<![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 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:32:19 -0700 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:32:19 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Marc Andreessen: "The Skeptics Are Wrong All The Time"]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:04:05 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/194*120/900921.jpg

Believe in tech.

You just might end up an Andreessen.

Being an optimist and believing in the potential of Silicon Valley has served Marc Andreessen well, the Netscape founder and current big-time investor told New York Magazine in a recent interview.

"If you bet on the side of the optimists, generally you're right," he told the magazine. "The skeptics are wrong all the time."

That might not agree with some of the "bubble" talk that's escaped the lips of Peter Thiel and others.

And if the bubble were to burst? It's actually "better" to build a company during an economic downturn, he says, as there's less money funding "marginal companies," he said.

Doubt is something tech has dealt with from the beginning, Andreessen added. "With every single thing that anybody here has ever done, there's always been people saying, 'That sucks. That'll never work. That's stupid.'"

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Microsoft CEO Says He Was Wrong in Comment About Women and Technology]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:36:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Satya-Nadella-CEO-Microsoft.jpg It was the comment made at a conference about women in the technology heard around the world. Scott Budman reports.]]> <![CDATA[Apple Pay Launches]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:50:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/457552028_8.jpg Apple's Apple Pay mobile payment system launches at select banks and retail outlets.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Pay Set to Launch on Monday]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:35:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/edt-AP820563173175_4.jpg NBC Bay Area Business and Tech Reporter Scott Budman got a first look at how Apple Pay works and provides a preview in this video report.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Launches "Safety Check" in Natural Disasters]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:21:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/209*120/safetycheckmobielcarousel.jpg

Facebook unveiled Safety Check, a new feature to keep loved ones apprised of each other during a natural disaster such as a tsunami, earthquake or hurricane.

The app is simple. It uses push notifications on devices hear affected disaster areas and if a Facebook user is fine, then he or she pokes the "I'm safe" button. It then notifies the News Feed, so all Facebook friends can see, according to the Verge.

However, the app only works if you have used the Nearby Friends feature and it already had GPS coordinates on you. If not, it won't work.

The app came out of the Japanese tsunami in 2011, and Facebook's disaster message aboard later became Safety Check.

Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Turf War Between Tech Employees, Kids Prompts Policy Change]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:04:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/219*120/dropbox.JPG

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department has ended adult paid permits for the Mission Playground after a video showing tech workers arguing with local youth over use of the soccer field went viral, sparking protests.

The incident — which park department officials say took place on Aug. 18 — was posted on YouTube in September and created a buzz on the Internet after getting picked up by the Uptown Almanac last week.

The video shows a group of Dropbox employees with a permit trying to kick some regular pick-up players off the Mission Playground soccer field located at 19th and Valencia streets because they had paid to reserve the slot.

"We paid $27," one of the men arguing in the video can be heard saying.

"You don’t understand — this field has never been booked. How long have you been in the neighborhood, bro?" a young man who was already playing soccer in the field asks one of the tech workers.

"Over a year!" came the response, to which the local players start laughing.

And then the young man asks again: "How long have you been playing here for? Because my whole life — I've been born and raised here for 20 years — we've been playing here."

Neighbors who have seen this video say that it highlights some of the tensions they have seen with this latest tech boom — a snapshot of what gentrification has done to the Mission District. "It's not just about one playground — it certainly represents more like people being uncomfortable about changes that are happening," said Greg Dillon.

Fredy Bolvito, who plays soccer at the Mission Playground, said that the regulars never thought there would be a permit for the field. "We've been playing for more than 10 years without reservations — We never thought that the high-tech guys are going to take away our tradition, which is the Mission," he said.

Others said they can't blame the Dropbox employees because they had paid for the spot and deserved to use it. One of the Dropbox employees in the video eventually apologized on Twitter, saying: "What I said was insensitive and embarrassing to both Dropbox and me. In case it helps, we worked it out that day so everyone got to play."

Nearly a hundred people showed up at City Hall Thursday to protest what they claim is the unfair privatization of parks. "When you have grown adults tossing children out of a playground, it’s wrong, intrinsically wrong — permit or no permit," said Catania Galvan.

Park officials say that it all boils down to a lack of playfields for both youth and adults to play. The city has renovated its athletic fields with turf and lights in recent years, adding nearly 80,000 hours of play for everyone.

Park department officials met with Mission youth and soccer advocates Wednesday to discuss more open play hours and decided to end adult permits until further notice.

