technology

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Two years ago, it looked as if Hurricane Irma would make a direct hit to South Florida. Hundreds of thousands of people were ordered to leave their homes. Many did and found emergency shelters with no room and gridlocked traffic.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

In the first of what promises to be many hearings by Congress into Big Tech's dominant role in the information society, the head of a media industry group said that "a small cadre of tech giants exercise an extreme level of control over news."

After 18 years, Apple is killing iTunes — well, sort of. The media management software for most Mac users (and many Windows users) is being broken into separate pieces for separate uses: Music, podcasts and television will soon have their own apps on the new Catalina Mac operating system.

Apple announced the move on Monday along with new hardware, including a new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, and entertainment and lifestyle features.

Apple announced on Monday a new video-streaming service, Apple TV+, to compete with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and others. It also unveiled a new credit card, tied to Apple Pay, and Apple News+, a subscription news service.

The iPhone has traditionally been Apple's biggest moneymaker, but those sales have been slowing, so the company is looking to make services a bigger part of its business.

A glitch in Apple's FaceTime app let users hear the other person — and in some cases, see video — even if the recipient never accepted the call. The bug was widely reported late Monday, and confirmed by several technology reporters. Until it can offer a permanent fix, Apple says it has simply disabled group FaceTime calls altogether.

In the latest social media craze, people are sharing photos comparing how they looked 10 years ago with how they look today. Dubbed the "10-Year Challenge," the viral fad has attracted everyone from celebrities like Mariah Carey and Justin Baldoni, to environmentalists seeking to highlight the impacts of climate change.

The overuse of technology has overtaken drugs, sex and bullying as the biggest parental worry, according to the annual Brigham Young and Deseret News American Family Survey.

But what are we actually supposed to be doing about it?

Jordan Shapiro, a Temple University professor whose background is in philosophy and psychology, has a prescription that might surprise you. In his new book, The New Childhood, his argument is that we're not spending enough screen time with our kids.

Leslie Ovalle / The Miami Herald

Sea-level rise can feel like a far-away problem.

Some artists in Miami have been working on an augmented reality project depicting how climate change and sea-level rise could impact Miami, depending on the decisions people make today. 

 

The Food and Drug Administration took a big-tent approach earlier this month when it approved two new forms of birth control that seek to prevent pregnancy in very different ways.

For years, tech employees of companies in Silicon Valley have enjoyed free meals around the clock. That's changing — at least in Mountain View, Calif., where the city is banning the social media giant Facebook from offering free food in its newest office building.

Tesla Motors started selling its stock to the public in 2010 — the first initial public offering of a U.S. automaker in more than a half-century. On Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he's considering a reversal — taking the electric car company private.

As he often does, the outspoken entrepreneur took to Twitter to deliver the news. "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk tweeted in early afternoon.

Updated at 9:01 p.m. ET Wednesday

A federal judge in California has ruled that a confidential messaging app must release the identity of a user who is accused of helping plan violence at a white nationalist rally last year in Charlottesville, Va.

Netflix says its faulty forecasting caused it to miss its target for new subscribers, falling short by more than a million even as it reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts' expectations.

The dense network of cables that make up the Internet is likely to be inundated with saltwater as sea levels rise, a new analysis suggests, putting thousands of miles of critical infrastructure along U.S. coastlines underwater in the next 15 years.

Have you ever noticed something most virtual assistants have in common? They all started out female.

One of the most famous, Amazon's Alexa, got her name because of CEO Jeff Bezos' preference. "The idea was creating the Star Trek computer. The Star Trek computer was a woman," says Alex Spinelli, who ran the team that created the software for Alexa.

Spinelli is now the chief technology officer of LivePerson. His boss, CEO Robert LoCascio, is bothered by that story about Alexa.

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