Science & Technology



Hunting for 'marsquakes,' NASA lander finds surprisingly active red planet

Mars may look dry and dusty from the outside, but it has a surprisingly vibrant inner life, according to new findings from NASA's quake-hunting InSight mission.

The lander, which touched down on the red planet 15 months ago, has detected plenty of seismic activity, an unexpectedly strong local magnetic field and around 10,000 whirlwinds passing...Read more

By decoding the coronavirus genome, scientists seek the upper hand against COVID-19

The genetic code of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is only about 30,000 characters long, but what a story it tells.

Those nucleotides conceal secrets of the virus' past, including its origins, its passage among families and its journey to distant ports. They signal how long it has been at large and whether it can hide by infecting people ...Read more

Coronavirus fears lead Facebook, Sony to quit Game Developers Conference

Another big Bay Area tech conference is taking a hit due to the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.

Facebook and Sony have said they won't attend the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) that is set to be held at San Francisco's Moscone Center next month due to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. Facebook also said representatives ...Read more

Dell to sell security firm RSA for $2 billion

Dell Technologies said Tuesday it is selling one of its businesses -- network security firm RSA -- for $2.075 billion in an effort to simplify its product portfolio.

Dell Technologies is selling Massachusetts-based RSA to California private equity firm Symphony Technology Group, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board and Netherlands-based ...Read more

Bluetooth stickers on your clothing? Startup Wiliot gets $20M for tracking tech

Giants in technology and consumer products are funneling more cash into a small tech startup in San Diego that's developing tiny bluetooth stickers that can transform everyday items -- like clothing, wallets, or Amazon packages -- to trackable "connected" devices.

The startup, called Wiliot, just raised $20 million from PepsiCo and Verizon's ...Read more

Tesla surges amid high solar power expectations

It looks like the sun is continuing to shine on Tesla.

On Wednesday, Tesla's shares recorded their highest-even closing price after a Wall Street analyst said the company's solar power products and batteries could grow at a rate like that of its electric cars.

Prior to the stock market opening, Piper Sandler analyst Alexander Potter raised his...Read more

Sprint says three telecommunication companies stole patents, trade secrets: lawsuit

Sprint filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that three other telecommunications companies stole patents and trade secrets from the Overland Park-based company.

The lawsuit, filed in Johnson County District Court, names as defendants Charter Communications, Bright House Networks, Time Warner Cable, and two former Sprint employees.

Court documents ...Read more

Qualcomm introduces third-generation 5G chips to boost speeds and performance of mobile devices

Continuing its efforts to drive 5G technology, Qualcomm on Tuesday introduced its third generation 5G mobile chip aimed at improving performance for smartphones and other gadgets.

The San Diego company's new processor and radio frequency antenna platform give mobile operators the ability to combine fragmented airwave spectrum to expand coverage...Read more

Uber shuts downtown LA office, laying off about 80

LOS ANGELES -- Uber has closed a customer support office in downtown Los Angeles, laying off about 80 employees, The Times has learned.

Without advance notice, staffers were informed Thursday their jobs would be shifted to a large customer support office the company maintains in Manila, according to sources who asked to remain anonymous for ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Adding information to iPhone photos

Q: I'll be taking a trip to Italy this year and taking lots of photos with my iPhone. What's the best way to add information to an iPhone photo? For example, I'd like to list who or what is in the picture. (I can easily do that on my Mac, but I won't have it with me on the trip.)

-- Thomas Minneman, Charlotte, N.C.

A: The easiest way to ...Read more

Would you live in a van? Two San Diego women launch startup for boho traveler movement

Two San Diego women have created an app for travelers that's gaining a sizable following of nomadic young people living out of vans.

Inspired by a social media phenomenon, Breanne Acio, a former San Diego State University lecturer, and public relations worker Jessica Shisler teamed up in 2018 to pave the way for the drifter movement known ...Read more

When viruses like flu and coronavirus kill, pneumonia often delivers the fatal blow

When people die of the flu -- or the new virus that causes the disease COVID-19 -- it's often a lung infection or pneumonia that actually leads to the death.

Facts about the new virus are still frustratingly sparse, but infectious disease experts said there appear to be key differences in the type of pneumonia that COVID-19's victims get that ...Read more

Federal judge rips Bay Area delivery firm DoorDash: 'This hypocrisy will not be blessed'

A Bay Area federal judge has mocked and slammed gig-economy meal-delivery firm DoorDash, after thousands of its workers joined together to weaponize a controversial labor-control tactic used by the company and many Silicon Valley technology businesses.

In a scathing ruling, Judge William Alsup issued an order that compels DoorDash to abide by ...Read more

Qualcomm makes case before Ninth Circuit panel to reverse monopoly judgment

Qualcomm seemed to get a sympathetic ear Thursday from a panel of U.S. Ninth Circuit Court judges hearing the San Diego company's appeal of last year's verdict that it violated anti-monopoly laws.

During oral arguments in San Francisco, the three-judge panel asked questions that appeared skeptical of some of the legal underpinnings of the lower...Read more

Birch Aquarium successfully breeds rare type of seadragon for first time

LA JOLLA, Calif. -- University of California, San Diego's Birch Aquarium has successfully bred and hatched a pair of rare Weedy Seadragons, making Birch one of the few aquariums in the world to carry out such breeding.

The inch-long fish appear to be healthy and have had their first meal, consuming bits of shrimp, the aquarium said.

"This is a...Read more

Lyft opens 'pit stop' driver center in San Diego following $100M investment

SAN DIEGO -- Lyft drivers are about to get a new perk in San Diego, where the ride-hailing giant has opened a large facility for its workers to recharge from long days on the road.

The 35,000 square-foot "driver center" is mostly a tech-enabled auto shop, where drivers can get discounted maintenance and repair services for their vehicles. But ...Read more

Online retailer Brandless closes as key investor falters

The mounting difficulties of Softbank Inc., one of the world's largest tech investment firms, rippled to the online retailer Brandless Inc.

Softbank, which on Wednesday reported a 99% profit drop for the last three months of 2019, became the major investor in San Francisco-based Brandless two years ago via its $100 billion Vision Fund led by ...Read more

Apple and Amazon are transforming Culver City. Should they pay more in taxes?

Inside the 8-year-old light rail station, Culver City Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells gazed at the bustling skyline of this once sleepy Westside suburb known for movie studios, auto repair shops and affordable single-story homes for aerospace workers.

Everything has changed for this city of 39,000 people sandwiched between Los Angeles and Santa Monica...Read more

AI is here to stay, but are we sacrificing safety and privacy? A free public Seattle U course will explore that

The future of artificial intelligence (AI) is here: self-driving cars, grocery-delivering drones and voice assistants like Alexa that control more and more of our lives, from the locks on our front doors to the temperatures of our homes.

But as AI permeates everyday life, what about the ethics and morality of the systems? For example, should an...Read more

Tech Q&A: Cleaning out iPhone trash to save memory

Q: I use the mail app on my iPhone for my "" e-mail account from CenturyLink. But this mail account uses more than 4 gigabytes of memory on my phone; I can't download the latest software updates for lack of storage space. This happens even though I empty my "trash" and "sent" e-mails twice a day, and never keep more than 10 e-mails in my ...Read more