To Invade Homes, Tech Is Trying to Get in Your Kitchen

To Invade Homes, Tech Is Trying to Get in Your Kitchen Photo Credit Chris Philpot SAN FRANCISCO — On a recent Saturday night, German Salazar made chicken tacos for his friends while they chatted with him in his kitchen. Occasionally, he interrupted the conversation to talk to another friend: Google.
Mr. Salazar was speaking to Google Home, the artificially intelligent speaker living on his kitchen counter. “Hey Google, set a timer for 20 minutes,” he said, to activate a countdown for when the chicken would be cooked and ready for shredding.
At first, Mr. Salazar’s friends snickered when he talked to the speaker. But after a few bottles of wine, everyone began grilling Google Home with questions and requests: “How much did Jamie Lee Curtis make in ‘True Lies’?” and “Tell me a joke.”
For many people, the kitchen is the center of the home and a locus for interactions that go beyond preparing and eating food. Now tech companies and appliance makers, aiming to deepen their relationships wit..

Apple Goes to Hollywood. Will Its Story Have a Happy Ending?

Apple Goes to Hollywood. Will Its Story Have a Happy Ending? Photo Credit Getty Images (Spielberg, Spencer, Chazelle, Witherspoon); Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times (Shyamalan) Known for its bold designs and its big marketing campaigns, Apple relishes its status as a dominant force in the corporate world. So it was noteworthy when one of its executives, Eddy Cue, struck a note of humility during a discussion this month at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Tex.
“We don’t know anything about making television,” said Mr. Cue, a senior vice president who oversees the team in charge of the company’s original programming initiative. “So what skills does Apple bring to that? And the viewpoint is: very little. There’s other things we bring. We know how to create apps, we know how to do distribution, we know how to market. But we don’t really know how to create shows.”
As Mr. Cue’s words suggested, Apple’s new venture has taken the company far from its Silicon Valley comfort..

Wreck of the Juneau Is Found, 76 Years After 5 Brothers Perished

Wreck of the Juneau Is Found, 76 Years After 5 Brothers Perished Photo A remotely controlled vehicle captured footage of guns aboard the sunken Juneau, more than two miles beneath the water’s surface in the South Pacific. Credit Paul Allen At the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II, hundreds of sailors — including five from the same family — lost their lives while serving on the same ship for the United States Navy.
The ship, the cruiser Juneau, was blasted apart by a Japanese torpedo on Nov. 13, 1942. For decades it was lost, resting in pieces somewhere in the South Pacific.
It was found on Saturday when a team aboard the Petrel, a research vessel funded by the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, identified the wreckage about 2.6 miles underwater off the coast of the Solomon Islands.
Among the hundreds aboard the Juneau when it sank were five brothers from Waterloo, Iowa. Because they were all serving together, the sons of Thomas and Alleta Sullivan were well ..

The Ruthless Phronima, and Other Hidden Wonders of the Sea

The Ruthless Phronima, and Other Hidden Wonders of the Sea Photo The American Museum of Natural History’s latest exhibition, “Unseen Oceans,” welcomes visitors with a projection of sand and surf. Credit Denis Finnin/American Museum of Natural History Take the first step into “Unseen Oceans,” the new exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History, and you are bound to be tickled and enticed by the appearance of sand and surf beneath your feet.
It’s only video projected onto the floor, a simple enough technique, but I was sorely tempted to take off my shoes and wiggle my toes in the illusory foam. If I were to bring little ones to the exhibition, I’d keep an eye on their footwear. Promise them that if they keep walking there will be real sand that they can touch with their hands.
The exhibition is, of course, about hidden ocean wonders, but it features more than the usual suspects of blue whales and frighteningly enlarged microscopic plankton. The technology that allows scientists ..

Trump’s Tariffs Trigger Global Chain Reaction to Halt Imports

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Trump’s Tariffs Trigger Global Chain Reaction to Halt Imports

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs are provoking a chain reaction around the globe, as governments from Europe to Canada prepare to erect barriers to prevent cheap metal once bound for the United States from entering their markets.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada announced a series of regulatory changes that would make it easier for border officials to block steel and aluminum imports into that nation. The European Union has begun a “safeguard investigation” that could result in tariffs or other trade actions if it determines that steel intended for the American market is being diverted to the bloc.
“These past few days, we’ve looked at strengthening the measures that we already have in place because it’s important that we not be taking in dumped steel from around the world,” Mr. Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.
Foreign policymakers have ..

Technology Companies Drag Stock Markets Down Again

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Technology Companies Drag Stock Markets Down Again

Technology stocks helped propel the nine-year bull market. Optimistic investors piled into the shares, hoping to grab a piece of the profits from industries such as social media, autonomous driving, video streaming and artificial intelligence.
Now, that confidence is evaporating.
Investors pummeled technology company stocks again on Tuesday, knocking the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index down 1.7 percent. The Nasdaq composite, laden with technology stocks, sank 2.9 percent after a flurry of bad news about specific companies metastasized into a broad retreat from technology stocks.
The sell-off was ignited when the chip maker Nvidia said it was suspending tests of its self-driving car technology after an autonomous Uber vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Ariz., last week. Nvidia has made supplying chips to self-driving vehicles a major part of its growth strategy, and Uber had selected Nv..

How Not to Get Sick on a Plane? Choose Your Seat Wisely

Supported by Well | Live How Not to Get Sick on a Plane? Choose Your Seat Wisely Photo Credit iStock How likely is it that you will catch the flu on a fully packed airplane during flu season?
According to a new study, not very likely.
But a lot depends on who else is sitting in your row, and the row in front and in back of you. It also depends on whether you use the airplane’s bathroom, what you touch and how carefully you wash your hands.
Flu is most commonly transmitted by small respiratory droplets that move through the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks. The droplets don’t go especially far — typically six feet or so — and they don’t become suspended in an aerosol that travels through currents of air in the plane’s cabin, where they could be breathed in. The flu virus can also be picked up from something an infected person touched.
For the study, the research team took five round-trip flights from Atlanta to West Coast cities, four of them during the flu seas..

Malala Returns to Pakistan for First Time Since Attack 6 Years Ago

Malala Returns to Pakistan for First Time Since Attack 6 Years Ago Photo Malala Yousafzai in Birmingham, England, in 2014. She has returned to Pakistan for the first time since the Taliban critically wounded her — and ensured a global audience for her education advocacy — in 2012. Credit Oli Scarff/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for girls’ education and the world’s youngest Nobel laureate, returned to Pakistan early Thursday in her first visit since an attack by Taliban militants gravely injured her in 2012.
Her homecoming was wrapped in relative secrecy, and details of her visit have not been publicly confirmed.
But Ms. Yousafzai, now 20 and studying at Oxford, is expected to stay mostly in Islamabad, the capital, during her four-day visit. She is said to be planning to meet with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other high-ranking civil and military officials.
She is also expected to visit the picturesque Swat ..