<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Tech News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/tech http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:10:06 -0700 Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:10:06 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Facebook Interns Mentor Peninsula Youth]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 23:38:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0730-2014-Facebook-kids.jpg Facebook sent out 100 interns to participate in an event Wednesday aimed at mentoring 300 grade-school students from the Peninsula. Cheryl Hurd reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Snapchat Could Be Worth $10 Billion]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 21:16:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/snapchat_screenshot_f8059740976d09a452bb33e240328408.nbcnews-ux-1280-900.jpg

Bloomberg is reporting that Alibaba, the Chinese Internet giant, is considering buying out Snapchat for $10 billion.

The Snapchat app, which allows users to send messages and photos that then disappear after they're received, achieved fame for turning down a buyout bid from Facebook last year. It also has a reported 700 million messages, or "snaps," every day.

If the stories are true, it would put Snapchat in rare company: very few tech companies are worth more than a billion dollars, and even fewer can command $10 billion in valuation.

Uber, Airbnb and Snapchat.

Photo Credit: Snapchat]]>
<![CDATA[Mars Rover Opportunity Sets Distance Record]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:29:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/169*120/PIA18404_Opportunity_Traverse_25mile_br.jpg

When it comes to out-of-this-world mileage figures, no vehicle can compete with Mars rover Opportunity.

The rover's odometer has reached 25.01 miles after a decade on Mars, marking an off-Earth distance record. The rover traveled about 160 feet over the weekend, enough to break the old record held by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover.

Lunokhod 2 rover landed on Earth's moon in 1973 and drove 24.2 miles. That journey took just about five months.

Opportunity wasn't designed to cover great distances -- its original three-month mission required it to cover about 1 kilometer. That mission was completed in April 2004, but Opportunity  has continued to travel and examine ancient Martian environments over that past decade.

"This is so remarkable considering Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer and was never designed for distance," said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "But what is really important is not how many miles the rover has racked up, but how much exploration and discovery we have accomplished over that distance."

The next major landmark on Opportunity's Martian road trip is "Marathon Valley." The investigation site was so-named because if the rover makes it to the location, it will have traveled 26.2 miles -- the distance of a marathon.

In recognition of the Lunokhod 2 mission, the Opportunity rover team selected the name Lunokhod 2 for a crater near the site where Opportunity has been used to conduct research.

"The Lunokhod missions still stand as two signature accomplishments of what I think of as the first golden age of planetary exploration, the 1960s and '70s," said Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and principal investigator for NASA's twin Mars rovers, Opportunity and Spirit. "We're in a second golden age now, and what we've tried to do on Mars with Spirit and Opportunity has been very much inspired by the accomplishments of the Lunokhod team on the moon so many years ago. It has been a real honor to follow in their historical wheel tracks."

Spirit landed at about the same time as Opportunity, but it became stuck in soft soil in May 2009 and has not been heard from since early 2010 -- long after it completed its 90-day mission.

Opportunity, Spirit and the larger rover Curiosity  -- which landed on Mars in August 2012 -- are essentially remote-controlled geology research vehicles that receive instructions from mission managers on Earth. Their missions involve exploring Mars' surface and collecting samples for researchers to study as they look for signs of past life.

Photo Credit: NASA]]>
<![CDATA[OKCupid Dating Web Site Says it Lied to Users]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:36:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dating_generic2.jpg

When you sign up for a dating website, you are supposed to be set up based on your interests, and maybe even your looks.

The co-founder of OkCupid.com admitted the online dating web site set up people as part of an experiment.

“I think it’s kind of false advertisement,” Michelle Cady said.

In one of the experiments, people who were highly compatible were told they were a bad match and vice versa.

In another experiment, the website hid singles’ profile pictures for several hours to encourage people to message each other without knowing what they look like. When they brought the pictures back online, many of the conversations stopped.

“It shouldn’t become a game to them to see how many people they can hook up together,” Michelle Cady said.

The Cady sisters had mixed views on the experiments.

“Sometimes people go for a generic type of person and they date that kind of person over and over and wonder why it never works out, and maybe it’s because they’re being closed minded,” Nicolette Cady said.

Some of the guys did not mind the mix up.

“Because I’m overall, kind of a shy person. But I think in that situation it would definitely get me out of my comfort zone,” Herman Soyfer said.

The co-founder, Christian Rudder, is not apologizing. He wrote, ”If you use the internet, you’re the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site. That’s how websites work.”

Some singles say that is a good thing.

“People don’t know what they want necessarily,” Nicolette Cady said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Uber Driver Arrested After Assault]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:31:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-night-shutterstock_54084688.jpg

Police arrested an Uber driver a woman accused of sexually assaulting her earlier this month.

Police charged 31-year-old Reshad Chakari of Alexandria, Virginia, with second-degree sexual abuse.

On July 20, police went to the 1400 block of Rhode Island Avenue NW where a 25-year-old woman reported that an Uber driver sexually assaulted her. She had several drinks at a nightclub while celebrating her birthday and passed out in the car, News4's Darcy Spencer reported. According to the police report, the woman said Chakari touched her while she was sleeping in the car.

D.C. Council member Mary Cheh said she wants to make sure these drivers are not preying on women. While Uber is required to perform background checks on drivers, that may not be enough, Cheh said. She said installing panic buttons in cars could help.

"Rider safety is Uber's #1 priority. We take reports like this seriously and are treating the matter with the utmost urgency and care," said Taylor Bennett, spokesperson for Uber Technologies. "It is also our policy to immediately suspend a driver’s account following any serious allegations, which we have done. We stand ready to assist authorities in any investigation.”

