Science & Technology



Dan Kitwood/Getty Images North America/TNS

All social media platforms have TikTok-like risks, transparency group says

The national-security and mental-health risks posed by TikTok are shared by other social media platforms, according to an advocacy group that’s urging Congress to also hold U.S. companies accountable ahead of high-profile testimony from TikTok’s chief executive officer.

The Tech Oversight Project, a nonprofit, says Meta Platforms Inc., ...Read more

IPCC report: Climate solutions exist, but humanity has to break from the status quo and embrace innovation

It’s easy to feel pessimistic when scientists around the world are warning that climate change has advanced so far, it’s now inevitable that societies will either transform themselves or be transformed. But as two of the authors of a recent international climate report, we also see reason for optimism.

The latest reports from the ...Read more

David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS

Missouri pollution is so bad it hurts other states. Power plants ordered to cut emissions

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released an order Wednesday which instructs Missouri, along with 22 other states, to reduce its air pollution levels.

The order, called the Good Neighbor Rule, focuses on reducing emissions of nitrous oxides from power plants and industrial facilities. These gasses directly ...Read more

Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

San Diego is preparing to enforce its long-awaited foam ban. Who might get a reprieve?

SAN DIEGO — With enforcement of San Diego's new ban on polystyrene foam food trays, pool toys and more scheduled to take effect April 1, city officials are scrambling to coach affected businesses, clarify the complex regulations and consider emergency waiver requests.

Such requests include one from a coalition of local grocery stores asking ...Read more

Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Fla. county courts new ally in beach erosion battle: The White House

TAMPA, Fla. — Cookie Kennedy was out for a walk with a friend one day this winter when she felt a familiar dread creep up on her. As the pair strolled the north shore of Indian Rocks Beach, the small Pinellas County city where Kennedy is mayor, they were forced to weave their way through a thickening crowd of beachgoers. The land where they ...Read more

E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Chicago birders rejoice as Arctic gull makes rare visit to local beaches: 'This is about as good as it gets'

CHICAGO — It was 8:15 on a Saturday morning when Woody Goss’ phone started buzzing.

Annoyed, he checked the screen to find that one of his birding groups was puzzling over a small white gull with distinctive black markings. The bird looked like a Ross’s gull — a very rare visitor from the high Arctic that last stopped for an extended ...Read more

Those seeds clinging to your hiking socks may be from invasive plants – here's how to avoid spreading them to new locations

With spring settling in across the U.S. and days lengthening, many people are ready to spend more time outside. But after a walk outdoors, have you ever found seeds clinging to your clothes? Lodged in your socks and shoelaces? Perhaps tangled in your pet’s fur? While most of us don’t give these hitchhikers much thought, seeds and burrs ...Read more

Ken Wolter/Dreamstime/TNS

Xcel is cleaning up radioactive water spill at Minnesota plant

MINNEAPOLIS — A broken pipe at Xcel Energy's Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant leaked about 400,000 gallons of water containing radioactive tritium, and the utility is working to clean up the contaminated plume, state regulators said Thursday.

Both Xcel and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said there was no risk to drinking water from...Read more

Tyger Williams/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Opponents of New Jersey wind farms say whale deaths should put project on pause for further studies

WILDWOOD, N.J. — They arrived at the beachfront parking lot early, holding up signs that showed burning wind turbines, sad whales, and caricatures of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

An acoustic song, “Save the Whales,” blared while a line formed to get into the Wildwoods Convention Center for U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s hearing: “An ...Read more

Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Microsoft to bring OpenAI's chatbot technology to the office

Microsoft Corp.’s effort to overhaul its entire lineup with OpenAI technology has spread to one of the company’s oldest and best-known products: its Office apps.

