Science & Technology




Review: What worked and what didn't at Pokemon Go Fest 2020

My neck feels like burnt toast. My body is sore and I limp around the house, but strangely, I feel great. That's the sign of good Pokemon Go Fest. Niantic pulled off a decent facsimile of its flagship event this weekend. Rare Pokemon spawned along with their shiny versions. The celebration had a storyline first featuring the celebration and ...Read more

Snap reveals diversity shortcomings in its first workforce report

For years, as major tech companies shared regular reports on the diversity of their workforces, Snap Inc. kept that data secret.

Snap Chief Executive Evan Spiegel cited the regular drumbeat of unchanging diversity numbers as a reason to keep his own company's information private earlier this summer. When asked about the practice at an all-...Read more

Start-up enters COVID-19 testing game with low-cost kit that delivers results in 10 minutes

San Diego start-up Truvian Sciences has received federal emergency approval for a blood test that detects COVID-19 antibodies in as little as 10 minutes.

Called Easy Check, the portable test will be sold by Truvian to health professionals for about $15 and has an accuracy rate in excess of 98 percent, according to the company. The test is ...Read more

TikTok says Facebook's attacks are 'disguised as patriotism'

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer on Wednesday defended his company's practices as it faces increasing pressure from the U.S. government, competitors and its creators over the app's ties to China.

The popular streaming app, owned by China-based tech company ByteDance, has been used by many Hollywood celebrities and music artists to promote their songs and...Read more

Meet Perseverance, JPL's newest Mars rover

NASA's newest Mars rover is called Perseverance, and it has already lived up to the name.

Weighing in at just over a ton and loaded with the most sophisticated instruments ever sent to the red planet, the six-wheeled vehicle has already survived a hurdle no previous rover has had to face: a global pandemic.

After overcoming months of ...Read more

Black people still few and far between in biotech industry

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego biotechs are working to erase cancer, light up nerves during surgery and scan thousands of molecules with artificial intelligence.

The industry's workforce, however, is less futuristic than its goals.

Black people account for 6% of the county's overall workforce but just 3% of biotech, according to the San Diego ...Read more

Technology divide between senior 'haves' and 'have-nots' roils pandemic response

Family gatherings on Zoom and FaceTime. Online orders from grocery stores and pharmacies. Telehealth appointments with physicians.

These have been lifesavers for many older adults staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic. But an unprecedented shift to virtual interactions has a downside: Large numbers of seniors are unable to participate...Read more

Investing in funds that empower women boomed in 2019, Wharton study finds

Private equity and venture capital investors are increasingly putting dollars to work in portfolio funds that result in a positive impact on women, according to a new report by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Wharton's Project Sage 3.0 report shows Wall Street investors placed $4.8 billion in gender-lens-related funds in ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Proving who you are with multifactor authentication

Q: When a website requires me to change a password that I've forgotten, the website often says it will send me a message. The message supposedly will contain either instructions on how to make the change, or a code that I'm supposed to enter. But the message never arrives. My repair shop says it may be a "multifactor authentication problem." ...Read more

Garmin suffers massive technology outage in a suspected ransomware attack

Garmin International continues to struggle with a major technological outage that appears to have swept across divisions of the Olathe, Kan.-based company.

Garmin on Thursday notified customers on social media of a widespread outage affecting Garmin Connect. That's the software that tracks customer health and fitness data and connects with ...Read more

A massive Facebook privacy settlement just got bigger. Illinois users could split $650 million.

A $550 million dollar settlement was not enough for Illinois Facebook users who allegedly had their privacy rights violated. Instead, the social media giant has agreed to pay $650 million.

Illinois Facebook users could be eligible for up to $400 as part of the new settlement in the class action suit, depending on how many people file claims, ...Read more

China launches first independent mission to Mars

BEIJING -- China successfully launched Tianwen-1 -- its first independent mission to Mars -- on Thursday afternoon.

A Long March 5 rocket carrying the spacecraft ignited at the Wenchang Space Launch Site in south China's tropical Hainan province at 12:41 p.m., according to Xinhua News Agency.

A livestream of the launch hosted by Chinese media ...Read more


CNET: The best tower fans to keep you cool in 2020

The hot summer months are upon us, which makes it a good time to have a tower fan on hand. With vertical designs that typically oscillate from side to side, the right tower fan can quickly cast a cooling breeze across an entire room without taking up a lot of space or using too much energy. On top of that, tower fans offer a good variety of ...Read more


Gadgets: Past and present combine in mini turntable

The resurgence of vinyl records never happened in my house, simply because they never left. If the comeback hasn't reached your world, the Crosley's Mini Cruiser and RSD3 turntables are a great way to start.

They won't play any 33 or 45 rpm vinyl records; instead the portable record player plays 3-inch records. Personally, before I put my ...Read more

Dreamstime/San Jose Mercury News/TNS

Some seniors are left behind by a telehealth tech divide

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Dan Makevich's terrible eyesight made him retire early from his beloved job of 15 years as a tour guide in the Bay Area and Yosemite. When the pandemic hit, Makevich knew his age, diabetes and respiratory problems made him a prime target. What he didn't know was that not owning a computer would make getting health care much ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dallas Morning News/TNS

Jim Rossman: The answers are all around us

As I was working on a recent Monday morning, I got a text from a friend.

"My Amazon Fire TV Stick went out over the weekend. The on/off button works and the volume works.

"What does not work are any of the other buttons that allow me to move among the tiles. I'm having to use the voice function.

"Do I need a new remote?

"I tried resetting/...Read more

Dreamstime/San Jose Mercury News/TNS

Remote raid invites finally fix a 'Pokemon Go' problem

One of the lingering problems for "Pokemon Go" has been raiding for players who may not have an active community or live in rural areas. They may live in a town with a single gym or they can have a home in the suburbs where many don't play the game.

A planned fix for this problem has been the idea of remote raid invites. It's a feature that ...Read more

Study suggests humans arrived in North America 15,000 years earlier

MEXICO CITY -- New archaeological evidence from mountains in central Mexico suggests humans arrived in North America at least 15,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

The mainstream view has been that humans arrived from East Asia 15,000 or 16,000 years ago.

A team led by ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Fixing a PC slowed down by security software

I'm often asked what security software to use. I don't make buying recommendations for commercial products, but I can give general advice -- including which software to avoid.

Julie Arnsdorf of Plymouth, Minn., said her 1-year-old PC had become sluggish after installing McAfee Endpoint Security program, which was provided by her internet ...Read more

Twitter to crack down on QAnon as movement's influence grows

Twitter Inc. will ban thousands of accounts associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory movement, which claims there is a deep state plot against President Donald Trump -- the latest battle front in the social media company's campaign against disinformation.

The social media company said it will permanently suspend accounts tweeting about ...Read more