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington for more on this developing story.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[@HiddenCash Heads to Germany]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:31:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/05-28-2014-hiddencash.jpg

Everyone likes going to Berlin in the summertime -- and "Hidden Cash" is no exception.

The millionaire with a Twitter feed and money to leave hidden all over the place will begin hiding money in das German kapital on Sunday, according to the Bild newspaper (or zeitung, as they say).

Photos: "HiddenCash" Frenzy in San Jose

Jason Buzi, the real estate speculator who began hiding bills in the Bay Area a few months ago, says he has a friend in Berlin, enjoys the city, and hopes to give out as much as 1500 euro, Bild reported. 

Photo Credit: Bob Redell]]>
<![CDATA[App Aims to Help Couples Conceive]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:23:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NEW-th-glow.jpg

What does a PayPal co-founder have in common with a sperm donor? Both have helped women get pregnant, though Max Levchin went about it in a more unconventional way.

Levchin, who’s now on the Board of Directors for both Yelp and Yahoo, is tackling the heart-wrenching and sometimes insurmountable problem confronting many couples: infertility. In May 2013, he helped launch Glow, an app that aims to help would-be parents to conceive.

“I have made it my most recent mission to solve meaningful problems,” Levchin told Scott McGrew on the July 20 episode of NBC Bay Area’s Press:Here.

There is no other software as prevalent or easy-to-use today as an app, so, fittingly, Levchin created Glow. Its stated mission is “to provide you with information and insights about your body and your health, whether you're trying to conceive or not.”

Glow allows women to enter various data, including their basal body temperature, mood, diet and exercise level, to determine the most effective time to conceive. The information is used to create an individual profile for the user and a software model to figure out how likely a woman is to be ovulating during an 8-hour window. Levchin describes his research as one of the largest fertility studies ever conducted.

But how willing are women to divulge such personal information to experience the most personal experience of their lives? According to Levchin, it’s rather simple.

“I think a vast majority of the users that self-select for Glow have a very clear set of priorities on their mind,” he said. “They would like a baby and they have not been successful … Fundamentally, privacy and value are a trade-off.”

Interestingly, the idea for Glow comes from the same mind that co-founded Affirm, a financial services company that offers consumer credit at the point of sale.

When asked what prompted this innovation metamorphosis, Levchin said, “The real reason is that I woke up one morning and I said I’m really good at data, and there are many, many problems in the world – some are boring, some are cool, some are exciting, and some are really profound. And if I could just marry up the data part and profound problems I’ll leave a legacy that means something.”

It’s a refreshing ambition, especially considering the latest criticisms facing Silicon Valley, most notably for its bombardment of seemingly useless apps. One of note is the single-word messaging app called Yo, which has the sole function of users texting the word “yo” to other people. It was recently valued at up to $10 million.

A year since its launch, Levchin has seen the incredible effect Glow has had on countless couples, including an associate who had been struggling with having a baby and served as an inspiration in the development process. “It’s amazing,” he said. “You kind of go, ‘Wow’, this whole math thing actually solved an extraordinarily important real-world problem.”

<![CDATA[Elizabeth Holmes Is Youngest Female Self-Made Billionaire]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:33:20 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/07-23-2014-elizabeth-holmes.jpg

Elizabeth Holmes never did finish college. But 11 years after leaving Stanford, she's the CEO of a startup and a "paper multibillionaire," according to reports -- and she may even be the "female Mark Zuckerberg," others say.

Holmes, 30, is CEO of Theranos, a Palo Alto-based company that, like many others, seeks to change the world, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

It may yet. But in the meantime, the company has made billions of dollars.

Her firm seeks to diagnose health conditions early, before they become life-threatening diseases, and eventually "put a lab within a mile of any city dweller" for access to quick, simple, and easy blood tests, the newspaper reported.

She has major support: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is an investor, and her board includes former Secretary of State and San Francisco society pages icon George Schultz. She's also partnering with Walgreens to put a Theranos station in 21 stores in Palo Alto and Phoenix, the newspaper reported.

This will "empower people" to investigate their own health, by allowing them to dictate when and how tests are conducted.

Theranos, now operating out of Facebook's old offices, has 500 employees and is worth $9 billion, the newspaper reported.

Because Holmes has a 50 percent stake, she is the "youngest woman to become a self-made billionaire," the newspaper reported.

Photo Credit: Theranos]]>
<![CDATA[Airbnb Renter Turns "Squatter" ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 22:00:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/airbnb-stock-image-airbnb-generic.jpg

Cory Tschogl used to be an Airbnb host. She's now a landlord -- sort of. Her "tenant" is an Airbnb "squatter," who rented her Palm Springs condo via the online hotelier and now refuses to leave.

And the law may be on the squatters' side.

Tschogl, a Bay Area professional, rented out the condo she bought as an investment to "Maksym," a verified Airbnb user from Texas who forked over $450 a week to live there for 44 days.

But, after 30 days, he stopped paying, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Tschogl tried to remove him, but was confronted with legal threats: Maksym said he is now a "legal occupant" and cannot be removed.

Tschogl says she's asked Airbnb for help "without getting much assistance," the newspaper reported. So she's hired a lawyer, and may need to pay thousands of dollars and spend as much as six months removing her problem "tenant."

An expert in landlord-tenant law said the apartment owner is in trouble.

“The person’s not a trespasser,” attorney Michael Hall said. “The person had permission to come in so, if you were to, say, call the police and ask the police to eject the person, the police would likely say, ‘Hey, it’s a civil matter.’”

Such a civil matter could take months to resolve.

“If it’s uncontested, it could take six to eight weeks,” Hall said. “And, if it becomes contested, at least another month. So, easily three months.”

