<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Tech News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/tech http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usTue, 21 Feb 2017 13:23:40 -0800Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:23:40 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Trump Takes a Second Crack at Travel Ban]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:38:55 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-21-17-mcgrew-tech.jpg

Scott McGrew examines the new travel ban and HR McMaster, the new national security advisor.

<![CDATA[Bill Gates Thinks It May Be Time to Tax Robots]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:05:44 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Bill_Gates.jpg

Bill Gates sees an upside to the robots taking jobs from humans: taxes.

Harnessing technology helped make Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, the richest man in the world. Recently, he told the publication Quartz that technology can be harnessed to help maintain the social safety net for the communities that lose jobs to automation.

"Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things," Gates said in the interview. "If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level."

Automation is a hot topic these days, with American jobs a major focus of Donald Trump's presidency. He is pursuing policy that will incentivize companies creating manufacturing jobs in places like the Rust Belt and punish companies that move such jobs overseas.

But some analysts believe that many of the manufacturing jobs that stay in the U.S. will simply be automated. Roughly half the world's jobs could be automated with technology that already exists, accounting for $15 trillion in wages, according to a recent analysis by the McKinsey Global Institute.

In his farewell address, President Barack Obama warned of economic dislocation that comes "from the relentless pace of automation that makes many good, middle-class jobs obsolete."

Gates argues that taxing robots that take the place of American workers would help communities accept that kind of change, since they would benefit from the work the robots do.

"It is really bad if people overall have more fear about what innovation is going to do than they have enthusiasm. That means they won’t shape it for the positive things it can do," Gates told Quartz.

Gates isn't the only major player in the tech world thinking about how to help society adapt to the technology that's so quickly changing the way people interact.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg released a manifesto last week aiming to explain how his company will try to create a "social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us."

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Teens Help Navigate SF With New Crime-Mapping App]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:36:58 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/thumbnailverizon_1.jpg

A group of Bay Area teenagers won a national hunt for new and innovative applications for their crime-mapping navigation app in San Francisco. 

"I went to a 'Sweet 16' party in San Francisco and it was just a bunch of girls and we were planning on where we were going to go, but we weren't really sure what places to avoid and what places were safe." Savita Balaji, 16, a member of 'Team Intuit' said.

In addition to the honor, the team received $20,000 from the Verizon Foundation, five tablets as well as mentoring from application experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to help build their final product. 

Once finished, they will travel to the Technology Student Association Conference in June to present their product.

The winning team initially met during the Girls Who Code program, a non-profit program which focuses on teaching girls emerging skills in technology.

"Us girls in Girls Who Code, we formed a group and created this app," Balaji. "We want everybody to feel safe and comfortable when they’re traveling."

Fittingly named after the Greek goddess of protection, Soteria, the app recommends routes based on crime data, police social feeds and includes an emergency call feature.

Erin Allard, the Girls Who Code coach is excited for the girls' future.

"I wrote letters of reference for a handful of them who are graduating seniors hoping to get into computer science programs so that's been really rewarding for me as a teacher," Allard said. "It is so empowering for anyone to learn how to code but especially girls who are really underrepresented in tech."

With about 1,800 submissions, Verizon presented the awards to the team Wednesday during a ceremony on the Intuit headquarters in Mountain View, where they had been hosted for the Girls Who Code program.

And for Balaji, it's only the beginning for the Soteria app.

"We would like to reach a larger crowd," Balaji said, adding that she wants to include more visual features and cities before its launch.

The Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge is part of a #weneedmore campaign Verizon announced to call attention to the gap in technology education. 

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway
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<![CDATA[Donald Trump’s Secret Plan to Defeat ISIS]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 08:45:09 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/2-14-17-mcgrew-6am-hit+tech1.jpg

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to initiate a plan to defeat ISIS no later than 30 days after taking office. It’s day 32.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Guns for the Mentally Ill? Sort Of.]]> Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:19:44 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/2-16-17-scott-mcgrew-tech.jpg

Scott McGrew explains a congressional order that - on its face – seems not to make sense to many Americans.

