<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Tech News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/tech http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usTue, 23 May 2017 14:56:28 -0400Tue, 23 May 2017 14:56:28 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Twitter Users Report Glitches Amid Service Disruption]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 14:02:59 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Twitter-generic1.jpg

Some Twitter users were having trouble with the social media service Friday morning, as the company noted, and service distruptions continued through the afternoon.

"Some users are currently experiencing problems accessing Twitter & Tweeting. We are aware of the issue and are working towards a resolution," the Twitter Support account said in the morning.

The Twitter service tracker noted a disruption in the timeline function, and more performance issues with the stream. Those reports were in effect for hours.

The website-tracking site DownDetector noted spikes in outage reports after midnight, 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET. The U.S., U.K., France and Japan appeared especially hard-hit.



Photo Credit: Bethany Clarke/Getty Images, File
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[6 Injured After Fire Breaks Out at Google Conference: Officials]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 23:30:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shoreline-0518.jpg

A fire during the Google I/O Conference in Mountain View on Thursday sent three people to the hospital, one with critical injuries, according to fire officials.

Firefighters responded to Shoreline Amphitheatre on reports of a fire inside one of the venue's food service buildings that was contained to the one building, fire officials said.

A total of six people were injured in the blaze, fire officials said. Three were transported to a hospital, one with life-threatening injuries. The other three were treated at the scene.

The developer conference was interrupted only briefly and continued Thursday evening. No evacuations were ordered, and no other injuries were reported, fire officials said.

Fire officials said the flames were caused by a grease fire in the kitchen of one of the food service buildings.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla Workers Suffer Fainting Spells, Dizziness: Report]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 21:48:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-479833756-Musk.jpg

Workers at Tesla's car factory in California have been fainting, experiencing dizziness and even having seizures, often requiring medical attention.

The symptoms have led to more than 100 calls for ambulances since 2014, according to incident reports obtained by the Guardian newspaper, which first reported the story Thursday.

Company CEO Elon Musk acknowledged that workers are "having a hard time, working long hours, and on hard jobs," but he also said he cared deeply about their health and well-being.

In a blog post published Sunday, the company said: “Tesla's safety record is much better than industry average, but it is not enough.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook fined $122 million by EU Over Whatsapp Information]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 12:09:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/markzuckerbergneutralface_1200x675.jpg

Facebook has been fined 110 million euros ($122 million) by European regulators for providing "misleading information" about its acquisition of instant messaging service WhatsApp.

The social media giant bought WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion. The European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, said that Facebook told it that there was no possibility to establish "reliable automated matching between Facebook users' accounts and WhatsApp users' accounts" that year.

The Commission's issue centers around the U.S. social networking giant linking Facebook accounts to WhatsApp user identities.

But last year, Facebook released an update to its terms of service that raised the possibility of linking accounts from both platforms.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Security Apps For Your Phone]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 10:50:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/PCMike0516_MP4-149503218056400001.jpg Tech guru PC Mike Wendland looks at apps designed to protect smartphones and tablets from malware, spyware and viruses.]]> <![CDATA[Instagram Introduces 'Face Filters' Similar to Snapchat ]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 11:03:40 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/snapchatgeneric_1200x675.jpg

Instagram on Tuesday announced a feature called "face filters," the latest effort to steal the thunder from upstart Snap, which is the parent company of Snapchat. 

Instagram's face filters allows users to add graphics to a selfie, then it can be added to a video or photo and sent through direct messaging or added to a public story — much like Snapchat's Lenses.

In addition to face filters, Instagram featured editing tools for video and photo.





Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lyft, Waymo Agree to Work on Self-Driving Car Technology]]> Mon, 15 May 2017 06:49:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/LyftWaymoSplit.jpg

In the race to the self-driving future, Lyft has agreed to work with Waymo, the self-driving car company owned by Google's parent company, to bring autonomous vehicles to the masses, both companies told NBC News on Sunday night.

The announcement comes as Waymo has accused Lyft's biggest competitor, Uber, of stealing trade secrets from the company to advance its own self-driving operation.

In a statement to NBC News, a Lyft representative said the plan is to partner with Waymo to "safely and responsibly launch self-driving vehicle pilots."

"Waymo holds today's best self-driving technology, and collaborating with them will accelerate our shared vision of improving lives with the world's best transportation," the company said.



