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'Why are you looking at me? I see you watching me.' Smart devices like Nest getting hacked in digital home invasions

Arjun and Jessica Sud routinely use a baby monitor to keep tabs on their 7-month-old's bedroom. Last month, they heard something chilling through the monitor: A deep male voice was speaking to their child.

"Immediately I barge into the room because I'm like, 'Oh my God, maybe someone got in there,'" said Arjun Sud, 29. "The moment I walk in, it...Read more

2018 was one of the hottest years on record — and this year could be even hotter

All five of the hottest years on record have occurred in the last five years, according to global temperature data released Wednesday by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

While 2018 was slightly cooler than the three prior years, Earth still had its fourth-warmest year since scientists began keeping records in 1880, ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Missing e-mail photo is still there

Q: When I receive an e-mail containing an embedded photo (a picture within the text of the message), I can't see the photo. In its place is a box with a red X in the corner. The only way I can see the picture is to copy the blank box and paste it into Microsoft Word. I use the Outlook e-mail program contained in Microsoft Office 365. How can I ...Read more

Scientists scour the cosmos to find the origins of the periodic table's 118 elements

Since the invention of the periodic table 150 years ago this month, scientists have worked to fill in the rows of elements and make sense of their properties.

But researchers have also pursued a parallel quest: scouring the cosmos to figure out where all 118 elements came from.

After centuries of effort, they have determined that the vast ...Read more

Common sense in robots isn't so common, but this Pictionary-like game could help change that

SEATTLE -- Super Bowl commercials this year featured robots and intelligent assistants interacting with humans in ways that far surpass the capabilities of real-world systems today. In one rather meta advertisement for a telecom provider, robots brainstorm with humans to come up with the premise for another commercial.

At the Allen Institute of...Read more

To save the Earth someday, team builds spacecraft to crash into an asteroid and shove it off course

BALTIMORE -- A team of scientists, astronomers and engineers meets weekly in a conference room on a Howard County, Md., research campus and plans to save the world.

"Keep calm and carry DART," reads a poster on the wall.

DART -- the Double Asteroid Redirection Test -- is their plan to avert catastrophe. It's also NASA's first mission not to ...Read more

CRISPR revolutionized gene editing. Now its toolbox is expanding

The gene-editing tool that has revolutionized biology is becoming even more powerful.

CRISPR, as the system is known, allows scientists to target and snip a specific sequence of letters on a strand of DNA with unprecedented precision. That has opened up new possibilities for treating genetic diseases, helping plants adapt to global warming and ...Read more

McCormick will use IBM artificial intelligence to develop flavors, products

McCormick & Co. Inc. plans to use artificial intelligence to create new flavors and products through a research collaboration with IBM, the spice maker said Monday.

The idea is to pair IBM's expertise in machine learning with McCormick's more than 40 years of sensory science and taste data, the companies said. McCormick's data includes not only...Read more

Climate change should tamp down California's wildfire-fanning Santa Ana winds, study finds

SAN DIEGO -- Scientists have warned that California should brace for more wildfire as global warming drives longer bouts of hot, dry weather.

Now researchers at the University of California-San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography have found a positive trend when it comes to Southern California's battle against destructive blazes.

Santa...Read more

Cruise lines have a solution for a new clean fuel regulation. But is it the greenest option?

With less than a year to go before a 2020 deadline, cruise lines are on track to meet a new international fuel regulation designed to cut down on sulfur. But environmentalists claim the path they have charted amounts to life support for one of the world's dirtiest fuels.

The new rule is designed to save lives. The heavy fuel oil that ships use ...Read more

Q&A: The fascinating backstory of the periodic table, which is about to turn 150 years old

The periodic table has become an icon of science. Its rows and columns provide a tidy way of showcasing the elements -- the ingredients that make up the universe.

It seems obvious today, but it wasn't to generations of early chemists. That changed when Dmitri Mendeleev started writing a textbook and pondered ways to group the elements together ...Read more

Cutbacks at Stratolaunch, Virgin Galactic show the space industry is entering a second stage

Even space projects backed by billionaires are not immune to Earth-bound realities.

Almost two weeks ago, after the death of founder Paul Allen, Stratolaunch Systems Corp. said it would cease development of a rocket engine and two planned satellite-launching rockets as well as a rocket-powered plane that could take a crew to space. The Seattle ...Read more

Seattle's 'other' tech sector — life science — is on the upswing again

BOTHELL, Wash. -- In a quiet business park far from Seattle's booming South Lake Union, players in the Northwest's "other" tech sector are coping with growing pains of their own.

At FujiFilm-SonoSite, a manufacturer of portable ultrasound devices, demand is growing so rapidly that it recently decided to add a 10-person weekend shift to its ...Read more

Tech Q&A: What to do if a flash drive won't copy data

Q: I tried to copy a 6.87-gigabyte video file from my Windows 10 PC to a 16-gigabyte flash drive, but the file-copying process wouldn't even start. I then tried using another 16-gigabyte flash drive and a 64-gigabyte flash drive with the same result. My PC has plenty of memory to handle a large file -- 32 gigabytes of RAM (computer chip memory) ...Read more

Apple is hurrying to fix FaceTime bug that allowed eavesdropping

The FaceTime video-chat app on your iPhone may have let people eavesdrop on you -- an embarrassment to Apple Inc., which yanked the flawed feature and said Tuesday that it's hurrying to fix the underlying problem.

An apparent bug in FaceTime's new group chat function allowed callers to remotely activate the microphone on another person's iPhone...Read more

Amazon looks to turn public buses into mobile delivery stations

Public transit systems suffering revenue losses as riders migrate to Uber and Lyft may be able to turn to another tech giant for salvation.

Amazon on Tuesday received a patent for transforming public buses into mobile delivery stations. Customers would simply meet the bus at a convenient stop, and pick up their items from a removable delivery ...Read more

Climate change will alter gender ratio of newborns, scientists say

Researchers have warned climate change will lead to extreme weather events, increase human mental health problems and internally displace more than 143 million people.

A recent study from Japan, where temperatures have increased an average of 34.07 Fahrenheit per 100 years, suggests changing temperatures due to global warming could alter the ...Read more

Obesity, climate change and hunger must be fought as one, health experts declare

Maybe, when it comes to finding a way out of a global crisis of obesity, we're just thinking too small.

Maybe the steps needed to reverse a pandemic of unhealthy weight gain are the same as those needed to solve two other crises of human health: malnutrition and climate change.

So instead of trying to tackle each of these problems individually...Read more

Facebook let children rack up huge bills in games in 'friendly fraud'

In Facebook parlance, children racking up huge bills by making purchases in Facebook-based games using their parents' credit cards were -- like big spenders in Las Vegas -- "whales."

The children's transactions that led to revenue for the Menlo Park social media giant? "Friendly fraud," according to the company.

To parents who complained about...Read more

Space Station engineer says indoor lights are making us sick. Here's why

Those fluorescent lights hanging above your cubicle might be making you sick, depressed and obese, according to ex-NASA scientist Robert Soler.

The Carlsbad resident is an expert on how sunshine -- or lack thereof -- affects our biology. He designed the lighting system on the International Space Station, helping astronauts stay healthy while ...Read more

 

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