<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Tech News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/tech http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Fri, 22 May 2015 03:24:18 -0700 Fri, 22 May 2015 03:24:18 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Warriors' Barbosa Dishes Out Directions in Waze App]]> Thu, 21 May 2015 17:53:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0521-2015-LeandroBarbosa.jpg

Waze may be the next go-to app for members of the Dub Nation heading to Warriors Ground.

The Bay Area-based app, which provides mobile users traffic and navigation information, now features Golden State Warriors Guard Leandro Barbosa dishing out directions.

Barbosa, also known as the Brazilian Blur, recently hit the studio and recorded directions for Waze in both English and Portuguese.

"We also really want to encourage people to use the voice activation and turn-by-turn navigation," said Quinn Daly of Waze.

Visit waze.com for more information.

Photo Credit: Waze]]>
<![CDATA[Dept. of Homeland Security Report Focuses on SFO Data Security]]> Wed, 20 May 2015 18:52:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/02-28-2014-sfo.jpg

The Department of Homeland Security is warning San Francisco International Airport to keep a closer eye on its data.

A report from the department looked specifically at SFO's information technology. The report did not find any new hacks, but did point out human error -- things like doors left open -- may put SFO servers stored with data at risk.

The challenge is that technology advances don't always go hand in hand with security protocols, and the result is vulnerability gaps," said Michael McNerney with the Truman Security Project.

SFO officials declined to comment on the report.

Photo Credit: Christie Smith]]>
<![CDATA[Hackers Targeting In-Home Tech Devices]]> Fri, 15 May 2015 19:57:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0515-2015-hack.jpg Lots of technology is coming into our homes, but is it bringing in criminals along with it? NBC Bay Area's Business and Tech Reporter Scott Budman shows how many of these devices are easily hackable.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Menlo Park Company Creates Flying Camera]]> Fri, 15 May 2015 16:16:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/lilycamphoto.jpg

A Menlo Park company has devised a flying camera for consumer use.

Lily, described on its website as a "camera that follows you," is a drone device that is thrown in the air, where it hovers, follows and shoots the person controlling it.

The camera weighs just under three pounds, has a maximum altitude of 50 feet and 20 minutes of recording time; photos and videos are sent to your smartphone.

Yahoo tech reporter Daniel Howley was impressed with how well Lily kept up with his movements and controls, which are executed via a device worn around the wrist. He tried to "trick it by running in zigzag patterns," but it still kept up.

Lily is currently available for pre-order through June 15 for $499; it will ship in February 2016.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lily]]>
<![CDATA[SF Startup Uses 3D Printers to Create Prosthetic Legs]]> Thu, 14 May 2015 12:44:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/LEG2.JPG

Is it the next Industrial Revolution? 3D printing may one day revolutionize businesses, but it’s already having another effect: changing countless lives.

For some, that means being able to stand on their own two feet. Literally.

Veronica Perez was 16 when she suffered an injury that left her with chronic bone infections in her feet. Tired of the pain, she asked doctors to amputate her left leg.

“There’s a lot of limitations that come with being an amputee,” said Perez. “There’s a lot of things we can’t do.”

Insurance covered the bulk of her primary prosthetic leg, which ranges in cost from $20,000 up to $100,000. Perez said unfortunately, it’s not made for water. This meant countless times of depending on strangers to help her get into the pool, for instance. Something as simple as getting in and out of the shower, without her prosthetic leg, became potentially dangerous.

“I’ve had a few times where I’ve fallen and I’ve slipped getting in and out of the shower,” described Perez. “I’ve hurt myself, it’s scary and I’m worried I may hurt myself more.”

That’s why Jeff Huber, an entrepreneur, decided to start Standard Cyborg. The San Francisco-based start-up creates prosthetic legs that are both water- and wallet-friendly as secondary legs. Think of the legs as different kinds of shoes, made for a wide range of purposes: walking, running, swimming, and going out.

“Your primary leg will cost $20,000 $100,000, if you’re an above the knee amputee,” Huber explained.

While insurance can cover the bulk of the cost, Huber said that doesn’t necessarily apply to any other legs an amputee may want or need. His product is also a fraction of the cost: under $800.

“Nobody else in the world, as far as I know, had created functional 3D printed legs, and definitely no one had ever sold one before,” said Huber.

In six short months from summer of 2014, it grew from pet project to real product, one made by what Huber’s dubbed his “glorified glue gun.”

