<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Tech News]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/tech http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area https://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usSat, 24 Mar 2018 08:55:44 -0700Sat, 24 Mar 2018 08:55:44 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Facebook Users and Shareholders File Suits Over Data Scandal]]> Fri, 23 Mar 2018 07:07:04 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_18076683902265-Facebook-Headquarters.jpg

Facebook Inc. has been hit with four lawsuits in federal court in San Francisco and San Jose thus far this week in the wake of revelations that a political data firm obtained information about 50 million Facebook users.

One lawsuit was filed by a Facebook user who claims the Menlo Park company acted with "absolute disregard" for her personal information after allegedly representing that it wouldn't disclose the data without permission or notice.

That lawsuit, filed by Lauren Price of Maryland in San Jose on Tuesday, seeks to be a class action on behalf of up to 50 million people whose data was allegedly collected from Facebook by London-based Cambridge Analytica.

The lawsuit says that during the 2016 election, Price was "frequently targeted with political ads while using Facebook."

It seeks financial restitution for claims of unfair business practices and negligence. Both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica are named as defendants.

Two other lawsuits were filed in San Francisco Tuesday and San Jose on Thursday by individual shareholders Fan Yuan and Robert Casey against Facebook, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Financial Officer David Wehner.

Yuan and Casey also each seek make their cases class actions. They claim the company and the officers are responsible for the financial losses they incurred when the stock price dropped this week following news reports of the data harvesting. The price drop caused Facebook to lose $50 billion of its market value, or nearly 10 percent of its total market value, in two days.

The fourth lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Jose Thursday by San Francisco attorney Jeremiah Hallisey, is a shareholder derivative suit filed on behalf of the company against Zuckerberg, Chief Operating Office Sheryl Sandberg and board members.

Hallisey claims the officers and directors violated their fiduciary duty and also unjustly profited from previous sales of their own shares by failing to prevent, remedy or disclose the exploitation of Facebook users' personal profiles.

The lawsuit asks for financial restitution to the company as well as a court order requiring Facebook to improve its corporate governance and internal procedures.

The data disclosure allegedly came about when a researcher invited Facebook users to sign up for a psychological survey in 2014, was able to collect data from the friends of 270,000 participants and then provided the data on 50 million people to Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook, which has more than 2 billion users worldwide, had no immediate comment on the lawsuits.

But in a statement posted in its online newsroom on Wednesday, the company said, "Protecting people's information is the most important thing we do at Facebook.

"What happened with Cambridge Analytica was a breach of Facebook's trust. More importantly, it was a breach of the trust people place in Facebook to protect their data when they share it," the company said.

Facebook said it is "taking action on potential past abuse and putting stronger protections in place to prevent future abuse."

Mark Molumphy, a lawyer for Hallisey, said in a statement, "Facebook's apology doesn't do much for the millions of Americans impacted by this conduct.

"It also doesn't explain why Facebook executives waited three years to inform their loyal users and shareholders of the massive breach," Molumphy said.

Photo Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Elon Musk Deletes His Own, Tesla and SpaceX Pages From Facebook]]> Fri, 23 Mar 2018 12:58:34 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/elonmuskchinatrade_1200x675.jpg

Piling on to the backlash against Facebook in the wake of its user data crisis, Elon Musk deleted the official Facebook pages of his two companies Tesla and SpaceX -- after an exchange on Twitter.

Musk was responding to WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton's call to join the growing #DeleteFacebook movement in light of revelations that data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica allegedly lifted the data of millions of users without their consent.

"It is time. #deletefacebook," Acton tweeted on March 20.

"What's Facebook?" Musk replied on Friday.

WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 before Acton left the messaging app in 2017.

Another Twitter user upped the stakes, writing, “Delete SpaceX page on Facebook if you're the man?"

A seemingly out-of-the-loop Musk accepted the challenge. "I didn’t realize there was one. Will do,” he wrote, later adding that he had "literally never seen" a SpaceX Facebook page.

Continuing his candor, Musk said the Tesla page "looks lame" but that the SpaceX page "looks official." After being shown a screenshot of what appeared to be his personal page, Musk claimed it was the first time he'd seen it.