Meanwhile, the tenant seems to be taking every luxury: He appears to be running the air-conditioning full blast while leaving the condo's sliding doors wide open. Power usage is at about four times its normal level, the newspaper reported.

Hall said renters that put their property up on Airbnb often don’t understand the risks. “I see a lot of naivety,” he said.

Airbnb says it will offer unspecified legal assistance to the San Francisco owner of the Palm Springs apartment and in a statement told NBC Bay Area that “the company is reviewing its procedures and making changes to its platform to give hosts more information about long-term reservations.”

Airbnb is advising property owners to check up on potential renters online to see if they’ve been reviewed by other renters.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA["530 Fatties," Fat-Shaming Page, Removed from Facebook]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:04:35 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/07-23-2014-530.jpg

"530 Fatties" is gone, but the outrage over Internet fat-shaming remains.

The Facebook page, removed Monday, was apparently a venue for an unknown Northern California-based person to mock and shame fat people he or she had photographed, according to reports.

The area code for the Yuba City area is 530. The photos posted to the page were from nearby Yuba and Sutter counties, according to the UK Daily Mail.

The page was removed after complaints, but outrage over the anonymous fat-shamer has spread nationwide.

The page made the Today show on Wednesday. It's still not clear who created the page, which reappeared briefly after being taken down.

One woman whose image appeared on the page, Jessi Lynn Howell, 18, says she isn't afraid to go public and speak against bullying.


Photo Credit: Screen grab via Today.com]]>
<![CDATA[Tech Companies Aim to Breathe New Life Into NYC Pay Phones]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:42:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/07-22-2014-payphone.jpg

Old, obsolete pay phones in New York City may soon have new life.

Google is among dozens of tech companies looking to transform more than 7,000 phone booths into free WiFi hot spots. Samsung, IBM and Cisco are among some of the other Silicon Valley companies interested in participating, PCWorld reports.

The Mountain View company says the project would provide the city's five boroughs with advertising, WiFi and phone services.

If Google wins the contract, it would be the latest venture by the tech giant into broadband Internet service.

More than half of those 7,000 pay phones have advertising on them. The project’s winning bidder would share ad revenue with the city, which would start at $17.5 million, according to the global computer magazine.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Looking at Former Obama Press Secretary for PR Job]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:38:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP743493663308.jpg

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is being courted by Apple, according to reports.

The former press secretary reportedly has been in talks with the super-secret tech company for a high-profile public relationships position, according to Bloomberg News. An unnamed friend is credited with confirming the story. 

Carney is reportedly still mulling over the offer, although Carney himself and Apple have declined to comment on the story, Bloomberg reported. “I’m talking to a lot of different people about a variety of potential opportunities,” Carney wrote in an email. Carney served as White House press secretary from February 2011 until June 2014. Carney was replaced by Josh Earnest.

Apple recently lost its vice president for worldwide communications, Katie Cotton, but it's not clear if Carney is being suggested for the position. His work for the White House and President Barack Obama did train Carney for dodging tough questions from reporters and maintaining his cool -- as well as likely keeping things secretive and secure, something Apple likes in its people.


Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Startup "Bubblews" Aims to Get Users Paid for "Likes"]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 21:40:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0716-2014-BUBBLEWS.jpg NBC Bay Area's Scott Budman provides a first look at a new social network created by a Bay Area startup.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Google Funds Public Shuttles in Mountain View]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 18:02:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/01-16-2014-google-bus.jpg

Soon, everyone will be able to ride the Google bus.

The multinational megacorporation is paying for a fleet of "public shuttle[s] in its hometown," according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Google will run the privately-funded public shuttles from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays during a two-year pilot program announced Wednesday.

With such hours, the shuttles are not commuter-focused -- rather, they're to make Mountain View "more accessible," according to Mayor Chris Clark, who said that the Google-funded rides should make daily tasks like shopping and going to the doctor easier.

Google did not specify how much it is spending on the new local shuttles. There is speculation that the shuttle program is timed to go along with the company's announcement that it is buying up more real estate.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Tech Companies Announce Plan to Defeat Patent Trolls]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:09:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Patent.jpg

If you can't kill a troll, at least stop feeding him.

Google and other tech companies believe they've figured out a way to halt patent trolls, according to VICE.

"Patent trolls" are litigious creatures who buy "obscure" or otherwise-nebulous patents with the intent to then use the patents to sue established companies, thereby taking home a payout in the process.

Google, Canon, Dropbox and other companies -- some of whom have been the over 2,500 firms a year sued in this manner, a tenfold increase from 2004 -- have devised a "legal force field" to shield themselves from trolls.

It's called a "License on Transfer Network." Members of the network, upon selling a patent to anyone, cannot be sued for patent infringement because of a "royalty-free license" that's then extended to all members, VICE reported.

<![CDATA[Ex-Twitter Employee Sues For Age Discrimination ]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 19:12:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/twitter_passwords.jpg

Peter Taylor had a good job at Twitter.

Until the 57-year-old was fired after a younger supervisor made derogatory comments about his age, that is.

That allegation and others are part of an age discrimination lawsuit filed against the tech giant last week, according to SF Weekly.

Taylor worked at the company's data center in "deployment," according to the SF Examiner, and received a positive evaluation six weeks before he was fired.

The lawsuit says that he had surgery for kidney stones a month before his termination, but was then given more work to complete while recovering, according to the lawsuit.

He was fired and then replaced with younger employees, the newspapers reported.

Twitter says the lawsuit is meritless.

<![CDATA[Rand Paul Meets with Mark Zuckerberg]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:44:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/randpaul.JPG

Presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) was spotted in a private meeting with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and angel investor Paul Thiel, reports said.