The leg shape is scanned, the images are finalized on his computer, and those data files are then sent to the three 3D printers sitting in his South of Market shop. The melted plastic is melded into just about anything.

“You can print an object of infinite complexity that many times traditional manufacturing couldn’t even make, and you can do so at a very cheap price because it doesn’t cost a lot,” said Huber.

It’s part of the so-called “Maker Movement” that involves a wave of hands-on inventors and innovators, hackers and do-it-yourself devotees who harness the power of production for people who might otherwise be ignored by mass manufacturers motivated mostly by money.

“I think that that the fact he can use things like 3D printing is really great because we’re such a small group of people who need this,” said Perez. “It’s really great that technology is so accessible like that.”

The field of “personal manufacturing” is still in its nascent stages. Most products have been toys and gadgets, in part because the plastics available for the printing haven’t been strong enough to produce more substantial products. Huber believes that’s quickly changing.

“Even in the next one to two years, you’re going to see some pretty cool things happen I think.”

The industry is exploding. According to San Jose-based leading touch technology and microcontrollers manufacturer, Atmel, there are roughly 125-million adult “makers” in the United States alone, injecting about $29 billion into the economy annually.

Atmel also says the market for 3D printing products and services hit $2.2 billion in 2012, a figure expected to jump to $6 billion within two years and $8.4 billion by 2020 – mostly coming from the aerospace and healthcare fields.

“We’re at the very early stages of this and it will be fascinating to see where it plays out over the next 20 years,” said Huber.

It’s innovation inspired by his very own life. Huber has been an amputee his entire life.

“As an amputee, you’re always worried about using your prosthetics. Say you take it to the beach, you’re worried about losing it, breaking it. This thing costs $20,000 so if you lose or break it, it’s a really big deal.”

After about 10 hours of 3D printing and several days of waiting before they could meet, Perez arrived at Huber’s San Francisco shop to try on her new leg.

It fit. While it’s still a work in progress, Perez said she is both giddy and grateful to have this secondary leg.

“I would never think of something like that and then be able to produce it, and you actually did it,” she said to Huber. “I think it’s so awesome.”

It’s also reassuring. Perez admits having to rely on strangers for help as an amputee has been a struggle.

“I worry about having to depend on others for day-to-day things, and it scares me,” she said. “Honestly, I worry a lot about that and I hope by the time I’m a senior, that there are things out there that are going to help me be more independent.”

For Huber, the ability to give someone that bit of freedom is invaluable.

“It certainly helps when you want to pull your hair out to say, ‘Okay, this is actually going to change somebody’s life, so I should probably go figure it out.’”

<![CDATA[Sidecar Starts Marijuana Delivery Service in SF]]> Thu, 14 May 2015 18:53:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/marijuana-GettyImages_698723.jpg

While Uber expands into areas like food delivery, rideshare competior Sidecar is exploring a greener business.

Sidecar's new partnership with the Meadow delivery service means that registered patients can receive herbal relief from San Francisco medical marijuana dispensary The Apothecarium at their door.

San Francisco is quickly becoming a testing ground for on-demand medical marijuana delivery services. Last month, a local startup called Eaze closed a $10 million round of funding.

Meadow's co-founder and CEO Sunil Paul told Buzzfeed that the drivers as well as the customers must be a registered medical marijuana patient, which makes sense on a procurement level, but he did not express a stance on drivers who actually partake.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley Tech Executives' Net Worth Equal to Dozens of Top Celebs]]> Thu, 14 May 2015 18:58:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/166*120/tlmd_forbes14_sergey_brin.jpg

Silicon Valley's billionaire boys club is giving the entertainment industry a run for the money.

The net worth of tech executives like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Sergey Brin blows away that of top celebrity earners many times over. Buzzfeed sourced data from Forbes.com and celebritynetworth.com in order to create visual charts represented with icons of heads of wealthy celebrities like Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift.

According to the site's findings, Zuckerberg's estimated net worth of $34.6 billion is equal to 50 times the net worth of Jay Z ($650 million) and Kanye West ($130 million) combined.

Brin's relatively modest $29 billion is comparable to seven Oprahs ($3 billion), five Madonnas ($800 million) and five Seinfelds ($800 million).

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Raises Contractor Minimum Wage]]> Wed, 13 May 2015 17:43:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/168*120/facebook27.JPG

Facebook has announced that it will pay contractors on its new Menlo Park campus at least $15 per hour and offer $4,000 for paid parental leave.

