<![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 Fri, 19 Sep 2014 11:22:21 -0700 Fri, 19 Sep 2014 11:22:21 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[WATCH: Man Buys iPhone 6, Drops It on Sidewalk]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:46:17 -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.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego



Photo Credit: IBT UK]]>
<![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? ]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:59:07 -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]]>
<![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.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego



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]]>
<![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.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego



Photo Credit: Apple]]>
<![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.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego



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.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[iPhone Trade-Ins Rise in Anticipation of Apple's Announcement]]> Sat, 06 Sep 2014 23:58:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/tlmd_appleganabatalla.jpg

As the world awaits Apple's announcement on Tuesday, some people are ditching their old iPhones early in anticipation.

"So the frenzy building towards the iPhone 6 launch is starting to happen," said eBay Vice President of Verticals Jeff Somers.

Somers says eBay has seen a 30 percent increase in old iPhone sales in the past week. The average sales for a iPhone 5s 32 GB is about $493.

"You have customers on the older versions of the phones, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, who are looking to trade up to fives," Somers said.

eBay is so confident you'll be able to sell your old device, they guarantee it.

"If you list your phone on eBay and take our pricing guidance and you try to sell your phone on eBay, if for some reason that phone doesn't sell, we'll give you a $100 gift certificate," Somers said.

Palo Alto based Glyde facilitates the sale of cell phones between the seller and buyer. The company has received three times the amount of visitors to its website, than the last iPhone announcement.

California company ecoATM allows you to trade in your phone at a kiosk and receive cash on site. Exchanges are soaring in San Jose, but the big rush is expected later.

"The uptick happens not on the iPhone announcement but it's generally when they start shipping two, three, or four weeks after the announcement," ecoATM co-founder Mark Bowles said.

All the companies say consumers should trade-in now before it's too late.

"As we approach launch, prices will start to come down as more folks are trading in and selling their phones," Somers said.

Sales numbers, that may point to the most anticipated iPhone ever.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Live from Cupertino: Apple Will Live Stream Sept. 9 Event]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 07:54:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/179*120/tim+cook+2.jpg

Is it a phone, a watch, a wallet? All eyes will be on Cupertino Tuesday for Apple's next big announcement. Apple will also be live-streaming the "special event" on Apple.com starting 10 a.m. Sept. 9.

The Apple website already features a countdown clock counting down to the magic hour.

Announcements on both the iPhone 6 (with apparently a bigger screen) and the iWatch (or iBand?) are expected, reports indicate, but there's also the "what else" aspect.

Reports from both Re/code and Bloomberg indicate that the debut of a wearable device is in the cards. There are also reports that the tech giant might unveil its own mobile-payment system -- possibly an iWallet? Apple is also reportedly working on a new, taller iPad.

Apple's invitation to media last week didn't say much, except for a one-line teaser: "Wish We Could Say More." The company stock reached a new all-time high following the announcement and sent social media abuzz.

Apple opted to switch venues for the event, opting for the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, instead of its usual Moscone West venue in San Francisco.

On Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced plans to add extra security to iCloud, following a celebrity photo hacking incident last week.

According to Apple, live streaming Tuesday's video from its website will require Safari 5.1.10 or later on OS X v10.6.8 or later; Safari on iOS 6.0 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 5.0.2 or later.

Follow NBC Bay Area on Twitter @nbcbayarea for live coverage of the event.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Drones Used to Examine Quake Damage to Napa's Historic Sites]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 07:01:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/0904-2014-NapaDrone.jpg

Researchers from UC San Diego's structural engineering department are using drones to capture unique views of the earthquake damage to Napa's historic landmarks.

The team is using the images to generate 3D models of the sites.

"As tragic as this seismic event this earthquake was, it is also a very powerful learning tool which allows us to study how buildings have responded to the ground shaking -- how they've been damaged," said Falko Kuester, a structural engineering professor at UC San Diego.

The Trifethen Family Vineyard's tasting room was one of Napa's historic buildings that took a big hit during the Aug. 24 quake.

The Trifethen family said the images the drone capture will help them figure out the best approach to take as they rebuild and retrofit.

