<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Tech News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/tech http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usMon, 22 May 2017 11:12:23 -0700Mon, 22 May 2017 11:12:23 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Bay Area Companies Lead 'Best Places to Work' Ranking]]> Sat, 20 May 2017 16:57:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/New+Image20.JPG

The Bay Area is well represented on a recent LinkedIn list of the United States' best places to work. 

Top Companies Where the World Wants to Work Now” ranks 50 of the country's biggest businesses. Collectively, they span 21 industries and employ over three million workers, according to LinkedIn. The list is based on employee retention and interest in not only a company's available jobs, but also its overall brand.

With 72,000 employees globally, Alphabet, the parent company of Mountain View-based Google, came in first place. The tech behemoth set out in 2012 to rely only on renewable energy, and is on track to do exactly that this year.  

In second place was Amazon, which is headquartered in Seattle. The company boasts over 340,000 employees across the world and has picked up three Oscars in the last 12 months, LinkedIn said.

Local companies earned the next five spots on LinkedIn's list. Facebook, of Menlo Park, came in third and was followed by Salesforce and Uber, both of San Francisco; Tesla, which is headquartered in Palo Alto; and Apple, a tech giant located in Cupertino. 

Three media organizations — Time Warner, the Walt Disney Company and Comcast NBCUniversal — rounded out the top 10 positions on the list. 

Other familiar names that made the cut include Airbnb, Netflix and Twitter.

LinkedIn, which is also based in Mountain View, excluded itself from the list.

Here are this year's top 20 companies in the U.S.:

  1. Alphabet
  2. Amazon
  3. Facebook
  4. Salesforce
  5. Uber
  6. Tesla
  7. Apple
  8. Time Warner
  9. The Walt Disney Company
  10. Comcast NBCUniversal
  11. Airbnb
  12. Netflix
  13. McKinsey & Company
  14. Dell Technologies
  15. Workday
  16. Under Armour
  17. Twitter
  18. CBRE
  19. Visa
  20. JPMorgan Chase & Co.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley Security Companies Say More Ransomware Likely on Way]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 18:39:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/05-19-217-ransomeware.jpg

Brace yourselves and watch your data. Computers around the world are recovering from a giant cyber attack and another one could be on the way. Scott Budman reports.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Twitter Users Report Glitches Amid Service Disruption]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 11:02:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Twitter-generic1.jpg

Some Twitter users were having trouble with the social media service Friday morning, as the company noted, and service distruptions continued through the afternoon.

"Some users are currently experiencing problems accessing Twitter & Tweeting. We are aware of the issue and are working towards a resolution," the Twitter Support account said in the morning.

The Twitter service tracker noted a disruption in the timeline function, and more performance issues with the stream. Those reports were in effect for hours.

The website-tracking site DownDetector noted spikes in outage reports after midnight, 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET. The U.S., U.K., France and Japan appeared especially hard-hit.



Photo Credit: Bethany Clarke/Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Six Injured in Fire During Google I/O Conference]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 20:30:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/shoreline-0518.jpg

A fire during the Google I/O Conference in Mountain View on Thursday sent three people to the hospital, one with critical injuries, according to fire officials.

Firefighters responded to Shoreline Amphitheatre on reports of a fire inside one of the venue's food service buildings that was contained to the one building, fire officials said.

A total of six people were injured in the blaze, fire officials said. Three were transported to a hospital, one with life-threatening injuries. The other three were treated at the scene.

The developer conference was interrupted only briefly and continued Thursday evening. No evacuations were ordered, and no other injuries were reported, fire officials said.

Fire officials said the flames were caused by a grease fire in the kitchen of one of the food service buildings.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla Workers Suffer Fainting Spells, Dizziness: Report]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 18:48:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-479833756-Musk.jpg

Workers at Tesla's car factory in California have been fainting, experiencing dizziness and even having seizures, often requiring medical attention.

The symptoms have led to more than 100 calls for ambulances since 2014, according to incident reports obtained by the Guardian newspaper, which first reported the story Thursday.

Company CEO Elon Musk acknowledged that workers are "having a hard time, working long hours, and on hard jobs," but he also said he cared deeply about their health and well-being.