"It’s great to have this support — it’s the best feeling," said Hugo Vargas, one of the kids in the video. "We know now that the city has our backs, our community is on our side — I thought we are just teens and no one’s going to listen to us."

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Event: New iPads Announced]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:11:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/new-ipad-AP903945536056_0.jpg Check out the newest products and programs tech giant Apple announced on Oct. 16, 2014.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NASA Ames Hosts Open House on 75th Anniversary]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:03:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/ames-aerial-2012_0.jpg

It's not every day a regular Joe can see what an astronaut or a NASA Ames scientist does for a living.

But everyone is invited to the open house at NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley on Saturday, to celebrate the agency's 75-anniversary and take the two-mile tour of the sprawling plant. The last time the renowned research center was opened to the public like this was in 1997.

The event is free, but advance tickets are required.

Visitors will get to see the ArcJet Alley, Technology Way and the Ames Rotocraft researchers.

The Ames Research Center is one of 10 NASA field centers in the United States, which employs 2,500 employees. It was established in 1939 and named for Joseph S. Ames, the then-chair of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. It's located at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale.

According to the center, NASA Ames is the lead agency for the Mars Curiosity rover’s Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument and for NASA’s first mission capable of finding Earth-size and smaller planets.

Ames Research scientists also do supercomputing, build sophisticated wind tunnels, create robots to aid humans in space and help to generate $1.3 billion annually for the United States.

The open house is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with ticketed reservation. Click here to make a reservation.

Photo Credit: NASA Ames Research Center]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook, Apple Pay for Women to Freeze Eggs]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 23:34:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/egg+freezing.JPG Tech giants and Apple and Facebook appear to have become the first major employers to pay for workers to freeze their eggs for non-medical reasons. Ian Cull reports.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Amazon to Open SF Pop-Up Store]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 18:05:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/450831308_10.jpg

Amazon is getting into the non-online retail business. For a little while, anyway.

The online retailer is planning to open temporary "pop-up" stores in San Francisco and Sacramento, according to IGN.com.

San Francisco will likely see an Amazon.com store in the Westfield Centre mall near Powell Street, with the Sacramento-area store to be  in Roseville at the Westfield Galleria.

The pop-up locations will offer customers the opportunity to play with the new Fire TV as well as Amazon's other tangible offerings, all of which can then be purchased online.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[No Macworld/iWorld in 2015]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 15:21:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Macworld-20121146.JPG

Just short of its 30th anniversary, IDG World Expo announced it was canceling its tradeshow Macworld/iWorld event for 2015.

From the announcement:

We are announcing today that Macworld/iWorld is going on hiatus, and will not be taking place as planned in 2015. Our MacIT event, the world’s premiere event for deploying Apple in the enterprise, will continue next year with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

IDG World Expo continued the statement saying that it had started Macworld events in 1985, but as devices have changed "so has the marketplace" and that it was "proud" to have been part of it. "We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Apple community for allowing us to host these events and be a part of the incredible story that is the Apple market," the statement said.

IDG World Expo said it would  continue its MacIT event for enterprise and doesn't see that stopping in the foreseeable future.

Apple cut its ties with the event in 2009 which hurt the tradeshow, according to 9to5Mac. The magazine, Macworld, also recently cut staff and is no longer printing issues. 

Photo Credit: Mat Luschek]]>
<![CDATA[Commentator Weighs In on Report Linking GoPro to Schumacher Injury]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:12:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP886669197394.jpg

The French commentator whose reported remarks had sparked reports that a GoPro camera may have played a role in Formula 1 racing legend Michael Schumacher's brain injury is now urging everyone to "stop all speculation."

Schumacher, 45, has been immobile and unable to speak after he fell and hit a rock in a skiing accident last year while he was wearing a GoPro camera mounted on his helmet.

European news outlets had reported that racing commentator Jean-Louis Moncet told Europe 1 radio that Schumacher's son Mick told him the placement of the camera contributed to the brain injury — but Moncet denied that Tuesday on Twitter.

"The problem for Michael was not the hit, but the mounting of the GoPro camera that he had on his helmet that injured his brain," Eurosport had earlier quoted Moncet as having said.

But Moncet appeared to contradict that suggestion in a tweet Tuesday.
"STOP ALL SPÉCULATION," he tweeted. "Mick could not say something about camera or injury of Michael because we did not speak together."
Following the initial report linking the GoPro to Schumacher's injury, shares of the Bay Area-based company plummeted, losing as much as 10 percent in trading Monday, Business Insider reported.