"So we can really get a good sense of what's happened to the building," Hailey Trefethen said. "We're doing everything we can first things first to stabilize it -- but we're really hoping. We have high hopes to be able to restore it."

Researchers said they hope the working being done will lead to a better understanding of how to retrofit historic sites to withstand the next big temblor.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Levi's Stadium Powers Up with High Technology]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 06:59:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_levis_stadium_sanfrancisco.jpg

Levi's Stadium is built for football, but it also knows something about its fans: They come to the stadium with gadgets galore.

As befitting a Silicon Valley stadium (which could also pass for a tech company campus), Levi's is packed with technology. Starting with 400 miles of cable running through the stadium, 70 miles of that for WiFi alone, Levi's is built with mobile devices in mind.

For example, the stadium comes with its own mobile app, available for Android and iPhones. If you download it, you can check highlights during the game, get tickets and parking passes, and order food from your seat. After testing it out, I can confirm - it works well, but even with one WiFi node for every 100 seats in the stadium, 70,000 people is a lot. Download the app before you get to the game. [274023671, R, 350, 197]]

Down below the field, a server-packed nerve center, looking like a very small Facebook. This is for security and connectivity, running cables straight into the stadium's broadcast center, which powers, among other things, the giant monitors above the crowd. This will dwarf even the biggest TV you have at home, and the Niners know: "Why not deliver content to the people sitting in the stands that's even better than what they get at home?" says 49er COO Al Guido. "Why shouldn't you compete with the at home broadcast?"

It's a philosophy the stadium seems to take to heart. They know you probably have a lot of technology at home. If they can get you into the stadium, they'll make sure you can use plenty of that tech on gameday as well.

Scott kicks off on Twitter: @scottbudman



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla Owner Uses App to Watch Cops Catch Thief]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 14:35:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/stolen-tesla-0904_3.jpg

It's like a video game but not nearly as fun.

Shahin Pirani watched on her iPhone as her car reached speeds up to 100 miles an hour in a police chase through San Diego Wednesday night.

Pirani was leaving a friend's house when she noticed her $90,000 Tesla was gone.

"Of course we panicked, not thinking what to do," Pirani said.

That's when she remembered the Tesla Model S App. The app enables its users to track where the car is, how fast it is going and disable the car if it is stopped.

"Sure enough it showed us that the car was within half a mile from where we were," she said.

So she and her friend went to the location while they called authorities.

When police arrived, the suspect, along with one passenger, fled in the car and led police on a 20-minute chase.

"The car was actually running at 100 mph so we figured the car was being chased by the cops," she said.

Using the Tesla app, Pirani was able to follow the pursuit as it weaved through Pacific Beach and La Jolla until it was came to a stop on Mission Bay Drive. She could even watch the speeds of the car.

After officers used a second spike strip, the car stopped and the two suspects took off on foot.

The driver was arrested immediately, and the passenger was eventually captured and taken to the hospital.

"The car is here and all the cops are here, the helicopter is here; so the navigation definitely did an amazing job,” Pirani said.

Pirani said she's owned the Tesla for about a year and this experience has her sold on the brand.

"After this, I'm not going to get any other car for sure," she said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[IRS Looking to Tax Silicon Valley Firms' Free Lunches]]> Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:11:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/LunchLondon.jpg

There's no such thing as a free lunch, even in the land of free lunches. Because, as multiple outlets reported Tuesday, the famous perks enjoyed by the well-paid workers of Silicon Valley may be subjected to stiff taxes from the federal government.

The free lunches on offer at the campuses of Google, Twitter, Facebook and their ilk might be taxable benefits, the IRS says.

"In the past you didn't have employers giving their employees free meals all day long so this is a whole new area for the IRS to clamp down on," said Cheri Michaelis, a tax attorney.

The Wall Street Journal broke the story of the IRS informing the tech giants that company-provided meals are a "fringe benefit," and subject to a tax of up to 30 percent of the meals' "fair-market value." In other words, the IRS might be interested in taxing tech workers for that second helping of quinoa and kombucha.

