<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Tech News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/techhttp://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.pngNBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worthhttp://www.nbcdfw.comen-usSun, 24 Jul 2016 17:42:26 -0500Sun, 24 Jul 2016 17:42:26 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[Last VCR Manufacturer to Stop Production]]>Sat, 23 Jul 2016 05:43:40 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/182*120/Electronics+Recycled1.jpg

The once-revolutionary videocassette recorder is headed for the technological cemetery, 40 years after it first hit markets.

Funai Electric, a Japanese consumer electronics company, released a statement Thursday that it will stop making VHS recorders at the end of the month, the Japanese Newspaper Nikkei reported.

The company, the only VCR manufacturer in the world, cited a lack of demand and difficulty acquiring parts.

While the company said it sold 15 million VCR units a year at its peak, only 750,000 were sold worldwide in 2015, the New York Times reported.

The VCR first awed the country in the 1950s, then costing around $50,000 each.

The recording device became increasingly popular in the 1980s, with VCRs in around 15 million homes by the end of 1984 and prices dropping to between $600 and $1,200.

However, the DVD quickly began to surpass videocassette sales after its introduction in 1995. Both hardware devices have increasingly declined since video streaming has taken hold.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Pokemon Go' Could Generate Billions For Apple: Analyst]]>Wed, 20 Jul 2016 18:50:40 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-546258766.jpg

Apple can thank the "Pokemon Go" phenomenon for the billions of sales expected to come into the company, CNBC reports.

Laura Martin, managing director of investment firm Needham & Co., estimates that the smartphone game could generate $3 billion in revenue for Apple in the next 12 to 24 months as the game expands into more countries.

Martin attributes Apple's success to its ecosystem business structure and other revenue generators such as the App Store.

"The next genius that makes a hit game, Apple shares on that one too. So while this one may be transitory, Apple has an option on all future hit games over the iOS platform," Martin said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Twitter Suspends Breitbart Editor Over Leslie Jones Abuse]]>Thu, 21 Jul 2016 05:46:46 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-543705532.jpg

Twitter said Tuesday it had permanently suspended the account of conservative provocateur and Breitbart.com tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos, after reports he led the harassment campaign against "Ghostbusters" actor Leslie Jones, Reuters reported.

Jones retweeted and shared several abusive tweets she received Monday before telling her 250,000 followers she's quitting Twitter.

"I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart. All this cause I did a movie. You can hate the movie but the s**t I got today... wrong," she wrote. 

Other accounts had also been suspended, Twitter said. The social media giant has long come under fire for not doing enough to police abusive behavior on the messaging service.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Hilarity For Ch]]>
<![CDATA[Homeowner Opens Fire On 'Pokemon Go' Players]]>Tue, 19 Jul 2016 10:29:43 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_pokemonshooting0719_1920x1080.jpgA Florida man mistook teens playing "Pokemon Go" for burglars and opened fire on them outside his home. WESH's Gail Paschall-Brown reports.]]><![CDATA[Uber Hits 2 Billion Rides ]]>Tue, 19 Jul 2016 06:27:38 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/uber-generic1.jpg

Pedal to the metal seems to be Uber's new philosophy.

After taking nearly six years to accomplish 1 billion rides, the ride-hailing mogul based in San Francisco reached the 2 billion number just six months later, as reported by The Verge.

The milestone ride occurred on June 18. Well, technically, it was 147 rides that all started at the exact same time across 16 countries, according to CEO Travis Kalanick's Facebook page.

Not only is Uber celebrating the achievement, but those 147 riders and drivers will be gifted with $450, a number symbolizing Uber's operation in 450 cities around the globe, Kalanick said.

Monday's announcement breeds optimism for Kalanick.