The meeting took place at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, an annual conference which caters to the media and technology industries, according to Politico.

It's not surprising that Thiel and Zuckerberg attended, but Paul seemed to be there to make connections (already he has been spotted with Rupert Murdoch, another Allen & Co. regular, at the Kentucky Derby.) 

Thiel, a self-professed Libertarian, has regularly contributed to Republican campaigns as well as Facebook's PAC. Zuckerberg also has held a fundraising dinner for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, but his campaign contributions tend to be for both Republicans and Democrats, so even a meeting with Tea Party lawmaker Paul wouldn't be a strange one. 

<![CDATA[Google Expands in SF with Building, Lease]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:33:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP837205498681.jpg

Google is expanding in San Francisco, leasing office space on Market Street and buying an eight-story building on the Embarcadero, reports say.

Google already has about 350,000 square feet in San Francisco on Spear Street but will be expanding, according to the San Jose Mercury News. 

"We are excited to expand in San Francisco, and we will continue to work hard to be a good neighbor in the communities where we work and live," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. Google declined to discuss details or prices for the lease and purchase, but Bloomberg reports a $65 million price tag for the Embarcadero building.

The San Francisco expansion, a lease at One Market Street, and the eight-story building at 188 Embarcadero, is likely because many young Google employees tend to want to live in San Francisco even while working at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
About 12,000 employees work in Mountain View, but many take Google buses to commute from San Francisco. (About 2,500 work in Google San Francisco office, according to the San Francisco Business Times.)
It's possible Google is tired of the Google bus controversy and wants to place workers where they want to live, rather than deal with more protests and negative press.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Phone Chargers and Adapters Recalled]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 14:41:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/recall33.jpg

Two recalls have been issued for chargers that can overheat phones, causing a burn hazard, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The first recall warns about Gemini adapters and chargers that were given away at trade shows between October and April.

The company has received one report of a consumer who was burned on their hand, according to the CPSC. All chargers of this brand should be thrown out. About 31,000 chargers are affected.

The second recalls warns about Lifeguard Press charging kits. Seven models of charging kits with universal serial bus (USB) connectors that are used to recharge Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod devices are affected by the recall, according to CPSC.

They were sold under the brands Ban.do, Jonathan Adler, and Lilly Pulitzer between February and June.

Lifeguard Press has received six reports of the wall chargers emitting smoke and sparking and six reports of prongs detaching from the plug, according to CPSC. No injuries have been reported.

Consumers may contact the company for a refund. About 25,400 are included in the recall.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Kim Kardashian Video Game Propels App Company to Success]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:26:58 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KK11.jpg

Kim Kardashian is money.

Glu Mobile knows.

The app-maker is the publisher of "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood," a free-to-play game downloadable from Apple's App Store. And Glu Mobile is also enjoying a wave of success after its stock shares jumped 42 percent in recent months thanks to the Kim game, Bloomberg News reported.

San Francisco-based Glu Mobile officials say they're not surprised that Kim's celebrity power could compel hordes of downloads and plenty of in-game purchases, the trick that makes free-to-download games lucrative.

In the game, users try to negotiate their own celebrity landscapes, using advice from Kardashian herself to rise from the "so-called E-list" to the "A-list," the website reported.

Revenue from the game could hit $200 million, an analyst told the website.

Photo Credit: GC Images]]>
<![CDATA[Despite Push Back, Parking App Makers Press On]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 12:06:24 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/parking-meter--0624.jpg

The City of San Francisco laid down the law earlier this month, threatening the makers of three parking apps – MonkeyParking, ParkModo, and Sweetch –with cease-and-desist letters and demands to stop operations by July 11 or face lawsuits and fines.

The apps match drivers who are in search of parking with those willing to part with their spot in exchange for cash.

Now it’s July 11 and, although the companies have disabled their services in the City, none of those companies have given up hopes for operating their apps in San Francisco. All say they are in communication with the City, struggling to find ways to make their apps work within the framework of the law.

The city attorney’s office has asked both MonkeyParking and ParkModo to respond to the cease-and-desist letters they’ve received by the close of business Friday. Matt Dorsey, Press Secretary to City Attorney Denis Herrera, said in a statement, “While we have received responses (from the parking app companies), and while we've also read conflicting reactions in news accounts, City Attorney Herrera intends to honor the courtesy he extended them by waiting until after the July 11 deadline before commenting or taking further action.”

All three app companies as well as the city attorney’s office are treading carefully around this prickly, legal debate.

According to San Francisco Police Code 63(C ), it is illegal to rent or block off public street parking or sidewalks. It’s illegal whether or not you’ll be making a profit from saving or blocking off spots, Dorsey explained, even if you’re blocking off the sidewalk to save spots for your kid’s birthday party, you’re violating the law.

Parking app companies, however, don’t think the city is interpreting the police code correctly.


MonkeyParking, the first company to come under fire from San Francisco, said Thursday that they have temporarily disabled their app until they can travel to San Francisco to meet with city officials. In a letter, MonkeyParking said that, while is disagrees with the city’s allegations, it is making changes to the app to reflect the city’s concerns.

The letter added, “Please note that our temporary suspension of the service is not to be construed as an admission of any wrongdoing.”

MonkeyParking feels wrongfully targeted because the company believes it is part of a new “social sharing space” faced with outdated San Francisco laws written “pre-shared economy.” Through meeting with city officials and legal counsel, MonkeyParking feels confident that its business will prevail.


ParkModo said in correspondence with the City last week that it was “entirely surprised to have been accused of violating an ordinance.” Co-founder Daniel Shifrin added in an interview with NBC Bay Area Friday that he thinks that San Francisco’s interpretation of ParkModo “is completely wrong.”

