<![CDATA[NBC10 Boston - Tech News]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcboston.com/news/tech http://media.nbcboston.com/designimages/clear.gif NBC10 Boston https://www.nbcboston.comen-usThu, 24 May 2018 04:06:49 -0400Thu, 24 May 2018 04:06:49 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[The Big Picture on TV Antennas]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 18:14:15 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/The_Big_Picture_on_TV_Antennas.jpg

The days of old-school rabbit ears are long gone. But Consumer Reports tested the latest indoor models of modern TV antennas.

<![CDATA[Fortnight Giving Away $100M; Changes for Siri]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 07:34:35 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Fortnight_Giving_Away_100M_Changes_for_Siri.jpg

The company behind a popular video game is doeling out cash just for playing. Epic Games, the makers of Fortnight, want to kick start the firt year of competitive tournaments with $100 million worth of prize pools. The money will help fund pool competitions throughout the 2018-2019 season, according to the company.
Apple is always making tech changes and you can expect one coming from Siri. At a recent developers conference this week, Apple announced that among the new changes for Siri would be a new voice.

<![CDATA[Whoop Launches Subscription; Pico U Launches Kickstarter]]> Thu, 17 May 2018 07:33:01 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Whoop_Launches_Fitness_Wearables.jpg

A Boston-based tech company is rolling out a monthly subcription service for its fitness tracker in liu of the usual hardware devices people normally buy. The Strap 2.0 reportedly compiles more fitness data than other devices on the market and costs $30 a month.
A homebrewing appliance company has launched a kickstarter campaign for their newest invention, the Pico U. The appliance can brew coffee, tea, milk based drinks, and beer. Early adopters can get it for $169 when it retails for about $300.
And Amazon's Alexa is changing how people their baby girls. A report in Fortune finds that in 2017, fewer parents were giving the name Alexa to their child — per social security records. The number was 3,883 — down from 6,050 in 2015.

<![CDATA[Amazon Done Visiting the 20 Contenders for New HQ: Sources]]> Wed, 16 May 2018 13:47:17 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/AP_17290781101684-Amazon-Headquarters.jpg

Amazon is done visiting the 20 cities that are finalists in its search for a second headquarters, sources close to the process told NBC News Wednesday.

Amazon's "HQ2" will bring a $5 billion investment and as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs, the e-commerce giant has said.

While Seattle-based Amazon hasn't revealed many details about the decision-making process, it has said it's been looking to find "a city that is excited to work with us and where our customers, employees, and the community can all benefit."

Some cities in the top 20 have reported a surge in economic development inquiries from other companies since the list was released in January.

Photo Credit: Elaine Thompson/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Bostonians Spend $150 a Month on Uber, Lyft]]> Tue, 15 May 2018 12:39:08 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Uber+Lyft+pic.jpg

Bostonians are spending a lot on ride-sharing services each month, according to a new report.

CNBC reports that Boston has the second highest average total costs for ride-sharing, spending $95 per month on Uber and $55 per month on Lyft.

Boston was behind only San Francisco, which spent an average of $110 per month on Uber and an average of $89 per month on Lyft.

The numbers were based on Uber and Lyft transactions from 50,000 users of the money app Empower, CNBC reported.

Photo Credit: KNBC]]>
<![CDATA[Musk Tells Tesla Employees of Major Upcoming Shakeup: Memo]]> Mon, 14 May 2018 12:49:43 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Elon-Musk-Tesla.jpg

Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to "flatten" the company's structure, he told employees in a memo obtained by CNBC Monday.

"To ensure that Tesla is well prepared for the future, we have been undertaking a thorough reorganization of our company," Musk said.

The Wall Street Journal first reported about the memo. Tesla declined to comment to CNBC.

Tesla has recently been burning through billions in cash and Musk had warned that the company would be making some changes.

Photo Credit: John Raoux/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla's Top Vehicle Engineer Is 'Taking Time Off' ]]> Sat, 12 May 2018 01:58:49 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/teslamodel3AP_18106125253598.jpg

Amid issues with the Model 3 sedan, Tesla’s senior vice-president of engineering is leaving the company for what the automaker has characterized as a leave of absence, #mce_temp_url#CNBC reported.

