<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Tech News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/tech http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usFri, 18 Aug 2017 20:55:17 -0700Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:55:17 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[ACLU Fights LA Over Pershing Square Photography]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:03:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/192*120/camera+generic1.jpg

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a temporary restraining order against the city of Los Angeles over its attempt to ban professional photography at a series of free concerts in Pershing Square, a lawyer with the group said Thursday.

The concert series began on July 15 and concludes on Saturday with the bands X and the Meat Puppets, and the city has been enforcing a ban on professional photography inside the park, although it did alter its policy after the ACLU sent a letter along with a group of journalism organizations two weeks ago arguing the ban was infringing on First Amendment rights because the concerts are in a public park.

The original ban prohibited pro cameras, monopopds, tripods, selfie sticks, iPads or professional photo or video equipment of any type, according to Peter Eliasberg, an attorney with the ACLU.

After the letter was sent, Eliasberg said the city altered the policy to only ban professional equipment, including cameras with interchangeable lenses and any form of a camera stand.

"Our clients want to be able to be there and use the camera equipment that they would ordinarily use," said Eliasberg, whose clients are the National Press Photographers Association and photographer Cliff Cheng. "The city stopped them from doing that last week at the concert, and we have absolutely no reason to believe they won't do exactly the same thing here, and that infringes on the First Amendment rights of our clients, and we need the court to give us a ruling."

The TRO was filed Wednesday night and Eliasberg said a judge has not yet issued a ruling.

The City Attorney's Office did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

The Radio Television Digital News Organization, the National Press Photographers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the California Broadcasters Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Photographic Artists, the American Society of Media Photographers, the Digital Media Licensing Association, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, the Professional Photographers of America, and Reporters Without Borders all sent the letter two weeks ago to the city asking for the policy to be changed.

"Pershing Square is a public forum, and remains one during the Summer Concert Series. The park does not suddenly become a non-public forum even if the city in some way yields control of the park to a concert promoter or other private party during the concerts, contrary to the city's belief and practice ... Numerous courts have rejected the argument that private contracting over traditional public forums abrogates the government's First Amendment obligations," the letter reads.

Photo Credit: Flickr]]>
<![CDATA[Explorer Live-Streams Expedition of Unmapped Waters Off CA]]> Wed, 12 Jul 2017 16:28:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/177*120/ballard2.JPG

A famed ocean explorer who discovered the Titanic is leading an expedition of the California Coast on a state-of-the-art vessel. His mission: to map the mostly unknown sea floor of the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary and live stream every minute of it to classrooms, learners and scientists across the country.

The Exploration Vehicle Nautilus' "telepresence" technology lets experts lead the research team from anywhere in the world if the crew makes a discovery or is unsure of a finding's significance. Dr. Robert Ballard, who found the Titanic in 1985 and has conducted 150 deep sea expeditions, said he has been dreaming of the technology since 1981.

Ballard's ties to LA run deep. He was raised in Downey, educated at UC Santa Barbara and the University of Southern California and he lives in the area.

"We will bring the brightest minds in America to the point of discovery within 30 minutes," Ballard said.

Parts of the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary remain a mystery. Ballard said more is known about the moon and Mars than the chain of eight islands off the coast of Santa Barbara. As of 2014, 50 percent of the region's sea floor was poorly mapped, according to the research team's expedition overview.

Two remote operated vehicles, the Hercules and the Argus, allow the team to conduct exploratory dives and gather samples from the sea floor. Each is equipped with a camera that feeds live footage to a website.

Viewers can ask questions in real time and receive answers from the crew. During a recent trip, the team says it answered 60,000 inquiries.

The three-week expedition is part of a collaboration between AltaSea and the Ocean Exploration Trust that aims to provide access to science for kids in Southern California. Three educators will join the research team during different parts of the expedition.

"The Nautilus can help kids in this region, including some who live within walking distance in pretty rough neighborhoods, to make the right decisions in their lives as they fight to overcome very difficult circumstances," said Jenny Krusoe, executive director of AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles.

The research team set sail Friday from the Port of Los Angeles, where the Nautilus is based. A similar vessel will be housed on the East Coast.

