Science & Technology



A little extra global warming will mean a lot more habitat loss for plants and animals, study says

What difference does half a degree Celsius of global warming make?

To many plants and animals, and especially insects, it could mean the difference between life and death, according to a new study.

In a paper published Thursday in Science, researchers report that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the average pre-industrial ...Read more

In a distant galaxy, scientists find oldest oxygen in universe and stars from edge of cosmic dawn

In a distant galaxy more than 13 billion light-years from Earth, astronomers have discovered traces of the oldest known oxygen in the universe, as well as evidence that ancient stars "turned on" as early as 250 million years after the Big Bang.

These findings, published Wednesday in Nature, suggest that star formation at the dawn of the cosmos ...Read more

Arrest hits cybercrime gang that has plagued US schools, clinics, Netflix

WASHINGTON -- The FBI appears to have made headway in cracking a cybercrime extortion group that has plagued health and dental clinics, schools, law firms and even Hollywood production companies since 2016.

Serbian authorities, saying they were working with the FBI, arrested a 38-year-old man, believed to be a member of The Dark Overlord, the ...Read more

Apple partners with local nonprofit to bring its coding curriculum to more blind and visually impaired people

The textureless glass screen of an iPhone or iPad can seem formidable to someone who is blind or visually impaired, and learning to code on those devices could be even more daunting.

Apple is working to change that. The tech giant is partnering with the Winnetka-based Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired to bring its coding ...Read more

Could North Carolina be site of new Apple campus?

Amazon may be garnering many of the headlines, as the Seattle-based e-commerce and tech giant continues the process of picking a location for its second corporate headquarters, which has been dubbed HQ2.

But it isn't the only tech sector behemoth looking for a new location. Apple, too, is on the hunt for a new campus that will employ thousands ...Read more

Apple now has more self-driving car permits in California than Waymo and Tesla

Just last year, Apple was in the backseat of an increasingly crowded competition for self-driving cars with Google-owned Waymo, Tesla and Uber vying for an edge.

Apple had just three permits from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to operate self-driving cars.

But now, the Cupertino tech giant is reaping the fruits of its ramped-up ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Clearing space on a nearly full hard drive

Q: The hard drive on my wife's computer is almost full, even though she uses it mostly for e-mail. While looking for things to delete, I noticed that the Windows\Temp folder contains 180 gigabytes of data. Can I delete all the files in that folder?

Rick Bloom, Colorado Springs, Colo.

A: The "Temp" in the folder name stands for temporary, so ...Read more

Jennifer Van Grove: Lyft tests new subscription option in several cities

Ride-hail service Lyft is offering select customers a way to save money on their daily trips with a new pre-paid option meant to test the viability of a monthly subscription service.

The company is testing an "All-Access Pass" option in San Diego, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and Sacramento, Calif. Offered on an invitation-only basis, the trial ...Read more

Just how much is Tesla worth to the Bay Area and California?

With its electric cars all over local roads, its sales and service centers springing up in new locations and its massive Fremont manufacturing plant looming beside Highway 880, Tesla is highly visible to Bay Area residents.

Now, for the first time, the Bay Area is getting a detailed look at Tesla's economic impact on the region and the state ...Read more

Helpware: Backing up is hard to do

My goal when I bought a new PC was to hit the ground running. I'd used Acronis True Image to back up my old computer and restore the data and applications on my new one.

Actually, this is a two-part tale of woe. Today I'll talk about Acronis; in my next column I'll talk about my new PC.

A few months ago I raved about Acronis. In my limited ...Read more

Google's location tracking: FTC probe urged, Australia inquiry begins

Location, location, location. Is Google tracking Android users' whereabouts without their permission?

That's the question lawmakers are asking in the United States, and regulators are investigating in Australia.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, and Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, wrote the Federal Trade Commission on Monday, urging it to ...Read more

Strange readings from a dead spacecraft reveal new evidence of water on Europa

A spacecraft wouldn't know evidence of a Galilean lunar geyser if that geyser hit it in the face. Luckily, the scientists on the ground did.

Researchers using 21-year-old data from NASA's Galileo spacecraft have found evidence of a plume of material coming from the surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa. The discovery offers a new line of ...Read more

Minnesota med-tech industry seeks China tariff relief

WASHINGTON -- Minnesota's economically critical medical technology sector is battling to extract itself from a potential tariff and trade war with China that it says could hurt state businesses and cost patients relying on medical devices.

Fearing higher material costs and retaliation, state and national trade groups representing virtually all ...Read more

How the death of voicemail is changing the way we connect

Don't wait for the beep: Voicemail is going the way of the dinosaurs.

Although phone-message technology advanced steadily from cassette recorders attached to landlines to services offered by phone companies to cloud-based message storage for mobile devices, it's now running up against a changing American society that places increasing value on ...Read more

Never heard of blockchain technology? Why you'll hear more about it

Back before Detroit began to get its act together, the city's property records were a mess. With thousands of parcels in the city vacant, abandoned, foreclosed and often subject to mortgage or title fraud, it could prove frustrating, if not impossible, to even discover who owned a property.

A new technology called blockchain, best known as the ...Read more

Health officials launch ambitious plan to rid the world of trans fats

In an effort to save half a million lives each year, the World Health Organization on Monday urged developing nations to follow the lead of affluent countries and eliminate man-made trans fatty acids from their food supplies.

By taking six specific steps, officials from the United Nations' health agency said countries could reduce a tidal wave ...Read more

This room was off-limits to smokers, but its air contained surprising amounts of 'thirdhand smoke'

Pop quiz: If you sampled the air in an empty college classroom where smoking is not permitted, what is the last thing you'd expect to find?

If you guessed "cigarette smoke," you're in good company. Peter DeCarlo, an air quality researcher at Drexel University in Philadelphia, would have agreed with you.

But when he examined the air from the ...Read more

Scientists develop a 3-D view of an interstellar cloud, where stars are born

Two astronomers from Greece have managed to model the three-dimensional structure of an interstellar gas cloud, and found that it's on the order of 10 times more spacious than it originally appeared.

The shape and structure of Musca, described in the journal Science, could help scientists probe the mysterious origins and evolution of stars -- ...Read more

Small helicopter will hitch a ride to Mars with NASA's next rover

Roving around Mars is so passe. So NASA is sending a helicopter to the Red Planet.

The aptly named Mars Helicopter will attempt to become the first vehicle to take flight on another planet.

"The idea of a helicopter flying the skies of another planet is thrilling," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement.

The craft, which looks...Read more

Parents urged to think twice about buying Amazon Echo Dot for kids

Alexa, hold your horses.

Amazon Dot Echo Kids Edition started shipping this week, but children's advocates and others are asking parents to hold off on buying the $79 version of the company's market-leading smart home speaker. Like the Echo, the Dot Echo Kids Edition is voice-activated and powered by Alexa, the Amazon virtual assistant at the ...Read more