The software, including Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Word, will begin using OpenAI’s new GPT-4 artificial intelligence platform, Microsoft said on Thursday. AI-powered ...Read more

As bird flu continues to spread in the US and worldwide, what's the risk that it could start a human pandemic? 4 questions answered

An outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza that started in 2021 has become the largest bird flu outbreak in history, both in the U.S. and worldwide. In the U.S. the virus has led to the destruction of millions of commercially raised chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese, and has killed thousands of wild birds.

Many virologists are concerned ...Read more

Is the Western drought finally ending? That depends on where you look

After three years of extreme drought, the Western U.S. is finally getting a break. Mountain ranges are covered in deep snow, and water reservoirs in many areas are filling up following a series of atmospheric rivers that brought record rain and snowfall to large parts of the region.

Many people are looking at the snow and water levels...Read more

Idaho Department of Fish and Gam/TNS/TNS

How does Idaho count wolves? Critics say state uses 'smoke and mirrors,' misleads public

BOISE, Idaho — As a scruffy gray-and-brown wolf stood in a grassy Idaho clearing, it fixed its gaze straight ahead. Another dark wolf trotted down a muddy dirt road. A third stepped over gravelly terrain, its mouth open as it panted in the sun. Motion-triggered cameras, placed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, snapped photos of the ...Read more

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Commentary: Why rain-on-snow floods from atmospheric rivers could get much worse

California’s latest atmospheric rivers are sending rainfall higher into the mountains and onto the state’s crucial snowpack. The rain alone is a problem for low-lying areas already dealing with destructive flooding, but the prospect of rain on the deep mountain snow has triggered widespread flood warnings.

When rain falls on snow, it ...Read more


Niantic’s ‘Peridot’ virtual pet game is coming May 9 on iOS and Android

Tamagotchi games have come a long way since Aki Maita created the original digital pet in 1996. The latest entry into the genre is Niantic’s “Peridot.” The virtual pet game is launching May 9 on iOS and Android devices, and the developer is kicking off preregistration for those early adopters on App Store and Google Play.

The mobile ...Read more

Jim Rossman/Jim Rossman/TNS

Jim Rossman: How old is too old for a laptop?

I spent some time with a friend last week trying to see what we could do to make her laptop faster.

She has a 6-year-old HP laptop that has really bogged down. It takes forever to start up, and then it is slow to respond to any input.

Her laptop has a sixth generation Intel core i5 processor, 12 gigabytes of RAM and a 500GB spinning hard ...Read more

Tyger Williams/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Security robots are at Philly Lowe’s stores. Some have already nicknamed them ‘snitchBOTs’

PHILADELPHIA — Customers at Lowe’s stores across Philadelphia have encountered an unexpected sight in the parking lots over the last month — a 5-foot-tall, egg-shaped security robot that makes a cosmic whirring sound as it glides across the pavement.

What seems to have surprised Philadelphians most about these new robots, aside from ...Read more

House of Marley/House of Marley/TNS

Gadgets: House Of Marley's Get Together 2 Mini portable Bluetooth speaker packs a punch with super sound, clarity

House Of Marley's Get Together 2 Mini portable Bluetooth speaker is precisely described on the HOM site: small but mighty.

Like everything House of Marley produces, before the Get Together 2 Mini plays a tune, you see the high quality and craftsmanship. It’s crafted with the company's unique look and style featuring a natural bamboo front, ...Read more


Review: Style of ‘Like a Dragon: Ishin!’ translates beautifully into Japan’s past

It has taken almost 10 years, but Sega has finally brought “Like a Dragon: Ishin!” to U.S. shores. A spinoff of the series formerly known as “Yakuza,” it was a project that was far different from others in the series.

The most obvious difference was that it takes place in 19th-century Japan during the Bakumatsu. It was a fascinating ...Read more

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Water restrictions lifted for 7 million in Southern California, but region still urged to conserve

LOS ANGELES — Mandatory water restrictions are being lifted for nearly 7 million people across Southern California following winter storms that have boosted reservoirs and eased a severe shortage that emerged during the state’s driest three-year period on record.

The board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California decided to...Read more