<![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, 02 Sep 2014 08:03:54 -0700 Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:03:54 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Drone Captures Apple's New Campus]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 06:58:24 -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 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.

NBC Bay Area's chopper flew over the Spaceship in May, as did this camera by Dana Diederich. 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.

<![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


<![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.

<![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

<![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:

<![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 ]]>
<![CDATA[Back-to-School Gadgets Part II]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 08:38:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/scientific-calculators-0806.jpg A look at back-to-school tech gadgets that will help make the transition from summer to school easier the help of " Digital Answerman:" Jim Barry. ]]> <![CDATA[Back-to-School Gadgets Part I]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 08:34:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/gadget-guest-0806.jpg School starts for a lot of students in the coming weeks and so we are showing you the back-to-school tech gadgets that will help make the transition easier and fun and we'll do it in 60 seconds with the help of "Digital Answerman" Jim Barry. ]]> <![CDATA[Mars Rover Opportunity Sets Distance Record]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:29:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/169*120/PIA18404_Opportunity_Traverse_25mile_br.jpg

When it comes to out-of-this-world mileage figures, no vehicle can compete with Mars rover Opportunity.

The rover's odometer has reached 25.01 miles after a decade on Mars, marking an off-Earth distance record. The rover traveled about 160 feet over the weekend, enough to break the old record held by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover.

Lunokhod 2 rover landed on Earth's moon in 1973 and drove 24.2 miles. That journey took just about five months.

Opportunity wasn't designed to cover great distances -- its original three-month mission required it to cover about 1 kilometer. That mission was completed in April 2004, but Opportunity  has continued to travel and examine ancient Martian environments over that past decade.

"This is so remarkable considering Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer and was never designed for distance," said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "But what is really important is not how many miles the rover has racked up, but how much exploration and discovery we have accomplished over that distance."

The next major landmark on Opportunity's Martian road trip is "Marathon Valley." The investigation site was so-named because if the rover makes it to the location, it will have traveled 26.2 miles -- the distance of a marathon.

In recognition of the Lunokhod 2 mission, the Opportunity rover team selected the name Lunokhod 2 for a crater near the site where Opportunity has been used to conduct research.

"The Lunokhod missions still stand as two signature accomplishments of what I think of as the first golden age of planetary exploration, the 1960s and '70s," said Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and principal investigator for NASA's twin Mars rovers, Opportunity and Spirit. "We're in a second golden age now, and what we've tried to do on Mars with Spirit and Opportunity has been very much inspired by the accomplishments of the Lunokhod team on the moon so many years ago. It has been a real honor to follow in their historical wheel tracks."

Spirit landed at about the same time as Opportunity, but it became stuck in soft soil in May 2009 and has not been heard from since early 2010 -- long after it completed its 90-day mission.

Opportunity, Spirit and the larger rover Curiosity  -- which landed on Mars in August 2012 -- are essentially remote-controlled geology research vehicles that receive instructions from mission managers on Earth. Their missions involve exploring Mars' surface and collecting samples for researchers to study as they look for signs of past life.

Photo Credit: NASA]]>
<![CDATA[OKCupid Dating Web Site Says it Lied to Users]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:36:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/dating_generic2.jpg

When you sign up for a dating website, you are supposed to be set up based on your interests, and maybe even your looks.

The co-founder of OkCupid.com admitted the online dating web site set up people as part of an experiment.

“I think it’s kind of false advertisement,” Michelle Cady said.

In one of the experiments, people who were highly compatible were told they were a bad match and vice versa.

In another experiment, the website hid singles’ profile pictures for several hours to encourage people to message each other without knowing what they look like. When they brought the pictures back online, many of the conversations stopped.

“It shouldn’t become a game to them to see how many people they can hook up together,” Michelle Cady said.

The Cady sisters had mixed views on the experiments.

“Sometimes people go for a generic type of person and they date that kind of person over and over and wonder why it never works out, and maybe it’s because they’re being closed minded,” Nicolette Cady said.

Some of the guys did not mind the mix up.

“Because I’m overall, kind of a shy person. But I think in that situation it would definitely get me out of my comfort zone,” Herman Soyfer said.

The co-founder, Christian Rudder, is not apologizing. He wrote, ”If you use the internet, you’re the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site. That’s how websites work.”