"We're so regulated and taxed enough as it is," said Ellen Blue, who works in the Silicon Valley area. "And if employers want to give their employees a benefit like that they should be allowed to."

One Silicon Valley firm is already dealing with the tax by giving its employees a bonus to cover the bill, the WSJ reports. Others are bound to fight the food tax fight the old-fashioned way: in court.

"Obviously they don't want to have to pay the extra tax," Michaelis said. "And they don't want to have their employees to pay tax on the free lunch they are providing, so they're going to fight the IRS on this."



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[Drone Captures Apple's New Campus]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 11:44:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/apple8.jpg

It looks like Stonehenge. A doughnut. A giant sand castle.

Those were just some of the comments a new drone video taken with a GoPro camera of the futuristic Apple Campus 2 was garnering after the eight-minute raw piece was posted to YouTube.

As of Monday, the aerial image of the campus under construction in Cupertino on Tantau Avenue had more than 1.3 million views and 500 comments. "Wow, this looks huge," Dustin W. Stout wrote in the comments section of the video. "I've seen mockups previously of what the site is going to look like, but seeing it like this will all the homes in close proximity gives a perfect idea of just how massive the construction site is."

That's what Jason McMinn, co-founder of LocusLabs,  wanted to find out when he set off his GoPro camera attached to a drone on Aug. 24. The 43-year-old techie told NBC Bay Area on Monday that he loves "artsy stuff and architecture" and was curious to see how the campus was shaping up.

"I've been watching it all unfold since the beginning," McMinn said, noting that the late Steve Jobs introduced this campus plan in 2006. "I'm a huge Apple fan."

His DJI Phantom 2 drone captured clear images of the circular site in Cupertino, revealing the silver tops of roofs and dry, tan dirt. He said he was especially pleased, since an earlier video he made of Oracle headquarters in Redwood City was very windy when he set his camera up in the sky.

McMinn said his remotely controlled quadcopter remained under 400 feet, per Federal Aviation Administration regulations, and did not enter any airport no-fly zones. Although the site is private property, airspace above 83 feet is not, according to a 1946 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, NBC News noted. The FAA allows for hobbyists to fly drones no higher than 400 feet.

Since the Campus 2 construction site in Cupertino, one mile from the official Apple headquarters, is fenced off, it’s hard for anyone to get a ground-level peek of construction.

Still, images have been taken. Even by air.

NBC Bay Area's chopper flew over the Spaceship in May, as did a drone camera owned by Dana Diederich, who lives in Mountain View and was feeling "contrarian" because of all the extra traffic caused by the campus construction. He went around the "armed guards" on campus, he said, to "see what they were doing" from the sky.

Another set of aerial photos were posted in July.

Apple, which had no immediate comment on the drone video, has said construction is expected to be completed in 2016.

Campus 2 will be home to more than 12,000 employees and an environmentally friendly complex with 7,000 trees, drought tolerant plants and about 80 percent of open space.



Photo Credit: Screengrab from YouTube of Apple Campus 2 posted by jmcminn]]>
<![CDATA[Apple to Unveil New Products ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 03:58:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/2014-08-28-apple-invitation-thumbnail.jpg

Apple has made it official: The next gadget event will be September 9th.

The Cupertino company sent out official invitations to the press Thursday morning, with a date (September 9th), time, and place (10am, Cupertino). The invitation also came with a brief message: 'Wish We Could Say More."

The tech press is already saying plenty about the event, speculating that we'll see a new iPhone, a new iPad (both reportedly larger), and maybe even the long-guessed about iWatch. Apple is not saying anything beyond its emailed invitation.

Investors like the drama, though; shares of Apple stock (AAPL), on a tear lately, hit a new all-time high this morning, as the invitations arrived in boxes.

A quick note about the venue: Cupertino's Flint Center is historic in Apple lore. It's the place where Steve Jobs first showed off the Mac computer back in 1984.

Scott will be at the event, with updates on Twitter: @scottbudman



Photo Credit: Apple]]>
<![CDATA[Supersonic "Bullet Sub" Proposed]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:44:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/generic+periscope+submarine+generic.jpg

Planes, trains, automobiles -- and a supersonic torpedo?