Doug Field is reportedly taking a step back from his duties to “recharge and spend time with his family,” according to a Tesla spokesperson, who also said Field has not left the company. Tesla declined to answer questions about Field’s expected return.

Field is responsible for the development of new vehicles at Tesla, including the Model 3 electric sedan. While the company’s future depends on efficient, high-volume production of the car, they have failed to hit their production goals for the vehicle. It has not yet released the $35,000 base model of the car.

In April, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that he would take over responsibilities for Model 3 production from Field. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File]]>
<![CDATA[Boston Dynamics' Atlas Robot Goes for a Run in the Suburbs]]> Fri, 11 May 2018 16:50:38 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/boston-dynamics.jpg

Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot has wowed us with a backflip and amused us with its iffy box-stacking abilities. In a video posted Thursday on the company's YouTube channel, the humanoid robot demonstrates its running ability, NBC News reported.

It's quite a feat for the robot's creators, but it might not reassure people who worry that smart, agile machines like Atlas are harbingers of a robot apocalypse.

"Wow, kinda scary," one commenter said of the video.

Photo Credit: Boston Dynamics via YouTube
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<![CDATA[Disney's VR Jacket; Ronaldo Works on Facebook Series]]> Thu, 10 May 2018 07:38:39 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/VR_Jacket_Simulates_Real_Life_Actions.jpg

Researchers at Disney have teamed up with MIT and Carnegie Mellon University to create the Force Jacket. The prototype virtual reality jacket is retro-fitted with 26 airbags and can be manipulated to make users feel a variety of physical sensations like being hit in the chest by a snowball.
And while Cristiano Ronaldo already has a massive social media following, the soccer star is getting into media production. Ronaldo is reportedly going to be the executive producer of a scripted drama series about a small-town girls soccer team for Facebook Watch.

<![CDATA[Instagram 'Music Stickers'; Facebook Avatars in Development]]> Tue, 08 May 2018 07:33:57 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/TECH_WBTS_for_Share_2018_05_08_06_43_29.jpg

Three of the biggest social media platforms are reportedly working on new features that you could soon benefit from. According to Techcrunch, Instagram is working on code for a feature that would allow users to search for and add songs to posts by way of "music stickers."

Twitter is testing secure messaging called "secret conversation" which would encrypt direct messages, according to Mashable. Those messages would only be allowed to be read betweed the sender and the recipient and not the company whose platform is being used.

And Facebook apparently has a hidden feature that allows users to have Avatars. The Facebook Avatars lets user customize hair style, skin color, and facial features in order to compete with Snapchat's Bitmojis.

<![CDATA[SpaceX's Dragon Supply Ship Leaves ISS]]> Sat, 05 May 2018 13:48:28 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_22_27.Still003.jpg

The resupply ship, carrying 4,000 pounds of NASA equipment, left the International Space Station and before splashing down in Baja, California.

<![CDATA[Political World Braces for The Next Generation of Fake News]]> Fri, 04 May 2018 16:50:24 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/phone-getty.jpg

Have you ever wanted to manipulate the facial expressions of political leaders or copy a politicians voice to make them say exactly what you want? thanks to new technology, now you can. 

The rapid advancement of audio and video manipulation tools has a number of lawmakers, technology experts and campaign consultants concerned about what the future of "fake news" will look like, NBC News reported. And it doesn’t take much imagination to see the disruptive impact an authentic looking or sounding piece of media could have on politics, diplomacy, the economy and beyond. 

[[481768051, CC]]

The issue was thrust into the national spotlight last month when Buzzfeed partnered with the filmmaker Jordan Peele to create a video of former President Barack Obama appearing to deliver a public service announcement about the potential impact of manipulated media. Only it wasn’t Obama. Instead it was Peele’s impersonation of Obama.