Some singles say that is a good thing.

“People don’t know what they want necessarily,” Nicolette Cady said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Locals Tap Into New Online Economy]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:19:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Computer-generic-home-afric.jpg Would you let a complete stranger sleep on your couch? How about drive your car? Well, with sharing economy, it can all happen with just a simple click of a button. NBC 7's Danya Bacchus explains.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[App Aims to Save Cardiac Arrest Victims]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:50:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/199*120/pulsepoint+app.JPG

 A free CPR smartphone app aims to help San Diegans take a beat and save victims of sudden cardiac arrest, one of the leading causes of death in the country.

City and county officials teamed up Monday to launch the PulsePoint app, which alerts anyone with CPR training when someone in their area needs help.

Despite their best efforts, first responders often cannot get to a victim in time to save their life.

Because cardiac arrest has a small survival rate of 8 percent and time is of the essence, the app is designed to send a volunteer to a victim before paramedics can reach him or her.

The American Medical Response says you can triple a patient’s survival rate by doing CPR before an ambulance arrives.

The regional PulsePoint app informs users when and where paramedics urgently need help, gives basic CPR training and shows where the nearest automated external defibrillator (AED) is.

It also uses GPS to track and alert users of emergencies within a quarter mile.

“You’re gonna get the alert, you’re gonna respond, you’re gonna start those chest compressions, and then once the emergency responders get there, they’ll take over, and that’s going to increase survival,” said Mike Rise with the American Medical Response.

Residents can learn how to use the app and how to do compression-only CPR at the County Administration Center’s waterfront park until 3 p.m. or at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas until 4 p.m. Monday.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last December to adopt PulsePoint.

Other cities and counties across the country have activated the PulsePoint app, so if you’re on the road and you’ve signed up for the app, you may still get alerts when an emergency is within a quarter mile.

You can download the free app for your iPhone or Android phone. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, sudden cardiac arrest is so deadly because it is a fast, complete loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness. It is different from a heart attack, which happens when a portion of the heart's blood flow is blocked. 

However, heart attacks can sometimes trigger sudden cardiac arrest. 

<![CDATA[Uber Driver Arrested After Assault]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:31:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police-lights-night-shutterstock_54084688.jpg

Police arrested an Uber driver a woman accused of sexually assaulting her earlier this month.

Police charged 31-year-old Reshad Chakari of Alexandria, Virginia, with second-degree sexual abuse.

On July 20, police went to the 1400 block of Rhode Island Avenue NW where a 25-year-old woman reported that an Uber driver sexually assaulted her. She had several drinks at a nightclub while celebrating her birthday and passed out in the car, News4's Darcy Spencer reported. According to the police report, the woman said Chakari touched her while she was sleeping in the car.

D.C. Council member Mary Cheh said she wants to make sure these drivers are not preying on women. While Uber is required to perform background checks on drivers, that may not be enough, Cheh said. She said installing panic buttons in cars could help.

"Rider safety is Uber's #1 priority. We take reports like this seriously and are treating the matter with the utmost urgency and care," said Taylor Bennett, spokesperson for Uber Technologies. "It is also our policy to immediately suspend a driver’s account following any serious allegations, which we have done. We stand ready to assist authorities in any investigation.”

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington for more on this developing story.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[PD Tracks Burglars Through App]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 08:52:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/La-Mesa-police-badge.jpg

When a La Mesa man was awakened by burglars in his home, he called 911. The police officers who arrived didn't catch the suspects from the air or the ground but through a common app on many smartphones.

The two suspects broke into a home on McRae Avenue just after midnight Saturday and ran off with the homeowners’ handgun, medication, money and iPhone, according to La Mesa police. .

After a K-9 team and helicopter search could not find the suspects, investigators turned to the Find-My-Phone app. By entering the homeowner’s iPhone information, they were able to trace the suspects to an address in Chula Vista.

Chula Vista police were asked to check the address, but La Mesa PD soon discovered the iPhone was on the move again. This time, back to La Mesa, police said.

Officers tracked the signal to Murray Hill Drive and Yale Avenue where they stopped a dark blue late model BMW and took both men in the car into custody.

