tech and geek stuff
Zika outbreak may have led to fewer births in Rio de Janeiro
Fewer mums-to-be in 2016Ricardo Funari/Brazil Photos/LightRocket via GettyBy Chris BaraniukThe South American Zika outbreak may have prompted a drop in the number of live births in Rio de Janeiro in late...
Fed survey finds moderate economic growth in spring
The strength came from consumer spending, tourism, housing construction and manufacturing. The report said businesses reported tight labor markets with more job turnover and bigger wage increases for...
Windows 10 Game Mode gut check: a clear benefit you’ll barely notice
Windows 10 Game Mode – rolling out as part of the Creators Update starting April 11 – provides a clear benefit to a specific (but wide) set of PC gamers, but it’s one that most won’t even notice. Microsoft...
Polar updates algorithms to make heart rate sensor better in new M430 running watch
EnlargePolar reader comments 0 Share this story It has been nearly three years since Polar first released the M400 running watch, and now the company is updating it. Polar announced the $229 M430 today,...
Fed raises rate and sees more hikes as US economy improves
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time in three months and forecasts two additional hikes this year. The central bank said in a statement that a strengthening...
Your wearables know that you're sick before you do
When you get that feeling of the flu coming on, you never quite know what's going to happen next. Sometimes it quietly fades away. Other times you're off work and in bed for a week or more. But researchers...
RunIQ review: New Balance goes after runners with Android Wear and Strava
EnlargeValentina Palladino reader comments 1 Share this story New Balance and Intel have teamed up to release one of the first new Android Wear watches of the year. The RunIQ fitness watch is a runner's...
Strong jobs report boosts chances of interest rate hike
Strong jobs report boosts chances of interest rate hike WASHINGTON — A second straight month of robust hiring pointed on Friday to an economy healthy enough for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates...
Fitbit Alta HR brings a heart rate tracker to the best-looking Fitbit
The latest Fitbit is an upgrade on last year's original Fitbit Alta, but is slightly smaller, more comfortable to wear and comes with new fitness tracking tech.Fitbit's biggest upgrade for the Alta HR...
Yellen says Fed will probably raise interest rates this month
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Friday that the Fed is likely to raise its benchmark interest rate this month, barring any unpleasant economic surprises. “At our meeting later this month,...
New PlayStation 4 Pro patch for Final Fantasy XV makes it look worse
Enlarge / Gosh, can't you guys look happy in paradise? reader comments 0 Share this story Up until today, the massive quest game Final Fantasy XV offered at least one "smooth" visual option for every...
New PS4 Pro “Boost Mode” could improve even unmodified titles
reader comments 22 Share this story This video shows the kind of frame rate improvement beta users are already seeing with the PS4 Pro's Boost ModeThus far, to get a benefit from the extra hardware inside...
The Universe is expanding faster than we thought
You know how the Universe began, right? The Big Bang, about 14 billion years ago, when everything we know exploded out of nothing. Well, that explosion is still going on. In 1929, astronomer Edwin Hubble...
Many Americans don’t know what the ACA does, but still support it
EnlargeGetty | Aaron P. Bernstein reader comments 4 Share this story As Republican lawmakers set the legal groundwork for a swift dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, a new NPR/Ipsos poll (PDF) found...
Best budget running watches to make you fitter for less
Once upon a jog the wonder of running watches, with their new-fangled GPS smarts, was reserved for the rich. Now advances in tech mean running watches are smaller, more advanced and - crucially - more...
Jabra Elite Sport wireless review: one day, these buds could replace your current tracker
reader comments 15 Share this story Video shot/edited by Jennifer Hahn.Jabra, the audio company that has an impressive line of fitness tracking earbuds, has embraced wireless technology. The $250 Jabra...
State Farm ordered to cut homeowners insurance rates in Caifornia
The proposition also authorized the commissioner to limit charges to the amounts needed to cover claims costs, expenses and a reasonable rate of return. “State Farm customers have been overpaying for...
Fed raises key interest rate, foresees 3 hikes in 2017
Fed raises key interest rate, foresees 3 hikes in 2017 WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve has raised a key interest rate in response to a strengthening U.S. economy and expectations of higher inflation,...
Attention turns to what Fed may say around rate hike
Or will they say the risk of high inflation resulting from Trump’s tax and spending plans may require accelerated rate increases? The Fed will raise its key rate by a modest quarter-point to a range of...
Silicon Valley is starting to see some silver linings in a Trump administration
One gift that cash-rich tech companies are anticipating is a so-called repatriation holiday on money that's stashed overseas. American companies hold $2.5 trillion in cash outside of the U.S., according...
American’s life expectancy dips as middle-aged see uptick in death rates
Enlarge / Volunteers walk among headstones before placing wreaths at the 2015 National Wreaths Across America event at Arlington National Cemetery December 12, 2015 in Arlington, VA. More than 50,000...
