<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Tech News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/tech http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Tue, 13 Oct 2015 07:12:44 -0700 Tue, 13 Oct 2015 07:12:44 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Twitter Suspends Deadspin, SBNation Accounts Over Copyright]]> Mon, 12 Oct 2015 22:42:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-180483176.jpg

Several sports organizations have accused two popular sports publications of violating copyright protections on their Twitter accounts, NBC News reported.

The social media site provided NBC News and CNBC almost two dozen “takedown notices” filed against Deadspin and SBNation by the NFL, the Big 12, the SEC and UFC. The notices accuse Twitter of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by hosting specific tweets by the two publications.

Twitter declined to comment on Monday, NBC News said.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla Cars Closer to Self-Driving with Software Upgrade]]> Tue, 13 Oct 2015 06:17:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_tlmd_01_29_13_teslamodelsflicckralabut.jpg

If you’re getting impatient for a fully automated car, Tesla has something to tide you over.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Monday morning that – come Thursday - the Palo Alto-based electric carmaker will send a software update to Model S owners, which will make their cars partly automated.

The $2500 upgrade, which Tesla says is made possible by cameras and sensors already built into the car, will let your Model S — and, eventually, the Model X — change lanes autonomously and park by itself.

We’ve seen self-parking technology in other cars, but Tesla is the first to send it to all who are willing to pay.

But while Tesla owners may be excited, Wall Street is not.

Investors, wanting to see more Model X cars on the road, sent Tesla's stock price down about 2 percent Monday.

Photo Credit: Flickr]]>
<![CDATA[Anti-Porn Billboards Pop Up in Silicon Valley]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 19:30:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pornkills2.PNG

If you drive in the Silicon Valley regularly, you might have noticed some attention-grabbing signs popping up.

“Porn Kills Love” and “Fight For Love” are just two phrases that appear on one billboard in Willow Glen area.

Members of Fight The New Drug, the anti-pornography advocacy group responsible for that billboard, say they are trying to raise awareness about the harmful effects of pornography through social media and the company website.

The site boasts articles with titles such as “Porn Stars Speak Openly About Their Most Popular Scenes” and “5 Celebrities That Hate Porn,” and intentionally appeals to a younger audience. Users can buy t-shirts and other memorabilia with the same anti-porn message.

"There's this kind of myth about pornography that it can spice up a marriage, but what we found out is that it’s a very temporary solution,” said Fight The New Drug co-founder Clay Olsen. “The long-term impact of that overtime is individuals eventually end up preferring fantasy to reality, pixels to people."

He continued: “Our intent is to start a conversation.”

But some residents are less than pleased with the new signs and find the conversations they stir up to be uncomfortable rather than beneficial.

“It’s kind of awkward when you get a kid walking home from school saying: Barber Rick, what’s porn?” said Thomas Holguin, who works at the Deluxe Barbershop near where the billboard is located.

Others say the billboard incorrectly assumes porn is to blame for the “killing” of love.

"I don't think it's porn that kills love,” said Dawn Armador, a Willow Glen business owner. “I think there’s a deeper issue in society with social media, instant gratification, and not nurturing our relationships."

Though Fight The New Drug has many religious members, and its founders have ties to the Mormon church, the organization itself is not affiliated with any religious group.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Bay]]>
<![CDATA[Twitter Planning Layoffs Next Week: ReCode]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 17:38:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*122/twitter22.jpg

Twitter is planning company-wide layoffs next week, according to tech site Re/Code. Though it’s currently unclear how many staffers will get the boot, the layoffs are expected to affect most departments, especially engineering, the site reported.

The news comes just days after Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, was named permanent CEO on Monday. He has been serving as interim CEO since early July.

The company has about 316 million active monthly users and employs 4100 people from around the world, according to the company's website.

Despite these impressive stats, however, some sources told Re/Code that the company has become “too bloated.” In a June interview with the site, Dorsey even admitted that the company needed to “clarify ownership” around projects.