Photo Credit: GettyImages/AP, Files]]>
<![CDATA[Elon Musk Moves Forward With 'Boring' Traffic Remedy]]> Mon, 15 May 2017 19:38:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/202*120/elon-musk-tunnel.PNG

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk can claim a perhaps unparalleled string of visionary company creations -- PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company.

The Boring Company?

"We're trying to dig a hole under LA," Musk explained during a recent TED Talk interview.

WARNING: The video below contains flashing lights, which has potential to induce motion sickness and/or seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised. 


After months of social media musing on tunneling to escape traffic congestion in metropolitan Los Angeles, Musk is moving ahead with test boring in a Hawthorne parking lot across Crenshaw Boulevard from SpaceX.

It appears to be a step toward what Musk foresees as a "3D network of tunnels to alleviate congestion."  What Musk calls "electric sleds" would carry cars piggyback through the tunnels at speeds up to 125 mph.

Going from Westwood to LAX would take six minutes or less, Musk predicted.

Cars could access and depart the tunnels through roadside auto elevators, each of which Musk said would require the room of only two parking spaces. The scenario is depicted in an animation video posted on The Boring Company's website.

Musk contends that unlike surface roadways, underground you need never run out of room to add lanes, because you can simply go down another level.

But transportation engineers have doubts about the feasibility of Musk's tunnel vision, and apart from benefiting the tunnel users, how much it would reduce traffic and improve transit overall.

"How such a narrow system could contribute to that is not clear to me," said Jim Moore, director of the USC Viterbi Transportation Engineering Program.  Be that as it may, Moore said he considers Musk a "bona fide genius," and applauded his investing in researching such a novel approach.

Musk believes autonomous driving technology will enable car travel to be more efficient, and that cars -- not public transit -- will continue to carry a large percentage of ground travelers.

A major obstacle to underground travel is the cost of boring tunnels. The cost of new underground transit lines runs into the billions of dollars.

Musk said the Boring Company is focusing on ways to improve technology and efficiency enough to reduce cost by at least tenfold.

An inquiry to The Boring Company for detail on what is being done at the Crenshaw site elicited a response from sister company SpaceX--but no comments on the record.  It appears the current work east of Crenshaw is a separate project from the proposed--but yet to be started--pedestrian tunnel which the city of Hawthorned has approved to be bored beneath Crenshaw Blvd.

Musk acknowledged improvement in boring technology may have crossover benefit for another vision of his for using tunnels to speed travel: Hyperloops, in which passengers would be transported in pods at near supersonic speeds through tubes with reduced air pressure. Musk sees this as a step beyond high speed rail, such as exists in Japan and the state of California currently is constructing.

The test Hyperloop that SpaceX built in Hawthorne alongside Jack Northrop Boulevard is above ground. But future Hyperloops for congested urban areas, such as the Washington-New York corridor, would best be placed underground, Musk said during the April TED talk recorded in Vancouver, Canada.

Musk spoke with enthusiasm for the Boring Project, but during the TED talk put it in context -- at this point, it is receiving only 2 to 3 percent of his time.



Photo Credit: Elon Musk]]>
<![CDATA[Snap CEO, Co-Founder Could Lose More Than $1B Each]]> Thu, 11 May 2017 13:40:50 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-647154742.jpg

Snapchat's poorly-received first earnings report and subsequent drop in stock led CEO Evan Spiegel to lose more than the $750 million he received in a stock bonus for completing his company's initial public offering (IPO) in March, CNBC reported.

The social media app's shares fell $5.35, or 23 percent, Wednesday to $17.66 after the company released its first quarterly financial results as a public company. The drop in price means Snap is just above its IPO price of $17.

If the same price drop happens Thursday, Spiegel will have lost more than $1.3 billion in a period of less than 24 hours. Spiegel's co-founder, Bobby Murphy, will have lost $1.1 billion.

Still, even if shares drop to $17, both men's holdings in the company will remain worth more than $3.5 billion each.



Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, File ]]>
<![CDATA[Snap Plunges on First Earnings Report as Public Company]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 17:41:51 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/snapchatonwallst_1200x675.jpg

Snap, parent company of social media site Snapchat, reported quarterly financial results for the first time on Wednesday, posting revenue that missed estimates and slower-than-expected user growth.