<![CDATA[Young Adults More Likely Than Teens to Text and Drive: Study]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 07:39:44 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-565978511.jpg

A new study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety confirmed that millennials can’t seem to put down their cellphones, even when they’re behind the wheel. 

After surveying over 2,500 Americans, AAA concluded that 19- to 24-year-olds are more inclined than any other age group, including teens, to check their phones for texts while in the driver’s seat. Millennial drivers also aren’t as supportive of legislation aimed at stemming distractions while on the road, and they’re more likely to normalize texting and driving than other groups.

In all, 88.4 percent of respondents from ages 19-24 reported engaging in dangerous behaviors like texting, speeding and red-light running. That compared to 79.2 percent for people 25-39 and 69.3 percent for 16- to 18-year-olds.

Phone use is one of many dangers that contribute to almost 100 American deaths every day, on average, because of car wrecks. Another is driving while intoxicated, which almost everyone agreed was a serious threat to their personal safety.

But as the study notes, most American drivers seem to abide by the mantra, “Do as I say, not as I do.” More than one in eight respondents said they had driven after drinking within the past year.

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Aggressive driving can also cause wrecks. Though over three-fourths of those polled said they disapproved of speeding on the freeway, nearly half admitted to driving at least 15 miles over the speed limit in the past month.

Because of irresponsible driving, 982,307 Americans have died since 1991. One in five survey respondents had been in a serious accident, and one in three was close with someone who had been injured or killed on the road.

In 2015, there were 35,092 people who lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes, a 7.2 percent increase from the year before.

"People in the United Sates do value safe travel and desire a greater level of safety than they now experience," the authors of the survey wrote.

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Because of dangers associated with driving, many of those questioned said that it’s unacceptable to not wear a seat belt. Still, one in six admitted they hadn't buckled up in the last month.

Photo Credit: Getty/Spaces Images
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<![CDATA[Clinton's Campaign Manager Discusses E-Mail Leaks]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 18:57:43 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0214-2017-RobbyMook.jpg

Did e-mail leaks cost Hillary Clinton the presidency?

Her campaign manager says yes. Republicans say no.

The argument over technology and politics has only intensified since the election and on Tuesday it became one of the hottest topics at a major Bay Area cyber security conference.

"Those e-mails were stolen by a foreign government, by Russian, and released for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton," said Robby Mook, Clinton's campaign manager.

Mook believes cyber security played a big role in the election.

"And did it affect the election? Absolutely it affected the election," Mook said. "This election was lost by a very small margin."

Republicans argue that it was much more than e-mail leaks that cost Clinton the election.

Mook admits his side could have done several things better, but also said future elections will likely have the same concerns about cyber security.

"I'm just here to make sure that people are focused on the cyber security issue," Mook admits. "It is of great importance to our democracy."

Now, after facing a leak, Mook is warning others to tighten up.

"All I care about is that we have good policies in place to prevent this in the future," Mook said.

Many of the companies attending RSA said they will be talking about cyber security and politics during the conference largely because of hacking of the Clinton campaign.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Unveils New 'Planet of the Apps' Show]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 18:45:40 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_16294465474204-iphone-charger.jpg

Apple revealed the first trailer for its upcoming TV reality show "Planet of the Apps," an unscripted series about apps and the talented developers who make them.

The show, a mashup of "Shark Tank" and "The Voice," features an "escalator pitch," a celebrity panel and some of Silicon Valley's heavy hitters.

App developers are given 60 seconds on an escalator to pitch their app idea to a panel of celebrity judges, including Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow and Will.i.am.

If their pitch is selected, the developer will partner with one of the judges who will act as an adviser on the project. The celebrity mentors will help the developers prepare for their final pitch to LightSpeed Venture Partners in the hopes of scoring a $10 million investment.