The video showcases both the potential and the limits of where the technology stands. A casual observer could be forgiven at first for mistaking the video for a genuine presidential message, especially if watching on a mobile device. A closer look is less impressive, but it may not be long before the signs of tampering become nearly impossible to pick up with the untrained eye.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[YouTuber Raises Money for Musk's Couch, Donates to Charity]]> Fri, 04 May 2018 14:13:44 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BenSullinsTESLA.JPG

Lots of us heard Elon Musk say he was tired, overworked, and sleeping on the Tesla factory floor.

Most of us probably giggled, or maybe said "just get those Model 3’s made" under our breath.

But one San Diego resident, Ben Sullins, went to work.

Sullins, host of a YouTube show called “Teslanomics,” thought it would be funny to try to raise enough money to buy the Tesla CEO a couch after he saw Musk's interview on "CBS This Morning" where he said he's under a lot of stress to get the Model 3 production on track. 

Thanks to fans on Sullins' channel, Twitter and GoFundMe, the fundraising idea took off.

“People love Elon Musk,” Sullins said. “They believe in the mission.”

People believe enough to raise $8,500 on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe. The Tesla Club of Sweden also raised another $1,500, way more than enough to buy a nice couch.

Tesla itself decided to get involved, matching donations dollar for dollar and when the cushions cleared, Sullins had raised $18,000.

Then, furniture company Wayfair donated the couch, and Sullins decided the money should go to charity.

Sullins went back to the internet and held a vote among donors on where the money should be donated. All the money will go to UK-based Renewable World, which fights poverty through renewable energy.

Sullins delivered the couch to Fremont’s Tesla factory, and although he didn’t get to meet Musk himself, he said the whole project made him feel great.

“I’m completely floored by the whole thing,” Sullins said. “To put all the money to charity, that’s icing on the cake.”

Rest well, Elon. And get those Model 3s made.

Scott Budman follows Musk, and Tesla, on Twitter: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: Ben Sullins]]>
<![CDATA[Twitter Tells All Users to Change Passwords as Precaution]]> Fri, 04 May 2018 03:18:21 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Twitter24.jpg

Twitter on Thursday advised all users to change their passwords after the company discovered a bug that stored unmasked passwords.

The social media company said that the bug was fixed and that there was "no indication of breach or misuse by anyone." It urged its more than 300 million users to change their passwords on all services that use the same password.

Twitter said it uses a standard industry process to mask the passwords with a random set of numbers and letters that are stored in Twitter’s system. The bug allowed the password to be stored before the process happened, Twitter said.

Experts say anyone who reuses a password increases their chances of falling victim to data theft.

Hackers often test big batches of passwords stolen in one breach against other potentially sensitive accounts, a practice called "credential stuffing," the Associate Press reported.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Tech Check: Your Call Football]]> Thu, 03 May 2018 08:01:18 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000014845048.JPG

A lot of sports fans say they would do a better job than the coaches on the field. Well now there's an app that will give them that chance. Your Call Football allows fans to be in control of lives games.

<![CDATA[Cambridge Analytica Shutting Down After Facebook Scandal]]> Wed, 02 May 2018 14:42:42 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-938093784.jpg

The political research firm accused of improperly gaining access to the sensitive user information of as many as 87 million Facebook users is shutting down, NBC News confirmed.

Cambridge Analytica, which had ties to Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, is shutting down following a whirlwind of privacy and data collection allegations in recent months, CNBC reported.

The firm is shuttering in part due to mounting legal fees associated with its investigation into whether there had been any wrongdoing with regard to Facebook data, according to the Wall Street Journal who first reported the move.

"Despite Cambridge Analytica’s unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfull the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the company’s customers and suppliers," the company wrote in a statement. "As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business, which left Cambridge Analytica with no realistic alternative to placing the company into administration."

Photo Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Looking Into Claim That Employee Stalks Women]]> Tue, 01 May 2018 18:44:19 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/AP_18088666533179-Facebook-in-the-Spotlight.jpg

Facebook is investigating a claim that a security engineer took advantage of his position to access information he then used to stalk women online, the social media giant confirmed on Monday to Motherboard.

The claim surfaced in a tweet Sunday by the founder of Spyglass Security, a cybersecurity consultancy, who alleged she received copies of a user's text conversation from the dating app Tinder that showed "a security engineer currently employed at Facebook is likely using privileged access to stalk women online."