So far, no word from Twitter on the rumored layoffs. “We’re not commenting on rumor and speculation," a spokesperson told Twitter in a statement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Pulls 'A Few' Apps Over Security Concerns]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 08:33:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-453248114.jpg

Apple said on Thursday that it had removed "a few" applications from its App Store, expressing its concern that the security of some users' personal data could be compromised in certain circumstances.

The company said the apps threatened users' security by installing certificates that can expose data to monitoring by third parties. The company did not specify the precise number of apps at issue.

Among the apps removed was Been Choice, which has attracted attention for its ability to block advertising in apps. 

"We are working closely with these developers to quickly get their apps back on the App Store, while ensuring customer privacy and security is not at risk," an Apple Spokeswoman said in a statement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook May Soon Offer More Than 'Likes']]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 16:38:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/253*120/facebookemojis.jpg

Facebook is testing new emojis to give users the chance to more than "like" something.

Called Reactions, new possible options include "love," "haha," "wow," "yay," "sad" and "angry." Not included is a "dislike" button, the debut of which has been widely speculated.

The only catch: You can't use Reactions from the United States just yet.

"Starting today Ireland and Spain can start loving, wow-ing, or expressing sympathy to posts on Facebook by hovering or long-pressing the Like button wherever they see it. We’ll use the feedback from this to improve the feature and hope to roll it out to everyone soon," Facebook's chief product officer Chris Cox posted on Thursday.

Company product director Adam Mosseri told TechCrunch that Spain and Ireland were selected because users from those countries don't have many international friends, which makes them easier to research as closed test groups.

Today we’re launching a pilot test of Reactions — a more expressive Like button. As you can see, it’s not a “dislike” button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly. We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun. Starting today Ireland and Spain can start loving, wow-ing, or expressing sympathy to posts on Facebook by hovering or long-pressing the Like button wherever they see it. We’ll use the feedback from this to improve the feature and hope to roll it out to everyone soon.

Posted by Chris Cox on Thursday, October 8, 2015

Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Netflix Raising Price of Standard Streaming Plan to $9.99 a Month]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 12:44:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Netflix-GettyImages-469717280.jpg

Netflix announced it will be increasing its standard monthly price by $1 to $9.99 a month.

The price hike will only immediately affect new customers while existing customers will continue paying $8.99 a month until October 2016.

"The dollar increase for new members is to help us bring more great content, original and licensed, to the service," Netflix said in a tweet. 

The standard streaming plan allows one account to have two users stream movies and TV shows at the same time and in high definition (HD). 

New accounts in the United States, Canada and Latin America will be affected immediately. 

Customers who use the basic plan, which does not provide for high-definition video playback and can only be used on one screen at a time, will continue to pay $7.99 a month. The price of the premium plan will also remain at $11.99 per month.

Netflix Inc. is charging new subscribers more in anticipation of its programming costs rising from $3 billion this year to $5 billion next year, according to The Associated Press. 

Photo Credit: GettyImages
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<![CDATA[Shuttle Buses Block Traffic, Delay Muni, Survey Says]]> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 16:06:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/181*120/buses1.jpg

A new transit survey suggests that private tech shuttle buses are disruptive to San Francisco traffic on more than a third of daily stops.

KQED reported that the survey conducted during a pilot program by SFMTA noted that though the shuttles blocked Muni drivers 35% less of the time during the period of the program, private shuttle buses blocked motor vehicles and motorcycles about 35% of the time.

However, shuttles were found to add an average of 83 minutes of delay per day into the Muni system.

The survey of 546 riders who used private shuttles to commute to work in San Francisco or the South Bay did not ask respondents to name the companies they work for, but the report noted that more than half said they worked in Menlo Park, which researchers assume means that many may work at Facebook.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Reddit Premieres Upvoted]]> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 17:13:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/upvotedscreen.jpg

Reddit has launched Upvoted, a website for original editorial content.

