<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Tech News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/tech http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Thu, 30 Jul 2015 07:19:01 -0500 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 07:19:01 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Google Admits That Google+ is 'Confusing']]> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:22:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Google-Privacy-Update-3-June-2015.jpg

Google has halted its pursuit of making Google+ a rival to Facebook with the search giant even admitting that the social service was a little "confusing" for users, NBC News reported.

The service's intention of unifying Google's sharing models was "a well-intentioned goal, but (we) realized it led to some product experiences that users sometimes found confusing," Bradley Horowitz, who took over Google+ a few months ago, said in a blog post on Monday.

Google+ has failed to gain traction as a serious contender in the social media space. Analysts said that the service failed to carve out its own distinctive purpose.

Google is not shutting its social media service down completely but said it is becoming "more focused."



Photo Credit: AP/Virginia Mayo]]>
<![CDATA[Simple Hack Could 'Critically Expose' Most Android Phones]]> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 23:13:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/AP100520138908.jpg

A flaw called "Stagefright" in Google's Android operating system could let hackers take over a phone with a message -- even if the user doesn't open it, NBC News reported.

The flaw could "critically expose" 95 percent of Android devices, according to Zimperium, the security firm that discovered the vulnerability.

Stagefright, which Zimperium called the "mother of all Android vulnerabilities," allows people to send a video containing hidden malware to Android phones via a multimedia message (MMS) application. For the default messenger app on most Android phones, users don't even have to play the video.

"Patches have already been provided to partners that can be applied to any device," a Google spokesperson told NBC News in a statement.



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[High-Tech Car Seat Aims to Prevent Hot Car Deaths]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 11:24:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/evenflo.jpg

As summer temperatures continue to rise, so does the risk of hot car deaths among children. Now, one company is using new technology to help parents avoid tragedy by remembering their little one in the back seat.

The Evenflo Embrace DLX Infant Car Seat features a sensor that attaches across the baby's chest, sounding an alarm after the car ignition is turned off, according to TODAY.

"It seems impossible that you would forget that your baby is in the car, but you're exhausted, the seat's facing the other way, you're sort of going by muscle memory, and you can forget the baby is in the car,'' said Jason Tanz, editor-at-large at Wired Magazine. "So this is a reminder using Wi-Fi, using a sensor to keep your baby safe."

The carseat is currently sold online at Walmart for around $150, and is set to hit store shelves next month.


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<![CDATA[NASA Releases First Photo of Sunlit Earth in 40 Years]]> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 17:14:59 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/earth+new+photo.png

While images of Pluto are still coming in from NASA, the organization has released another milestone photo: one of a sunlit Earth.

The last time NASA released a full image of the Earth from space the year was 1972 and the photo, snapped by the Apollo 17 astronauts, was called the "Blue Marble." 

This photo is significantly better in quality than the "Blue Marble" pic because of the resolution (click here for the high resolution version). 

A camera, known as Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) on the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite took the historic photo from one million miles away, according to NASA. EPIC is made up of a four megapixel camera and telescope. 

The Earth image, taken on July 6, 2015, was created by combining three different images — taken with red, green, and blue filters — to create one full photo.

The image is meant to show the effects of sunlight scattered by air molecules. It showcases North and South America.

Eventually, NASA said on their website it is hoping the camera will harvest regular data and provide daily images of Earth.



Photo Credit: NASA
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<![CDATA[Apple Resolves Problem With Services]]> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:33:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/apple+services.jpg

Apple services were back up and running on Tuesday after it reported a problem with all store services, including the App Store and Apple Music.

"Users are experiencing a problem with the services listed above. We are investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available," a message said on the company's system status page.

Services affected include App Store, Apple Music, Siri, Radio, Photos, Apple TV, iCloud Mail, iBooks Store, iCloud Drive, iCloud Contacts, Beats Music, iTunes in the Cloud, OS X Software UpdateiTunes Match, iTunes Store and Mac App Store.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Students Take on Solar Car Challenge]]> Sun, 19 Jul 2015 18:22:08 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Solar_Car_Challenge.jpg

The Solar Car Challenge is a closed-track event held at the world famous Texas Motor Speedway that helps to motivate students in Science, Engineering, and Alternative Energy.

