Science & Technology



Tech Q&A: How to rescue songs from an old iPhone

Q: I have an old iPhone 3GS that I use only for playing music obtained from a variety of sources. But the songs aren't backed up anywhere (when my new iPhone was synced with the PC, the PC's songs were accidentally erased). Now I'm worried that the 3GS battery is wearing out; it won't hold a full charge. Is there a safe way to move the songs ...Read more

Helpware: How to buy — and use — a new computer

Every three years or so I upgrade my computers. At least one of my kids is usually in dire need of a PC, so off the PCs go to new homes, where they serve honorably and trouble-free for years to come. I buy Apple and Dell computers. They've proved to be reliable, with the latest technology, which gives me bragging rights, as in "My new Dell has ...Read more

Stolen from another sun: This backward-traveling asteroid could be an interstellar space fossil

Scientists have discovered an immigrant in our midst: an asteroid near Jupiter's orbit that arrived from outside the solar system some 4.5 billion years ago.

The orbit of 2015 BZ509, described in a letter in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, could offer a way for scientists to sample the contents of distant star systems.

"...Read more

ACLU asks Amazon to stop selling facial-recognition tools to governments

When the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon started using Amazon's facial-recognition software in 2016, deputies welcomed a new tool to quickly identify suspects and solve cases.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) saw something different: a troubling extension of the government's ability to keep an eye on its citizens.

The ...Read more

Shoplifters meet their match as retailers deploy facial recognition cameras

WASHINGTON -- Shoplifters beware: Closed-circuit cameras in stores might be observing more than you think. As facial recognition software gets better, the battle against retail theft is moving into high tech.

Retail stores with facial recognition systems can spot convicted or admitted shoplifters in about the time it takes to walk two paces ...Read more

Wi-Fi in the road? Kansas City tech start-up is wiring pavement for safety — and fun

KANSAS CITY -- Self-driving cars have captured the limelight when it comes to how you'll get around in the future, but one Kansas City technology start-up is looking at the road itself.

Integrated Roadways is developing "smart pavement" technology that would not only help increase roadway safety but could also serve as the platform for Wi-Fi ...Read more

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

Amazon has been looking outside Seattle to add jobs for years — and now trend is accelerating

PITTSBURGH -- Call it HQ everywhere.

Most of the attention paid to Amazon's half-million-strong global workforce centers on the company's mammoth headquarters, its dozens of warehouses, the ongoing search for a second headquarters city, or, recently, its threat to stem job growth in Seattle.

But amid all that hiring and planned hiring, the ...Read more