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Gmail's new 'confidential mode' offers more privacy controls — but don't get too comfortable

In rolling out major updates to Gmail, Google announced Wednesday that the popular email service will soon feature a new "confidential mode" that promises to give users more control over who sees the emails they send, and for how long.

Users should still be mindful about what they send over email, privacy experts warned, as messages sent in ...Read more

Got a grudge? Police just shut down biggest hackers-for-hire platform

WASHINGTON -- The worldwide -- and illegal -- cyberattack-for-hire business flourishes. Got a grievance against a retailer? A former spouse bugging you? Plenty of online thugs will take astonishingly small sums of money and launch a cyberattack on your behalf.

The hackers-for-hire flood a website with malicious traffic and knock it off line.

...Read more

Cambridge Analytica's promotion of discontent tied to Bannon

WASHINGTON -- Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie told House Democrats that Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump's former adviser, was behind much of the company's early focus on promoting public discontent to influence U.S. elections.

"Cambridge Analytica was set up to be essentially a full-service propaganda machine," Wylie ...Read more

Walmart Labs launches hiring for Bay Area tech workers

SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Walmart Labs has launched a major hiring effort for technologists, an employment push that highlights companies' quest to scout for tech talent in the Bay Area.

The retailing behemoth's tech unit wants to hire 150 technology workers in the Bay Area, bolstering its efforts to deliver new digital solutions to its customers ...Read more

Why do some hurricanes intensify so fast? Miami researchers find a key clue

MIAMI -- The rapid intensification of hurricanes, a fearful development that forecasters still struggle to predict, may be tied to an inner battle between a storm's thunderstorms and winds.

Forecasters typically look at outside environmental conditions -- ocean temperatures, moisture in the atmosphere and the flow of upper level winds -- to ...Read more

Twitter flexes muscles behind revenue, monthly user gains

SAN FRANCISCO -- Growth in ad sales and monthly users outside the United States were among the key figures that spurred a strong quarter for Twitter as the social-media company on Tuesday reported first-quarter sales that exceeded Wall Street's expectations.

Twitter, which put out its results before the stock market opened Tuesday, said it ...Read more

A pileup of 14 distant galaxies is set to become the most massive structure in the universe

It's a cosmic pileup in the far reaches of the universe and nothing like it has ever been seen before.

Using the most powerful telescopes on Earth, astronomers have spotted 14 burning-hot galaxies hurtling toward each other on an inevitable galactic collision course at the edge of the observable universe.

Computer models show that when these ...Read more

Big-name movie created with technology from two small Seattle startups

SEATTLE -- In hindsight, the last week of March would have been the perfect time for Marc Barros to buy a lottery ticket. But even without it, the week was a pretty fortunate one for the Seattle startup founder.

His company, Moment, launched a Kickstarter campaign that reached its goal of $50,000 in 41 minutes. The startup then went on to mark ...Read more

Helpware: Picture Keeper helps you back up all your photos

If you're like many other parents and grandparents, you've taken thousands of photos as the children have grown up. Losing them to a computer crash or theft would be disastrous, which is why I'm the pest in the garden who bellows the three most important words in computing: Backup! Backup! Backup!

If all our photos were neatly labeled and filed...Read more

With in-car delivery, Amazon tests whether customers will sacrifice privacy for convenience

At a time of heightened concern about user privacy, one of the world's biggest technology companies is seeking access to one of users' most private places: the trunks of their cars.

Amazon Inc. on Tuesday launched what it calls In-Car Delivery, which allows Amazon delivery drivers to open the trunks of certain late-model cars and drop off ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Wi-Fi worries solved by update

Q: I bought a Linksys router and then switched our computers and phones (but not our Roku TV device) to Norton security software. Recently, my wife and I received Norton warnings on our phones that our Wi-Fi had been compromised, even though Norton also showed that our Wi-Fi had strong encryption. Then I read that the Russians have for years ...Read more

Uber's diversity report shows mild gains for women in tech jobs

"We still have a lot of work to do," Uber said Tuesday as it released its latest company diversity report, revealing that women made mild gains in tech jobs over the last year at the ride-sharing giant.

Uber said men account for 82 percent of tech-related positions at the company, with women making up the remaining 18 percent. The percentage of...Read more

With fewer than 300 red wolves alive today, three rare pups born at N.C. museum

DURHAM, N.C. -- Their eyes are still tightly shut and they can't quite howl just yet, but Durham is welcoming three new wolf pups to the highly endangered pack.

Fewer than 300 red wolves are alive today. A female at the Durham Museum of Life and Science gave birth to a litter of pups on April 21.

The museum announced the births of the pups on ...Read more

Tesla factory workers stiffed on overtime, denied breaks: lawsuit

Tesla and a contracting company failed to pay contract workers fully for overtime and denied them legally mandated meal and rest breaks, a contract employee at Tesla's Fremont auto-assembly plant said in a lawsuit that also claims she was fired for complaining about employee-payment practices.

Dorley Nezbeth-Altimore, who said in a court filing...Read more

EDITORS: Please kill CPT-APPLE-TAXES:SJ (Crum), which moved earlier Tuesday. This story was not staff written. This is a mandatory kill.

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Tableau adds data prep product, tweaks pricing to appeal to big customers

Seattle technology company Tableau released a new product and pricing model Tuesday, moves to make it more appealing to big companies as Tableau squares off with Microsoft and other competitors.

The company, which develops software to create various visualizations of data, launched new technology that helps workers quickly sort and prepare ...Read more

This engineered painkiller works like an opioid but isn't addictive in animal tests

Sometimes forgotten in the spiraling U.S. crisis of opiate abuse is a clinical fact about narcotic pain medications: addiction is basically an unwanted side effect of drugs that are highly effective at blunting pain.

Addiction, of course, is a particularly dangerous and disruptive side effect, since it hijacks a patient's brain and demands ...Read more

In human cells, scientists find DNA that looks like a twisted knot instead of a double helix

For the first time, scientists have detected a DNA structure inside living human cells that looks more like a four-stranded knot than the elegant double helix we know from biology textbooks.

The tangled shape, known as an i-motif, had been seen before in the lab, but nobody thought it could occur in human cells -- until now.

The new work shows...Read more

Decoding your baby's DNA: It can be done. But should it be?

LOS ANGELES -- Maverick Coltrin entered the world a seemingly healthy 8-pound boy. But within a week, he was having seizures that doctors could neither explain nor control. They warned that he would probably die within a few months.

"I remember my world just came crashing down," said his mother, Kara Coltrin, 24.

In October, Coltrin and her ...Read more

A study of Monterey Canyon's microbial denizens may offer insights on evolution

Geobiologist Victoria Orphan stands at the stern of the research vessel Western Flyer, watching her colleagues put the last touches on an unusual spread. Among the offerings: a large turkey leg, an alligator head and bowls of gelatinous agar that resemble consomme.

This meal isn't for the ship's crew, though. It's bait.

The entrees are ...Read more