<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Tech News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/tech http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usTue, 23 Aug 2016 14:09:18 -0700Tue, 23 Aug 2016 14:09:18 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Silicon Valley Startup Wants You to 'Gab']]> Mon, 22 Aug 2016 19:01:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0822-2016-GAB.jpg

As Twitter knocks people off its site for being offensive, another Bay Area social network is trying to fill the gap.

“Gab” is inviting all comers to its site, and they’re coming at a super fast pace.

The site, still in beta, claims more than 10,000 people have already signed up for the social network that says it wants to bring free speech back to the web.

After all, says Gab CEO Andrew Torba, “what is free speech if we don’t have the ability to offend people?”

Torba says his site is catching on so fast, there’s already backlash – some calling Gab the “alt right” version of Twitter.

Not so, says Torba. Yes, he says, say what you want; as long as it’s not terrorist speech, “you’re released on Gab to speak freely.” But there are ways to avoid being offended. You as a Gab user can block a person, a term, even a hashtag, if it offends you.

There are 300 characters allowed per post, so you can go longer than Twitter, but if you’re waiting for Gab, be patient.

It’s a skeleton crew putting the site together, and lots of people want in.

Scott gabs on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Branding Expert Says Lochte Apology 'Not Enough']]> Fri, 19 Aug 2016 18:14:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2016-08-19-at-11.58.01-AM.jpg

He did it on the web, and the web reacted.

American swimmer Ryan Lochte has had a lot of success in the pool. A bit less, lately, online.

After posting an apology on Instagram and then Twitter, it was parsed, largely because people said it didn’t go far enough.

At the center of this maelstrom is a late-night incident at a Rio gas station that the 12-time medalist insists was a robbery. Brazilian police, however, said Lochte and three other swimmers vandalized a bathroom and were confronted by armed security guards before they paid for the damage and left.

We showed Lochte's post to branding expert Jeff Holmes of a San Jose-based marketing company, 3 Marketeers.

His reaction?

"Every time he comments, he's in the media for another 24 hours. If he would stop, make his apology, it could go away," Holmes said.

He has a point.

Even Lochte pointed out that “there has already been too much said …”

But Holmes has a larger point.

Calling Lochte Gate the worst part of an otherwise successful games, he says Lochte did himself irreparable damage. The hashtag #LochMess even went viral on Twitter on Thursday.

“He's got the look, he's got the medals, he's got all that going for him, but he lacks integrity," says Holmes. "What brand is gonna want to stand behind somebody who doesn't have integrity?"

Scott swims through Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: Globo]]>
<![CDATA['Flying Bum': World's Largest AirshipTakes Maiden Voyage]]> Thu, 18 Aug 2016 06:45:58 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AIRLANDER_GettyImages-591547252.jpg

The world's largest aircraft has taken off on its maiden flight, NBC News reported.

The 302-foot-long "Airlander 10" is filled with 1.3 million cubic feet of helium, can reach an altitude of up to 16,000 feet, and stay in the air for five days.

The manufacturer HAV (Hybrid Air Vehicles) claims the aircraft can be used for surveillance, communications and humanitarian aid deliveries.

In case it isn't immediately clear — the Airlander 10 earned its "Flying Bum" nickname due to the resemblance its plump front end shares with a human's butt.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ford to Launch Driverless Cars From Silicon Valley by 2021]]> Tue, 16 Aug 2016 18:57:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Ford-Mustang-Generic-2015.jpg

A Motown giant just announced its next big hit — and it’s being developed in Silicon Valley.

Ford says it will work to develop a fleet of autonomous vehicles for ride sharing — think Google meets Uber — by 2021.

Mark Fields, Ford's chief executive officer, announced the new goal Tuesday at the company's campus in Palo Alto.

Ford says its new vehicle won't need a steering wheel or gas and brake pedals. That's a break from many other companies, who plan to gradually add self-driving capability to traditional cars.

Ford's vehicle will be specifically designed for commercial mobility services, like taxi companies, and will be available in high volumes. Ford says personal ownership of self-driving cars will come later.

Company officials also said Ford will expand its facility and double its workforce as it prepares to go driverless.

Part of Ford’s plan is to reach out for help.

The company says it will invest in a pair of Bay Area tech startups: Velodyne of Morgan Hill and 3D mapper Civil Maps of Albany.

Ford's Chief Technology Officer Raj Nair admits driverless cars, at least at this point, “don’t make economic sense,” but as Uber and Lyft have shown, there’s money in ride sharing.

Soon, you’ll be sharing, but without a driver.

Scott rolls on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/File image of Ford Mustangs]]>
<![CDATA[Cisco Lays Off 5,500 Employees, or 7% of Workforce]]> Wed, 17 Aug 2016 22:36:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cisco5.jpg

Cisco Systems is cutting staff.


