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Stories by David Wagner

Qualcomm Moves Beyond Phones At CES

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Qualcomm may be known as the company that makes the stuff inside smartphones. But the company didn't roll out any new phone chips at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

UC San Diego Professor Slams TED Talks — During His TED Talk

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One San Diego academic recently took the anti-TED gospel to those least likely to want to hear it: TED devotees.

Snapchat Security Breach Affects Millions Of Users

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The private messaging app Snapchat just got much less private for millions of users after the app got hacked through a known security flaw.

San Diego Fails To Secure Drone Test Site

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The Federal Aviation Administration announced Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia will host test sites for drones.

Proposed CA Law Would Turn Stolen Smartphones Into Bricks

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Proposed legislation in California would require smartphone manufacturers to include a so-called "kill switch" in their devices.

San Diego Artist Turns Rush Hour Into A Rainbow

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By rearranging cars according to color, San Diego filmmaker Cy Kuckenbaker invented a whole new way to see the Cabrillo Freeway.

San Clemente Doesn't Want San Onofre's Nuclear Waste Sticking Around

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Elected officials in San Clemente are expressing concern about how long waste will be stored in their backyard.

How To Prosecute A Revenge Porn Profiteer?

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Making money by exposing the private, nude images of strangers may be sleazy, but is it illegal?

San Diego Man Arrested In Connection With Revenge Porn Website

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A San Diego man was arrested Tuesday on charges related to operating a revenge porn website. It's the first bust of its kind since California criminalized revenge porn earlier this year.

California Girls Aren't The Only Ones Saying Everything Like It's A Question?

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Uptalk — the rising speech pattern that like totally makes everything sound like a question — isn't just a Valley girl vocal tic. San Diego researchers say the dialect is widespread throughout Southern California and guys do it too.

San Diego Woman Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Personal Gene-Testing Company

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A San Diego woman who paid $99 to have her genes analyzed by 23andMe wants her money back. And she thinks thousands of other customers will too. Just days after the FDA ordered 23andMe to stop selling its products, the company now faces a class action lawsuit.

Why Some Holiday Shoppers Are Spending Bitcoin This Black Friday

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Bitcoin has an image problem. But some entrepreneurs believe a wholesome makeover could take this unregulated digital currency mainstream, and what could be more wholesome than holiday shopping?

San Diego Scientist Struggles To Fund Iconic Climate Change Graph

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For more than 50 years, scientists have used the Keeling Curve to plot the rise of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. But with funding increasingly hard to come by, the project's future is uncertain.

What's Going To Happen To San Onofre's Nuclear Waste?

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At a meeting on Monday, San Diegans will have their chance to talk about the reality that waste will be staying at the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Stations for decades—and possibly centuries.

How To Make Online Dating Less Segregated, In One Easy Step

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People on dating sites like OkCupid might be unlikely to reach out to someone of a different race. But when someone from another background reaches out to them, they'll be much more likely to write back.

Woman Ticketed For Wearing Google Glass While Driving In San Diego

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A San Diego woman might have made history Tuesday night by receiving what appears to be the first traffic violation for driving while wearing Google Glass.

The Return of Virtual Reality Excites Gamers, Researchers

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In hardcore video gaming circles, virtual reality headsets are back! And that's good news for veterans with PTSD.

The Case Of The San Diego PhD Asked To Work For Free

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A San Diego researcher recently discovered a surefire way to elicit heated reactions from Ph. D.s: Just ask them to work for free.

Scripps Gets A Big Grant To Study DNA, Digital Devices And Healthcare

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The Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla will use the funds to continue studying how advancements in genetics, coupled with wireless technology, could make healthcare more personalized, affordable and effective.

Salk Scientists Create A Light Switch For Brain Proteins

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Researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla have developed a new way to manipulate mouse brains using light. The new technique could help illuminate long-standing mysteries about brain biology.

Could Wireless Charging Spell The End Of Battery Anxiety?

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That feeling you get when your cell phone is just about to die has a name: "Battery anxiety." And wireless companies hope to soon make it a thing of the past, if they can put aside their differences.

Maybe Next Year? Antarctic Research Suspended Under Government Shutdown

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An Antarctic research trip planned by San Diego researchers could be canceled if Congress doesn't manage to reopen the federal government in the next few days.

Female Soldiers Facing Combat More Likely To Be Sexually Assaulted

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Women in the U.S. military who see combat are more likely to be sexually harassed and assaulted, according to a new study.

Mammals In Carved-Up Forests Can Go Extinct In Just 25 Years

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Conservationists have long known that clearing forests will cause animals to die off. But what happens when you carve up forests into a bunch of tiny islands?

San Diego Teen Earns Top Prize at Google's Science Fair

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A San Diego high school senior researching new flu drugs can now add "Grand Prize Winner, Google Science Fair" to his college applications.

Avalanche Of Apple Updates Clogs Campus Networks

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Apple released its new iOS 7 on Wednesday, and college students were eager to check it out. But all those iPhone updates clogged campus networks and slowed Internet connections to a crawl.

National Neuroscience Effort Zooms In On Brain Circuits

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When President Obama announced an ambitious national effort to map the human brain earlier this year, some scientists criticized the project for being too vague, but the BRAIN Initiative is beginning to sketch out more specific goals.

How A Heat-Seeking Bacterium Enabled The Genetics Revolution

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Hudson Freeze might have a chilly last name, but this week, he'll receive an award for finding something hot. An unusual bacterium he helped discover in the late '60s went on to catalyze a biotech boom and enabled modern genetic sequencing.