The popular San Francisco-based online community of more than 200 million monthly users worldwide announced the debut on the company blog Tuesday.

Product manager Heath Black wrote that Upvoted will be a home for original written stories, videos and art, plus a podcast. There will be between 10 and 40 new stories to peruse each day.

Despite the name, user voting and comments — the lifeblood of Reddit — are not part of the site.

Photo Credit: Upvoted]]>
<![CDATA[Pot Startup Housed Inside Twitter Building]]> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:56:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/marijuana-GettyImages_698723.jpg

Marijuana-related startups have the opportunity to score funding or business incubation opportunities thanks to a company called WeedClub.

7X7 reported that WeedClub, which is located in San Francisco's Twitter building, has hosted two "@420Pitch" sessions where marijuana-related startups have had the opportunity to meet top venture capitalists, raise millions and join Silicon Valley incubators.

The publication reported that the first-place winner in the most recent session was Annabís, a New Jersey manufacturer of women's luxury leather purses that double as weed carriers.

The WeedClub website also features local businesses like San Francisco's Marvina, which bills itself as a curated monthly wine club for medical marijuana, and Oakland's PureCure, which sells products such as edible cannabis strips that dissolve under the tongue.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fantasy Sports Sites FanDuel, Draft Kings Under Fire]]> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 06:05:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/FanDuel.jpg

The multi-billion dollar Fantasy Sports industry is taking a hit.

Two of the most popular sites, FanDuel and Draft Kinds, are under fire after an employee tweeted data that could be used to gain an advantage in drafting fantasy teams. That same employee, who works for Draft Kings, won $350,000 on FanDuel last week.

More than 50 million people play fantasy sports by visiting an online site like FanDuel and add money to a weekly pot. Participants are given a budget, select professional players for their personal team and have an opportunity to win money based on how well their team does.

San Jose-resident Mike Bingham plays on Draft Kings and was considering participating on FanDuel, but not anymore after the recent news.

"I'm definitely not going to invest more money into either site until there more transparency going on for an employee of a competitor to win $350,000," Bingham said. "That's a red flag to me."

FanDuel and Draft Kings on Tuesday defended the employee saying he did nothing wrong. The Fantasy Sports sites also released a joint statement saying their employees are barred from participating in any online Fantasy Sports contests until the industry develops a more detailed policy concerning the use of competitive data.

But the scandal has already prompted lawmakers to question whether Congress needs to look into the industry.

"The answer is yes," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada. "And it also should be a warning shot to everybody that online gaming is a really scary thing and we better look at all of it."

Photo Credit: File--AP]]>
<![CDATA[Upcoming People-Rating Site Peeple Disappears]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 20:57:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cell-GettyImages-536989145.jpg

Peeple, which was reported to be a people-rating site that has spawned a media backlash and the Twitter hashtag #YelpForHumans, has taken down the website and social media accounts associated with it.

According to Ars Technica, the website as well as the Twitter and Facebook pages were removed on Monday.

When the site was live in beta form, it was described as a "positivity app" that allows users to rate their personal or professional experiences with other humans.

The Washington Post described the site as a place where "Everyone you know will be able to rate you ... whether you want them to or not."

"People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions," co-founder Julia Cordray told the publication. "Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?"

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[LinkedIn to Pay Users Up to $1,500 to Settle Suit]]> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 11:17:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/linkedin+new.jpg

The networking site LinkedIn announced Friday it will pay some of its users up to $1,500 each to settle a $13 million lawsuit regarding one of the website's services.

The lawsuit targeted LinkedIn's "Add Connections" service that allows members to import contacts from their email accounts and send invitations to those contacts to use LinkedIn, according an email sent from LinkedIn.

If an invitation was not accepted within a certain amount of time, then one or two more emails were sent to the contact to remind them their invitation is pending, according to the email, which contained court-authorized settlement information from the class action suit. The suit claims LinkedIn members did not consent to the reminder emails when they agreed to send the invitations.