In what has become something of a summer tradition, the San Jose-based internet backbone company is cutting 5,500 workers, or about seven percent of its workforce.

It’s a bit of a surprise this time around, as Cisco is on something of a tear. Earnings numbers have been strong lately, and shares of Cisco stock (CSCO) are at 5-year highs.

But, the industry is changing, and Cisco, one of the giants of Silicon Valley, has to change as well. According to Kris Lahiri, Co-Founder of Egnyte, a cloud-based file sharing software company, “It’s a large number, but it shows a transition in their strategy.”

As I write this, investors are not too shocked with the layoff number; Cisco shares are holding fairly steady in after hours trading.

Scott tracks tech on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: AP/File]]>
<![CDATA[Hotel Hacked: Credit Card Data Stolen From Popular Chains]]> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 19:29:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/credit-card-chip-generic.gif

If you used your credit card while you were staying at Marriott, Hyatt or Starwood hotels, you may want to check your statements. You may have been hacked.

Within the last year, all three chains have had their credit card data breeched. Hotels in California weren’t the only ones targeted, according to officials. The hacking is on a nationwide scale.

For some, it brings back memories of 2013, when Target was hacked, putting its millions of customers on edge. 

"It's exactly the same thing," "It appears that point of sale terminals have been compromised, and data stolen right from the point of sale terminal itself." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[California May Beef Up Electric Vehicle Mandate]]> Fri, 12 Aug 2016 13:22:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/electric+car+charging+09022015.jpg

A California lawmaker told The Associated Press on Friday that she's introducing legislation to require that 15 percent of new vehicles be emission-free in less than a decade, a significant escalation in the state's efforts to speed the evolution of new car technology.

Automakers that fail to sell enough electric vehicles would be required to make payments to rivals that do or pay a fine to the state under legislation to be introduced by Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, D-Los Angeles, next week.

"If we create more competition in the market, that automatically will trigger a more affordable vehicle," Burke said in an interview.

The legislation comes as an effort to extend the state's landmark climate change law until 2030 falters in the state Assembly and sets up a showdown between powerful environmental advocates and automakers in the frenzied final weeks of California's legislative session.

Burke's proposal would beef up California's existing vehicle mandates, which require automakers to gradually introduce cleaner vehicle technology.

Under current law, automakers accumulate credits for selling vehicles with cleaner technology and must hit annual targets. Environmental advocates say automakers have stockpiled credits for future use and won't have sufficient incentive to sell electric vehicles at affordable prices, preventing the state from meeting its goals for greenhouse-gas reduction.

"The current credit program just does not appear to be working," said Kish Rajan, a spokesman for CalInnovates, an industry group for the technology sector, and a former Brown appointee. "At least it's not working fast enough to get toward the goals that the governor has laid out and that CARB is seeking to enforce," he said, referring to the California Air Resources Board.

Vehicles that now get credits toward complying with the environmental mandates, such as plug-in hybrids, would not be eligible to meet the 15-percent mandate.

Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles now account for about 3 percent of California new-car sales, according to the Air Resources Board, which administers California's climate laws.

Wade Newton, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, characterized the legislation as a giveaway to Tesla Motors, the Palo Alto, California-based company that's moving to rapidly expand its production of electric vehicles.

"Automakers are striving to meet California's long-term (zero-emission vehicle) program by providing consumers with innovative vehicles, so we oppose this last-minute, fundamental change to the program," Newton said in an email. "Tesla shouldn't be able to rig the market for their own purposes."

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order in 2012 calling for 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025; 192,000 have been sold since 2010, according to the air board.

Brown supports Burke's proposal, spokesman Gareth Lacy said in an email.

It "will lead to more zero emissions vehicles and more Californians able to purchase them — and that's a smart investment in cleaner air," he wrote.

Brown has traveled the world promoting California's ambitious agenda to fight climate-changing emissions. But he has struggled to advance legislation to continue the programs for another decade and set more stringent goals.

Moderate Democrats in the state Assembly, some backed by the oil industry and hailing from less-affluent inland districts, have been reluctant to bless the most strident emission standards for fear of raising energy prices. The coalition of lawmakers blocked previous Brown-endorsed legislation that aimed to cut petroleum use in half by 2030.

Burke said she believes her electric vehicle legislation is more likely to succeed in the Assembly than the overall climate package because it would encourage the sale of lower-priced electric vehicles that would be available to larger swaths of the middle class.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/File]]>
<![CDATA[Could Drone Racing Be an Olympic Sport?]]> Thu, 11 Aug 2016 18:51:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N6P+OLYMPIC+DRONE+RACING+PKG+-+00000000.jpg

It’s one of the fastest moving, fastest growing sports in the world.

