When the Grid Goes Down, Can a Fleet of Batteries Replace It?

When the Grid Goes Down, Can a Fleet of Batteries Replace It?

How many cars like Littlejohn’s would it take to replace the energy that was missing last week from the Texas power grid?

The Energy Sector Must Prepare for More Extreme Weather

The Energy Sector Must Prepare for More Extreme Weather

Last week, Texas was hit by a different kind of extreme weather event: Record-smashing cold temperatures and heavy snow.But other states manage much colder weather every year without these types of power outages.

The SolarWinds Investigation Ramps Up

The SolarWinds Investigation Ramps Up

Now, after a federal career that many credited with helping to secure the 2020 presidential election from foreign interference, Krebs is venturing into the other massive cybersecurity story of the last year: the Russian hacker intrusion into SolarWinds , a Texas-based company whose software was hijacked and used to penetrate the networks of at least half a dozen federal agencies.

Texas Accuses Google and Facebook of an Illegal Conspiracy

Texas Accuses Google and Facebook of an Illegal Conspiracy

Facebook, the complaint says, agreed to “curtail its header bidding initiatives” and send the millions of advertisers in its Facebook Audience Network to bid on Google’s platform.

Operation Ponderosa: Saving a Forest, Pandemic Edition

Operation Ponderosa: Saving a Forest, Pandemic Edition

Poloskey, an education and outreach coordinator for The Nature Conservancy in Texas , spent the summer collecting about 2,260 pine needles in the rugged yet fragile Davis Mountains of West Texas, fieldwork to help gain a better understanding of the genetics of ponderosa pines.

The YOLOers vs. Distancers Feud Is Tearing Us Apart

The YOLOers vs. Distancers Feud Is Tearing Us Apart

From my vantage here in Central Texas, home to one of the largest groups of the newly Covid-immune, I've noticed that all these wonderful antibodies are actually making our existing, pandemic-related social cohesion problems considerably worse.

To Navigate Risk In a Pandemic, You Need a Color-Coded Chart

To Navigate Risk In a Pandemic, You Need a Color-Coded Chart

Giving people permission to do things that seem likely to be safe was an important part of formulating the next guide to be published, which was drawn up by the Covid-19 Task Force of the Texas Medical Association and released July 8.

Trump's New Intelligence Chief Spells Trouble

Trump's New Intelligence Chief Spells Trouble

Perhaps the clearest sign that three-term Texas congressman Ratcliffe is manifestly unqualified to serve as the nation’s director of national intelligence isn’t the fact that he embellished his résumé, nor that only a minority of the US Senate would vote to confirm him, nor that the first time he was floated for the post last summer he was so soundly rejected that he withdrew almost immediately.

Covid-19's Toll on Prison Labor Doesn't Just Hurt Inmates

Covid-19's Toll on Prison Labor Doesn't Just Hurt Inmates

In at least 20 states, from Florida to Michigan to Texas to California, incarcerated workers are making hand sanitizer, face masks, and protective gowns at prison manufacturing facilities.Social distancing is hard in prison workplaces, and incarcerated people are unable to self-quarantine to avoid Covid-19 when they’re off the job.

The Coolest Kingfishers from Six Continents

The Coolest Kingfishers from Six Continents

Photo © Jeff Bryant / Flickr Green kingfisher is more abundant in Central and South America, but the species can be located in the southwestern reaches of the United States from Arizona to Texas.

WIRED's 7 Big Science Stories That Shaped 2019

WIRED's 7 Big Science Stories That Shaped 2019

Another private forensics lab, in Texas, began building its own crowdsourced database exclusively for police searches this year.But when the child rapist Jeffrey Epstein died, and more of his nominally philanthropic donations became public, science faced a reckoning.

Book Review: Secrets of Snakes

Book Review: Secrets of Snakes

Fortunately, wildlife biologist and science communicator David Steen has taken the most common snake myths, tall tales and snake safety rules and applied real science to them in his wildly entertaining Secrets of Snakes: The Science Beyond the Myths (Texas A&M University Press).A lot of our wildlife myths are about creatures that we believe we know.

What's the Hardest Shot in Bowling? It's Complicated

What's the Hardest Shot in Bowling? It's Complicated

Malott, however, has developed a more discerning eye for analyzing his ball's movement, as the professional bowler and ten-time national title holder recently explained to me at the United States Bowling Congress, in Arlington, Texas.

Why These Geese Wear Tiny Backpacks and Fly in a Wind Tunnel

Why These Geese Wear Tiny Backpacks and Fly in a Wind Tunnel

To find out, University of Texas at Austin physiologist Julia York went above and beyond, raising goose chicks to gain their trust before training them to fly in a wind tunnel under low oxygen conditions.To learn more, including the understandable difficulties of getting geese to fly in wind tunnels, take a look at the video above.

John Ratcliffe Is a Dangerous Pick for Director of National Intelligence

John Ratcliffe Is a Dangerous Pick for Director of National Intelligence

The news Sunday that Trump planned to tap representative John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) as director of national intelligence, replacing former senator Dan Coats, left many even on Capitol Hill scratching their heads: Who?

SpaceX Just Unleashed Its Starship Rocket for the First Time

SpaceX Just Unleashed Its Starship Rocket for the First Time

Late on Thursday night, at a launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas, SpaceX performed the first flight test of its next-generation Starship rocket , which may one day carry humans to Mars.

