<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Tech News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/tech http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:58:58 -0700 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:58:58 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Court: Don't Tell Him You're Pregnant on Facebook ]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:48:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/39weekpregnancy.jpg

Facebook is used by a billion people, but it's not enough when notifying a father about his biological child being placed for adoption, a court rules.

The court stems from an Oklahoma woman notifying the biological child via Facebook before placing the child up for adoption, according to the Wall Street Journal. The biological father of a baby girl contested the termination of his parent rights, stating that she had let him know through a Facebook message, court records revealed.

The man, Billy McCall, claimed he never saw the message and the girl was put up for adoption in 2012. McCall claimed he didn't know of the child's existence until a week before she was born and a trial court severed his parental rights in 2013. The court was weighing in on the question of whether a Facebook message satisfies the notification requirement given to "the natural father of a child born out of wedlock."

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that it wasn't enough. From the decision:

Instead of contacting Father directly, Mother left him a message on Facebook, which is an unreliable method of communication if the accountholder does not check it regularly or have it configured in such a way as to provide notification of unread messages by some other means. This Court is unwilling to declare notice via Facebook alone sufficient to meet the requirements of the due process clauses of the United States and Oklahoma Constitutions because it is not reasonably certain to inform those affected.

The custody case between McCall and the child's adoptive parents is ongoing.
It's nice to know that legal documents may not be served up on Facebook, sandwiched in between ads and virtually ignored.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[App Uses Facial Recognition to Return Lost Dogs]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:48:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/finding+rover+app.jpg

A smartphone app that aims to reunite owners with lost dogs goes a few steps beyond missing posters.

The Finding Rover app uses facial recognition to help the pup find its way home.

San Diegan Ryan Quinlivan hopes it helps him find his dog Coco. She has been missing for more than a week, and he has been doing everything he can to track her down.

“The dog I’ve had my entire adult life, so she means the world to me, and I would give anything to get her back," Quinlivan said. 

In addition to stapling hundreds of posters around town and posting ads on Craigslist, he downloaded Finding Rover.

Here’s how it works: A pet parent can download the free tool, take a picture of their dog and upload it to the app, adding his or her ZIP code. If that pooch runs off, the owner can check the interactive map that shows where dogs have been found and when.

Someone who spots a lost dog can snap a picture and add it to Finding Rover, and the app will run it through the facial recognition system. If the photo matches up with that of a missing pet, the app will send a notification to the finder with information on how to get a hold of the owner. Users will also get a mobile alert every time a dog is lost or found within 10 miles.

For those who may want to plan some doggy dates, Finding Rover also acts as a social network to connect and share dog news.

San Diego is one of the app's biggest markets. In fact, the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services was the first animal sheltering organization to partner with Finding Rover.

According to Animal Services Deputy Director Daniel DeSousa, every dog that comes into the county's shelters is photographed and uploaded into the app. In July, Animal Services reunited its first pet with its owner with the tool's help.

Right now, the app is available only on iOS phones in the iTunes store, but developers hope to release an Android app this year.

More than 10 million pets go missing every year, according to the Humane Society.

If you believe you have found Coco, you can contact Quinlivan at 619-721-4008 or 719-757-9829. He is offering a $5,000 reward.

“It’s nothing in comparison to what I feel about the dog,” he said.



Photo Credit: Finding Rover
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<![CDATA[Apple Event: New iPads Announced]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:11:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/new-ipad-AP903945536056_0.jpg Check out the newest products and programs tech giant Apple announced on Oct. 16, 2014.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Spends 15 Hours in Ravine After Chevy Rolls 500 Feet]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:50:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chopper16.jpg

A woman was rescued in dramatic fashion Tuesday morning from the base of Mount Hamilton, where she had spent 15 hours face down in a ravine after her Chevy careened 500 feet down an embankment.

The 28-year-old woman, identified as Melissa Vasquez by the California Highway Patrol, was in stable condition at Regional Medical Center, according to the hospital's Chief Operating Officer Sandy Yanko.

A tech-savvy police officer is being credited as a hero for figuring out Vasquez's home computer password so he could use her Find My iPhone app to lead crews straight to the flipped-over car.

"It's really remarkable," said Campbell Police Capt. Gary Berg, who said Officer David Cameron logged into her PC in an effort to zero in on her exact location. "I don't think she would be alive today, otherwise."

Vasquez landed face down in the ravine after she was ejected from her 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, according to a CHP report. San Jose Fire Capt. Brad McGibben said she was "awake and talking to us" when she was hoisted to a hospital about 9 a.m.

The situation began about 2 p.m. on Monday when police received an "OnStar" call from the woman's car navigation company. Berg said officers searched for two hours, but couldn't find her. The alert said the tires had "left the ground," and that originally, her Chevy was located near her home, by Camden Avenue and Highway 17.