Moments later, the Facebook pages for Tesla and SpaceX, as well as Musk’s own page, gave an error that read: "Sorry, this content isn't available right now."

SpaceX confirmed the swift action, telling NBC News that Musk did in fact permanently delete the SpaceX and Tesla pages, as well as his own. The company didn't offer any other details.

While Musk may have surprised Twitter users with his willingness to follow through, he was quick to downplay the move and even weighed in on Facebook rival Instagram.

"Instagram’s probably ok imo [in my opinion], so long as it stays fairly independent. I don’t use FB & never have, so don’t think I’m some kind of martyr or my companies are taking a huge blow. Also, we don’t advertise or pay for endorsements, so … don’t care."

Facebook did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment.

Photo Credit: Getty Images File
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<![CDATA[Strengthening Plans to Protect CA Elections From Hackers]]> Thu, 22 Mar 2018 14:37:59 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/voting-dfw-generic-01.jpg

Concerned about cybersecurity, California is inspecting and reinforcing its elections systems on a daily basis.

That’s what the Secretary of State told NBC Bay Area’s and Telemundo 48’s public affairs show, “Comunidad Del Valle.”

“In 2016 there is absolutely zero evidence that there was any hack, or breach, or compromise of any type, by the Russians or anybody else.“, said Secretary of State Alex Padilla. “Not that they weren’t trying.”

Padilla says California is already implementing some of the procedures suggested this week by the U.S. Senate’s Intelligence Committee. Committee member and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris said this week that the nation should implement a paper-only ballot system to avoid hacking by foreign entities.

Padilla says those threatening entities include Russia, North Korean and China.

“A lot of the recommendations you’re going to hear come out of Washington are from a national perspective… a lot of those recommendations are based on what California already has in place," Padilla said.

In a wide-ranging interview, Padilla also said his office’s pre-registration program has seen a huge spike in sign-ups since the high school shooting in Florida.

The program allows teens to register to vote before they turn 18, so they can hit the ground running when they become of age.

“If what we’re seeing right now in high schools across the country is any indicator, we’re in for some strong leadership in a few years," Padilla said.

Comunidad Del Valle will air this Sunday at 4 p.m. on NBC Bay Area and 11 a.m. on Telemundo 48.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Driverless Car Companies Gather to Discuss New Testing]]> Thu, 22 Mar 2018 18:26:49 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Driverless_Car_Companies_Gather_to_Discuss_New_Testing.jpg

Driverless car companies gathered in the Bay Area Thursday to discuss ways to avoid crashes after an Uber driverless car hit and killed a woman. Our business and tech reporter Scott Budman sat in on the meeting and provides the latest.

<![CDATA[Youtube Bans Certain Firearm Videos]]> Thu, 22 Mar 2018 12:06:42 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+YOUTUBE+GUN+POLICIES+THUMB.jpg

Youtube has updated its policies regarding videos featuring firearms. The company will now prohibit videos made to sell certain firearms and firearm accessories, as well as videos that demonstrate how to manufacture or install certain types of accessories, such as bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and silencers.

<![CDATA[Video Released of Fatal Crash Involving Self-Driving Car]]> Thu, 22 Mar 2018 09:55:37 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+SELF+DRIVING+CAR+DEATH+THUMB.jpg

Warning: the contents of this video may be disturbing to viewers, viewer discretion is advised. The Tempe, Arizona, police department on Wednesday released footage of the Sunday crash in which an Uber self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian. Uber has suspended testing of self-driving vehicles on public U.S. roads.

<![CDATA[Lawsuit Filed in San Jose Court Over Facebook Data Scandal]]> Wed, 21 Mar 2018 20:48:59 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-5120159681.jpg

A Facebook user based out of Maryland has filed a lawsuit against the social media giant and Cambridge Analytica for gathering user data without permission.

The class-action lawsuit, which was filed by plaintiff Lauren Price at the US District Court in San Jose, seeks an undisclosed amount in damages.