A GoPro spokesman declined to comment on the report linking the camera to Schumacher's injury but said the company was monitoring the situation closely.

Schumacher emerged from a medically-induced coma in June but remains in serious condition.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Snapchat Hacked, Nude Images Put Online]]> Sat, 11 Oct 2014 07:30:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4601103451.jpg

Users of Snapchat who posted images via a third-party app have had their images hacked and posted online, according to reports.

The company itself says its security was never compromised, and released a statement saying that users who used third-party apps to send their snaps violated Snapchat's terms of use, according to the BBC.

After they were posted to a message board on Thursday evening, the hacked images were taken offline, the news agency reported, but hackers "threatened" to post more images.

Hackers claimed to have on hand "13 gigabytes' worth" of Snaps acquired over years, the BBC reported.

Teens doing naughty things like sending nude selfies tend to like to use Snapchat.

This is not the first security headache for Snapchat.

Earlier this year, several million usernames and phone numbers were leaked, the news agency reported.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Teens Develop Brain-Teaser App]]> Fri, 10 Oct 2014 06:13:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/216*120/impossible+rush+app.jpg

Fifteen-year-old Austin Valleskey doesn't have his drivers license yet...but he already has a worldwide successful app.

A few months ago the suburban Chicago teen was contacted about an idea for an app by Australian Ben Pasternack, who is also 15.

"I thought it was cool," said the Wheaton Academy sophomore. "He asked if I wanted to make it into a game. I said sure, it's a Saturday, I've got a couple of hours."

And a few hours is all it took for Valleskey to create a prototype for Impossible Rush- a brain-teaser game.

"We didn't think much of it. We just wanted people to have fun with it," Valleskey said.

And people did.

The pair contacted a marketer who agreed to buy the app and the game's popularity skyrocketed.

With over 500,000 downloads at its peak, the app was ranked 16th in the U.S., 7th in Sweden and 18th in Australia, according to Business Insider.

Valleskey said he was in disbelief.

"It passed up Skype, Tinder, Netflix, all of these huge companies. It was crazy cool to me!" the teen told NBC Chicago Thursday. "It's a great thrill."

The young teen says he taught himself computer programming just one year ago during a road trip to Florida.

His parents shared his latest excitement.

"It's been just so much fun to see the success he's had with it," said Michael Valleskey. "He's learning so much going through this process."

Valleskey says he's already working on developing another app.

<![CDATA[Tesla to End Speculation Over "The D"]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 12:12:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/209*120/10-09-2014-tesla-model-s-470486031.jpg

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is expected to make an announcement Thursday night that should clear up a week of speculation that put "the D" in dramatic and a bump in the electric carmaker's stock price.

The electric car manufacturer appears poised to unveil a new model after Musk's tweet last week that indicated plans to "unveil the D and something else." The tweet featured a graphic with Thursday's date and a partially opened garage door that masked all but the menacing front end of a vehicle with Tesla's logo and signature headlights.

In the days after Musk's mysterious tweet, Tesla's stock price climbed about 6 percent. The stock took a slight dip Wednesday before rising again Thursday ahead of the announcement.

Tesla is likely adding another member to its family of vehicles, which includes the Model S luxury sedan. The company has plans for a Model X SUV and mass-market model called the Model 3.

Thursday's announcement might involve an all-wheel drive vehicle, which would fit nicely into the carmaker's lineup and allow Tesla to match offerings from similarly priced competitors. Electric vehicles allow engineers more flexibility than a traditional front-, rear- or mid-engine vehicle when it comes to how power is distributed to each wheel. For example, instead of transferring power from one engine to four wheels, an electric powertrain might use two electric motors for the front and back wheels or even four electric motors dedicated to each wheel.

But the guesses don't stop there.

A Tesla with greater range or higher level of driver assistance technology, such as lane assist or collision-avoidance braking, are some of the possibilities.

A self-driving vehicle or something that's not a car at all have all been mentioned in response to last week's tweet.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Amazon to Open Physical Store in NYC]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:46:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_20121203amazon.jpg

It's working for Apple.

It's working (to an extent) for Microsoft.

Will Amazon be next to open an actual physical, brick and mortar store?

Reports from New York are hot and heavy with news that Amazon will open a physical store, the first showroom coming to Manhattan.

Even though Amazon is famous for letting us shop online, as Amazon gets more into consumer products (Kindles, phones, etc), it may want to give us consumers a way to touch the products before we buy them.

And, let's not forget that you can touch and buy more than just Apple products inside Apple stores.

