<![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-usTue, 24 Apr 2018 10:57:30 -0700Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:57:30 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[How to Watch the Lyrid Meteor Shower]]> Sat, 21 Apr 2018 14:48:44 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-588663534.jpg

If you like shooting stars, you're in luck. The annual Lyrid meteor shower, which got going this year on April 16, is expected to peak in the early morning on Sunday, April 22, NBC News MACH reported.

Your best bet for seeing the action will come after the moon sets at around midnight local time. Find an area far from sources of light and buildings or other possible obstructions, lie face-up on a blanket or lawn chair with your feet facing east, and simply look up.

The Lyrids aren't as spectacular as the Perseids, which return each August. But with the first recorded sighting of the Lyrids going all the way back to 687 B.C., they're the oldest known meteor shower.

Skywatchers should expect an average display this time. Though the Lyrids have been known to produce up to 90 meteors per hour, this year most people should expect to see about 10 per hour.

Photo Credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA viaGetty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[NoHo Students Win National Cyber Championship]]> Sat, 21 Apr 2018 04:30:20 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/206*120/042118+north+hollywood+students+tech+winners.jpg

Championship computer techies from North Hollywood High School returned to Southern California from Baltimore Thursday after they defended their title and reigned supreme at the national CyberPatriot competition.

Team TOGO earned its second consecutive win at the competition, the first ever back-to-back national winners in CyberPatriot’s 10-year history. The North Hollywood team competed against 5,500 teams across the country for the title.

Coming in second was none other North Hollywood High School’s other team, Truman. Team Balto, also from the same school, placed ninth in the championship.

The championship hosts students from Hawaii, Massachusetts, Colorado and more. Its tasks include hours-long sessions in which competitors prove they can successfully defend their computer network from simulated cyber-attacks. Such attacks were cultivated by industry professionals and graduate students. A points system was used to measure a team’s success.

The anti-hackers arrived at Los Angeles International Airport with bright, beaming faces and shining medals from that commemorated their victory. Each student of Team TOGO will receive a $2,000 scholarship from the Northrop Grumman Foundation for their win. Students in Team Truman will each get $1,500.

<![CDATA[FDA Approves Contact Lens with Light-Adaptive Tech.]]> Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:08:57 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Consumer_Bob__Proper_Eye_Care_with_Contact_Lenses.jpg

The United States Food and Drug Administration cleared the first contact lens to incorporate an additive that automatically darkens the lens when exposed to bright light.

The Accuvue Oasys Contact Lenses with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology, which are a product of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., are soft contact lenses that can serve both nearsighted and farsighted people and effectively make sunglasses obsolete for millions of Americans.

"This contact lens is the first of its kind to incorporate the same technology that is used in eyeglasses that automatically darken in the sun," Malvina Eydelman, Director of the Division of Ophthalmic, and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement released by the government organization.

Similar to more traditional light-adaptive eye wear, the newly approved lenses act the same as traditional contact lenses indoors and at night but automatically filter based on U.V. light. The lenses contain a photochromic additive that allows for this transition to take place.

The FDA made its assessment based on scientific evidence that included a clinical study of 24 patients that evaluated driving performance, both day and night, while wearing the new lenses. The FDA reported that the study provided no evidence of impairment while wearing the lenses. 

As recently as 2014, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that greater than 40 million Americans wear contact lenses, so the new light-adaptive variety could have a major impact on the sunglasses industry.

<![CDATA[Twitch: Explained]]> Mon, 23 Apr 2018 04:57:59 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+TWITCH+EXPLAINER+THUMB.jpg

Twitch.tv is the largest, most popular place to watch people play and livestream video games. It’s become so popular that musicians like Drake are getting in on the act. He recently partnered up with one of the site’s biggest celebrities, “Ninja,” to play "Fortnight."  It was almost a “break the internet” moment. But Twitch isn't just for video games. People also livestream sewing tips, how to build Legos, and even just their everyday lives. Here’s everything you need to know about Twitch.