Officers say they recovered the stolen items from the car.

Luis Pelayo and Luis Gallardo, both 21 and from San Diego, were booked at the San Diego County Jail on charges of residential burglary, theft of a firarm and possession of a controlled substance.

<![CDATA[Celeb Tweets You Missed from Comic-Con ]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:47:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/CCClarkDuke.jpg

It wasn't just the fans showing all the excitement of Comic Con over social media.

TV and movie stars alike were tweeting selfies, jokes and sharing photos over Twitter.

Photo Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[The Truth Behind Hidden Contracts]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 18:10:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WomanComputerPic_1200x675_300608067571.jpg

It’s a contract few people read but nearly everyone has agreed to: the contract that often accompanies websites, service upgrades and downloads.

It’s that “Terms of Agreement” that often appears on your phone, tablet or computer screen before you are allowed to progress on the site. The terms are often long, legal and rarely read, yet California Western School of Law professor Nancy Kim said those terms are as binding as a traditional contract.

“If you ever end up in court they will treat that electronic agreement the same as they would a paper contract that you sign with a pen,” Kim explained.

So what you don’t read could hurt you.

Kim said more and more contracts are adding provisions that take away free speech.

“We’re getting our privacy rights diminished,” she added.

Kim said some online contracts block consumers from taking the company to court or participating in class action proceedings, instead requiring binding arbitration. Some sites add a non-disparagement clause that says consumers can’t complain about the company on social media. Some detail expensive return policies, cause consumers to give up rights to online photographs and other hidden agreements.

“People don’t think they are entering a contract when they click accept,” said Kim.

Still, some consumers say they simply don’t have the time or patience to read the contracts, including San Diegans Allen Langdale and Bryan Flores.

“It’s legal stuff that just goes on and on and on,” said Flores. “You get bored about two, three lines into it so you just skip it.”

Kim said some consumer watchdog groups are paying attention but the law hasn’t caught up with the technology.

She is afraid that companies will start adding more and more restrictive clauses in their “Terms of Agreement” knowing that consumers not only don’t understand the contract but don’t even read it.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Tech Companies Announce Plan to Defeat Patent Trolls]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:09:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Patent.jpg

If you can't kill a troll, at least stop feeding him.

Google and other tech companies believe they've figured out a way to halt patent trolls, according to VICE.

"Patent trolls" are litigious creatures who buy "obscure" or otherwise-nebulous patents with the intent to then use the patents to sue established companies, thereby taking home a payout in the process.

Google, Canon, Dropbox and other companies -- some of whom have been the over 2,500 firms a year sued in this manner, a tenfold increase from 2004 -- have devised a "legal force field" to shield themselves from trolls.

It's called a "License on Transfer Network." Members of the network, upon selling a patent to anyone, cannot be sued for patent infringement because of a "royalty-free license" that's then extended to all members, VICE reported.

<![CDATA[Ex-Twitter Employee Sues For Age Discrimination ]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 19:12:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/twitter_passwords.jpg

Peter Taylor had a good job at Twitter.

Until the 57-year-old was fired after a younger supervisor made derogatory comments about his age, that is.

That allegation and others are part of an age discrimination lawsuit filed against the tech giant last week, according to SF Weekly.

Taylor worked at the company's data center in "deployment," according to the SF Examiner, and received a positive evaluation six weeks before he was fired.

The lawsuit says that he had surgery for kidney stones a month before his termination, but was then given more work to complete while recovering, according to the lawsuit.

He was fired and then replaced with younger employees, the newspapers reported.

Twitter says the lawsuit is meritless.

<![CDATA[New Bed Designed to Help Premature Babies]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 07:49:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/premature-birth-lifestart-b.jpg

A premature baby was resuscitated in San Diego last week using a new, specialized bed designed just for preemies.

Averi Snyder was born four weeks early and not breathing. Her umbilical cord was tied in a knot.

Mom Kim Snyder said the doctor didn't immediately alert her to the dangers but dad Shane Snyder said he saw the whole thing.

Seconds after she was delivered, Averi was placed into a special bed so that the team of doctors at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital could pump oxygen into her lungs while she was still attached to her mother's umbilical cord.

Within the first minute, Averi began to “pink up."