People scoffed when Apple announced plans to open physical stores of their own, but that turned out pretty well. Perhaps Amazon is next.

That concern you hear, by the way, is coming from Radio Shack and Best Buy.

Scott can be found on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: ShutterStock]]>
<![CDATA[Massive Video Game Tournament Coming to San Jose]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 14:54:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/129585850.jpg

The games are on. A major video game tournament – that is, "e-sports" – is coming to SAP Center in downtown San Jose.

SiliconBeat.com brings us word of the Intel Extreme Masters tournament, which comes to the 18,000-seat arena Dec. 6-7.

The games of choice are StarCraft and League of Legends. But can watching the best of the best click and move against each other be enough to draw the masses?

It is in South Korea: A League of Legends tournament is expected to draw as many as 50,000 spectators later this year, the website reported.

Certainly e-gaming is big business: As the Mercury News's tech blog notes, Amazon and Google were in a bidding war to acquire Twitch, a livestreaming site for gamers. Twitch says that the tournament will be streamed live to "4.5 million viewers."

These are big games indeed.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Uber, Airbnb CEOs Top Fortune "40 Under 40" List]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 15:43:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fortune-under-40.jpg

It's a good time to be young, rich and in the technology industry. Especially if "sharing economy" is your favorite buzz phrase.

Silicon Valley luminaries feature throughout Fortune magazine's annual "40 under 40" list, the run-down of influential people who have their best years ahead of them.

Topping the list are "sharing economy" magnates Travis Kalanick of Uber and Brian Chesky of Airbnb.

The two San Francisco-based companies have disrupted how Americans – and the rest of the world's citizens – get around via hired car and how they reserve places to sleep after they get there, Fortune noted.

"This was the year Kalanick and Chesky became the figureheads for the ongoing clash between the great potential of the Internet economy and the rules and regulations of the old economy," according to Fortune.

Uber is worth about $17 billion, Fortune estimates, and Airbnb may be not far behind.

Oh, and Kalanick likes to think of himself as "The Wolf," as in the Harvey Keitel character from "Pulp Fiction."

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Uber, Lyft, and Yellow Cab Get Failing Grades from BBB]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:02:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Rideshare_lyft_generic.jpg

Californians love to complain about Uber. The Better Business Bureau has awarded the world's leading alternative to taxis an "F" grade, but Uber was not the only ride-provider to get a failing grade.

Lyft and Yellow Cab received failing grades too, the San Francisco Business Times reported.

Uber received 90 complaints, including 43 complaints from customers confused about its surge pricing billing model, and Lyft and the cab company both received five, the newspaper reported.

Uber is not a member of the BBB, the newspaper noted, and the BBB added that Uber was "unresponsive" when approached about the complaints.

Lyft received five complaints, and failed to respond to three of them, the newspaper reported, while Yellow Cab also notched five complaints in the last five years.

<![CDATA[Panasonic Invests in Tesla's Gigafactory]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 12:19:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/N11A+TESLA+FILE+VO+-+00001719.jpg

Panasonic is already heavily-invested in Tesla -- the Japanese electronics giant makes the 7,000 lithium-ion battery cells that go into every Model S car.

And now Panasonic is investing big in Tesla's so-called "gigafactory" that will build batteries outside Reno, Nevada.

Panasonic will sink "tens of billions of yen" into the factory, the company's leader said at a recent trade show.

That means hundreds of millions of dollars, the San Jose Mercury News reported, and that's just an "initial investment," according to Chief Executive Kazuhrio Tsuga.

Tesla says that the factory will employ about 6,500 people and build batteries for an upcoming Model 3, an electric car for the masses priced at $35,000.

Panasonic has also established a new company -- Panasonic Energy Corporation of North America -- that's based in Sparks, Nevada, where Tesla is building the much-hyped gigafactory.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[New iPad Expected at Apple Event Announced for Oct. 16]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 14:28:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/apple-invite1.jpg

We just got new phones, a peek at new watches, and a new payment system. 

But Apple has, it seems, "one more thing..."

More iPads.

The Cupertino tech giant emailed out invitations to the press Wednesday morning, announcing plans to roll out something on the morning of Oct. 16. Yes, recognizing that we just went through one of these, Apple's typically cryptic message on the invite reads, "It's been way too long."

Apple is expected to update its iPad lineup, maybe following the lead of its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with a bigger screen.

The event is likely to be a little (or maybe a lot) smaller than the iPhone/Apple Pay/Apple Watch event featuring U2, as evidenced by the next one being held at the more intimate confines of Apple's Cupertino headquarters.