Could drone racing be flying into the Olympic Games?

Rumor has it that it’s the latest sport to be thrown into the “should be in the games” mix, joining bridge, chess, tug of war, pole dancing, and others.

After 700,000 drones were sold last year alone, drone racing is catching on fast.

"Unlike a lot of other sports that require a very particular set of skills or body type, or strength, drone racing is open to just about anybody," Marque Cornblatt of Aerial Sports League said.

He also said many drone racers are 12 and 13 years old. It’s a growing sport, a young sport, and a fast-moving sport, Cornblatt said.

Maybe coming to a worldwide venue near you?

Stay tuned.

Scott drones on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[US Judge Dismisses Suit Against Twitter Over ISIS Rhetoric]]> Thu, 11 Aug 2016 11:28:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/twitter-532623572.jpg

A federal judge ruled Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the widow of an American killed in Jordan, which accused Twitter Inc. of giving voice to ISIS, NBC News reported.

Tamara Fields, a Florida woman whose husband Lloyd died in an attack on the police training center in Amman last year, said Twitter knowingly let the militant Islamist group use its network to spread propaganda, raise money and attract recruits.

U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick in San Francisco ruled that Twitter cannot be held liable for ISIS' rhetoric, but gave the plaintiff a chance to refile an amended lawsuit.

While Orrick called the deaths "horrific," he agreed with Twitter and said federal law protects the company from liability for the content that third parties publish on its platform.

Photo Credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tale of the Tape: The Bay Area Olympic Edge]]> Thu, 11 Aug 2016 13:18:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/231*120/rocktape.JPG

If you look closely at some of the medal-winning Olympic athletes, you’ll see tape.

It’s RockTape, the colorful tape made by the company of the same name in Campbell.

A bit of Silicon Valley that sneaks its way into the Games every two years, and the company says it really helps.

"The tape microscopically lifts the skin away from soft tissue” says RockTape CEO Greg van den Dries, “That promotes blood flow, and the more blood flow you get into an injured or fatigued area, the faster it recovers."

This kind of thing, we’re told, started 30 years ago to help horses recover after Equestrian events. Now, it’s used by humans, both super fit and the rest of us (“It can help a weekend warrior recover, too” says van den Dries).

The future? More athletes, but also, canines. Check your local sporting goods store for tape to help your dog, too.

Scott follows Olympic Tech on Twitter: @scottbudman

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly mentioned that Kerri Walsh Jennings wears RockTape. She wears KT Tape.

Photo Credit: Scott Budman]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla's Auto-Drive Saves Man's Life]]> Wed, 10 Aug 2016 18:25:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Tesla0809_MP4_1200x675_741196355604.jpg

Joshua Neally of Missouri bought a high-tech Tesla Model X a few weeks ago, and now he says it saved his life.

The SUV is completely electric, and it's full of cool tricks like the cutting-edge autopilot feature, which Neally calls the "ultimate cruise control."

It's not an autonomous car, but it will stay in its lane, maintain speed, even brake to avoid crashes. Neally says the car allows him to take his hands off the wheel for up to four minutes at a time. The car lets him know when he needs to take the wheel and if he doesn't, it looks for a spot to pull over and stop on the side of the road, reported KYTV.

Designed to avoid accidents, it's a controversial feature because many don't trust robots behind the wheel.

When Neally was driving home and began to have a pulmonary embolism, he could have died, but the Tesla kept him on the road until it got near a hospital where he was able to be treated in time to save his life.

"It's not going to be perfect, there's no technology that's perfect, but I think the measure is that it's better and safer," he says.

Read more at KYTV.

Photo Credit: KYTV]]>
<![CDATA[From 'The Face' to 'Finger Wag': How The Olympics Get Social]]> Tue, 09 Aug 2016 19:15:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/phelps-face1.jpg

From “Phelps Face” to “Hijabi Zorro” to a single finger wave launching an international discussion, it’s clear that the 2016 Olympics are happening not just on the athletic fields, and certainly not just on your TV.

They’re social, with millions of tweets and Facebook posts flying around so fast that it’s easier to keep up with the Rugby hits and Volleyball spikes than the viral mentions.

“Everyone’s gonna talk about it,” says Sean Chauhan of NetBase, a Silicon Valley company that tracks online social trends. “Now, I can experience and participate with my phone and computer.”

And they are.

According to data science company 4C, Adam Peaty’s record in the 100-meter breaststroke set off more than 211,000 Twitter engagements; Ginny Thrasher of Team USA’s win in the air rifle competition got 220,000 tweets.

That’s a lot of action – all on the mobile screen.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Back-to-School Safety Tech That Helps Keep Kids Safe]]> Tue, 09 Aug 2016 13:18:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/walking-519519169.jpg

Millions of parents in the U.S. will allow their children to walk to and from school this fall.