"It took five years to reach our billionth trip, six months to reach the next billion ... and we'll hopefully reach our third even more quickly," he said on Facebook.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Cemetery Welcomes 'Pokemon Go' Players]]>Tue, 19 Jul 2016 02:23:35 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/pokemon+go+cemetery.jpgA Michigan cemetery is welcoming "Pokemon Go" players with open arms, but that isn't sitting well with some families who have loved ones buried there. WDIV's Nick Monacelli reports.]]><![CDATA[Pokemon Invade the Alamo]]>Mon, 18 Jul 2016 11:25:04 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_alamopokemon0715_1920x1080.jpgWith Pokemon Go preoccupying people all over the country, the directors of the Alamo in San Antonio have noticed visitors paying more attention to their phones than to the history of the landmark.

Photo Credit: WOAI]]>
<![CDATA[Pokemon Go Ride Services Combat Distracted Driving]]>Mon, 18 Jul 2016 08:28:12 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_pokemondriving0715_1920x1080.jpgLaw enforcement agencies throughout the country are warning drivers not to use Pokemon Go while driving prompting "Pokemon Go Drivers" to offer their services to gaming customers.]]><![CDATA[Virtual Reality Gives Glimpse of a Future Dallas]]>Mon, 18 Jul 2016 05:01:19 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/071716+Cory+Smith+Virtual.jpg

One organization believes the future is now for Dallas' historic West End, and they're using virtual reality to give residents a preview of a smart Dallas.

"We wanted to take the user into the West End to give them a virtual tour and a virtual experience of what DIA's living lab is all about in West End," said Steve Deitz, CEO of 900lbs of Creative, an Oak Cliff innovation lab and creative marketing studio that uses emerging technologies to tell stories.

DIA stands for Dallas Innovation Alliance. It's a nonprofit public-private partnership dedicated to the design and execution of a smart-city plan for Dallas.

Just by strapping on a virtual reality headset a user is instantly transported into downtown Dallas. With a simple glance the user can see how everyday objects will be smarter. Trash cans will alert public works when they'll be full. Street lights will help with crowd control and monitor air quality.

"Dallas has all the elements needed to create the next generation city so why not do it ten years before we have to," said Jennifer Sanders, DIA executive director. "The idea is by marrying traditional sustainability with quality of life and with internet of things technology, how can we make the city more efficient? How can we increase economic development? Really, the most important element is how we increase quality of life for citizens."

DIA hopes to have some of the technology in place by the end of the year. The virtual tour will be available to residents at future DIA events. Deitz believes using virtual reality to bring these ideas to life shows that the city's smart-future is coming sooner rather than later.

"It helps educate people in a more immerse way when you're actually in the experience, in the environment," he said. "It comes to life around you and you learn a lot more about what that technology means to the community."

<![CDATA[FCC Paves Way for Speedy Next-Generation 5G Networks]]>Fri, 15 Jul 2016 08:34:02 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Mobile-World-Conference-GettyImages-511717806.jpg

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously on Thursday to open nearly 11 gigahertz of high-frequency spectrum for the roll out of “5G” mobile, flexible and fixed-use broadband wireless applications and networks.

The move by U.S. regulators makes the United States the first country to set aside an ample amount of airwaves for lightening-fast fifth generation wireless technology.

New 5G networks are expected to provide speeds at least 10 times and maybe 100 times faster than today's 4G networks, the FCC said.

Companies including Verizon and AT&T already were moving closer to adopting 5G.

There is a worldwide race to adopt 5G. South Korea and Japan plan to deploy it by the time they host the Olympics, in 2018 and 2020, respectively. The European Commission, South Korea, China and Japan are all working on 5G research efforts.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nintendo Plans Retro 'Mario,' 'Zelda' Console]]>Fri, 15 Jul 2016 04:04:46 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NES_Classic_2.jpg

If you're of a certain age and miss the video games of the 1980s, Nintendo has a Christmas gift for you.

The video game company said Thursday it will release the "NES Classic Edition" on Nov. 11, a $59.99 system that comes loaded with 30 vintage Nintendo games.

Among the highlights are all three "Super Mario" games, two "Zelda" titles, two "Castlevania" entries and two installments from the "Donkey Kong" franchise. 

