<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Tech News]]>Copyright 2019 https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/tech http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida https://www.nbcmiami.com en-usSat, 19 Jan 2019 16:34:58 -0500Sat, 19 Jan 2019 16:34:58 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[10-Year Photo Challenge Raises Data Mining Concerns]]> Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:06:14 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NC_10yearchallengeconcerns_1500x845.jpg

 The "10 Year Challenge" has gone viral on social media, leading millions to post side-by-side photos of themselves from a decade ago and now. It may seem fun, but tech experts say participants could unknowing be giving up valuable information. 

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<![CDATA[The Robots of CES]]> Tue, 08 Jan 2019 15:45:35 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Robots_the_Focus_of_CES-154697956955600002.jpg
From Lovot to LG's Cloi, robots are working to win over visitors at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Ub Tech's "Walker" can even bribe you with snacks.
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<![CDATA[Aspiring Paleontologist Wins National Google Doodle Contest]]> Wed, 09 Jan 2019 07:23:26 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/010819+dinosaur+google+doodle.jpg

An aspiring paleontologist in the second grade has won Google's annual Doodle for Google contest.

Sarah Gomez-Lane, 7, of Virginia, had her drawing of dinosaurs selected and transformed into an animation on the search giant's homepage. In it, dinosaurs play the trumpet, eat blueberries and more.

Sarah, who responded to the prompt "What inspires me ...," originally drew the Doodle's design as a first grader, a Google spokesperson confirmed.  

Google said her school in Falls Church, Virginia, will be awarded $50,000 to spend on technology, and Sarah will get $30,000 toward a college scholarship.

"When they called my name, I felt happy and surprised," she said when she learned she had won. "I'm going to call my principal. He's going to say 'Yay!'"

On video, a Google employee said she hoped the Doodle would inspire kids and adults alike.

"I just hope that when people see the Doodle, they also are inspired to think about — not only what they dreamed of and wished for when they were kids — but to also just take a second to enjoy the simple things in life," she said.

Sarah's drawing will be on the Google homepage for 24 hours. Go there to see the Doodle in action.



Photo Credit: Google
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<![CDATA[Tech to Expect at CES 2019]]> Thu, 10 Jan 2019 12:08:25 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/ces-day-2.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Autonomous Gadgets Stars at CES]]> Mon, 07 Jan 2019 12:57:26 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/CES_2019_Offers_a_Look_Into_the_Future.jpg

New gadgets go on display at the Consumer Electronics Show 2019 in Las Vegas. Mekahlo Medina reports for NBC4 News at 12 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2019.

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<![CDATA[Grindr Harassment Suit Could Change Accountability for Tech]]> Sat, 05 Jan 2019 11:00:26 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-625496356.jpg

Matthew Herrick, a restaurant worker and aspiring actor in New York, claimed that for months an ex-boyfriend used the dating app Grindr to harass him.

His former partner created fake profiles on the app to impersonate Herrick and then direct men to show up at Herrick’s home and the restaurant where he worked asking for sex, sometimes more than a dozen times per day. Herrick took action against his ex, filing 14 police reports. The alleged harassment continued for months, even after Herrick obtained a temporary restraining order against Grindr that required the company to disable the impersonating profiles.

Herrick is pursuing an unusual legal theory as he continues to push back against Grindr, arguing that tech companies should face greater accountability for what happens on their platforms, NBC News reported. His lawsuit alleges that the software developers who write code for Grindr have been negligent, producing an app that’s defective in its design and that is “fundamentally unsafe” and “unreasonably dangerous” — echoing language that’s more typically used in lawsuits about, say, a faulty kitchen appliance or a defective car part.

If successful, the lawsuit could bring about a significant legal change to the risks tech companies face for what happens on their platforms, adding to growing public and political pressure for change.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[New Year's Tech Resolutions: Protect Your Data]]> Fri, 04 Jan 2019 10:53:14 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NC_resolutions0104_1500x845.jpg

Your data was probably stolen in 2018. Billions of consumers were affected by breaches and cyber-attacks last year, resulting in millions of dollars in losses. Now, more than ever, it's important to make a digital security check-in an annual habit.

