Science & Technology



Scientists study ways to preserve world heritage sites damaged in armed conflicts

Ancient heritage sites caught in the crossfire of war are, in many ways, little different from civilian populations trapped in the midst of armed conflict: Even when they continue to stand, they are crumbling inside.

A new study set out to re-create the impact of small arms fire on stone columns and structures that have endured thousands of ...Read more

Found: 7 rocky Earth-sized planets in orbit around a nearby star

Astronomers using powerful space telescopes and ground-based observatories have discovered seven Earth-sized planets in orbit around a star just 39 light-years away. Several of these exoplanets are in the habitable zone, where water could exist in liquid form.

The TRAPPIST-1 planetary system, described Wednesday in the journal Nature, marks the...Read more

Troy Wolverton: Here's how to defend net neutrality

Net neutrality is under threat, but you can do something to defend it.

As I've written recently, the Federal Communications Commission under President Donald Trump and its new chairman, Ajit Pai, looks set to roll back or kill off its net neutrality rules. In response, many readers have written me, wondering what, if anything, they can do.

...Read more

Tech Q&A: Giving yourself more access to your PC

Q: When I try to use the Firefox browser on my Windows 8.1 PC, I get the error message, "Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item." I have to click OK to get rid of this message, then click the Firefox icon again to reach the internet. What can I do to fix this?

--...Read more

Post-election business is booming for these startups

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Many Silicon Valley tech leaders continue to challenge the man they never wanted to see in the White House, labeling his ideas -- particularly last month's travel ban -- as bad for the industry and their bottom line.

Meanwhile, for a few other tech companies, President Donald Trump is a goldmine.

As a wave of civic activism...Read more

Helpware: Doing the cybersecurity two-step with Dashlane and YubiKey

When it comes to cybersecurity, a second line of defense can make the difference between being hacked and surfing safely. And all you need to surf worry-free is a unique password and an inexpensive device called the YubiKey.

I've begun using the YubiKey, a slimmed-down thumb drive, to complement my password program, Dashlane, which I use to ...Read more

Snapchat Spectacles now sold online

LOS ANGELES -- If you didn't race out to Los Angeles to get them, or stand in an endless line in Santa Monica, Calif., or catch a helicopter ride to the middle of the Grand Canyon, or brave the Manhattan cold, or pay a premium on eBay, well, you finally can just go online to buy Spectacles.

The $130 high-tech sunglasses from the company behind ...Read more

Can a mouse meditate? Why these researchers want to find out

Can a mouse meditate? A new study suggests the answer is ... kind of.

Researchers from the University of Oregon in Eugene have replicated some of the same brain patterns exhibited by human meditators in the brains of mice -- no tiny meditation cushions or squeaky "oms" required.

Still, experiments show that the "meditating mice" were more ...Read more

How do you cool a city in a warming world?

LOS ANGELES -- Globally, 2016 was the warmest year on record. In Los Angeles, temperature records were shattered last summer during scorching heat waves that saw highs of 100 degrees for five days straight.

If you think the city is too hot, you've got company at City Hall. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti agrees, and he wants to do something ...Read more

NASA shifts plan for Jupiter probe

The team behind NASA's Juno spacecraft has made a key change to its operating plan. For the rest of its primary planned mission, the satellite will continue to circle Jupiter in its long 53-day orbits instead of transitioning to shorter 14-day cycles.

The decision, made in response to technical difficulties with the plumbing for the spacecraft'...Read more

Snap's IPO builds an 'impregnable fortress' where only the founders have power

LOS ANGELES -- The founders of Snap Inc. want to take the company public. But that doesn't mean they want to run a public company.

Public companies, after all, have to deal with shareholders who don't like the way the company is being run. They have to ask shareholders whether they are paying executives too much. They have to seriously consider...Read more

Automated cafe sets up shop in tech-crazy, fancy coffee-loving San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO -- As Katy Franco waited for her morning coffee, passersby pulled out their phones and snapped photos and video of her barista.

A man in his 20s did a double take, recorded the scene on his iPhone and posted it to Instagram. Another woman drifted toward the barista and asked no one in particular: "What's going on here?"

Franco's ...Read more

Against a snowy death: predicting avalanches with self-driving car technology

It's a bountiful winter in the snowy Sierra Nevada, with the biggest snowpack in 22 years. That's great news for skiers and snowboarders, but all that snow can transform in an instant from a beautiful blanket to a deadly shroud when an avalanche hits.

In December, doctor Tom Barker, 64, was swept more than 200 yards in an avalanche that left ...Read more

Spooked by spike in cyber extortion, businesses are stockpiling bitcoin for payoffs

SAN FRANCISCO -- U.S. corporations that have long resisted bending to the demands of computer hackers who take their networks hostage are increasingly stockpiling bitcoin, the digital currency, so that they can quickly meet ransom demands rather than lose valuable corporate data.

The companies are responding to cybersecurity experts who ...Read more

Kennewick Man skeleton may be on its way back to ancestral home

SEATTLE--The 9,000-year-old skeleton Native Americans call The Ancient One and scientists refer to as Kennewick Man may be headed back to his ancestral home very soon.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed Friday morning that representatives from the Corps and the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic ...Read more

Industrial pollution has contaminated even the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean

Industrial pollution has reached even the most remote corners of Earth: the deepest part of the sea.

Scientists have discovered "extraordinary levels" of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in the Mariana and Kermadec trenches, two of the deepest ocean chasms on the planet.

"Trenches have been considered as pristine environments, but also (...Read more

Defying gender stereotypes, Ind. school pushes girls into science

GARY, Ind. -- In 20 minutes, D'Jharea Joyce and her group needed to build a free-standing structure with limited materials able to withstand the weight of 1 1/2 boxes of spaghetti.

When their triangular-shaped structure made from spaghetti and marshmallows held -- unlike others in the room, she didn't believe it.

"It was just suspense and ...Read more

To prevent serious conditions, scientists should be able to edit people's DNA, panel says

Scientists should be allowed to alter a person's DNA in ways that will be passed on to future generations, but only to prevent serious and strongly heritable diseases, according to a new report from the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

However, tinkering with these genes in order to enhance or alter traits such...Read more

Troy Wolverton: Net neutrality should be Silicon Valley's next fight

Silicon Valley is rightly focused on President Donald Trump's immigration order. But it should be gearing up for another fight that's vital to both tech companies and their customers.

Net neutrality is in the crosshairs again. Ajit Pai, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has made it clear that he's no fan. He's already ...Read more

Helpware: New Corel movie-making software makes pros of amateurs

Though my film career has been set mostly in movie theaters and my private screening room at home, I've been making movies for more than 50 years. An early adapter, I bought my first Super 8 movie camera while I was still in college. The movies I made using that hand-held device, influenced by auteurs like Fellini and Cassavetes, were unscripted...Read more