Nintendo described the new console as a "near-identical mini replica" of the original NES; this one, though, connects to TVs via a more-modern HDMI port.

While classic Nintendo games have been available on other platforms - either legally or via the download of illicit "ROM" files from the Internet - this is the first time Nintendo has stepped into the retro games market with a dedicated piece of hardware. 

The complete list of games:

  • Balloon Fight
  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr. 
  • Dr. Mario
  • Excitebike
  • Galaga
  • Ice Climber
  • Kid Icarus
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Mario Bros. 
  • MEGA MAN 2
  • Metroid
  • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros.  2
  • Super Mario Bros.  3
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Photo Credit: Nintendo of America]]>
<![CDATA[Mall Security Robot Injures Boy]]>Wed, 13 Jul 2016 15:01:20 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/0712-2016-SecurityRobot.jpg

A 16-month-old boy is recovering after a security robot apparently ran over his foot at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California.

The boy's mother, Tiffany Teng, said her son, Harwin Cheng, was just a few inches in front of her when he bumped into the robot at the shopping center Thursday. Teng said her son fell down and the 300-pound robot ran over his foot.

"The robot did not stop at all, kept moving forward and ran over his right foot," Teng said. "I started screaming."

Teng said the robot was about to run over the boy's other foot when her husband pulled him away.

Paramedics checked the boy and found swelling, but no broken bones.

The robots have been used for about a year at the shopping center. They are created by Mountain View-based Knightscope.

"This is a horrific accident, but we believe the technology and the machines are incredibly safe and we will continue to do our best to make sure that they are," said Stacy Dean Stephens, Knightscope vice president of marketing and sales.

Stephens said Knightscope has machines operating all over California and have logged 35,000 hours with no incidents. The company is now investigating what may have gone wrong at the Stanford Shopping Center accident.

Teng questions why the robot was roaming the mall without supervision if it was not able to detect a small child.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[What You Need to Know About Pokemon Go]]>Fri, 15 Jul 2016 12:05:58 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-546258766.jpg

Pokémon have invaded once again, and they're everywhere. Since the Pokémon Go app launched on iOS and Android in America on July 6, people have been catching the creatures anywhere from the Empire State Building to the bathroom.

The Nintendo franchise, which first garnered massive popularity when it launched in the late 1990s, is making a comeback. Pokémon first became a cultural phenomenon at the turn of the millennium, producing multiple spin-off games, trading cards, movies and a television show.

Pokémon Go is the franchise's newest addition, and the free game has been sweeping the country since its launch. It became the most downloaded app in both Apple and Android app stores, surpassing Tinder, Twitter and Snapchat in downloads and active users.

All this happened before the game was a week old and had yet to launch globally.

How does the game work?
Pokémon Go can't be played stationary, or least very well. The augmented reality game uses your phone's GPS and camera to find virtual Pokémon creatures in your neighborhood. The app tracks user location and uses notable real-life landmarks as "Pokéstops" where players can collect Poké Balls and capture Pokémon. So instead of catching Pokémon in the traditional digital landscape, players are forced to get off their couches and explore the real world to capture Pokémon and engage in virtual battles. As players move around they encounter different Pokémon depending on the time and their location.

Once you reach level 5, you can join one of three "teams" and have your Pokémon battle other players' at "gyms." Here's a good explainer on how that works to start. 

The game has sparked privacy concerns.
On the digital front, some users were concerned about the game's access to its player's Google information. Many Pokémon Go users sign in to the game with a Google account. Though using Google is not an uncommon login method, the app asked players to allow Nintendo full account access. This allows the company access to any user information on Google, including email, documents, photos and search history.

This poses a security risk for user information, especially if the game, which has millions of users, were to get hacked.

Niantic, the game's San Francisco-based developer, released a statement on its website Tuesday acknowledging the privacy concern, but said the app itself only accesses basic information, despite asking for full access.

The company said Google verified the game has not collected any additional information. Niantic released an update Tuesday to fix the error so that the app will only request the basic Google account information it needs.