"[It's] my baby, I'm being dead serious," –That's how Wylie High School student Nic Williams described the car he and his team created. And it runs entirely off of solar panels.

"This relief that I'm feeling that this car is done has to be the best part of this entire thing," Williams said.

Another crew of students from Coppell High School finished their car to compete among 31 teams from across the country.

There are 151 on-going high school solar car projects in 29 states, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Uzbekistan. There are more than 400 schools lined up to enter this project in the future. 31 of these teams have announced that they are going to race in this summer’s race

"It's a lot to take in and it's a really different experience from what we're use to I guess, but it's so cool to see everything and to meet all these people and to see how it works," said Coppell student Mackenzie Becker. She and her team spent months designing and building the cars which were featured at the event at Texas Motor Speedway.

It is a race that doesn't necessarily revolve around how fast the cars can go. With a top speed of 30 miles per hour, the winning creation will outlast the competition.

Team members were to take turns driving their creations. And yes, most of the cars had air conditioning.

Organizers focused on getting students out of their comfort zone. "We're building great engineers but we're also teaching the life skills that you pick up yourself and you go forward with it," said Dr. Lehman Marks, an organizer of the event.

Each team’s solar car is an individual project; they are not provided a kit. Students learn to choose materials for their solar car based on their plan, financial resources, and capabilities.  This helps makes the Solar Car Challenge a unique “turn key” project.

For more information, visit http://www.solarcarchallenge.org.

Solar Car Challenge 2015
July 20 – 23
Texas Motor Speedway
3545 Lone Star Cir
Fort Worth, TX 76177
http://www.solarcarchallenge.org



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[This Command Can Cause Siri to Call 911]]> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 07:08:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_111010073653_Siri.jpg

If you need to charge your iPhone, it's probably best not to ask Siri.

Some users have discovered that asking Siri to "charge my phone 100 percent" will result in a five second delay before automatically calling 911 services, according to CNBC.

While this could cause problems to users who simply want their phone on full power, others have said the feature may come in handy during times of trouble.

It is unclear whether the function is intentional by Apple or a glitch in the system, according to NBC News.

Update: Apple appears to have fixed the glitch.

 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Changes News Feed Settings]]> Thu, 09 Jul 2015 11:15:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/facebooknewsfeed.jpg

Facebook is giving users more control over what they see in their news feed by letting users pick which friends' and brands' updates they want to see first, and even the order in which they'd like to view them. 

"We rank [items in] your news feed with the goal that whether you have five seconds or five minutes, you're seeing the best of what's in your feed," Greg Marra, product manager at Facebook, told NBC News. "We know we don't always get that perfect right now."

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To personalize the news feed, users have to go into "Settings" and select "News Feed Preferences" to choose who they see first when logging in. 

The "see first" feature is already available on iOS and will soon come to Android and desktop.

The social network giant is also introducing a feature that allows users to pick pages they'd like to see at the top of the news feed and is re-designing the existing feature that lets people un-follow other users' posts without un-friending them.

Facebook has recently implemented another change. It has redesigned the small "friends" icon on the upper right hand corner of the page so that a woman is featured in front of a man. 

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Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[WATCH: U.S. Robot Company to Japan Company: Let's Duel]]> Thu, 09 Jul 2015 09:34:25 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2015-07-08-at-9.46.41-PM.jpg

A U.S.-based robotics company has thrown down the metallic gauntlet and goaded a Japanese competitor into a heavy metal battle of mechanical proportions. 

"Suidobashi, we have a giant robot, you have a giant robot. You know what needs to happen," said co-founder of MegaBots, Inc Matt Oehrlein—along with his partner Gui Cavalcanti both draped in an American flag—in a YouTube video challenging Suidobashi Heavy Industries' Kuratas. 

Megabot, the U.S.-based company, is confident in its Mark 2 model: a towering 6-ton metal beast. 

"We just finished tightening the last bolts on the Mark 2—America's first fully functional giant piloted robot," Oehrlein says in the video to the Japenese robotics company.

The massive robot is operated by a team of two people and can shoot three pounds paint balls at from its cannon at 100 miles per hour, according to Oehrlein.

"And because we're American, we added really big guns," co-founder Cavalcanti added with dramatic pause. 

[[312692051, C]]

Suidobashi's CEO responded to MegaBots' gentlemen's duel in his own video: "Come on guys, make it cooler," Kogoro Kurata said, with shots of him wrapping the Japanese flag around his shoulders.

