Science & Technology



Trucks that can drive themselves are already on Texas roads, and more are on the way

The age of self-driving 18-wheelers traveling on U.S. highways may be much closer than many people realize, and North Texas is emerging as the likely location of a major hub for the trucks.

One company that is aggressively working to build a nationwide freight network of driverless trucks is TuSimple, which has offices in Beijing and San Diego....Read more

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Pandemic has forced TV and film producers to bring new technology to sets

LOS ANGELES — A week ago Monday, cast and crew of the Amazon series "Goliath" gathered to check in for a day of filming at Santa Clarita Studios.

Despite the pandemic, the fourth season of the show is back in action, thanks in part to technology that helps track COVID-19 testing for hundreds of cast and crew members, including stars such as ...Read more

Duane Braley/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Tech Q&A: A firewall that's 'in the cloud' won't help if you travel

Q: Your column about Comcast's new Xfinity cloud-based firewall (see made me wonder what protection my Windows 10 PC would have if I were away from home. You already mentioned that the new Comcast firewall doesn't include antivirus software. Does this mean that if I use a Wi-Fi hot spot at a hotel, I won't have any firewall...Read more

Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Muslims reel over a prayer app that sold user data: 'A betrayal from within our own community'

Five times a day, tens of millions of phones buzz with notifications from an app called Muslim Pro, reminding users it's time to pray. While Muslims in Los Angeles woke Thursday to a dawn notification that read, "Fajr at 5:17 AM," users in Sri Lanka were minutes away from getting a ping telling them it was time for Isha, or the night prayer.

...Read more


Cancer-fighting biotechs jump 1,000% in shadow of COVID stocks

A pair of biotech companies fighting yet another modern disease — cancer — have seen their shares soar over 1,000% this year.

Investors' optimism on promising results on cancer-fighting platforms by Cardiff Oncology Inc. and Trillium Therapeutics Inc. has propelled the duo to the group of five best performers in the Nasdaq Composite Index ...Read more

OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Facebook labeled 167 million user posts for COVID-19 misinformation

Facebook Inc. said it labeled 167 million user posts this year for including information about COVID-19 that was "debunked" by the social network's fact-checkers.

The warning labels on coronavirus falsehoods were added to posts since March for violating the social network's misinformation policies, executives said Thursday. An additional 12 ...Read more

OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Nearly 1.4 million Illinois Facebook users have filed claims in $650 million privacy settlement, with Monday deadline looming

CHICAGO — Illinois Facebook users have until Monday to claim their share of a $650 million class action settlement over alleged violations of the state's biometric privacy law.

Nearly 1.4 million people had filed a claim as of Wednesday, which would make the expected payout about $400 each, Chicago attorney Jay Edelson said.

In April 2015, ...Read more

Andranik Hakobyan/Dreamstime/TNS

Jim Rossman: I finally found the fastest 5G connection

Unless you've been under a rock, I'm guessing you've heard of 5G, which is a new technology to give our cellphones faster connections to the internet.

AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are all touting their 5G networks, and it's getting hard to find a new flagship phone without 5G. But what does it mean for you?

I was invited by AT&T to test drive ...Read more


CNET: Best soundbars for the holidays

With a lot of folks still staying home, many of us have been spending more time hunkered down watching TV and listening to music. This year, it makes sense to gift the movie buff or music fan in your life with home theater gifts that take the night up to the next level. Maybe a streaming device or something to crank the audio capabilities of ...Read more


Gadgets: Easy-to-use dash camera

As they say, a day late and a dollar short. But with the window-mounted Scosche NEXS1 Smart, full high-definition dash camera, powered by Nexar, I'll be ready for next time.

I'm referring to a minor car accident (no injuries) I was in two weeks ago while this dash cam sat boxed up on my desk, waiting to be tested. Not 24 hours later I had it ...Read more

Astro Gaming/TNS/TNS

Review: Astro A20 Gen 2 aims to be one headset to rule them all

The rivalry between consoles isn't as fierce as it once was. As gamers have grown older, they've gotten to an age where they can afford more than one video game system. Loyalty to one brand isn't as important compared to the idea of which game plays the best on a respective machine.

With more people owning multiple consoles, the problem of ...Read more

Sony Interactive Entertainment/TNS/TNS

Review: PlayStation 5 helps 'Spider-Man: Miles Morales' step out of shadows

Representation is a powerful force in comic books. It makes a community feel seen, it reinvigorates superhero franchises, and it opens doors to new audiences. Marvel has found success by making its heroes more diverse with Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel and Riri Williams as the successor to Ironman.

The most popular of these new additions has been...Read more

Sony Interactive Entertainment/TNS/TNS

Five games that show what PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X can do

The next-gen consoles fit snugly in the entertainment center. They have a quiet hum when turned on. The controllers have that fresh-out-of-the-box smell and feel cool in hand. Everything is ready. The only thing players need now are some snacks and some games.

But which ones are best? That's the big question. There are several titles out but ...Read more

Sony Interactive Entertainment/TNS/TNS

Sony, Microsoft consoles struggle after thin launch-day supply

Sales of Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp.'s new gaming consoles fell short of their predecessors during their first week in Japan, suggesting persistent supply bottlenecks will hamper the debut of two of this holiday season's most hotly anticipated gadgets.

Sony sold 118,085 PlayStation 5 consoles from its debut on Nov. 12 to Nov. 15, roughly a ...Read more

Sex robots: An answer for aging, lonely Americans in the age of AI?

Fear not the march of time. For you may be accompanied by a certain sort of clank — a sex robot to get you through your twilight years.

A University of Washington professor of bioethics and humanities has just published a paper saying that "sex robots" and artificial intelligence may be the breakthrough our ever-growing aging population needs...Read more

Jonathan Weiss/JetCity Image/Dreamstime/TNS

Fintech works to elevate minority leaders as users diversify

Data is beginning to show that communities historically cut off from banking and investing are using financial technology to increase access. Now, industry leaders are calling for more diverse perspectives in top leadership roles to help drive that progress.

Companies say they're working on ways to make it happen.

Change Machine, a New York-...Read more

Duane Braley/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Tech Q&A: What's wrong when friends can't play your shared videos

Q: I take videos in the MP4 format on my Android phone, and they play back just fine. But when I send a 20- to 60-second video to my friends' phones (via Yahoo Mail or Facebook Messenger), the videos either won't play or play for only five to 10 seconds. What's wrong?

_Michael Kehoe, Minneapolis

A: Either your recipients don't have the right ...Read more

Rui Santos/Dreamstime/TNS

ICE seeks large new cloud contract involving Microsoft, Amazon

U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is planning new large-scale expenditures on cloud computing with Microsoft Corp. and Inc.'s Amazon Web Services unit. The deal, slated for early 2021, could could reignite tensions within the companies, where groups of employees have objected to working with agencies that have presided over ...Read more


Samsung intensifies chip wars with bet it can catch TSMC by 2022

Samsung Electronics Co. is pouring $116 billion into its next-generation chip business that includes fabricating silicon for external clients, betting it can finally close the gap on industry leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. as soon as two years from now.

South Korea's biggest company will mass-produce 3-nanometer chips in 2022, a ...Read more

Courtney Hergesheimer/Columbus D/Columbus Dispatch/TNS

Ohio State ice core collection at risk of being damaged or lost

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The history of the world is carefully documented and kept in a freezer at Ohio State University.

The university has a rare collection of ice cores from remote tropical glaciers that were painstakingly drilled, extracted and returned to a frozen storage facility in Columbus from 16 different countries. If the cores — each a ...Read more