Users can also opt to log onto the game with a Pokémon account, but the site to sign up has been so overwhelmed by the recent demand that it has been shut for maintenance.

The game's popularity has also prompted safety warnings from law enforcement across the country.
Though the app opens with a warning to players to be wary of their surroundings, players have reported accidents or injuries that occurred because they were not looking up from their phones when off wandering.

While some crazy stories about the game have proven to be hoaxes, players have nevertheless encountered trouble when trespassing or wandering into dangerous places in pursuit of Pokémon.

Two men in the San Diego area were hospitalized after falling down a cliff while playing.

Police in Oregon reported receiving a call that a man had been stabbed while walking and playing the game on his phone. 

The Missouri police department also wrote in a Facebook post that they arrested three teens for armed robbery, writing that they believe the teens lured victims to their location through Pokémon Go. The game allows users to leave modules in the game that attract Pokémon, and subsequently players on the prowl to catch the creatures.

In Wyoming, a teenager found a dead man's body floating in a river when she was searching for water Pokémon. Other bodies have since been spotted by Pokémon hunters in California and New Hampshire.

Some places designated as landmarks in the game are asking players to show respect and refrain from playing at their locations.
Though the game allows users to capture Pokémon all over the country, some places, like the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., have asked players to look up from their phones. The museum's communications director told The Washington Post the they are looking into getting the Holocaust Museum excluded from the game.

National Mall and Memorial Parks officials in D.C. also posted to their Facebook page asking players to be respectful of the memorials.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA['Pokemon Go' Leads to Injuries]]>Mon, 11 Jul 2016 16:10:25 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/209*120/Pokemon+Go.jpg

Beware: "Pokemon Go," a new smartphone game based on cute Nintendo characters like Squirtle and Pikachu, can be harmful to your health.

The "augmented reality" game, which layers gameplay onto the physical world, became the top grossing app in the iPhone app store just days after its Wednesday release in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Players already have reported wiping out in a variety of ways as they wander the real world — eyes glued to their smartphone screens — in search of digital monsters.

Mike Schultz, a 21-year-old communications graduate on Long Island, New York, took a spill on his skateboard as he stared at his phone while cruising for critters early Thursday. He cut his hand on the sidewalk after hitting a big crack, and blames himself for going too slowly.

"I just wanted to be able to stop quickly if there were any Pokemons nearby to catch," he says. "I don't think the company is really at fault."


The game was created by Niantic Inc., a San Francisco spinoff of Google parent Alphabet Inc. that previously became known for a similar augmented-reality game called "Ingress."

To play, you fire up the game and then start trekking to prominent local landmarks — represented in the game as "Pokestops" — where you can gather supplies such as Pokeballs. Those are what you fling at online "pocket monsters," or Pokemon, to capture them for training. At other locations called "gyms" — which may or may not be actual gyms in the real world — Pokemon battle one another for supremacy.

Naturally, the game has also induced people to post pictures of themselves on social media chasing creatures in all sorts of dangerous situations.

Zubats and Paras have appeared on car dashboards. Caterpies have been spotted at intersections. Police in Darwin, Australia, have even asked players not to waltz into their station, which of course is a Pokestop in the game.

"You don't actually have to step inside in order to gain the pokeballs," the Northern Territory Police Fire and Emergency Services said on its Facebook page, followed by a warning to gamers.

"It's also a good idea to look up, away from your phone and both ways before crossing the street."

Unsuspecting gamers using the app were reportedly robbed by four people in Missouri, according to police in Missouri, NBC News reported

Four people in a black BMW with a handgun were arrested early Sunday morning following an armed robbery report. The suspects, police said in a statement, used the app to lure the victims.

In a separate incident, a 19-year-old girl in Wyoming girl discovered a dead body floting in a river when she went in search of a "water-type Pokemon," according to NBC station KCWY.

Ankle injuries, mishaps with revolving doors and walking into trees have been among the painful results.