After the Channel Islands expedition, Ballard and the Nautilus will head to Baja California before returning to LA in November.

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<![CDATA[Metro Tests Firearm, Explosive-Detecting Body Scanners]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:52:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/body+scanners1.JPG

Passengers boarding subway trains in Los Angeles may soon be shuffled through airport-style body scanners that are aimed to detect firearms and explosives.

A two-day pilot program by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority began Wednesday. But officials quickly experienced a hiccup when a scanner being demonstrated Wednesday morning at Union Station malfunctioned before passengers could be put through the machine.

The machines use sensors to scan a person as they walk through, searching for firearms and explosive compounds, said Dave Sotero, a Metro spokesman. Passengers don't need to unload laptops or take off their jackets or shoes as the radio waves scan them to detect anomalies.

"It is specifically designed to test for mass-casualty threats," Sotero said. "The technology enables the system to locate on the body where there is a potential threat, and it appears on a video screen."

Metro is conducting the pilot program to evaluate the accuracy and capacity of the portable machines and determine if the scanners could become permanent fixtures in the Los Angeles transit system.

Each machine is designed to scan about 600 people per hour, Sotero said. About 150,000 passengers ride on Metro's Red Line daily, he said.

"This is designed so you don't have to wait," Sotero said. "The idea is that you have a continuous flow of people through the security system without causing a backlog and causing people to miss their trains."

Similar to airport checkpoints, when someone passes through the scanner, they are held for a few seconds while law enforcement officers watch a monitor that shows the location on any anomalies the body. Several security officers stood guard at the screening checkpoint at Union Station on Wednesday morning. Large signs advised passengers that the screening is voluntary.

The scanners sell for about $60,000 each, said Chris McLaughlin, a vice president with Evolv Technology, which makes the system.

"I think it is a good idea with everything that has been going on and ISIS," passenger Jazmin Rosales, 29, said. "As long as it doesn't take too long, at least you know you can feel safe."

Photo Credit: Jeff Scharping]]>
<![CDATA[6 Free Apps for Pet Owners]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:47:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-77541854.jpg Nowadays, caring for your pet has never been easier and more enjoyable.From finding a pet sitter and setting up play dates to handling medical emergencies and training your pet, there’s an app for that.Whether your looking to better fulfill your pets needs or find resources to help you with yours, these free pets apps have you covered.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LA Cyber Lab: New Program to Tackle Cyber Threats]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:09:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/la+cyber+lab.JPG

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on Tuesday an unprecedented initiative to freely share information about cybersecurity threats with businesses in the city.

The Los Angeles Cyber Lab is billed as America's first city-led partnership dedicated to protecting businesses and residents from cyber attacks. The lab will circulate information gleaned from analyses of what the mayor's office called more than 4 million attempted cyber attacks on city computer networks each day.

Information gathered by the lab will alert registered business owners to attacks as they are occurring.

"A cyber attack can steal a downpayment on a young couple's first home," Garcetti said. "A cyber attack could release confidential hospital records to the public or hold a small company's data for ransom, crippling their business."

By sharing data about cyber attacks on municipal computer systems, the lab will help businesses protect their own networks from hacking attempts that might not be caught by "traditional" defense programs. The system is expected to evolve into a two-way information-sharing highway, with the city fortifying its own cyber defenses with information gleaned from hack attempts on businesses.

"Cybersecurity is one of the defining issues of our time," said John Stewart, senior vice president of Cisco, which developed the lab in concert with the city. "Private businesses and public-sector organizations must collaborate closely to protect businesses' interests and help keep our citizens more secure online."

Businesses already signed on to the effort include AEG, Amazon, Riot Games, Westfield and Southern California Edison.

Christopher Hymes, Riot Games' director of security, told the Los Angeles Times the program holds promise if companies open up about incidents and best practices.

"We need to leave behind the concern about how we will be judged by others and realize it happens to everyone," he said of cyber attacks. "If all participating companies come to the table with that attitude and share their experiences, it will be successful."

