Science & Technology



Trump's bid to force TikTok sale follows well-trod legal path

President Donald Trump's push for the sale of TikTok to a U.S. company marks a major escalation in his battle to keep data on American citizens out of Chinese hands and a move that, if successful, would be nearly impossible to overturn under U.S. law.

Trump's demand has set off a geopolitical tug-of-war, but it has ample precedent. The ...Read more

Theranos: Feds throw Molotov cocktail case at Elizabeth Holmes over grand jury request

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Federal prosecutors fighting Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes's request for access to grand jury records invoked the case of a woman accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at a New York City police van who made a similar but mostly unsuccessful bid.

The woman, Samantha Shader, who has pleaded not guilty to hurling a fire ...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to prevent, and fix, a balky external drive

Q: Last year, the Western Digital external hard drive for my Windows 8.1 PC stopped working. I bought another Western Digital external drive, but it wouldn't work, either. I then bought a Seagate external drive and began using it last November. But by late July, I got an error message saying the external drive couldn't be detected, even though I...Read more

Ex-Google engineer Levandowski's jump to Uber ends in prison

Autonomous driving engineer Anthony Levandowski was ordered to spend 18 months prison for stealing trade secrets from Google as he defected to Uber Technologies Inc., in one of the highest-profile criminal cases to hit Silicon Valley.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco imposed the sentence Tuesday after Levandowski pleaded for ...Read more

Trump's TikTok assault opens new front in tech war with China

By going after TikTok, the U.S. is expanding a fight against Beijing using Chinese-style restrictions on tech companies in a move that could potentially have enormous ramifications for the world's biggest economies.

The Trump administration's threat to ban ByteDance Ltd.'s viral teen phenom and other Chinese-owned apps could significantly ...Read more

Apple buys startup to turn iPhones into payment terminals

Apple Inc. has acquired Mobeewave Inc., a startup with technology that could transform iPhones into mobile payment terminals, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mobeewave's technology lets shoppers tap their credit card or smartphone on another phone to process a payment. The system works with an app and doesn't require hardware ...Read more plans to go public via merger

Seattle-based plans to merge with a publicly traded company that has no operations, gaining a listing on Nasdaq and about $200 million in new capital.

The combination with PropTech Acquisition, a blank-check company that went public with such a transaction in mind, is expected to be completed by year-end, the companies said Friday.

...Read more

Two senators urge Justice Department to probe TikTok and Zoom

The Justice Department should investigate whether the popular video apps TikTok and Zoom have violated the constitutional rights of Americans by sharing private information with the Chinese government, two senators wrote in a letter to the agency on Thursday.

The request from Senators Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, and Richard Blumenthal, ...Read more


CNET: Best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds of 2020

Active noise cancellation has long been the pinnacle of headphone technology. ANC headphones electronically counteract - or "cancel out" - external noise by essentially producing a mirror image sound wave in your ear. The technology works best in environments with a sustained din, like the droning of a jet engine. That's why in the last couple...Read more

Anna Ihland/Trek Bicycle/TNS/TNS

Gadgets: UVC sterilizer; bike helmet

I doubt a year ago many people, including myself, would be interested in a portable UVC sterilizer wand to kill invisible bacteria germs. Fast forward to today and we all want one, and Monos has announced the new CleanPod portable and rechargeable UVC LED wand.

So how does it work? I'll tell you exactly how Monos explains it: "Ultraviolet C (...Read more

The Raptor Center/TNS/TNS

Now you can invite an actual bird of prey to join your next Zoom meeting

MINNEAPOLIS - Looking for a way to break through the monotony of yet another Zoom meeting?

Now you can invite a real-life bird of prey to your next virtual meeting or online get-together, thanks to the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota.

For a $75 fee, workplaces can request an eagle, and for $50, can invite a hawk, falcon, vulture...Read more

Affective Software/TNS/TNS

Preventing COVID-19 meltdowns: Therapists tap technology to help couples battling relationship stress

SEATTLE - Relationship therapist Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman doesn't mince words when discussing strains the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on couples nationwide.

She tells of one husband-and-wife client duo and how the pandemic has "driven them crazy" when he comes home weekends from his high-stress, front-line medical worker job he took in ...Read more


Review: What worked and what didn't at Pokemon Go Fest 2020

My neck feels like burnt toast. My body is sore and I limp around the house, but strangely, I feel great. That's the sign of good Pokemon Go Fest. Niantic pulled off a decent facsimile of its flagship event this weekend. Rare Pokemon spawned along with their shiny versions. The celebration had a storyline first featuring the celebration and ...Read more

Snap reveals diversity shortcomings in its first workforce report

For years, as major tech companies shared regular reports on the diversity of their workforces, Snap Inc. kept that data secret.

Snap Chief Executive Evan Spiegel cited the regular drumbeat of unchanging diversity numbers as a reason to keep his own company's information private earlier this summer. When asked about the practice at an all-...Read more

Start-up enters COVID-19 testing game with low-cost kit that delivers results in 10 minutes

San Diego start-up Truvian Sciences has received federal emergency approval for a blood test that detects COVID-19 antibodies in as little as 10 minutes.

Called Easy Check, the portable test will be sold by Truvian to health professionals for about $15 and has an accuracy rate in excess of 98 percent, according to the company. The test is ...Read more

TikTok says Facebook's attacks are 'disguised as patriotism'

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer on Wednesday defended his company's practices as it faces increasing pressure from the U.S. government, competitors and its creators over the app's ties to China.

The popular streaming app, owned by China-based tech company ByteDance, has been used by many Hollywood celebrities and music artists to promote their songs and...Read more

Meet Perseverance, JPL's newest Mars rover

NASA's newest Mars rover is called Perseverance, and it has already lived up to the name.

Weighing in at just over a ton and loaded with the most sophisticated instruments ever sent to the red planet, the six-wheeled vehicle has already survived a hurdle no previous rover has had to face: a global pandemic.

After overcoming months of ...Read more

Black people still few and far between in biotech industry

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego biotechs are working to erase cancer, light up nerves during surgery and scan thousands of molecules with artificial intelligence.

The industry's workforce, however, is less futuristic than its goals.

Black people account for 6% of the county's overall workforce but just 3% of biotech, according to the San Diego ...Read more

Technology divide between senior 'haves' and 'have-nots' roils pandemic response

Family gatherings on Zoom and FaceTime. Online orders from grocery stores and pharmacies. Telehealth appointments with physicians.

These have been lifesavers for many older adults staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic. But an unprecedented shift to virtual interactions has a downside: Large numbers of seniors are unable to participate...Read more

Investing in funds that empower women boomed in 2019, Wharton study finds

Private equity and venture capital investors are increasingly putting dollars to work in portfolio funds that result in a positive impact on women, according to a new report by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Wharton's Project Sage 3.0 report shows Wall Street investors placed $4.8 billion in gender-lens-related funds in ...Read more