Like the other parking app companies, Shifrin insists that his company is not selling public space, just information about parking spaces.

“No one can tell me what type of personal information I can and cannot sell, It’s really a travesty what the city is doing,” Shifrin said.

For the time being, ParkModo – like MonkeyParking – has disabled its app within the city boundaries of San Francisco, though the app is still operational in a number of other cities, including other parts of the Bay Area. App users who try to use ParkModo now will receive a message telling them that the app is temporarily unavailable in San Francisco and urging the public to support ParkModo by writing complaints to local representatives.

Though San Francisco officials are concerned that people could sit on spots to sell them for later, ParkModo counters that people couldn’t make a living out of doing so.

ParkModo executives are frustrated but hopeful that their app will soon be operational again in San Francisco. They see their parking technology as a genuine public service and are optimistic that the city and the public will too.


The lollipop-logoed company Sweetch is in a different situation from the other parking app companies caught in these brewing legal battles.

Matt Dorsey confirmed that as soon as the news came out in June about MonkeyParking’s cease-and-desist letter, Sweetch approached the city and asked for a grace period in exchange for immediately changing their business model.

Consequently, San Francisco has held off from issuing Sweetch a cease-and-desist letter, but the city attorney's office is still waiting to meet with the company to go over the details of their new business model.

In accordance with the city’s demands, Sweetch will now be completely free to users. The app’s creators released the code they developed as open source technology called Freetch. Freetch has received international attention from transportation experts and entrepreneurs who are excited to use the free code to help them solve parking problems in other cities.

Early next week, the app founders will launch a new project called “Spot Angels,” which will provide free information to users about street closures and street clearings.

Sweetch co-founder Aboud Jardaneh says that the new app will help San Franciscans avoid getting parking tickets and demonstrate that he and his colleagues are more committed to solving San Francisco’s parking woes than making a profit.

“People shouldn’t be stressing about parking” he urged.

City Attorney’s Office

Despite all the changes promised from the app companies, the City is still waiting to see how the proposed changes will work in practice. Public officials are still concerned that these apps may allow people to “squat” on parking spots and monopolize parking.

Companies like MonkeyParking are equally concerned about city officials handling the issue. MonkeyParking argued that the legal scrutiny they’ve received for sharing parking information is a violation of First Amendment rights, they explain, “I have the right to tell people if I am about to leave a parking spot and they have the right to pay me for such information.”

But do people really have a right to be paid for information they share? That’s the fundamental question that public officials and aspiring sharing economy entrepreneurs are wrestling with.

Sweetch’s Aboud Jardaneh believes that other controversial companies in the business of sharing such as Uber and Airbnb grew so quickly in the Bay Area that now it’s too late for public officials to curb their influence. He feels that the city tried to strike early to regulate parking apps to avoid the type of tension San Francisco has had with other sharing economy companies.

But Matt Dorsey disagrees that the parking apps are on par with Airbnb and Uber. He also says that the city attorney’s office doesn’t see parking apps as true members of the sharing economy.

“MonkeyParking and ParkModo and possibly also Sweetch have very little to do with the business models of other sharing economies,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey believes these app companies are trying to make themselves part of the larger narrative of the sharing economy in ways that are patently illegal.

In the City Attorney’s eyes, the sharing economy is a place where value wouldn’t have existed before, a place that improves the lives of the public. Dorsey identified other parking companies such as CARMAnation and ParkatmyHouse as businesses which maximize the positive promise of the sharing economy to help motorists and create public benefit.

“That’s exactly not what MonkeyParking is doing” Dorsey said.

Photo Credit: File Photo ]]>
<![CDATA[Parking App Makers Back Down in Standoff with SF]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 06:22:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/07-10-2014-monkey-parking-app.jpg

The makers of an app that matches drivers in need with much-coveted parking spots are backing down in their standoff with the city.

MonkeyParking has suspended its service in San Francisco, after receiving a cease and desist letter from the city attorney last month.

The app allowed users to auction off their public parking spots to other drivers. That's illegal in San Francisco, and City Hall took a firm stand on the issue.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s letter said MonkeyParking and makers of similar apps would face a $2,500 fine, and a lawsuit, if they didn’t stop operations by July 11. His letter brought up issues of safety, logistics and equity regarding the controversial apps in a city where parking is in short supply.

But MonkeyParking isn't giving up. Its co-founder told NBC Bay Area company’s executives are traveling to San Francisco with hopes of collaborating with the city.


<![CDATA[Netflix Dominates Emmys with 31 Nominations]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:19:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/kevinspaceyemmy.jpg

The Emmys like the Internet -- Netflix, to be exact.

Netflix landed 31 Emmy nominations this year, noted the Silicon Valley Business Times, including nods for shows "Orange is the New Black," "Derek," and "House of Cards."

That's over double last year's nomination haul of 14, the newspaper reported.

The political drama "Cards" was top show, with 13 nominations, but women's prison drama "Orange is the New Black" scored 12, the newspaper reported.

The shows were nominated for "Outstanding Drama Series" as well as for actors and actresses and editing, the newspaper reported.


Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Zendesk Finds Home in SF's Booming Tech Hub]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 11:57:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0709-2014-Zendesk.jpg

Yet another software company is hanging its shingle in San Francisco’s booming mid-Market Street tech hub. Software support company Zendesk quietly moved into a restored 1909 building in mid-Market that once housed a turn-of-the-century furniture store.

The building, which was originally opened by a silver baron, once housed the Eastern Outfitting Company.