“[I was] mesmerized by what was going on and how everything took place and how fast they had her breathing,” Shane said. “It was pretty amazing.”

Kim was able to see Averi and kiss her before the staff took the newborn to the NICU.

The Snyders are one of the first families in the U.S. to use the new LifeStart resuscitation bed.

It's designed to delay umbilical cord clamping for the sickest or most premature babies, allowing them to receive blood and other fluids from mom.

It's a modern twist to an old concept that Snyder wishes was around when she delivered her first child.

“It's amazing and it’s lucky,” she said. “Our first child could've really benefitted from it. I hope that other parents get to experience it."

Sharp Mary Birch Hospital rolled out the equipment just last week becoming the first American hospital to put them in use.

Neonatologist Anup Katheria, M.D. said the beds are part of a research study focusing on pre-term births, or those babies delivered before 40 weeks.

The idea is that if doctors can start giving a distressed baby some oxygen at birth, they can take advantage of the first minute of life outside the womb and improve the infant’s outcome.

“Once the baby begins breathing in that first minute, the blood can naturally flow into the lungs allowing more stabilization to occur,” he said.

Umbilical cord blood is full of stem cells, oxygen carrying blood cells and white blood cells that help fight infections.

The fluids also help improve the baby's heart functions and reduce the child’s need for oxygen and blood transfusions.

The beds are placed beside the mother during delivery.

Each bed has a heated pad that mimics skin-to-skin warmth and allows the infant to be warmed from above and below.

So far, 10 babies have been treated using the four beds currently in use at the hospital.

As for Averi, she was still in the hospital Monday and progressing every day.

Her parents hope to take her home from the hospital on Wednesday. 

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Phone Chargers and Adapters Recalled]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 14:41:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/recall33.jpg

Two recalls have been issued for chargers that can overheat phones, causing a burn hazard, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The first recall warns about Gemini adapters and chargers that were given away at trade shows between October and April.

The company has received one report of a consumer who was burned on their hand, according to the CPSC. All chargers of this brand should be thrown out. About 31,000 chargers are affected.

The second recalls warns about Lifeguard Press charging kits. Seven models of charging kits with universal serial bus (USB) connectors that are used to recharge Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod devices are affected by the recall, according to CPSC.

They were sold under the brands Ban.do, Jonathan Adler, and Lilly Pulitzer between February and June.

Lifeguard Press has received six reports of the wall chargers emitting smoke and sparking and six reports of prongs detaching from the plug, according to CPSC. No injuries have been reported.

Consumers may contact the company for a refund. About 25,400 are included in the recall.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Kardashian Game Propels App Company]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:26:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/KK11.jpg

Kim Kardashian is money.

Glu Mobile knows.

The app-maker is the publisher of "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood," a free-to-play game downloadable from Apple's App Store. And Glu Mobile is also enjoying a wave of success after its stock shares jumped 42 percent in recent months thanks to the Kim game, Bloomberg News reported.

San Francisco-based Glu Mobile officials say they're not surprised that Kim's celebrity power could compel hordes of downloads and plenty of in-game purchases, the trick that makes free-to-download games lucrative.

In the game, users try to negotiate their own celebrity landscapes, using advice from Kardashian herself to rise from the "so-called E-list" to the "A-list," the website reported.

Revenue from the game could hit $200 million, an analyst told the website.

Photo Credit: GC Images]]>
<![CDATA[Uber: What to Know About Car Service App]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 08:42:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/451565438.jpg

Summoning a driver at a push of a smartphone button is a lot easier than trying to hail a cab during rush hour, which may explain why Uber, a car service app that connects passengers and car services within minutes, has become so popular.

The San Francisco-based startup, which launched in 2010, is the biggest of the car-hailing apps (others include Lyft, Sidecar and Wingz), operating in 120 cities and 37 countries. Uber relies on a surge-pricing model, which means the fares increase during high-demand periods. The company has come under fire from traditional taxi drivers who say the service is not fair and might even be illegal. This battle between upstart and establishment is likely to continue, and may benefit riders from a cost perspective.

Meantime, here’s what you need to know about Uber:

  • How Does Uber Work?

