Science & Technology



Cafe X COO talks 'the right moment' for robot baristas

As chief operating officer of a company that makes robot baristas, Cynthia Yeung is well aware that some people may view her as the villain who wants to replace human workers. But Yeung believes robots can make a worker's job better, not worse.

Yeung spends a lot of time thinking about how her company can "set the tone" and be "responsible ...Read more

Scientists discover Tatooine-like planet orbiting 2 suns far, far from Earth

Scientists had yet to discover proof that a single planet can orbit two stars when Luke Skywalker was shown watching a twin sunset from Tatooine in the 1977 sci-fi movie "Star Wars."

But they later nailed it. And San Diego State University astronomers have just revealed fresh evidence that there's likely to be many of these Tatooine-like worlds...Read more

These tech companies want to use AI to make you lunch at work

The next frontier in automated food could be coming to an office kitchen near you, complete with big, salad-making robots.

Relying on AI to make on-demand lunches at work could provide employees with more healthy options while cutting down on the time they spend away from their desks searching for food, say two companies at the forefront of the...Read more

Lee Schafer: How many jobs will robots eliminate?

Michael Chui of McKinsey & Co.'s global research arm happened to visit the Twin Cities on a snowy day, and he pointed out a self-driving car would have had a rough day here.

Chui, a leader of the firm's research in "disruptive technologies" like artificial intelligence, sees autonomous vehicles on the streets of the San Francisco Bay area, ...Read more

New study: There's one animal great white sharks are really afraid of

Ever since the 1975 movie "Jaws," great white sharks have been considered the most fearsome predators in the ocean. But new research published this week shows that may not be the case.

When great whites hunting for seals near the Farallon Islands off San Francisco encountered killer whales, known as orcas, swimming by, they immediately fled, ...Read more

Men's beards carry more germs than dog fur, according to science

A new Swiss study has found that men with beards carry more germs than dogs. Sorry, hipsters.

Study author professor Andreas Gutzeit told the BBC that the researchers found a significantly higher count of germs and bacteria in men's beards than dogs' fur. Researchers from the Hirslanden Clinic in Switzerland took swabs from the facial fuzz of ...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: Facebook shareholders are getting fed up with Zuckerberg but can't do anything about him

Judging from the proxy statement issued by Facebook last week in advance of its May 30 annual meeting, the company's shareholders are starting to get fed up with its leadership by co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Four shareholder proposals on the proxy ballot call for slicing away at Zuckerberg's authority over Facebook.

"Facebook...Read more

Why Austin is seeing a surge in VC investment this year

Late last year, CS Disco CEO Kiwi Camara got the call he anticipated: Georgian Partners, a venture capital firm from Toronto, said it wanted to invest in the Austin-based legal industry software company, eventually offering a deal worth $83 million.

Like other companies in Austin that have landed big investments in recent months, Disco for ...Read more

Is the iPhone as private as Apple says? Mozilla says it can be

As the tech industry faces criticism and regulatory pressure over its handling of user data, Apple has positioned itself as a champion for privacy.

But the company's "Privacy. That's iPhone." ad campaign has prompted Mozilla to start a campaign of its own, calling on Apple to do even more to protect its customers' privacy.

Mozilla, maker of ...Read more

Facial recognition may help you get on a plane or cruise ship faster. Should you worry about your privacy?

Say goodbye to standing in long lines clutching boarding passes and other travel documents.

Step this way, instead. Look into the camera lens and off you go.

Sound convenient? Technology companies working with travel providers and the federal government to install facial recognition systems at airports and cruise terminals hope you think so.

...Read more

Dell adds to market share in weakening global PC market

As worldwide PC shipments decline, the top three vendors -- Lenovo, HP Inc. and Dell Technologies -- boosted their share of the global PC market in the first quarter of 2019, according to new industry data.

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 58.5 million units for the quarter, a 4.6 percent decline compared to the same quarter in the previous year,...Read more

How flying cars could help in the fight against climate change

Have you ever been stuck in traffic and wished you could zoom above the gridlock in a flying car? A new study predicts these futuristic vehicles could be good for your commute and good for the environment -- as long as they're used on long-distance trips with several carpool buddies.

The finding, published Tuesday in the journal Nature ...Read more

Astronomers unveil first-ever photo of a black hole

In the swirling heart of a distant galaxy, 55 million light-years from Earth, lies a supermassive black hole with a mass 6.5 billion times greater than that of our sun.

The gravitational pull of this dark beast in the Messier 87 galaxy is so strong that not even light can escape its gaping maw.

Its powerful gravity bends the fabric of space ...Read more

Minneapolis has cutting-edge 5G wireless network — barely, but it's here

Minneapolis is at the leading edge of cellphone technology for the first time. Barely. But it is.

Just as tens of thousands of people were descending on Minneapolis for the Final Four last week, the city became one of the first places in the world to have a fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless network. Data travels four to 10 times faster on 5G ...Read more

Tech Q&A: You thought you deleted your Facebook account, but it's still there. Now what?

Q: I recently received an e-mail from Facebook, eight years after "deleting" an account that I used for about three months. When I clicked the link to unsubscribe to future e-mails, I was taken to a Facebook page to confirm my choice. From there, I was able to review a history of my account. While nothing had been posted since 2011, there was a ...Read more

Federal spoofing trial of Chicago software developer ends in hung jury

CHICAGO -- The spoofing trial of software developer Jitesh Thakkar -- an attempt by federal regulators to crack down on illegal high-frequency computer trading -- ended with a hung jury Tuesday in Chicago federal court.

Thakkar, 42, of Naperville, Ill., was charged last year with conspiracy and aiding and abetting the notorious British "flash ...Read more

Privacy 'poisoning' poses threat to companies using blockchain

A new type of cyberattack that can render blockchain technology unusable may become a major headache for organizations that depend on it.

Known as privacy "poisoning," the attack involves loading private data, such as names, addresses and credit card numbers, or illegal material, such as child pornography, into a blockchain, therefore putting ...Read more

Researchers find, correct a cause of rhino infertility

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego Zoo researchers say they've discovered one cause of infertility in a rare species of rhinoceros, and how to fix it.

Gut microbes in the female southern white rhino metabolize phytoestrogens, estrogenlike plant compounds, in a way that reduces fertility. This knowledge may help preserve the rhino, said study co-author ...Read more

European lawmakers back new online terror content rules

BRUSSELS -- Google, Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and other tech firms are one step closer to facing the threat of fines if they fail to speedily remove terror propaganda from their sites, under new European Union rules backed by lawmakers Monday.

The European Parliament's civil liberties committee endorsed draft rules that would require web ...Read more

Poisons flow in toxic levels through the veins of great white sharks, new study shows

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Great white sharks -- one of the ocean's most fearsome apex predators -- thrive with toxic levels of poisons flowing in their veins, according to a new study by OCEARCH.

Researchers recently came to that conclusion after taking blood samples from 40 white sharks off South Africa, according to an April 3 report on more


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