It is the first lawsuit filed by a Facebook user since the scandal over Cambridge Analytica broke.

Facebook has come under fire since it was revealed Friday that the company collected information from more than 50 million Facebook users which may have been used to influence the 2016 presidential election.

"Facebook had known about this security breach for two years, but did little or nothing to protect its users," Price claims in his lawsuit, adding that she was suing to protect her privacy interests and those of other users. 

"Incredibly, Facebook's 'trust model' was rife with security vulnerabilities and a near total abnegation of its responsibility to audit its own rules limiting use of Facebook data by third parties," the lawsuit claims.

The suit cites a former Facebook platform operations manager, Sandy Parakilas, as saying, "Facebook felt that it was better not to know."

Facebook has not commented on the lawsuit yet, but on Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally broke his silence, admitting the company had made a mistake.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, shared Zuckerberg's post and added:

"This was a major violation of peoples' trust, and I deeply regret we didn't do enough to deal with it," she said.

Alexandr Kogan, the researcher from Cambridge University who carried out the survey, told the BBC that both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have tried to place the blame on him.

"My view is that I'm being basically used as a scapegoat by both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica," he said. "Honestly, we thought we were acting perfectly appropriately, we thought we were doing something that was really normal."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla Shareholders OK $2.6B Stock Grant for Musk: Source]]> Wed, 21 Mar 2018 12:04:41 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/elonmuskteslawala_1200x675.jpg

Tesla shareholders have approved by a wide margin a proposal to award Chairman and CEO Elon Musk a massive multibillion-dollar stock grant, a source at the meeting told CNBC.

Musk could earn more than $50 billion over the next several years if Tesla hits certain key milestones and he stays on in his current role at the company he co-founded.

The source who reported the vote count declined to be identified. Official vote totals will be announced in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission later Wednesday.

The grant gives Musk $2.6 billion in stock options in 12 tranches that each vest as the company hits key performance milestones over 10 years. Musk needs to hit 12 market capitalization milestones and 16 revenue or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization targets in order to vest the entire award. Tesla has to reach a market cap of $100 billion for the first tranche to vest, and then each of the remaining 11 tranches require an additional $50 billion in market value.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[WhatsApp Co-Founder: Time to Delete Facebook]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 18:50:29 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17069609994890.jpg

Amid the turmoil of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton on Tuesday told his Twitter followers to delete Facebook, CNBC reported.

"It is time. #deletefacebook," he tweeted.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014. Acton remained with the company for several years before quitting to start the Signal Foundation earlier this year. His WhatsApp co-founder, Jan Koum, still leads the company and sits on Facebook's board.

Facebook has come under fire this week after reports emerged that political data analytics company Cambridge Analytica accessed thedata of over 50 million users of the social media network without their permission.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File]]>
<![CDATA[#DeleteFacebook: Is it the Beginning of the Facebook Exodus?]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 23:50:20 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-8146002741.jpg

It’s been another rough day for Facebook, both on the stock market and in the court of public opinion. With no new answers as to how user data will be safer in the future, some people say they are leaving Facebook, searching for social alternatives.

The backlash comes in light of reports that U.K.-based Cambridge Analytica harvested data from more than 50 million Facebook users to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

#DeleteFacebook is trending on Twitter, and as the company deals with a serious trust issue, the question on everyone’s mind is: Is this the end for the social media giant?

As the company faces intense scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission – the other question on everyone’s mind is #WheresZuck. On Tuesday, a British parliamentary committee summoned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on fake news. But even as the pressure mounts, neither Zuckerberg nor Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg have made any public comments.

A statement from Facebook simply says: “The entire company is outraged we were deceived” by Cambridge Analytica.

Shares of Facebook fell another 3 percent Tuesday.

Ann Skeet, director of leadership ethics at the Markkula Center, says a lack of trust is why users are leaving the social network.

"Basically, they're taking away the privacy of anyone who uses it,” Skeet said.

The Federal Trade Commission is opening an investigation into Facebook and how 50 million users had their data accessed by an outside company before the 2016 presidential election. That data, it turns out, was accessed after those users’ friends took a Cambridge Analytica survey on Facebook.