LinkedIn has since revised its disclosures to clarify that up to two reminder emails will be sent following the initial invitation. To settle the lawsuit, however, the company agreed to pay $13 million into a fund that can be used, in part, to make payments to LinkedIn members who file approved claims.

Depending on how many people file claims, members can receive up to $1,500 from the fund.

Members who used the "Add Connections" service between Sept. 17, 2011, and Oct. 31, 2014, are eligible to file a claim. An ID to file the claim was sent in an email informing customers about the lawsuit.

Click here to file a claim before Dec. 14, 2015. The final approval hearing is scheduled for Feb. 11, 2016, at 1:30 p.m.

<![CDATA[Cassette Tapes Making a Comeback ]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 03:58:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2015-10-05+at+6.32.41+AM.png

Many music lovers are hitting the rewind button, turning back to analog cassette tapes, NBC News reported.

Demand for cassette tapes has surged, according to National Audio Co. The company produced 10 million tapes in 2014, according to a Bloomberg report.

"We attribute our success, as I say often, to stubbornness and stupidity," said Steve Stepp, the company's president.

Cassettes were overshadowed by compact discs during the 1990s, and sales dipped to 4 percent of all music sales with the onset of digital music files.

<![CDATA[SF Office Rents Expected to Hit $76 Per Square Foot by 2019]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:08:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/0929sf.jpg

Premium San Francisco office space is currently priced at an all-time high and predicted to keep soaring over the next three years.

Global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield noted that full-service office space in San Francisco is expected to rise from a current record-breaking asking price of $66.71 to $76 per square foot.

J.D. Lumpkin, an executive director for Cushman & Wakefield, told San Francisco Business Times that the eventual market slowdown after the continued rise will resemble more of a "slower bleed" than the rapid bursting of a bubble.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tech Workers Pay 50% Income to Live Near Unicorns]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:37:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Cab_Drivers_Push_Back_Against_Uber_1200x675_506395715534.jpg

Tech workers pay more than half of their salaries to rent a slice of real estate near San Francisco unicorn companies like Uber, Square and Airbnb, according to a new study conducted by RadPad, a site which allows users to find and pay for apartment rentals online.

The findings concluded that it's priciest to live near Square and Airbnb, where workers pay on average of 54% of their salary for a one bedroom apartment, followed by Stripe (52%), Jawbone (49%), and Uber (48%).

Ten of the study's 13 companies are based in San Francisco, with three Los Angeles area companies thrown in for comparison: Snapchat (42%), RadPad (23%), and Elon Musk's SpaceX (17%). The latter topped the list with the smallest percentage of salary needed to live near the company's Hawthorne headquarters, perhaps allowing workers to save for interplanetary travel.

<![CDATA[Deal for Sunnyvale Apple Campus Nears Completion: Source]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 12:35:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/230*120/apple.PNG

A source from the City of Sunnyvale tells NBC Bay Area that a deal is almost complete to build a new Apple campus.

The nearly 800,000-square foot campus will reportedly be built at Wolfe Road and Central Expressway. The campus would consist of three connected buildings surrounding a Central Park-like area.

The Sunnyvale City Council approve the 18-acre campus in 2014.

Pictures of the proposed campus have been circulating online.

The modern, high-tech look would have green features and below-ground parking, plus plenty of outdoor space for employees.

Sources said the campus could potentially hold 3,000 workers.

Meanwhile, construction on Apple's Campus 2 headquarters in Cupertino is humming along. Crews broke ground on the so-called "spaceship" campus in November 2013.

Apple has said construction on the 2.8-million-square-foot building is expected to be completed in 2016. When complete, Campus 2 will be home to more than 12,000 employees.

Photo Credit: NotAnotherBox.com]]>
<![CDATA['The Martian' Movie Features Silicon Valley Tech]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 20:17:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/the-martian-DF-20584_R_rgb.jpg NBC Bay Area's Business and Tech Reporter Scott Budman shows how the new movie "The Martian" has a Silicon Valley connection.

