Tech & Science

What do you get in Cracker Jack? A QR code, apparently.

The "Prize Inside" will no longer actually be inside the box, Frito-Lay has announced. Like so many other aspects of our lives, the prize will be digitized.

A small mammal has sabotaged the world's most powerful scientific instrument.

The Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile superconducting machine designed to smash protons together at close to the speed of light, went offline overnight. Engineers investigating the mishap found the charred remains of a furry creature near a gnawed-through power cable.

International trade disputes used to be relatively simple.

One country would build up an industry to create jobs, and then dump excess products in another country at below-cost prices. Competitors facing unrealistically cheap imports would file "anti-dumping" complaints to seek government-backed protections.

Note: This video contains offensive and abusive language.

[Youtube]

Two Chicago-area sports journalists were tired of being the target of abusive online comments from men, so they gathered up the degrading tweets that had been directed at them and asked other men to read them to their faces. The result is a video that has been viewed more than a million times.

Its name will be "Red Dragon." And if the latest partnership between SpaceX and NASA works out, the privately funded craft will land on Mars to collect scientific data — possibly within the next two years. The plan is to use the Dragon capsule, but without a human crew.

"SpaceX is planning to send Dragons to Mars as early as 2018," the company said via Facebook Wednesday. "These missions will help demonstrate the technologies needed to land large payloads propulsively on Mars."

You probably know it's against the law in most states to text and drive — but studies suggest that many of us still peek at our smartphones when we're behind the wheel.

This habit, however, contributes to distracted driving. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 3,179 people were killed in car crashes involving a distracted driver in 2014.

Over the past decade, states have passed laws intended to help women understand the results of their breast cancer screening mammograms if they have dense breasts. But those notifications can be downright confusing and may, in fact, cause more misunderstanding than understanding.

If I told you there was a way to keep using your phone forever, would you want to?

In true unscientific form, I surveyed some phone users in downtown Washington, D.C.

Lucy, a golden retriever from Connecticut, is a dog of the future. Imagine this: As she trots down a suburban street, a girl with a scooter can't help but stare. Attached to Lucy's collar is a leash, and attached to her leash is a small quadcopter drone. When the drone moves to the left, she looks up at it and follows along.

Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, walks past a projected display showing Bill Gates, lower left, and himself, during a discussion of Nokia's Lumia 920, equipped with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8, Sept. 5, 2012 in New York.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Microsoft stock is taking a hit after failing to deliver on financial market expectations. One reason is the Windows Phone. 

The company reported  its earnings after markets closed, saying quarterly profit was 62 cents per share. Analysts had expected 64 cents per share. The stock fell by about 5 percent to almost $53 in after-hours trading.

When you sleep in unfamiliar surroundings, only half your brain is getting a good night's rest.

"The left side seems to be more awake than the right side," says Yuka Sasaki, an associate professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University.

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Larry Downing/Reuters

It’s been eight years since DJ Patil — then the data and analytics lead at LinkedIn — helped coin the term “data scientist,” and the profession has already become one of the most popular in the country.

When Defense Secretary Ashton Carter landed in Iraq for a surprise visit this week, he came armed with this news: More than 200 additional U.S. troops are headed to that country. They'll join the fight to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State.

As that battle unfolds on the ground, a parallel war against ISIS is unfolding in cyberspace.

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