The means to get to Asia and back in the time it takes to take a long lunch break may be a possibility through a supersonic submarine, according to Chinese researchers who say they have found a way to make this proposition possible.

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reports that scientists have figured out how to make a submarine supersonic, or very close to it.

Researchers at Harbin Institute of Technology say that they can encapsulate a submarine in an air bubble that would reduce drag significantly. Called "supercavitation," the technology was first employed by the Russian Navy to create torpedoes that could travel in excess of 250 miles an hour.

By using the same technology for submarines, an underwater vessel could in theory travel 5,800 kilometers an hour. That's about 3,600 miles an hour, or fast enough to go from San Francisco to Shanghai in 100 minutes, the newspaper reported.

There are some drawbacks: first, the sub would have to be launched at a high speed. Second, you can't really steer. Third, no "underwater rocket engine" to propel the sub for such a long time exists.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego



Photo Credit: Andrea Danti, Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[HP Recalls Computer Power Cords for Burn Hazard]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:31:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/20140826+PowerCord.jpg

Hewlett-Packard is recalling almost 5.6 million power cords in the U.S. for notebook computers because they can overheat and catch fire.

Two people have reported they suffered burns and 13 people have experienced minor property damage as a result of the overheating cords, HP said. HP has had 29 reports of the cords heating up or catching fire.

The power cords were distributed with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers and docking stations. The power cords are black and have an “LS-15” molded mark on the AC adapter end.

Customers should immediately stop using and unplug the recalled power cords and contact Hewlett-Packard to order a free replacement. Consumers can continue to use the computer on battery power.

The recall also covers almost 500,000 cords in Canada.

For more information on the recall, click here.

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<![CDATA[Scammers Use 'Caller ID Spoofing' to Pose as Officials]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:40:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_generic_police_tape_police_lights_fishtown_722x406_2202385257.jpg

Scammers are using a new technique called “caller ID spoofing” to trick San Diegans into believing there is a warrant out for their arrest, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Smartphone apps or websites allow users to program the number that shows up on a caller ID, and thieves are using the technology to pretend they are your bank or even the police.

“Folks are now starting to spoof the caller IDs of the victims, and they're using the sheriff's public phone number to make it look like it’s more of a legitimate call coming in,” said Sheriff’s Lt. Ken Nelson.

In spoofing apps, all you have to do is enter your phone number, the number you want to call and the number you want to show up in the caller ID.

Using the false ID, scammers pose as sheriff’s employees and call victims, claiming an arrest warrant is in their name due to failure to pay taxes, appear for jury duty or other false threats.

Officials say the pushy caller will use the name of an actual sheriff’s employee, give the real telephone number of a station or substation and have the victim’s personal information like a former address.

They’ll also threaten people with jail time if they don’t pay up. They go on to ask for more personal information and a credit or debit card.

“They just download an app and try to steal your hard-earned information,” said San Diego resident Edward Wilkinson. “I think that's unfair and people should be aware of things like that."

Under the Truth Caller Act of 2009, it is a federal crime to spoof a caller ID to commit fraud or harm, but not all spoofing is illegal.

Deputies say when in doubt, just hang up and call back. No sheriff’s employee will every contact a person by phone to demand money or any form of payment, officials say.

“We have not seen the caller ID spoofing prior to this,” said Nelson. “This is just a new twist to an old scam. Unfortunately they simply take advantage of the current technology."

If you have been a victim of this scam, call the sheriff’s department at 858-565-5200.

If you’ve experienced caller ID spoofing in a different situation, officials say you should file a report on the Federal Communications Commission’s website.



Photo Credit: NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Rolls out iPhone Battery Replacement Program]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:40:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/tlmd_iphone_5_nuevo_12.jpg

If you have an iPhone 5 with a short battery life, you may be eligible for a new, free battery, thanks to Apple’s new iPhone battery replacement program.

Apple released a statement that it has determined a certain number of iPhone 5s purchased between September 2012 and January 2013 “may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently.”

