Science & Technology



Research team confirms asteroid impact caused dinosaur extinction

An asteroid striking the earth 66 million years ago caused the mass extinction of dinosaurs and other animals, a new study has confirmed.

The study rejects a competing hypothesis attributing the phenomenon to volcanic eruptions in southern India.

According to the study published in the journal Science on Thursday, at least half of the massive ...Read more

Elizabeth Holmes' Theranos case: Feds claim patient harms related to HIV, pregnancy

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Federal prosecutors this week attacked in dramatic fashion a move by fallen Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to quash felony fraud charges related to patients who paid for the company's blood tests.

The bombshell court action by the prosecution came in response to a mid-December motion by Holmes to get a judge to dismiss ...Read more

Remember DVDs? Two studios have a plan to preserve the near-dead format

LOS ANGELES -- The market for DVD and Blu-ray discs has been on life support for years, as streaming has become the technology of choice for home video customers.

In the last decade, the U.S. market for physical discs has gone from a more than $10-billion business in the U.S. to roughly a third of that in terms of consumer spending, according ...Read more

Your $14 salad's not as eco-friendly as advertised — but Sweetgreen's trying

In the summer of 2016, Sweetgreen executive Kevin Quandt got a confidential tip about something rotten that was going on inside his company's restaurants. Or, to be more precise, about something rotting that was going out of them: garbage.

As vice president of supply chain and sustainability, Quandt was in charge of sourcing ingredients that ...Read more

U.S. patent activity surged in 2019 with Microsoft, Amazon among the top 10 recipients

SEATTLE -- Washington's technology giants were both among the top 10 recipients of U.S. patents in 2019, a record year for new intellectual property.

Microsoft ranked fourth with 3,083 patents granted and Amazon, with 2,434, was ninth, according to an analysis by IFI Claims Patent Services. Boeing was 22nd on the list, with 1,383.

Just behind ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Fixing Bluetooth music in your car

Q: When my iPhone connects to my car via Bluetooth, iTunes will play two songs, then skip through about 25 songs. It will then play two more songs, then skip ahead again. What's wrong?

-- Kathy Magrew, Maple Grove, Minn.

A: Your Bluetooth-equipped car is automatically "pairing" with your iPhone's Bluetooth wireless signal each time you travel....Read more

Can this San Diego startup mimic exercise and fasting with a pill? Epirium raises $85M to find out

A biotech startup in La Jolla has raised $85 million from notable science investors to investigate its idea for treating age-related diseases: a pill that mimics the effects of exercise and fasting.

The company, called Epirium Bio, says its scientists have discovered a new human hormone, which, when influenced, can trigger the production of ...Read more

Who is taking and selling your personal data? Washington state lawmakers work to give people more of a say

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington lawmakers are making another push to pass privacy regulations that govern companies' collection and sale of people's private digital information.

A proposal to implement European-style data-privacy regulations -- with more consumer rights about the personal information gathered -- fell apart last year, in part ...Read more

Google follows Apple in ending third-party 'cookies' in ad-tracking

Google is planning to "render obsolete" a key tool advertisers use to track people around the web, increasing user privacy but also disrupting the marketers and publishers who rely on the search giant's ad products.

Over the next two years the Alphabet Inc. unit intends to stop supporting third-party cookies in its Chrome browser, Google said ...Read more

National Security Agency discovers vulnerability in Microsoft Windows

SEATTLE -- The National Security Agency announced that it had found a "critical vulnerability" in Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating systems that could enable cyber intrusions.

The NSA recognized "the severity of the vulnerability" and disclosed it to Microsoft to expedite the process of fixing it, according to Anne Neuberger, the NSA's ...Read more

National Security Agency discovers vulnerability in Microsoft Windows

SEATTLE -- The National Security Agency alerted Microsoft Corp. that it had found a vulnerability in Windows operating systems that could enable cyber intrusions, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The news comes hours before Microsoft is scheduled to release a security update, which is part of a company practice of disclosing ...Read more

'Right-to-repair' fight extends from iPhones to tractors

The software in Peter Ripka's $120,000 tractor gave him an error code and cut the engine to 50% capacity, and Ripka couldn't figure out why. He was locked out.

The farmer near Ogilvie called the dealership to send someone with a computer to identify the problem. Three days and two service calls later, a simple matter of water in the diesel ...Read more

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon Ride platform is first step toward self-driving cars

SAN DIEGO -- After years of supplying Bluetooth and cellular connectivity to automakers, Qualcomm is pivoting toward safety with its new Snapdragon Ride platform, which aims to bring advanced driver assistance features such as automated parking, lane monitoring and highway auto-pilot to vehicles as soon as 2023.

Eventually, the company believes...Read more

Who listens to Spotify podcasts? A new tool will help advertisers find out

Spotify on Wednesday said it is launching new ad technology that will help advertisers better track how well theirs ad are resonating with podcast listeners.

The technology, called Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI), will give advertisers data such as how often Spotify podcast listeners heard an ad and what its reach was, as well as the gender and ...Read more

Feds tweak driverless-car guidelines, seek to balance safety and tech development

LAS VEGAS -- Driverless cars and trucks will be hitting the highways in increasing numbers over the next few years. The U.S. Department of Transportation doesn't want to get in the way.

That's the message in a new set of guidelines the DOT released Wednesday. The intent is to spur further development while, the department said, emphasizing ...Read more

First in flight again: Pilotless air taxi makes public demonstration flight in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. -- More than 100 people, including Gov. Roy Cooper, state lawmakers and leaders of the N.C. Department of Transportation, gathered at the State Highway Patrol's test track south of Raleigh Tuesday afternoon to witness a bit of aviation history.

They were there to see what was billed as North America's first public demonstration ...Read more

Top Facebook executive: Trump won in 2016 due to 'best digital ad campaign' ever

Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth, who oversaw the company's advertising business during the 2016 presidential election cycle, said Tuesday he believes Facebook is responsible for President Donald Trump's victory, but not due to the reasons many suspect.

In a 2,500-word post on his own Facebook page, Bosworth, a longtime Facebook executive, ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Doing the 'shuffle' with music and photos

Q: I like to use the "shuffle" option for music on my iPhone and photos on my digital picture frame. But I've noticed that I'm hearing the same songs and seeing the same photos more often than I should if they were really being played randomly. This seems to defeat the purpose of the "shuffle" command. Is there anything I can do about this?

-- ...Read more

CES boss comes to Ivanka Trump's defense ahead of keynote speech

The annual CES conference is underway in Las Vegas, and along with the massive crowds, new gadgets on display, and Apple making an official appearance for the first time in decades, there remains one topic that has probably gotten more attention than anything, or anyone associated with this year's show:

Ivanka Trump.

President Trump's daughter...Read more

CES trade show to spotlight big tech trends in 5G, self-driving cars, 8K TVs and more

Some technology trends for the New Year are easy to predict, such as the continuing hype around faster, more reliable 5G cellular networks.

Others, however, are harder to forecast. What new artificial intelligence service will blossom to become the next Amazon Alexa or Google Home? Can self-driving car technology take a meaningful step forward?...Read more