Kyrie Tompkins, a 22-year-old freelance web designer, fell on the sidewalk and twisted her ankle while wandering in downtown Waterville, Maine, on Thursday night.

"It vibrated to let me know there was something nearby and I looked up and just fell in a hole," she says. Her parents had to drive her and her fiancé home.

As an upside, players get more exercise than usual and can learn more about the historical landmarks incorporated into the game as Pokestops. Digital signposts describe their significance in the real world.


And players are actually meeting face to face, despite the fact they arrived at nearby high schools, water towers and museums by staring at their screens.

Lindsay Plunkett, a 23-year-old waitress in Asheville, North Carolina, made a point on Friday of parking six blocks away from the restaurant where she works, instead of the usual three. "Just so I could get some more Pokestops on the way," she says.

She's still nursing a bruised shin from the previous night, when she and her boyfriend spent hours wandering downtown in the rain. She tripped over a cinder block that had been used as a doorstop at a local women's museum.

But she's got something to look forward to. Soon, she'll be traveling cross country to California with a friend. That means more chances to encounter Pokestops and Pokemons "the whole way," she says.

At least the game has one failsafe — you can't hatch digital eggs while driving. That requires slower in-person movement in the real world. "It doesn't count as walking if you're going more than 20 miles per hour, so that's good, I guess," Plunkett says.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NASA to Deploy Flying Laboratory]]>Fri, 08 Jul 2016 07:19:45 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/205*120/07-07-2016-dc-8-nasa-1.jpg

When it comes to research, NASA's DC-8 jetliner is the only way to fly.

The plane resembles a typical commercial airliner from the outside, except for the giant NASA logo on its tail. But inside, it's loaded with cutting-edge tools that will be used to study greenhouse gases during a 26-day journey this summer that will take its crew around the world.

The Atmospheric Tomography (ATom) mission route includes a flight over the North Pole, then New Zealand, the tip of South America and on to the Arctic. Science instruments aboard the NASA DC-8, based at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, will collect information about greenhouse gases and other particles in the atmosphere.

"The flight path is one of the most exhilarating things that a person will get to experience," said Steven Wofsy, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Harvard University and ATom's project scientist. "You really get this sense of the atmosphere as a commons of the world because you're flying over the polar ice cap and then two days later you're in Hawaii and you're flying into the deep tropics with all of the amazing weather phenomena that occur there, and it's all one atmosphere."

The airliner can travel at 40,000 feet for up to 12 hours on the nearly monthlong voyage. ATom can zoom in for detailed measurements that are difficult to make using distant satellites in space, allowing researchers a chance to better understand hundreds of gases, including methane and ozone, in the atmosphere over oceans. The goal is to gain more information about Earth's climate and what the future might hold.

The plane will make up to 12 gentle descents to 500 feet above the ocean's surface, then climb back to 35,000 feet to get a wide range of samples at different altitudes. 

Each stopover will last about two days, provided time for rest and data analysis.

"You really have to think about it from the perspective of what's required from when the plane hits the ground to when the plane leaves," said Erin Czech, ATom's deputy project manager with the Earth Science Project Office at NASA's Ames Research Center. "We need to find people places to stay, make sure they have cars to drive around."

The first ATom flight is scheduled for the end of July. It's the first of four deployments that will take place over the next three years.


Interactive: About the DC-8 Airliner

Photo Credit: NASA
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<![CDATA[Crooks Fleece "Computers for Learning" Program]]>Tue, 05 Jul 2016 12:55:45 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/School+Computers.jpgThe "Computers for Learning" program takes unused, excess computers from government buildings and sends them, free of charge, to public schools and non-profits nationwide. But as NBC Washington reporter Scott MacFarlane learned, crooks are fleecing the program pretending to represent educational organizations.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dating Site Faces Probe Over Use of 'Fembots']]>Tue, 05 Jul 2016 09:57:58 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-4844780722.jpg

The parent company of infidelity dating site Ashley Madison, hit by a devastating hack last year, is now the target of a U.S. Federal Trade Commission investigation, the new executives seeking to revive its credibility told Reuters.