No matter how mature and responsible a child is, those few blocks without adult supervision are enough to make most parents worry, NBC News reports.

Technology can help assuage concern and keep track of a child's whereabouts, with options ranging from a free app to wearables and connected home devices.

PocketFinder, Life 360, Canary and August are some technological solutions to help children get to school safely.

Photo Credit: File: Getty Images/Blend Images RM]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Artificial Intelligence Protects Olympic Athletes]]> Tue, 09 Aug 2016 14:35:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/FOR+WEB+-+QYLATRON+SECURITY+STORY+-+00001727.jpg

When it comes to security in Rio, it is man and machine.

Security technology is playing a crucial role at Olympic village – in particular, a Palo Alto-produced machine called Qylatron.

“It looks like Star Wars,” passersby would say as they went through security lines.

To enter Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic Village, you first have to make it past Qylatron, a high-tech scanner that’s at least twice as fast as what you see at the airport. It was first used in Brazil at the 2014 World Cup, but it’s the first time at an Olympic Games.

“The green door means the cell is available for scanning, and once you close the door, scanning begins,” Qylur Intelligence Systems’ Yair Dolev said.

Once closed, the door light changes to red, which means screening is in process. If it turns purple, that means there is a problem and the doors lock, trapping your belongings inside.

“The more operation you have, the more bags you scan, the more machines working, the stronger they become,” Dolev said.

Dolev says Qylatron uses artificial intelligence and becomes smarter over time. It uses x-ray technology and other sensors to look for explosives, drugs, radioactive materials and other items deemed security threats.

Engineers at Qylur headquarters in Palo Alto teach the machine by putting a variety of items, including weapons, through it.

They also collect data from Qylatron machines around the world to make the system stronger. There is even one at Levi’s Stadium.

Israeli counterterrorism expert Leo Gleser says technology is helping protect these games. His company, International Security and Defense Systems, has trained many of the police and soldiers patrolling the Olympic Games, and brought in Qylur to be a part of its security force in Rio.

“Suspicious materials – you have no access to that,” Gleser said, referring to Qylatron’s locking system once it detects a dangerous device. “This is very important – if you are a criminal, crazy, lone wolf or terrorist, you are going to be out of the elements that you have to make some killings.”

Photo Credit: LiLi Tan]]>
<![CDATA[Execs Say 'Pokemon Go' Clone Unlikely in Near Future ]]> Tue, 09 Aug 2016 05:36:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-547175550.jpg

Gamers shouldn’t expect another “Pokemon Go" style game out anytime soon. Nearly a dozen executives at companies from Sony to "Angry Birds" creator Rovio said "Pokemon Go" would be a tough act to follow, and some even said a challenge would not be worth it, NBC News reports.

"Pokemon Go" has been the most downloaded mobile game since its July release. Executives said hundreds of game developers at their companies are playing to understand how it has captivated audiences.

Some say the game is just a fad while others say the game’s success in getting players onto their feet is brilliant as is the integration of mapping technology but, both are difficult to replicate. The multigenerational appeal of characters like Pikachu is also unique to the Pokemon brand.

"Today is not the right moment to release an (augmented reality) experience," said Neil Young, chief executive of mobile game developer N3twork and a former group general manager at Electronic Arts. "That moment is sort of reserved, I think, for "Pokemon Go."

Photo Credit: Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Job Gains Led By Tech, But Silicon Valley Mixed]]> Fri, 05 Aug 2016 18:31:24 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N5P+FIREEYE+LAYOFFS+VO+-+00004424.jpg

The latest job report was reason for a lot of optimism, and most investors jumped in with both hands.

According to the Labor Department, more than 250,000 jobs were created over the last month. With tech leading the way, both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 stock indexes soared to all time highs.

Not a bad way to end the week.

Not everybody participated in the rally, though.

Shares of Milpitas-based security company FireEye (FEYE), a former Wall Street darling, were pummeled Friday after reporting weak earnings, and the announcement of 400 job cuts.

San Francisco’s Zynga (ZNGA) also continues to struggle and its share price tumbled despite the overall surge.

Scott tracks stocks on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[The Olympics Meet Virtual Reality]]> Fri, 05 Aug 2016 08:07:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2016-08-05-at-10.43.16-AM.jpg For the first time, the world's biggest sporting event can be experienced through virtual reality, allowing sports fans to get a front-row seat to the Rio Olympics without having to leave the country.

Photo Credit: NBCNC]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Takes Swipe at Clickbait, Critics in New Guide]]> Thu, 04 Aug 2016 19:09:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/facebook-logo2.jpg

Facebook appears be hitting back at one of its foremost online critics.

