<![CDATA[NBC10 Boston - Tech News]]>Copyright 2019 https://www.nbcboston.com/news/tech http://media.nbcboston.com/designimages/clear.gif NBC10 Boston https://www.nbcboston.com en-usThu, 25 Apr 2019 18:32:46 -0400Thu, 25 Apr 2019 18:32:46 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Instagram Accounts Linked to Counterfeiting on the Rise]]> Wed, 24 Apr 2019 05:19:17 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Instagram-AP_120409119100.jpg

Instagram is failing to clamp down on the abuse of its platform by groups of organized criminals promoting counterfeit luxury products including shoes, handbags, clothes and sunglasses, according to research by analytics firm Ghost Data.

The research, seen exclusively by NBC News, shows that the number of accounts involved in counterfeiting activities linked to brands including Gucci, Chanel, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Dior has almost tripled over the last three years.

The research comes as Instagram has sought to ramp up its e-commerce efforts, shifting from being a social media platform to a place where brands can sell to customers directly.

An Instagram spokeswoman said the platform takes “IP rights, including issues around counterfeiting, very seriously.”

Photo Credit: Karly Domb Sadof/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[After Mueller Report, Twitter Bots Pushed 'Russiagate Hoax' Narrative]]> Tue, 23 Apr 2019 18:40:12 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Twitter27.jpg

A network of more than 5,000 pro-Trump Twitter bots railed against the “Russiagate hoax” shortly after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report last week, according to data gathered by a prominent disinformation researcher and analyzed by NBC News. The network illustrates the ongoing challenge Twitter faces in persistent efforts to manipulate its platform.

These bots did not appear to come from Russia. Instead, the bots had ties to a social media operation that previously pushed messages backing the government of Saudi Arabia and were connected to a person who claimed to be a private social media consultant, according to internet domain and account registration records.

The bots, which were created last November and December, were pulled down by Twitter on Sunday night for breaking the social network’s rules against “manipulation,” the company said.

Almost all of the since-removed accounts, most of which only posted about 30 times each, attacked the press and lamented how the “Russiagate hoax” affected Trump’s presidency. Many of the accounts copied verbatim tweets from other pro-Trump accounts without attributing those tweets to the original poster.

Photo Credit: Bethany Clarke/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump, Twitter CEO Discuss 'Health of Public Conversation']]> Tue, 23 Apr 2019 17:34:23 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/dorsey-trump.jpg

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Tuesday met with President Donald Trump at the White House where they discussed “the health of the public conversation” on the social media platform and ways to respond to the opioid crisis, NBC News reported.

The 30-minute, closed-door meeting, which was confirmed by representatives from both the White House and Twitter, came just hours after the president, a prolific Twitter user, wrote that the platform was "very discriminatory" and claimed it had made it harder for people to "sign on." In a subsequent tweet, Trump claimed his follower count would be higher if Twitter were not "playing their political games."

Trump has been a vocal critic of social media in the past, suggesting at times, and without evidence, that Silicon Valley's social media giants have a bias against conservatives.

<![CDATA[On Instagram, Users Keep a Keen Eye on Who Watches Their Stories]]> Sun, 21 Apr 2019 18:51:02 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Instagram9.jpg

Instagram stories have a quirk rarely seen in social media, NBC News reports. Users generally have to make a conscious decision to look at another person’s story by tapping on the small bubbles that appear at the top of the app, and the people who post stories can see which users opted to see their posts.

While that might sound like a small detail, it has given rise to a peculiar social dynamic, creating a cat-and-mouse game for users looking to catch exes, crushes, former friends and parents looking at their posts. 

In mid-April, Gemma McLean noticed that her Instagram account was getting some stealthy attention from her ex-boyfriend. McLean posted a screenshot to her Instagram story of the television show “Riverdale” with the message: “Hey PSA: if ur my ex I dumped in literal 2012 when I was still at high school: I can see u checking my insta story everyday lmfao.”

“My thought process was honestly just getting the message across to him that I can see him being a creep without having to actually talk to him in the hopes that he would stop,” McLean, 24, who lives in New Zealand, said. “Nothing like being lowkey publicly humiliated to put you in your place.”