"Just building something huge and sticking guns on it," Kurata continued. "It's super American."

Suidobashi launched The Kurata, named after the CEO and designer, in 2012. At 4.5 tons, it was a little less than Mark 2, a full heads-up display (HUD), and guns controlled by an advanced targeting system. 

No venue or date for the battle of the death metals, but the challenge has been accepted. 


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<![CDATA[Spot the Difference: Facebook Changes Its Friends Icon]]> Wed, 08 Jul 2015 10:59:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Facebook_Imagen_Vegas.jpg

The latest change to Facebook's look may have gone unnoticed to many, but it's meant to make a major statement. 

A change to the small "friends" icon on the upper right hand corner of the page is about more than aesthetics — it's about equality, according to one employee. 

Caitlin Winner, a design manager at Facebook, initially noticed something was off about the icon featuring silhouettes of two users. When she looked at the female icon alone, she noticed a "chip" in the lady's shoulder, "positioned exactly where the man icon would be placed in front of her" on the site's page. 

“I assumed no ill intentions, just a lack of consideration,” she  wrote in a Medium post. “But as a lady with two robust shoulders, the chip offended me.”

Winner decided to take action. 

[[312513961, C, 620, 184]]

"The lady icon needed a shoulder, so I drew it in — and so began my many month descent into the rabbit hole of icon design," she wrote. 

While she originally set out to simply fix the shoulder, Winner soon found herself updating the hairstyles of both sexes, the man icon's shoulder and the positioning of the pair, which she flipped to put the woman in front. 

"As a woman, educated at a women’s college, it was hard not to read into the symbolism of the current icon; the woman was quite literally in the shadow of the man, she was not in a position to lean in," she wrote. 

[[312514411, C, 620, 114]]

Eventually she took a look at the site's "group" icon, which also had a man featured in front with a man and woman behind him. She switched the icons there, too, placing the woman in front.

[[312514971, C, 620, 214]]

Winner said this small personal project, which was soon incorporated into the site design, has changed her perspective on symbolism with other icons.

"I try to question all icons, especially those that feel the most familiar," she said. "For example, is the briefcase the best symbol for ‘work’? Which population carried briefcases and in which era? What are other ways that ‘work’ could be symbolized and what would those icons evoke for the majority of people on Earth?"


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<![CDATA[Facebook Brings Data Center to Fort Worth]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 17:38:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/FB+Groundbreak+070715.jpg Facebook broke ground Tuesday on a new data center in Fort Worth's Alliance Area, but the new business could have bigger implications for North Texas.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Netflix vs. Amazon Prime Instant Video]]> Fri, 03 Jul 2015 20:32:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Netflix+Amazon+CR+070315.jpg

When you subscribe to one of the leading video-streaming services—Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video—you get a wide offering of movies and television shows, along with a buffet of different options. Which service is the better choice?

The comparisons are not always clear, even when it comes to basic information, like how many movies there are to choose from. According to InstantWatcher.com, Amazon Prime offers more than 17,000 movies and TV series. That's significantly more than the 9,000 plus that Netflix offers. But Netflix pulls ahead overall because more than 7,000 of those videos are high-definition vs. less than 2,000 for Amazon Prime.

As for convenience, most TVs that Consumer Reports tests and recommends come with both apps already installed. Some of the less expensive TV's tend to come only Netflix-ready.

Netflix has some popular original series, like "Orange Is the New Black" and "House of Cards." Amazon has some original programming, too, and also offers free music streaming of more than one million songs and free two-day shipping on Amazon purchases.

Consumer Reports take: If you're most interested in high-definition movies and TV, Netflix is the way to go. On the other hand, if you're OK with standard definition but like the idea of a greater selection and free shipping, Amazon Prime is probably your best bet. But all things considered, the two are pretty equal and cost about the same:

  • Netflix is $96 per year for the starting plan
  • Amazon Prime is $99 per year

Because browsing for movies on Amazon and Netflix can be awkward, Consumer Reports suggests checking out InstantWatcher.com. The site is plugged into the databases of both providers and can help you navigate their selections.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars and trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website.