We'll keep you posted here, and on Twitter: @scottbudman

See you there.

Photo Credit: Apple]]>
<![CDATA[Google Maps Trails in 14 California State Parks]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 17:55:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GOOGLE-TRAIL-APP.jpg

Google is venturing into vacation territory as it unveils its Street View technology for trails in 14 California state parks.

Tuesday’s initial launch includes imagery of 10 state parks, Point Lobos State Reserve, three state beaches and more than 25 hiking trails.

Google couldn't use its famous satellite technology or Google Cars on the narrow trails, so it outfitted operators with customized Trekker backpacks. The 40-pound units have a 360-degree spinning camera with 15 lenses.

Google employees spent three months hiking the trails, which also included Tomales Bay, Angel Island, and Marina State Beach in Monterey County.

Checkout Google Trekker in:

Photo Credit: Google
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[UCSC Fighting Ebola With Technology]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 06:39:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/205*120/UIC_researchers_ebola.jpg

University of California, Santa Cruz is mixing science and technology, trying to find a vaccine for the dreaded Ebola virus.

Researchers at the school are taking a page from the SETI handbook, developing an open source web browser to collect information about the Ebola virus, and how it's spreading. It's a way to bring in new information and share it quickly with other scientists.

The recent Ebola outbreak is being called the largest in history. More than 3,000 people have died from the disease. The goal now is to contain it, then end it. UC Santa Cruz's Jim Kent is head of a team trying to bring in other scientists via the web, trying to figure out the best way to target the disease.

I remember setting my browser to help SETI find ET. This is far more serious, with scientists getting involved to help.

We'll track their progress for you.

Scott tracks business & tech on twitter: @scottbudman 

<![CDATA[Facebook Bus Drivers Looking to Unionize]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:32:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/social_media_debate_president.jpg

Facebook's tech bus drivers have had enough.

Fed up with working conditions that include a long mid-day "break" in between split shifts, drivers for Facebook's fleet of tech shuttles are looking to join the Teamsters, according to the New York Times.

And the union is employing a full-court press.

Union honchos wrote directly to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, asking him to pressure Facebook's shuttle bus contractor to bargain on behalf of about 40 drivers, the newspaper reported. The company does not directly employ shuttle bus drivers but does so through a company called Loop Transportation.

Working conditions for drivers are akin to "a time when noblemen were driven around in their coaches by their servants," wrote Rome Aloise, the Teamsters' Northern California boss. "Frankly, little has changed."

Drivers said the worst bit about the job is the split shift that requires them to work the morning and evening commutes, with shifts running from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then 5:15 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. or so, the newspaper reported.

Loop Transportation told the newspaper that most drivers make between $18 and $20 an hour, along with overtime and benefits. 

The president of the company told the newspaper that the union is not "necessary" thanks to the nice pay, and that nobody has " an answer for" the "split-shift problem," the newspaper reported.

<![CDATA[Report: Facebook Moving Into Healthcare]]> Sat, 04 Oct 2014 11:15:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4654813851.jpg

Likes, comments, photos and medical advice? Facebook is making plans to enter the world of healthcare, Reuters is reporting, quoting "three people" who requested anonymity.

The Menlo Park-based social network is thinking about creating online "support communities" that would connect sufferers of various diseases with each other, according to reports, as well as "preventative care" applications.

Plans are in initial phases, Reuters reported. Facebook has been busy meeting with members of the medical industry for the past few months but is still in the process of setting up a new R&D unit to test out the apps.

Meanwhile, Facebook has noticed that its users are health-minded: the 2012 move to allow Facebook users to promote the fact they are organ donors proved popular, and many users do perform searches "for advice" via the network.

And, of course, Dr. Priscilla Chan, whose husband is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a resident pediatrician at UC San Francisco.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Netflix Wants to Send "Instagrammers" on Tour]]> Fri, 03 Oct 2014 17:21:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*160/92596215331795869008011413223236n.jpg

Netflix is looking for people with travel joneses and an Instagram account. The catch? You'll get paid for taking photos.

If you consider yourself a "Grammaster," you may be one of three snapshot-takers the company selects to travel "across the continent" in exchange for taking some "beautiful pictures," according to reports.

Yahoo reported that Netflix plans to pay the three Instagrammers $4,000, and will select the top shooters from among the 108,000 followers of Netflix's Instagram account. Hopefuls should tag their best work #Grammaster, and wait for further instructions.