Debra Ness, president of National Partnership for Women & Families, praised Facebook's announcement and told the Mercury News the paid parental leave "goes beyond anything we have seen."

Before her husband's sudden passing last week, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told the publication, "We really want to be great employers and that means we make sure that anyone who does substantial work for us has access to things we have."

Facebook's new Frank Gehry-designed campus, called MPK20, is already expanding, with two new buildings totaling 985,000 square feet, a 200-room hotel, and a five-acre public space planned for the next phase.

Photo Credit: Mark Zuckerberg Via Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[A Silicon Valley Fashion Week? It Exists]]> Wed, 13 May 2015 16:19:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/siliconvalleyfashionweek.jpg

The public is asked to weigh in on whether another day should be added to a new event called Silicon Valley Fashion Week?

That wasn't a typographical error; the event name contains a question mark because, as creator Chris Lindland told KQED Arts, “It's coming up with a big idea that’s like, ‘Oh God, that would be either brilliant or a gigantic failure,’ and then going for it.”

Companies like Lindland's Betabrand, Timbuk2, and Misfit Wearables created original pieces for the technology inspired fashion show. Some can even be classified as "wearable tech" because they incorporate electronics that light up or make music.

The event is scheduled to continue through May 14 at The Chapel in San Francisco. Tickets are sold out, but a form on the event site asks potential attendees to register their name and email and they'll be notified if another day is added.

<![CDATA[Berkeley Approves Cell Phone Radiation Warning Ordinance]]> Tue, 12 May 2015 23:51:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/ts_cell_phone_still_022414.jpg

The Berkeley City Council late Tuesday voted unanimously to require retailers to warn customers of possible radiation exposure when purchasing cell phones.

The so-called "right to know ordinance" is expected to be challenged by a lawsuit from the cell phone industry.

Ellie Marks with the California Brain Tumor Association wants everyone to think about where they hold their cell phone.

Marks, who believes a cell phone caused her husband to have a brain tumor, has spent years fight for cell phone radiation "right to know" legislation.

"Telling people phones should not be held to the body," Marks said. "If they do hold them up to their body they are exceeding federal exposure limits."

Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig is promising to defend the City of Berkeley free of charge if the cell phone industry files a lawsuit.

"I do think cities should be in a position to make sure citizens know about safety standards in place and make their own choice," Lessig said.

Berkeley's "right to know ordinance" is expected to pass a required second reading.

If the legislation survives an expected legal challenge, Berkeley will be the first city in the nation to require the warning.

<![CDATA[Hackers Targeting Starbucks Mobile App]]> Tue, 12 May 2015 19:17:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/192*120/tlmd_brightcove_2067658930001_4180567187001_sb.jpg

Starbucks' popular mobile app is now a target for hackers.

The app for the popular coffee shop boasts 16 million users, who are able to pay through the app and by just holding up their smartphone.

Starbucks is getting scalded by reports that hackers can access the credit card you have attached to the app if you have the app set to "automatic download." Hackers get the app user's password prior to gaining access to the credit card.

"You automatically reduce your account balance, and from there money gets taken from your credit card," Steve Pao of Barracuda Networks said.

People using the app are encouraged to turn off the "automatic download" function of the app and change your password to help prevent hackers from gaining access to their credit card.

<![CDATA[Elon Musk Says He Didn't Scold Employee For Attending Child's Birth]]> Tue, 12 May 2015 16:21:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/elonmuskmarch.jpg

Tesla CEO Elon Musk disputes a book's contention that he was angry at a male employee for taking off work to watch his child be born.

In a collection of provocative quotes from the new book "Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future," which was written by Bloomberg reporter Ashlee Vance, Washington Post noted that an anonymous Tesla employee who took time off to watch the birth of his child recalled receiving an email that said, “That is no excuse. I am extremely disappointed. You need to figure out where your priorities are. We’re changing the world and changing history, and you either commit or you don’t.”

Musk replied via Twitter on Monday that, "It is total BS & hurtful to claim that I told a guy to miss his child's birth just to attend a company meeting. I would never do that.."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Uber Could Be Worth $50 Billion]]> Mon, 11 May 2015 12:37:24 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/UberEATS-menu-Godmother-1024x683.jpg

If Uber is successful in raising $1.5 to $2 billion in additional funding, the company could be worth $50 billion.