<![CDATA[Two Stunning Views From NASA Hubble Space Telescope]]> Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:02:13 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lagoon-Nebula-NASA.png

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope provides a window into the depths of space that few can mentally grasp, and the natural beauty of the universe is difficult to digest.

On this occasion, NASA offers a couple dazzling views of the a vast stellar nursery known as the Lagoon Nebula to celebrate Hubble's 28th anniversary in space.

We'll let NASA describe what the images show:

"The colorful visible-light image at left reveals a fantasy landscape of ridges, cavities, and mountains of gas and dust. This dust-and-gas landscape is being sculpted by powerful ultraviolet radiation and hurricane-like stellar winds unleashed by a monster young star. Located at the center of the photo, the star, known as Herschel 36, is about 200,000 times brighter than our Sun. This hefty star is 32 times more massive than our Sun and 40,000 degrees Kelvin. Herschel 36 is still very active because it is young by a star’s standards, only 1 million years old."

The first image was taken in visible light, while the second image was captured in infared light. Both are stunning.

NASA points out that the infrared photo reveals the countless stars that appear in the infrared view. The giant star near the center of the frame is known as Herschel 36 and is especially visible in the second photo.

Photo Credit: NASA]]>
<![CDATA[Russian Propaganda Evading YouTube's Flagging System]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:29:15 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/youtubegenericlogo_1200x675.jpg

As YouTube has ramped up its efforts to identify Russian propaganda, one channel has managed to evade the company's flagging system: ICYMI, a millennial-focused channel that's part of the same entity as Russian government-funded Russia Today.

In ICYMI's bright and bouncy videos, former RT reporter Polly Boiko offers diatribes about recent news stories, such as the poisoning of U.K. double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. The videos have slick graphics and poppy music, and users having no clear way of knowing about the video’s connection to Russia’s media efforts, NBC News reported.

YouTube has been implementing a new policy to place banners on videos that indicate the channel "is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government." ICYMI does not have that banner. With its content looking like other popular, youth-oriented media, ICYMI showcases the increasing complexity of Russia’s efforts to spread its talking points across the internet and avoid YouTube's efforts.

YouTube declined to comment on specific channels. And an RT spokeswoman said that it is solely the choice of YouTube to put disclaimers on channels and that "we don’t always agree with their selective classification of some channels with certain prejudicial language."

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Crowdfund Raises Over $3,000 to Buy Tesla CEO a New Couch]]> Tue, 17 Apr 2018 13:23:08 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/buyelonacouch.JPG

Tesla CEO Elon Musk's net worth is over $19 billion, according to Forbes, but people saw how hard he has been working to deliver the Tesla Model 3 cars, and they want to buy him a couch.

An online crowdfunding campaign has raised over $3,600 to buy Musk a new couch after it was reported that Musk slept on the floor of the company's Fremont factory because the couch was too narrow.

Musk talked to "CBS This Morning" host Gayle King last week and said he's under a lot of stress to get the Model 3 production on track. 

"I'm sleeping on the factory floor, not because I think that's a fun place to sleep. You know. Terrible," Musk said. He said he doesn't have time to "go home and shower."

The money to get Musk a new couch was raised by over 200 people in one day, according to the GoFundMe page. 

Ben Sullins, the creator of the campaign, said that he has contacted Tesla and he's awaiting their reply. If Musk doesn't respond or chooses not to accept the couch, Sullins said he'll hold a vote to donate the money to charity.

Sullins, who lives in San Diego, is a YouTuber whose channel "Teslanomics" talks about Tesla and other electric vehicles. He told NBC Bay Area that he started the crowdfunding campaign as a joke after he saw the "CBS This Morning" interview with Musk.

Sullins said GoFundMe put the funds on hold and got in contact with him to make sure he won't "pocket" the money. Initially, Sullins didn't have a plan with what to do with the money.

"I'm hoping Tesla will respond with a charity suggestion or hope Tesla will match the money," Sullins said. If not, Sullins said he plans to pick a charity or an association that will support the Electric Vehicles community in some way.