“When we found this building it had been ridden pretty hard over the last 40 or so years,” said Bob Basso, part of the development team Cannae Partners.

The building has long stood out on Market Street with its colonial columns and chiseled sign reading “furniture and carpets.”

In rehabbing the building, developers removed graffiti and hauled away tons of trash, which included a ceiling full of pigeon carcasses. Along with adding many modern touches, Basso’s team discovered, from an old postcard, the building was originally draped in sparkling lights. After 40 years in the dark, the lights were re installed.

“We thought to ourselves, 'wouldn’t it be cool to reignite those lights and maybe signify a rebirth on Market?'" Basso said.

The illumination continued when Basso brought in Illuminate the Arts CEO Ben Davis, whose Bay Lights project adorns the Bay Bridge, to add some art to the building. Each night, a slide show plays on the side of the building under a giant banner that reads “Let there be…”

“Arts are always key in the healthy resurgence of any area,” Davis said.

Rapidly expanding Zendesk added its own touches to the building, including a living moss wall, and furniture bearing the company’s signature green strokes. The company is keeping other staff in a nearby building it already occupies, and moving additional employees to the the Market Street location, which includes a basement kitchen and amphitheater open to neighborhood groups.

“San Francisco’s always celebrated it’s quirkiness,” said Tiffany Apczynski, Zendesk’s Director of Social Responsibility. “It’s a city of compassion, it’s a city of innovation and no neighborhood demonstrates that better than the mid-Market, Tenderloin neighborhood.”

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.]]>
<![CDATA[Uber: What to Know About Car Service App]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 08:42:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/451565438.jpg

Summoning a driver at a push of a smartphone button is a lot easier than trying to hail a cab during rush hour, which may explain why Uber, a car service app that connects passengers and car services within minutes, has become so popular.

The San Francisco-based startup, which launched in 2010, is the biggest of the car-hailing apps (others include Lyft, Sidecar and Wingz), operating in 120 cities and 37 countries. Uber relies on a surge-pricing model, which means the fares increase during high-demand periods. The company has come under fire from traditional taxi drivers who say the service is not fair and might even be illegal. This battle between upstart and establishment is likely to continue, and may benefit riders from a cost perspective.

Meantime, here’s what you need to know about Uber:

  • How Does Uber Work?

A customer requests a car using a smartphone app and Uber sends its closest driver to their location, using the phone’s GPS. The fare is charged directly to your credit card. Uber provides five types of services: UberX, the cheapest option which allows for the hiring of livery car drivers with a smartphone; Uber Taxi, which lets you e-hail a yellow cab; Uber Black, a private hire car; Uber SUV, the car seats up to six people and Uber Lux, which features the priciest cars.

  • Who Drives Uber Cars?

UberX drivers are not licensed chauffeurs and they use their own cars. They also use their personal auto insurance policy while driving for Uber and they are not required to get commercial liability insurance. According to the company website, all ride-sharing and livery drivers are thoroughly screened and the company conducts ongoing reviews of drivers’ motor vehicle records throughout their time with Uber.

The review process may be flawed.  A three-month investigation by NBC4's I-Team found that convicted felons passed Uber background checks across the country. And in an undercover investigation, NBC Chicago hired several UberX drivers and ran their own background checks on them and found numerous tickets for speeding, illegal stops and running lights.

  • Is Uber Safe?

States are warning riders who hail an Uber or another ride-sharing cab that they may not be covered by insurance if the driver gets in an accident. But Uber and other ride-sharing companies say that is not the case.

"There's no insurance gap at all on any trip on the Uber system," Uber spokeswoman Nairi Hourdajian told NBC News. She said the company's $1 million policy provides sufficient coverage in case a driver's personal insurance fails to do that.

There are other safery concerns as well. A 32-year-old Uber driver in Los Angeles was arrested in June on suspicion of kidnapping a woman and taking her to a motel room, police said.

And a California couples told NBC4 an Uber driver stole $2,500 in cash and personal items from them after he picked them up from LAX and dropped them off at their West Hollywood condo.

  • How Much Is Uber Worth?

Uber was valued in June at $18.2 billion, less than a year after being valued at $3.5 billion. The valuation was the highest-ever for a venture-backed start-up and experts say Uber is positioned to become one of the most powerful companies in the world.

  • Uber Capping Fares in Emergencies

Uber announced Monday that it will cap fares during emergencies and disasters in all U.S. cities. The company said prices may still rise higher than usual during an emergency, but the increase will be limited. The price will always stay below that of the three highest-priced, non-emergency days of the preceding 2 months, according to Uber's website.

The company was accused of price gouging when it applied surge pricing after Hurricane Sandy, in some cases doubling the normal fares.

  • Uber Slashing Fares in Some Cities

Uber also said Monday that it was temporarily cutting UberX rates by 20 percent in New York City, making its service cheaper than taking a yellow taxi.

An UberX ride from New York’s City’s Grand Central Terminal to the Financial District will now cost about $22, down from about $28. The same ride in a city cab will cost about $24, according to Uber’s blog.

Uber has also reduced fares in Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago.

  • Uber Banned in Some Cities

While taxi operators often shell out more than $1 million for a medallion to operate in some cities, Uber drivers don’t. At least six cities (Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Ann Arbor, Michigan; San Antonio and Austin, Texas; and Miami) as well as the state of Virginia have banned ride-sharing companies. Another seven cities and three states (California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania) are trying to regulate them.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Google CEO Larry Page Advocates for Shorter Work Weeks]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 06:12:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/LarryPage1.jpg

Google CEO Larry Page has solved unemployment.

The solution: working less.

Cutting the work week from 40 hours is the way to solve "joblessness and the threat of a robot economy," according to the International Business Times.

