<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Tech News]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/tech http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California https://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usFri, 19 Jan 2018 23:35:58 -0800Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:35:58 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Amazon Raises Monthly Prime Cost Nearly 20 Percent]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 07:40:13 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/amazon+option.jpg

Amazon announced Friday that it raised its monthly Prime membership cost from $10.99 to $12.99, an 18 percent increase, CNBC reported.

New members will begin paying the increased monthly price immediately, and existing members will pay the new price after Feb. 18, the online retailer said in a statement on its website. Members paying the $12.99 monthly price will end up paying about $155 per year, up from about $131.

Amazon also increased the price of its monthly Prime Student membership, from $5.49 to $6.49. However, the company added that the annual membership prices will stay the same at $99 for Prime and $49 for Prime Student.

Amazon started the monthly pricing model less than two years ago as a more flexible way of taking advantage of Prime's fast shipping and other benefits. Prime members spend considerably more on Amazon than non-Prime members.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Fujifilm Recalls Hundreds of Thousands of Wall Plugs Over Shock Concerns]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:20:13 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/digital+cams.jpg

A major New York-based camera maker is recalling nearly 300,000 power adapter wall plugs sold with digital cameras nationwide over concerns about a potential shock hazard, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Tuesday.

Fujifilm, headquartered in Valhalla, issued the voluntary recall for 270,000 plugs sold in the U.S., along with 24,000 were sold in Canada, because the plugs can crack, break or detach and get stuck in the wall, the company said in a statement. They can also expose live electrical contacts, posing a shock hazard.

No injuries were reported in connection with the recalled products, which were sold with digital cameras in-store at retailers across the country and online at Amazon.com and other websites. The products were made in China. 

Specifically, the recall involves AC-5VF power adapter wall plugs sold with Fujifilm digital camera models XP90, XP95, XP120, XP125, X-A3 and X-A10. The digital cameras were sold in a variety of colors. The recalled wall plugs are black and are combined with a power adapter and USB cord that plugs into the adapter. Model number "AC-5VF" is printed on the back of the power adapter. The serial number is printed on the bottom of the camera or under the battery compartment lid. To check your serial number, click here.

The XP90 and XP95 were sold from June 2016 through January 2018, the XP120 and XP125 were sold from January 2017 through January 2018, the X-A3 was sold from October 2016 through January 2018, and the X-A10 was sold from February 2017 through January 2018. The digital cameras cost between $160 and $600 with the power adapter wall plugs.

Anyone who has a recalled power adapter wall plug should stop using it immediately and contact Fujifilm for a free replacement. Consumers can continue to charge the camera using the USB cable attached to a computer. For more information, call toll-free at 833-613-1200 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email productsafety@fujifilm.com or go to www.fujifilmusa.com and click on "Support & Contact."

Photo Credit: CPSC]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook, Google Tell Congress About Fight With Extremism]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:19:55 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/FBthumbsup_1200x675.jpg

Facebook, Google and Twitter shared with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Wednesday steps each tech giant has tekn to combat extremist content in Washington D.C, CNBC reported. 

All three companies told Congress they went beyond screening, removing extremist content and anti-terror propoganda but also have focused in on targeting targeting people who are likely to be swayed by extremist messages, CNBC reported. 

Monika Bickert, Facebook's head of global policy management, wrote in an advance copy of her testimony obtained by CNBC that the key to combating extremism was to disrupt the "underlying ideologies that drive people to commit acts of violence," through counterpropoaganda.

CNBC reported that Google's YouTube said it will continue to use the "Redirect Method," which sends anti-terror messages to people likely to seek out extremist content through what is essentially targeted advertising, CNBC reported. 

The tech giants have come under fire in the U.S. and Europe for allowing their websites and programs to be used by terrorists groups and other extremists for recruiting and propaganda, CNBC reported.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Sean Gallup]]>
<![CDATA[Bitcoin Falls Below $10,000 for 1st Time Since November]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:53:47 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-887657608.jpg

Bitcoin fell below $10,000 for the first time since November, with more than $36 billion of value being wiped off the cryptocurrency in the last day, CNBC reported.

The world's largest cryptocurrency dived as low as $9,199.59 Wednesday morning, falling almost 19 percent within 24 hours, according to CoinDesk data. It then recovered slightly to $10,123 at 11:56 a.m. ET.

More than $30 billion was shaved off the cryptocurrency's market value in the last 24 hours.

The last time bitcoin fell below the $10,000 mark was Nov. 30. And last month, it soared to a record high of $19,343. However, bitcoin has since been on a gradual decline and is now down almost 50 percent from that all-time high.

