Science & Technology



Sensor-equipped pill raises technological, ethical questions

The first drug with a sensor embedded in a pill that alerts doctors when patients have taken their medications was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, raiding issues involving privacy, cost, and whether patients really want caregivers looking over their shoulders.

Japan's Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. will insert a tiny chip -- the size ...Read more

Just like humans, chimpanzees warn others of impending danger

Chimpanzees adjust their warning calls if they think a fellow primate hasn't picked up on a nearby threat, a new study finds.

The results, published in the journal Science Advances, reveal that humans and one of their closest living relatives may share a very special ability, one that could potentially shed light on the origins of language.

...Read more

Tech Q&A: Solving the mystery of Windows updates

Q: Several years ago, I purchased an HP Envy PC, model h8-1414. I've upgraded the operating system from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Now I can't get automatic Windows 10 updates to complete; the updates freeze and I'm forced to restart the PC. A few hours later, the PC tries to update Windows 10 again, with the same result. Because of...Read more

Organic agriculture can help feed world, but only if we eat less meat and stop wasting food

Agriculture could go organic worldwide if we slashed food waste and stopped using so much cropland to feed livestock, a new study finds.

The analysis, published in the journal Nature Communications, shows that it will take several strategies operating at once to feed the growing human population in a more sustainable way -- and some of those ...Read more

Helpware: How to buy an iPhone X

This is not a review of the iPhone X. There have been enough well-deserved raves of Apple's new genius phone to persuade Apple groupies like me to buy one.

Instead, this column is about math. More specifically, it's about the reality that no matter where you shop – the Apple Store or your cellular carrier – you'll pay pretty much the same...Read more

Jennifer Van Grove: Let's get real about Kodi and 'free TV'

We need to have a serious talk about Kodi.

Whether you know it or not, you've heard about Kodi -- either from friends in real life who love streaming free stuff and telling you about it, or by way of social network pals who promote the boxes that make it possible. Or maybe you've read my feature story on the subject matter last year.

Even so, ...Read more

How NASA engineers mourn the death of a spacecraft

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. -- They called it a wake, but the loved one they had come to mourn wasn't a person.

It was the Cassini spacecraft, the robotic explorer that had spent the last 13 years unlocking the mysteries of Saturn, its rings and its many moons.

Soon after Cassini vaporized like a shooting star in the Saturnian sky, about 175 ...Read more

Odds of Harvey-like rains coming to Texas on the rise, scientists say

So much for the storm of the century.

A new study suggests that massive hurricanes like Harvey are expected to strike Houston and Texas with much greater frequency in the future than they do now.

Blame our changing climate.

According to a study published Monday in PNAS, the odds of Harvey-like rains drenching the city of Houston will grow ...Read more

Citizen devices track Chicago's pollution hot spots

CHICAGO -- With a variety of palm-size devices strapped across her chest and connected wirelessly to her smartphone, Gail Merritt discovered the air in Chicago's South Loop might be a lot dirtier than expected.

Merritt and her group of volunteer pollution hunters had assumed the low-cost sensors they carried during daily walks would confirm ...Read more

Scoping out the Silver Tech boom for savvy seniors

"What a drag it is getting old," Mick Jagger first whined on "Mother's Little Helper" from the Rolling Stones' 1965 Aftermath album.

"Hope I die before I get old," the Who's Roger Daltrey growled the same year on "My Generation."

But for those who first heard those plaints way back when and are still walking this Earth, getting older isn't so ...Read more

This supernova was supposed to die — until it got brighter

Talk about going out with a bang -- and then another bang. Astronomers at Las Cumbres Observatory have discovered a supernova that has been shining for years instead of mere months, surviving far beyond its expected lifespan.

The strange and still-going stellar explosion, described in the journal Nature, defies scientists' understanding of ...Read more

Journalism matters, science concludes

The president may be fond of complaining about "fake" news, but the truth is that journalism drives the national conversation, and science has proven it.

A new study published Thursday in the journal Science demonstrates that even small news outlets can have a substantial impact on the issues Americans talk about and when they talk about them. ...Read more

9-year-old boy with rare disease now has engineered skin covering 80 percent of his body

For a soccer-playing, holiday-loving boy on the brink of death from a rare inherited skin disease, doctors have accomplished a feat of genetic engineering, surgical stamina and raw nerve.

Infections arising from blisters and sores had destroyed 60 percent of his skin. Just 7 years old when he arrived at a burn unit in Bochum, Germany, the child...Read more

Sprint turns to improving its wireless network now that a T-Mobile merger is dead

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Unwilling to turn control of Sprint over to rivals at T-Mobile US, Sprint's chairman vowed this week to spend more money on the Overland Park-based company's wireless network.

Merger talks between Sprint and T-Mobile, the nation's No. 4 and No. 3 wireless companies, collapsed over the weekend principally over terms that ...Read more

Uber says it will bring its flying taxis to Los Angeles in 2020

LOS ANGELES -- In just over two years, Uber says it will let commuters soar over Los Angeles' snarled traffic in flying taxis.

The ride-hailing firm announced Wednesday that L.A. will be one of the first cities served by UberAir, which it says will begin ferrying passengers across the region in electric aircraft in 2020.

Aviation manufacturers...Read more

Tech Q&A: Windows 10 may cut speed of browsing

Q: The latest version of Windows 10 seems to be reducing my internet speed. What can I do?

Bruno Mattedi, Woodland Park, Colo.

A: The newest versions of Windows 10 can slow down your internet browsing because of how they handle software updates and control the flow of data.

You can reduce the slowdowns by adjusting the latest incarnations, ...Read more

For food giants, rising tide of e-commerce means sink or swim

Have you ever plucked a bottle of ketchup from a grocery store shelf after remembering your kids finished the last bottle the night before?

Or perhaps you've indulged in a box of cookies that wasn't on the grocery list but still somehow ended up in your cart?

These spontaneous purchases are a challenge for some of the largest packaged food ...Read more

Jennifer Van Grove: How to find must-watch streaming TV series

Whether you're a cord-cutter or someone who supplements a pay TV subscription with Netflix, finding what to watch from the wealth of streaming TV services available can be a daunting chore.

Enter Lon Harris.

The Los Angeles resident, 38, has dutifully committed to staying apprised of everything happening in the digital entertainment space. The...Read more

No Twitter? No problem, say porn stars; Netflix email scam emerges

NO PORN? NO PROBLEM!: That seems to be the sentiment from the nation's porn stars about Twitter updating its guidelines to ban nudity and anything considered "adult" or "pornographic" from the social-media site. And hey, if you want opinions about pornography on social media, who better than to consult than those who make the content themselves,...Read more

Facebook, Twitter, Google and where Silicon Valley's money comes from

Tech companies face dilemma after conundrum after balancing act, and now the spotlight is on their funding sources.

There's Saudi money. Russian money. And let's not forget money from ads and fake news that add fuel to the raging fire of cultural, racial, political and religious divisions in the United States and elsewhere.

There are questions...Read more