According to the mayor's office, the city plans to eventually being an Innovation Incubator, which will use a simulated municipal computer network as a testing ground for cyber-defense technologies.

Photo Credit: Scott Spiro]]>
<![CDATA[Apple, Aetna Meeting to Bring Apple Watch to Aetna: Sources]]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 11:25:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/applewatchcolorful-1200x675.jpg

Apple and Aetna held secret meetings last week to bring Apple's health- and fitness-tracking device, Apple Watch, to Aetna customers, according to three sources who spoke with CNBC. 

Aetna, which covers an estimated 23 million people, is negotiating a deal with Apple to either provide the smartwatch for free or at a discounted rate to its members. 

Recently, Apple has focused on developing new health sensors for people with chronic disease, according to a CNBC report in April.

Apple Watch recently surpassed Fitbit as the top-selling health-tracking device, after shipments reached an estimated 22 million in early 2017. 

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Google Cancels 'Town Hall' on Diversity at Last Minute]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 03:57:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/182*120/GettyImages-474984752.jpg

Google canceled a company town hall on diversity at the last minute Thursday afternoon out of concerns about people's safety, worrying they may be publicly outed for asking a question, according to a Google spokesperson.

The questions that were planned by "Googlers" appeared externally this afternoon and some employees are being named on "some websites," CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email sent to employees.

The tech giant planned the town hall meeting for Thursday following days of scrutiny over a controversial memo on the company’s diversity initiatives written by engineer James Damore.

Pichai was expected to lead the town hall with other members of the company’s leadership.

After the anti-diversity memo was made public, Pichai released a memo of his own on Tuesday addressing the importance of self-expression in the workplace while being aware of the company’s code of conduct.

"To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” Pichai said in his memo sent to Google employees.

In the controversial 3,000 word memo written by Damore, the 28-year-old engineer blamed the gender pay gap in the tech industry on biological differences between men and women. He also criticized what he called a politically correct bias in the Google culture.

"People get offended because it goes against the left’s ideology," Damore said during an interview on a conservative talk show on YouTube. “And then they just think, ‘OK, it offends people, therefore it’s wrong and there it’s an opinion."

After the canceled event, Pichai took the opportunity to make a surprise appearance at a women-in-tech awards event later Thursday. He talked directly to dozens of young female engineers from around the world and offered a short but poignant message. 

"There’s a place for you in this industry. There’s a place for you at Google," he said. "Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise."

The event is the culmination of a yearlong global competition for young women to use technology to address a problem. It’s one of several initiatives that Google helps fund in order to diversify its workforce.

It comes as the company conducts damage control over Damore's memo and firing.

"It’s definitely a defining moment for Google, for our culture," said Maggie Johnson, Google vice president of education. "It’s something that we’re working through."

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[How Your Phone Can Detect Card Skimmers]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:39:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/skimmer-gas-pump-tda.jpg

Card skimmers at gas pumps and ATMs are a growing problem, but did you know your cell phone can protect you?

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller made a video explaining a few tips to remember when filling up your gas tank.

First, avoid pumps at the end of gas stations. They're often too far for the store clerk to have a clear view of the pump.

Next, leave your debit card in your wallet. It's all too easy for a thief to skim your debit card's magnetic strip. If they catch your pin number, you can bet your bank account is up for grabs.

Have a look around the pump. Look for tampering, a loose credit card reader or a broken seal on the pump's cabinet.

The best way to check for skimmer devices is using your phone, Miller said. Thieves often use Bluetooth technology to transmit card and pin information. Just turn on Bluetooth and search for a device. If you see a long string of numbers trying to connect, that's a bad sign.

As NBC Responds in DFW reported in April, law enforcement across the U.S. have seen a spike in skimming cases this year, and it's expected to keep rising. More credit and debit cards are using chip technology, making it increasingly difficult for thieves to skim your information.

Miller also noted to always print a receipt. You'll need the receipt to file a claim with the gas station's insurance in case you pump bad fuel, or if your identity is stolen.

If it looks like a pump or ATM has been tampered with, move to another pump or pay inside. If you notice suspicious charges on your account, contact your financial institution immediately, the TDA said.