The social media company announced Thursday that it would be changing its algorithm to weed out so-called “clickbait” headlines – an expected announcement following months of reports that Facebook is buckling down on what it calls "inauthentic" content.  What was a tad unexpected, however, was the example clickbait that the company opted to use in its “best practices” page for media.

Here is that example:

Eagle-eyed observers might notice that the dummy newsite pictured is Gizmotecho, a name uncannily similar to Gizmodo, a tech website that has been critical of Facebook and was the first to break the story about former Facebook employees claiming to censor conservative news posts (a story Facebook has denied).

Facebook was called out on Twitter for apparently “throwing shade” at Gizmodo for its brand of journalism. NBC Bay Area reached out to Facebook for comment, but the company did not immediately respond.

Gizmodo also noticed the striking similarity and has seemingly taken it as a thinly-veiled jab, writing a separate article titled “Hey Facebook, It’s Spelled G-I-Z-M-O-D-O.” But, of course, it didn’t end there. 

The tech site then decided to purchase Gizmotecho’s domain name and have it redirect right back to the original article about Facebook censorship.

All in a day in the Internet age. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Hoverboard Store in New Jersey Catches Fire]]> Thu, 04 Aug 2016 12:24:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/hoverboard-file.jpg

Fire broke out Wednesday afternoon at a store selling hoverboards in Garfield, New Jersey.

It was not immediately clear how severe the blaze was, though it was put out within about 15 minutes. There were no reported injuries from the fire, which investigators believe may have been started by an overheated hoverboard.

The two-wheeled devices were a popular holiday gift last year despite controversy over their potential to catch fire.

Earlier this year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said no hoverboard on the market could be considered safe. At the time, the agency said it had received more than 50 reports of hoverboard fires, including those that destroyed two houses. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley Tech on its Way to Olympic Opening Ceremony]]> Thu, 04 Aug 2016 10:23:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/IMG_6739.JPG

When Michael Phelps leads Team USA into the Olympic opening ceremony, a Silicon Valley company will have his back.

Well, they’ll be on his back.

Flex, based in Milpitas, will light things up on Phelps’ Ralph Lauren Olympic jacket, and the world will see it.

The “USA” on the back will light up, thanks to something called electro-luminescence.

Flex designed the wearable technology; the kind of wearable we’re likely to be wearing in the future.

The jacket feels good, and one touch later, you’re lighting things up.

Flex says it’s proud.

“Michael Phelps is wearing the jacket, and that we were part of the technology that makes it happen is cool," said Jeannine Sargent, the company's president of innovation. 

Scott lights it up on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: Scott Budman]]>
<![CDATA[University of Idaho to Offer Pokemon Go Class]]> Wed, 03 Aug 2016 11:59:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/575424400-pokemon-go-generic.jpg

Pokemania has all but taken over the global landscape as players of the popular app take their Pokeball quest through parks, stadiums, museums, and now into the realm of academia.

This fall, the University of Idaho is offering a course called “Pop Culture Games” in which students can play Pokemon Go and other smartphone and live-action games for course credits. The class is designed to teach students about living active lifestyles, teamwork and exploring their communities. 

“This app does more than let you shoot a Pokeball,” instructor Steven Bird told the University of Idaho News. “You get to adventure around, seeing different things, being active, seeing the sun.”

Pokemon Go, with over 100 million iOS and Android downloads to date, allows players to search for digital creatures that pop up on smartphone screens as they move through real-world locations.

Bird, a staff member in the UI College of Education’s Department of Movement Sciences, said he had been planning the course for some time, but after seeing the popularity of Pokemon Go, he knew he had to make it part of the course.

“We are hoping to capture the interest in Pokemon Go and other active games and draw the link with a healthy, active lifestyle,” Philip Scruggs, chair of UI Department of Movement Sciences, told the university news. 

Photo Credit: Toronto Star via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[NY-Based WeWork Opens Up Office Space in Silicon Valley]]> Tue, 02 Aug 2016 19:19:20 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0802-2016-WeWork.jpg

A New York company is expanding into the Silicon Valley to fill a demand for more office space in the area.

WeWork on Tuesday unveiled its newest home inside downtown San Jose's Valley Towers. The new addition to downtown gives a boost to an area that could use some new business.

"There's a diversity of tech and older companies and public transit is accessible," said Jon Slavet of WeWork. "Our first location in the valley."

In fact, public transit was one of the selling points for WeWork to open up shop in San Jose as open office space becomes more scarce.

"We know job growth in other parts of the valley adds to the congestion, but here in the downtown corridor people can use transit, they can walk to and from work," Mayor Sam Liccardo said. "It creates an opportunity for us to grow."

WeWork's San Jose location will have four floors for companies of all sizes.