The Wall Street Journal reports the San Francisco company told investors these figures are the target range for the next round of funding. The publication noted, if Uber achieves a $50 billion valuation, it would be comparable to what Facebook was worth before going public.

Uber has been quickly ramping up other types of offerings, including a food delivery service called UberEATS that might expand to the Bay Area in the future.

But, Uber has also been losing money and has accrued $5 billion in debt and equity, according to TechCrunch.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Uber]]>
<![CDATA[Girl: My iPhone Caught Fire]]> Fri, 08 May 2015 23:34:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/iPhone+Catch+Fire+Girl+Pocket.PNG

Roselly Rolon got her daughter, Alexis, an Apple iPhone 5C for peace of mind in case of an emergency. But the Northeast Philadelphia mother never expected the smartphone to be the source of trouble.

On Friday morning, however, the family claims just that happened. As the 12-year-old walked to school, she said the popular smartphone caught fire in the pocket of her pants.

"All I saw was smoke coming out and then it was my phone. So I threw it on the ground — my butt was, like, burning," the girl recalled.

Alexis heard a cracking sound coming from the phone before it caught fire, but she didn't realize anything was wrong until the smoke began to rise, she said.

"I took it out ... and I threw it on the ground and started stomping out the fire," she said.

The white phone's case was left disfigured, the metal charred and rippled. The device burned through the back pocket of Alexis' jeans and left the girl with second-degree burns, doctors at Nazareth Hospital determined.

"We depend on these phones. And the same phone that I'm depending on is gonna burn my daughter," Roselly Rolon, the girl's mother, said angrily. "Thank God it wasn't her face."

The girl said the phone had been problem-free before Friday's fire and that she charged it normally Thursday night.

Apple told NBC10 they can't comment because the Rolons haven't contacted them directly about the incident. The family says their attorney is reaching out to the tech giant.

This isn't the first time an iPhone owner claimed their phone combusted. A middle schooler in Maine suffered 2nd degree burns in January 2014 after she said her iPhone 5C caught fire in her pocket. An Arizona man also suffered similar burns after he said an iPhone 6 went up in flames in his pocket last October.

Despite the pain inflicted by the device, Alexis isn't shying away from the smartphone. "I like the iPhone, but I don't want that one anymore. I want a different one," she said.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Mark Zuckerberg Could Help With Affordable Housing]]> Fri, 08 May 2015 21:21:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-f8.jpg

Mark Zuckerberg could help San Francisco's Mission District overcome an affordable housing crisis, says one resident.

Mission Local, offering a snapshot into a recent community meeting held by the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), reported that one attendee suggested that Mark Zuckerberg can help bring the balance of affordable housing back to the area.

The Facebook founder and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan donated $75 million to the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation in February.

It might not be a far-fetched suggestion. Mission Local stated that Karoleen Feng, MEDA's director of community real estate, said in the meeting that they've been talking to local tech companies about how they can help pay for affordable housing.

Photo Credit: EFE]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla's Powerwall Battery a Hit, Says CEO]]> Fri, 08 May 2015 21:15:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/elonmuskmarch.jpg

Tesla Motors' first detour from making cars is an early hit just days into its debut— so much so, you probably can't get one until 2016.

The Powerwall, a battery that can power homes and businesses through storing solar power, has received 38,000 orders for homes and 2,500 for businesses.

"We are basically sold out through the middle of next year," Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Forbes.

Musk unvveiled Tesla's first major new product line beyond cars on April 30 at Tesla's Hawthorne Design Studio. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Yelp Might Be For Sale]]> Thu, 07 May 2015 18:05:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Yelp-Reviews-0520.jpg

A new report notes that Yelp is courting potential buyers.

The San Francisco company, founded in 2004, could be worth $3.5 billion if sold, according to The Wall Street Journal. That's half a billion more than what Business Insider called Yelp's current market cap.

Less valuable and included in any sale of Yelp would be its legacy of lawsuits and inquiries. Though ultimately dismissed, the company has faced multiple extortion suits as well as an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.

Photo Credit: AP / File]]>
<![CDATA[Silicon Valley: $700 Trailer Parks, $69 Million Mansions]]> Wed, 06 May 2015 19:08:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/siliconvelley.jpg

Looking for the real estate temperature in Silicon Valley?