Photo Credit: Texas Department of Agriculture
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<![CDATA[Disney to Remove All Content on Netflix for Own, New Service]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 13:48:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/11-11-2015-bob-iger-disney-GettyImages-492431088.jpg

Disney wants to own a piece of the streaming pie.

The company announced during its latest earnings report on Tuesday it intends to pull all its content from Netflix for its own streaming service in 2019, CNBC reported. 

CEO Bob Iger told CNBC's Julia Boorstin Disney had a "good relationship" with Netflix, but decided to exercise an option to move its content off the platform. Movies to be removed include Marvel as well as Disney titles.

It will also be making a "significant investment" in exclusive movies and television series for the new platform.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Google Manifesto' Fuels Debate on Gender Bias in Tech World]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 09:17:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/google-campus1.jpg

A 10-page document known as the "Google Manifesto" that criticizes the company's diversity practices and says that women aren't suited for engineering jobs is adding further controversy to the debate around gender bias in Silicon Valley, NBC News reported.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the memo violates the company's code of conduct, but also added that minority viewpoints cannot be discounted. NBC News could not independently confirm reports that the author of the report, said to be a Google engineer, was fired.

"I am just kind of tired of it," said former Google engineer Cate Huston. "These things keep happening and the details change but the substantive portion of it is that women shouldn't be engineers are we aren’t welcome."

While Google and other tech companies are making efforts to hire a more diverse workforce, they are still grappling with how to fix a bro culture after a number of headline-grabbing stories this year. Stories of harassment in the tech investment world have led to resignations and, at Uber, at least 20 firings.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Instagram Posts May Reveal Signs of Depression: Study]]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 18:58:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Instagram-Logo-GettyImages-540936038.jpg

Scientists have created an algorithm that can determine whether an Instagram user is showing signs of depression based on their posts to the app, according to a study published Monday by EPJ Data Science.

Researchers used almost 44,000 pictures from 166 people. Of the sample, 71 participants had a history of depression. The computer algorithm successfully identified markers of depression 70 percent of the time, according to the study.

It was able to spot markers of depression based on Instagram posts even before participants were clinically diagnosed.

The photos were examined based on their colors, the number of faces and the number of likes a post received. Researchers concluded that participants who posted photos with blue, gray or dark light tended to be depressed. Depressed Instagram users were also more likely to post photos with faces, but fewer faces per photo than their less-depressed counterparts. Depressed users also tended to receive fewer likes and were more likely to post photos without a filter. 

However, the co-authors of the study, Andrew Reece and Christopher Danforth, caution that their study was limited by its relatively small sample size. Roughly 43 percent of their initial participants refused to share their Instagram data out of privacy concerns. Reece and Danforth did not immediately return NBC's request for comment. 

The findings cannot be generalized to every Instagram user, but could serve as a "blueprint for effective mental health screening in an increasingly digitalized society."

Reece and Danforth concluded that their algorithm helped prove that mental illness and social media use have a scientifically calculable correlation.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Mystery Solved: Why a Va. Driver Dressed as a Car Seat]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 08:38:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/080717+car+with+hidden+driver.jpg

A van that appeared to have no driver made headlines when it was spotted in Arlington, Virginia, last week. But when News4's Adam Tuss saw the van on Monday and looked inside, he saw that it did have a driver: a man dressed in a costume made to look like just a car seat.

From the road, the unmarked gray van eerily looks like it's moving without a driver. The entire front seat looks empty. But when Tuss looked inside, he saw a man wearing a beige and black costume that covered his entire torso.

His arms poked out of the bottom of the costume to steer. His face was completely covered, like that of a sports mascot who can see out, but no one can see in.

"I looked out and I said, 'Oh my God, there's a guy in a seat costume," Tuss said. "How's that possible? Your brain can't get around it for a second."

Tuss went to the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington on Monday to talk with ARLnow.com founder Scott Brodbeck about the vehicle he saw in Clarendon and Courthouse on Thursday night

As Tuss left the ARLnow.com offices, he saw the 2017 Ford Transit Connect himself. He and a News4 photographer followed the vehicle in Clarendon and Ballston for about 20 minutes. 