In response, many of them say they now will, as the hashtag said, #deletefacebook.

Among them is WhatsApp co-founder, Mark Acton, who sold his company to Facebook for $19 billion.

“It is time. #deletefacebook,” Acton tweeted Tuesday.

He also posted it on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Google Announces $300 Million Initiative to Fight Fake News]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:25:22 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP837205498681.jpg

Google announced it will launch a new $300 million initiative to fight fake news.

According to the search engine giant, the Google News Initiative is their effort to work with the news industry to "help journalism thrive in the digital age" by focusing on promoting quality journalism by decreasing misinformation online.

"It will enable new models for sustainable journalism, elevate quality journalism, and ensure technology allows journalists to do their jobs even better," Google’s Vice President of News Richard Gingras said in a YouTube video released Tuesday.

Google said they will work with news partners in three ways. First, they will build products to meet the needs of news organizations. Second, they will collaborate with news organizations to solve business and industry-wide challenges and lastly, they will develop and support programs to drive innovation across the news industry.

One of the main elements of the initiative is to combat fake news. With the help of different software, it will weave out misinformation during elections and breaking news. They will also look to improve digital information literacy for young consumers.

Another element they will incorporate is subscriptions. Google will allow users to subscribe to different news outlet. Security is also an important component, it will outline an open-source tool that lets companies set up their own private networks on the private server.

According to Mashable, Google did not release the names of specific launch partners, but the video on YouTube includes the New York Times COO Meredith Kopit Levien and Digital Trinity Mirror editor-in-chief Alison Gow.

It also included El País chief digital officer Noemí Ramírez who said in the video that "A lot of the solutions will come from the journalism industry and the tech industry working together."

Times of India COO of digital news Puneet Gupt was also included.

"When journalism succeeds, we all do better," Gingras said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Security Chief to Leave in Wake of Scandal: Report]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 17:40:49 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-490832273.jpg

Facebook Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos is reportedly leaving after disagreements over how the social media network should handle the spread of disinformation, the New York Times reported.

In a tweet, Stamos said he was still employed, but that his role had changed to "exploring emerging security risks and working on election security."

Stamos has been a strong advocate for disclosing Russian activity on Facebook. 

The Times report said that Stamos's roles had been reassigned in December, but Facebook persuaded him to stay on until August. In a tweet, Reuters independently reported that Stamos would leave in August. 

Facebook did not immediately return CNBC's request for comment.

Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Shares Tumble Following Reports of Data Breach]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:42:03 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+CAMBRIDGE+ANALYTICA+THUMB.jpg

Facebook shares tumbled Monday following reports that user data had been inappropriately obtained. Cambridge Analytica, whose clients included Donald Trump's presidential campaign, reportedly used the data of 50 million Facebook users without their permission.

<![CDATA[Stephen Hawking's Last Paper Pondered Parallel Universes]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 13:04:08 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/520677276-stephen-hawking.jpg

Stephen Hawking may have passed away last week, but he left behind a final scientific groundwork that could lead the way to the discovery of parallel universes, according to reports.

Hawking and co-author Thomas Hertog submitted the most recent draft of their paper on March 4, just 10 days before Hawking died Wednesday at 76 years old.

“A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation?” was first submitted in July 2017 and can be found in Cornell University’s online distribution system for research papers, arxiv.org. It is being considered for publication by a "leading journal," according to the U.K. Times

The paper discusses a "multiverse" theory of the universe that suggests there are an infinite number of parallel universes in addition to the one we live in, according to the Times. Hawking and Hertog propose an alternate model of the theory.

Their paper also suggests that our universe will eventually die out as stars lose their energy, CNBC reported.

Hawking had never won a Nobel Prize for his studies. Hertog, who works at KU Leuven University in Belgium, told the Times that Hawking "should have won" a Nobel prize with past nominations and "now he never can."

The award isn't given out to scientists posthumously.

