Science & Technology



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Time running out on the 'one opportunity' for a climate bill

WASHINGTON — When President Joe Biden went to Capitol Hill in October to arm-twist for his signature environmental and economic legislation, many Democrats remained hopeful the bill’s climate provisions would survive.

But Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., was worried. If the bill failed, Congress might not get another shot for years.

“We’...Read more

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As Musk tweets, advisers labor to keep Twitter deal on track

In public, Elon Musk’s erratic tweets have sent Twitter Inc.’s shares flailing, as traders bet that the billionaire is preparing to walk away from or re-negotiate his $44 billion takeover of the social-media company. Behind the scenes, it’s more like business as usual, as advisers on both sides plug away at the day-to-day work of closing a...Read more

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Hacker finds way to unlock Tesla models, start cars

Tesla Inc. customers might love the carmakers’ nifty keyless entry system, but one cybersecurity researcher has demonstrated how the same technology could allow thieves to drive off with certain models of the electric vehicles.

A hack effective on the Tesla Model 3 and Y cars would allow a thief to unlock a vehicle, start it and speed away, ...Read more

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Senators seek FTC probe of IRS provider selfie technology

A group of Democratic senators has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether identity verification company illegally misled consumers and government agencies over its use of controversial facial recognition software., which uses a mixture of selfies, document scans, and other methods to verify people’s identities ...Read more

TYGER WILLIAMS/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

This cannabis user was arrested for DUI, yet his driving was fine -- a clash of science and law that's on the rise

PHILADELPHIA -- Patrick Murphy saw the flashing lights come on behind him on State Route 115, and he immediately knew what it was about. He was on his way to get an estimate to fix a broken headlight, but it was the day before Thanksgiving, typically a big day for traffic enforcement. Of all the bad luck, a Pennsylvania state trooper had spotted...Read more

System update: Captain America Meets Xbox Controller

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in a new era, with a new Captain America in Anthony Mackie’s Falcon. And that’s sparked the idea for one of the most intriguing Xbox controllers you can get.

Meet the Limited Edition Captain America controller for your Xbox console, the latest unique controller from Razer. The gaming PC company has teamed ...Read more

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Review: ‘Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising’ a satisfying but limited taste of what’s to come

“Suikoden” is one of those cult Japanese role-playing game franchises that has a rabid fanbase, though it never reached the popularity of a “Final Fantasy” or “Dragon Quest.” The first three games with creator Yoshitaka Murayama at the helm were notable because of their deep world-building and a feature that lets players transfer ...Read more

Anette Linnea Rasmussen/Dreamstimee/TNS

Jim Rossman: Show your computer who’s the boss

Recently I helped a friend with an issue where her Windows PC “converted all of her PDFs into Google Chrome files.”

That’s how she worded the problem.

PDFs on her PC that previously had an Adobe Acrobat icon now showed Google Chrome icons, and double-clicking on them opened the files in Chrome.

I’ve seen this exact issue before, so ...Read more

Republicans split on adding semiconductor tax breaks to competition bill

WASHINGTON — An effort to add bipartisan tax incentives for U.S. semiconductor manufacturing to a larger economic competitiveness package is running into divisions among House Republicans.

The top-ranking GOP member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, is among those who believe giving tax breaks to ...Read more

Scientists find new and mysterious DDT chemicals accumulating in California condors

LOS ANGELES — When Christopher Tubbs joined an ambitious multinational effort to save California condors from the brink of extinction, he knew the odds of success were long.

There were wind turbines that could strike the giant birds and lead bullet fragments in hunted animals that could sicken and kill.

But Tubbs, who studies hormone-...Read more

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Elon Musk says Twitter must prove bot claims for $44 billion deal to proceed

Elon Musk declared he won’t proceed with his $44 billion takeover of Twitter Inc. unless the social media giant can prove bots make up fewer than 5% of its users, casting yet more uncertainty over the deal.

The billionaire tweeted “this deal cannot move forward” unless Twitter provides proof of its claims, reiterating his own view that ...Read more

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Terra's stablecoin flop raises questions about regulatory role

WASHINGTON — The spectacular plunge and trading halts of the algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD are touching off a debate among lawmakers over whether, and how much, the government should get involved.

As Terra crashed last week, prominent Republicans said the asset class shouldn’t be regulated at all because of its limited reach into ...Read more

Will social media companies crack down on the racist conspiracy theory behind the Buffalo massacre?

The Buffalo, New York, mass shooting that claimed 10 lives Saturday was an event shaped by, and for, internet platforms, including message boards and streaming and social media sites.

Now, as the predominantly Black neighborhood that suspected killer Payton Gendron targeted is left reeling, whether those platforms allow their users to ...Read more

Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Wayward sea lion is back -- this time found in a San Diego storm drain

SAN DIEGO — Meet Freeway. He's a teenage mischief maker, a land-loving sea lion fishing for freedom.

And now the pinniped, who earned notoriety in January when he shut down a busy San Diego freeway a couple miles from the ocean, is back.

Last month, someone spotted him wandering up a storm drain in Logan Heights, about a half-mile from where...Read more

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Musk says Twitter deal at lower price is 'not out of the question'

Elon Musk stoked speculation that he could seek to renegotiate his takeover of Twitter Inc., saying a viable deal at a lower price wouldn’t be “out of the question.”

Twitter shares fell 8.2% at the close of trading in New York. The stock has been dropping on speculation that Musk could walk away from the $44 billion acquisition. That ...Read more

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Climate change is heating up Florida. That could bring more wildfires, new report warns

MIAMI — When Hurricane Michael tore through North Florida in 2018 as a Category 5 storm, it left more than 3 million acres of felled trees in its wake.

Those largely untouched trees were the perfect fuel for three simultaneous wildfires that raged through the region in March. The Chipola Complex fires turned the skies smoky and blood red, ...Read more

Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Fla. scientist probes flesh-eating bacteria for clues to next pandemic

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A bout with flesh-eating bacteria can start out with a day at the beach, a hardly worrisome cut and then, in less than 24 hours, a raging infection fought with heavy antibiotics and gruesome scalpel work.

It would be reassuring to know where and when Florida’s coastal waters are ripe with “one of the fastest growing ...Read more

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From one death, thousands of precious cells help scientists build a universal reference library

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Moments after being taken off life support, an anonymous Bay Area woman gave the most abundant of gifts: 17 different tissues and organs.

Some were transplanted into strangers in need, but many others were rushed off on a unique mission. They were donated for research — contributing to a first-ever detailed “cell atlas,...Read more

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SpaceX launches on Starlink mission from Cape Canaveral

ORLANDO, Fla. — SpaceX sent up another set of Starlink satellites on a Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Saturday.

The launch came one day after a successful Falcon 9 Starlink liftoff from across the country from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California as part of the company’s record pace of launches in 2022.

...Read more

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Q&A: She discovered the black hole at the center of our galaxy. This week, she finally saw it

This week, the world got its first-ever look at Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy. The image of a hazy golden ring of superheated gas and bending light was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope, a network of eight radio observatories scattered across the globe.

Feryal Özel, a University of Arizona ...Read more