Science & Technology



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

A firefighting first: LAFD orders an electric fire engine

A century ago, the Los Angeles Fire Department made a historic switch from horse-drawn fire engines to motorized vehicles.

This week, the department took the first step in a new phase of firefighting when it ordered an electric hybrid fire engine. The vehicle will be the first of its kind in the country, officials said.

"I am excited that we ...Read more

Twitter follows Facebook cracking down on census misinformation

SAN FRANCISCO -- Social media company Twitter Inc. extended policies meant to protect election integrity to the U.S. Census Tuesday, saying it will prohibit posts containing false or misleading information about how to participate in the national survey.

Twitter and Facebook Inc. have been criticized for their slow response to disinformation ...Read more

5G gives Qualcomm a lift; financial results beat Wall Street's estimates

San Diego's Qualcomm posted better-than-expected results for the December quarter, thanks to 5G and a rebound in its patent licensing revenue following a legal settlement with Apple.

The cellular technology provider beat Wall Street analysts' expectations for both revenue and earnings for the quarter. Sales came in at $5.1 billion and adjusted ...Read more

Snap is still in comeback mode. But investors are getting impatient

It was only last year that Snap Inc. emerged from the doldrums, shoring up its sagging user base and dispelling the dark cloud hanging over its future.

The path forward seemed clear and bright to investors: if the users were there, and the company was able to turn that into ad dollars, profitability wouldn't be far off.

But investors were ...Read more

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner to step down after 11 years

LinkedIn Chief Executive Jeff Weiner said Wednesday he will step down from his position at the business and professional-services online network on June 1 and become the company's executive chairman.

Weiner, who has been with Sunnyvale-based LinkedIn since 2008, and its CEO since June 2009, said he was making the move because it was time to ...Read more

Jeff Bezos sells $1.8 billion of Amazon stock in two days after surge

LONDON -- In the 15 years after Inc. went public in 1997, Jeff Bezos sold about a fifth of the company for roughly $2 billion. In just the past week, he sold 0.2% of the retailer for $1.8 billion.

Bezos offloaded 905,456 Amazon shares on Friday and Monday under a pre-arranged trading plan, according to filings. That brings his total ...Read more

Farm Bureau members ratchet up 'right-to-repair' pressure

The Farm Bureau's national convention has adopted a new policy on farmers' right to repair their tractors and combines, ratcheting up the pressure on manufacturers to strike a deal with farmers and independent mechanics on the contentious issue.

The new policy, which was obtained by the Star Tribune, spotlights a 2014 agreement between ...Read more

Why you can't necessarily trust your smartphone's weather app

You know the feeling. That pang of excitement or dread -- or a little of both -- when you open a weather app on your phone and there it is, staring back at you: a snowflake.

But that snowflake can be an unreliable indicator, according to local weather experts.

The best smartphone weather apps rely on information provided by the National ...Read more

Twitter will label, remove 'deepfake' videos under new policy

SAN FRANCISCO -- Twitter Inc. will start labeling, and in some cases removing, doctored or manipulated media that users share on the platform beginning next month.

The policy includes deepfake videos that have been edited using artificial intelligence or other advanced software to distort a person's appearance or speech while appearing to be ...Read more

A foldable iPhone? New Apple patent suggests it's possible

One of the biggest games that tech gadget fans like to play is speculating what Apple will do with its next version of the iPhone. Every year, almost as soon as a new iPhone is released, Apple watchers and insiders waste little time in guessing about what new cameras, designs and security features Apple will include when it does its annual ...Read more

Will the coronavirus outbreak derail a 5G-led rebound in smartphone sales?

Smartphone sales dipped slightly in 2019 for the second consecutive year, and now coronavirus fears and lingering trade tensions are creating some uncertainty about whether an expected 5G-led rebound will gain traction in 2020.

Two industry research firms -- Strategy Analytics and Counterpoint Research -- recently released smartphone global ...Read more