A customer requests a car using a smartphone app and Uber sends its closest driver to their location, using the phone’s GPS. The fare is charged directly to your credit card. Uber provides five types of services: UberX, the cheapest option which allows for the hiring of livery car drivers with a smartphone; Uber Taxi, which lets you e-hail a yellow cab; Uber Black, a private hire car; Uber SUV, the car seats up to six people and Uber Lux, which features the priciest cars.

  • Who Drives Uber Cars?

UberX drivers are not licensed chauffeurs and they use their own cars. They also use their personal auto insurance policy while driving for Uber and they are not required to get commercial liability insurance. According to the company website, all ride-sharing and livery drivers are thoroughly screened and the company conducts ongoing reviews of drivers’ motor vehicle records throughout their time with Uber.

The review process may be flawed.  A three-month investigation by NBC4's I-Team found that convicted felons passed Uber background checks across the country. And in an undercover investigation, NBC Chicago hired several UberX drivers and ran their own background checks on them and found numerous tickets for speeding, illegal stops and running lights.

  • Is Uber Safe?

States are warning riders who hail an Uber or another ride-sharing cab that they may not be covered by insurance if the driver gets in an accident. But Uber and other ride-sharing companies say that is not the case.

"There's no insurance gap at all on any trip on the Uber system," Uber spokeswoman Nairi Hourdajian told NBC News. She said the company's $1 million policy provides sufficient coverage in case a driver's personal insurance fails to do that.

There are other safery concerns as well. A 32-year-old Uber driver in Los Angeles was arrested in June on suspicion of kidnapping a woman and taking her to a motel room, police said.

And a California couples told NBC4 an Uber driver stole $2,500 in cash and personal items from them after he picked them up from LAX and dropped them off at their West Hollywood condo.

  • How Much Is Uber Worth?

Uber was valued in June at $18.2 billion, less than a year after being valued at $3.5 billion. The valuation was the highest-ever for a venture-backed start-up and experts say Uber is positioned to become one of the most powerful companies in the world.

  • Uber Capping Fares in Emergencies

Uber announced Monday that it will cap fares during emergencies and disasters in all U.S. cities. The company said prices may still rise higher than usual during an emergency, but the increase will be limited. The price will always stay below that of the three highest-priced, non-emergency days of the preceding 2 months, according to Uber's website.

The company was accused of price gouging when it applied surge pricing after Hurricane Sandy, in some cases doubling the normal fares.

  • Uber Slashing Fares in Some Cities

Uber also said Monday that it was temporarily cutting UberX rates by 20 percent in New York City, making its service cheaper than taking a yellow taxi.

An UberX ride from New York’s City’s Grand Central Terminal to the Financial District will now cost about $22, down from about $28. The same ride in a city cab will cost about $24, according to Uber’s blog.

Uber has also reduced fares in Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago.

  • Uber Banned in Some Cities

While taxi operators often shell out more than $1 million for a medallion to operate in some cities, Uber drivers don’t. At least six cities (Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Ann Arbor, Michigan; San Antonio and Austin, Texas; and Miami) as well as the state of Virginia have banned ride-sharing companies. Another seven cities and three states (California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania) are trying to regulate them.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Google CEO Larry Page Advocates for Shorter Work Weeks]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 06:12:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/LarryPage1.jpg

Google CEO Larry Page has solved unemployment.

The solution: working less.

Cutting the work week from 40 hours is the way to solve "joblessness and the threat of a robot economy," according to the International Business Times.

Page dished the advice during a lengthy interview with co-founder Sergey Brin and conducted by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, the newspaper reported.

"Most people like working," Page said. "But they'd also like to have more time with their family or to pursue their own interests."

Page, it should be noted, is running a company that's working on adding robots to a host of tasks, such as driver-less cars.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DropCam Offers Inexpensive Home Security System]]> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 07:10:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Drop-Cam-San-Diego-Duffy.jpg

When Greg Duffy’s father called saying he’d like to know which neighborhood dog was fertilizing the family lawn, the younger Duffy made an interesting observation: of the available do-it-yourself home security cameras which existed, few seemed easy to set up and operate.

That problem led Duffy and his friend Aamir Virani to develop a technology that’s now being courted by Google’s Nest Labs in a $555 million cash deal.