"The goal is to really spur growth, stemming from helping small businesses thrive and success in San Jose," said Lea King, who runs the nonprofit Silicon Valley Talent Partnership.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Instagram Announces Snapchat-Like Feature]]> Tue, 02 Aug 2016 14:16:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*278/tumblr_inline_obae6aJ6lz1svf3j7_540.jpg

Heads up social media fiends, Instagram has released a new feature that allows users to share moments of their day without having to keep it on their profile.

If you’re confused by that, just think Snapchat on Instagram.

That’s right; Instagram Stories is a new feature that resembles the Snapchat platform in many ways.

The feature allows users to share multiple photos and videos that appear in a slideshow format; in other words a story. The photos and videos can be altered by using text and drawing tools to unleash a user’s creativity.

“Instagram has always been a place to share the moment you want to remember,” said an Instagram press release. “Now you can share your highlights and everything in between, too.”

To view other user’s Stories, you simply tap on their profile photo.

Instagram has also made it easy for users to view Stories at their own pace by allowing a go back or forward feature. Unlike regular Instagram posts, Stories does not allow likes or public comments but rather the ability to send a direct message.

Instagram also took into account a user’s privacy; based on a person’s Instagram privacy settings, the stories can be visible to followers or anyone who views a profile.

Instagram stresses to not worry about over-posting, that’s what Stories was made for.

Follow @nbcbayarea on Instagram for our latest stories.

Photo Credit: Instagram Stories]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Gives Glimpse of New, Redesigned Emojis]]> Mon, 01 Aug 2016 14:55:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/New-Emojis.jpg

Apple's newest software update for iPhone and iPad will feature more than 100 new and redesigned emojis, including more gender options and nontraditional families, NBC News reported. 

The iOS 10 update, to be released this fall, will add rainbow flags and single-parent families to Apple's emoji repertoire, along with female athletes and working women, the company announced Monday. 

"Apple is working closely with the Unicode Consortium to ensure that popular emoji characters reflect the diversity of people everywhere," Apple said in a news release posted on its website

Among the redesigned emojis is the revolver, which will become a squirt gun in iOS 10.

Photo Credit: Apple]]>
<![CDATA[Instagram Testing Comment Moderation Feature]]> Mon, 01 Aug 2016 14:27:38 -0700

Instagram is testing a feature that allows users of the photo-sharing app to disable or filter comments, NBC News reported.

The tool, now available to select high-volume accounts, could soon be made available to the full Instagram community of 500 million people.

An effort to thwart Internet trolls, the feature lets users block or filter out comments that contain certain keywords.

"Our goal is to make Instagram a friendly, fun and, most importantly, safe place for self expression. We have slowly begun to offer accounts with high volume comment threads the option to moderate their comment experience," an Instagram representative said by email. "As we learn, we look forward to improving the comment experience for our broader community."

<![CDATA[Apple Shuttle Drivers Ratify Teamsters Contract]]> Mon, 01 Aug 2016 10:51:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GOOGLE+BUS+HEARING+VO+-+00000506.jpg

Apple shuttle drivers who are part of the Teamsters Local 853 union recently a negotiated a new contract which grants them an increased salary, health care coverage and a pension 401k plan, according to a union announcement released on Monday.

The 30 Loop Transportation drivers that are part of the team have been fighting for these changes for about two years, when they began pushing for benefits in addition to seeking higher pay. Employees are now given 100 percent health care coverage by Kaiser Permanente, and the new pension plan requires their employer to make a $1 per hour contribution on their behalf, according to Stacy Alvelais, business agent with Teamsters Local 853. The agreement runs through March of 2018.

Teamsters Local 853 represents tech shuttle drivers with contractors to Apple, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, eBay, PayPal, Evernote, Genentech and Amtrak. A union representative did not immediately respond if drivers for these companies got the same deal as the Apple shuttle drivers.

As opposed to the hundreds of high-paid employees that these workers transport, the bus drivers themselves are often given less than average salaries for the difficulties they have to endure. In 2014, the typical Silicon Valley tech bus driver was making about $18 an hour without benefits, and facing nine-hour shifts of congested Bay Area traffic, according to a USA Today report.

Another feature article last year discussed the life of an Apple bus driver that was forced to live in his car to make ends meet, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Teamsters say the union has been able to drastically improve the lives of tech bus drivers since they started helping them. For example, the union said that under its tutelage, shuttle drivers for Apple were able to increase their raise to between $24 and $31.50 an hour, as well as 10 paid holidays.

Still, the union said, there is more to be done.

Alvelais said in a statement, “This is another step toward keeping a level playing field between the contracts, while protecting the future of our drivers.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Russia's Bid to Win New Space Race Isn't Going to Plan]]> Sun, 31 Jul 2016 06:55:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/525252272-Vostochny-Cosmodrome--Russian-Space-Project.jpg

Russia is building a spaceport designed to reinstate it at the forefront of cosmic travel and evoke its 1950s Soviet heyday when Moscow put the first human in orbit.