And what good is a show about apps without its own app? Apple, of course, has it covered. The "Planet of the Apps" app allows viewers to swipe left or right to signal whether the developer's idea seems promising, according to Recode.

Recode also notes successful apps will be prominently featured in Apple's App Store.

The show will air exclusively on Apple Music. A launch date has not been released.

Photo Credit: AP, File
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<![CDATA[Inside the Flynn Controversy]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 09:05:26 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/2-14-17-mcgrew-6am-hit+tech.jpg

The White House deals with its first shakeup: National Security Advisor Mike Flynn is out after he was accused of lying about his contact with Russia. But does the White House have a bigger Russian problem? Scott McGrew takes a look at the 26th day of the Trump presidency.

<![CDATA[Keith Morrison Is a New Guest Voice on Waze App]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 08:02:15 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Keith-Morrison.jpg

Keith Morrison and Waze have a special Valentine's Day present for fans of NBC's "Dateline," which is turning 25.

Morrison is a limited-edition voice guide on the traffic navigation app starting Feb. 14, NBC News reported.

He'll guide you around traffic and construction and help you avoid those pesky potholes.

To get Keith's voice, Waze app users should go to Settings in the app, hit Voice Directions and scroll down to Keith Morrison.

Photo Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC
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<![CDATA[New White House Spokesman Parrots Trump]]> Mon, 13 Feb 2017 09:47:18 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-13-17-mcgrew-tech-hit.jpg

Stephen Miller makes the round of the Sunday morning news shows claiming widspread voter fraud and the supremacy of the presidency. Scott McGrew reports.

<![CDATA[Elon Musk Bashes Claim of Unfair Work Conditions at Tesla]]> Fri, 10 Feb 2017 10:35:47 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-479833756-Musk.jpg

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has denied allegations by an employee that his car company overworks and underpays its workers, CNBC reports. 

Jose Moran, who says he works for Tesla’s San Francisco Fremont plant, wrote a scathing blog post about his working conditions, including "excessive mandatory overtime."

Musk responded in a Twitter direct message to tech news site Gizmodo, saying, "Frankly, I find this attack to be morally outrageous." He suggested that Moran had been placed at Tesla by labor union United Auto Workers, which tasked him with agitating for unionization.

UAW called Musk’s claim "fake news" in a statement to CNBC.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Uber Taps NASA Engineer to Boost Flying Car Initiative]]> Wed, 08 Feb 2017 10:04:24 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/UberFlyingCars.JPG

Just four months after officially joining the flying car revolution, Uber has added a big name to orchestrate its innovative plans.

Mark Moore, a 30-year veteran of NASA, is ditching the government agency to take on Uber's director of engineering for aviation gig, according to the ride-hailing company. Moore's primary role is to enhance the San Francisco company's flying car strategy coined Uber Elevate, a program originally outlined in a 98-page white paper released in October.

The enticing and futuristic proposal would work like this: Uber users would catch a traditional ride or walk to a neighborhood "vertiport." Riders would then climb aboard a flying car and float to another "vertiports" located near the rider's destination.

Uber won't actually be constructing these vertical takeoff and landing, or VTOL, gizmos. The ride-hailing service plans to collaborate with other companies leading the charge in the flying car industry.

"Uber continues to see its role as a catalyst to the growing developing VTOL ecosystem," Nikheil Goel, head of product for advanced programs at Uber, wrote in a statement. "We're excited to have (Moore) join us to work with companies and stakeholders as we continue to explore the use case described in our white paper."

Before any flying cars operated by Uber are zooming above clogged commutes, a slew of issues, including noise pollution, battery life, safety and air-traffic concerns, will need to be checked off of the to-do list. Moore's expertise is being tapped to address those concerns.

The San Francisco-based company isn't the only collective thinking about the future of transportation, as reported by Bloomberg. Google co-founder Larry Page is said to have commissioned Zee Aero and Kitty Hawk — two startups in the Silicon Valley — to create flying car capabilities.