Then, OnStar alerts gave out a few more locations, including a ping about 4 p.m. in downtown San Jose, Berg said. Still, officers couldn't find her. For its part, OnStar officials said the company was looking into the issue.

At 3 a.m. Tuesday, the young woman's stepmother, with whom she lives, called Campbell police to report that the young woman still wasn't home and it was very unlike her, Berg said.

Cameron, who has been an officer with the department since 1998 and has a mind for computers, tinkered on a computer at Vasquez's home, until he figured out her password.

"Unbelievably, Officer Cameron was able to guess the correct password and log into her account," Berg said.

It took Cameron three tries. "I just tried to make an educated guess," he said, descrbibing himself as a "tech geek."

Once Cameron logged into the Find My iPhone app, he had the location at the base of Mt. Hamilton, which propelled more than a half a dozen rescue agencies to the remote, rugged scene about 5 a.m., Berg said.

NBC Bay Area's chopper flew over the 4,000-foot mountain, which overlooks Silicon Valley, surveying the scene from above.

Just about 7:30 a.m., a rescue crew member from a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was lowered down to the ground to an area thick with trees, to find a white Chevy flipped over on its roof. Within 15 minutes, crews carried a stretcher to the scene. The stretcher was then hoisted up into the awaiting emergency helicopter about 8:40 a.m. She was seen being wheeled into Regional Medical Center of San Jose by 9 a.m.

Down below, emergency crews from agencies including the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department and Cal Fire surrounded the flipped-over car. Firefighters cut away brush as the winds made it difficult for the helicopter to land.

Westbound Mt. Hamilton Road was shut down near the Mt. Hamilton Grandview Restaurant, and drivers were advised to take Quimby Road instead.

CHP Officer Ross Lee said investigators didn't know why Vasquez went off the road, but alcohol and drugs are not thought to be factors at this time.

NBC Bay Area's Tim Bollinger, Marianne Favro and Bay City News contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Uber, Lyft, and Yellow Cab Get Failing Grades from BBB]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:02:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Rideshare_lyft_generic.jpg

Californians love to complain about Uber. The Better Business Bureau has awarded the world's leading alternative to taxis an "F" grade, but Uber was not the only ride-provider to get a failing grade.

Lyft and Yellow Cab received failing grades too, the San Francisco Business Times reported.

Uber received 90 complaints, including 43 complaints from customers confused about its surge pricing billing model, and Lyft and the cab company both received five, the newspaper reported.

Uber is not a member of the BBB, the newspaper noted, and the BBB added that Uber was "unresponsive" when approached about the complaints.

Lyft received five complaints, and failed to respond to three of them, the newspaper reported, while Yellow Cab also notched five complaints in the last five years.

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<![CDATA[Report Links GoPro to Brain Injury]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:12:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP886669197394.jpg

The French commentator whose reported remarks had sparked reports that a GoPro camera may have played a role in Formula 1 racing legend Michael Schumacher's brain injury is now urging everyone to "stop all speculation."

Schumacher, 45, has been immobile and unable to speak after he fell and hit a rock in a skiing accident last year while he was wearing a GoPro camera mounted on his helmet.

European news outlets had reported that racing commentator Jean-Louis Moncet told Europe 1 radio that Schumacher's son Mick told him the placement of the camera contributed to the brain injury — but Moncet denied that Tuesday on Twitter.

"The problem for Michael was not the hit, but the mounting of the GoPro camera that he had on his helmet that injured his brain," Eurosport had earlier quoted Moncet as having said.

But Moncet appeared to contradict that suggestion in a tweet Tuesday.
"STOP ALL SPÉCULATION," he tweeted. "Mick could not say something about camera or injury of Michael because we did not speak together."
Following the initial report linking the GoPro to Schumacher's injury, shares of the Bay Area-based company plummeted, losing as much as 10 percent in trading Monday, Business Insider reported.

A GoPro spokesman declined to comment on the report linking the camera to Schumacher's injury but said the company was monitoring the situation closely.

Schumacher emerged from a medically-induced coma in June but remains in serious condition.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Snapchat Hacked, Nude Images Put Online]]> Sat, 11 Oct 2014 07:30:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/4601103451.jpg

Users of Snapchat who posted images via a third-party app have had their images hacked and posted online, according to reports.

The company itself says its security was never compromised, and released a statement saying that users who used third-party apps to send their snaps violated Snapchat's terms of use, according to the BBC.

After they were posted to a message board on Thursday evening, the hacked images were taken offline, the news agency reported, but hackers "threatened" to post more images.

Hackers claimed to have on hand "13 gigabytes' worth" of Snaps acquired over years, the BBC reported.

Teens doing naughty things like sending nude selfies tend to like to use Snapchat.

This is not the first security headache for Snapchat.

Earlier this year, several million usernames and phone numbers were leaked, the news agency reported.