Photo Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook a ‘Living, Breathing Crime Scene': Tech Ethicist]]> Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:35:05 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/zuckerman.jpg

Facebook announced last week that it would start prioritizing “meaningful posts from friends and family in News Feed” with less content from pages, publishers and brands.

But former Facebook employees told NBC News that the network’s laser focus on profits has failed its users and that its move now to self-regulate may be too little, too late.

While there are still lessons to be learned from how the social platform was used to sow discord ahead of America's 2016 presidential election, critics say Facebook — and CEO Mark Zuckerberg — aren't acting quickly enough to prevent meddling in the upcoming midterm elections.

"Facebook is a living, breathing crime scene for what happened in the 2016 election — and only they have full access to what happened," said Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google.

Photo Credit: Noah Berger/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla Model 3 Going on Display at Palo Alto Showroom]]> Fri, 12 Jan 2018 23:03:57 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tesla_model3_0111_1377814.JPG

Tesla's much talked about Model 3 sedan is making its first public appearance in the Bay Area on Friday.

The all-electric, consumer-friendly sedan will be on display at Tesla's Palo Alto showroom, offering reservation holders and prospective buyers their first up-close, in-person look at the vehicle.

The store at the Stanford Shopping Center is one of two locations where the car will be on display. The other is at the company's showroom in Century City, near Los Angeles.

Tesla delivered 1,770 Model 3s to buyers in the second half of 2017, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, but production and delivery have been far slower than CEO Elon Musk projected.

The base price for a Model 3 is $35,000.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Classified US Satellite Launched from Vandenberg]]> Fri, 12 Jan 2018 18:36:34 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/1-11-2018-ula-rocket-vandenberg-launch.jpg

A rocket carrying a classified U.S. satellite blasted off from California Friday.

The Delta 4 rocket lifted off from coastal Vandenberg Air Force Base at 2:11 p.m. Friday and headed toward orbit.

Its payload is a satellite dubbed NROL-47 for the National Reconnaissance Office.

The office is in charge of designing, building, launching and maintaining U.S. intelligence satellites.

The rocket was supposed to launch on Wednesday but high winds and then equipment problems caused several delays.

Last month, a SpaceX rocket launch from Vandenberg captured the attention of Southern Californians throughout the region with a spectacular show in the night sky.

Photo Credit: United Launch Alliance
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<![CDATA[Supreme Court Agrees to Consider Internet Sales Taxes]]> Fri, 12 Jan 2018 21:07:50 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/online-shopping4.jpg

The Supreme Court said Friday it will decide whether states should be able to collect sales taxes for online purchases, a move that would raise costs for consumers while generating more money for local governments, NBC News reported.

Just over a quarter-century ago, the court ruled that a state could not force mail order catalog companies to collect sales taxes unless they had a physical presence in the state. Led by South Dakota, 36 states want the court to take another look at the issue, arguing that the 1992 decision was issued "before Amazon was even selling books out of Jeff Bezos's garage."

Internet companies "can instantly tailor their marketing and overnight delivery of hundreds of thousands of products to individual customers based on their IP addresses. These companies can surely calculate sales tax from a zip code," the state said.

The states also said the current ban on internet sales taxes puts brick-and-mortar retailers, who have to collect sales taxes, at a disadvantage.

Photo Credit: AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Circuit City Set to Relaunch Online Next Month]]> Thu, 11 Jan 2018 09:49:05 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/83632109-Circuit-City.jpg

Shuttered electronics retailer Circuit City is set to make a comeback next month, at least online, CNBC reported.

Its website will relaunch Feb. 15, the company's CEO, Ronny Shmoel, said Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show. It will include several novel features, including search by photo and tech support via video chat, he said.

Down the line, Circuit City plans to gear up towards its own showrooms, according to consumer electronics website Twice.

Circuit City filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and closed its last store in 2009. Shmoel acquired its brand, website and associated trademarks in 2015, and now says that "major retailers" are interested in working with it on stores within stores.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Robots Come Out to Play at CES 2018]]> Tue, 09 Jan 2018 19:21:15 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Robots_Come_Out_to_Play_at_CES_2018.jpg

The Consumer Electronics Show highlighted the many types of robots that could at some point become commonplace in society. Mekahlo Medina reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018.

<![CDATA[Work World Roasts Slack on Twitter Amid Outage Reports]]> Tue, 09 Jan 2018 12:29:59 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/slack-down-photo.jpg

Messaging service Slack was briefly down for many customers Tuesday afternoon across the United States.

The problem, described by the company as "connectivity issues for all customers," had some office dwellers taking to Twitter to declare it a day or otherwise roast the service. Among the tongue-in-cheek outrage: having to use email again or talk to colleagues in person. 

The site Downdetector.com showed a spike of 1,000 reports in the early afternoon. A map appeared to show the problem concentrated on the coasts.

