history.

That's according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which as of Tuesday showed that the Amazon CEO is more than $55 billion ahead of the world's second-richest person, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose net worth stands at $95.3 billion.

...Read more

Surprise! While hunting for the elusive Planet X, scientists discovered 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter

While hunting for the elusive Planet X, astronomers have discovered 12 additional moons around Jupiter, bringing the grand total of the planet's known satellites up to a whopping 79.

The new moons are all relatively small -- between 1 and 3 kilometers (.6 to 1.8 miles) across, which is likely why they haven't been spotted before, scientists ...Read more

They worked at Apple, Amazon and Lyft. Now they're working to get you stoned

For much of her career, Natasha Pecor followed a path well-worn by tech workers. She built her reputation with her first employer in the industry, earning the title head of platform at Yelp. Then she jumped to one of the giants, Amazon, where she worked as a product manager.

Most recently she parlayed that experience into a leadership role at a...Read more

Microsoft calls on Congress to regulate controversial facial recognition technology

Microsoft wants Congress to regulate facial recognition technology as concerns grow that it could be used to invade privacy and improperly monitor people.

Some civil-liberties groups and employees have called on tech companies to restrict the use of facial recognition, but Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote in a lengthy blog post Friday that ...Read more

Trump's 'space force' will guard US from above, NASA chief says

NASA's administrator is a strong defender of President Donald Trump's proposals for space -- including an armed force and a permanent presence on the moon -- and says he wants Americans to realize how much their well-being depends on what happens far above Earth.

"Every banking transaction requires a GPS signal for timing," Jim Bridenstine said...Read more

Otzi the Iceman was not a strict adherent to the Paleo diet, study finds

If you were thinking that the ancient Alpine traveler known as Otzi -- and often known simply as Iceman -- scraped by on a diet of foraged grasses and berries, you'd be very wrong.

A comprehensive new study of his stomach contents reveals that Otzi, who perished roughly 5,300 years ago on a mountain in the Eastern Alps of Italy, died with a ...Read more

Data software firm Snowflake lands on Microsoft's Azure cloud

Snowflake, a California cloud-computing data software company, has launched its products on Microsoft Azure, another boost for the Redmond company as it competes with Amazon's popular cloud service.

Snowflake CEO and former longtime Microsoft executive Bob Muglia made the announcement Thursday, noting that more clients have been asking in the ...Read more

For the first time, scientists harness 'ghost particles' to study the universe and its black holes

Astronomers from around the world announced a major discovery on Thursday that could help scientists better understand the birth of the universe and some of the most exotic objects in it, including black holes.

By linking a massive detector buried under the South Pole, a command center at Pennsylvania State University, advanced satellites, and ...Read more

After years of searching, scientists finally trace high-energy neutrinos to a blazar

Using a neutrino detector made of Antarctic ice, astronomers have for the first time pinpointed the source of a handful of high-energy neutrinos from far beyond our galaxy: a powerful blazar shining like a beacon from nearly 4 billion light-years away.

The extragalactic neutrinos and their origins, described in two papers in the journal Science...Read more

Twitter accounts are about to lose a bunch of followers

Twitter accounts with legions of fishy followers are about to take a hit. As part of its efforts to fight disinformation, the company announced Wednesday that locked accounts will soon stop being counted as followers.

Accounts that boast high numbers of followers are often seen as more credible. Twitter Inc.'s move is designed to chip away at ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Keep malware threats and operating systems in perspective

Q: I read your column about protecting Windows XP from malware (see I would like to point out that XP users are not just putting themselves at risk. They are endangering everyone else by using PCs that can be taken over and used in botnets (groups of malware-infected computers used to attack websites, steal data or send ...Read more

Helpware: Kardia Mobile takes an EKG on the fly

My family thinks I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, but at my age I want to head off potential problems before they turn into ones that require expensive medical attention.

I have a portable blood-pressure set. To check my blood sugar level, I have a set of lancets and test strips. A drop of blood makes the doctor go away.

Twice a year I have ...Read more

'Immense growth' makes the Bay Area the world's 19th largest economy

We're number 19! And in the case of the Bay Area's booming economy, that's impressive, according to a new report released Tuesday that detailed the region's "immense growth."

If the Bay Area happened to be its own independent nation, it would command the 19th-largest economy in the world, according to the Bay Area Council's Economic Institute. ...Read more

Jennifer Van Grove: Price hikes for cord-cutters. What gives?

It's official. Once the preferred starting price point for many of the digital cable alternatives, the $35-all-you-can-stream bundles will, by the end of the month, vanish from the market.

That's because AT&T this week decided to hike up its DirecTV Now prices, meaning all of its streaming TV packages, including the base $35 monthly ...Read more

Does your child need a personal stylist? Stitch Fix wants to help

Since 2011, Stitch Fix's army of personal stylists has shipped curated boxes of clothing to women so they can try on and buy tops, trousers, dresses and coats from the comfort of their home.

The San Francisco company -- which went public last November -- added men's clothes in 2016. Now it's tackling a new frontier: clothes for kids.

Stitch ...Read more

Do iPhones and Androids eavesdrop on us? Lawmakers want to know

Lawmakers are asking Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Larry Page how our smartphones may be tracking us without our knowledge.

In separate letters to the two chief executives, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Monday requested more information about how iPhones and Androids are collecting data on their users.

For ...Read more

These long-necked, elephant-sized dinosaurs arose long before Brachiosaurus

There's more than one way to supersize a dinosaur. Scientists studying the ancient bones of sauropod relatives that walked the Earth more than 200 million years ago have found that they grew to multiton masses 30 million years before the appearance of their cousins, the titanosaurs.

The findings described in the journal Nature Ecology & ...Read more

The world has never seen a Category 6 hurricane, but the day may be coming

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. –– As a ferocious hurricane bears down on South Florida, water managers desperately lower canals in anticipation of 4 feet of rain.

Everyone east of Dixie Highway is ordered evacuated, for fear of a menacing storm surge. Forecasters debate whether the storm will generate the 200 mph winds to achieve Category 6 status. ...Read more

North America's first dogs were domesticated in Siberia, but their descendants are all gone

The arrival of the first Europeans in the Americas in the 15th century didn't just affect the lives of native people already living here. It also took a devastating toll on their pets.

In a paper published this week in Science, an international team of archaeologists and geneticists report that the lineage of dogs that thrived alongside Native ...Read more