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Teens Develop Brain-Teaser App]]> Fri, 10 Oct 2014 06:13:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/216*120/impossible+rush+app.jpg

Fifteen-year-old Austin Valleskey doesn't have his drivers license yet...but he already has a worldwide successful app.

A few months ago the suburban Chicago teen was contacted about an idea for an app by Australian Ben Pasternack, who is also 15.

"I thought it was cool," said the Wheaton Academy sophomore. "He asked if I wanted to make it into a game. I said sure, it's a Saturday, I've got a couple of hours."

And a few hours is all it took for Valleskey to create a prototype for Impossible Rush- a brain-teaser game.

"We didn't think much of it. We just wanted people to have fun with it," Valleskey said.

And people did.

The pair contacted a marketer who agreed to buy the app and the game's popularity skyrocketed.

With over 500,000 downloads at its peak, the app was ranked 16th in the U.S., 7th in Sweden and 18th in Australia, according to Business Insider.

Valleskey said he was in disbelief.

"It passed up Skype, Tinder, Netflix, all of these huge companies. It was crazy cool to me!" the teen told NBC Chicago Thursday. "It's a great thrill."

The young teen says he taught himself computer programming just one year ago during a road trip to Florida.

His parents shared his latest excitement.

"It's been just so much fun to see the success he's had with it," said Michael Valleskey. "He's learning so much going through this process."

Valleskey says he's already working on developing another app.

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<![CDATA[Tesla to End Speculation Over "The D"]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 12:12:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/209*120/10-09-2014-tesla-model-s-470486031.jpg

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is expected to make an announcement Thursday night that should clear up a week of speculation that put "the D" in dramatic and a bump in the electric carmaker's stock price.

The electric car manufacturer appears poised to unveil a new model after Musk's tweet last week that indicated plans to "unveil the D and something else." The tweet featured a graphic with Thursday's date and a partially opened garage door that masked all but the menacing front end of a vehicle with Tesla's logo and signature headlights.

In the days after Musk's mysterious tweet, Tesla's stock price climbed about 6 percent. The stock took a slight dip Wednesday before rising again Thursday ahead of the announcement.

Tesla is likely adding another member to its family of vehicles, which includes the Model S luxury sedan. The company has plans for a Model X SUV and mass-market model called the Model 3.

Thursday's announcement might involve an all-wheel drive vehicle, which would fit nicely into the carmaker's lineup and allow Tesla to match offerings from similarly priced competitors. Electric vehicles allow engineers more flexibility than a traditional front-, rear- or mid-engine vehicle when it comes to how power is distributed to each wheel. For example, instead of transferring power from one engine to four wheels, an electric powertrain might use two electric motors for the front and back wheels or even four electric motors dedicated to each wheel.

But the guesses don't stop there.

A Tesla with greater range or higher level of driver assistance technology, such as lane assist or collision-avoidance braking, are some of the possibilities.

A self-driving vehicle or something that's not a car at all have all been mentioned in response to last week's tweet.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NASA Offers Chance to Fly Your Name Into Space]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 06:34:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP290799397921.jpg

NASA is inviting the public to send their names into orbit when the agency's Orion spacecraft launches for a test flight on Dec. 4.

Names will be be included in a dime-sized microchip aboard the spacecraft. NASA said the names will take a 4.5 hour flight around Earth before heading back. After that, the names will fly on future NASA flights to Mars.

Nearly 100,000 people have signed up. The last day to register is Oct. 31. Visit the NASA website to sign up.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[New iPad Expected at Apple Event Announced for Oct. 16]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 14:28:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/apple-invite1.jpg

We just got new phones, a peek at new watches, and a new payment system. 

But Apple has, it seems, "one more thing..."

More iPads.

The Cupertino tech giant emailed out invitations to the press Wednesday morning, announcing plans to roll out something on the morning of Oct. 16. Yes, recognizing that we just went through one of these, Apple's typically cryptic message on the invite reads, "It's been way too long."

Apple is expected to update its iPad lineup, maybe following the lead of its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with a bigger screen.

The event is likely to be a little (or maybe a lot) smaller than the iPhone/Apple Pay/Apple Watch event featuring U2, as evidenced by the next one being held at the more intimate confines of Apple's Cupertino headquarters.

We'll keep you posted here, and on Twitter: @scottbudman

See you there.



Photo Credit: Apple]]>
<![CDATA[Google Maps Trails in 14 California State Parks]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 17:55:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GOOGLE-TRAIL-APP.jpg

Google is venturing into vacation territory as it unveils its Street View technology for trails in 14 California state parks.

Tuesday’s initial launch includes imagery of 10 state parks, Point Lobos State Reserve, three state beaches and more than 25 hiking trails.

Google couldn't use its famous satellite technology or Google Cars on the narrow trails, so it outfitted operators with customized Trekker backpacks. The 40-pound units have a 360-degree spinning camera with 15 lenses.

Google employees spent three months hiking the trails, which also included Tomales Bay, Angel Island, and Marina State Beach in Monterey County.

