Science & Technology




Twitter may let users charge their followers for special access

Twitter Inc. gave the first outline of a potential subscription product that will let people charge followers for access to special content or experiences, part of a broader effort to diversify the company’s revenue sources and give high-profile users a way to make money on the service.

Twitter mentioned a new feature called “Super Follows�...Read more


'Like a horror movie': Caterpillar silences tomato's cry for help, scientists find

While there’s a famous horror-movie spoof about killer tomatoes, no one seems to have made one about caterpillars — the insect pests that eat the juicy red fruits of summer.

Perhaps the time is ripe, with inspiration from a new study at Pennsylvania State University.

Scientists found that a caterpillar called the tomato fruit worm not only...Read more

Australia passes law forcing Facebook, Google to pay for news

Australia’s parliament passed a world-first law to force digital giants such as Facebook Inc. and Google to pay local publishers for news content — a move that may unleash more global regulatory action to limit their power.

The legislation was passed Thursday and will ensure “news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content ...Read more


Tech Q&A: Why you can't play streaming video while driving

Q: My Samsung Galaxy phone won't play the sound on YouTube videos when it's connected by Bluetooth to my car, a 2016 Fiat 500. I can get sound for other things, such as map directions or phone calls. I think the problem is in the car's Bluetooth connection, but the Fiat dealer has been of no help. How can I fix this?

—Jean Mitchell, Edina, ...Read more

10,000-year-old dog bone found in Alaska offers answers for when species arrived in Americas

Researchers have fetched an ancient dog fossil that provides new context for when the species arrived to the Americas.

The small fragment of a dog’s femur was recently found in Alaska and belonged to a canine that roamed the region about 10,150 years ago, according to a study by the University at Buffalo that was released online Tuesday.

...Read more

Online doctor Babylon weighs listing at $4 billion value

Babylon, the medical startup that helps diagnose conditions and prescribe treatments online, is exploring options to go public as business booms amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.K.-based health-care group has been approached by several special purpose acquisition companies about going public via a ...Read more

Bradley Wentzel/Joby Aviation/TNS

LinkedIn, Zynga founders' SPAC to take air-taxi firm Joby public

A blank-check company formed by LinkedIn Corp. founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga Inc. founder Mark Pincus agreed to merge with Joby Aviation as a means to take the air-taxi startup public.

Reinvent Technology Partners’ purchase of Joby values the combined company at $6.6 billion and is expected to provide about $1.6 billion in proceeds, the ...Read more

Eat delicious food, support restaurants, and fight waste. Too Good To Go is a game-changer for apps

At the end of their shifts in restaurants all over the world, cooks roll up garbage barrels to their work stations. Into the cans goes a lot of unsold prepared food — noodles and meats and chicken and lettuce and tomatoes and rolls and what have you.

But what if this still-delicious food instead could be portioned into takeout containers, ...Read more

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CNET: Best gaming laptops for 2021

So you're ready to take your gaming to the next level. Your quest probably begins with a better gaming rig, but let's say that you don't have a single spot where you like to game. You're a gamer on the go, so to speak. That means you need a laptop, and there are some good ones out there for gamers.

Now, there's more to a gaming laptop than ...Read more

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Jim Rossman: iPhone apps can play hide and seek

Some weeks I scratch my head over what to write about and some weeks the topic just drops into my lap.

Being an IT guy, I spend my workdays solving problems and answering questions about people’s technology issues.

I’ve been writing long enough to recognize a good column topic when I help a co-worker or friend solve a problem.

This week...Read more


Gadgets: An elegant phone charger

Is it really possible to call a wireless phone charger elegant, or attractive or a piece of art? Well, some of that might be a stretch but after seeing Einova by Eggtronic’s marble wireless phone charger, you’ll know what I mean.

The 4.65-inch rounded charger can produce 5W, 7.5W and up to 10W of fast charging for capable devices, but ...Read more

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Cops overcome distancing hurdles, connect with teens through online gaming

ATLANTA – Whether in a pickup game of basketball or a summer football league, cops have long challenged teenagers to battles of athletic prowess.

Playing with kids on their own turf helps to build relationships, the officers say, and could help steer them in the right direction. But there is no going toe-to-toe and hand-to-hand in the ...Read more


Review: PlayStation 5 makes the Nioh Collection better than ever

The Nioh video game franchise is one of the finest titles of the PlayStation 4 era, a satisfying mix of Dark Souls punishment and Ninja Gaiden difficulty that never let you down. Both two Nioh games, released in 2017 and early 2020, suck you in with splendid visuals and relentlessly challenging combat, and they grab you even more once you face...Read more

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Review: Now is the time to play ‘Control: Ultimate Edition’ on PS5

Games that come with Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus can be hit or miss. The free offerings are often titles that players may already own or are projects that weren’t that great to begin with. Once in a while, the services’ offerings hit that sweet spot: A title comes along that has won acclaim and may have been missed.

For me, that game is...Read more

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Commentary: Use of algorithms can perpetuate bias

For most of us, the word “algorithm” is fairly new to our vocabulary. But badly designed decision-making algorithms have a growing impact on our lives and can do a great deal of damage.

Simply put, an algorithm is a set of instructions used by computer systems to perform a task or make a decision. On social media platforms, for example, ...Read more


Can democracy work on the internet? Reddit tells a mixed story

Throughout history, people have established new governments for all sorts of reasons: to solidify alliances, or expand empires, or secure individual liberties.

Marc Beaulac had a question about sweaters.

Specifically, it was about the age-old debate in offices between men who want the air conditioning cranked up and women who want it turned ...Read more

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Commentary: New Space Age hampered by old technology

The world is entering an exciting new Space Age. Where once the superpowers competed in a space race to the moon, today commercial companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are finding new business models to finally realize the economic value of space.

As private companies dominate the economic market for low-earth orbit, the ...Read more

NASA Langley catches its breath after Mars rover touchdown - then gets back to work

NORFOLK, Va. — A puddle, melted into a chair.

That’s how Henry Wright, a rover project manager at NASA Langley, described his condition after Thursday’s nail-biter touchdown of the Perseverance on Mars.

The local research center was heavily involved in the final challenge of the rover’s 6 1/2-month journey: Getting the complex, car-...Read more


NASA shares bird's-eye view of Perseverance landing on Mars

Now that’s what you call a photo finish.

NASA’s Mars 2020 spacecraft has sent back a striking image of the Perseverance rover suspended several feet above the red planet’s surface, just as it’s about to set down its six wheels in Jezero Crater.

The image shows the rover from above as its rocket-powered descent stage carefully lowers ...Read more

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NASA's Perseverance rover makes safe landing on Mars

LOS ANGELES — NASA's newest rover touched down safely on the surface of Mars at 12:56 p.m. Pacific time Thursday, completing a 293-million-mile journey through space and setting the stage for a mission that seeks to find evidence of ancient extraterrestrial life.

The six wheels of the 2,260-pound Perseverance rover landed in Jezero Crater, a ...Read more