Photo Credit: Aidan Monaghan]]>
<![CDATA[Menlo Park Company Aims for 'Precision Medicine']]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:23:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1001-2015-SequelMachine.jpg NBC Bay Area's Business and Tech Reporter Scott Budman takes us inside a Bay Area lab and shows us the machine that sent stock prices soaring.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Upcoming Site Peeple Spawns Outrage, #YelpForHumans Hashtag]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 10:58:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cell-GettyImages-536989145.jpg

Social media is in an uproar over Peeple, a forthcoming people-rating site that has spawned the Twitter hashtag #YelpForHumans.

The site, still in beta, describes itself as a "positivity app" that allows users to rate their personal or professional experiences with other humans.

The Washington Post described the site as a place where "Everyone you know will be able to rate you ... whether you want them to or not."

"People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions," co-founder Julia Cordray told the publication. "Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?"

Though it has yet to see the light of day as a fully realized service, there is an outpouring of skepticism for its potential to abuse.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Google to Stop Charging Advertisers for Blocked Ads]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 17:42:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/152807961.jpg

Google will soon no longer charge advertisers for views when their ads are blocked by users.

About 56 percent of display ads are invisible to users, the company noted in a statement posted Wednesday to Google's Inside AdWords blog. "Soon, we’ll make the [Google Display Network] one of the only media platforms where advertisers don’t pay for an ad impression unless it was viewable. This means your media dollars will only be spent where they can have impact."

It's a significant change, according to Wireless Week, which reported that this majority of display ads are invisible to users because of the popularity of ad-blocking software.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook COO Examines Gender Equality]]> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 19:11:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/AP460895331667-2.jpg NBC Bay Area's Peggy Bunker shows the startling research from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In organization.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Mealworms Could Be Solution to Plastic Waste Disposal: Study]]> Tue, 29 Sep 2015 20:50:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_317924057758.jpg

Researchers believe they may have found a solution to the rising problem of plastic waste, NBC News reported.

A team of engineers from Stanford University have been raising a hundred mealworms from birth on a diet made up of styrofoam. Their research shows that each worm is able to eat about a few dozen milligrams every day, with a type of bacteria in their gut helps that helps them digest the material. The worms are able to convert half the foam to carbon dioxide and leave half behind as non-toxic waste.

It’s an exciting discovery for scientists as global plastic pollution continues to be a problem. The report notes that Americans throw away 2.5 billion plastic foam cups every year, and only 10 percent of all plastics ever get recycled.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Hit by Scams, Hoax and Network Outages]]> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 08:43:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/facebookpornography.jpg

It's been a rough start to the week for Facebook with two scams, a hoax and network outages hitting the social network. 

At least one of the scams is tied to Facebook's upcoming "empathy button." Two weeks ago, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the development of what some have called a "dislike" button. 

"People aren't looking for an ability to down vote other people's posts," he said during a question-and-answer meeting on Sept. 15 at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. "What they really want is to be able to express empathy."

But news of the button has spurred an opportunity for scammers to prey on Facebook users for their personal data.

According to Snopes.com a website that has built a reputation for debunking or validating stories of unknown or uncertain origin, a scam was circulated by those inviting users to have "early" access to the button.

In order for them to be "eligible," users had to share the post and click onto a survey. But that link leads to the installation of malware on the user's computer.

Another scam that has surfaced claims that users' privacy is vulnerable. According to PC Magazine, the scam states that Facebook has announced a £5.99 subscription for users to keep the status of their posts on "private." But the scam promises the service would be free if you spread the word.

A familiar hoax has also resurfaced. This one claims to have been reported by "Channel 13 news." The hoax claims the social media giant is making changes to its privacy policies. In response, Facebook users are told to post an elaborate statement on their wall stating that they do not grant Facebook the rights to their posts, pictures and media.