Checkout Google Trekker in:



Photo Credit: Google
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<![CDATA[Silicon Valley Enterpreneur Wins Nobel Prize]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 06:38:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/187*120/ShujiNakamura.JPG

A Silicon Valley entrepreneur, along with two other scientists, won the Nobel Prize for physics for creating a blue light emitting diode, or LED lights.

Shuji Nakamura, a founder of the Fremont, Calif.-based Soraa, was one of three scientists who won the Nobel Prize for his work with LED, according to the Wall Street Journal. In 1990, he was paid approximately $180 by his Japanese company, Nichia Corp., for discovering and patenting  blue LED.

"People in the U.S. often asked if I got paid like hundreds of millions of yen or billions of yen," he told the WSJ in an interview. "When I told them my salary, they called me 'Slave Nakamura.'

Nakamura left Japan and moved to the United States in 1999. By 2001, he sued his old company and was awarded 840 million yen, or about $7.8 million using today's conversion rates -- not bad considering the company expected to reach $1 billion in revenue from the invention. 

Nakamura went on to become a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara and founded Soraa with two of his colleagues. With Soraa, Nakamura continues his research with LED technology.
"I am very honored to receive the Nobel Prize from he Royal Swedish Academy of Science for my invention of the blue LED," Nakamura said in a statement released by Soraa. "It is very satisfying to see that my dream of LED lighting has become a reality. I hope that energy-efficient LED light bulbs will help reduce energy use and lower the cost of lighting worldwide, and that is why we founded Soraa."



Photo Credit: Soraa]]>
<![CDATA[Vizsafe Used for "Drought Shaming"]]> Mon, 06 Oct 2014 06:58:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/vanessa11PMwater_1200x675_338244675536.jpg The smart phone app originally created to increase neighborhood safety is now being used to tattletale on people wasting water. NBC 7's Vanessa Herrera reports. ]]> <![CDATA[Report: Facebook Moving Into Healthcare]]> Sat, 04 Oct 2014 11:15:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/4654813851.jpg

Likes, comments, photos and medical advice? Facebook is making plans to enter the world of healthcare, Reuters is reporting, quoting "three people" who requested anonymity.

The Menlo Park-based social network is thinking about creating online "support communities" that would connect sufferers of various diseases with each other, according to reports, as well as "preventative care" applications.

Plans are in initial phases, Reuters reported. Facebook has been busy meeting with members of the medical industry for the past few months but is still in the process of setting up a new R&D unit to test out the apps.

Meanwhile, Facebook has noticed that its users are health-minded: the 2012 move to allow Facebook users to promote the fact they are organ donors proved popular, and many users do perform searches "for advice" via the network.

And, of course, Dr. Priscilla Chan, whose husband is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a resident pediatrician at UC San Francisco.



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UC San Diego to Run Off Battery-Like System]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:54:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/430AT_VO_UCSD_EARTH_DAY_KNSD3TKB_1200x675_233788995596.jpg

One of the largest battery-based energy storage systems in the U.S., capable of running 2,500 homes, will soon be powering up UC San Diego.

In spring 2015, the environmentally friendly system will be added to the school’s microgrid, which is responsible for 92 percent of the electricity used on campus every year, according to UC San Diego officials.

“Energy storage has the potential to transform the global energy landscape,” said Gary C. Matthews, vice chancellor for Resource Management and Planning, in a release. “It can help make renewable energy sources more reliable and is critical to a resilient, efficient, clean and cost-effective grid. We are proud to help advance this technology.”

The university says its microgrid, one of the most advanced in the world, and is a scaled-down version of a larger grid that controls energy from clean and conventional sources.

Adding the 2.5 megawatt, 5 megawatt-hour storage system will help keep intermittent renewable energy like solar power on hand for when it is needed, making the grid more reliable and resilient.

Officials say the storage system comes from rechargeable battery supplier BYD and does not contain any toxic electrolytes and heavy metals.

Once installed, UC San Diego will be eligible for up to $3.25 million in financial incentives through the state’s Self-Generation Incentive Program – a rebate system aimed to encourage clean and efficient technologies.

The new storage effort falls in line with the California Public Utilities Commission’s goal to have 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage installed by the state’s three investor-owned utilities by 2024.

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<![CDATA[Local Company to Use Drones]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:18:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/drone-generic-carlsbad-926.jpg A North County company got the green light from the U.S. government to use drones to make movies. NBC 7's Omari Fleming reports from Carlsbad tonight with a look at what it all means for you.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[College Bans App Over Bullying]]> Wed, 24 Sep 2014 08:54:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/Yik+Yak+Norwich+University.jpg

Concerns over cyberbullying led Vermont's Norwich University to block users of the school's servers from accessing a social media app.

The app, Yik Yak, allows users to post anonymous blurbs, including rants, gossip, or praise for the best classes or parties. Those messages are visible to other users in close proximity.