Tuss went to knock on the window. At first, he thought he saw an empty seat. Then, when he looked below the wheel, he saw a man's hands and legs.

"Brother, who are you? What are you doing? I'm with the news, dude," Tuss said. "Dude, can you pull over and we can talk for a second?"  

But the driver didn't say a word.

After multiple inquiries by News4, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute said Monday afternoon that the van and van driver are part of a study they are conducting on driverless cars. The worker was wearing the uniform he was supposed to wear. 

"The driver's seating area is configured to make the driver less visible within the vehicle, while still allowing him or her the ability to safely monitor and respond to surroundings," a statement from the institute says. 

Virginia Tech declined to make the half car seat, half man -- as Tuss put it -- available for an interview. 

Arlington County officials were involved in the planning for the study, a Virginia Tech spokeswoman said. Arlington was selected because "it is representative of the urban areas for which automated vehicles are currently being considered," she said. 

Go here to learn more about the study

The Virginia Department of Transportation was not aware of the vehicle, a representative said. The Arlington Police Department was "shocked" by news of the van, one representative said.

Several "invisible driver" prank videos can be found on YouTube. The drivers are entirely hidden by costumes that look just like car seats.

CORRECTION (Aug. 8, 2017, 9:30 a.m.): An earlier version of this story said the driver ran a red light, in apparent attempt to evade News4. But a spokeswoman for the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute says a thorough review of the in-vehicle camera showed the driver passed through a yellow light. 

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[Texas Professors Work to Stop Spread of 'Fake News']]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 10:41:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/computerhandstyping_1200x675.jpg

A team of professors from the University of Texas at Arlington is working to create a program that will help stop the spread of fake news.

“What we’re talking about – the President uses that term to refer to media in general – but what we’re talking about are stories that are entirely fictitious or largely fictitious,” said Mark Tremayne, Ph.D., an assistant professor of communications at UT Arlington.

The project to root out fake news on social media is titled, “Bot vs. Bot: Automated Detection of Fake News Bots,” and will eventually result in a computer program that will be designed to alert people when posts they’re seeing, or even comments on social media posts, have likely been generated by automated social media accounts.

The researchers have made assurances that their motivations are not political.

“This is not targeted for or against any one party or any one candidate,” said Christoph Csallner, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department. “This project is really about national security. You could imagine some real threats [being spread through ‘fake news’ posts] like another country trying to start confusion among residents, or the military.”

“At some point this could be considered a danger to democracy or a danger to national security if these platforms, Facebook and the other social networks, are being used as propaganda tools,” Dr. Csallner added.

Part of the problem of combating automated efforts to spread ‘fake news’ is that bots can simultaneously share posts that contain deliberate falsehoods in a single instant across multiple platforms that will be seen and potentially shared by millions of real people.

“The stuff can be generated automatically by a program,” Dr. Tremayne said. “So you don’t know as you are scrolling through, especially with the comments, you don’t know which one is an actual person [who] sat there and typed them out and which ones were just spit out by some algorithm. And wouldn’t you like to know?”

The challenge, Dr. Csallner said, will be sorting through the massive amount of content that is published on social media and keying in on indicators that increase the likelihood that any particular post was made by a bot.

The team is in its early stage of development for its program, and expects to have a working result within a year.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Email Prankster Says He Duped White House Officials]]> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 03:49:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/laptop1234578.jpg

An online prankster showed emails to CNN alleging that he was able to trick top White House officials into thinking they were chatting with other members of the administration, NBC News reported.

The U.K.-based man, who goes by @SINON_REBORN on Twitter, tweeted screenshots of some of the correspondence that he claims he had with former communications director Anthony Scaramucci. The prankster said he was pretending to be ousted White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.

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

CNN also reports that the prankster pretended to be President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner while talking with Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert, who provided his personal email in the messages.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Group Files Complaint Over Google's Tracking of In-Store Purchases]]> Mon, 31 Jul 2017 11:43:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-4862340082.jpg

A watchdog group on Monday is expected to file a legal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Google over a new program that links customers' web activity to in-store purchases.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center is asking for a full investigation into the tech giant's Store Sales Measurement program, which aims to show advertisers that clicks online do lead to purchases at brick-and-mortar stores.