Photo Credit: GoFundMe]]>
<![CDATA[Why Data Privacy Could Unite Red and Blue America]]> Sun, 15 Apr 2018 14:57:22 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-736491019.jpg

In a country divided on policy, politics and culture, concerns about privacy emerge as something of a great uniter, Simmons data suggest. Americans of all stripes share a feeling of helplessness when they post personal information online. They want more personal control over information companies have gathered on them. And they don't place a lot of faith in the federal government to make the best decisions about protecting their privacy.

As NBC News reported, more than four in 10 Americans say that once a piece of personal information is online there's nothing they can do about it. Six in 10 say they want more control over the information companies might have on them. And only 18 percent say they trust the federal government to make the best decisions about how to protect their privacy.

That's a lot of misgivings and mistrust.

It's not enough to scare us off of our electronic devices, at least not yet. Only 22 percent of Americans say privacy concerns have caused them to reduce internet usage. But the broad agreement on the security and use of personal data online shows this is a Washington debate that people care about.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[The Best Tax Prep Software for Your Financial Situation]]> Fri, 13 Apr 2018 05:42:32 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-736491019.jpg

Whether it’s to save money or for the challenge, millions of Americans prefer to prepare their tax returns themselves — with help from some do-it-yourself computer software. Consumer Reports released its annual review of the four major tax prep software companies, NBC News BETTER reported, and these are the magazine’s recommendations.

For beginners, H&R Block has “simple explanations that are clear and easily accessible." While TurboTax Delux is good for processing complicated returns, the editors suggest working with a tax professional instead if you've had a major life event, own rental property, started a new business or failed to file in the past.

Meanwhile, TaxAct is good if you want a big deduction for donated goods. Its "Donation Assistant" provided higher valuations for more donated goods than H&R Block’s "DeductionPro" and TurboTax’s "ItsDeductible."

And those who want to use their smartphones to file returns should use TurboTax Delux and H&R Block Delux. Apps from all the companies make it “relatively painless” to photograph W-2s and import them into the tax programs. TurboTax's “Virtual Assistant” even guides you to help.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Bitcoin Surges Above $8,000, Then Loses Some Ground]]> Thu, 12 Apr 2018 13:16:44 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-887657608+edited.jpg

Bitcoin surged Thursday more than 17 percent in a sudden move to above $8,000 at one point, according to trading on Coinbase.

The cryptocurrency hit a high of $8,011 on Coinbase. 

Trading was volatile and bitcoin was about 11.5 percent higher over the last 24 hours near $7,700 as of 3:31 p.m. ET, according to Coinbase. Bitcoin leaped from a low of $6,786 Thursday morning and some traders are watching whether it can hold above $7,500.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Musk Says He's Sleeping at Tesla, Has No Time to Shower]]> Wed, 11 Apr 2018 12:24:45 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/elonmuskteslawala_1200x675.jpg

Feeling the stress of Tesla's Model 3 production, CEO Elon Musk said he's so busy that he can't even go home to shower and he's sleeping on the floor of the factory, CNBC reported.

Musk, in an interview with "CBS This Morning" to be aired Thursday, told host Gayle King that the company has "been incredibly difficult and painful the last several months."

He said he's sleeping at Tesla, "not because I think that's a fun place to sleep," but because he doesn't "have time to go home and shower."

Tesla said it hopes to meet its target of producing 5,000 Model 3 cars per week in three months time. Though the company is under its production goal, Musk wants to be there to make sure the company meets its goal. Musk said he's staying at the factory because he doesn't believe his employees should "be experiencing hardship while the CEO is, like, off on vacation."

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Key Moments of Zuckerberg's 2nd Day of Testimony]]> Wed, 11 Apr 2018 11:14:14 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+ZUCKERBERG+041118.00+THUMB.jpg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent a second day answering questions from members of Congress on issues regarding user data collection and faced some harsh criticisms over his previous apologies and lack of action.