Photo Credit: Uber]]>
<![CDATA[Hackers Take Down Thousands of ‘Dark Web’ Sites]]> Mon, 06 Feb 2017 17:36:13 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/computer+generic2.JPG

Someone claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous compromised a private web hosting service last week, taking down more than 10,000 sites on the highly encrypted "dark web," security researchers said.

As NBC News reports, the hacker or hackers broke into the hidden web hosting service Freedom Hosting II, claiming to have harvested all of the sites' files and its database, totaling almost 80 gigabytes of material.

"Dark web" is the term used to describe the networks of private sites that exist on the same public internet you use at home and at work but that are accessible only through special software or access configurations. 

Sites on the dark web are often used for legitimate, even laudable, purposes, such as protecting political and social activists' communications from opponents and repressive governments. But such sites are also often used — in back-alley locations that make up what is sometimes called "darknet" — to shield illegal activities from law enforcement, particularly black markets in weapons, drugs and child pornography.

Photo Credit: Fairfax Media via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Intel Touts Lady Gaga Show, Use of 300 Drones]]> Mon, 06 Feb 2017 13:40:50 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Super-Bowl-LI-Flag.jpg

There’s no question that Lady Gaga was on fire all on her own Sunday night, but the singer's Super Bowl extravaganza was made even more electrifying by 300 "Shooting Star" drones floating above in the Houston sky.

They were run by Santa Clara, California-based Intel, which proudly tweeted about its tech throughout the Big Game.

The fans went wild.

"LOVED the drone art in in the sky," tweeted Karen Allen, one of the many drone fans out there.

Allen was ooh-ing and ah-ing about what Intel said was an unprecedented show of drones at a Super Bowl or televised event. (The drone part of the show was rehearsed and filmed before the game.)

The colorful quadcopter drones, which weigh less than a volleyball and can generate over 4 billion color combinations together, are created for use festivals and other events, the company says, and have the audience's safety in mind.

The Super Bowl was also the highest these drones have flown, according to Intel — the company said it got a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly the fleet up to 700 feet.

"Lady Gaga and the Super Bowl creative team wanted to pull off something that had never been done before and we were able to combine Intel drone innovation with her artistry to pull off a truly unique experience," Josh Walden, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's New Technology Group, said in a statement.

This is not Intel's first foray into the world of drones.

Intel sent up the same type of drones at Walt Disney World in December 2016. And the month before that, Intel launched 500 drones in the sky in Germany to break a Guinness World Record for "most unmanned aerial vehicles airborne simultaneously."

Lest amateurs think they can send up Shooting Stars from their home backyard, the company said the drone meets all Federal Communications Commission technical specifications but has not yet been authorized as required by the rules of the FCC.

As for how they didn't all crash into each other while forming into a waving flag in the Texas sky, Intel said that all 300 machines were controlled by one computer and one drone pilot.

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<![CDATA[#WeAccept: Airbnb Sends a Message with Super Bowl Ad]]> Mon, 06 Feb 2017 12:17:18 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/AirbnbFounders.jpg

Super Bowl advertisements are typically designed to promote a company's brand or its products, but Airbnb — joining a handful of other companies — appeared to take a different approach this go around.

Flashing the faces of people representing all walks of life, the San Francisco-based company was all about celebrating inclusion, a timely plug amid President Trump's travel ban.

"We believe no matter who you are, where you're from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong," the advertisement's text read. "The world is more beautiful the more you accept. #weaccept."

The apparent politically-inspired ad was created just four days before the big game and depicted the faces of Airbnb employees, CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky tweeted Sunday. Hours after airing, the ad checked in as YouTube's No. 5 trending video as of Monday morning with just over 450,000 views and counting.

Airbnb's ad was one of many to dabble in the political atmosphere. As for whether or not that type of message is effective for a brand's image is up to debate.