In a blog post published Sunday, the company said: “Tesla's safety record is much better than industry average, but it is not enough.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook fined $122 million by EU Over Whatsapp Information]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 09:09:34 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/markzuckerbergneutralface_1200x675.jpg

Facebook has been fined 110 million euros ($122 million) by European regulators for providing "misleading information" about its acquisition of instant messaging service WhatsApp.

The social media giant bought WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion. The European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, said that Facebook told it that there was no possibility to establish "reliable automated matching between Facebook users' accounts and WhatsApp users' accounts" that year.

The Commission's issue centers around the U.S. social networking giant linking Facebook accounts to WhatsApp user identities.

But last year, Facebook released an update to its terms of service that raised the possibility of linking accounts from both platforms.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DMV Reports Computer Problems at Several Field Offices]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 18:59:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dmv-generic.jpg

Computer glitches sparked long waits Wednesday for people wanting to pay registrations and other transactions at several DMV field offices throughout the state.

DMV officials said the computers experienced intermittent connectivity issues, which impacted driver license and vehicle registration transactions.

Jose Robledo visited the DMV office in Burlingame to handle his car registration and renewal. But after waiting two hours he had enough and decided to leave.

The DMV worked with the California Department of Technology to get the system up and running again. A cause has not yet been determined.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Security Apps For Your Phone]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 07:50:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PCMike0516_MP4-149503218056400001.jpg Tech guru PC Mike Wendland looks at apps designed to protect smartphones and tablets from malware, spyware and viruses.]]> <![CDATA[Instagram Introduces 'Face Filters' Similar to Snapchat ]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 08:03:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/snapchatgeneric_1200x675.jpg

Instagram on Tuesday announced a feature called "face filters," the latest effort to steal the thunder from upstart Snap, which is the parent company of Snapchat. 

Instagram's face filters allows users to add graphics to a selfie, then it can be added to a video or photo and sent through direct messaging or added to a public story — much like Snapchat's Lenses.

In addition to face filters, Instagram featured editing tools for video and photo.





Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lyft, Waymo Agree to Work on Self-Driving Car Technology]]> Mon, 15 May 2017 03:49:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/LyftWaymoSplit.jpg

In the race to the self-driving future, Lyft has agreed to work with Waymo, the self-driving car company owned by Google's parent company, to bring autonomous vehicles to the masses, both companies told NBC News on Sunday night.

The announcement comes as Waymo has accused Lyft's biggest competitor, Uber, of stealing trade secrets from the company to advance its own self-driving operation.

In a statement to NBC News, a Lyft representative said the plan is to partner with Waymo to "safely and responsibly launch self-driving vehicle pilots."

"Waymo holds today's best self-driving technology, and collaborating with them will accelerate our shared vision of improving lives with the world's best transportation," the company said.



Photo Credit: GettyImages/AP, Files]]>
<![CDATA[Worldwide Cyberattack Cripples Computers]]> Mon, 15 May 2017 09:17:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/170513-nhs-ransomware-mn-1455.jpg

Dozens of countries were hit with a huge cyberextortion attack Friday that locked up computers and held users' files for ransom at a multitude of hospitals, companies and government agencies. Scott Budman reports.



Photo Credit: Gillian Hann]]>
<![CDATA[Elon Musk Moves Forward With 'Boring' Traffic Remedy]]> Mon, 15 May 2017 16:38:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/202*120/elon-musk-tunnel.PNG

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk can claim a perhaps unparalleled string of visionary company creations -- PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company.

The Boring Company?

"We're trying to dig a hole under LA," Musk explained during a recent TED Talk interview.

WARNING: The video below contains flashing lights, which has potential to induce motion sickness and/or seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised. 


After months of social media musing on tunneling to escape traffic congestion in metropolitan Los Angeles, Musk is moving ahead with test boring in a Hawthorne parking lot across Crenshaw Boulevard from SpaceX.

It appears to be a step toward what Musk foresees as a "3D network of tunnels to alleviate congestion."  What Musk calls "electric sleds" would carry cars piggyback through the tunnels at speeds up to 125 mph.

Going from Westwood to LAX would take six minutes or less, Musk predicted.

Cars could access and depart the tunnels through roadside auto elevators, each of which Musk said would require the room of only two parking spaces. The scenario is depicted in an animation video posted on The Boring Company's website.

Musk contends that unlike surface roadways, underground you need never run out of room to add lanes, because you can simply go down another level.