Right now, you can buy a $69 million mansion — or rent space in a mobile home park for $700 per month.

A current property listing for a nine bedroom, nine bathroom mansion in Woodside asks for $69.8 million. If the budget is modest and you can do with fewer rooms, there are also listings nearby in town for close to $30 and $40 million, respectively.

In an article highlighting the low end of this disparity, OZY estimated that there are 130 mobile home parks in Santa Clara County, with lot rent ranging from $700 to $1,500 per month. The site describes them of occupying a spectrum between "neat manufactured home communities with clubhouses and a bit of greenery to poorly paved, shabby spaces where you can hear the clang of a neighbor’s dishes from your living room, even with the TV at full volume."

It's a surprisingly large number given what's happening in neighboring counties. For comparison, mobilehomeparkstore.com lists only 23 mobile home parks in San Mateo County.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SF Cabbie Shoots Documentary]]> Thu, 07 May 2015 07:40:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/207*120/hire.JPG

A San Francisco cab driver talks about how the predatory pricing and unregulated services of companies like Uber and Lyft have altered the marketplace for both drivers and passengers in a new self-produced documentary called "Driving for Hire."

John Han, a 13-year veteran of cab driving, serves as a relatively balanced narrator and interviewer of drivers from San Francisco cab companies as well as transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft. He traces the local history of cabbies as they went from benefited employees to independent contractors with no benefits. He also admits that the taxi industry suffers from failing to adapt to the service needs of the public and for employing a mix of "bad apples" mixed in with fleets of "amazing drivers."

But he also raises questions about the lack of regulation on TNCs, their relative inability to accommodate disabled passengers, and their effect on the environment.

“I wanted to emphasize some things, particularly around the disability issue," Han told KQED News of his documentary, which took 10 months to make. "And it doesn’t seem like anyone on the regulatory or legislative side is in any hurry to determine the environmental impacts.”

Watch the full "Driving for Hire" documentary below:

<![CDATA[Live-Streaming Apps Spark Piracy Concerns]]> Tue, 05 May 2015 07:24:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Pacquiao-Mayweather-3.jpg

This weekend’s fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao was hyped as the fight of the century. Now, a new fight begins.

It cost viewers at home about $100 to order the pay per view event, but several hundred people used live streaming video apps like Meerkat and Periscope to broadcast it for free. They simply held the phone up to the TV. Now, those people could face legal action.

“The technology as a whole, I think, is going to be beneficial to consumers and broadcasters,” said attorney Mitch Stoltz.

Stoltz is an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which fights for consumer digital rights.
He believes live streaming companies shouldn't suffer when users rebroadcast licensed material.

“The makers of the technology, whether it's Sony in the case of the VCR, or Periscope with this new technology, isn't going to be responsible unless they were encouraging people to use it in illegal ways,” he said.

Saturday night after the boxing match, the Twitter CEO Dick Costolo tweeted:

“And the winner is…@periscopeco.”

Twitter recently acquired the live-streaming company.

Monday, Periscope issued a statement:

"Periscope operates in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we respect intellectual property rights and are working to ensure there are robust tools in place to respond expeditiously. Unauthorized broadcasts of content that is protected by copyright is a clear violation of our content policy. It’s not the kind of content we want to see in Periscope."

A company spokesperson said of the 66 live streams red flagged by those who own the rights to the fight, Periscope shut down 30 of them within minutes. The remaining broadcasts had already ended and were no longer available.

As for why those broadcasters and advertisers would object? San Jose State University Advertising Professor John Delacruz said it’s not just about the lost money.

“I think the biggest problem that comes from allowing just anybody to broadcast live is that you can be damaging the brand itself," Delacruz said. "You can really leave yourself open to abuse."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Steve Jobs Business Cards Put Up for Public Auction]]> Tue, 05 May 2015 11:10:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP080115083000_0.jpg

Steve Jobs' business cards from his tenures at Apple, NeXT, and Pixar are now up for public auction.

Business Insider noted that the opening bid for the lot of three cards listed on Biddingforgood.com was $600. The current bid for the three cards is at $6,025; the next accepted bid will need to be $25 higher.

He is listed as Steven P. Jobs on each card. He served as President of NeXT, and Chairman of the Board at Pixar and Apple. All contain phone numbers, but none offered an email address.