Kelly O'Keefe, a marketing professor at Virginia Commonwealth University applauded the company for "making a strong statement."

Villanova University marketing professor Charles Taylor reasoned that the ad didn't actually make a connection to the company's home-sharing services. It appeared to be a "purely political statement," Taylor said.

The Associated Press' Mae Anderson contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Airbnb]]>
<![CDATA[Tech Companies File Legal Brief Against Immigration Order]]> Mon, 06 Feb 2017 12:18:41 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/632863052-realdonaldtrump-potus-donald-trump-twitter.jpg

Twitter, Uber, Google and Apple were among 97 companies to file a friend-of-the-court brief early Monday with a federal appeals court hearing challenges to President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, NBC News reported.

In the filing, the companies call the temporary ban, which keeps refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., unconstitutional, un-American and bad for the economy.

"It hinders the ability of American companies to attract great talent; increases costs imposed on business; makes it more difficult for American firms to compete in the international market- place; and gives global enterprises a new, significant incentive to build operations—and hire new employees—outside the United States,” the brief filed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco read.

The appeals court earlier Sunday rejected the Trump administration's request to reinstate the president's order. A federal district judge in Seattle halted implementation of the order on Friday.

Photo Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dozens of Tech Companies Team Up to Oppose Travel Ban]]> Sun, 05 Feb 2017 22:44:41 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/FacebookLike-AP_120112075763.jpg

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Uber and dozens of other tech companies on Sunday night formed a unique alliance in opposition of the Trump administration's travel ban on immigrants, according to the Washington Post, which cited sources familiar with the matter.

The companies are planning to file a legal brief with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is slated to hear an appeal by the administration after a federal judge in Seattle ordered a temporary restraining order on the travel ban, the Post reported.

Nearly 100 companies have co-signed the brief. However, it appeared a handful of tech giants, including Apple, Amazon  and Microsoft, were not a party to the brief as of Sunday evening, the Post reported.

Photo Credit: AP file]]>
<![CDATA[What Will H-1B Visa Restrictions Mean for Silicon Valley?]]> Sat, 04 Feb 2017 12:40:27 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/knbc-keyboard-typing-generic.jpg

The Bay Area is watching Washington D.C. closely.

Why? For the government’s take on H-1B visas.

Largely used by the tech industry to bring skilled workers into the U.S., the visa program is especially important to Silicon Valley. Companies are nervous that the number of people allowed to come in on the highly-sought H-1B visas is going to be cut.

But, it turns out, that it’s not just tech companies that might be affected. If tech companies have fewer people to hire from other countries, those potential employees will, among other things, buy fewer homes, and we're already starting to see that fear affect the market.

Even rumors that President Donald Trump may cut back on the H-1B program are felt “like an earthquake” in Silicon Valley, said Ajay Arora, the CEO of Vera Security.

Arora says immigrants both built and run his company.

“I mean, if you look around here, you would say most of the people in our company are from somewhere else – either directly or one generation from that. So, it's felt very deeply,” Arora confirmed.

And as for the Bay Area's red-hot housing market, real estate agent Karen Yang said, “I think we have an issue.”

Yang of Fling Yang & Associates says she's recently seen people pull out of high-end home buys because of visa concerns and uncertainty that they will be able to stay in the U.S. and continue to work here.

Conversely, the H-1B visa program has also been criticized by some who say it's a way to bring in cheap labor from other countries. But CEOs that talked to NBC Bay Area said that it’s actually much more complicated and expensive than that.

They say they would like to hire American engineers – if they can find them. Fodder for a debate in itself.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Online Privacy Virtually Nonexistent For Users]]> Fri, 03 Feb 2017 14:03:25 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_techtalker0203_1500x845.jpg Should internet users expect to see personal information online? With something as simple as a name and the click of a mouse, dozens of websites will fork over your personal information for a small fee...or even sometimes for free.]]> <![CDATA[Google Donates $4M to Immigrant Support Groups]]> Wed, 01 Feb 2017 15:31:00 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/google-protest.jpg

Tech giant Google has donated four million dollars to legal aid and support organizations in response to President Donald Trump’s immigration orders.