It is at least the third time this particular hoax has gone viral. A similar post moved through Facebook last January, in 2012 and back in 2009, according to Snopes.com. 

"While there may be water on Mars, don't believe everything you read on the internet today," Facebook said in an official response. "Facebook is free and it always will be. And the thing about copying and pasting a legal notice is just a hoax. Stay safe out there Earthlings!"

Meanwhile, the social network has gone down twice this week, on Sept. 24 and 28.

Out of frustration, Internet users migrated to Twitter and prompted the hashtag #facebookdown. Many users posted a screengrab photo of the Facebook website that said, "Sorry, something went wrong."

The service was not operational for about 45 minutes NBCnews.com reported.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Google Expected to Unveil New Phones, Latest Android OS]]> Mon, 28 Sep 2015 22:06:24 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_768252633260.jpg

Google is expected to unveil two new Nexus smartphones, its new mobile operating system and the next generation of its Chromecast streaming device at an event in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Analysts are expecting the company’s new flagship Nexus phones from LG an Huawei. The Nexus 6P, starting at $499.99, is Huawei's first Nexus device.

The Nexus line gives Google a chance to show off the features of its new Android software. Most device makers and carriers customize Android, but Nexus phones run an unchanged version.

It’s an important time for the company, as it will be the first time Sundar Pichai will make a presentation as CEO. Investors will be looking for any signs of change in Google’s business.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Tim Cook, Aaron Sorkin Trade Criticism Over 'Steve Jobs']]> Mon, 28 Sep 2015 15:39:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SorkinandCook.jpg

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin apologized to Apple CEO Tim Cook after the pair sparred over Steve Jobs' eponymous biopic.

"I hope when he sees the movie he enjoys it as much as I enjoy his products," he said.

Sorkin's concession came after Cook, invited to the "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on Sept. 15, spoke warmly about his former boss.

"He was a joy to work with and I love him dearly," he said. "I miss him every day."

Admitting that he hasn’t yet watched "Steve Jobs," Cook also took what seemed like a shot at its filmmakers.

"I think that a lot of people [are] trying to be opportunistic and I hate this," he said. "It’s not a great part of our world."

Cook's comments didn’t go over well with Sorkin.

"Nobody did this movie to get rich," he fired back. "Tim Cook should really see the movie before he decides what it is."

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Sorkin continued with the zingers, saying: "If you’ve got a factory full of children in China assembling phones for 17 cents an hour, you’ve got a lot of nerve calling some else opportunistic."

The screenwriter has since acknowledged that both he and Cook went "too far." Apple declined to provide a response to Sorkin’s comments.

"Steve Jobs," which is a little over three weeks away from its nationwide release, is based on Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography and was directed by Danny Boyle of "Slumdog Millionaire" fame. Filmed in the garage of Jobs’ childhood home and other Bay Area locations, it stars Michael Fassbender as the late Apple co-founder and Seth Rogan as Steve Wozniak.

Three product launches – including the NeXT computer, original Mac and iPod — serve as linchpins for "Steve Jobs" and help portray a man who, in some respects, is now larger than life, according to the Internet Movie Database.

Universal Pictures plans to release "Steve Jobs" only in New York and Los Angeles on Oct. 9. It will hit cinemas across the country on Oct. 23.

Photo Credit: Tim Cook and Aaron Sorkin exchanged jibes over late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' biopic. ]]>
<![CDATA[Fans, Protesters Greet Indian PM at Facebook]]> Sun, 27 Sep 2015 18:59:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/zuckandmodi11.jpg

Tight security, protests and Bollywood beats greeted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Facebook's Silicon Valley headquarters Sunday, where hundreds of members from the Indian community showed up to catch a glimpse of the leader of the wold's largest democracy.

It was obvious Modi was the star of the show — an hour-long Q&A with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — where he answered questions pre-selected from thousands posted by people on the social networking site.