Photo Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize Foundation]]>
<![CDATA[New Tech to Alleviate Highway 87 Congestion?]]> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 18:53:19 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/New_Tech_to_Alleviate_Highway_87_Congestion_.jpg

It's one of the most-clogged freeways in our area and it's only getting worse. If you live in the South Bay, you probably dread driving on Highway 87. But can technology help ease the commute? A local group thinks it might. Business and tech reporter Scott Budman reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[How Stephen Hawking Survived With ALS for 55 Years]]> Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:01:45 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Steven-Hawking.jpg

Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with ALS in 1963 at 21 years old and survived for over five decades before dying at the age of 76 on Wednesday. So how was Hawking able to live so long with the crippling and debilitating condition?

Experts say his wealth, mental attitude, and level of care played a huge part, NBC News reported. 

Hawking was able to receive around-the-clock medical care from a wife who gave up her career ambitions to attend to him as well as a team of nurses. He also made a good amount of income from his books like "A Brief History of Time" that helped him pay for the care and equipment that kept him alive. He was able to fund his 24-hour nursing care through grants from several foundations.  

Hawkings also had a positive mental attitude, set on living for a long time and doing as much as possible. “When you are faced with the possibility of an early death, it makes you realize that life is worth living and that there are a lot of things you want to do,” Hawking was quoted saying. 

Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Williamson/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[America's Largest eSports Stadium to Open in Texas]]> Thu, 15 Mar 2018 06:55:03 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/193*120/Esports+Stadium+Arlington+Exterior.jpg

If there was ever a competition to determine which city is truly the "sports and entertainment capital of the world," Arlington, Texas, would certainly be a contender.

The third largest city in North Texas is already home to AT&T Stadium, Globe Life Park, Six Flags Over Texas, and the College Park Center (home of UTA athletics and the Dallas Wings). And the $1.1 billion Globe Life Field is set to open in 2020, elevating Arlington's status in that realm even further.

On Wednesday, city leaders announced that yet another new stadium is coming — one that will serve as a permanent home for one of the most rapidly growing sectors in all of sports entertainment: video gaming.

Arlington is partnering with Esports Venues to open the 100,000-square-foot, 1,000-seat eSports Stadium Artington in the city's existing Arlington Convention Center. The new venue will be the largest eSports stadium in the U.S., the city of Arlington said in a statement.

"We are creating the most unique and technologically advanced space available," said Ron Price, President and CEO of the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The stadium, set to open in the fall, would host local, national and international eSports competitions. The popularity of competitive video gaming is growing at an exponential pace. In 2017, the industry was valued at $493 million, and it is expected to surge to $1.5 billion by 2020.

Even Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has gotten caught up in the craze. In November, he became the part owner of an eSports team.

"Being on the forefront of new ideas and setting trends is in our DNA," said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. “eSports Stadium Arlington will further cement our city’s status as a national and international tourist destination. Players and fans will come here for the tournaments and they’ll stay even longer to experience everything Arlington has to offer.”

Texas already has a growing competitive gaming community. Christian Gross heads the University of Texas Arlington eSports team. He's watched gaming turn into a high-stakes spectator sport. And Dallas even has its own professional team now: the Dallas Fuel.

"These people are not playing to have a good time," Gross said. "They're playing to become better, to be the best in their field."

Under the new agreement, the City of Arlington and Esports Venues will jointly invest $10 million in the renovation project. Esports Venues will then lease the space from the city for 10 years, with an option for a 10-year renewal.

The City expects its renovation and equipment costs to be repaid through annual lease payments, plus event revenue and stadium naming rights.

"My first thought was, do we get to use virtual money to pay for it?" said Faith Bussey, President of Citizens for a Better Arlington.

The organization fought against the new Rangers stadium before it was approved. Now Bussey is preparing for battle again.

"Especially at the local level, most people don't have any idea what's going on. They don't know what their city councilman and mayors are up to, and they don't know where their money is being spent," Bussey said. "I know there are other things we could be spending our money on, better, more wisely."

But supporters argue now is the time to get into a quickly-growing game.

"We’re already such a large entertainment capital for Texas as a whole and the nation, I think this is only going to take us one step further," said Gross.