Photo Credit: Consumer Reports]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Dramatic New Trailer for "Steve Jobs" Biopic]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:36:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jobs-fassbinder.jpg

A new trailer for the forthcoming Steve Jobs biopic reveals dramatic family and business conflicts.

Jobs, portrayed by Michael Fassbender, is seen throughout the trailer dealing with recognizing and building a relationship with his daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs.

Writer Aaron Sorkin told The Verge that Jobs' daughter, who consulted with him on the script, is the heroine of the film.

The Danny Boyle-directed flim – called simply “Steve Jobs” – is scheduled to debut in theaters on October 9.



Photo Credit: Universal Pictures
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<![CDATA[Stephen Hawking Pops In For Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook Q&A, Asks About 'Gravity and Other Forces' ]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 08:31:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/210*120/zuck-hawking.jpg

When Mark Zuckerberg does Townhall Q&As on Facebook to hear from users, he gets thousands of questions.

Sometimes famous people ask questions. On Tuesday, Stephen Hawking asked him a question.

"I would like to know a unified theory of gravity and the other forces. Which of the big questions in science would you like to know the answer to and why?" the world-famous physicist posted on Facebook through a verified account.

His question received over 6,000 likes.

"I don't think Mark would wanna answer this," one Facebook user joked. "Mr. Hawking wins the best question Q&A award," another quipped. "Epic,  respect, legend," others commented.

Zuckerberg responded within minutes, saying: "That's a pretty good one! I'm most interested in questions about people. What will enable us to live forever? How do we cure all diseases? How does the brain work? How does learning work and how we can empower humans to learn a million times more? I'm also curious about whether there is a fundamental mathematical law underlying human social relationships that governs the balance of who and what we all care about. I bet there is."



Photo Credit: Getty
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<![CDATA[Attack of the Leap Second: Sites Impacted]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 21:43:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/amazon-453056767.jpg

UPDATE: The connectivity issue previously identified as a root cause for the outage was unrelated to the "leap second bug." The connectivity issue resulted from a provider outside the AWS network, and prevented some users from accessing the sites. At the same time, the "leap second bug" affected a smaller number of customers. Amazon Web Services was not down and the services did not suffer an outage.

All issues with Amazon Web Services were resolved about 40 minutes after the issues emerged, the company said. "We have worked with this external Internet service provider to ensure that this does not reoccur."

The original article has been updated to reflect the clarification from Amazon.


Several major sites went down after the scheduled leap second on Tuesday evening, including Instagram, Pinterest, Netflix and Amazon.com.

Those sites all rely on Amazon Web Services for their Internet infrastructure. AWS, which powers several other major sites and social media platforms, suffered a connectivity issue between 8:25 p.m. to 9:07 p.m. ET (5:25 p.m. and 6:07 p.m. PT).

"We experienced an Internet connectivity issue with a provider outside of our network," Amazon Web Services said in an announcement on its Service Health Dashboard. "The issue has been resolved and the service is operating normally."

At the same time, a "leap second bug" also disrupted access for a small number of customers.

"We have seen with these reported issues that this has been caused by a leap second bug within the instance operating system," the post on the AWS dashboard said.

Call it the new Y2K bug — except this one actually did some damage.

Several other sites were crippled around the same time, although it wasn't immediately clear what caused those outages. Apple's newly launched music streaming service, Beats 1, apparently suffered an outage for nearly 40 minutes, as did task management sites like Asana, Slack and SocialFlow.

The leap second, as it's known, is a slight adjustment for the tiny inconsistencies in the length of a day.



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Releases New Music Streaming Service]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 08:38:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-476371856.jpg

Apple's new music streaming service is finally here: Apple Music.

In an attempt to compete with Spotify, Tidal, Rhapsody, Rdio and other streaming-music services, Apple Music combines downloaded music, streaming tunes, radio and some social elements.

“Apple Music is really going to move the needle for fans and artists,” said record producer and Beats by Dre co-founder, Jimmy Iovine in the company's press release. “Online music has become a complicated mess of apps, services and websites. Apple Music brings the best features together for an experience every music lover will appreciate.”

The new services takes songs from the users' own library in addition to a catalog of 30 millions songs available to stream. The 24-hour radio station, Beats 1, is Apple's first live radio station "dedicated entirely to music and music culture," according to the press release. Apple Music Connect will allow artists to share lyrics, backstage photos, videos and song releases directly to fans' iPhones. 