The breach exposed the personal details of millions who signed up for the site.

The company faces U.S. and Canadian class action lawsuits filed on behalf of customers whose information was posted online, and allegations that it used fake profiles to manipulate some customers.

An Ernst & Young report commissioned by Avid and shared with Reuters confirmed that Avid used computer programs that impersonated real women, striking up conversations with paying male customers.

Photo Credit: Photo illustration by Carl Court/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla Investor Group Wants Less Dominance by Musk]]>Wed, 29 Jun 2016 07:45:40 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_744246684318.jpg

An investor group has requested that Tesla Motors add two independent directors to its board and separate the roles of chairman and chief executive, citing founder and CEO Elon Musk's dominance of the board in the wake of Tesla's proposed bid for SolarCity.

Musk is also the chairman and largest shareholder of SolarCity.

CtW Investment Group, which owns 200,000 shares of Tesla, has written a letter to the silicon-valley firm, demanding it implement five steps that would remedy Tesla's "underlying governance deficiencies."

Among them, CtW is calling for a declassification of the board so that stockholders may have an annual say on the election of all directors and revision of the corporate governance guidelines to forbid that immediate family members of board members serve concurrently on the board.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[House Dems Stream Sit-In]]>Fri, 24 Jun 2016 06:15:58 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Periscope-GettyImages-473860588.jpg

The shot wasn’t always steady, and sometimes people got in the way.

Such are the perils of recording video on a cellphone.

Streaming media conveyed House Democrats' message to the masses when C-SPAN cameras were turned off during a 25-hour sit-in seeking to force a vote on gun control.

Democrats have Bay Area technology to thank. Periscope and Facebook Live were put into play when the mics on the House floor were switched off. Millions of people watched, commented and encouraged the men and women of the House, who said they appreciate the support.

"I thought, well, there’s an app for that," said Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, whose Periscope stream lasted for hours.

Fellow California House member Rep. Jackie Speier said, "For 25 hours we were streaming video to outlets across the country."

Scott streams on Twitter and Periscope: @scottbudman

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Robo Dog Does Dishes, Plays Fetch]]>Fri, 24 Jun 2016 05:13:17 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/robot9.jpg

A new robotic pup does a lot of things real dogs are known for — it plays fetch, hides under the dinner table and even cleans up dirty dishes — only without the slobber.

Boston Dynamics, a Massachusetts-based robotics company, unveiled the SpotMini robotic dog in a YouTube video on Thursday.

The mechanical canine looks like a cross between a dog and giraffe, weighs about 55 pounds and, according to Boston Dynamics, is one of the quietest the company has ever built.

Boston Dynamics' larger Spot robot made headlines in February when the company posted footage of an interaction between the robot and a tiny terrier.

In the latest video, SpotMini can be seen performing a variety of tasks, including fetching a soda for a person, playing keep-away with the same drink and loading dishes into the dishwasher.

The pup also climbs stairs and slips on a banana peel at one point. But the video shows the robot is able to quickly right itself.

According to Gizmodo, SpotMini can be taught to perform tasks autonomously, like a real dog.

The only downside? It doesn't look like you can adopt one of these robotic Rovers.

Photo Credit: Boston Dynamics
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<![CDATA[Small Commercial Drones Cleared for Takeoff]]>Wed, 22 Jun 2016 06:30:10 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/drones3.jpgThe Obama administration has cleared the way for routine commercial use of small drones. The decision comes after years of struggling to write rules that would both protect public safety and free the benefits of a new technolog

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Uber, Lyft Threaten to Leave Chi.]]>Fri, 17 Jun 2016 17:53:59 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Uber-X-Generic.jpg

Uber and Lyft are threatening to leave Chicago if a rideshare ordinance that was unanimously approved Friday by a joint City Council committee passes the full council next week.

"It would make true ridesharing impossible," Chelsea Wilson, a Lyft spokeswoman, said in a statement following the committee vote. "Because of this, we will be forced to cease operations in Chicago if this ordinance becomes law.”