In addition to competition event space, the venue will also host gaming, retail and social spaces, as well as a broadcast studio and team training areas.

NBC5's Alice Barr contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: City of Arlington ]]>
<![CDATA[Pi Day Spotlights One of Math's Most Seductive Numbers]]> Wed, 14 Mar 2018 08:02:07 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/92133811-Pi-Day.jpg

It may seem irrational to some, but we celebrate the number pi (π) every year on March 14, since 3/14 represent the first three digits of pi's decimal expansion.

NBC News reports that pi is more than just a good excuse to eat pie in the middle of March. It characterizes the perfect circle in a Platonic world, because it represents the constant ratio of the circumference to the diameter.

But it does more than that, too. Pi is part of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and a formula that prices risk.

It's captured the popular imagination with its irrationality, which means it can't be represented as a fraction. A computer calculated pi down to the 22,459,157,718,361st decimal place, while Rajveer Meena from India has a Guinness Book world record for reciting 70,000 of those decimal places.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[SXSW Festival Tackles Tech Industry's Serious Issues]]> Tue, 13 Mar 2018 19:06:30 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sxsw-file.jpg

The annual South by Southwest festival draws tech innovators from around the world to Austin, Texas, to showcase cutting edge products, network with potential investors and party with celebrities at exclusive events.

But this year, NBC News reported, more serious issues have dominated the conversation at a festival that in previous years made headlines for its quirkiness and innovation.

Technology platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Google, have been under fire for the roles they played in helping amplify the voices of bots and trolls.

In particular Twitter — a platform that first took off at South by Southwest more than a decade ago — has been among the companies most widely criticized for allowing harassment to flourish on its platform.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Steve Wozniak Loses $70,000 in Bitcoin Scam]]> Mon, 12 Mar 2018 18:51:20 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/04-18-2017-steve-wozniak.jpg

We know Steve Wozniak as the co-founder of Apple, the guy who brought “Comic-Con” to Silicon Valley, the tech wizard.

Turns out he’s human, too...and vulnerable to Bitcoin fraud.

Wozniak, like many people, got interested in Bitcoin some years ago, when the virtual currency was cheap. He says he was curious.

“I’m a technologist,” says Woz. “I like to buy the latest technology.”

Which led him to Bitcoin, the currency that’s hard to trace, and rapidly rising in value.

In fact, when Woz noticed how quickly Bitcoin was climbing, he decided to sell. Some, on the Coinbase platform, was easy to move.

But Woz says he had seven coins in another (unnamed) platform – and those were ripped off.

“I went to look at my Bitcoin, and the site was down,” he says.

Bad sign.

“It had been defrauded. All the Bitcoin was gone.”

A loss of about $70,000. And Woz isn’t the only one to lose money from Bitcoin fraud. San Jose State cyber security professor Ahmed Banafa says “the problem is, with any new technology, you have to think about the risk.”

So, invest with caution. After all, if it can happen to Woz, it can happen to any of us.

Scott can be found on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Musk Projects Mars Spaceship Ready for Short Trips in 2019]]> Mon, 12 Mar 2018 06:45:21 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/elonmuskteslawala_1200x675.jpg

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk spoke Sunday about the timeline for sending a space vehicle to Mars, CNBC reported. 

Musk told the audience at the South by Southwest festival held in Austin, Texas, that the milestone for sending a space vehicle to Mars is as early as next year. The venture, announced in 2017, aims to send a cargo mission to the Red Planet by 2022. SpaceX's ultimate objective is to plant the seeds to put a human colony on Mars.

A flight on SpaceX's BFR rocket system could cost in the $5 to $6 million range. 

The billionaire told the audience that "we are building the first Mars, or interplanetary ship, and I think well be able to short trips, flights by first half of next year."

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mark Brake]]>
<![CDATA[The History of Daylight Saving Time]]> Fri, 09 Mar 2018 13:24:21 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+DAYLIGHT+SAVING+TIME+THUMB.jpg

Every spring we set our clocks forward an hour — but why? Before you spring forward this weekend, learn the real story behind Daylight Saving Time.