"If you're having issues connecting to Slack: we're working on getting things back to normal with top priority. Thanks kindly for your patience," Slack tweeted at 2:32 p.m. ET.

Slack apologized for the delay and said it would share updates at status.slack.com.

As of 3 p.m. ET, Slack said that it had "isolated the problem and are working on bringing the service back online for all users."

Most customers should be reconnected, Slack said at 3:20 p.m. ET in an update. 

Slack, which was launched in 2014 and has offices around the world, says it has nine million active users. More than 50,000 companies pay to use the service, the company says on its website. 

Here is some of the reaction that poured in:

Photo Credit: Slack
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<![CDATA[Tech Giants Battle Over Home Control at CES]]> Wed, 10 Jan 2018 05:30:43 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/2018_CES_Focuses_on_Your_Voice-151550499603800002.jpg

Wearables are out and digital assistants are in, as tech giants like Amazon and Google struggle to put their products on the forefront of home control and smart living. The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas puts a renewed focus on lifestyle tech, from voice activated lights to draft beer makers. 

<![CDATA[Apple Shareholders Call on Board to Study Screen Time Impact]]> Tue, 09 Jan 2018 05:37:04 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/apple_screen_0108_1344373.JPG

Apple shareholders are calling on the company's board of directors to study the impact of smartphones on children.

Parents have expressed concern about the amount of time kids spend on their smartphones, and now some investors in the Cupertino-based tech giant are concerned as well.

Jana partners and the California State Teachers' Retirement System sent a letter to Apple's board urging the company to study screen time impacts and offer parents solutions.

While many adults can be seen glued to their phones, parents say their kids are even more tuned into their screens.

"If you take it away, they start crying, whining, throwing a tantrum," said Ann Kraft of Connecticut. "Why don't you play with a ball?"

Kraft added: "They're watching TV on the phone, texting, face timing, Instagramming. Everything they do is on the phone. It's a lot of screen time."

Apple shareholders are saying there is a growing body of evidence that, for at least some of the most frequent young users, it may be having unintentional negative consequences.

Clinical psychologist and Cal State East Bay professor Michael Stanton says there are impacts.

"We know social media do contribute to anxiety and depression, especially among kids in regards to social comparisons," Stanton said.

Stanton says screen time also impacts sleep. He says more study is needed to get the full picture.

Parents hope Apple gets to work.

"These kids are the first generation that have had extended screen time," Kraft said. "We suspect there are impacts, but we don't know what it is until you study. We're just guessing."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[GoPro CEO's Salary Cut to $1 Amid Layoffs]]> Mon, 08 Jan 2018 11:18:10 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NickWoodmanGettyImages-812897318.jpg

California-based GoPro announced Monday it plans to lay off approximately 20 percent of its workforce based on a weak holiday season, CNBC reported.

The company said it saw lower than expected revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017. As a result, GoPro will reduce operating expenses by $80 million over the previous year. 

The company will reduce its employees from 1,254 to fewer than 1,000, according to the corporate statement.

Also, GoPro founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman will reduce his 2018 cash compensation to $1. 

While the company will continue to support those customers who purchased its drone product, Karma, company officials said they will no longer be in the drone marketplace.

The company, headquartered in San Mateo, California, has offices in San Diego. 

Woodman attended the University of California, San Diego, telling Forbes it was the college's proximity to sunshine and salt water that attracted him. 

"If I didn't follow my passion for surfing ... I would have never come up with the concept to make a wrist camera," he told the magazine in 2013.

This isn't the first round of layoffs for the company. In November 2016, GoPro eliminated 15 percent of its workforce in an attempt to cut costs and turn the company around financially. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[In Photos: The Best New Gadgets at CES 2018 in Las Vegas]]> Tue, 09 Jan 2018 11:10:33 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-902755670.jpg From self-driving vehicles to smart wine racks—check out the best new gadgets CES 2018 has to offer.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty]]>
<![CDATA[SpaceX Launches First Rocket of 2018 Into Space]]> Mon, 08 Jan 2018 14:01:46 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_35_23.Still002.jpg

SpaceX launched its first rocket of the year into space on Sunday. It carried a payload called Zuma for the U.S. government.

<![CDATA[Twitter: We Won't Block World Leaders or Their Tweets]]> Fri, 05 Jan 2018 13:46:55 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/jack-dorsey.jpg

Twitter said Friday that it will not block world leaders or any of their “controversial Tweets” in the interest of advancing “the global, public conversation.”

In a brief blog post that does not mention any specific Twitter users by name, the company said it was responding to recent discussion surrounding the issue of world leaders and political figures using its platform.