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Innovative Tech Behind Boston MedFlight]]> Thu, 18 Apr 2019 07:19:09 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/The_Innovative_Tech_Behind_Boston_MedFlight.jpg

One non-profit is all about using innovation when it comes to saving lives. Boston MedFlight technology has quick travel time when it comes to helping patients in need.

<![CDATA[Electric Cars Becoming More Popular in U.S.]]> Tue, 16 Apr 2019 07:47:02 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Electric_Cars_Becoming_More_Popular_in_US.jpg

More Americans are turning to electric vehicles. The number of electric vehicle registrations doubled last year. Apple is spending $500 million on video game streaming service. Amazon might offer a free music streaming service as soon as this week. It would be available via its Echo speakers.

<![CDATA[Zuckerberg Leveraged FB User Data As Bargaining Chip: Docs]]> Tue, 16 Apr 2019 05:24:33 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Zuckerberg-GettyImages-944827400.jpg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg oversaw plans to consolidate the social network’s power and control competitors by treating its users’ data as a bargaining chip, while publicly proclaiming to be protecting that data, according to about 4,000 pages of leaked company documents largely spanning 2011 to 2015 and obtained by NBC News.

The documents, which include emails, webchats, presentations, spreadsheets and meeting summaries, show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook’s trove of user data — including information about friends, relationships and photos — as leverage over companies it partnered with.

In some cases, Facebook would reward favored companies by giving them access to the data of its users. In other cases, it would deny user-data access to rival companies or apps.

Facebook denied that it gave preferential treatment to developers or partners because of their ad spending or relationship with executives. The company has not been accused of breaking the law.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Lyft Pulls E-Bikes From 3 Major Cities After Braking Issues]]> Mon, 15 Apr 2019 04:51:51 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Lyft-Bikes-GettyImages-1133503747.jpg

Rideshare company Lyft is temporarily pulling its electric bicycles from three major cities after some riders reported braking issues, NBC News reported.

The e-bikes, which can be powered with electricity or by pedaling, have been removed from New York City, San Francisco's Bay Area and Washington, D.C. Approximately 3,000 of Lyft's 20,000 bikes in those three cities have been pulled.

“After a small number of reports and out of an abundance of caution, we are proactively pausing our electric bikes from service in three markets. Safety always comes first,” Lyft spokesperson Julie Wood said in an email to NBC News.

Photo Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Burglary Suspect Was Actually a Roomba]]> Thu, 11 Apr 2019 12:47:11 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Roomba_Responsible_for_Breaking_and_Entering_Call.jpg

A Roomba was blamed for an alleged break-in after a homeowner reported hearing threatening sounds in the middle of the night. After police arrived, they found a Roomba slamming into the shower door numerous times.

<![CDATA[Fortnite World Cup Coming Soon]]> Thu, 04 Apr 2019 07:44:31 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Fortnite_World_Cup_Coming_Soon_1200x675_1472009283863.jpg

Beats by Dre is launching wireless earbuds to rival Apple’s Airpods. Netflix’s prices will officially go up next month. Fortnite World Cup offers $40 million in prizes. Participants need to be at least 13 years old.

<![CDATA[The General Public Voices Opinion on Self-Driving Cars]]> Tue, 02 Apr 2019 07:35:14 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/The_General_Public_Voices_Opinion_on_Self_Driving_Cars.jpg

Discovery Communications is teaming up with BBC to stream several documentaries. Facebook is considering adding a dedicated news tab and paying publishers for content. The general public isn’t quite ready for self-driving cars, according to a new survey.

<![CDATA[Elon Musk Releases Rap Single About Harambe the Gorilla]]> Sun, 31 Mar 2019 17:56:40 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/musk+harambe+song.jpg

Idiosyncratic Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk released a surprise rap song about Harambe, the gorilla that was killed by zookeepers after a toddler fell into his enclosure in 2016.

Musk tweeted a link to a Soundcloud page for the song titled "RIP Harambe" on Saturday along with the message "I'm disappointed that my record label failed." The song was released through an account called Emo G Records.

The song features the chorus "RIP Harambe, sipping on some Bombay, we on our way to heaven, Amen, Amen. RIP Harambe, smoking on some strong, hey, in the gorilla zoo and we thinking about you."