Economy adds 178,000 jobs in November, jobless rate falls to 4.6%
The government reported Friday that employers added 178,000 workers in November, a solid gain that clears the way for the Federal Reserve to raise the benchmark interest rate when it meets this month....
November Fed minutes show it’s closer to raising rates
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve officials earlier this month believed it would be appropriate to raise a key interest rate “relatively soon,” with some arguing that an increase should come at the next meeting...
Op-Ed: Donald Trump’s presidency is going to be a disaster for the white working class
We should also expect Trump to take cues from Ryan on tax policy. Over the course of his campaign, Trump has gradually adjusted his tax proposal to match "A Better Way," an economic agenda including a...
Huawei Fit leaks with e-ink screen and heart rate smarts
Huawei is reportedly set to launch a new fitness tracker today, with news surfacing of the Huawei Fit – a round wearable with an e-ink display and heart rate monitor. According to the Verge, the Fit can...
Economy grew at strongest pace in 2 years
Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, grew at annual rate of 2.9 percent in the July-September quarter, shaking off a lackluster first half and accelerating to its strongest...
Fed’s decision to leave rates alone in Sept. as ‘close call’
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve officials last month kept a key interest rate unchanged but saw the decision as a “close call.” “The meeting minutes make plain that the case for a rate hike was a close call...
HoloLens has landed in the UK – here’s where to get it
If you’ve been looking forward to bagging yourself a HoloLens, now’s the time to start getting excited because Microsoft has announced that the headset will pitch up in the UK – and five other countries...
Slower job growth may give Fed pause on interest rates
The temperate performance and the absence of any wage pressure are expected to bolster the position of those within the Federal Reserve who favor a wait-and-see approach toward raising the benchmark interest...
Hands-on review: IFA 2016: Fitbit Charge 2
If you're wearing a Fitbit, there's a very good chance it's a Charge or a Charge HR on your wrist right now – but there's a new version out that you may want to upgrade to.The Fitbit Charge 2 is the first...
IFA 2016: TomTom's new lineup of devices treads new ground
TomTom IFA announcementsTomTom is taking to IFA 2016 to announce its most capable lineup of wearables yet, along with a few car-based products that are focused on global markets outside of the US. Starting...
Slow-to-breed elephant hurtles towards extinction
Too slow to breedjabruson/naturepl.comBy Maina WaruruAfrican forest elephants could be wiped out in the next 10 years. Number of the small elephant species that inhabits tropical forests fell by about...
Yellen says interest rate hike on the table, not a sure thing
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen signaled Friday that an increase in a key interest rate is on the table at the central bank’s next meeting in September, but that it is far from a sure thing. In...
Tim Cook says Apple won't repatriate money to US 'until there's a fair rate'
Apple CEO Tim Cook struck back at critics of the iPhone maker's strategy to avoid paying U.S. taxes, telling The Washington Post in a wide ranging interview that the company would not bring that money...
Mt. Pinatubo Eruption Hid Rate of Sea Level Rise
The 1991 Eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines was the second largest of the 20th century. The eruption, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), ejected more than five cubic kilometers...
With growth slowing, eurozone expects more stimulus
Figures released last week confirmed that the eurozone, which is made up of 19 countries from Ireland to the west to Cyprus in the east, suffered a sizable slowdown in the second quarter despite a number...
Business News Roundup, July 20
The chief justice of Brazil’s Supreme Court quickly struck down a lower court decision that had blocked the WhatsApp messaging service nationwide for several hours Tuesday, affecting almost 100 million...
Evolution may have moved at a furious pace on a much warmer earth
The rate of a certain chemical change in DNA -- a key driver of spontaneous mutation and thus of evolution's pace -- increases rapidly with temperature, researchers have discovered. The scientists concluded...
US job openings rise, yet employers cut back on filling them
WASHINGTON — Employers advertised the most open jobs in nine months in April but pulled back on filling them, a sign of caution that may reflect concerns about tepid economic growth. The figures suggest...
Economy shows signs of life after slow start to year
The minutes showed that Fed officials were prepared to raise rates at the June meeting if the economy kept improving. [...] it has put further increases on hold in the wake of financial market turbulence...
Review: Garmin’s Vivoactive HR is more hardcore than Fitbit’s Surge
Video shot/edited by Jennifer Hahn. Garmin makes over 25 different fitness wearables that range from $99 to as high as $699. You can say this for Garmin—confusing as that lineup can be, the company has...
Microsoft starts tackling game developer complaints in Universal Windows apps
Forza Motorsport 6: Apex is one of the first big-name UWP games.Microsoft/Turn 10Microsoft has been pushing developers to build applications for the Windows Store and the Universal Windows Platform and...
Garmin Vivoactive HR
The Garmin Vivoactive HR ($249.99) is an upgraded version of the Garmin Vivoactive, one of our favorite fitness trackers. As you might be able to tell from the name, the biggest new feature is a continuous...