Starting June 30, users are able to use the service for three months before being charged $9.99 per month—a comparable price to other monthly streaming-music applications. For $14.99 per month, up to six family members can use one membership as part of Apple's family plan. 

“We love music, and the new Apple Music service puts an incredible experience at every fan’s fingertips,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “All the ways people love enjoying music come together in one app — a revolutionary streaming service, live worldwide radio and an exciting way for fans to connect with artists.”

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<![CDATA[Texans Perpetually Plugged In]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 10:18:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/smart+phone+generic+.jpg

If you look to your left and to your right, there's a good chance someone is using their smartphone to text, email or play Candy Crush.

In a report released by Bank of America Monday, nearly 40 percent people in the United States never disconnect from their smartphones and only 7 percent shut off their mobile connections while on vacation.

That means you can expect to see smartphone screen lights alongside fireworks this Independence Day.

The second annual Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report added that, for many, smartphones are the first and last thing people see each day. In Texas alone, 79 percent of adults fall asleep with their cell phones next to them. One third actually fall asleep with their phone in their hands.

While the bedroom has become an acceptable place for smartphones, 78 percent of Americans still believe that there is a proper time and place for smartphone use despite it's prominence. Texans ranked movies theaters, religious institutions and restaurants as places where they're annoyed to see the devices being used.

That hasn't stopped 37 percent of Americans who use their phones during meals, though.

Nearly half of Americans said they couldn't last 24 hours without their phones according to the report.

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<![CDATA[Space Scholarship Foundation Ignores Fame]]> Sat, 27 Jun 2015 22:33:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Nasa_Generic.jpg

As space age icons grow older, a foundation to support would-be astronauts looks beyond their fame for financial support.

In 1984, six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts -- Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Walter Schirra, Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton -- each pitched in $1,000 to start a scholarship foundation, the Houston Chronicle reported.

That project has grown from seven to 36 scholarships a year, valued at $10,000 each. Money from book sales and speaking engagements has kept the foundation alive, even as some of the founders have passed away.

"As we look to the future, as we are losing our legends, we're not able to keep moving in that same direction," said Tammy Knowles, the Florida-based foundation's executive director.

The foundation is pivoting toward corporations that want to invest in science and mathematics education, Knowles said, adding that she wants to expand the number of scholarships to 60 by 2017. While astronauts will remain critical, financial support will more likely come from boardroom appearances than proceeds from their fame.

An astronaut scholarship in 2000 and 2001 allowed Christina Hammock to focus on her studies in science without having to worry about how to pay for it. In June 2013, Hammock was selected as one of eight members of NASA's 21st astronaut class, marking the first time a scholarship recipient became an astronaut.

Hammock's success was a validation for the foundation, said Walt Cunningham, the lunar module pilot in the Apollo 7 mission and a board member.

"Today there are a lot of programs where they want to treat everyone equally," he said. "I want people to earn and deserve and move up. That means some people aren't going to make it. But we aren't looking for commodity students, just the innovators."

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Face Penalty Over Drone Use]]> Sat, 27 Jun 2015 22:29:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/smu_drones_for_FB_1200x675_450642499888.jpg The Dallas Cowboys may face a warning flag over an unapproved drone flight during a minicamp training session.]]> <![CDATA[Facebook Lets Users Show Their Pride with Rainbow Filter]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 16:56:41 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-4786255681.jpg

Facebook is now offering a rainbow filter that anyone can overlay on his or her profile picture, following Friday’s landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

The site’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg applied the filter to his own picture and posted a graphic showing two maps, one from 2008 and one from 2015, that showed the huge increase in membership in LGBT Facebook groups.

“I’m so happy for all of my friends and everyone in our community who can finally celebrate their love and be recogized as equal couples under the law,” Zuckerberg said.

In addition, the Facebook Stories page posted a video profiling Justin Kamimoto, who “started a Facebook group to support LGBT+ youth in California’s Central Valley.”

Six million people in the United States identify as LGBTQ on the site, according to Facebook. The company was one of 379 corporations and employer organizations that urged the Supreme Court to rule in favor of same-sex marriage, in a friend-of-the-court brief.

In February 2014, Facebook expanded users’ ability to self-identify with the gender of their choice, adding 56 options to the original “male” and “female” categories.