The decision to kill Harambe by Cincinnati Zoo officials sparked controversy in May 2016, with many arguing it was unnecessary. The incident also led to a variety of popular internet memes, which have kept Harambe's image in the popular online consciousness long after the news cycle of the inciting event ended.

Photo Credit: Associated Press/Cincinnati Zoo
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<![CDATA[Apple Credit Card Coming Soon to Your Wallet]]> Tue, 26 Mar 2019 07:20:27 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Apple_Credit_Card_Coming_Soon_to_Your_Wallet.jpg

Apple announced several shocking new incomings at their most recent event. A gaming service, magazine subscription and credit card. Pinterest is preparing to go public. A new Nintendo Switch is reportedly in the works.

<![CDATA[The Good, Bad and the Unknown of Apple's New Services]]> Tue, 26 Mar 2019 06:23:08 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Apple-AP_19084690390128.jpg

It took a while, but finally — and with the carefully curated help of Oprah, Big Bird and Goldman Sachs — Apple has at last unveiled a new streaming TV service, its own branded credit card and a news subscription product.

The moves have been largely expected and so far don't appear to drastically alter the competitive landscape the way Apple has done with previous products such as the iPhone and the iPad.

Still, the announcements represent an important step for the company as it seeks to diversify how it makes money amid declining sales of the iPhone, even if by themselves they are unlikely to turn Apple's big ship either way. But it's a way to keep fans sticking with Apple even when they aren't buying a new iPhone every year.

Monday's announcements lacked some key details, such as pricing of the TV service. Here's a rundown on what Apple unveiled — what's good, what's not so good and what we still don't know.


The good: Oprah, Jason Momoa, Big Bird, Steven Spielberg and a host of other stars have lent themselves to original Apple shows that range from documentaries to science fiction, drama and preschool television programming. The focus on "quality storytelling" is consistent with Apple's image and analysts say is likely to produce some hit shows.

The bad: Even so, "it will lack the full range and diversity of content available through Netflix, Amazon and others, and that is set to limit its appeal," said Martin Garner, an analyst at CCS Insight. Apple also joins a crowded market and it's not clear how many more monthly subscriptions people have the money and the bandwidth for.

The unknown: Apple hasn't said how much it's going to cost.


The good: The price, $10 per month, looks like a good deal compared to separate subscriptions for newspapers and magazines (Apple will include more than 300 of the latter, including The New Yorker and Sports Illustrated). Apple is touting "richly designed articles" that let people read publications tailored to Apple devices in all their glory. Apple has also included privacy protections, and says it will collect data about what people read in a way that it won't know who read what — just how much total time is spent on different articles.

The bad: While The Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal have signed on, other big-name news publishers, such as The New York Times, have not. Nor have, in fact, most other major U.S. newspapers.

The unknown: It's not entirely clear how much news you're getting for your money. The Journal, famous for its business and industry coverage and commanding nearly $40 a month, will make "specially curated" general-interest news available for Apple customers, for example. Other stories will still be there — but Apple says users will have to search for the articles themselves.


The good: Security and privacy, two areas Apple prides itself on, are a clear focus. The physical version of the card has no numbers, and the digital version lives in your Apple Wallet on your phone, where it's protected by Face ID or Touch ID so even if someone steals your phone they won't be able to use the card to buy things. Apple says it won't get information on what you buy with the card or where or for how much. There are no late fees.

The bad: The rewards (2 percent cash back for all purchases using the digital version of the card, 1 percent using the physical version and 3 percent cash back at Apple stores) are nothing to write home about. The card is meant for Apple users, so if you aren't, it's probably not for you.

The unknown: What sort of credit score you need to get approved, as well as exact interest rates.


The good: Apple's new game subscription service, which will launch this fall, will be free of ads and in-app purchases, which can quickly add up and have become common in mobile games. Apple promises more than 100 games, and they will be exclusive to the service, so there will be plenty of fresh adventures.

The bad: The service will only be available on Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TVs. That could be frustrating for those who don't own Apple products.

Unknown: Apple said all games would be available with one subscription, but did not say how much it would cost or when exactly the service will launch. It has partnered with a few well-known game creators, including Hironobu Sakaguchi of "Final Fantasy" fame, but it's unclear how well all the new games will work or how fun they'll be to play.

AP Technology Writer Rachel Lerman contributed to this story.

Photo Credit: Tony Avelar/AP]]>