Four organizations received a total of four million dollars in “crisis campaign funds” thanks to money raised by both Google employees and company funds. The American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Agency all received donations.

“We chose these organizations for their incredible efforts in providing legal assistance and support services for immigrants, as well as for their efforts on resettlement and general assistance for refugees globally,” said a Google spokesperson in an email.

The donation comes the same week hundreds gathered at the company's Mountain View campus on Monday to protest President Donald Trump's new immigration orders. Over 2,000 employees protested at different Google campuses around the world.

A crowd amassed at the center of the tech giant's headquarters, many carrying signs that read "#NoBanNoWall," "All are welcome" and "We are a nation of immigrants."

The unofficial rally included several speakers including co-founder Sergey Brin, a Russian immigrant. Google CEO Sundar Pichai criticized Trump’s immigration order in an email to staff on Friday, saying the U.S. ban on foreign nationals from seven countries affects at least 187 Google employees, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The keynote speaker at the Mountain View rally was Soufi Esmaeilzadeh, a product manager on the Google Assistant. Esmaeilzadeh, an Iranian-born Canadian citizen, was on a plane from SFO to Zurich when rumors began to leak that the executive order would be signed.

Google’s Immigration team first suggested she not return to the U.S. for an indefinite period of time in order to lessen risk of deportation, according to Google.

Yet the next day, after a federal judge ruled in favor of the ACLU’s request, Esmaeilzadeh decided to fly back to SFO.

No word from Google whether more protests will happen this week or in the future.

Stephen Ellison and Marianne Favro contributed to this article.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Facebook Quarterly Earnings Top Expectations]]> Wed, 01 Feb 2017 13:34:54 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/red-social-facebook-logo.jpg

Facebook reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts' estimates on Wednesday, and revenue that topped expectations, as ad revenue grew 53 percent in a quarter.

Shares rose 3 percent after hours.

Facebook's ad business zoomed higher, as retailers poured money into snagging customers during the busy holiday shopping season. Only Google rivals Facebook when it comes to digital advertising dominance.

Facebook now has 1.146 billion daily mobile active users.

"Our business did well in 2016, but we have a lot of work ahead to help bring people together," Zuckerberg said in a statement.

<![CDATA[Drone Footage Captures Final Touches to Apple Campus 2]]> Wed, 01 Feb 2017 15:20:23 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-1-17_Apple_Drone.jpg

Apple is once again making headlines, but not because of a new iPhone or computer.

The tech giant is inching closer to opening its new "spaceship" campus, which is actually known as Apple Campus 2.

Recent drone footage captured by Matthew Roberts shows off the massive work space, which covers 176 acres. For those in need of a comparison, that's the size of 133 football fields.

Roughly 12,000 employees are expected to fill the 2.8 million square feet of office space at some point within the next year.

The project may be viewed as extreme, but Roberts offers a different perspective.

"Some people would say it's overboard, but I think it's fitting for Apple to do something like this because they consider themselves trendsetters and innovators within the tech industry," he said.

Photo Credit: MRVideography.com]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Boy Invents Device to Prevent Hot Car Deaths]]> Fri, 03 Feb 2017 11:17:32 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bishop+curry+v.jpg

The number of children who overheated and died inside cars increased across the country last year, and Texas had the highest number of cases.

Now a 10-year-old boy from McKinney has invented what he hopes is a life-saving tool that every parent could use.

Bishop Curry V says he was inspired to create a device he calls "Oasis" after a baby died in a hot minivan last summer outside a home in Melissa.

The home is near the Curry family's home in McKinney. 

Curry is a fifth grader at Melissa Ridge Intermediate and his father says they drive by the home every day on their way to school.