Go here if you think your phone meets these requirements and find out how to get a new battery.

Apple also said that if you already replaced your iPhone 5 battery, you could be eligible for a refund.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Quake Reaction: Tweets From People Near the Epicenter]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 17:04:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/04-18-2014-quake.jpg

 

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<![CDATA[Women Make Up Nearly Half of Video Game Players: Report]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:02:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/192*120/gamer3.jpg

A new report from the Entertainment Software Association shows women now make up nearly half of all video game players, or "gamers."

Union City-resident Adrienne Lam and Kerry Aguinaldo of Hayward are part of the changing demographics in the gaming community. The ladies play League of Legends, an online role-playing game that places gamers on a team with a mission to destroy a rival team's base.

"It's not nerdy to play video games anymore, now it's cool," Lam said.

Lam and Aguinaldo sometimes play the game for hours a day.

Game developer Ubisoft has taken note of the new landscape for gamers.

"For us, this has been a great way for Ubisoft to grow its business," said Tony Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Ubisoft developed Assassin's Creed, a widely popular game. But the company also created Just Dance, a family-friendly hit.

"It's been the No.2 selling game at Christmas for the last three years in a row, and our research shows us that the user is primarily female."

Key also said more strong lead characters in games are now women.

"That type of thing is happening more and more in the industry now," he said. "And I think that's helping bring more women into the space."

Lam and Aguinaldo agree.

"Because there are a lot more indie games, you're not just a guy racing cars or killing," Lam said. "It's not just a first-person shooter anymore -- there are actual story lines."

The East Bay pair even stepped it up a notch by streaming the games they play online so others can watch their strategies. Followers can talk with them as they play and donate money for their time.

"Now that you can make money playing video games, your parents can't get on your back," Lam said laughing.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:58:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/216*120/Steve+Ballmer+Clips+1.JPG

Steve Ballmer on Tuesday left Microsoft's Board of Directors, citing new commitments as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, a day after publicly stepping into his role with the team.

"The fall will be hectic between teaching a new class and the start of the NBA season so my departure from the board is effective immediately," Ballmer wrote in his resignation letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time."

Ballmer, who handed off the reins as CEO to Nadella in February, expressed confidence in the company’s future and said he is proud that "Microsoft has been my life's work."

"I bleed Microsoft -- have for 34 years and I always will," he wrote.

Ballmer bought the Clippers from Shelly Sterling, wife of former owner Donald Sterling, for $2 billion in May.

The deal was approved by the NBA and finalized Aug. 12 after a tumultuous court battle between the Sterlings.

Shelly Sterling said last week she is "thrilled that the Clippers now have such a wonderful new owner."

Ballmer introduced himself to thousands of Clippers fans on Monday during an energetic rally at the Staples Center that also featured several players and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. Ballmer promised to keep the team in LA and to usher in an era of many victories.

"This is an amazing new day in Clippers history," Coach Doc Rivers said at the rally. "I couldn't be more excited to work together with Steve as we continue to build a first-class, championship organization."

In a response to Ballmer's resignation letter Tuesday, Nadella thanked Ballmer for his time at the company and wished him success.

"I am sure that you will bring the same boldness, passion and impact to your new endeavors that you brought to Microsoft," Nadella wrote.

Ballmer remains a shareholder at Microsoft.

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<![CDATA[Google's IPO 10 Years Later]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:17:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_637019_google.jpg

It was a company known for lava lamps, dogs hanging out under desks, and big bouncy balls for employees to sit on.

As co-founder Sergey Brin said, "The important thing is to be serious in your business, but foolish in your culture."

Then, on August 19, 2004, Google went public, and changed Silicon Valley, and the tech industry along with it.

You may not remember, but many were skeptical about Google's IPO: There already was a Yahoo, an Amazon, and an Ask Jeeves. Was search really a long-term business plan?

Google proved everybody wrong, except their investors. Those men and women became very wealthy, as Google shares move steadily upward. Now, after gains of 1,300% over a decade, Google's market value is the third largest in America, trailing only Apple and Exxon.

