Science & Technology



Benign gut virus may be older than humanity, might be useful as therapy

Helped by a global search through sewage, San Diego State University researchers have found that a benign gut virus appears to be older than the human race itself.

Moreover, different strains of this common virus can be traced to countries or even individual cities, said study leader Rob Edwards. Travelers rapidly pick up the local strain, ...Read more

Zoom Video says 'no indication' its users have been hit by Mac webcam security flaw

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Companies that use Zoom Video Communications' video conferencing app for Apple's Mac computers are being advised to check their security settings due to a flaw that could allow any website to commandeer those web cameras.

In a Medium blog post, security researcher Jonathan Leitschuh detailed the flaw, which potentially ...Read more

ICE used facial recognition to scan driver's license photos in some states. Illinois says it has turned down ICE requests.

CHICAGO -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has used facial recognition technology to comb through millions of driver's license photos, a move experts say violates the privacy of both immigrants living in the U.S. illegally and at risk of deportation, and legal residents and citizens.

The searches were uncovered in documents ...Read more

Advocacy group launches national campaign to ban facial-recognition technology from government use

SEATTLE -- As some cities and states crack down on government use of facial-recognition software, a national advocacy group is going a step further by calling for an outright federal ban on the technology.

On Tuesday, the Worcester, Mass.-based nonprofit Fight for the Future launched what it calls the first national campaign calling for a ...Read more

11% chance of another huge earthquake in Southern California, scientists say

The odds that Southern California will experience another earthquake of magnitude 7 or greater in the next week are now nearly 11%, according to preliminary estimates from seismologists.

And the chances that a quake will surpass the 7.1 temblor that struck near Ridgecrest on Friday night are roughly 8% to 9%, said Caltech seismologist Lucy ...Read more

City dwellers can have an outsized impact on curbing global warming

It's no secret that city folk like to eat, shop and travel. But all that consumption adds up to a hefty climate bill.

On the flip side, that means urbanites have a lot of power to rein in greenhouse gas emissions. By changing their diets, their purchasing habits and how they get around, city dwellers can help avert the worst effects of warming....Read more

Southern resident orcas spotted in home waters off San Juan Island after unusual absence

SEATTLE -- Breaking an unprecedented run of days this summer without frequenting their home waters, J, K and even possibly L pod southern resident orcas were all seen Friday morning on the west side of San Juan Island.

This was the first summer since observations have been kept that the whales were not seen at all in June, and showed up only ...Read more

Tech jobs soar to all-time record heights in Bay Area

SAN JOSE -- The Bay Area's technology boom is so robust that it has reached record highs, but the remarkable surge has also reduced Santa Clara County's share of tech employment in the nine-county region as the San Francisco-San Mateo area has gained a bigger piece of the pie.

Tech employment -- the economic engine of Silicon Valley for two ...Read more

July 4th earthquake won't delay the Big One. And it might have worsened quake strain

LOS ANGELES -- Does a good-size earthquake help relieve pent-up seismic stress? Does that postpone the day of reckoning when the Big One finally arrives?

That was the question some in California were asking hopefully in the wake of the July 4 magnitude 6.4 earthquake that rattled the region.

You won't like this answer.

It's wishful thinking ...Read more

Surge in sick, hungry sea lions off California coast puzzles marine biologists

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A rise in the number of ailing and malnourished sea lions along the California coastline has marine experts somewhat puzzled, KNTV reports.

About 130 sea lions and pups are now being treated at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif., KRON reported.

The center normally treats 50 to 70 young sea lions from April to ...Read more

Facing fury over 'fake websites,' Grubhub says restaurants have it wrong

It looked like yet another example of Big Tech's overreach, a David-and-Goliath story pitting a massive internet platform against powerless individuals.

These were the facts: Grubhub, the food delivery firm, was buying up web domains named after mom-and-pop restaurants and using them to drive its own business.

But it wasn't quite so cut and ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Stop online theft of PC processing power

Q: About once a day, a dialog box pops on my Windows 10 PC. It says: "Zupdate. Error creating process." That's followed by a long location address on my hard drive, and the words "Reason: Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service." I'm asked to click "OK." I don't have a clue what this means. What should I do?

-- ...Read more

NASA's Orion astronaut capsule endures intense test; up next, the moon

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- They lined the pier hundreds deep, a mass of Orion engineers, NASA employees and their families at Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral, tensely waiting to watch the critical next test in a project on which many of them have invested the better part of the last decade.

The orange glow of the sun pouring over the horizon, they ...Read more

Brain Corp., maker of robot janitors for Walmart, moving into European market

SAN DIEGO -- Brain Corp., which recently nearly tripled its orders from Walmart for self-driving, floor-scrubbing robots, is now making its first foray into Europe by opening a satellite office in the Netherlands.

The San Diego-based company makes an artificial intelligence based operating system to power robots. Last year, Walmart contracted ...Read more

Worried about retiring? California will help you save money

Are you a worker worried you won't have enough money to retire?

Are you an employer who doesn't offer either a pension or a 401(k) to your workers?

If so, CalSavers is aimed at you.

On July 1, California launches an ambitious state-sponsored retirement program for the private sector. All employers with five or more workers will be required to...Read more

How Jony Ive, Apple's design guru, planned his own obsolescence

Jonathan Ive led Apple's product design for decades, from the technicolor iMac that revived the company's fortunes in the late '90s to the softly minimalist iPhone that turned it into one of the world's largest companies.

For nearly half that time, he's been trying to leave.

As early as 2007, when the chubby original iPhone was first being ...Read more

Inspired by snails, Penn researchers invent a reversible adhesive strong enough to hold a person

Superglue is incredibly useful -- right until you end up attached to your craft project. But a new adhesive invented by University of Pennsylvania scientists is just as strong as standard superglue, and far more forgiving. The adhesive, based on snail slime, can be unattached and reattached over and over without losing its strength, and may save...Read more

NASA to land first woman on the moon. 'It would be out of this world.'

From 1969 to 1972, six NASA missions named for the Greek god Apollo successfully landed 12 men on the surface of the moon; Neil, "Buzz," two men named Alan, two men named Charles, Edgar, David, James, John, Jack and Eugene.

At the time of Neil and Buzz's 1969 moonwalk, Libertyville author and former rocket test engineer Suzanne Slade was 4 ...Read more

Mark Zuckerberg to regulators: We need your help to protect elections

As public trust in Facebook's ability to wield its power responsibly has fractured in the face of a series of privacy breaches and other scandals, the company has been facing fresh calls for regulation from numerous quarters of the federal government.

But on one of the biggest issues leading to that breakdown of trust, its response to foreign ...Read more

Dreaming big: Why she's leading her family's old wholesale bedding business into 'scary' change online

PHILADELPHIA -- Janet Wischnia has been working in her family's wholesale bedding and bath linens business, ATD-American, for nearly half of its 88-year history, 10 years as president.

About to turn 60 in August, the grandmother of three was itching for a new challenge within the company. She found it by venturing way out of ATD-American's ...Read more


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