Page dished the advice during a lengthy interview with co-founder Sergey Brin and conducted by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, the newspaper reported.

"Most people like working," Page said. "But they'd also like to have more time with their family or to pursue their own interests."

Page, it should be noted, is running a company that's working on adding robots to a host of tasks, such as driver-less cars.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Examining the Tech Stocks Losses on Wall Street]]> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 19:35:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/wall-street-generic.jpg Scott Budman recaps a nerve-racking day on Wall Stret as tech stocks tumbled, taking the rest of the market down with it.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ohio Man Raises $40,000 (and Counting) in Viral Kickstarter Campaign]]> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:33:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/220*120/potatosalad3.JPG

It’s turning into one very expensive potato salad.

When Zack Danger Brown set out to crowdfund his potato salad, the goal was to raise $10.

After all, it really shouldn’t take more than that to make potato salad, right? More than 3,000 backers later, Brown’s campaign has raised $40,000 (and counting).

That’s right, Brown's effort is raising dollars by the second. In fact you can watch the numbers climbing before your eyes in one of the most viral crowdfunding projects of our time.

“Basically I'm just making potato salad. I haven't decided what kind yet,” Brown, who’s from Columbus, Ohio, says on his Kickstarter page.

His initial stretch goals were pretty simple:

$35 - I will make 4x as much Potato Salad. I know $40 isn't 4x $10, but you guys have earned it.

$75 - Pizza Party!

$100 - I will try two different Potato Salad recipes.

Now with all the publicity and more money, Brown’s goals are growing.

Donors can now get “I (Heart) Potato Salad” mesh hats, and he’s even going to call a chef to get a better recipe. Also: “better mayonnaise (from the natural foods section)."

If you are wondering whether Brown will be using really fancy potatoes, he clarifies in his FAQ that they’ll probably come from the Kroger near his house.

In his latest update, Brown says that the whole Internet is invited to his potato salad party (but only $10 and above will be allowed in the kitchen).

And, in case you are wondering, there will be a vegan option.

Photo Credit: www.kickstarter.com]]>
<![CDATA[Tim Cook Wants New Faces for Apple's Board ]]> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:05:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP183163322427.jpg
Apple chief executive Tim Cook is looking for new faces for Apple's board of directors, according to reports.

A profile of Cook which explained his leadership of the tech company and how it differed from his predecessor and founder Steve Jobs, including how Cook was interested in the company, including adding new members to the board, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"The only thing that Steve [Jobs] cared about was creating great products. The company, the employees were only there to facilitate that goal," a former employee told the WSJ. "Tim is much more worried about everything at the company."

That includes Apple’s board. According to people familiar with the company, Mr. Cook is actively seeking new directors to add to Apple’s eight-person board, known for its loyalty to Mr. Jobs. Six of the seven outside directors are aged 63 or older. Four of them have served for more than a decade, including two who have been on the board since the late 1990s: former Intuit Corp. Chief Executive Bill Campbell and J. Crew Group Inc. Chief Executive Millard S. “Mickey” Drexler.
Cook has added Disney chief Bob Iger and promoted Art Levinson to be chairman, but likely wants to add to the board and put his own stamp on it -- including adding people who may be able to advise Apple on some of its latest projects including the so-called iWatch or on health and fitness.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Samsung Says It's Losing Money Because of China]]> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:57:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CPL+tablet.jpg
Samsung's latest earnings show that the South Korean technology manufacturer's profit declined 24 percent from last year, and the company blames the slowing smartphone market and competition from China.
Samsung made a statement that its lackluster forecast was based on the slowing of the smartphone market and from competition in both China and Europe, according to the New York Times. Tablet sales were also "sluggish" and sales were made slower by larger-screened smartphones. The final nail in the coffin is the appreciation of the South Korean won against other global currencies.
Samsung also said that its promotions cannibalized profits, such as when Verizon Wireless offered a free phone if consumers bought a Galaxy S5. Other issues include a slowing smartphone market because fewer people want to upgrade.
Samsung does offer a number of phones at different prices, but its higher-end devices such as the Galaxy S5 competes directly with the iPhone -- which has now partnered with China Mobile. The lower-end phones are also being challenged by emerging phone manufacturers, and many are from China, such as Xiaomi and Lenovo. In the end, Samsung's losses seem to be tied to China.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Potato Salad Kickstarter Raises Over $32,000]]> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:14:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/220*120/potatosalad3.JPG Would you fork over a few bucks to a stranger half way across the country to make potato salad? Thousands of people are doing just that. NBC Bay Area’s Nannette Miranda reports with more on this internet sensation.

Photo Credit: www.kickstarter.com]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Is Silicon Valley's Only Hope For Immigration Reform]]> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 20:36:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/edt-AP7989457347_0.jpg

Congress is of no use to Silicon Valley.

It's all up to Obama now.

Tech needs immigration reform fast in order to welcome high-skilled workers to the country with visas, and the president is the only hope for change with reform "flam[ing] out in Congress," according to the Hill.

The president has pledged to go it alone on immigration reform of the kind that would help Bay Area tech firms lure the top engineering talent from all over the world.

Tech lobbyists told the news source that Silicon Valley firms have spent "millions" on trying to woo Congress members to touch the immigration issue with no results.

Feasibly, the president could change rules around green cards and make it easier for a new immigrant's family to come along with him or her, the Hill reported.

He could also move H-1B visas through the queue more quickly, one lobbyist guessed.