"People are talking smack to other people; talking smack about the school and groups on campus and stuff," said student Michael Muradyan, describing content he has seen on Yik Yak at Norwich.

In a prepared statement, Norwich said the policy decision was made effective this past weekend.

"This action was taken in an effort to protect Norwich students and to demonstrate that bullying in any form is not tolerated at Norwich University," the statement read.

Norwich computer systems professor Mich Kabay said that message about cyberbullying is "something we need to get across in society."

Kabay, whose courses including one on cybercrime, told New England Cable News he knows cyberbullying can have extremely serious consequences for victims, including some around the nation who have taken their own lives.

"The more individuals and organizations that take a stand and say, 'No, that's wrong. I don't like that. That's ugly; we don't do that,' then we will see change across generations," Kabay predicted.

Muradyan pointed out to NECN that at Norwich, students can still access Yik Yak through their phones' own data plans-- separate from the school's servers.

"Kids are still finding a way around it," he said.

While there have been no official reports of criminal behavior at Norwich using the app, the school is launching an internal campus investigation into the issues of cyberbullying and the use of Yik Yak. The police are not involved in that internal campus investigation, which is being led by the school's vice president of student life and enrollment management, according to the statement.

In response to an NECN inquiry about its policy regarding alleged instances of cyberbullying, Yik Yak released a statement saying it "recognizes that as with any social app or network today, there is the likelihood for misuse from a small group of users.. It said it has "geo-fenced almost all primary and secondary schools and turned the app to 17+ in stores to ensure the user base is age appropriate and parents can easily block the app on their children's phones."

"Additionally, the app monitors conversations and posts, and any negative or harmful behavior can result in the respective user being blocked, or altogether banned from future use," the statement added. "Yik Yak also finds that as more users sign up and start using the app, communities begin to self-regulate in a positive way."

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<![CDATA[California Lawmakers Write Letter to Tesla]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:39:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/TESLA-FILE-VO---00001719.jpg

In another push to get Tesla to change its mind, California lawmakers sent a letter last week to CEO Elon Musk, urging him to bring a “gigafactory” to California, legislators revealed Tuesday.

Tesla announced two weeks ago that its coveted $5 billion battery factory would be built in Reno, Nevada.

California representatives from across the state are trying to convince the Palo Alto-based company that the state has everything it needs to make their 5 facility a success. In the letter, they touted the state's supply of qualified workers, and its educational infrastructure.

“This commitment to building the nation’s smartest workforce has caused California to have one of the fastest growing economies in the country,” said the letter, signed by 24 California representatives, including Mike Honda, Barbara Lee and Anna Eshoo.

"The Golden State's culture, history, and entrepreneurial spirit provide a rich quality of life for Tesla's current and future employees,” the legislators said in the letter.

A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment when contacted Tuesday by NBC Bay Area.

The gigafactory, as Tesla calls the project, would bring down the cost of batteries by producing them on a huge scale. The Nevada facility would be approximately 10 million square feet, equivalent to about 174 football fields, and be located at an industrial park about 15 miles east of Sparks, a Reno suburb founded as a railroad town more than a century ago.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Androids Vs. iPhones: Tech Blogger Weighs In]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 14:47:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/tlmd_iphone64.jpg

With the release of the iPhone 6 slated for Friday, it’s time again for smartphone users to consider which phone is the smartest choice.

This time around, choosing between an iPhone or Android, or switching between the two, may not be as big of an undertaking, according to tech blogger Juan Carlos Bagnell.

Unlike late 2008 and 2009, when switching devices meant music files might be restricted or email accounts did not always transfer smoothly, operating systems are slowly merging, both in appearance and internal hardware, Bagnell said.

The last time Apple rolled out a new iPhone, research showed that a fifth of new users came from Android phones.

If you are going to switch to a new device, Bagnell recommends having a "digital date" with the phone, sitting down and getting to know it.

Bagnell added that there will still be accessory differences, and to be prepared to pay extra for docking stations and the like if switching types.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Man Buys iPhone 6, Drops It on Sidewalk]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:27:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-09-19+at+11.13.16+AM_edited-1.jpg

It's official: the new iPhone has hit the streets.

Jack Cooksey was reportedly the first person to leave the Apple store in Perth, Australia, with an iPhone 6. The 18-year-old shakily opened the phone's white package, but when the box lid came off, the gadget fell to the pavement. The blunder happened during a live International Business Times UK video broadcast, as a crowd of onlookers gasped and booed.

Luckily, the phone was unscathed.

"It's fine," Cooksey says in the video. His ego may not have fared so well.