<![CDATA[Theranos Lays Off Most of Its Remaining Workforce]]> Tue, 10 Apr 2018 18:41:03 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/theranos-ceo.jpg

Blood testing startup Theranos has laid off most of its remaining workforce, leaving only two dozen or fewer employees, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Company founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes announced the layoffs at an all-employee meeting at Theranos' offices in Palo Alto, California, on Tuesday.

Holmes was charged with massive fraud in March for claiming that Theranos had developed a commercially viable portable blood analyzer. The company raised $700 million in investment capital before it came to light that Theranos' technology could perform only a fraction of the tests advertised.

The layoffs were part of a last-ditch effort to avert or at least delay bankruptcy, sources told the Journal.

Photo Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Top Moments From Mark Zuckerberg's Senate Testimony]]> Wed, 11 Apr 2018 08:42:51 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_18100703036586.jpg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during his testimony before the U.S. Senate on Tuesday that his company was working with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference.

At first, Zuckerberg said the company had received subpoenas from Mueller's office but then clarified that he actually was not aware of a subpoena.

"I believe that there may be, but I know we're working with them," he said in response to questions from Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Facebook staffers have been interviewed by Mueller's team, though Zuckerberg said that he had not. He told the senators that he needed to be careful with his answers because the work with the special counsel was confidential.

The Facebook founder is appearing before a joint session of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees, and will continue testifying before the House on Wednesday. The senators asked him about the scandal surrounding the firm Cambridge Analytica, which obtained the data of 87 million users and tried to influence U.S. elections, and about Russia-linked accounts that spread false information, harmful in particular to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

Here are some of the other top moments from the hearing.

A "first" became apparent even before the questioning got underway. The 33-year-old CEO, who created Facebook while still a student at Harvard University, appeared before the senators in a suit and tie rather than his customary attire, a t-shirt or hoodie and jeans.

Testimony focused on Facebook's business model, its use of personal data to target advertising and the possibility that it could charge users in lieu of advertising. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah recalled Zuckerberg's first visit to Capitol Hill in 2010 when he told legislators that Facebook would always be free. Would it remain free, he asked.

Zuckerberg, who had been mostly grim faced during the hearing, said that a version would, to which Hatch responded, how could he run a business without charging for it?

"Senator, we run ads," Zuckerberg said.

And he smiled.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, tried to compare Facebook with the automobile industry, where buyers could purchase one car instead of another. Who was Facebook's competitor? If he was upset with Facebook, what was the equivalent product?

Zuckerberg answered with categories of competitors depending on different Facebook services. The average American uses eight different apps, he said.

Didn't he think he had a monopoly in Facebook, Graham asked.

"It certainly doesn't feel like that to me," Zuckerberg said.

The hearing is focused on breaches of privacy and to drive home his point, Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois asked Zuckerberg whether he would be comfortable sharing the name of the hotel he stayed at last night.

"No," he answered, and smiled.

What about the names of anyone he had messaged in the past week.

"I would probably not choose to do that publicly here," Zuckerberg said.

Durbin responded: "I think that maybe is what this is all about. Your right to privacy. The limits of your right to privacy and how much you give away in modern America in the name of quote, 'Connecting people around the world.'"

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz took a different approach from many of his colleagues when he pressed Zuckerberg about whether conservative and liberal groups were treated the same way on Facebook.

Hadn't Facebook blocked pages involving Catholics and supporters of President Donald Trump? Had any pages related to Planned Parenthood been treated that way?

Zuckerberg insisted that he was committed to making sure that Facebook was a platform for all ideas, particularly because it was based in left-leaning Silicon Valley.

Asked at the end of the testy exchange whether he would like a rest, Zuckerberg laughed and said, "That was pretty good."

The hearing took a break anyway.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook to Act Faster on 2018 Election Attacks]]> Tue, 10 Apr 2018 14:14:01 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_08_06.Still003.jpg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Congress one of his “top priorities” is being prepared for cyber attacks for the 2018 elections.