But transportation engineers have doubts about the feasibility of Musk's tunnel vision, and apart from benefiting the tunnel users, how much it would reduce traffic and improve transit overall.

"How such a narrow system could contribute to that is not clear to me," said Jim Moore, director of the USC Viterbi Transportation Engineering Program.  Be that as it may, Moore said he considers Musk a "bona fide genius," and applauded his investing in researching such a novel approach.

Musk believes autonomous driving technology will enable car travel to be more efficient, and that cars -- not public transit -- will continue to carry a large percentage of ground travelers.

A major obstacle to underground travel is the cost of boring tunnels. The cost of new underground transit lines runs into the billions of dollars.

Musk said the Boring Company is focusing on ways to improve technology and efficiency enough to reduce cost by at least tenfold.

An inquiry to The Boring Company for detail on what is being done at the Crenshaw site elicited a response from sister company SpaceX--but no comments on the record.  It appears the current work east of Crenshaw is a separate project from the proposed--but yet to be started--pedestrian tunnel which the city of Hawthorned has approved to be bored beneath Crenshaw Blvd.

Musk acknowledged improvement in boring technology may have crossover benefit for another vision of his for using tunnels to speed travel: Hyperloops, in which passengers would be transported in pods at near supersonic speeds through tubes with reduced air pressure. Musk sees this as a step beyond high speed rail, such as exists in Japan and the state of California currently is constructing.

The test Hyperloop that SpaceX built in Hawthorne alongside Jack Northrop Boulevard is above ground. But future Hyperloops for congested urban areas, such as the Washington-New York corridor, would best be placed underground, Musk said during the April TED talk recorded in Vancouver, Canada.

Musk spoke with enthusiasm for the Boring Project, but during the TED talk put it in context -- at this point, it is receiving only 2 to 3 percent of his time.



Photo Credit: Elon Musk]]>
<![CDATA[Explore the Artsy Vibe Inside Facebook Headquarters]]> Fri, 12 May 2017 17:10:05 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/168*120/Facebook-Sandberg-15.jpg In an exclusive "Bay Area Revelations" interview, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg discusses her second published book, "Option B," and gives us a peak inside the art inside the social media giant's Menlo Park office, which also serves as its world headquarters.

Photo Credit: Riya Bhattacharjee/ NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Snap CEO, Co-Founder Could Lose More Than $1B Each]]> Thu, 11 May 2017 10:40:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-647154742.jpg

Snapchat's poorly-received first earnings report and subsequent drop in stock led CEO Evan Spiegel to lose more than the $750 million he received in a stock bonus for completing his company's initial public offering (IPO) in March, CNBC reported.

The social media app's shares fell $5.35, or 23 percent, Wednesday to $17.66 after the company released its first quarterly financial results as a public company. The drop in price means Snap is just above its IPO price of $17.

If the same price drop happens Thursday, Spiegel will have lost more than $1.3 billion in a period of less than 24 hours. Spiegel's co-founder, Bobby Murphy, will have lost $1.1 billion.

Still, even if shares drop to $17, both men's holdings in the company will remain worth more than $3.5 billion each.



Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, File ]]>
<![CDATA[Words of Wisdom From Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg]]> Fri, 12 May 2017 12:26:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*160/Sandberg+4.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Privacy Concerns Over Smartphone Searches at Airports]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 19:06:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0502-2016-Smartphone.jpg

Smartphones are becoming targets of customs agents at airports, including San Francisco International.

Aaron Gach, a San Francisco artist and professor, said customs agents at SFO demanded to search his iPhone after a recent trip.

"I eventually consented, unlocked my phone and handed it over, which they searched out of my sight," Gach said.

The ACLU said phone searches are happening more frequently and believes the law surrounding such searches is murky.

Mike McCarron, an airport security consultant, explained to NBC Bay Area what authorities are looking for in searches.

"They were saying it's a random search -- they may be looking for a specific name, for someone who fits a specific profile," McCarron said.

The ACLU said it is now working with Gach and believes customs officers may be violating citizens' privacy rights.