Bids will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Tech Gifts for Mother's Day]]> Mon, 04 May 2015 08:28:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_momgifts0430_1500x845.jpg From tiles that beep and to find your keys to self-contained watering and growing pots for plants, here are some high-tech gifts for Mother's Day.]]> <![CDATA[Flickr Founder Wants to Challenge Work Email]]> Mon, 04 May 2015 11:18:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/computer+generic1.jpg

Most people may know Stewart Butterfield as one of the founders of Flickr, who sold the company off to Yahoo for $25 million in 2005. Now his new company, Slack, a new team communication platform, is valued at $2.8 billion.

The impetus behind Slack is that email is too clunky, and worker drones need a better way to see what everyone is saying and have archive access. "By organizating people into channels or specific projects, you get an ambient awareness," Butterfield told Press:Here.

Instead of sending a ticket to a company's help desk to fix something, the department could notice a lot of chatter online about a computer problem. Instead of waiting for a fix-it ticket, the tech team could proactively try to fix it -- all because they were able to see what the rest of the company was talking about.

Slack actually came out of another startup by Butterfield, a video gaming site called Glitch, which never really caught on. After a while and $17 million in venture capital funds, Butterfield realized it was never going to be a moneymaker. However, his team realized it  wanted to keep using the same messaging platform they created. This made Butterfield pivot to Slack as a new startup for companies who want a more open communication platform.

Butterfield said the name comes from his attempt to lessen the tension around office communications. "Having slack gives people room to play and explore," he said.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg Dies at 47]]> Sat, 02 May 2015 20:07:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/458443938.jpg

Dave Goldberg, the chief executive of SurveyMonkey and husband of Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, died Friday night, his brother announced Saturday, NBC News reported.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, shared a Facebook post from Goldberg's brother, Robert Goldberg.

"Dave Goldberg was an amazing person and I am glad I got to know him," the post said. "My thoughts and prayers are with Sheryl and her family. I hope friends will join me in celebrating his life by sharing your memories of Dave on his profile, as his brother Rob suggests."

A statement on SurveyMonkey's website expressed sympathy for Goldberg's passing and reflectedon his character:

"We are deeply saddened to announce that Dave Goldberg passed away suddenly last night. Dave’s genius, courage and leadership were overshadowed only by his compassion, friendship and heart. His greatest love was for his family. Our sympathy goes out to them and to all who were touched by this extraordinary man. We are all heartbroken."

The cause of death is not known.

Sandberg and Goldberg married in 2004, according to a New York Times Wedding announcement. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and worked at several technology and music companies before starting at SurveyMonkey in 2009, according to his profile on the online survey company's website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Student Gets New 3-D Printed Hand]]> Sat, 02 May 2015 01:56:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/3-d+hand.jpg

A South Florida graduate student is getting a helping hand, thanks to a fellow classmate and some innovative technology.

Chad Coarsey was born without a left hand — but after a little ingenuity with a 3-D printer, he now has one.

Like many other 25 year olds, Coarsey loves to stay active and play sports.


"As I was wrestling in high school I got kind of the nickname, 'The Nub,'" said the Florida Atlantic University graduate student. "It's a big part of my personality, so it's a big part of how people identify who I am," Coarsey said.

Although his parents had offered to buy him a prosthesis many times, Coarsey was okay without one. Then he met his classmate and fellow graduate student, Charles Weinthal.

"I noticed he didn't have a hand," said Weinthal. "So I asked him, 'Chad would you like a hand?' And he looked at me for a moment and just smiled brightly and said 'Yes, I would,'" said Weinthal.

So why now?

"Well probably my curiosity and openness to science and seeing what I can actually make," Coarsey said.

The collaboration for their FAU class project then quickly began. They used FAU High School's high-tech lab and a 3-D printer to make Coarsey's hand.

Here's how 3-D printing works: Guided by a computer model, a plastic filament melts to create the object layer by layer. The 3-D printed prosthetic hand takes less than 24 hours to print.

"This device costs less than $100 to make," Weinthal said.

"When I put it on and started grabbing things and picking up things... for me it was just very surreal," Coarsey said.

It's no surprise these two passed their intro to bioengineering class with flying colors. The next step for "the Hulk hand," as Coarsey jokingly calls it, is for the plastic fingers to move individually.

"I can get another hand and be up to par... but why not push it further and get a hand that's better than what two handed people can do?"

Since this prosthesis has made a difference in Coarsey's life, both men now plan to give a hand to hundreds of amputees in need. They hope this quick and affordable alternative can extend far beyond the walls of their lab.