According to EPIC's complaint, Google’s consumer profiling technology can allegedly track 70 percent of all credit and debit card transactions in the U.S. without revealing how they got the information.

The group alleges Google is also putting shoppers' personal information — including product searches, location searches and payment information — at risk of hacks by not revealing what encryption it's using to protect the data from breaches.

Critics worry that the personal information could end up in the wrong hands. But Google argues that the program helps prove the effectiveness of online ads. The Mountain View-based company adds that it does not share or give a third party company access to customers' information and that customers can opt out of the program.

The complaint accuses Google of failing to provide customers with a reasonable way to opt out, calling the process "burdensome, opaque and misleading."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Students Prepare to Launch Satellite They Built Into Space]]> Thu, 27 Jul 2017 09:19:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/satellite1.JPG

A group of 150 students from Irvine public schools could become the first teenagers on the West Coast to successfully launch a satellite into orbit.

After working on building every part of the satellite after school for almost a year and a half, the students finished positioning it into an orbital deployer Wednesday. They are now shipping it to India, where it will be launched into space at the end of August. 

"The feeling is really surreal and kind of incredible," said Taekyoo Won, a senior at Woodbridge High School who worked on coding the satellite and helped put it together. "I got to actually put my hands on it and assemble something that's going to be orbiting around the Earth."

If all goes as planned, the small satellite — which is the size of a half-gallon of milk — will enter the Earth's orbit where it will take pictures of Venus and bright navigation stars, like Polaris and Sirius-A.

A group of about 20 to 30 students from six of Irvine's public schools each worked on a different aspect of building the satellite as part of a competitive extracurricular program started by the Irvine Public Schools Foundation. Students at Woodbridge High School worked on the hardware and software of the satellite so that it could communicate back to the students once in orbit and Irvine High School worked on the electric thruster that will help push it into space.

"This is the first time it's ever been done as a collaboration," said Neda Eaton, President and CEO of the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, which gave $150,000 to start the program. "Usually one high school does it and it fails. It's too much for one school."

The students at each school worked on the satellite, known as a CubeSat, at least three hours a week, but Won noted that once he got invested in the project he soon found himself spending more time on it, and learning quickly.

When he first got code from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to adjust for their satellite, he could barely understand what he was looking at. Now, he can read almost all of it and is set to be the software team captain for next year's program.

And Won wasn't the only one of the students to advance quickly — when some of team members called a consultant at Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems to get feedback about their project, he asked them what university they taught at as professors.

"This is not an experience you would normally be able to get at this age," Eaton said. "They are doing CubeSats usually at the professional-level or at elite universities."

The advanced nature of the project has caught the attention of several big names in technology.

Last month, Google agreed to sponsor the program. NASA has also selected the high schools to join them on a launch, meaning that next year's satellite, Irvine 02, will be launched from somewhere inside the United States instead of in India.

But in the meantime, the students are anxiously waiting to see if their satellite will make it into the Earth's orbit when it's launched next month.

"I really really hope that it goes well, but we were the first group to do this," Won said. If it fails, we had a good learning experience."

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Irvine Public Schools Foundation ]]>
<![CDATA[TSA to Implement New, Stronger Airport Screening]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 13:55:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_TSA_NEW_MEASURES_072617_1-150109909395300001.jpg

The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out new and stronger screening methods for carry-on baggages at airports across the United States.

<![CDATA[Zuckerberg and Musk Spar Over Artificial Intelligence]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:17:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/muskzuckerbergnew.jpg

Tech giants Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are feuding on social media on the impact of artificial intelligence.

The Facebook CEO referred to Musk's beliefs on AI as "pretty irresponsible" in a Facebook Live session on Sunday, according to NBC News. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO is known for his "doomsday" views and believes that AI could become humanity's "biggest existential threat" if left unchecked.

When asked about Zuckerberg's comment, Musk said he had discussed the subject with the Facebook CEO.