Shares plummeted more than 19 percent in after-hours trading.

Since its initial public offering in early March, Snap has faced an uphill battle to convince Wall Street it can make money with advertising, even with Facebook and Google dominating the market.

While its $3.9 billion initial stock sale in early March was the largest U.S. IPO in more than two years, the company has consistently reported huge losses.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The 5 Highest-Paying Tech Summer Internships: Survey]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 10:49:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/472655314-internship-generic.jpg

The top internships in the tech industry these days aren't the monotonous office drone work, CNBC reports. They offer challenging projects that pay thousands of dollars a month.

The highest paying summer internship in tech this year is at Facebook, which pays $8,000 monthly, according to jobs website Glassdoor, which compiled data based in part on anonymously submitted feedback.

"Facebook moves fast. Really, really fast. The pace definitely took some getting used to, but I think it's coupled with (an) implicit trust," a software engineer intern wrote. "There is so much to learn."

Rounding out the top five highest-paying internships are Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and Apple — which offers perks like food and housing, one intern noted.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Big Tech Hiring, But Not Ivy League]]> Tue, 09 May 2017 09:59:44 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-73909596.jpg

Considering shelling out big bucks on an Ivy League education? You may want to reconsider that – at least if you're eyeing a job in Silicon Valley.

The list of top 10 universities big-name Bay Area companies hire from doesn't feature any of the Ivy League universities in the country, according to artifical intelligence company HiringSolved. The analysis was based on 10,000 profiles of tech workers who were hired or promoted into new roles in 2016 as well as January and February 2017, according to the San Francisco Business Times

Leading the list were two local schools: University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University.

The others, however, included well-known engineering schools, such as Georgia Institute of Technology, and large public universities, including San Jose State University, UC San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, University of Texas at Austin. 

Of the Ivy League schools, Cornell University made it to rank 15.

“Our research suggests that in addition to specific skills and educational backgrounds, Silicon Valley is looking for a strong fundamental understanding of the basics of technology in their new hires” HiringSolved CEO Shon Burton said in a statement. “Often what separates say, a good engineer from a great one, is a knack for understanding the baseline ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s’ of how things work – the physics of the technology.”

Applicants looking to stand out must demonstrate familiarity with a number of softwares, including Python, C++, Java, Linux and Matlab, the analysis shows. 

Here are the top 10 schools favored in the past year by recruiters at top Silicon Valley companies:


  1. University of California, Berkeley
  2. Stanford University
  3. Carnegie Mellon University
  4. University of Southern California
  5. The University of Texas at Austin
  6. Georgia Institute of Technology
  7. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  8. San Jose State University
  9. University of California, San Diego
  10. Arizona State University




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cheating on the Rise as Competitive Gaming Goes Mainstream]]> Fri, 05 May 2017 14:12:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_esports0504_1500x845.jpg

Cheating, or hacking, is an issue as competitive video gaming breaks into mainstream entertainment. Prizes ranging from sponsorships to social media fame to cash rewards are prompting some to seek an edge over the competition.

]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Pledges $1 Billion Boost to US Manufacturing ]]> Wed, 03 May 2017 19:28:46 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/188*120/apple-GettyImages-516837044.jpg

Apple plans to start a $1 billion fund to create more advanced manufacturing jobs in the United States, company CEO Tim Cook told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer on Wednesday.

As CNBC reports, the fund fits into Apple’s efforts to promote and create jobs within its own sector and within its own company. The fund's creation also comes amid President Donald Trump’s ongoing promises to bring lost manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

Cook said he hopes the investment will spur even more job creation.

"By doing that, we can be the ripple in the pond. Because if we can create many manufacturing jobs around, those manufacturing jobs create more jobs around them because you have a service industry that builds up around them," he said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Cybercriminals Hacked 1.1 Billion Accounts Last Year: Study]]> Mon, 01 May 2017 12:59:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Hacker506944962.jpg

Digital bandits breached 1.1 billion identities in 2016, nearly doubling their haul from the year before, according to a new study on cybercrime.

NBC News reports that the year brought more ransomware attacks and higher extortion demands, plus some of the biggest distributed denial of service attacks ever seen, causing "unprecedented levels of disruption" to internet traffic, according to the 2017 Internet Security Threat Report from Symantec.