San Francisco-based DropCam is gunning to dominate the $28 billion home security business by offering a low-cost inexpensive alternative to homeowners wanting a simple system.

When the Nicholas family of Rancho Penasquitos wanted to install a security camera to watch their daughter inside and any approaching strangers outside, they opted for DropCam.

“You don’t have any setup at home, you literally plug it in, connect it to your WiFi and you’re done,” said Elijah Nicholas.

The high quality, plug and play web-based cloud camera can be controlled and monitored from anywhere in the world. A paid subscription allows the video to be recorded in the cloud and accessibly for playback from any computer, tablet or smartphone.

Since DropCam first launched in 2009, designers have added night-vision capabilities and an optional high definition model.

The built-in microphone is another desirable feature.

“You can have two-way conversations,” said Nicholas.

The uses range from home and business security to pet or baby monitoring.

Google is interested in adding DropCam’s technology to its Nest home system that controls thermostats, smoke alarms and others, and sounds emergencies with a calmer human voice.

Because video clips can be shared, the cameras have hooked into social media. Some examples are the live stream of Beluga whales from the Georgia Aquarium (right) and the pups at JR's Puppy Cam (below).

Those who authorize the live streaming offer views of everything from beautiful beaches to dangerous intersections.

Security expert Jim Stickley said these do-it-yourself systems are not perfect.

While consumers don’t need to hire a home security company to wire the home, the main drawback with a system like DropCam is that your home or business is not monitored by a company with an employee who could step in and call 911.

Though a password is required to view the camera’s signal over the web , there are concerns that a system could be hacked.

Also, the camera relies on electricity and the reach of your wifi, so if either goes out, the cameras don’t work.

“When you have the full bells and whistles of those alarm systems – they’re tied in to the police, they’re set up so if the power goes out at your home you’re going to get notified – there are a lot of things tied back that make them generally a stronger solution,” Stickley said.

But it is clear, this technology is poised to at least rattle traditional home security companies which may be coming up with their own, lower cost, stripped down, camera systems to get a piece of this emerging business.

And yes, Greg and Aamir caught the neighborhood dog.

Photo Credit: DropCam]]>
<![CDATA[30 Md. Cab Companies Suing Uber]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:40:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Uber-Council-102313.jpg

More than 30 Maryland cab companies are suing Uber, saying the company is hampering their ability to do business.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Baltimore Circuit Court, reported the Baltimore Sun. The lawsuit claims Uber's surge-pricing model is similar to price fixing, and the car service is creating an unfair marketplace.

Taxi companies have begun to fight Uber, a popular ride-sharing company that uses an app to summon rides. In D.C., taxis affiliated with the D.C. Taxi Operators Association closed down Pennsylvania Avenue last month in a protest against Uber that gridlocked traffic.

Virginia has barred Uber from operating in the state, and in San Francisco, the head of one of the oldest cab companies in the city has said that traditional taxis may not survive 18 months in the face of competition from Uber.

Maryland has become a new battlefront for the dispute, with cab companies lobbying against proposals to regulate Uber differently than cab companies.

The cab companies claim that services like Uber aren't regulated the same way that taxis are. Uber has countered that the ride-sharing model isn't a taxi service, and pointed to the consumer demand for the product.

Two of the companies that sued in Maryland -- Barwood Tax and Sun Cab -- are based in Montgomery County.

An Uber spokesperson says it's too early to comment on this lawsuit, but the company will defend itself if it has to.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Intel Stops Buying Chip Supplies From War-Torn Africa ]]> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 07:38:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/intel+image.jpg

No conflict inside.

Computer processor giant Intel has announced that it has rid its supply chain of raw materials -- for use in its chips -- gleaned from groups associated with rebels and militias in the Congo, according to reports.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the company took it upon itself to cleanse itself of "blood chips" to ensure that the company was "not unwittingly financing war crimes."

Some of the miners of the raw materials needed to make computer chips -- gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum -- are associated with groups who commit "gross human rights abuses," the newspaper reported.

How was it done? Intel put together a plan with its smelters and other processors of the raw materials to figure out how to audit the supply chain.

In the end, making sure that computers didn't fund conflict was something the company had to "fix," said Gary Niekerk, the company's director of corporate citizenship.