Photo Credit: IBT UK
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[iPhone Users Could Face Battery, Wi-Fi Issues From Latest Update]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:00:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tsiphoneupdatepic.jpg A tech expert advises consumers to wait before downloading the iOS 8 update.]]> <![CDATA[Do You Need the iPhone 6?]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:47:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP501921875874.jpg The question that's been buzzing: do you need the new iPhone 6? Tech reporter, Mike Wendland, shows what IOS 8 features are available for older iPhones.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Take the Phone Quiz: iPhone 6 or Android? ]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:46:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/pile+of+phones1.jpg

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus hit the shelves at Apple Stores on Friday morning, ending weeks of anticipation by Apple fans.

At some Apple stores, lines have stretched around the corner for days or even weeks. Apple sold more than 4 million phones in online preorders on the very first day they were available. And this weekend, the company is expected to make billions. According to Bloomberg Business Week, the phone line accounts for more than half of Apple's $171 billion annual revenue.

But is the phone for everyone? More importantly, is it for you?

We put together this Phone Wizard to help you find out. We examined the key features of eight state-of-the-art phones, looking at things like battery life, size, operating system and camera quality. After you answer a handful of questions about your personality, preferences and habits, we identify the phone that we think is right for you.

Now, don't get carried away: Just because we tell you the Samsung Galaxy S5 is better for you than the iPhone 6 Plus (that 4K HD is just so important to you, right?) doesn't mean you should go and buy one today. At least visit your local retailer to see how it feels in your hand before plopping down a few hundred dollars. But consider this a starting point. 



Photo Credit: Photograph: Alamy
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Releases Tool to Remove U2 Album]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:14:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/455053622.jpg

Some iPhone users are not happy that U2's new album, "Songs of Innocence," was automatically added to their iTunes music library, free of charge. In response, Apple has released a special tool that lets people remove the album from their collections.

U2 played at an Apple event last week that included the unveiling of the iPhone maker's new smartwatch and updated iPhone models. In a surprise move, the Irish rock band performed at the event and put out its 11-song release.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the new album would be given to the company's 500 million iTunes users. The release showed up in users' iTunes music libraries. The company said Monday that 33 million iTunes account holders have accessed the free album.

But some iTunes users took to Twitter to complain and ask how to remove it. While it was already possible to delete the album, Apple's tool makes it possible in one step.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Google to Test Self-Driving Car Without Backup Driver]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 16:28:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Driverless+Google+Car.jpg

Google is getting set to hit the roads with its first ever self-driving car without a backup driver.

The new prototype will be tested on the grounds of Moffett Field.

Because it is federal land, Google cars can drive the network of streets on the 2,000 acre research facility without worrying about breaking any state laws.

NASA is teaming up with Google for its own research purposes.

NASA hopes what they learn from Google will help in the development of unmanned drones.

Testing on Google's new unmanned cars could begin at Moffett Field early next year.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[Apps Offer Users Way to Stay Safe When Walking Alone]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 07:14:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Safetrek-app.jpg

In light of the recent assaults in North Park and the search for a sexual assault suspect on the campus of a local university, people are sharing ideas for ways to stay safe when walking alone.

Something as simple as a smart phone app can alert those close to you or even law enforcement authorities if you find yourself in trouble.

Emily Albertson lives further from San Diego than her friends and says when they go out at night she often has to driver herself.

“Often times I have to park and walk a few blocks to meet them wherever we're going,” she said. Albertson says she often feels uneasy and would like more options to feel safe in this situations.

Albertson isn’t alone and the tech world is noticing. More smartphone safety apps are available like Watchoverme, bSafe and Safetrek.

With Safetreck, you hold down a button until you're some place safe. If you let go and don't enter your secret four-digit pin police are notified.

With Watch Over Me, you set how much time you need to get to a safe spot. If the time runs out and you don't press the "I'm safe" button, your emergency contacts are sent messages.

Many of the apps are free, but some provide better versions if you pay.
 



Photo Credit: NBC 7
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<![CDATA[California Now Home to More Than 100K Electric Cars]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 06:29:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/car+charger.jpg

California has more than 100,000 electric and "plug-in hybrid cars" on the road, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The California Air Resources Board said the milestone reflects the fact that electric cars are no longer "just a boutique item."

The state has 40 percent of the country's electric vehicle sales, which began in earnest in 2010.

About 31,000 electric cars -- 15,251 "pure electric" vehicles, and another 16,239 "plug-in hybrids" -- were purchased through the first eight months of the year, the newspaper reported.

That's about 2.5 percent of all car sales statewide.

Still, that's an increase of 100 percent from 2012 to 2014.



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Twitter Investigating Threats with Possible Links to ISIS]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 06:17:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/TWITTER-ISIS-THREATS-SOT-TZ---18281826.jpg

Twitter says its security team, along with relevant law enforcement officials, is investigating the veracity of apparent death threats made against its employees by radical Islamists.

The threats reportedly showed up on a Twitter account with ties to the Islamic State rebel group that has beheaded reporters.

Twitter has 800 employees in San Francisco, but none were eager to talk to reporters on Tuesday. The social networking service has been taking down accounts the company believes are platforms for the terrorist group ISIS. It is believed that action is what prompted the threats posted on such an account, which has since been removed.