"I knew exactly where the house was," said Bishop Curry IV.

The tragedy hit close to home for the Curry family because they have a 1-year-old girl of their own.

"Sometimes babies fall asleep and they're really quiet, so if you're rushing home from work or you're rushing to the grocery store, I could see how somebody could forget," said Curry IV, who is an engineer for Toyota in Plano.

Thirty-nine children died of heat stroke in hot car incidents last year, seven in Texas, according to a San Jose State University meteorologist who tracks the data. 

Curry V's device is currently in the design phase. It would attach to a car seat, detect if a child is left inside the vehicle and then blow cool air until parents and authorities are notified.

"It would be a dream to have lots of inventions that would save many lives," Curry V said.

The fifth grader already has a provisional patent on the "Oasis," and Toyota has already taken notice of the invention.

The Currys recently traveled to Michigan to introduce the idea at an auto safety conference.

The family is also raising money on a GoFundMe page to cover costs to develop a product.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[iPhone Sales Soar; Apple Stock Rises After Hours]]> Tue, 31 Jan 2017 15:10:23 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_16299610949177-Apple-Earnings.jpg

Apple has become the phone company.

And that’s good news for investors in the Cupertino company, watching the stock price (AAPL) rise after the latest earning report.

78 million iPhones were sold over the last three months; Apple CEO Tim Cook telling reporters sales of the iPhone 7 Plus were especially strong.

As for the iPad? That’s falling hard. 13 million sold, and the number is dropping steadily from quarter to quarter.

Besides iPhones, Apple is making good money from its sales and services department – read, a lot of people are streaming music on Apple Music.

Not much love for the Mac (a decent 5.3 million sold), or the Watch (Cook will only say it’s the “best selling smart watch.”)

But, the phone is still hot, and there’s another one on the way.

Enough to keep investors buying.

Scott tracks Apple on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrities, Tech VIPs Drive ACLU's $24M Weekend Surge]]> Mon, 30 Jan 2017 02:25:17 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GOOGLE_AP_16118529018333.jpg

The American Civil Liberties Union raised more than $24 million over the weekend in a surge of online donations following President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, NBC News reported.

The organization typically raises a total of about $4 million online annually. 

Celebrities including singer Sia and actor Kal Penn appealed for donations on Twitter, while Google created a $4 million crisis fund for the ACLU, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and UNHCR, USA Today reported. The tech giant set aside $2 million in donations that can be matched in employee donations totaling $4 million.

The ACLU also said its membership had doubled since the election and is now at more than 1 million members.

The group's complaint was one of several over the weekend successful in temporarily blocking deportations under Trump's new national security initiative.

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<![CDATA[In Trump's Twitter Presidency, Experts See Risks and Rewards]]> Thu, 26 Jan 2017 23:11:25 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_16238456041305.jpg

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Former President Barack Obama was the first commander-in-chief to ever send a tweet, but President Donald Trump is pioneering an approach to mass communication that may put Twitter at the center of his strategy, raising legal and security questions, NBC News reported.

In his first week on the job, Trump has used an unsecured Android phone to post tweets from his personal Twitter account, and to delete them. His staff initially used a personal email to arrange his government Twitter account, which was updated to a government email on Thursday.

Experts said these activities, while perfectly legal, create avoidable risks.

Using an unsecured phone, or personal email registration, makes the president more susceptible to hacking.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew, File]]>
<![CDATA[HP Recalls More Than 100,000 Batteries Due to Overheating]]> Wed, 25 Jan 2017 12:24:49 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/battery_1024.jpg

HP is recalling about 101,000 laptop batteries due to risk of overheating and causing fires.

The company has expanded the number of recalled batteries to include those shipped with laptops sold between March 2013 and October 2016. A previous battery issue for the same model led to a recall of 40,000 batteries in June 2016.