Republicans took aim at tech's efforts, including the Mark Zuckerberg-funded FWD.us. The Facebook founder's lobby group has spent millions on ads aimed at swaying GOP members of Congress.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Google Starts $500 Million War Against Amazon]]> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:05:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GoogleShoppingExpress.jpg

Google is willing to pour $500 million in its new Shopping Express in order to begin an e-commerce war with Amazon, according to reports.

Google, which rules search, has one real competitor for e-commerce, and that's Amazon which still rules product searches, according to the Re/Code. Now the tech titan is going to invest as much as $500 million to grow the service to compete with Amazon.

“You can very much expect that we are putting a lot of money into this and we’re excited and willing to sustain that investment over time as this gets going,” Tom Fallows, head of Google Shopping Express, told the Re/Code.
As we reported before, Google has expanded its delivery operation and is now eyeing the $600 billion grocery market and promising same-day service. Google is also wanting some of the $3.5 billion "direct-response digital ads" that consumers are supposed to be clicking on to buy products.
“Google can’t give up on product search and this is another pathway to closing the loop for advertisers,” Keith Anderson, a vice president at the consulting firm RetailNet Group, told the Re/Code “They failed on the payments side in stores, but if they can use expedited delivery as a way to get it then they’ll keep on being willing to spend.”
However, Google doesn't have giant warehouses and inventory like Amazon, so it must rely on retailers to supply its products, so Google may never be able to compete directly with the e-commerce giant.


Photo Credit: Google]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Poaches Swiss Watch Exec for iWatch]]> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:05:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/100286633-apple-store-logo-outside-morning-gettyp.240x160.jpg
Apple hired the sales director of Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer to launch its new so-called iWatch, reports say.
The iWatch launch will include using the "Swiss made" label to help market the wearable computer, according to CNBC. The head of TAG Heuer's parent company LVMH, Jean-Claude Biver also said that the sales director, Patrick Pruniaux, left only last week to join Apple. Apple declined to comment on the news.
The poaching makes sense as Apple seems to be gearing up for the iWatch later this year. According to CNBC, it has been trying to poach Swiss watch execs for a while "without much success," in order to call the iWatch "Swiss made."
Apparently Pruniaux fell victim to the promise of living in San Francisco and working for a tech company. Other Swiss watch makers had no desire to work for a company that designs in Cupertino and builds its devices in China -- which would be considered a "dilution" of the brand.

Biver also didn't seem unhappy. "If it had been a direct competitor, I would have felt a bit betrayed, but if he goes to Apple I think it is a great experience for him," he said.

 While the iWatch may not be a competitor for luxury brand Swiss watches, watch makers could be missing out on an opportunity to sell watches to younger consumers just joining the market.
<![CDATA[30 Md. Cab Companies Suing Uber]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:40:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Uber-Council-102313.jpg

More than 30 Maryland cab companies are suing Uber, saying the company is hampering their ability to do business.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Baltimore Circuit Court, reported the Baltimore Sun. The lawsuit claims Uber's surge-pricing model is similar to price fixing, and the car service is creating an unfair marketplace.

Taxi companies have begun to fight Uber, a popular ride-sharing company that uses an app to summon rides. In D.C., taxis affiliated with the D.C. Taxi Operators Association closed down Pennsylvania Avenue last month in a protest against Uber that gridlocked traffic.

Virginia has barred Uber from operating in the state, and in San Francisco, the head of one of the oldest cab companies in the city has said that traditional taxis may not survive 18 months in the face of competition from Uber.

Maryland has become a new battlefront for the dispute, with cab companies lobbying against proposals to regulate Uber differently than cab companies.

The cab companies claim that services like Uber aren't regulated the same way that taxis are. Uber has countered that the ride-sharing model isn't a taxi service, and pointed to the consumer demand for the product.

Two of the companies that sued in Maryland -- Barwood Tax and Sun Cab -- are based in Montgomery County.

An Uber spokesperson says it's too early to comment on this lawsuit, but the company will defend itself if it has to.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Toronto Couple Gets Engaged at Facebook Headquarters]]> Sat, 05 Jul 2014 17:03:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/238*120/nafis2.jpg

A couple from Toronto who met virtually on Facebook ended up getting engaged at the brick-and-mortar headquarters in Menlo Park, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg making a cameo right after she said yes.

Steve Kawalit, a 32-digital manager, created a documentary-style YouTube video for his soon-to-be wife, Nafis Joon Rahnama, a dentist, which is now being shared across the Internet.

According to Huffington Post, the two had met seven years ago when he "poked" the pretty girl he saw pop up in his news feed. In the video, Kawalit tells viewers that his girlfriend was under impression they were flying to San Francisco International Airport in June for a free Facebook tour. But as HuffPo reports, Kawalit had already gotten permission to get down on one knee on June 23.

The 2-minute 39-second clip shows the couple on the tour, which was stopped when Rahnama looked ahead and saw a huge blue-and-white sign,"NAFIS, WILL YOU MARRY ME?"


"Oh!" she shrieks on the video, clasping her face in her hands.

The crowd at Facebook's "Hacker Square," which included Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, starts whooping and cheering. Someone screamed out, "Get down on your knee."

And so Kawalit did, after asking his girlfreind several times, "Are you OK? Are you OK?"

As he extended his arm with the diamond, Kawalit says: "I love you very much. You're my best friend. Will you marry me?"

Rahnama thanked Facebook in the video for her relationship, which came "full circle" because of the social media giant.

And of course, she posted a formal answer on this Facebook Proposal page: "What I thought was a private tour inside Facebook’s Headquarters in Menlo Park, was actually an elaborate scheme. Steve, with the help of some Facebook employees, turned Hacker Square into my own surprise proposal!! You got me good Kawalit…and now you got me for life ."


Photo Credit: Screen grab from Facebook Proposal video]]>