Science & Technology




Jim Rossman: How can you boost a poor cell signal?

I got this question from a reader recently: "I would like to know if you have any suggestions for boosting cellphone reception inside your home. There are areas in my house that drop my calls. It gets very frustrating."

This is a good question.

One method she could try is to switch to a different cell carrier that might cover her home with a...Read more


Michigan voters to decide whether to ban police use of electronic data without warrant

DETROIT - Voters in November will decide whether police should have access to an individual's electronic data and communications without a warrant.

The Michigan House and Senate passed a resolution that would place on the November ballot a constitutional amendment barring the search and seizure of private electronic data without a warrant. ...Read more


CNET: The best smart home devices of 2020: Google and Amazon lead the way

If you've already started connecting the various devices and fixtures around your home - perhaps more of you are thinking about this now that many of us are quarantined - you'll know that there are a lot of ways to tackle the problem. You might just want one device to solve a particular issue, like a smart plug to put a lamp on a regular ...Read more


Gadgets: A hearing aid you'll want to show off

I've never seen anyone go around showing off their new hearing aid. But often I see people bragging about their new earbuds. The Olive Smart Ear has the appearance and style of a single earbud in but does the job of a hearing aid.

I'll start off with some information supplied by the parent company, Olive Union, which caught my attention ...Read more


List of big names fleeing Facebook skyrockets as more companies yank ads

Facebook's friends are fleeing in droves.

From Habitat for Humanity to Russian Mail Order Brides, the advertiser exodus escalated from Facebook on Monday as dozens signed on to the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign designed to purge hate speech from the platform.

So far, more than 150 big-name brands, representing hundreds of millions of ...Read more

Battling 'flawed' facial recognition software

DETROIT - Robert Williams says he was mistakenly tagged by facial recognition software as a suspected shoplifter in Detroit in 2018, a move that dumped him into the criminal justice system that he says was humiliating and frightening.

Williams, who is Black, now wants police to abandon the controversial use of facial recognition to find ...Read more

Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google Chiefs to Testify in Congress

The chief executive officers of Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc., Inc. and Apple Inc. have agreed to testify before a congressional panel investigating competition issues in the technology industry, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee overseeing the probe.

Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, Jeff Bezos and Tim ...Read more

Tesla battery cooling system is subject of federal safety probe

Federal safety officials are probing allegations of defective cooling systems installed in early-model Tesla vehicles.

Tesla installed cooling tubes prone to leaks in Model S vehicles beginning in 2012, according to internal emails cited by Business Insider last week. The Times reviewed copies of the emails and other documentation that show the...Read more

Red Hat to remove contentious terms like 'master' and 'slave' from its source code

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The technology company Red Hat said Tuesday that it would take measures to remove contentious terms like "master/slave" from its source code and other areas, in an effort to make its products more inclusive.

The world of coding and software, in which Red Hat is an influential institution, is rife with industry jargon and terms ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Windows 10 expired free upgrade offer still works

Q: I converted my Windows 7 PC to Windows 10 in 2016, when Microsoft was offering the upgrade for free. But I didn't like Windows 10, so I chose to undo the upgrade. Now that Windows 7 no longer gets security updates, I want to install Windows 10 again. An IT guy told me I might still be able to get it for free, even though the free upgrade ...Read more

Patrick Daxenbichler/Dreamstime/TNS

Jim Rossman: How to leave — or silence — an annoying group chat

I'm not sure how things work in your family, but my extended family likes to text.

Every so often, I find myself in the middle of a big old group conversation.

You know the kind, where someone has something to share and lets 15 people know all at once via text.

Then, the inevitable happens - the replies.





...Read more


CNET: Best Android tablets for 2020

With many tablet buyers opting for Apple iPads, the Android tablet market isn't necessarily the first place people look when they're in the market or a new tablet. Fewer and fewer manufacturers even make them now. But that doesn't mean there aren't a few good Android tablets available that try their best to rival the Apple iPad.

While some ...Read more


Gadgets: Smart lock loaded with features

A door lock has two main features: opening and closing. Lockly, a leader in manufacturing the world's most advanced smart lock, let me give the Secure Pro Latch Edition a try.

There's a lot to say about the lock; it has great features, looks, and performs perfectly upon completion. And the instructions Lockly supplied are written in a clear ...Read more

Eric Broder Van Dyke/Dreamstime/TNS

Amazon and Zynga team up for 'Words with Friends' spin-off on Alexa devices

Amazon's Alexa devices can play music, interact with smart devices in one's home and answer any question, but one of the more overlooked activities for the Amazon Echo, Echo Show and Echo Dot is games.

Enter Zynga with "Word Pop," a "Words With Friends" spin-off of sorts. The game is played exclusively on Alexa devices and challenges players ...Read more

Electronic Arts/TNS/TNS

Preview: 'Rocket Arena' adds fighting game elements to team-based shooter

Breaking into team-based shooters is a difficult task. Games such as "Overwatch" and "Counter-Strike Global Offensive" suck up all the oxygen in the room. Add in Riot Games' latest release "Valorant" and it can be difficult to stand out from the pack.

Nevertheless, Electronic Arts is jumping into the fray by publishing "Rocket Arena" from ...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to keep an idle Web browser connected

Q: I use the Safari web browser on my MacBook Pro, and typically have several tabs (separate screens showing different web pages) open at the same time. One of these tabs is always the Google search page. But when I return to the Google search tab, the page is sometimes inactive, which means I can't type in a new search request until I reload ...Read more

Why are Black and Latino people still kept out of the tech industry?

It seemed like tech was turning a corner.

For years, the industry's giants had resisted calls to disclose workforce diversity data, making it difficult to pinpoint precisely how much whiter and more male Silicon Valley was than the population at large. But Google's 2014 decision to publish the racial and gender breakdown of its workforce ...Read more

Bay Area brothers hope to feed the world with their robotic indoor farming technology

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- You'll forgive the Bertram brothers if their Silicon Valley elevator pitch is as fast-paced as a doubles match. After all, they moved from Melbourne, Australia, to the United States to play collegiate tennis, then developed a love for engineering and robotics -- and a lofty goal to meet the world's nutritional needs.

Less ...Read more

His plane-disinfecting invention didn't take off — until COVID-19 hit

Seven years before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Arthur Kreitenberg, a Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon, came up with an invention in his basement to quickly disinfect an airplane cabin using ultraviolet light.

He even bought airplane seats from the airline graveyard in the Mojave desert to test his idea.

But the idea did not catch on quickly. ...Read more

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Editorial: Supreme Court's end to workplace discrimination against gay and transgender Americans is a starting point

Just days ago, the cause of upholding the rights of LGBTQ Americans looked a bit uncertain. Not in terms of public opinion which has moved firmly and irreversibly toward their side (polls continue to show robust support for same-sex marriage, for instance). But last Friday's surprise announcement that the Trump administration was rolling back ...Read more