"We received more than 40,000 comments for this town hall, that's pretty incredible," Zuckerberg, sporting a suit and blue tie instead of his trademark hoodie, said to applause from the crowd.

He told Modi how a trip to India had inspired him, "It was a temple Steve Jobs told me about," he said.

"I hope that the inspiration you got in India will help you be the voice of millions of people ... Your experience shows that those who come to India with certain hopes and aspirations, are able to meet those hopes and aspirations," Modi said.

Modi's followers and members of the Indian press — some of whom had flown in from India — described him as a "global brand" whose reach has far surpassed the Indian subcontinent.

But his visit is not without controversy. Outside, Sikh groups held a protest, contending that Modi's tenure has resulted in deteriorating religious freedom for Indians. According to a memo handed to attendees — along with samosas and steaming cups of hot chai — the group believes that Modi is trying to turn the world's largest democracy into a Hindu nation through forced conversion of Muslims and Christians. They urged Zuckerberg to ask Modi about it.

About 100 Modi followers stood on the opposite side of the street, chanting" "East or west, Modi is the best." Police officers kept both groups on the sidewalk, preventing any kind of direct confrontation.

Social media, women's rights and the importance of family were the highlights of the Q&A, at which Zuckerberg's parents were also present.

Modi, who received a rockstar welcome from the Indian community when he arrived in San Jose this weekend, is in California to meet with tech leaders to talk about his vision for a digital India. On Saturday, Modi toured the Tesla factory with CEO Elon Musk and Apple CEO Tim Cook. He also met with Google's new CEO, Sundar Pichai, as well as Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, both Indians.

Modi spoke at Google after the Facebook event Sunday, where Pichai announced plans to bring high-speed Wi-Fi in 400 railway stations across India. Modi will also be speaking to a sold-out crowd of mostly 18,000 Indo-Americans at an event at the SAP Center in San Jose Sunday evening.

An avid social media user, Modi has more than 30 million followers on Facebook and 15 million followers on Twitter. He had urged people to send him their questions on Facebook, and they did. Questions ranged from immigration to pollution to music piracy, topics an entire generation of Indians are tired of not getting answers to.

When asked about women's equality in India, Modi said that women have to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with men. He talked about his own humble beginnings, about how he had risen from a simple tea seller to become the prime minister of the world's second-most populous country. He also spoke about his mother, and was moved to tears remembering the time she had to take up a job as a house maid.

"This shouldn't happened to anyone," he said, to applause from the crowd.

Modi was asked about the "Make in India" program, that's designed to transform India into a global manufacturing hub.

Modi said he aims to take India from an eight trillion dollar economy to a twenty trillion dollar economy by focusing on the agriculture, tourism and service sectors. "I want to connect villages with optical fibre and build highways," he said.

Modi praised social media's role in diplomacy, and how it had brought him closer to leaders of other countries, including China. "With social media you have daily bonding," Modi said. "Government can use this real-time information to speed up their work ... Social media has played a very big role as far as government is concerned."

“We used to have elections every five years. Now we have them every five minutes,” he said to a crowd cheering at his clever repartees. 

As the event drew to a close, Modi's supporters surrounded him, chanting "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" or "Hail Mother India," as Secret Service officers tried to keep the crowd from mobbing him.

In the end, some even managed to get a selfie.

Photo Credit: Riya Bhattacharjee]]>
<![CDATA[Airbnb Founder Rents SF Home Anonymously]]> Sat, 26 Sep 2015 21:26:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/airbnb1.jpg

One of Airbnb's co-founders admits he secretly rents out a portion of his San Francisco home on the site.

Nathan Blecharcyzk, who is the CTO of the multibillion dollar company, has hosted more than 100 guests in a portion of his house that has a separate entrance.

"I don't reveal who I am because, first, for privacy reasons, but also because I want to make sure I have the authentic experience that other hosts are experiencing," Blecharcyzk admitted on CNBC. "I don't want to treat them differently."