"It's important that everyone has a hand and that's part of giving. Because you give and get," Weinthal said.

"Despite having a limitation... if there's the motivation you can overcome it yourself," added Coarsey.

The students don't intend on making a business out of the creation. At this time, a foundation is in the works so that they can help thousands of people who may be in need of 3-D printed prosthetics.

Photo Credit: NBCMiami.com]]>
<![CDATA[How Old Do I Look? Website's Photo Guesses Go Viral ]]> Fri, 01 May 2015 10:08:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/computer_generic_laptop_5_640x480.jpg

People pondering the age-old query of "how old do I look?" are finally getting an answer, for better or for worse, thanks to a new website that's gone viral. 

Developers at Microsoft launched a website this week that claims to guess a person’s gender and age based on a photo upload.

Corom Thompson and Santosh Balasubramanian launched the website, How-Old.net at a tech conference Thursday, not knowing it would go viral.

"We sent email to a group of several hundred people asking them to try the page for a few minutes and give us feedback - optimistically hoping that at least 50 people would give it a shot," they wrote in a blog post.

But within a few hours, they wrote they had already seen hits from more than 35,000 users from across the world. 

While the answers are far from 100 percent accurate, many people are taking to social media to share the "age" guessed by the site. 

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<![CDATA[Proterra Shows Off Electric Bus]]> Tue, 28 Apr 2015 19:08:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0428-2015-Proterra.jpg You'll soon see a new kind of bus on Bay Area roadways. It won't solve the traffic problem, but it may clear the air a bit. Scott Budman reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Uber Starts Food Delivery Service, May Expand to Bay Area]]> Tue, 28 Apr 2015 17:30:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/UberEATS-menu-Godmother-1024x683.jpg

Uber has turned its business model to the food delivery world.

The rideshare company announced expansion of a service called UberEATS to Chicago and New York on Tuesday. Customers can order meals from a daily changing menu of restaurant entrees and have them delivered in the same way that they would summon a ride.

The service was previously tested out in Barcelona and Los Angeles; it was known as UberFRESH in the latter city. It is not currently available in the Bay Area, but an Uber spokesperson did not rule it out for the short term.

"We haven’t announced specific plans, but we are always looking for new opportunities to help connect people with delicious meals on demand and look forward to expanding this service to more cities in the near future," Trina Smith from Uber Corporate Communications told NBC Bay Area.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Uber]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla, Elon Musk Twitter Accounts Hacked]]> Mon, 27 Apr 2015 06:30:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/06-05-2014-tesla-logo-emblem.jpg

The Twitter accounts for Tesla and its founder Elon Musk were hacked Saturday.

The hacker or hackers promised free Teslas. The tweets went out to more than 2.5 million of Tesla's followers. Hacks directed readers to a residence in Oswego, Illinois.

Musk regularly teases news about Tesla or another of his companies, SpaceX, on the hacked account.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Customers Play Waiting Game for Apple Watch]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 19:12:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/apple-watch-opciones.jpg Apple Watches went on sale Friday with many stores selling out. Scott Budman reports.

Photo Credit: GETTY]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Watch Frenzy at U.S.-Exclusive Retailer]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 09:54:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-469710240.jpg

Apple Watches go on sale Friday, but there's only one place in Los Angeles where you can buy one to wear today.

In fact, it's the only such store in America -- and the line was already snaking around the corner before doors opened Friday morning.

Maxfield, on Melrose Avenue, is one of a few boutiques around the world to offer the hi-tech timepieces to customers, according to the tech company. Apple Stores have watches on display to try on, but won't sell the devices directly to people, referring them to online sales instead.

People camped out in tents, sleeping bags and blankets to get the much-hyped watch, which communicates with the user's phone to provide notifications, track the user's health and, of course, tell the time -- Apple calls the watch its "most personal device ever."

The line continued around the corner and into an alley at 6:45 a.m. Friday morning. It began before 6 p.m. Thursday, according to Twitter users like @Richard Ryan.

One of the people who camped out early was Ira Edelman, who said he was eager to let the watch replace his phone for much of his day-to-day use: "Not having to pull out your phone all the time...'Oh, I got a text message,' so you look down and see."

The only other places to offer Apple Watches worldwide include boutiques in Berlin, Paris, London and Tokyo and resellers in China and Japan.

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>