The co-founders are worth about $30 billion each, and many Googlers have gone on to start new startups, or help run giant companies, like Yahoo, Twitter, and Facebook.

Google, meanwhile, is putting lots of that stock money to use: In addition to the wildly profitable search business, the company has rolled out cars to map the planet, cars to drive themselves, and the popular and controversial "Glass" project. And, don't forget the money spent to buy YouTube and Nest.

Google has its eye on the future, and will no doubt continue to make money, deal with privacy concerns, and push the technology envelope.

Scott can be searched on Twitter: @scottbudman

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<![CDATA[High-Tech Tattoo Could Power Smartphone -- Eventually]]> Sat, 16 Aug 2014 09:30:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Sweat+Power+tattoo.jpg

Soon your workouts may do more than power up your health. They could also power up small devices like your smartphone.

A team at the UC San Diego has developed an exciting way to harness energy from sweat using a temporary tattoo, according to the American Chemical Society (ACS).

The process is built on lactate – a byproduct of exercise. The UC San Diego group, led by Professor Joseph Wang, placed a small, flexible lactate sensor on a temporary tattoo – which look more business logo than the brightly colored unicorn or Mutant Ninja Turtles shapes of your childhood.

When they peeled the tattoos onto volunteers’ arms, the sensors stripped electrons from the lactate using a special enzyme, and those electrons generated a weak electrical current.

“So we can make this idea of harvesting energy directly from the body in a non-invasive manner,” said Wang in an ACS YouTube video on the topic. “So this is the first example of the biofuel cell that harvests energy from body fluid like sweat.”

The researchers then built a sweat-powered biobattery to harness small amounts of electricity.

Placing 15 tattoo-bearing volunteers on a stationary bike, the team tracked how much power each person generated over 30 minutes.

They discovered people who exercised fewer than once a week produced more power than those who worked out between one to three times a week. According to the ACS, the researchers explained this is because less-fit people get tired faster and produce more lactate.

The maximum amount of energy created by the top volunteer was 70 microwatts per square centimeter of skin – a far cry from the amount of energy needed to power a phone. The average smartphone requires 35 milliwatts each hour, according to Mashable.

“So besides working to get higher power, we also need to leverage electronics to store the generated current and make it sufficient for these requirements,” team member Wenzhao Jia, Ph.D. told the ACS.

Once they figure out how to store energy more efficiently, maybe then they’ll work on tattoo design – at least a flower or star or something.



Photo Credit: American Chemical Society/ Joe Wang]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Honors Robin Williams on its Website]]> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:56:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/08132014-ROBIN-WILLIAMS-APPLE.jpg

Apple is honoring Robin Williams with a memorial on its web site.

Williams died Monday at his home in Tiburon, California, at the age of 63 after battling severe depression.

Apple posted a simple tribute in black-and-white which includes a picture of the late actor and comedian along with this brief message.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Robin Williams. He inspired us through his passion, his generosity, and the gift of laughter. He will be greatly missed."

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about WIlliams' death Monday, calling him an "incomparable talent and a great human being."

Williams is also being rememberd on iTunes, which has set up a "Remembering Robin WIlliams" section that includes over 40 of his movies and stand up comedy shows.

iTunes has divided Williams' work into "Essentials," "Comedy" and "Drama," and also posted a photo of him with the following paragraph on his illustrious career.

"One of the most beloved and unforgettable performers in the history of show business, Robin Williams brought laughter and inspiration to millions. Throughout a career that spanned five decades, Williams evolved from stand up comedian to international movie star. Among the great masters of improv, he transfixed audiences with a mile-a-minute comic energy. Williams' Golden Globe-winning turn in Good Morning, Vietnam demonstrated that his versatile acting talents were equally suited to evoking dramatic complexity. Many of Williams' most iconic performances--in Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, and his Oscar-winning triumph Good Will Hunting--were dazzling high-wire acts that left audiences in tears of laughter one minute and tears of poignancy the next."

MacRumors reminds us that a speech by WIlliams' character, Professor John Keating, in the movie Dead Poets Society, was the inspiration behind Apple's "Your Verse" line of iPad advertisements. Keating delivered the famous "What will your verse be?" line in the movie. Williams was also the voice over in this iPad Air commercial, one of his final productions.