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<![CDATA[Calling All 'Snowflakes': British Army Recruits Millennials]]> Thu, 03 Jan 2019 12:02:02 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/240*120/190103-british-army-mn-0940.jpeg

"Snowflakes," "phone zombies," "binge gamers" and "me me me millennials" are the focus of the British army's latest recruitment campaign, NBC News reported

Posters and billboards reminiscent of the famous World War I "Your Country Needs You" ads have been given a 21st-century twist, sending the message: "The army spots potential. Even if others don't."

The U.K. has struggled to maintain its target of 82,000 troops in recent years due to a declining number of recruits. The new ads appear to attempt to engage millennials by connecting the stereotype of the screen-addicted generation with desirable skills. "Phone zombies" are wanted for their focus and "binge gamers" for their drive.

"We are trying to show that we are unlocking potential — potential that many elements of society may not see in young people, but we do," Col. Ben Wilde, head of recruiting for the British Army, told journalists at a press briefing on the initiative Thursday.



Photo Credit: Ministry of Defence
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<![CDATA[Instagram Users Share Outrage After Brief Update Rolls Out]]> Thu, 27 Dec 2018 13:01:07 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/instagram-new-thumb.jpg

Some Instagram users found themselves swiping through their timelines left to right on Thursday, rather than vertically, prompting widespread outrage and the social media company to roll back the update, NBC News reported.

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri explained what happened on Twitter: "That was supposed to be a very small test that went broad by accident. Should be fixed now. If you're still seeing it simply restart the app. Happy holidays!"

The Facebook-owned app's test focused on user interaction with its feed, switching from its traditional up-down swipe to a left-right version. 

The update seemed to upset many people, based on the reactions on social media, but many users said their feeds soon went back to normal. 

An Instagram spokesperson later described the situation as a bug and wrote by email: “Due to a bug, some users saw a change to the way their feed appears today. We quickly fixed the issue and feed is back to normal. We apologize for any confusion.”


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<![CDATA[Top 2018 Space Stories: InSight on Mars, Asteroid Rendezvous]]> Wed, 26 Dec 2018 11:30:49 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_18330735319034-edited.jpg

Space fans had plenty to celebrate in 2018, including the launch of three new NASA missions and the debut of SpaceX’s giant Falcon Heavy rocket. In case you missed any of the action, here are particularly noteworthy space stories, according to NBC News MACH.

NASA’s InSight lander arrived at Mars on Nov. 26 after a six-month journey of more than 300 million miles. The dramatic landing was NASA’s first on Mars since 2012.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached the asteroid Bennu on Dec. 3 and will spend about a year surveying and mapping the 1,600-foot-wide asteroid. The spacecraft had already detected water on the space rock — a discovery that lends support to the idea that asteroids and comets could have brought water to Earth.

SpaceX’s massive Falcon Heavy booster nailed its maiden flight on Feb. 6. The rocket, which is designed to carry astronauts to the moon and Mars, can lift a heavier payload than any American rocket since NASA’s Saturn V, the behemoth booster that ferried Apollo astronauts to the moon half a century ago.



Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Unboxing Videos on Youtube a Hit With Kids During Holidays]]> Sun, 23 Dec 2018 08:49:41 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/YoutubeUnboxingVideos.jpg

Unboxing videos have been on YouTube for years, and their popularity has only continued to grow with time. They’re appealing to almost every demographic on the site, but they have a particular draw for children, NBC News reported.

The videos are particularly popular around the holidays, according to YouTube search data from Google Trends. With the holiday season in full swing, many of these videos have informed the Christmas wish lists of children across the country, and for some who can’t afford lavished items, it allows their children to live vicariously through an unboxer.