The Ridesharing Reform Ordinance, which passed out of a joint Transportation and License Committee on Friday, would require drivers to obtain restricted public chauffeur licenses. This includes protections like fingerprinted background checks, drug testing and city debt checks.

The ordinance will now move to the full City Council for a vote.

The ridesharing industry has pushed back against fingerprinted background checks, physical exams and drug tests for all their Chicago drivers. Companies warned against what could happen to the industry if the ordinance ultimately passes.

Wilson said the ordinance "forces part-time Lyft drivers into an onerous, outdated model, requiring hundreds of dollars in fees just to share a seat in their car."

Chicago's City Council has argued that the ordinance would level the playing field between rideshare services and the city's struggling taxi industry. A similar ordinance passed in Austin last month, and both companies pulled out of the city.

Ald. Anthony Beale, the Chicago ordinance's sponsor, praised the legislation Friday and called on fellow lawmakers to approve the measure.

“I applaud the committee for sending the message that rideshare company drivers need to follow the same rules as other for-hire drivers to ensure public safety,” Beale said in a statement. “Now it’s up to my colleagues to enact the ordinance to make sure our ridesharing services are safe and accountable.”

Uber Chicago General Manager Marco McCottry noted Uber already operates under Chicago guidelines that require criminal background checks for drivers and vehicle safety checks. He said "costly and complicated barriers for drivers" would prevent them from becoming drivers, taking away affordable rides in the city.

"We love Chicago," McCottry said in a statement. "But the ordinance that advanced today would eliminate ridesharing as we know it here."

"There is no need to harm one industry to help another," he said. "We continue to urge aldermen to reject this ordinance and instead modernize taxi's rules to make life easier for their drivers."

An Uber petition to keep the company in Chicago has received over 100,000 signatures.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Hacker Floods ISIS Twitter Accounts With LGBT Messages]]>Fri, 17 Jun 2016 16:44:15 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-180483176.jpg

A hacker associated with Anonymous has gained control of what had been pro-ISIS Twitter accounts, according to NBC News. 

The hacker, who goes by the name WauchulaGhost, took control of the accounts and flooded them with gay porn and rainbow flags and sent fake “coming out” tweets after suggestions that the mass shooting in Orlando was inspired by ISIS. 

"These attacks are getting too close to home," the hacker, who didn't share any identifying information, told NBC News in an email interview. "Social media isn't doing enough to keep this virus off the internet. It was just a little something to let all know there are people here willing to stand up and defend those who can not."

WauchulaGhost told NBC News that it takes about 60 seconds to hack into a Twitter account.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[AT&T to Boost GigaPower Access in South Dallas]]>Fri, 17 Jun 2016 08:30:29 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/at-t+headquarters+dallas.jpg

Dallas-based AT&T is in the process of expanding access to its “ultra-fast” GigaPower Internet service in parts of southern Dallas.

GigaPower is capable of Internet speeds up to one gigabit-per-second, which can allow for dramatically decreased download times for large files.

Kiel Murray, of Dallas, is already the beneficiary of the service.

Murray, an information security consultant, does not live in the city’s southern sector; instead, Murray lives near the intersection of Mockingbird Lane and Greenville Avenue on the east side of US 75.

In addition to his work, which requires him to simultaneously connect to three networks from home, Murray takes online graduate courses from a major university which require him to download lectures.

“I would download these videos and it would take up to 30 minutes in order to download,” Murray said about his previous Internet service. “But in this case [with GigaPower] when I go to [download a lecture] and prepare for any of my trips, and I click ‘Videos Download’ button here, it downloads in about 10 seconds.”

Actually, the download process took approximately six seconds when Murray showed NBC DFW how it worked.

“You know, I’ve been doing this for three years with AT&T, and it still amazes me every time I see it,” said Jeremy Settle, Director of AT&T GigaPower Market Execution.

Settle told NBC DFW that AT&T has been investing in fiber service for 25 years, and that GigaPower is its biggest advancement to date.