The original threatening posts were in Arabic and initially translated on the website Vocative. They reportedly said:

“The time has arrived to respond to Twitter’s management by directly attacking their employees and physically assassinating them.”

“Every Twitter employee in San Francisco in the United States should bear in mind and watch over himself because on his doorstep there might be a lone world assassin waiting.”

Steve Weber, a terrorism expert at UC Berkeley, believes the tweets are intended to frighten, but are without substance. “Day-to-day employees there are probably in more danger walking across the street in San Francisco than the likelihood of being hit by a terrorist assassin inside the United States,” he said.

Marc Sandalow, associate director of the University of California’s Washington Center, said he believes ISIS is using the threats and the recent videotaped beheadings of journalists to raise its profile on the world stage, but since President Obama’s initial statements discounting ISIS, the group’s soldiers have taken control of a significant amount of territory in Iraq and Syria.

Weber says “that has moved the discourse in Washington from ‘Maybe this thing is just going to go away’ to ‘We need to make sure that this thing goes away.’”

The president laid out his strategy for going after ISIS to members of Congress on Tuesday. Wednesday night, he briefs the nation at 6 p.m. PT in an address that will air live on NBC.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[The Apple Watch: What You Need to Know]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 04:51:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/edt-apple-watch-thumb-new.jpg

Rumors of the Apple Watch have been swirling since 2012, and while Apple is not the first to debut a smartwatch, it has arguably designed the most elegant wearable yet.

Why isn't it called iWatch? Apple may have been unable to license the name as it is owned by Swatch.

Name aside, here are the top features to know about the Apple Watch.

Requires an iPhone, Old or New

The watches require an iPhone: either the new 6 and 6 Plus, or the older iPhone 5, 5S and 5C, meaning 200 million people can already use the device, Cook said.

The Handoff iOS 8 feature will let you start composing an email on the Apple Watch and finish it on your phone, iPad or Mac.

The Apple Watch will start at $349 and will be available in early 2015. In addition, the newly introduced payment system Apple Pay will work with the watch.

A New User Interface: The Digital Crown

As CEO Tim Cook pointed out, with each new product category Apple created a new UI: the Mac's mouse, the iPod's clickwheel, the iPhone's multi-touch. For the Apple Watch, there is the Digital Crown.

The Digital Crown, a souped-up dial on the right side, provides a way to scroll, zoom and navigate the Apple Watch without covering the display. A wearer can scroll through lists and messages, make selections and more without obstructing the screen.

From CEO Tim Cook: "What we DIDN'T do is shrink down the iPhone interface and put it on your wrist. That'd be a horrible experience!"

Interactivity and Communication

The watch will have Siri, Maps and Photos apps, among others. The Maps app shows the way and guides wearers to go left or right with a tap. From a feature called Friends, wearers can make a call, send a message, customize emojis or a sketch made with their finger.

There's also a feature called "Glances," which you swipe up from the bottom of the screen to see stocks, meetings, weather and world time.

Wearers can also send their friends a "gentle tap on the wrist" through haptic feedback (or tiny vibrations), even if they are thousands of miles away. They can also capture and send their heartbeat by pressing two fingers on the screen.

More than a Health Tracking Device

Apple is pushing the watch heavily toward fitness-savy consumers. A "Workout" app will monitor calories burned and miles run, and an "Activity" app will show the same metrics over the course of a day.

The watch measures three aspects of movement inside "rings": Move, Exercise and Stand. The Move ring gives an overview of how active the wearer is, while the Exercise ring measures brisk activity, and the Stand ring shows how often the wearer has stood up to take a break from sitting.

An accelerometer measures body movement while a custom sensor measures intensity by tracking the wearer's heart rate.

Customizable Faces, Bands

There are three watch collections: the Apple Watch, made with stainless steel; the Apple Watch Sport, inside an aluminum casing; and the Apple Watch Edition, made of 18k gold. There is also a smaller-sized watch for smaller wrists.

For the bands, there are six different versions, made of leather, polymer, metal mesh and stainless steel, and each has a mechanism that makes the straps interchangeable.

The screen is made of ultra-durable sapphire, resistant to cracks. Wearers can personalize the capabilities and appearance of the faces.



Photo Credit: Apple
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Apple's New Watch, iPhones]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 11:22:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/edt-iwatch-1.jpg Apple announced two new iPhone models, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and its new Apple Watch at an event in Cupertino on Sept. 9.

Photo Credit: Apple]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Unveils Sleek New Watch]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 17:26:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/edt-apple-lead-455042032.jpg

Apple unveiled a sleek new smartwatch dubbed the Apple Watch and two new, bigger iPhones on Tuesday, marking its much-heralded entry into wearable technology and signaling its intentions to keep innovating three years after co-founder Steve Jobs' death.