But experts warned that unboxing can be seen as unmitigated and relentless advertising to children, who often don’t know the toys or electronics are given to a YouTuber with a large following as part of new-age marketing.



Photo Credit: LightRocket via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Suspends 5 for Suspicious Behavior During Election]]> Sun, 23 Dec 2018 02:25:09 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/187265573-facebook-generic.jpg

Facebook says it has suspended five accounts that were being run by multiple people for "for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior" on the platform during the Alabama special election last year.

In a statement to NBC News, a Facebook spokesperson declined to name the account holders, but said an investigation into the improper behavior is ongoing.

"We take a strong stand against people or organizations that create networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are or what they’re doing. We've removed thousands of Pages, Groups, and accounts for this kind of behavior, as well as accounts that were violating our policies on spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior during the Alabama special election last year," the platform said.



Photo Credit: File – Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Rich Explorer First to Reach Deepest Part of Atlantic Ocean]]> Sat, 22 Dec 2018 03:50:36 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/212*120/PuertoRicoTrench.jpg

Explorer and multimillionaire Victor Vescovo just reached the bottom of the Puerto Rico Trench, NBC News reports. The trench is the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Vescovo became the first person to do so on a solo mission in a manned submersible vessel and the second ever to make a solo dive deeper than 5,000 meters (16,400 feet), according to a statement released by the Discovery Channel which will air a documentary of the expedition in the upcoming years.

The deepest point of this trench plunges to 8,376 meters (27,480 feet) below the surface of the ocean. James Cameron, in the Deepsea Challenger vessel, dove deeper in 2012 to 10,908 meters (35,790 feet) down in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, the world's deepest spot.

"It felt great to get to the true bottom of the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in history and to prove the technical capabilities of this diving system, which we believe is now the deepest operational one in the world," Vescovo said in the statement. "We are really looking forward to continuing to the other dive sites, and continuing our technical and scientific goals."



Photo Credit: UIG via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Tries to Explain Why Companies Could Erase Messages]]> Thu, 20 Dec 2018 04:48:54 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/facebookGettyImages-1058494598.jpg

Facebook again aimed to convince its 2.3 billion users that it didn't allow more than 150 other companies to misuse their personal data on Wednesday night after its valuation fell by more than $28 billion on the stock market, NBC News reported.

"In the past day, we've been accused of disclosing people's private messages to partners without their knowledge," said Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships, in a post on the company's blog. "That's not true — and we wanted to provide more facts about our messaging partnerships."

It's the second blog post from the company since The New York Times reported Tuesday that Facebook for many years gave more than 150 companies extensive access to personal data. The post focused narrowly on the contention in the Times report that emerged as the most controversial: that Facebook gave four companies access to read, write and delete users' messages.

Archibong said the companies — Spotify, Netflix, Dropbox and the Royal Bank of Scotland — were granted automated access to users' messages so Facebook users could send Facebook messages to other Facebook users without leaving the Spotify, Netflix, Dropbox or Royal Bank apps.



Photo Credit: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images, File ]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Denies It Let Tech Companies Misuse Personal Data]]> Wed, 19 Dec 2018 00:17:24 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_18233646267301.jpg

Facebook denied Tuesday night that its dozens of "partners" — companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify and Yahoo — were able to misuse Facebook users' personal data, NBC News reported

The company, however, didn't address explosive new allegations that it gave those companies far broader access to private data than it has previously acknowledged. The New York Times reported Tuesday that Facebook for many years gave more than 150 companies extensive access to personal data, including private messages and contact information for users' friends, than was previously known and without users' explicit consent.

The Times said it based its reporting on more than 270 pages of internal Facebook documents and interviews with more than 50 former employees of Facebook and its so-called integration partners, as well as other former government officials and privacy advocates.

Facebook has said it is ending the "integration partnerships," some of which the Times reported extend as far back as 2010 and some of which were still in effect this year.



