Science & Technology



A year after data breach: Atlanta-based Equifax unbowed

A year after the worst data breach in U.S. history to date, Atlanta-based Equifax has been chastened, but its business model is unchanged and the company churns on, virtually undamaged by legislative, regulatory or prosecutorial penalties.

It was a year ago that the company noticed the first signs of historic trouble -- hackers had slipped ...Read more

How opioids reshape your brain, and what scientists are learning about addiction

PHILADELPHIA -- None of us has the brain we were born with. Brains grow and adapt. This process, called neuroplasticity, doesn't end when you step out of the classroom. Even habits -- reaching for cookies when stressed out, keeping your head down during staff meetings -- cut "trails" in the brain throughout life that can be hard to overcome.

...Read more

The longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century is coming on Friday: Here's what you need to know

The longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century is coming up, and you don't want to miss it.

On Friday, the moon will be fully engulfed in the heart of Earth's shadow for 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds.

It doesn't get much better than that. The longest possible duration of a lunar eclipse is one hour and 47 minutes, according to more

Electronic skin allows amputees to 'feel' pain and touch

BALTIMORE -- When Gyorgy Levay lost parts of all four extremities, including most of his left arm, to meningitis in 2010, he resolved to make the best of a bad situation.

He mastered his state-of-the-art prosthetic replacements. He switched the focus of his graduate studies from electrical to biomedical engineering. The native Hungarian even ...Read more

Grubhub to buy LevelUp mobile ordering and payment company for $390 million

CHICAGO -- Grubhub is set to pay $390 million for mobile ordering and payment company LevelUp in an effort to reach more diners, the company announced Wednesday.

The acquisition of the Boston-based company has not closed. LevelUp works with more than 200 restaurant chains, providing a platform for customers to place orders for pickup, among ...Read more

U.S. House votes to kill sales tax on medical devices

WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to kill a sales tax on medical devices that the medical-technology industry have battled for nearly a decade.

Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen of Minnesota introduced the stand-alone repeal legislation. The bill had 277 cosponsors and a seal of approval from the White ...Read more

Autonomous decision-making one of biggest challenges for flying cars, industry expert says

Despite several proposals to create flying taxis, industry has a ways to go to master how those vehicles will operate without human pilots and make crucial flight decisions on their own, an industry expert told a congressional committee hearing Tuesday.

The meeting of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology -- billed as the first ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Windows 10 update creates fake drive

Q: Following a Windows 10 update, I got a warning that said, "You are running out of disk space on disk (E)." I've never had a disk E, but now File Explorer shows it as a drive with a capacity of 449 megabytes, of which only 42 megabytes are available. Yet when I click on drive E, File Explorer shows that it's empty. What should I do?

-- Keith ...Read more

Write about Trump or review a Tesla, get driven off Twitter

Has Twitter become too toxic?

Once again, the answer is yes, at least for a couple of high-profile users of the medium: a White House reporter for the New York Times, and an auto columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

For better or worse, Twitter has helped start revolutions and elect a president. But its immediacy, brevity, plus the anonymity...Read more

'Valley of Genius': Silicon Valley's many magical moments in the legends' own words

Oh, to have been there in 1979 when Steve Jobs had an epiphany while getting the demo of Xerox PARC's Alto computer, complete with a graphical user interface and a mouse.

Thanks to a new book by Adam Fisher, a self-professed geek who grew up tinkering with computers and video games in Silicon Valley, readers can just about eavesdrop on historic...Read more

Tremors shove Washington state west, offer clues to next big earthquake

SEATTLE –– Thousands of tiny tremors over the past few months have moved parts of Washington state and Vancouver Island westward. It's a near-annual event that backs expectations by some scientists that a big earthquake may hit the Seattle area harder than their previous models suggested.

The recent wave of activity began in May and appears...Read more

With an insatiable demand for data centers, some are worried Illinois can't keep up

Entering the data center that occupies the former Chicago Sun-Times' printing facility is like walking through the set of a James Bond film.

There's a 10-foot-tall steel fence encircling the property on the Lower West Side. There are gates, buzzers, a security desk, cameras and doors that use fingerprints as their key. The final entry into the ...Read more

Research suggests another way Neanderthals were like us: They could start their own fires

Humans may not have been the only hominids who knew how to start a fire long ago. New research suggests that as early as 50,000 years ago, Neanderthals wielded this power as well.

The work, published Thursday in Scientific Reports, provides new evidence that Neanderthals may have created flames-on-demand by striking a small piece of pyrite ...Read more

Johnson and Johnson picks Penn for research node

Work is underway on a "JPOD" telecom "networking hub" that is set to open this fall, connecting University of Pennsylvania researchers and area start-ups to funders and scientists at Johnson & Johnson, the New Jersey-based drug and medical-supply giant. All this networking will occur at the school's Pennovation Works business incubator at 34th ...Read more

Amazon gets flak from Little People over 'dwarf-tossing' robot patent

To this country's people of unusually small stature, dwarf tossing is an insult and, according to Little People of America, "objectifies the entire dwarf community."

That didn't stop Amazon inventors from using a hypothetical dwarf figurine to illustrate the operations of a newly patented warehouse-robotics system that "tosses" inventory items ...Read more

Helpware: A clean night's sleep

If your neighbors in the next county complain about your snoring, chances are good that you're among the estimated 22 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea.

Despite its depiction as "ZZZZ's" in comic strips, snoring is no laughing matter. Left untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, stroke, heart problems, diabetes and ...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to store iPhone photos safely

Q: My friend's iPhone 5 and my iPhone SE keep telling us that we don't have enough memory capacity to store more photos. So, we reluctantly delete a large number of photos, but still get the warning. What can we do?

-- Jo-Ida Hansen, St. Paul, Minn.

A: There's no need to lose photos that you like. If your iPhone is low on storage space, you ...Read more

How to protect yourself from 'spear phishing' hacking technique used by Russians

As sophisticated as the scheme was by Russian intelligence agents to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, they used a simple hacking technique, among others, to infiltrate the email accounts of Democratic operatives, according to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's latest indictment. And that technique -- known as "spear phishing" -- ...Read more

$1M award for Salk scientist Janelle Ayres, who befriends our microbial enemies

SAN DIEGO -- Janelle Ayres, a rising star at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, has collected her second honor in a month -- one which brings $1 million to fund her microbial research.

The grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will allow Ayres to study alternative ways to cope with dangerous bacterial and viral infections. ...Read more