"It's certainly a situation where if you're carrying sensitive information, your company's intellectual property or your personal e-mail, or something you're worried about being exposed, you might want to consider not carrying that information across the border," said Chris Conley, an ACLU policy attorney.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Snap Plunges on First Earnings Report as Public Company]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 14:41:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/snapchatonwallst_1200x675.jpg

Snap, parent company of social media site Snapchat, reported quarterly financial results for the first time on Wednesday, posting revenue that missed estimates and slower-than-expected user growth.

Shares plummeted more than 19 percent in after-hours trading.

Since its initial public offering in early March, Snap has faced an uphill battle to convince Wall Street it can make money with advertising, even with Facebook and Google dominating the market.

While its $3.9 billion initial stock sale in early March was the largest U.S. IPO in more than two years, the company has consistently reported huge losses.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The 5 Highest-Paying Tech Summer Internships: Survey]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 07:49:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/472655314-internship-generic.jpg

The top internships in the tech industry these days aren't the monotonous office drone work, CNBC reports. They offer challenging projects that pay thousands of dollars a month.

The highest paying summer internship in tech this year is at Facebook, which pays $8,000 monthly, according to jobs website Glassdoor, which compiled data based in part on anonymously submitted feedback.

"Facebook moves fast. Really, really fast. The pace definitely took some getting used to, but I think it's coupled with (an) implicit trust," a software engineer intern wrote. "There is so much to learn."

Rounding out the top five highest-paying internships are Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and Apple — which offers perks like food and housing, one intern noted.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Cheating on the Rise as Competitive Gaming Goes Mainstream]]> Fri, 05 May 2017 11:12:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_esports0504_1500x845.jpg

Cheating, or hacking, is an issue as competitive video gaming breaks into mainstream entertainment. Prizes ranging from sponsorships to social media fame to cash rewards are prompting some to seek an edge over the competition.

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<![CDATA[Apple Pledges $1 Billion Boost to US Manufacturing ]]> Wed, 03 May 2017 16:28:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/188*120/apple-GettyImages-516837044.jpg

Apple plans to start a $1 billion fund to create more advanced manufacturing jobs in the United States, company CEO Tim Cook told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer on Wednesday.

As CNBC reports, the fund fits into Apple’s efforts to promote and create jobs within its own sector and within its own company. The fund's creation also comes amid President Donald Trump’s ongoing promises to bring lost manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

Cook said he hopes the investment will spur even more job creation.

"By doing that, we can be the ripple in the pond. Because if we can create many manufacturing jobs around, those manufacturing jobs create more jobs around them because you have a service industry that builds up around them," he said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Cybercriminals Hacked 1.1 Billion Accounts Last Year: Study]]> Mon, 01 May 2017 09:59:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Hacker506944962.jpg

Digital bandits breached 1.1 billion identities in 2016, nearly doubling their haul from the year before, according to a new study on cybercrime.

NBC News reports that the year brought more ransomware attacks and higher extortion demands, plus some of the biggest distributed denial of service attacks ever seen, causing "unprecedented levels of disruption" to internet traffic, according to the 2017 Internet Security Threat Report from Symantec.

"The bad guys made a lot of money last year," said Kevin Haley, director of Symantec Security Response. "They keep getting better and more efficient at what they do; they managed to fool us in new and different ways."

Cybercriminals are moving away from making money by stealing a little bit from a lot of people at a time, and toward attacking banks themselves, the reported noted. 



Photo Credit: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Millennials Found Most Susceptible to Robocalls and Scams ]]> Sat, 29 Apr 2017 07:41:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_scams0427_1500x845.jpg

A new study finds that it is not the elderly who are most susceptible to scam phone calls, but millennials, who are six times more likely to give away credit card information than any other age group. 

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<![CDATA[Starbucks’ App Has Been Overwhelming Some Baristas]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:43:58 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/511143580-Starbucks-generic.jpg

Starbucks' mobile order and pay system has been bringing some of its busiest locations to a standstill, NBC News reported.

The system lets people order ahead and swoop into a store to pick up their coffee, food or unicorn frappucino. It was so popular in the first quarter of 2017 that store traffic ground to a halt as baristas contended with a wave of orders, prompting some walk-in customers to leave.

In 1,200 Starbucks locations, at least 20 percent of transactions in peak hours came from customers using mobile order and pay, the company said.

So the company has been experimenting with new ways to "more efficiently handle increased demand" from both mobile and walk-in customers during peak hours.



Photo Credit: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images, File]]>