<![CDATA[Juno's Journey to Jupiter: Enjoy the View From Above]]> Tue, 10 Apr 2018 10:40:02 -0700 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[Congress Eyes Facebook's Promised Fixes]]> Tue, 10 Apr 2018 09:47:30 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NC_facebook120410_1920x1080.jpg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to face a barrage of questions on Capitol Hill Tuesday as lawmakers investigate a breach of user trust.

Zuckerberg admits that pro-Trump data mining firm Cambridge Analytica scooped at least 87-million users' data without their knowledge and that millions of Facebook users followed pages associated with a Russian entity trying to influence the 2016 election.

<![CDATA[How the 'Drone Killer' Works]]> Tue, 10 Apr 2018 06:39:39 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/4-10-2018-drone-killer.jpg

An Orange County company with a military background unveiled a way to combat drones that interfere with law enforcement and public safety operations. Vikki Vargas reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday April 9, 2018.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Teen 'CyberPatriots' Aim to Defend Cyber Security Title]]> Sat, 21 Apr 2018 03:02:33 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/cybersecurity1.jpeg

In 2017, with a rambunctious band and a tunnel of cheerleaders in blue and white, North Hollywood High celebrated the joyous return of another national championship title team - in cyber security.

"It was a little bit weird. We're computer geeks so not all of us like to stand out in front of a crowd. It makes us a little uncomfortable. But I think it's fun," said high school senior Aled Cuda, captain of the reigning national cyber defense championship team.

This year, teams "Togo," "Balto" and "Truman" are preparing for the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition hosted by the Air Force Association's CyberPatriot Program.

Focused on their desktop screens and typing furiously away at their keyboards in the North Hollywood High computer lab, the students are preparing to secure another championship title this year and their futures in the cyber sector.

The students' participation in the CyberPatriot competition helps them build competitive college applications, secure internships at national defense contractors, and forge connections with cyber professionals to help them pursue a career in the cyber sector.

Sponsored by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, the CyberPatriot program seeks to educate students about cyber security and foster interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.

"If you watch what's happening in the news in all the different foundations and companies being hacked by various different groups or countries, you can understand that it's really important that everybody understands how cyber security works," said North Hollywood High senior Sophia Hewitt, a first-time attendee of the Cyber Security National Championship.

From Panera Bread, to Equifax, to U.S. voter systems, nothing and no one is safe from the growing number of cyberattacks. At a time when jobs in cyber defense are in high demand, these students are ahead of the game, getting real experience and exposure to the work professionals are doing in the field.

"When we were at the state cyber championship they had these kids searching cars for evidence to make a prosecution because of a cyber crime -- that's just the law enforcement side of it. We need to ramp up the number of cyber professionals we have in America," said Jay Gerhinger, the adviser of North Hollywood High's CyberPatriot program.

On top of that, these high school students are getting widespread recognition in the cyber sphere as some of the best cyber security teams in the nation.

"We're fairly confident," said Cuda, the captain of team "Togo," the defending national champions of last year's National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. "We've done it before and we know how to play the game this year and can hopefully win."

But as one of the few girls in CyberPatriot, this competition is about more than winning for Hewitt-- it's about setting an example for young girls.

"It really has shown me and the friends of my younger siblings that the capabilities of women are the same as men," she said. "You can do whatever you want. You can do fields that are typically male-dominated."

After first qualifying against 5,583 teams from the U.S., Canada and beyond, the three teams from North Hollywood High will be competing against 25 other teams in the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition in Baltimore from April 16 to 18. The competition is the fiercest it has ever been, with interest in cyber security growing exponentially.

"Our lives are on the internet these days and on the computer. Not having good cyber security is like leaving your home every day not only with the doors not locked, but with them wide open," Gehringer said. "There are just bad people in the world that are going to take advantage of you and we need to make sure that they don't."

Photo Credit: Mariela Patron]]>