But five years after construction began, NBC News reports that the Vostochny Cosmodrome is behind schedule, billions of dollars over budget, and dogged by accusations that officials have embezzled funds and did not pay workers for months at a time.

The complex in Russia's Far East designed to launch missions to the Moon and Mars is on course to be the most expensive spaceport ever built.

According to an expose by RBC published in July 2015, the original cost of the facility was supposed to be just $1.9 billion in today's prices. The spiraling price tag — $7.5 billion according to an official estimate in 2011 — makes it almost four times as expensive as NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Underprivileged Students Graduate from Facebook Academy]]> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 11:33:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/187265573-facebook-generic.jpg

Eighteen students will walk across a stage in Menlo Park on Wednesday as graduates of Facebook Academy, a six-week summer internship program that aims to give high school students from low-income or underprivileged backgrounds exposure to a career in technology.

The program, which has been around for the last five years, is a partnership between Facebook and an East Palo Alto non-profit "Foundation for College Education." Every year, both organizations select a group of rising juniors from the East Palo Alto, Belle Haven and Redwood City areas.

The students have an opportunity to intern in one of five departments within the company; communications, policy, finance, operations and information technology. Additionally, the students attend a weekly coding class and are given a mentor within the company.

"There is a lot of value in the students interacting with people at the company, particularly young professionals," Juan Salazar, the public policy manager for Facebook said. "The students are able to build their social value, engage in new projects and stay connected. They’re able to see a different facet of what business is like."

Although the program began primarily to expose underprivileged students to careers in technology, the initiative also started in order for Facebook to make sure they made deep connections within the Menlo Park community, according to Salazar.

Since Facebook Academy’s beginning in 2012, nearly 100 students have graduated from the program. With the first graduates of the academy coming out of college next year, Salazar said that the company is excited to hear how Facebook’s program has helped them through college and their other internships.

"Our goal is to grow the program every year," Salazar said. "We see our students’ success moving forward, and our hope is that they come back to work for Facebook and other tech companies."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Tech Companies Dominating Most Valuable List]]> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 11:45:35 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/apple-mac-generic.jpg

Facebook and Amazon’s market caps have pushed their way into the world’s top five most valuable companies list as of Friday, allowing a rare cluster of Bay Area tech companies to dominate in the morning stock trade.

The biggest U.S. company is Cupertino-based Apple – leading with $562 billion – followed closely by Mountain View-based Google at $519 billion and Microsoft at $439 billion, according to CNN Money.

Amazon pushed Exxon Mobil – rival gas company with Chevron – out of fourth place at $365 billion.

Exxon, struggling with oil prices in the U.S., suffered a crash in profits, which led to a shrink in its market cap, according to CNN.

Menlo-based Facebook pushed the multinational conglomerate company Berkshire Hathaway out of the top five with $362 billion.

The rise of tech companies like Facebook and Amazon allow for a stark comparison to its competitors like Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Brands owned by Buffet include a railroad company in Santa Fe and the ice cream company Dairy Queen.

This isn’t the first time that Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos surpassed Warren Buffet in the stock trade race. They did it in January and earlier this month.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Lawmaker Warns of Pokemon Risks ]]> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 10:38:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/190*120/72916go.jpg

A state lawmaker in New York says the wildly popular smartphone game "Pokemon Go" could inadvertently give sexual predators easy access to new prey.

To ensure that doesn't happen, the state should prohibit higher-level sex offenders from being able to play the game, and others like it, Sen. Jeffrey Klein said. The Bronx Democrat also proposes requiring game manufacturers to take steps to ensure the virtual Pokemon creatures don't pop up near the homes of sexual offenders.

"While children believe they are out to catch a Pokemon, what might really be lurking could be a predator instead of a Pikachu," Klein said, referring to a type of Pokemon creature. "We want our children to have safe fun, but it makes no sense at all to give dangerous sexual predators a virtual road map to where our children congregate."

Users playing "Pokemon Go" roam through the physical world searching for virtual Pokemon creatures. The game also allows players to attract other users using so-called "lures."

Klein said the state already prohibits high-level offenders from using social media, and said it makes sense to prohibit them from playing a game that could easily be used for malicious purposes.

In addition, Klein's proposal would require game makers to cross reference the state's sexual offender registry to automatically delete any Pokemon creatures near the residence of an offender.

An investigation by the senator's office found several instances of Pokemon creatures near the homes of sex offenders, he said.

He predicted the game is only the first of a wave of similar augmented reality games.