“It’s at the speed of light. A laser is going down glass, and making bends and turns all throughout the city and the world to do that,” Settle said.

Settle emphasized that GigaPower is already available to about 10,000 customers in southern Dallas, and that AT&T plans to double that availability within one year.

That expansion cannot happen soon enough for Dale Smith.

“Absolutely, it’s essential to the essence of what we do,” said Smith, CEO of Black Contemporary Television, a 24/7 online television network.

Smith runs his network out of an office in Dallas’ Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center near Fair Park.

“We’re excited, obviously. We’re happy to hear that now this is going to be an option that we will be able to tap into,” Smith said. “The next thing that obviously comes to mind is when, where, how is the Martin Luther King Center going to benefit from it.”

During a recent visit, it took Smith’s computer more than two minutes just to load and begin to play a video from his own website.

“If you are, say, a web design business, or some kind of 21st Century app developer, or something like that, you’re not going to be interested [in setting up shop] down here because of the challenges to get high-speed Internet service,” Smith said.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings praised AT&T’s recent announcement about the GigaPower extension.

“The core message of GrowSouth is that Southern Dallas is not a charity case,” Rawlings said in a news release. “It is an investment opportunity.”

GrowSouth is a Dallas initiative to extend development, education and business opportunities into the city’s southern sector, an area long-overlooked for such investment.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Up Your Grill Game With BBQ Apps]]>Wed, 15 Jun 2016 14:54:22 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_pcmike0614_1920x1080.jpgTech guru PC Mike Wendland looks at apps designed to help you make your barbecue a culinary success.

Photo Credit: NBCNC]]>
<![CDATA[Tim Cook Reacts to Fla. Shooting]]>Tue, 21 Jun 2016 12:59:59 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-539895888.jpg

Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the massacre in Orlando and asked for a moment of silence Monday at the tech giant's annual developer's conference.

Cook spoke to the crowd Monday at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco during the weeklong Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, where the company touted its new line of smart watches and TV features. 

Cook wrote at length about being gay in a 2014 op-ed, and on Monday celebrated the multiculturalism of Apple’s own Cupertino-based workforce.

"At Apple, we celebrate our diversity. We know that it makes us stronger and moves everyone forward," Cook told the audience, saying the massacre of at least 49 people at a gay nightclub Sunday was a "senseless, unconscionable act of terrorism and hate, aimed at dividing and destroying."

He called for silence, and as the audience hushed for a moment in the dark theater, Cook wiped a tear from his eye.

Having diversity in the world, Cook said Monday, “makes us stronger and moves everyone forward.”

Since Cook came out to the public, he's supported several LGBT causes, including last year when he lent his name to an anti-discrimination bill in his native state of Alabama

Last spring, under Cook's leadership, Apple announced it was giving $50 million to nonprofits to recruit a more diverse tech workforce. Most recently, in March, Cook and other tech leaders signed letters of disapproval to the North Carolina's governor over a state law derided by the Department of Justice for limiting legal protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Elements Named After Japan, Moscow, Tennessee]]>Wed, 08 Jun 2016 16:17:19 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/PeriodicTable-AP_16160694814924.jpg

Four new names are going to be added to the periodic table of elements, according to NBC News.

Three of the new elements will honor Moscow, Japan and Tennessee. The fourth is named for Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian. The names were recommended Wednesday by an international scientific group. 

Joining the table will be Moscovium, with the symbol Mc for element 115; tennessine, symbol Ts for element 117; Nihonium, symbol Nh for element 113; and Oganesson, symbol Og for element 118. 

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, which rules on chemical element names, presented its proposal for public review. The public comment period will end on Nov. 8.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Agriculture Industry Struggles to Fill Thousands of Jobs]]>Tue, 07 Jun 2016 12:11:01 -0500http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tech-ag-jobs.jpgWith another 1.2 billion people expected to join the world population by 2030, the agriculture industry is struggling to find qualified workers to fill thousands of highly-skilled jobs.

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>