Photo Credit: Wilfredo Lee/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Co-Founder of HQ Trivia and Vine Found Dead at 34]]> Sun, 16 Dec 2018 15:16:49 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-461597253+%281%29.jpg

Colin Kroll, the co-founder of HQ Trivia and Vine, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday, NBC News reported.

Police responded to a 911 call for a welfare check at the Spring Street apartment on Sunday, a New York Police Department Spokesman told NBC News. Kroll was 34, police said.

Police found Kroll unconscious and unresponsive in a bedroom of the apartment, the spokesman said.

He was pronounced dead on the scene, police said.



Photo Credit: Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Variety, File]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook: Unshared Photos of 6.8M Users Possibly Exposed]]> Fri, 14 Dec 2018 16:03:31 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_18233646267301.jpg

Facebook revealed on Friday that a bug in its platform may have allowed third-party apps to have access to a broad range of user photos, including pictures that users uploaded to Facebook but did not share.

Facebook said in a statement on its website that the bug may have affected 6.8 million users and up to 1,500 apps between Sept. 13 and Sept. 25. The company did not say when it discovered the issue.

“When someone gives permission for an app to access their photos on Facebook, we usually only grant the app access to photos people share on their timeline,” Facebook wrote. “In this case, the bug potentially gave developers access to other photos, such as those shared on Marketplace or Facebook Stories. The bug also impacted photos that people uploaded to Facebook but chose not to post. For example, if someone uploads a photo to Facebook but doesn't finish posting it - maybe because they've lost reception or walked into a meeting - we store a copy of that photo so the person has it when they come back to the app to complete their post." 

The social media company said it will put out tools next week for the app developers to see which users were impacted by the bug, and it will help those developers delete the exposed photos.

Facebook said it will also notify its users who were potentially affected with a Facebook alert. It also encouraged people to visit the Help Center to see if they or apps they use were affected.

The problem comes in a year fraught with privacy scandals and other problems for the world's biggest social network. Revelations that the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data from as many as 87 million users led to congressional hearings and changes in what sorts of data Facebook lets outside developers access. In June, a bug affecting privacy settings led some users to post publicly by default regardless of their previous settings. This bug affected as many as 14 million users over several days in May. 

On Thursday, to counter the bad rap it's gotten around privacy as of late, Facebook hosted a one-day "pop-up" to talk to users about their settings and whatever else may be on their mind. Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan was on hand to answer questions. Asked by a reporter what grade she'd give Facebook for its privacy work in the past year, she said "B." By 2019, she said she hopes the improvements will result in an "A." 

Privacy experts might call it grade inflation. In any case, the company has its work cut out before it makes the perfect grade.

With two more weeks left of the year, it's possible there's still time for another privacy kerfuffle at Facebook.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Wilfredo Lee/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Brightest Comet of 2018 to Pass Closest to Earth Next Week]]> Sun, 09 Dec 2018 15:17:10 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/181209-comet46p-wirtanen-al-1332_2dc5d4378d3c4b8d376dd9cd3a71279c.fit-2000w+%281%29.jpg

Stargazers have something extra to look forward to this holiday season: The brightest comet of 2018 will pass closest to Earth on Dec. 16.

The comet 46P/Wirtanen, which passes Earth every 5.4 years, was one of three comets discovered by Carl Wirtanen in 1948 at the Lick Observatory in California, NBC News reported. This orbit will be one of the closest comet orbits to Earth since the 1950s, according to Space.com. 

Comets are "loosely bound masses of ice, dust and rock." The central core of the structure is often only a few miles across. These cosmic phenoms usually have tails that are a result of the dust and gases that are spewed when comets heat up as they near the sun. Currently, NASA reports that there are 3,535 known comets. 

The comet 46P will likely not have a large observable tail because of its relatively small size, according to Space.com. It measures 0.68 miles in diameter, one-tenth the size of the popular Halley's Comet. Currently, 46P is a small blueish object in the night sky.



Photo Credit: Alex Cherney/NASA]]>