"The bad guys made a lot of money last year," said Kevin Haley, director of Symantec Security Response. "They keep getting better and more efficient at what they do; they managed to fool us in new and different ways."

Cybercriminals are moving away from making money by stealing a little bit from a lot of people at a time, and toward attacking banks themselves, the reported noted. 



Photo Credit: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Millennials Found Most Susceptible to Robocalls and Scams ]]> Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:41:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_scams0427_1500x845.jpg

A new study finds that it is not the elderly who are most susceptible to scam phone calls, but millennials, who are six times more likely to give away credit card information than any other age group. 

]]>
<![CDATA[Starbucks’ App Has Been Overwhelming Some Baristas]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:43:58 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/511143580-Starbucks-generic.jpg

Starbucks' mobile order and pay system has been bringing some of its busiest locations to a standstill, NBC News reported.

The system lets people order ahead and swoop into a store to pick up their coffee, food or unicorn frappucino. It was so popular in the first quarter of 2017 that store traffic ground to a halt as baristas contended with a wave of orders, prompting some walk-in customers to leave.

In 1,200 Starbucks locations, at least 20 percent of transactions in peak hours came from customers using mobile order and pay, the company said.

So the company has been experimenting with new ways to "more efficiently handle increased demand" from both mobile and walk-in customers during peak hours.



Photo Credit: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Amazon Announces Fashion-Tracking Camera Echo Look]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:18:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/wcholook_1200x675.jpg

Amazon launched the Echo Look Wednesday, a new device that observes how users dress and offers fashion advice based on algorithms and technology, CNBC reported.

The Echo Look is similar to Alexa, the voice-operated device that plays music, provides weather forecasts, traffic and news updates and more.

The Look takes "full-length photos and short videos" with a computer-generated background blur and stores them in a companion app. Its "Style Check" service "combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists," Amazon says.

The Echo Look will feature all of the other functions of the Echo Dot and standard Echo.



Photo Credit: Amazon]]>
<![CDATA['Shark Tank' Judge and Tech Investor Calls It Quits]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:41:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/techinvestorfeuerherd.jpg

Chris Sacca, a judge on the television show “Shark Tank” and early investor in tech companies like Twitter and Uber, announced Wednesday that he will be retiring from venture capital and the television show, CNBC reported. 

Sacca wrote Wednesday that he is "hanging up my spurs" after he rediscovered a notebook with entries he had written back in his 20s. In it, the younger Sacca had said he planned to retire at age 40. "In a matter of days, I'm going to be 42 years old," Sacca said. "Two years late." 

"I succeeded at venture capital because, for years, I rarely thought about or spent time on anything else. Anything less than that unmitigated full commitment leaves me feeling frustrated and ineffective," Sacca said. "As you've heard me say on the show, if I'm not all in, I'm out." 

Sacca said he's leaving ABC's "Shark Tank" this season, since he can't do the show while also keeping to his promise to stop investing in new companies, CNBC reported.



Photo Credit: Getty Images for SXSW]]>
<![CDATA[Man Knocks Down Security Robot, Ends Up in Jail]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:31:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/robot+attack.jpg

In a man-vs.-robot confrontation in California last week, the robot did what it was designed to do, and the intoxicated man ended up in jail, according to Mountain View police.

On April 19 around 8:15 p.m., officers responded to Knightscope headquarters, in the 1000 block of Terra Bella Avenue, on reports of a prowler. Surveillance video provided by the robot maker shows 41-year-old Jason Sylvain moments before police say he intentionally knocked over a 300-pound security robot.

The robot was being tested outside the company offices when it sounded its alarm, and employees ran outside, Knightscope said.

"We found a guy who just knocked over our robot," said company spokesman Stacy Dean Stephens. "He tried to get away, but we detained him and then we got Mountain View police on the phone. The bad guy learned the robot does security. It did what it was designed to do."

When officers arrived, Sylvain appeared confused, had red, glassy eyes and a strong odor of alcohol, police said. He was arrested for prowling and being drunk in public.

Last year, a Knightscope robot made headlines after running over a toddler while working at Stanford Shopping Center. The child suffered minor scrapes and a sore foot.

This time, the robot ended up with a few scratches, but Stephens said, "Everything is fine, none the worse for wear."



Photo Credit: Mountain View PD]]>