Even Bug Scientists Are Afraid Of Spiders

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Survey shows even scientists who study bugs for a living can suffer from arachnophobia, the fear of spiders.

Here's Why You Can Mail Scorpions But Not Spiders

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Researchers at UC Riverside studying poisonous spiders put out a public call for samples, but the post office had to remind citizen scientists that mailing spiders is against the law. So why is it legal to mail scorpions, then? The most plausible answer seems to be "lobbyists."

How The Internet Of Things Is Making Our Homes Smarter (And Easier to Hack)

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These days, the Internet seems to be everywhere, connecting everything to everything else. That can make our daily routines a lot easier, but sometimes, it can also make it easier for hackers to invade our privacy.

Would You Want A Window Implanted Into Your Skull?

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Researchers at UC Riverside have engineered an implant that offers a transparent view into the living brain. These skull skylights could help with recurring laser-based brain treatments.

Navy Expects To Kill Hundreds Of Dolphins And Whales

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In two reports published Aug. 30, the U.S. Navy acknowledged that bomb testing and sonar use over the next five years will likely kill hundreds of marine mammals and seriously injure thousands more.

Climate Change Presses Forward Despite Warming Hiatus

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In recent years, global temperatures have not spiked as much as expected, but that doesn't mean climate change isn't happening. In order to account for this warming hiatus, San Diego researchers trained their sights on cooling in the Pacific Ocean.

Mercury Levels Predicted to Rise in Pacific Ocean Fish

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As countries throughout Asia become increasingly reliant on fossil fuels, more harmful mercury is finding its way into the fish we eat. But new research suggests one way people can limit their mercury consumption: Eat more fish that dwell near the ocean surface.

Why Does The Sound of Chewing Make Some People Panic?

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For some people, repetitive noises like gum-chewing and foot-tapping are much more than annoying. They can evoke feelings of uncontrollable panic and rage, and researchers have only just begun to study what's causing this unusual condition.

San Diego Researchers Pinpoint The Genes Making Mountain Dwellers Sick

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Why does living way up in the mountains cause some people to die young from heart attacks and strokes while others live long, healthy lives? Thanks to recent advances in whole genome sequencing, a team of UC San Diego researchers just found an answer.

UCSD Engineers 3D-Print Robot For Power Line Inspection

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Think about the miles of power lines criss-crossing our modern world. Inspecting them all for signs of wear and tear can be a complicated and expensive process. That's why a group of crafty UCSD engineers built SkySweeper, an elegant little 3D printed robot that could make power line inspection a lot simpler.

Largest Study Of Its Kind Finds No Link Between Combat And Military Suicides

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Last year, United States military personnel were more likely to die by suicide than by fighting in Afghanistan, but a new study finds that the stress of combat is not what's driving the current rise in military suicides.

San Diego Tech Economy Advocate Duane Roth Dies

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As CEO of Connect, Duane Roth served as a facilitator and spokesman for San Diego's innovation industry. Roth died Saturday from injuries sustained in a bicycling accident. Over the weekend, local tech and life science leaders paid their respects.

How A San Diego Researcher Helped Foil A Cybercriminal's Heroin Set-Up

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Russian hackers recently tried to frame an innocent man by mailing heroin straight to his home, but UCSD's Sarah Meiklejohn used her research on virtual currencies and online black markets to help the victim clear his name.

Building On San Diego Research, MIT Scientists Plant False Memories In Mice

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If the latest research on so-called "memory implants" sounds strangely familiar, your mind isn't playing tricks on you. Last week's study describing a method of producing false memories in mice builds on similar work pioneered in San Diego.

Is Filner's Behavior Really Driven By A Psychological Disorder?

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Starting next week, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner will seek professional help for his self-described "failure to respect women." But will two weeks of behavioral therapy be enough to change the harassment he's accused of?

UCSD Students Light Fires In Zero Gravity For Science

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Try setting fire to biofuel on a commercial flight, and you'd probably get taken in by Homeland Security, but try the same thing on a jet simulating the weightlessness of space, and it's called science.

Doubts Cloud Death Valley's 100-Year Heat Record

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One hundred years ago, Death Valley reportedly experienced the hottest temperatures ever recorded on Earth, but some climate experts think the desert couldn't have actually reached 134 degrees.

An Up-Close Look at the World's First Zoomable Contact Lenses

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Ever dreamt of having zoom vision, just like the Terminator? Well, the technology isn't as far-fetched as Hollywood would have you think. UC San Diego engineers are currently hard at work to perfect the world's first telescopic contact lenses.

Study Of Tree Rings Reveals Climate Change's Role In El Niño

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By looking at tree rings dating back seven centuries, climate scientists have found that man-made climate change has made El Niño worse in recent years.

San Diego Jalopy Racers Recreate Homer Simpson's Dream Car

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Remember that episode of The Simpsons when Homer gets to design a car "for the average man," and ends up creating a slime-green monstrosity that bankrupts his half-brother's company? Well, a team of freak car builders in San Diego have recreated Homer's dream car in painstaking detail, gigantic cupholders and all.

The Beginning Of The End For U.S. Chimp Research

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The National Institutes of Health has taken a major step toward winding down experiments on chimpanzees, pleasing biomedical groups that have been calling for an end to such research for years. But one UC San Diego scientist thinks the move may actually harm chimp well-being.

Local Music Streaming Company Prepares To Compete With Apple

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With tech giants like Apple stepping into the online music business, how will a small San Diego company like Slacker Radio stay alive?