Science & Technology



Venture capitalist spends time browsing Nextdoor

SAN FRANCISCO -- The lauded Silicon Valley venture capitalist Bill Gurley who, along with his partners at Benchmark, was an early investor in companies such as Instagram, Uber, Stitch Fix and Snap Inc., spent a recent afternoon scrolling through the neighborhood social network, Nextdoor, studying the ways people use the service.

As a 51-year-...Read more

Jury awards T-Mobile $4.8M in trade-secrets case against Huawei

SEATTLE -- A robot named "Tappy" has finally had its day in court, and emerged victorious. Well, its creator -- T-Mobile -- did.

A long-running lawsuit that T-Mobile filed in 2014 against Chinese smartphone maker Huawei concluded in federal court in Seattle this week. A jury decided that Huawei misappropriated trade secrets belonging to T-...Read more

Cybersecurity experts gather to try to prevent future attacks like WannaCry

An entire team of experts works at the Mayo Clinic to ensure that 25,000 networked medical devices -- everything from digital cameras to proton beam therapy systems -- are hardened against cyberattacks like the WannaCry worm that affected hospitals from England to China last week.

It's no easy job, but -- knock on wood -- there have been no ...Read more

Rising sea levels could mean twice as much flood risk in coastal cities

The effects of rising oceans on coastal flooding may be even worse than we thought. Scientists have found that a mere 10 to 20 centimeters, or about 4 to 8 inches, of sea-level rise -- which is expected by 2050 -- will more than double the frequency of serious flooding events in many parts of the globe, including along the California coastline. ...Read more

Facebook fined $122 million by EU over WhatsApp acquisition

Facebook was fined $122 million for giving European Union antitrust regulators misleading or incorrect information about its acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp in 2014.

The fine is one of the largest that Facebook has received from an antitrust regulator, but officials said Thursday it also sends a warning message to other companies.

"...Read more

Facebook launches war on clickbait headlines

Facebook on Thursday launched an assault designed to crack down on clickbait headlines, in a push to banish "fake news" from its news feeds.

"People tell us they don't like stories that are misleading, sensational or spammy," Facebook stated in a blog post on it site. "That includes clickbait headlines that are designed to get attention and ...Read more

Their code was used to hack Sony and create 'WannaCry.' Meet the 'Lazarus Group'

On Feb. 4, 2016, as employees left work to enjoy their weekends, the central bank of Bangladesh began firing off dozens of transfer orders to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, asking to remove money from its accounts -- almost $1 billion.

It was a heist. The robbers hadn't walked in with guns or tunneled into a vault to get the money. They'...Read more

UM researchers find new way to measure hurricanes: 'gravity waves'

MIAMI--Hurricane forecasters may have a new tool in solving the vexing problem of understanding storm intensity: gravity waves.

Gravity waves are produced when air moving around the atmosphere gets pushed from one place to another. In a hurricane, those waves can come in quick, short bursts as powerful thunderstorms around the storm's eye wall ...Read more

What is that dog trying to say? Ask its owner

When it comes to interpreting dog growls, some humans are surprisingly good at taking the hint, a new study shows. Scientists testing how people categorized different types of natural growls found that people could largely tell playful vocalizations from threatening ones -- though women and dog owners seemed to do better than their peers.

The ...Read more

Why you need your beauty sleep: People may not want to hang out with you if you look tired

You know the drill: You haven't had a good night's sleep for a few days and now you don't like what you see in the mirror -- puffy eyelids, dark circles, sallow skin.

You splash some water on your face and hope no one notices. Besides, it doesn't really matter if you look tired, you tell yourself. It's not like anyone is going to notice, right?...Read more

Scientists closer to making personalized blood cells by using patients' own stem cells

New research has nudged scientists closer to one of regenerative medicine's holy grails: the ability to create customized human stem cells capable of forming blood that would be safe for patients.

Advances reported Wednesday in the journal Nature could not only give scientists a window on what goes wrong in such blood cancers as leukemia, ...Read more

They predicted the 'WannaCry' ransomware cyberattack, so how come few listened?

Misha Govshteyn and his colleagues at the cybersecurity start-up Alert Logic dropped all their projects about a month ago, except for one they deemed a graver threat than the rest.

Someone had stolen never-before-seen hacking tactics from the National Security Agency and posted them online. Working in shifts for 36 hours straight, dozens of ...Read more

Tech Q&A: A drastic fix for a software conflict

Q: I'm unable to access the iTunes or iCloud programs on my Dell Windows 7 PC. Apple representatives who tried to help me said their efforts were blocked by a program on my PC called Revo Uninstaller, which I haven't been able to remove. What can I do?

Pat Becker, Tucson, Ariz.

A: To make sure your problem isn't caused by malicious software, ...Read more

In the age of cord cutting, Comcast video chief sees value in the bundle

In a world where cord cutting and streaming services have blurred the picture for the pay-TV industry, Matt Strauss, Comcast's top video executive, believes the key to keeping customers hooked up may come down to just one word: bundles.

Bundling everything from video and high-speed internet to a forthcoming wireless phone network offers a ...Read more

Trucking meets tech in Cargo42's winning strategy

MIAMI -- Francine Gervazio worked in the logistics industry in her home country of Brazil and Australia, and she saw first hand how inefficient the industry could be. In fact, she says, one out of every five trucks on the streets is traveling empty. While at Babson College in Massachusetts studying entrepreneurship, she came up with concept ...Read more

Ethan Baron: How to turbocharge your iPhone photography

Thanks to advances in smartphone camera technology, anyone can take a decent photo. But is decent good enough?

A San Francisco company is banking on the answer to that question being "no."

DxO, which started out as an image-processing software company, has developed a gadget called the DxO ONE that essentially replaces the camera built into ...Read more

How response to cyberattack unfolded

SEATTLE -- Cybersecurity researcher Ray Pompon started his Friday, just after 8 a.m., like he always does: checking email and social-media feeds from his West Seattle home.

It didn't take long for Pompon to discover something was very wrong.

A widespread cyberattack in England was starting to show up in other countries, spreading a malicious ...Read more

Helpware: A tech-support report card

It's time for my semi-annual roundup of technology tech support. I've added a few companies, dropped a few because I no longer use their products and expanded those that I still use.

Acronis: This excellent disk-cloning and backup program offers toll-free and no-fee tech support. Techs are offshore, have a comprehensive knowledge of their ...Read more

As Uber and Waymo duke it out in court, the ugly battle over driverless cars is underway

SAN FRANCISCO -- It's big. It's nasty. It's the fight for dominance in the burgeoning market for driverless cars -- and the service they'll provide.

Alliances are forming. Competitors are bulking up. The gloves are coming off.

There are accusations of subterfuge. On Monday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup slapped restrictions on ride-hailing...Read more

Instagram copies another Snapchat feature: Face filters

SAN FRANCISCO -- Instagram continued to play copycat to Snapchat, launching on Tuesday its own version of face filters -- a feature popularized on Snap Inc.'s app.

The new Instagram tool superimposes adornments such as animal ears, hats, makeup and masks over a person's face on the app. The decorations include a gold crown and a pair of bunny ...Read more


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