A message sent by The Associated Press seeking comment from the game's manufacturers was not immediately returned Friday.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley Software Company Hits it Big in IPO]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 18:48:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NASDAQ+OPENING+BELL+HD7292016+-+063007181.jpg

The NASDAQ confetti dropped Friday morning on what has become an unusual target: A Silicon Valley tech company.

Shortly after Twilio hit it big by going public, a second straight tech IPO made big money for its investors.

The stock value of Talend, a Redwood City-based software company specializing in Big Data, as it is called, soared more than 40 percent on its first day of trading.

“I think we put ourselves on the map today,” said Talend’s Ashley Stirrup. And he’s right. Previously under the radar, Talend is now flush with $95 million in IPO cash and it plans to use the funds to grow.

So expect more hiring, and, likely, more tech IPOs.

“It shows a robust economy in the Bay Area,” according to Talend Vice President Mike Pickett.

It also shows investors are willing to look beyond big tech companies and invest in startups.

Scott tracks tech stocks on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: NASDAQ]]>
<![CDATA[Internet's Favorite Dogs Meet for Facebook Power Lunch ]]> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 05:11:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/facebookdogs_n.jpg

Two social media powerhouses joined together for a business lunch at Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters on Thursday, no doubt striking a few business deals, comparing notes on the best brands of dog food, and arguing over who really is the internet's favorite dog. 

The dress code was, ahem, collar optional. 

Beast Zuckerberg, sporting a professional top-knot (or is it a dogbun?), invited social media star Doug the Pug for a sit down chat. The meeting's minutes and agenda were not released to the public, so there's no way to know for sure what the pooches were plotting. 

However, a photograph Beast's personal assistant, Mark Zuckerberg, posted to Facebook does provide some hints: 

"Apparently Beast had an important meeting at the office today with Doug the Pug," Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook. "They agree that Facebook needs more kibble and belly rubs. Beast also wants some sheep."

After their clandestine luncheon, Doug the Pug used his vast social media following to share a picture of the new business buddies, although Doug couldn't help throwing a little shade in the process. 

Beast has yet to respond to this potential dig via his personal Facebook.

Photo Credit: Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Tech to Help Track Zika Virus During Olympics]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:04:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/IMG_66881.JPG

Olympic athletes are arriving in Rio, full of confidence, hope — and concerns about Zika.

Will they get it? How will they know if they’re at risk? Enter Silicon Valley, and the smart thermometer, as it is called.

That’s what San Francisco-based Kinsa calls its thermometer, which hooks up to your smart phone to monitor and store your symptoms as they change.

Doctors and teammates will then know if there’s a health problem on a specific team or in a specific area.

It's kind of a social network for health — or an early warning system.

"With a few simple taps you can add in symptoms, results, notes, in addition to the fever history that you have," said Kinsa CEO Inder Singh.

The thermometer is catching on so quickly with athletes that Kinsa is now offering them its product for free. Singh says six teams have already requested the thermometer and hundreds of them have been sent out.

You can track your health, with the thermometer and Kinsa app, from the Android or iOS store.

Scott tracks the Olympics on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: Scott Budman]]>
<![CDATA['Party Like it's 9,999!' Celebrating the 10,000th Day of the Web]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:24:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mozillamain.jpg

Today, the World Wide Web celebrates its 10,000th day of existence! Mozilla Firefox’s Twitter account used the hashtag #10kDays to raise awareness on the internet’s transformation and to highlight some of the web’s most fond memories.

According to the Digital Journal, the internet began in 1989 when Web inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, submitted a proposal for a distributed information center for CERN. Berners-Lee’s proposal is known today as the World Wide Web. The web proposal opened the door for many tech wizards, musicians, and web users today.

From providing college degrees to communicating with doctors online, the internet has made an extraordinary impact on many lives around the globe.

The internet has upgraded in a way where we have access to millions of apps online. There is literally an app for everything such as learning how to cook or reading a new book. You name it, it’s there!

There are many people who rely heavily on the internet including college students and business owners… We can all thank Mr. Berners-Lee for that!

Internet users are looking forward to the next 10,000 days.

Check out the tweets below to see how the Twitter world honored the internet with the hashtag #10Kdays

Photo Credit: Mozilla]]>
<![CDATA[New Mobile Unit Saves Lives of Stroke Patients ]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 08:49:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MobileStroke0727_MP4-146971814986100001.jpg A new mobile stroke unit in ambulances in Colorado is saving stroke patients' lives, allowing them to get treatment before arriving at the hospital. ]]> <![CDATA['Parkémon' Initiative in Texas Piggybacks on 'Pokémon Go']]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 07:44:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/arlington-parkemon.jpg The Arlington Parks and Recreation Department is taking advantage the hype around "Pokémon Go" in a unique way.

Photo Credit: Arlington Parks and Recreation]]>