Photo Credit: mattdsampson/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[Google to Hire Its Own Security Guards]]> Fri, 03 Oct 2014 18:42:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/googletcebuilding.jpg

Security guard at Google is now a job with benefits.

Google announced plans to sever ties with the company that has to date provided its security guards in favor of putting its protectors on the company payroll, according to USA Today.

Google plans to hire 200 security guards at its Mountain View headquarters and at the offices of YouTube in San Bruno, the newspaper reported.

This means that the guards who had worked wiith Security Industry Specialists are now able to enjoy the "same benefits as other Google employees," the newspaper reported.

That may please labor unions, who were long angry about the lack of benefits enjoyed by security guards, many of whom were people of color.

The guards had to work long hours for low pay while Googlers inside the buildings they protected got to enjoy perks like free lunches and generous benefits, the newspaper reported.

<![CDATA[Reddit Criticized for Requiring Workers to Move to SF]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 15:22:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/marina2.jpg

A popular topic on Reddit these days is Reddit itself. Specifically, the company's recent ultimatum to its workers: relocate to San Francisco, or find a new job.

Reddit recently announced $50 million in investment funding from tech luminaries and celebrities including notorious Instagrammer Snoop Dogg. The following day, Reddit CEO Yishan Wong announced that he's getting all of his people "under one roof for optimal teamwork," as VentureBeat reported.

That means come into the office, or start sending out resumes.

Wong told angry Twitter users that employees would be receiving a three-month severance if they could not make the move -- and that they have been offered a cost of living adjustment as well as a relocation package in order to make the move.

But rents in San Francisco and the surrounding areas are... well, somewhat-high, if you hadn't noticed.

Reddit users took Wong to task for being a hypocrite, noting that Reddit's genius is uniting like-minded people via the magic of the Internet. If that's good enough for its users, why not for its workers?

It could be that Reddit is simply doing as the other Romans are doing. Yahoo recently famously ended all telecommuting options for its employees.

The central office has become the most recent Silicon Valley innovation.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla CEO Elon Musk Teases the "D," The Internet Starts Buzzing]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 16:53:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/teslaelonmusk.jpg

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter Wednesday that it's time to "unveil the D and something else," leading to immediate speculation on social media about what "D" could be.

The comments rolled in on Twitter — some more absurd than others — about the mystery "D."

At one point, Musk himself tweeted in response to all the comments:

Shares for Tesla soared after Musk's tweet. So far, little else has emerged about the announcement — except that it could be another Tesla model. Stay tuned for Tesla's announcement on Oct. 9.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Construction Continues at Apple's "Spaceship" Campus]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 08:05:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0-APPLE-SPACE-SHIP-CONSTRUCTION-CHOPPER---13353327.jpg

NBC Bay Area’s chopper flew over the site of Apple’s new Cupertino headquarters Wednesday, and it looks like construction on the so-called “spaceship” campus is humming right along.

New walls and scaffolding have popped up since a drone gave us an aerial view last month. Crews appeared to be working on what will eventually become the building’s basement, which is supposed to contain enough space to park nearly 2,400 vehicles.

The Campus 2 construction site one mile from the official Apple headquarters is private property, making it difficult for curious neighborhood residents and hardcore Appleheads on the ground to catch a glimpse of the progress made so far.

Workers broke ground on the 2.8-million-square-foot building back in November 2013. Apple has said construction is expected to be completed in 2016.

When it’s complete, Campus 2 will be home to more than 12,000 employees.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Techmanity Brings Tech Stars to San Jose]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 19:28:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/216*120/2014-10-02-techmanity.jpg

Technology, humanity, Weezer and Jared Leto.

Just some of the attractions coming to Silicon Valley Wednesday and Thursday, hoping to kick-start the fall tech conference season with a bang.

Techmanity, a first of its kind conference, will feature in-depth talks with, among others, Leto, the "Dallas Buyers Club" actor and tech investor, and Gavin Newsom,  the lieutenant governor of California and author of "Citizenville."

[MORE] Techmanity agenda and speakers

There will, of course, also be concerts, featuring Weezer and Thievery Corporation. One of the goals of Technmanity is to prove that the South Bay is deserving of tech conference love as much as San Francisco.

The whole thing kicks off Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m., and runs through Thursday afternoon. For purposes of disclosure, I'll be interviewing Lt. Gov. Newsom Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

If you're looking to talk tech, network, hear music, and find out what Jared Leto is investing in next, check it out.

Watch Day 1 of Techmanity conference below:

Scott is on Twitter: @scottbudman

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