President Donald Trump has built a huge following on the platform, which he has used for years to express opinions on a wide variety of subjects. He most recently stirred widespread controversy and fear with a taunting Tweet directed at the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that appeared to threaten a possible nuclear attack.

On Tuesday, the U.S. president Tweeted about his “nuclear button,” saying his is “a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” While there is no such thing as a nuclear button in the U.S., the provocative jab stoked fear in many across the country that the president’s Twitter use was pushing the country toward an international conflict.

"Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate," the company's statement said. "It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions."

It went on to assure readers that "no one person's account drives Twitter's growth, or influences these decisions. We work hard to remain unbiased with the public interest in mind."

Photo Credit: Mary Altaffer/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Apple: All Macs, iPhones, iPads Affected by Processor Flaws]]> Fri, 05 Jan 2018 05:34:46 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/iphone64.jpg

Apple announced Thursday that all of its iPhones, iPads and Mac computers are affected by the Spectre and Meltdown processor security flaws, but it said there are no known incidents of customers being impacted, NBC News reported.

The company said in a statement alerting its customers of the vulnerabilities that it already issued a patch to protect against Meltdown and would release one to defend against Spectre "in the coming days." 

"Since exploiting many of these issues requires a malicious app to be loaded on your Mac or iOS device, we recommend downloading software only from trusted sources such as the App Store," Apple said in the statement.

The security vulnerabilities apply to all modern computer processors and affect nearly all computers and smartphones, leaving tech companies scrambling to find a fix. The hardware bugs can be exploited to allow the computer's memory content to be leaked, which can expose passwords, photos, emails, instant message and other sensitive data.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[You Could Soon Pay for Your Metro Trip With a Smartphone]]> Wed, 03 Jan 2018 19:28:23 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/lafile-metro+generic.jpg

Metro riders may soon be able to pay for their trips through a smartphone app, with the Cubic Corp. announcing Wednesday it has been awarded a contract with the transit agency to develop the device.

Cubic is the company that designed and developed Metro's TAP card system, but riders using the app after it is developed should have the option to forgo the card while gaining other perks through the mobile app, which is expected to be available sometime in 2018.

"We're thrilled to grow our partnership with Metro by collaborating on these innovations for the TAP program to provide improved and more convenient services for our customers," said Matt Cole, president of Cubic Transit Systems, a division of the Cubic Corp. "We look forward to continuing working with Metro's TAP team to drive shared mobility initiatives across the Los Angeles region."

TAP links 24 transit agencies across the Los Angeles region and the mobile app will provide travelers with new tools, including allowing TAP account balances to be used for third-party services such as ride or bike sharing, parking and fare subsidy programs.

Cubic officials said the app would work as a virtual TAP card with the ability to tap and pay fares with a smartphone, along with receiving an account balance, loading the card with payments, and receiving service-related alerts, including real-time arrival times for buses and trains.

"This is an exciting time for the TAP program, because with the addition of new apps and connecting features, customers will be able to get the latest commute information, make a fare purchase, use their mobile device as a TAP card and complete their journey using transit, bikeshare or other multi- modal programs," said David Sutton, executive officer at Metro.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Massive Security Flaw Could Affect Almost Every Computer]]> Wed, 03 Jan 2018 18:35:43 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/203*120/Servers1.jpg

The computer industry was scrambling Wednesday to patch recently discovered security vulnerabilities found in processors used on almost every computer in the world, CNBC reported.

The vulnerabilties — one called “Meltdown,” another “Spectre” — could allow hackers to steal information stored in the memory of a wide range of computer chips running not just on personal devices but also the servers in data centers, including those used to run cloud computing services.

Hackers could even use the vulnerabilities to steal information stored in the memory of the chip itself, including things such as passwords and cached files. It could also pave the way for attackers to weaken other security features.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich told CNBC that Google first alerted it to the vulnerability, and Google has published a detailed rundown of the exploits.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Juno's Journey to Jupiter]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:09:48 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/pia21974-sm.jpg Juno was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Aug. 5, 2011, and successfully entered the orbit of Jupiter on July 4, 2016. The projects goal is to study the planet's formation, evolution and structure. The key event was a 35-minute engine burn when it entered Jupiter's orbit, which slowed Juno down enough to be captured by Jupiter's powerful gravity. In August 2016 Juno started transmitting unprecedented, up-close photos of the gas giant.

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill]]>
<![CDATA[Stunning SpaceX Rocket Launch as Seen From Around SoCal]]> Sat, 23 Dec 2017 03:22:19 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/e5b4efb96245467b97024aa776495868.jpg SpaceX launched a rocket and a streak could be seen across Southern California. The rocket blasted off Friday evening from Vandenberg Air Base northwest of Santa Barbara and created a spectacular sight in the sky.

Photo Credit: FitnessPositivity 84]]>