Science & Technology



Study predicts decline in Dungeness crab from ocean acidification

SEATTLE -- Dungeness crab are forecast to take a hit from ocean acidification driven by fossil-fuel combustion, according to a new study.

Though the populations of the Dungeness crab fluctuate year by year, their overall abundance by 2063 could be about 30 percent lower, according to federal fishery biologist Issac Kaplan, a co-author of the ...Read more

Web Buzz: Outbound app aims to get you moving

Here's a helpful app that combines travel with moving your body.

Name: Outbound -- The Best Local Outdoor Adventures

What it does: The app directs you to places and tour providers that cater to outdoor interests such as backpacking, camping, hiking, kayaking, fishing, kite boarding, mountain biking, running, skiing, stand-up paddle boarding, ...Read more

Vowel sounds made by baboons show that the roots of human speech may go back 25 million years

Listen closely to those baboon calls -- they may tell you a thing or two about human speech. Scientists who studied baboons' wahoos, yaks, barks and other vocalizations have found evidence of five vowel-like sounds -- a sign that the physical capacity for speech may have evolved over much longer timescales than previously thought.

The findings,...Read more

Professor is developing spray to identify fly spit at crime scenes

The victim lay across the doorway of a home in Mount Airy, Md., a 12-gauge shotgun blast through his chest. The suspect had called in a confession, and the evidence was clear. But that day in April 1999, police puzzled over dark stains on a wall far from the man's body.

"It didn't make sense," said Mitchell Dinterman, a forensic investigator. "...Read more

Troy Wolverton: At CES, voice assistants assert themselves

LAS VEGAS -- In the very near future, instead of controlling your gadgets by pressing buttons or tapping on screens, you may just talk to them.

Intelligent assistant technology like Apple's Siri and Amazon's Echo is starting to spread widely. At this year's recently concluded CES, numerous companies showed off devices ranging from refrigerators...Read more

Helpware: Don't rush to upgrade Quicken

During tax season, there's nothing as helpful Quicken.

If you've conscientiously entered and downloaded your financial transactions during the year, the accounting software for non-accountants will neatly categorize them into the taxable and non-taxable categories you've set up. It will allow you to print charts and graphs of how much money you...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to get email from an upgraded

Q: I'm confused about Microsoft emails that tell me to reconnect my Outlook 2013 PC program in order to continue getting mail via their website. It said I needed to create a new profile. What is this about?

--Frank Kampel, Maple Grove, Minn.

A: Microsoft has upgraded its email system, which you access through the ...Read more

Rallying support for economic fairness? Better chase off the needy

It is an odd quirk of human nature that humans do not always respond to the misfortunes of other humans in the most humane way.

A new study tosses some fresh experimental findings for that observation onto a mounting pile of research evidence. Among the affluent plying affluent neighborhoods, it finds, a clear reminder of others' poverty does ...Read more

Competing with Silicon Valley for engineers, aerospace firms start recruitment in pre-kindergarten

LOS ANGELES -- USC mechanical engineering junior Stephanie Balais developed a passion for aerospace after joining the university's AeroDesign team and helping to construct an airplane fuselage hours before transporting the plane to a competition in Kansas.

As internships beckoned, she sent in a number of applications to top defense and ...Read more

New Stanford study: Memory for faces improves as we age into adulthood

Conventional wisdom has held that our brain grows fastest in very early childhood, and later in life slows as surely as our stride.

But a surprising new Stanford-based study shows there's a part of mental function that continues to grow into adulthood: face recognition.

"There is development in the region of the brain that is involved in ...Read more

Venture capitalist says 2017 looks bright for tech startup market

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- After a tough slog through 2016, tech startups (at least the good ones) have reason to be optimistic about the year ahead, says Scott Kupor, managing partner of Andreessen Horowitz.

IPO activity has started to pick up and investors are writing checks again though they're being pickier than in prior years, all of which points...Read more

Why mobile payment technology is leap-frogging in Latin America

MIAMI -- The world of mobile payments is one of the hottest segments of the financial technology industry. Based in Miami, YellowPepper has been a pioneer of mobile payment technology in Latin America, where an immense market need and a millennial-rich population of early adopters converge.

YellowPepper has done this before. Years ago, the ...Read more

Satellite constellations could be poised to challenge the broadband industry

LOS ANGELES -- It's been more than a decade since a handful of ambitious entrepreneurs saw their plans to provide global telecommunications service through massive satellite constellations blow up, doomed by runaway costs.

Now, a new generation of satellite entrepreneurs is headed back to the launch pad. Backed by billions of dollars from deep-...Read more

Helpware: Website builders for novices should be simple to use

A friend once suggested that I build a website to host my columns.

For years, though, I remained resistant to the idea for two main reasons: First of all, the internet shouldn't be boring; and second, I didn't want to learn HTML or CSS, two web programming languages that -- for me, at least -- are far from easy to understand.

I eventually ...Read more

Select Comfort's new bed tracks whether you sleep badly, and then does something about it

MINNEAPOLIS -- Select Comfort's latest bed promises to adjust to your sleep patterns throughout the night, including warming the foot of your bed before you get in, changing position when it senses snoring and waking you gently in the morning.

Select Comfort Corp. is capitalizing on the emergence of sleep science as an area of health research ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Here's why free Linux won't take over PCs in 2017

Q: I've been using the free Linux operating system on my PC for 10 years, and I wonder why more people don't have it. It's easy to use, there is free software for it and it installs on most PCs (it can even can be installed alongside Windows). What's the problem?

--Joe Hesse, West St. Paul, Minn.

A: Linux, an open-source (shared for free) ...Read more

Troy Wolverton: New gadgets only part of CES's success story

LAS VEGAS -- It's easy to get caught up with all the new gizmos at CES.

But the annual consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, being held this week, has become much more than a showcase for gadgets. It's the tech industry's premier networking event. And those interactions will shape how technology evolves -- and how you'll experience it.

"It's...Read more

Microsoft, Intel era at CES gives way to rising star Nvidia

For most of its 23 years, Nvidia was best known for building graphics processors that helped computers display high-powered computer games.

Now, rising interest in the hardware that powers self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and virtual reality has taken the Santa Clara, Calif., chipmaker, little known outside the high-tech industry, to ...Read more

Quake swarm near the California-Mexico border gets scientists' attention

More than 250 small earthquakes have struck since New Year's Eve near the California-Mexico border, causing unease among residents and attention from scientists.

The strongest earthquake in the sequence was magnitude 3.9, directly underneath Brawley, about 170 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

The earthquakes struck in the southern end of the ...Read more

Web Buzz: Travel photographers' online gallery

Interested in trying to sell your travel photography? Give it a try with this online portfolio builder.


What it does: It's a tool built by a professional travel photographer so other travel photographers can show -- and perhaps sell -- their work. Create your own photo website or travel blogs for a fee that ranges from $2.99 ...Read more