The Hard-Luck Texas Town That Bet on Bitcoin—and Lost

The Hard-Luck Texas Town That Bet on Bitcoin—and Lost

Bitmain, a Chinese company that makes specialized computers for “mining” cryptocurrency, said it would invest $500 million in what was to be the world’s largest bitcoin -mining facility at the closed Alcoa smelter, which, crucially, was still connected to massive electrical lines.

The World Cup Was a Prime Target for Amazon Counterfeiters

The World Cup Was a Prime Target for Amazon Counterfeiters

And last summer, CBP caught four shipments of fake World Cup soccer jerseys headed to Texas that were worth an estimated $66,000.At least for now, Amazon likely can’t catch every sports-related knockoff that third-party sellers try to list on its site.

SpaceX's Starship, Meant for Mars, Prepares for a First Hop

SpaceX's Starship, Meant for Mars, Prepares for a First Hop

SpaceX's Starship, Meant for Mars, Prepares for a First Hop SpaceX Last Sunday, as much of the country tuned into the Super Bowl, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and a crew of engineers were gathered in McGregor, Texas, the small city where the company maintains a rocket test site.

San Francisco Could Be First to Ban Facial Recognition Tech

San Francisco Could Be First to Ban Facial Recognition Tech

“This is the first piece of legislation that I’ve seen that really takes facial recognition technology as serious as it is warranted and treats it as uniquely dangerous.” Woodrow Hartzog, Northeastern University Privacy laws in Texas and Illinois require anyone recording biometric data, including face scans and fingerprints, to give people notice and obtain their consent.

The Heir to the V-22 Osprey Flies Through a Year of Testing

The Heir to the V-22 Osprey Flies Through a Year of Testing

The two aircraft don’t share any hardware, but they both use swiveling rotors to switch between flying vertically (to take off and land like a helicopter) and horizontally (to cruise like a plane).That connection has concentrated extra attention on the aircraft’s testing phase, and Bell and partner Lockheed Martin, which is in charge of the avionics and weapons systems, have done just about everything they can to smooth out its adolescence.“The whole idea from the beginning has been to find simple solutions for complex designs,” says Jeff Josselyn, manager of V-280 flight maintenance at Bell’s Arlington, Texas, headquarters.

How Amazon, Apple, and Google Played the Tax-Break Game

How Amazon, Apple, and Google Played the Tax-Break Game

How Amazon, Apple, and Google Played the Tax-Break GameApple's existing office in Austin, Texas, a few miles from where the company announced plans to build a new campus.SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty ImagesIt took about 30 minutes for Williamson County commissioners to unanimously approve a roughly $16 million incentive package for Apple Tuesday morning, bringing the total amount the tech giant is likely to receive in exchange for choosing Austin as the site for its newest campus to a cool $41 million.

AT&T Says It Will (Kinda Sorta) Start Offering a 5G Network

AT&T Says It Will (Kinda Sorta) Start Offering a 5G Network

For now, though, AT&T's new network, dubbed 5G+, and a 5G home wireless network launched by Verizon in five cities in October, will be nowhere near that fast, and only be available in limited areas.AT&T says it will first offer its service in parts of Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas; Houston; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans; Oklahoma City; Raleigh, North Carolina; San Antonio; and Waco, Texas.

Exxon Will Use Wind, Solar to Produce Crude Oil in Texas

Exxon Will Use Wind, Solar to Produce Crude Oil in Texas

Under 12-year agreements with Denmark’s Orsted A/S, Exxon will buy 500 megawatts of wind and solar power in the Permian Basin, the fastest growing U.S. oil field.

Meet Jim Allison, the Carousing Texan Who Just Won a Nobel Prize For His Cancer Immunotherapy Breakthrough

Meet Jim Allison, the Carousing Texan Who Just Won a Nobel Prize For His Cancer Immunotherapy Breakthrough

The calls have not stopped since.Allison’s breakthrough was the discovery of a sort of secret handshake that cancer uses to evade the immune system, and a means to block that handshake—what the Nobel committee hailed as “a landmark in our fight against cancer,” which has “revolutionized cancer treatment, fundamentally changing the way we view how cancer can be managed.” (Allison’s co-recipient was Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University.) Advances in cancer typically come in 50-year increments; the science that Allison and Honjo helped advance, cancer immunotherapy, has made a generational leap seemingly overnight.Adapted from The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer by Charles Graeber.

How Bots Ruined Clicktivism

How Bots Ruined Clicktivism

The second, first posted at 2 am Texas time Thursday morning, was initiated by a group sympathetic to Ted Cruz’s reelection campaign (it’s still unclear who) and it was pushed via a combination of an advocacy app and some of Twitter’s own ad tools.They were amplified by a lot of real people—as well as a fair number of sketchy accounts.Anyone who’s ever run a campaign—political, advocacy, or marketing—knows that getting attention is key to winning—and that getting attention is really hard.

Crispr Halted Muscular Dystrophy in Dogs. Are Humans Next?

Crispr Halted Muscular Dystrophy in Dogs. Are Humans Next?

When researchers at the Royal Veterinary College realized the puppers had a canine version of the most common fatal genetic disease in children—Duchenne muscular dystrophy—they began breeding the sick spaniels with beagles to start a canine colony in the hopes of one day finding a cure.Today, scientists report they’ve halted the progression of the disease in some of those doggy descendants using the gene editing tool known as Crispr.In a study published Thursday in Science, a team led by Eric Olson at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center used Crispr to successfully modify the DNA of four young dogs, reversing the molecular defect responsible for their muscle wasting disease.