Fed keeps key rate unchanged and provides no timing hints
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is keeping a key interest rate unchanged against the backdrop of a global economic slump and providing no hint of when its next rate hike may occur. A statement the Fed...
Apple Co-founder Says Company Should Pay More Taxes
The co-founder of Apple thinks the technology company should pay more tax. Steve Wozniak, who founded Apple with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne in 1976, told the BBC that the company should pay at a 50 percent...
White House threatens veto of GOP’s anti-net neutrality bill
President Obama and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.White HouseAs Republicans in Congress push legislation that would gut the Federal Communications Commission's authority to enforce net neutrality rules, the...
Ark: Survival Evolved Xbox One patch improves frame rate, adds new dinos - CNET
A new update for the Xbox One version of dinosaur game Ark: Survival Evolved has arrived. Among other things, it improves the game's frame rate, adds three new dinosaurs, and introduces "Extinction" servers.The...
ER docs get heart rate info from Fitbit, save patient’s life
ALFRED SACCHETTI, MDOne man's Fitbit device proved to be much more than a smart pedometer. After a 42-year old New Jersey man suffered a seizure at work one day, emergency room doctors used his Fitbit...
Tom Wheeler: Bill banning “rate regulation” would kill net neutrality
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler testifying before the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee.House Energy and Commerce CommitteeLegislation that would ban rate regulation of Internet service providers...
Court stops FCC’s latest attempt to lower prison phone rates
Alcatraz prison.Krystian OlszanskiPrison phone companies have convinced a court to halt new rate caps on inmate calling for the second time this month. The first stay was issued March 7 and prevented...
CO2 is flooding atmosphere at highest rate since Age of Dinosaurs
The rate of carbon emissions is higher than at any time in fossil records stretching back 66 million years to the age of the dinosaurs, according to a study that sounds an alarm about risks to nature...
Fed keeps key rates unchanged; foresees fewer hikes in 2016
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is keeping a key interest rate unchanged in light of global pressures that risk slowing the U.S. economy. The central bank said Wednesday that the economy has continued...
Clocking the rotation rate of a supermassive black hole
The rotational rate of one of the most massive black holes in the universe has been accurately measured by an international team of astronomers, using several optical telescopes and NASA's SWIFT X-ray...
Social science reproducibility: Not great, but not as bad as reported?
wingedwolfSocial science, including behavioral economics, has recently come under fire as failing to generate studies with reproducible results. The Reproducibility Project made waves in August of 2015...
This is the best watch for runners
Ready to go ... the Garmin Forerunner 235 has a built-in heart rate sensor, smart notifications and an activity tracker. Garmin Forerunner 235 Garmin / 5/5 / $469 / garmin.com.au IF you’re in the market...
Daylight saving time increases stroke risk, scientists find
For the study, the researchers looked at a decade of figures in Finland to find the rate of stroke. They compared the rate of stroke in 3,033 people hospitalised during the week following a daylight saving...
Hexoskin smart shirt reviewed: Measuring your vitals so you don’t have to
Video shot/edited by Jennifer Hahn. A world where you can slip on a tank top and gym shorts that track all of your workouts is a reality now—but it comes at a steep price. Hexoskin was one of the first...
10 Tips for Reducing the Bounce Rate on Your WordPress Site
A 'Bounce Rate' is simply the percentage of users who visit your site and then navigate away after viewing just a single page. You can make use of Google Analytics to determine the bounce rate of your...
Business News Roundup, Feb. 19
Volkswagen internal memos and e-mails suggest that company executives pursued a strategy of delay and obfuscation with U.S. regulators after being confronted in early 2014 with evidence that VW diesel...
New record-breaking pipe is 50,000 times quicker than superfast fibre
Every now and then we hear about some new tech speed record being broken, and this has happened again, with boffins at the University College London announcing a new world record data transfer speed.Researchers...
Here's how Mark Zuckerberg became the fifth richest person alive
VISIT CNBC.COMX Leadership LeadershipHere's how Mark Zuckerberg became the fifth richest person alive Abigail Hess 56 Mins Ago CNBC.com Source: Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. SHARES Mark Zuckerberg,...
Sheryl Sandberg's new book a tale of grief, resilience
Then one day, about a month after Goldberg died, she decided to post on Facebook about her grief, her gratitude toward her friends, and her related tumultuous feelings - for instance, coming to believe...
Why better technology won’t stop violent videos going viral
Will technology help to combat violent videos on Facebook?Reuters/Dado RuvicBy Chelsea WhyteOn Easter Sunday, a man chose 74-year old Robert Godwin Sr at random on a street in Cleveland, Ohio, shot him,...
Facebook and Apple have spent more on lobbying than they ever have this year
As Facebook has been tinkering with brain-computer interfaces and an augmented reality camera platform, it's also been cultivating some good old fashioned Washington influence. According to federal lobbying...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark