<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Tech News]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/tech http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida https://www.nbcmiami.comen-usThu, 19 Apr 2018 19:32:22 -0400Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:32:22 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Russian Propaganda Evading YouTube's Flagging System]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 14:29:15 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/youtubegenericlogo_1200x675.jpg

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Crowdfund Raises Over $3,000 to Buy Tesla CEO a New Couch]]> Tue, 17 Apr 2018 16:23:08 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/buyelonacouch.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: GoFundMe]]>
<![CDATA[Why Data Privacy Could Unite Red and Blue America]]> Sun, 15 Apr 2018 17:57:22 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-736491019.jpg

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

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

That's a lot of misgivings and mistrust.

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[The Best Tax Prep Software for Your Financial Situation]]> Fri, 13 Apr 2018 08:42:32 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-736491019.jpg

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Bitcoin Surges Above $8,000, Then Loses Some Ground]]> Thu, 12 Apr 2018 16:16:44 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-887657608+edited.jpg

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Musk Says He's Sleeping at Tesla, Has No Time to Shower]]> Wed, 11 Apr 2018 15:24:45 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/elonmuskteslawala_1200x675.jpg

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Key Moments of Zuckerberg's 2nd Day of Testimony]]> Wed, 11 Apr 2018 14:14:14 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+ZUCKERBERG+041118.00+THUMB.jpg

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

<![CDATA[Theranos Lays Off Most of Its Remaining Workforce]]> Tue, 10 Apr 2018 21:41:03 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/theranos-ceo.jpg

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Top Moments From Mark Zuckerberg's Senate Testimony]]> Wed, 11 Apr 2018 11:42:51 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_18100703036586.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Senator, we run ads," Zuckerberg said.

And he smiled.

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

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

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

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

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

"No," he answered, and smiled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The hearing took a break anyway.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook to Act Faster on 2018 Election Attacks]]> Tue, 10 Apr 2018 17:14:01 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_08_06.Still003.jpg

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

<![CDATA[Congress Eyes Facebook's Promised Fixes]]> Tue, 10 Apr 2018 12:47:30 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NC_facebook120410_1920x1080.jpg

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

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

<![CDATA[A Space Start-Up Wants to Open a Floating Luxury Hotel]]> Fri, 06 Apr 2018 17:22:53 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/2-Aurora-Station-Plus-2-Visiting-Spacecraft.jpg

Have you ever wanted to take a trip to space on spring break or go see the stars in the fall?

Soon you might have the opportunity. Orion Span, a space technology start-up based in Houston and Silicon Valley, announced this week it plans to open what it's calling the first luxury space hotel, Aurora Station.

While the space station isn't in orbit just yet and trips won't be available until 2022 — if all goes to plan — the company is already taking deposits for 12-day visits. Aurora Station will be able to carry six people at a time, including two crew members, while it floats 200 miles above the Earth's surface. 

Of course, it's going to be expensive — the cost of a stay at the space hotel will start at $9.5 million per person.

“I think it's someone who is obviously going to have the financial means but somebody who has a sense of adventure,” Orion Span founder and CEO Frank Bunger said in an interview with NBC when asked who the space station is geared toward. “They are typically space lovers. In some cases, they might have a lineage or attachment to astronauts or space of some sorts.”

It won't be the typical hotel stay. The company touts views of the northern and southern lights and even glimpses of the astronauts' hometowns as the space station speeds around the globe, completing an orbit every 90 minutes.

Guests will need to train for three months before heading to space, where they will eat the finest in dried food, Bunger said. The space station may borrow the idea of a virtual reality interaction "holodeck" from "Star Trek," and guests will be able to bring home food grown in space.

"We realized this space station is not a palace, it's a relatively small space, so you want to keep people entertained and doing interesting things," Bunger said. "We want to give customers a little bit of a sense and attachment to futuristic ideas that we’ve all seen in science fiction."

Bunger said he is creating the space station to give more people the chance to live in space and push the boundaries of what people can do. Bunger said in a news release that the station could expand to add space's first condominiums.

He and his leadership team have to adhere to the rules and regulations of governing bodies like the U.S. State Department's International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Bunger said. The company is working with ITAR and other space regulatory bodies to ensure that they fulfill security requirements.

"To satisfy those requirements, we’re going to make sure, for example, guests have absolutely no access to the ability to influence the spacecraft direction," Bunger said. "We'll be working with these regulatory bodies because we want to make sure that it’s all very clear and well above board for everyone."

To those who think his idea is crazy, Bunger said the "proof is in the pudding" and insisted that more people are reserving spots at the hotel each day. 

"I can't give you exact numbers but we’ve already have a very good response to our opening reservations," Bunger said. "I’m sure a lot of people think it’s crazy but there are clearly customers that want to go." 

If Bunger's plan doesn't fizzle on the launch pad, the Aurora Station is set to launch in late 2021 and host its first guests in 2022, the company said. Anyone who wants to book a trip can put down a deposit of $80,000 per person at Orion Span's website.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Orion Span]]>
<![CDATA[Virgin Galactic Spaceship Takes First Powered Flight]]> Fri, 06 Apr 2018 10:05:35 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Virgin_galactic_VSS_unity_thumb.jpg

The successful test flight from Virgin Galactic’s spaceship, the VSS Unity, could be the first step for tourists wanting to take a quick trip to space.

<![CDATA[Facebook Asked Several Hospitals to Share Patient Data]]> Thu, 05 Apr 2018 14:45:16 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_18088666533179-Facebook-in-the-Spotlight.jpg

Facebook has asked several major U.S. hospitals to share anonymized data about their patients, such as illnesses and prescription info, for a proposed research project. Facebook was intending to match it up with user data it had collected, and help the hospitals figure out which patients might need special care or treatment.

The proposal never went past the planning phases and has been put on pause after the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal raised public concerns over how Facebook and others collect and use detailed information about Facebook users.

"This work has not progressed past the planning phase, and we have not received, shared, or analyzed anyone's data," a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC.

But as recently as last month, the company was talking to several health organizations, including Stanford Medical School and American College of Cardiology, about signing the data-sharing agreement.

Photo Credit: Richard Drew/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Slack Privacy Policy Update Allows Employers to Read DM's ]]> Thu, 05 Apr 2018 09:40:27 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Slack1.jpg

The instant-messaging work tool Slack has announced new changes to its privacy policy that will allow employers to download and read direct messages sent between co-workers, NBC News BETTER reported.

Previously, Slack customers who purchased its premium "Plus" plan had the ability to download and read communications in Slack through a "Compliance Export". The report could not be done in real time, and employees in the Slack group were automatically notified that the boss was watching. 

The updated policy, effective April 20, will do away with compliance reports and instead allow "Plus" members to request access to “a self-service export tool” to download “all data from their workspace.” This includes “content from public and private channels and direct messages.” And employers will be able to choose whether they want coworkers to be notified their conversations are being monitored.

The company stated that policy changes are an attempt "to achieve a balance across regulatory requirements, user expectations and customers needs," Slack said in a statement to NBC News.

Photo Credit: Photo by S3studio/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tinder Briefly Broke After FB Announced New Privacy Rules ]]> Wed, 04 Apr 2018 19:03:34 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/tindergenericapp_1200x675.jpg

Popular dating app Tinder was briefly broken for some users on Wednesday due to outages in its Facebook login process, CNBC reported. 

Facebook announced new privacy measures Wednesday afternoon in response to the ongoing criticism the tech giant has faced after its handling of user data.

Facebook previously allowed third-party apps like Tinder to request user data, but announced it will no longer allow apps to ask for access to personal information.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>