"Medicine, law, business, engineering—these are noble pursuits, and necessary to sustain life," Williams (as Keating) says in the voiceover. "But poetry, beauty, romance, love—these are what we stay alive for."

See if you can recognize his voice:

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<![CDATA[Apple's "Spaceship" Headquarters Taking Shape]]> Sat, 09 Aug 2014 11:47:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/08082014-apple-campus.jpg

Apple's new Cupertino headquarters is starting to take shape.

The progress can be seen in an image posted on the City of Cupertino's website recently. The outline of the so-called "spaceship" is clearly visible.

Ground broke for the 2.8-million-square-foot building back in November. Apple is hoping to have the whole thing completed by 2016.



Photo Credit: City of Cupertino ]]>
<![CDATA[Super Moon, Perseids to Light Up Sky Sunday]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 15:07:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/super+moon+san+diego+.jpg

It will be quite the spectacular nature show on Sunday.

The biggest and brightest full moon of the year will light up the sky. Coincidentally, the annual Perseid Meteor Shower is set to peak also on Sunday.

The combination of these astronomical events is both and good, NASA experts say: The good is obvious (two events at the same time). The bad news is that “lunar glare wipes out the black-velvety backdrop required to see faint meteors and sharply reduces counts,” Bill Cooke of Nasa’s Meteroid Environment Office said in a statement on NASA’s site.

NBC 7 Meteorologist Jodi Kodesh said a “super moon” occurs any time the moon is closer than 360,000 km to the Earth.

We had one just a month ago. Experts say the one on Sunday will be the biggest of the year.

As for the Perseids, they will appear from Sunday to Tuesday, shooting across the sky at 140,000 mph.

The meteors come via the Comet Swift-Tuttle, a grouping of dust grains that circle the sun every 133 years and get their name from the ancient Greek hero who slayed Medusa.

In San Diego, watch for the fun to start when the moon rises at 7:34 p.m.



Photo Credit: Chuck Rickman ]]>
<![CDATA[Experts Weigh in On Russian Hacking Heist]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 19:56:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/0806passwords.jpg

A group of Russian hackers has reportedly stolen 1.2 billion user names and passwords in what’s being described as the largest cyber-crime in history and this could mean your online information is in jeopardy.

The hacking heist, which spans 420,000 websites and also includes 500 million email addresses, was uncovered Tuesday by Hold Security, a Wisconsin-based information security company.

The company found the Russian hackers pushed spying programs onto personal computers worldwide and got sent people’s passwords when users logged onto websites.

Although experts recommend you should change passwords frequently, that tactic may not always work in this digital age of savvy hackers.

“So even if you have a very complicated password, they're going to run through a billion variations and eventually they'll trip upon it,” explained Larry Clinton, president of Internet Security Alliance. “You need to combat this with an equally automated system.”

Clinton said this could mean signing on with a company like LastPass, KeePass or Dashlane, which generate and store complex passwords.

In the future, you may need more than just a password, like a retinal scan or thumbprint.

Meanwhile, the Identity Theft Resource Center of San Diego says online users should watch out for enticing social media posts and emails, even if they appear to be from your friends.

One click could open the gate to your more sensitive personal information, like social security numbers and banking details.

Also, experts suggest you change your passwords every three months using a combination of both lower and uppercase letters and numbers – and make passwords longer than eight characters.

Additionally, delete credit card information store with retail and bill pay websites. Download anti-virus updates when available on both your computer and smartphone.

“If you are buying something online or paying a bill online you are going to want to make sure you do not save the log-in credential information or any financial information,” said Nikki Junker, spokesperson for the Identity Theft Resource Center.

“In addition, you are going to want to make sure you go through your internet browser on a normal basis and delete all temporary internet files,” she added.
Junker said app users must strike a balance between convenience and security.

While it may be handy to order up dinner online and have it delivered with one click of a button, storing credit card information in your phone is dangerous.
 



Photo Credit: Shuttershock ]]>