Science & Technology



Start-up meets Wakanda? Disney innovation hub aims to advance technology for filmmakers

Inside Walt Disney Studios' original animation building, where artists once drew "Dumbo" and "Cinderella" by hand, a 15-person team of innovators is trying to create a moviemaking Tomorrowland.

The Burbank studio's 4-month-old, 3,500-square-foot innovation hub is a short walk from Walt Disney's old office and is furnished with Kem Weber chairs ...Read more

Climate change damage will harm the entire nation if the US doesn't act now, federal report warns

Climate change is taking an increasing toll on the nation's environment, health and economy, and the damage will intensify over the century without swift action to slash greenhouse gas emissions, according to a major scientific report released Friday by federal agencies.

The congressionally mandated report by 13 federal agencies, the first of ...Read more

Mysterious egg on ocean floor was actually a catshark, and it was moving, NOAA says

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A mysterious "translucent egg case" found last week off an uninhabited island near Puerto Rico has been identified by NOAA explorers as something few scientists had seen.

"Upon zooming in on this egg case," says a NOAA mission report, "we were able to clearly see the embryo ... actively swimming within the case."

This embryo...Read more

Helpware: Tooling down memory lane

I became interested in software utilities in the last century, when nifty and buggy programs could be downloaded from computer bulletin boards. If I liked the software, called shareware, I was honor-bound to pay the author his fee. If not, I'd delete the software that resided on a floppy disk. A shareware developer once told me that there wasn't...Read more

Tech Q&A: Don't be misled about 'Security Essentials'

Q: I use the Windows Essentials program on my Windows 7 PC. But I've heard that Microsoft won't update its antivirus/Essentials program next year. Will I be safe if I keep using it?

-- Don Laughrey, Maple Grove, Minn.

A: Despite their sound-alike names, Microsoft's Windows Essentials and Security Essentials are two different programs.

Windows...Read more

The most rampant robocall scams are linked to health insurance, Amazon and student loans

PHILADELPHIA -- There's a good chance the next caller on your cell phone will try to take your money or steal your identity.

This grim statistic comes from First Orion, an Arkansas-based call management company that estimates nearly 30 percent of all cell-phone calls came from scammers this year. The firm predicts nearly half of all mobile ...Read more

Who lives with you? Facebook seeks to patent software to figure out profiles of households

Facebook Inc. is applying to patent software that it could use to create profiles of users' households by making educated guesses about how many people live in the household, what their relationships to each other are, what interests they share and what electronic devices they use.

The system would draw on the wealth of information Facebook ...Read more

Who would think we needed an app for lawn care? This guy.

After interviewing enough tech startups in San Diego, a pattern has emerged around the male founder archetype. He is usually the graduate of a prestigious university, a confident and charismatic speaker and a devoted networker.

Jeremy Yamaguchi, the founder of fast-growing tech startup Lawn Love, is an exception. Self-educated and a bit of a ...Read more

For $799 and a jump in the electric bill, anyone can mine cryptocurrency

When there's a gold rush, sell picks and shovels.

When there's a cryptocurrency rush, the same wisdom may well hold.

That's the thinking behind a Los Angeles startup that's trying to make mining for cryptocurrency as easy as plugging in a PlayStation.

Coinmine's first device, which went on sale this week for $799, is a consumer-friendly ...Read more

An innovative idea for California's economy: a tech dividend

Silicon Valley is the uncontested global driver of innovation. It is the birthplace of products and services that have changed our lives, like the iPhone and Google.

But Silicon Valley has a dirty little secret: As synonymous with California as Hollywood, Silicon Valley rewards its star actors -- and overlooks the bit players. A recent study ...Read more

Apple analysts ask if iPhone is getting too expensive

Concerns about the prospects for Apple grew Wednesday, as some analysts doubted whether increases in iPhone prices will be enough to counter anticipated declines in unit sales of the company's largest source of revenue.

The questions involving the iPhone led Guggenheim Partners analyst Robert Cihra to cut his rating on Apple's stock to neutral ...Read more

Around a nearby star, astronomers find a cold planet three times the size of Earth

An international team of astronomers has detected evidence of a cold planet at least three times the size of Earth orbiting an ancient red dwarf star, right in our stellar neighborhood.

If you were traveling at the speed of light, it would take you just six years to reach it.

In the context of the universe, that's basically right next door.

...Read more

Tech Q&A: What to do if you're stuck in a photo viewer bubble

Q: I've used different programs to view JPEG photos on my Windows 10 PC. To do that, I periodically changed which program I wanted to be the default photo viewer, switching from Microsoft Office 2010 to Adobe Photoshop Elements to Microsoft Paint. Now I want to switch back to Office 2010, but Windows 10 won't let me so I'm stuck using Paint. ...Read more

Helpware: New Das Keyboard isn't my type

I'm no stranger to Das Keyboards. The company, despite its Germanic-sounding name, is based in Austin, Texas. No matter, they make far and away the best keyboards I've ever used. I've owned three of the loud, clicky models that remind me of the first IBM keyboards. Your neighbors three houses away will know that you're working on your computer ...Read more

Is Apple seeing an iPhone sales drop?

Maybe there is more to Apple's decision that, starting with its next quarterly report, it will no longer give sales-unit figures for the iPhone?

On Monday, Apple shares fell 5 percent to $194.17 after Lumentum, a California company that makes facial recognition technology that is used in Apple's iPhones, said it was cutting its sales forecast ...Read more

Snap's content chief is leaving as executive shakeup continues

Snap Inc. is losing another high-ranking executive: Its vice president of content, Nick Bell, is on his way out the door.

Bell's exit plan -- announced in an email sent to employees Monday -- comes just weeks after the Santa Monica company hired former Huffington Post Chief Executive Jared Grusd to serve as a chief strategy officer and oversee ...Read more

Cloud-focused Microsoft keeps its feet on the ground with evolving Surface hardware line

In the dim light of a New York event space, a video announcing the newest version of the Microsoft Surface laptop was playing loudly, projected on a huge screen to a crowd of analysts and media. Surface chief Panos Panay was hardly paying attention, instead roaming through the audience, inspecting the various Surface devices being used by ...Read more

To burn the most calories, it helps to heed the clock

Next time you stagger into a Waffle House in the wee hours of the morning and order the Texas sausage egg & cheese melt (1,040 calories), consider this new research finding: At roughly that hour, the most basic operations of the human body throttle back their caloric needs by about 10 percent compared to the rate at which they will burn calories...Read more

Will new tech taxes in Mountain View, San Francisco, East Palo Alto be contagious?

Both sides in the debate over whether Bay Area businesses should pay more taxes to help solve the region's housing, traffic and affordability problems predict that cities will increasingly turn to squeezing Big Tech after voters in three cities approved new levies aimed at tech companies.

Mountain View said yes to an employee "head tax" that ...Read more

Bay Area voters decide tech industry should pay its dues

The technology industry has turned the Bay Area into an economic powerhouse that many of the world's most valuable companies call home. But the influx of well-paid tech workers has also clogged the region's infrastructure and sent housing prices soaring, exacerbating a homelessness crisis on the streets of San Francisco.

In two ballot measures ...Read more