Blecharcyzk told Lifehacker that he started being an Airbnb host in August 2014 and was recognized once by a reporter who had once interviewed him.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Why Your Credit Card Is Going 'Chip-and-PIN']]> Sat, 26 Sep 2015 11:06:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-474239686.jpg

Many Americans have received a new credit or debit card in the mail in with a computer chip on the front. If you're not sure what the chip is all about, you're not alone.

The new chip-embedded cards is part of a nationwide shift to beef up credit-card security, NBC News reported. The new "smart" chip cards use EMV (which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa) technology.

The chip generates a unique code every time the card is used, unlike the traditional magnetic-strip cards which retain the same code. If a hacker got a hold of that strip information, they could make a physical copy of the card. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Robot Buys New iPhone]]> Fri, 25 Sep 2015 11:43:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/IPHONE+robot.jpg

Note to marketers: Show up with a robot on Apple iPhone release day and you’re likely to get media coverage.

That’s what happened on Friday in front of the Apple store in Palo Alto, California, when the new iPhone6 and 6s Plus was set to be released.

Brianna Lempesis  of San Diego was in line waiting to buy one of the new gadgets. Well, sort of.

Her face beamed on a computer screen attached to a BeamPro Sustainable Technologies robot was present - and grabbing the air waves. She was physically in San Diego, and planned to purchase a new phone remotely through a complicated plan that involved paying by credit card in a deal that she already arranged with the store manager. Someone was going to drop the phone in a side pouch of her robotic "body." Then she planned to lock herself (or her robot) in the store and fly up to the Bay Area on Monday to get her hands - her real ones - on her new purchase in the flesh. She was apparently "standing" in line at other stores, like in Toronto, too, thanks to technology.

Lempesis wasn't the only robot-customer to think of the gimmicky idea, either. Lucy Kelly sent her Atomic 212 Robot - which looks like an iPad riding a Segue - showed up in Sydney, Australia to buy a smartphone, Metro and Mashable reported. Kelly is a media executive for Atomic 212, the Telegraph in England reported.

In the case of Lempesis, the company that she worked for has grabbed headlines before, too. In July, President Barack Obama greeted Alice Wong, founder of the Disability Visibility Project via BeamPro during the Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Anniversary reception in the Blue Room of the White House via a BeamPro robot.

Robots, and new iPhones, are good for all sorts of things, Lempesis noted.

“I love the magic of technology,” she said.

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<![CDATA[Apple's iPhone 6S & 6S Plus Hits Stores on Friday]]> Fri, 25 Sep 2015 08:07:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/AP_917275329034.jpg

The new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are hitting stores on Friday and people, as well as a robot, around the world are already lining up.

Lucy the robot was among the first to wait in the rain in Sydney, Australia.

"I obviously have my work and other things to attend to and can't spend two days lining up so my boss at work suggested I take one of the robots down and use it to stand in my place," said operator, Lucy Kelly, via an iPad mounted on top of the wheeled robot.

Analysts are expecting 12 to 13 million people will buy the latest versions of the iPhone this weekend. Apple said pre-orders are expected to beat last year’s first weekend - the company sold 10 million iPhone 6’s when it first launched in 2014.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Chinese Military Behind Hacking Collective 'Naikon': Report]]> Thu, 24 Sep 2015 16:31:20 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-486447342+%281%29.jpg

A Chinese military unit is accused of being behind the "Naikon" hacking group, which carried out a cyberspying campaign against countries tussling with the nation for control of the South China Sea as well as international groups including the United Nations, according to a report released Thursday by two cybersecurity firms.

ThreatConnect and Defense Group Inc. said the Chinese hackers sent email attachments with malicious software embedded to the targets of the cyber-espionage program, which they dubbed "Project Camerashy," NBC News reported.

"[It] documents Chinese efforts to gain the upper hand in a geopolitical stand-off by capturing information on regional rivals' negotiating postures, economies and military capabilities," the firms said in a statement. The campaign ran for almost five years, according to the groups' report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>