Science & Technology



Why is cancer so rare in elephants? They might thank their 'zombie gene'

Maybe it's the elephant's genes that never forget.

In addition to having great memories, elephants are known for having a very low incidence of cancer. In what might seem a wild mash-up of the SyFi channel and National Geographic, new research has uncovered a surprising factor that protects elephants against the dread disease: a gene that had ...Read more

Alexa, Cortana finally get the conversation going

Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana are coming soon to a smart device near you – together, with new integrated features that allow the digital assistants to talk to each other.

The two companies said the integration would be live for U.S. customers Wednesday, the first public launch for the joint service since the companies began testing ...Read more

'Video games'? Pilots wonder how plane thief learned to do aerial acrobatics

SEATTLE -- The barrel roll that Richard Russell pulled off during his flight Friday evening looked sloppy to experienced pilots.

But the fact that the baggage handler completed the trick at all was evidence to some observers that Russell, who died when the Horizon Air plane he stole crashed into an island in South Puget Sound, may have taken ...Read more

This Silicon Valley car tech firm is bringing secret weapon to the streets of Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A Silicon Valley tech company recently posted a video front and center on its website that may startle some Sacramentans.

It shows a sleek black car driving across the Tower Bridge ... with no one in it.

The company, Phantom Auto, is a key player in the emerging world of autonomous vehicles. But the car cruising across ...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to get data from one device to another

Q: I copied some photos from my camera's memory card to a newly created folder on my two-year-old Surface Pro tablet PC, using a USB card reader. I could see the photos after I transferred them, but when I restarted the PC the photos were gone. I haven't gotten any "low memory" warnings. What's wrong?

-- Angie LaMere, Bloomington, Minn.

A: I ...Read more

Helpware: Two clicks and you've got your backup

There is no shortage of backup programs -- SugarSync (my favorite), Dropbox and Carbonite come to mind. They're great for backing up individual files to the cloud, but what if your hard disk fails or you get a new computer? How do you back up your program files -- and restore everything -- documents, photos and programs -- to a new hard disk or ...Read more

Let's talk about tech, baby: Which companies Congress mentions most

The past decade has been tumultuous for American businesses. There have been quite a few financial industry scandals, plus the bailout of the auto industry. But the industry federal lawmakers talked the most about was tech.

It's another indicator of technology's power and influence that a new analysis shows tech companies topped Congressional ...Read more

H-1B use skyrocketed among Bay Area tech giants

Even as the White House began cracking down on U.S. work visas, major Silicon Valley technology firms last year dramatically ramped up hiring of workers under the controversial H-1B visa program, according to newly released data.

The data show the importance of H-1B workers to the tech industry, which has long lobbied to increase the number of ...Read more

Weekend sky is alive with meteor shower

The Perseid meteor shower is back and can be seen through Monday.

The celestial show peaks every August when Earth passes through the debris trails of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which passes near Earth every 133 years on its trip around the sun.

This year's meteor viewing arrived with a good forecast.

"The moon is very favorable for the Perseids...Read more

In the game of online dating, men and women try to level up, study finds

In the world of online dating, men and women look to find someone a little out of their league, according to a new study. Scientists who analyzed user data from a popular dating site have found that heterosexual men and women reach out to potential dating partners who are on average about 25 percent more attractive than they are.

The findings, ...Read more

NASA's Parker Solar Probe aims to bring the sun's mysteries to light

This weekend, in the dark hours before dawn, NASA plans to send a spacecraft to touch the sun.

The Parker Solar Probe, which could blast off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as early as 12:33 a.m. Pacific on Saturday, will dip down to within 4 million miles of the solar surface -- or nearly 10 times as close as sun-scorched Mercury.

Each ...Read more

T-Mobile's magenta semitruck hits the road to showcase 5G technology

T-Mobile's next magenta-heavy, super-visible campaign won't be encouraging customers to switch to the company's cellphone service. Instead, the Bellevue, Wash., carrier plans to take a decked-out semitruck around the country to showcase its ideas for the next generation of wireless connectivity, 5G, and how it envisions people and businesses ...Read more

Researchers won't take dead orca calf away from mother as she carries it into a 17th day

SEATTLE--As Tahlequah carries her deceased calf for a 17th straight day, and concerns mount about her health, taking the calf away is not an option because of the tight bond between Tahlequah and the rest of the pod to her baby -- dead or alive, experts say.

"These are very intelligent animals, and the loss of this animal is quite profound for ...Read more

Researchers discover 2 new non-native species in Great Lakes

CHICAGO -- Cornell University researchers have confirmed two new exotic species, both about the size of a flea, have established themselves in the Great Lakes, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The arrival and staying power of both species in western Lake Erie remains a mystery to scientists who say it is the farthest north...Read more

Amazon welcomes first graduates of program to turn veterans into technologists

SEATTLE -- Mike Cooper and his four colleagues in Amazon's inaugural class of veterans-turned-technologists won't make a dent in the company's roughly 17,000 job openings.

But the five former armed service members represent the lengths the Seattle giant will go to satisfy its insatiable appetite for workers.

Cooper, a 31-year-old Coast Guard ...Read more

Magic Leap, the $2 billion 3D software startup, is finally live. It doesn't come cheap.

Magic Leap, the secretive Plantation, Fla.-based tech company that has raised more than $2 billion in venture capital to build sophisticated 3D software, has finally gone live.

Wednesday, the company announced its first product is now available for purchase. But the average computer user isn't about to rush out and buy it. The Magic Leap One ...Read more

Dell Medical School launches data hub with goal of improving health care

The Dell Medical School at the University of Texas announced Tuesday the creation of a "Biomedical Data Science Hub" with the goal of analyzing data to improve health care.

Paul Rathouz, the hub's founding director, will recruit faculty and staff from different UT schools to analyze data -- some of which is already being compiled by the medical...Read more

Twitter defends giving Alex Jones a platform

Twitter is defending Alex Jones' continued presence on its site after the right-wing conspiracy theorist was shunned by other tech giants such as Apple, YouTube and Facebook this week.

Jones, who runs InfoWars, has not violated Twitter's rules, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted Tuesday night.

"We're going to hold Jones to the same standard we ...Read more

Salesforce shakeup: Marc Benioff to share CEO duties with Keith Block

There's a bit of the changing of the guard at Salesforce.

The pioneer of subscription-based business software is no longer going to be run solely by its seminal co-founder Marc Benioff. Late Tuesday, Salesforce said it has promoted Keith Block, its president and vice chairman, to the position of co-chief executive alongside Benioff.

Salesforce...Read more

Where is the birthplace of Silicon Valley? Event aims to put the question to rest

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Just where Silicon Valley was born has long been open to debate.

Is its birthplace the still-extant garage where Hewlett-Packard's founders developed their first tech product while living at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto in the late 1930's? Or is at Stanford University where Fred Terman, a Stanford dean, set up a ...Read more