The event, held at the same Cupertino venue where Jobs unveiled the industry-shifting Mac computer a generation ago, was capped by a performance by U2, whose new album "Songs of Innocence" would be available for free on iTunes.

Apple's big reveal wasn't without its hitches, as technical problems marred its livestream and frustrated would-be watchers online.

But at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts itself, CEO Tim Cook's announcement of the new watch — "the most personal device we've ever created," he said — was met with a standing ovation from Apple fans.

The smartwatch, with its square display and rectangular bezel and screen, can function, Cook explained, as a fitness monitor, communication device and, of course, timepiece. It will start at $349 and be available in early 2015.

What looks like an ordinary crown on the watch's side is a dial that lets users zoom, scroll and navigate, in a departure from the commands iPhones use. Its touchscreen, with a sapphire crystal, also senses force.

"What we didn't do was take the iPhone and shrink the user interface and strap it on your wrist," Cook said.

The watch, available in two sizes and in 18-karat gold with a variety of straps to choose from, was the crowning new product announced at Tuesday's event, closely watched by Apple fans and industry-watchers, near the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Its unveiling came after two new iPhones, iOS 8 and Apple's first game were announced.

Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus boast larger screens, more powerful cameras and a new payment system Apple vowed would prove a radical improvement.
The iPhone 6's screen will measure 4.7 inches, the 6 Plus' 5.5. Both boast a new next-generation retina display, and apps on both can be viewed differently, including in a double-paned display, when the phone is held horizontally, giving it the air of an iPad.

Each model also promises a more powerful camera, with autofocus and face detection that's twice as fast as older models' and that works seamlessly in video, in a move by Apple that seemed designed to preclude users from needing separate cameras. The iPhone 6 Plus comes with optical image stabilization, too, to adjust for users' unsteady hands.

Both models also use a new payment system, dubbed Apple Pay, that CEO Tim Cook said was safe, simple and a vast improvement for users' experience.

It will let users use credit cards already on file with iTunes or take a photo of their cards to use them, and to preserve their safety, no credit card information will be stored on their phones.

"We're totally reliant on the exposed numbers and outdated and vulnerable magnetic stripe interface," he said. "This whole process is based on this little piece of plastic." 

Prices for the iPhone 6 start at $199 for a 16 GB model and go up to $399 for 128 GB, while the 6 Plus starts at $299 and goes up to $499. Pre-orders will begin Friday, and the products will begin shipping a week later, on Sept. 19.

Apple also launched its first-ever own game, a battle game called Vain Glory.

That wasn't the only exciting news for gamers: The new iPhone also boasts a new 64-bit chip, the Apple A8, which Apple promises will make for a 20 percent faster CPU and 50 percent faster graphics, according to The Verge.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How to Sell Your iPhone for the Most Money]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 11:06:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_iphone_edited.jpg

Looking to sell your iPhone before the new model is released? The longer you wait can have a dramatic effect on the value of your phone.

Many users are looking to upgrade their phones to get their hands on the latest gadget after Tuesday's announcement of Apple's new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Even if you are locked in a contract or not due for a subsidized upgrade from your phone carrier, you can still sell your current iPhone to help pay for the new model.

Many sites offer trade-in deals that will give you a fair amount of cash for your gadget.

Gazelle, an online trade-in store, is offering up to $335 for an iPhone 5S, a price expected to be good until Tuesday. The value is estimated to drop as the iPhone 6 was announced on Tuesday.

Worried about not having a phone? Gazelle is letting users hold on to their current phones until Oct. 10 so they are not phoneless while waiting for the new model. Users must first lock in their deal by Sept. 9 through Gazelle.com.

Through Gazelle, you lock in a price online, and the company will send you a package to ship your phone for free. Once your phone is processed, you can choose to receive a check, gift card or PayPal.

If you are looking to get more bang for your buck, you can try selling your phone privately on eBay. Prices vary depending on the model and storage space of your iPhone. Current listings on eBay as of Monday found iPhone 5S models being sold on eBay for between $300 and $500.

Another option for a user looking to unload their iPhones is Craigslist. You should complete your Craigslist transaction in a public place to be safe. Keep in mind that Craigslist does not offer any “buyer/seller protection” as they are not involved in any transactions.

Apple also has a trade-in program called Apple Reuse and Recycling Program that lets users trade in their phones and receive an Apple Store gift card in exchange. A previously owned iPhone 5 was estimated at a value of $225, while an iPhone 5S is currently not available to trade in through Apple’s site.

Another option to get rid of your phone is through a retailer like Best Buy or Amazon, which both offer competitive pricing onto a store gift card.

The value of a previous iPhone model typically drops when a new model is introduced, so the sooner you sell your phone, the more money you may be able to get.

The price of new iPhone's without a contract typically starts at $649 depending on the model of the phone. If you are due for an upgrade, or start a new contract, prices for new models start at $199.

Check with your carrier to see if you are eligible for an upgrade.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>