The defective lithium-ion batteries containing Panasonic cells that are used in HP notebook computers were sold at Best Buy, Walmart, Costco, Sam's Club and authorized dealer dealers nationwide and online at www.hp.com. The batteries were also sold separately for between $50 and $90.

It is compatible with HP, Compaq, HP ProBook, HP ENVY, Compaq Presario and HP Pavilion laptop computers. The batteries that are part of the recall start with the codes: 6BZLU, 6CGFK, 6CGFQ, 6CZMB, 6DEMA, 6DEMH, 6DGAL and 6EBVA.

HP recommends that customers with the potentially defective batteries stop using them completely, remove them from the laptop and contact HP for a free replacement battery. Until a replacement battery is received, HP recommends consumers should use the notebook computer by plugging it into AC power only.

There has been one report of the battery overheating, melting and charring, leading to about $1,000 in property damage.

Customers can call HP Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET at 888-202-4320 on line at www.HP.com for more information. 

<![CDATA[Facebook's Zuckerberg Testifies at VR Copyright Trial]]> Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:22:40 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/zuckerberg-trial-dallas.jpg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent much of Tuesday on a Dallas federal court witness stand defending his firm against claims it stole intellectual property for the Oculus virtual reality headset.

Zuckerberg said Facebook invested around $3 billion to buy Oculus as a way of moving rapidly into virtual reality technology, a figure higher than what was reported at the time of the 2014 deal.

He said he was so anxious to see Facebook move into VR that he pushed completion of the deal in just a matter of days over a weekend. But he denied any technology was stolen.

"The idea that Oculus technology is based on someone else's work is just wrong," Zuckerberg said.

ZeniMax Media, which owns id Software, based in Richardson, Texas, filed the lawsuit claiming former employee John Carmack took secrets with him when he joined Oculus. 

A lawyer for ZeniMax confronted Zuckerberg with emails and documents suggesting there were concerns about Oculus technology before the deal, but Zuckerberg said the accusations surfaced later, were not credible and were not pursued by Facebook.

ZeniMax is seeking $2 billion in damages.The trial began Jan. 10 and could last two more weeks.

Photo Credit: Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[IHOP: Our Twitter Was Hacked]]> Sun, 15 Jan 2017 20:30:16 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ihop-deleted-tweet-new.jpg

IHOP said that sometime Sunday morning, the company’s Twitter account was hacked when a politically charged retweet appeared that caused some customers to pledge to never eat their golden fluffy pancakes again.

The International House of Pancakes confirmed to NBC4 the retweet in question involved a statement that Hillary Clinton ran a "major garbage campaign."

As soon as the IHOP team saw the retweet, it was deleted and IHOP took necessary precautions to make sure the company wouldn’t be hacked again.

IHOP released the following statement:

"At the core of the IHOP brand is a desire to bring people together and a commitment to creating a warm and welcoming environment for guests and fans everywhere, both in our restaurants and online. After a thorough investigation, we have confirmed that the IHOP Twitter account was hacked this morning. The retweeted post in question was immediately removed, and we have taken the necessary steps to ensure the security and integrity of our social media accounts. We appreciate our fans bringing this to our attention and recognizing that this is not normal content shared by IHOP."

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<![CDATA[Facebook Issues Briefly Affect Some Pages]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 12:03:36 -0800 //media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/Facebook-generic-1.jpg

Some Facebook pages weren't loading properly Friday for about an hour.

The Facebook platform product dashboard didn't indicate any errors, but people on Twitter started chattering about getting error pages soon after 12 p.m. ET, and the website outage tracking page downdetector.com showed widespread outages in the U.S., Europe and Peru.

Several Facebook pages for NBC owned television stations were unable to completely load, but started returning about 1 p.m. ET.

A representative for Facebook confirmed Friday afternoon that the company was experiencing issues: "Earlier today some people may have had trouble accessing some Facebook services for a short period. We’re back to 100% for everyone, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience."

Downdetector said Facebook started having issues at 12:08 p.m. ET.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images, File
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