NBC News has not received or reviewed the chat messages Stokes referenced, but a screenshot of a text message she added to the thread showed one participant saying that their job involved being "more than" a security analyst. The user said they try to "figure out who hackers are in real life... so professional stalker."

"I have to say that you are hard to find," the user added, "lol."

Photo Credit: Richard Drew/AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Privacy Concerns Take Center Stage at Facebook]]> Tue, 01 May 2018 10:55:26 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NC_facebookam0501_1920x1080.jpg

Recent concerns over user privacy are expected to be a key focus at Facebook's annual developers conference. NBC's Jennifer Bjorklund reports.

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Robot Chefs Make Meals at New Boston Restaurant]]> Tue, 01 May 2018 07:30:30 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Robot_Chefs_Make_Meals_at_New_Boston_Restaurant.jpg

Four guys training to be mechanical engineers at MIT said they were sick of paying so much money for decent food. Doing what MIT students do best, they decided to invent something to solve the problem. Spyce, a new robotic kitchen, made its debut May 3 on Washington Street in Boston.

<![CDATA[Twitter to Produce Original Shows With NBC, Others]]> Mon, 30 Apr 2018 19:40:57 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/twitter25.jpg

NBCUniversal, Disney and Viacom — among other media companies — will be making original shows for Twitter.

The company on Monday announced more than 30 new partnerships at its NewFront event in New York, an annual presentation of video content for advertisers.

"We're not guessing: We're listening," Twitter's head of content Kay Madati said at the event. "People on our service tell us directly what they want to see through conversations on Twitter."

Twitter daily video views have doubled over the past year. The company previously announced video makes up half its advertising revenue.

NBCUniversal is the parent company of NBC News, CNBC and this station.

Photo Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[T-Mobile Seals Blockbuster Sprint Merger Deal]]> Sun, 29 Apr 2018 16:44:12 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-526664952.jpg

Sprint and T-Mobile have sealed a blockbuster merger agreement, producing a telecom behemoth that values the combined company at $146 billion, the two carriers announced on Sunday.

The proposed all-stock deal values Sprint at about $59 billion and the combined company at $146 billion, including debt, CNBC reported. Without debt, the combined company is valued at $26.5 billion.

The new company — which is touting an ability to create a large scale 5G network and thousands of U.S. jobs — will preserve T-Mobile's name, and will have dual headquarters in Bellevue, Wash. and Overland Park, Kan. John Legere, T-Mobile's current CEO, will retain the top job in the newly formed company.

If approved, the combined T-Mobile would have an estimated 120 million subscribers, but would be better positioned to compete against the two largest U.S. carriers, Verizon and ATT, both of which have more than 100 million subscribers each.

Photo Credit: Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[City Pays $10K Ransom to Regain Control of School Computers]]> Fri, 27 Apr 2018 19:33:05 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Leominster_Pays_Ransom_for_Control_of_School_Computers.jpg

The city of Leominster, Massachusetts, was forced to pay thousands of dollars in ransom to a hacker who took over the school district's computer system.

School officials say their system was victimized by a ransomware attack that locked up computers across the district. The attackers demanded $10,000, which officials paid out of city funds.

"It's a digital world," Leominster Police Chief Michael Goldman said. "The more complicated it gets, the more ways there are to steal your stuff."

Goldman says it's likely that someone sent an email posing as an intern, with the purported link to a resume going to a Trojan file.

"A lock was placed on our system until a negotiated ransom was agreed upon," interim Superintendent Paula Deacon said in a statement. "We paid through a bitcoin system and are now awaiting to be fully restored."

As of Friday, teachers said their email was still not working.

Deacon would not say whether the funds would be reimbursed or replaced, or what specific precautions would be taken to prevent a future attack.

City officials say they once beat a similar hack by keeping clean backups ahead of time.

<![CDATA[DIY Screen Repair Kits]]> Fri, 27 Apr 2018 17:54:42 -0400 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/DIY_Screen_Repair_Kits.jpg

Consumer Reports explains what to do when your phone screen cracks.