"I’ve talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited," Musk wrote on Twitter.

<![CDATA[Microsoft Paint Is 'Here to Stay,' Despite What You Heard]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 07:57:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/microsoftpaintlove.jpg

Despite nostalgic articles and disappointed tweets mourning the end Microsoft Paint, the apparently beloved application is not going anywhere.

The application, which has been featured on every Windows release since 1985, was listed as "Deprecated" in the company’s Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

While Microsoft did not say specifically that MS Paint would be removed, the company defined features and functionalities that are "Deprecated" as those that "are not in active development and might be removed in future releases."

Outcry from users and coverage by news organizations about the loss of the classic image-editing application prompted Microsoft to set the record straight.

"MS Paint is not going away. In addition to the new 3D capabilities, many of the MS Paint features people know and love like photo editing and 2D creation are in Paint 3D - the new app for creativity, available for free with the Windows 10 Creators Update," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

"In the future, we will offer MS Paint in the Windows Store also for free and continue to provide new updates and experiences to Paint 3D so people have the best creative tools all in one place."

On Monday, a blog post shared by Windows Experiences acknowledged the "incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia" around the application.

"MS Paint is here to stay."

Photo Credit: Microsoft]]>
<![CDATA[Twins Born Conjoined at the Heart]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 07:55:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Joined_at_the_heart-150093339088500001.jpg

Twin baby girls Paisleigh and Paislyn Martinez were born conjoined at the chest, with their hearts fused together. Doctors from University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital used groundbreaking technology to separate them.

<![CDATA[Pokémon Go Fest Attendees Refunded as Glitches Plague Event]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 09:19:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Pokemon+Go+Fest+-+10005609_28152926.png

Thousands of people descended on Chicago Saturday for Pokémon Go Fest – an event that was billed as a celebration of the smartphone game’s first year but instead became a debacle plagued by massive lines and connectivity issues.

Organized by the game’s developer, Niantic, the all-day festival in Grant Park was the company’s first official live event for players of the augmented reality game.

However, upon arrival, the roughly 20,000 attendees were met with hours-long lines to enter the festival, and then technical problems preventing play once inside the event.

Niantic’s chief marketing officer addressed the crowd to boos in the late morning, citing three specific problems that rendered attendees unable to access the game.

“One is a network issue. One of the providers is trying to pump in some more bandwidth so that’s something that we’re working with them closely on,” CMO Mike Quigley said onstage.

“The other two issues are on the Niantic side. There’s a crash bug issue that we’ve identified. I know some of you have had that issue, as well as an authentication issue, so we’ve got it completely pinpointed to those three things.”

Quigley said the company would offer players a refund on the $20 ticket price, as well as $100 in the game credit Pokecoins.

However, even with a refund, many attendees – some of whom traveled to Chicago from around the world – will only receive a fraction of what they actually paid.

Tickets to the festival, which promised rare Pokémon encounters, special challenges and exclusive rewards, sold out in just minutes last month.

Many were then listed for resale on sites like eBay for as high as $400.

Despite the connectivity issues, the festival was scheduled to continue as planned while the engineering team worked on a fix, Quigley said.

Photo Credit: NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Google Street View Takes You Out of This World, Into the ISS]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:25:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/07-20-2017-google-iss.jpg

We see it in the sky, but can’t climb aboard.

The International Space Station is home to a small number of elite astronauts, working on cool experiments in a gravity-free environment.

But now, thanks to Google’s Street View, you too can take a ride inside the ISS.

Street View has, for the time being, ditched the cars and backpacks in favor of a small camera and bungie cords.

Bungie cords?

“In space, with zero gravity, the astronaut sets up with a bungie cord.”

That’s Google’s Deanna Yick on how the astronaut on the ISS contorted himself to take more than 1,500 pictures Google eventually stitched together.

“He literally had to position the camera,” Yick says, “then float out of the way , take the picture, rotate the camera, and do it again.”

The result is a cool tour of every nook and cranny of ISS. You control it with your mouse. A chance to search, in space, from Earth’s biggest search engine.

Scott views on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: NBC BAY Area]]>