But Facebook wasn’t the only social media site pumping up the pride on Friday. Twitter, which also supported the ruling, also got in on the celebration, offering two new emojis, #Pride, a rainbow flag, and #LoveWins, a rainbow-flag heart.

Many companies updated their social media to reflect support for the court’s decision, in addition to Facebook and Twitter. Even The Weather Channel got in on the act, tweeting, of course, a rainbow.


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<![CDATA[The Future Has Arrived: Hoverbike in the Works]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 13:15:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/hoverbike1.jpg

A UK aeronautics company that once used Kickstarter to raise funds has a real hoverbike in the works. A prototype for the vehicle is moving forward with the help of the an American engineering company and the U.S. Department of Defense.

According to Reuters, Malloy Aeronautics is collaborating with Maryland-based engineering firm SURVICE and the DoD to create manned hoverbikes for the U.S. Army. Malloy's marketing director said hoverbikes will provide safer and more agile and cost-effective alternatives to helicopters. Developers said the vehicle could be used in emergency response tasks including search and rescue operations.

At the Paris Airshow, directors from both Malloy and SURVICE along with Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford announced the opening of a Hoverbike office in the Harford County, Maryland for the U.S. Army, Reuters reported. 

The hoverbike isn't the only hover prototype floating around. Toyota's Lexus division charmed the Internet with a promotional teaser on YouTube. The video shows a sleak skateboard-like device much like the one seen in 'Back to the Future.' Other hoverboard prototypes have been in the works for in recent years.



Photo Credit: Malloy Aeronautics
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<![CDATA[Apple Responds to Taylor Swift's Open Letter]]> Mon, 22 Jun 2015 08:59:53 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-476492963.jpg

Apple says it's bowing to concerns raised by pop superstar Taylor Swift. The giant tech company now plans to pay royalties to artists and record labels during a free, three-month trial of its new streaming music service.

Swift criticized the company in an open letter on Sunday, saying it wasn't fair that artists and labels wouldn't be paid directly for the use of their music during the trial period.

Writing on her Tumblr page in a posting titled "To Apple, Love Taylor," Swift said she would withhold her 2014 album "1989" from Apple Music, which launches June 30. The pop star called Apple's plan not to compensate artists, writers or producers during the three-month trial "shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company."

Eddie Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, responded to Swift late Sunday night in a series of tweets announcing the policy change.

Swift said she was speaking up for the music community at large, not for her own personal gain. Three months, she said, "is a long time to go unpaid." Last November, Swift also pulled "1989" off Spotify.


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<![CDATA[Newt Gingrich Takes on New Job: Tech Reviewer]]> Fri, 19 Jun 2015 10:38:26 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/gingrich14.jpg

Newt Gingrich's long resume just got longer.The former presidential candidate, House speaker and political consultant is now also a tech reviewer for Mashable.

His first post, a review of the Apple Watch, hit the site today, saying while there are some hiccups with the wearable gadget, it's a step in the right direction and fun for many people.

"At the moment, the Apple Watch seems best suited for busy people who need quick access to information on the go, those who want access to their schedules at a glance and anyone who likes being an early adopter of the newest technology," he wrote. "In many ways, the Apple Watch is like a beta product, but one promising a new direction, much like the first BlackBerrys and first iPhones." 

The idea to have him write for the site arose on Twitter two years ago, after Gingrich tweeted about virtual cars. A then-Mashable employee tweeted back, saying he wished the Republican would review the car for the site. 

 

While that review never happened, the prolific writer and technology fan later gave the site another reason to ask. In May 2015, he wrote a post for his own website about the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift. Mashable again took to Twitter to hint at the idea of him writing for the site.

With an excited response from Gingrich, a plan was set: he would be reviewing the Apple Watch. The 1,000-plus word review, which covered use of the watch during a cross-country flight and managing a busy schedule, got more than 1,000 shares within hours of hitting the Web. And the cub Mashable reporter seemed to be enjoying the job, too. 



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Zuckerberg Gives $5M to Scholarship]]> Wed, 17 Jun 2015 18:59:22 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mark-zuckerberg.jpg

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are giving $5 million to a scholarship fund for undocumented immigrant students. 

The Facebook CEO and his wife Priscilla Chan announced their donation to TheDream.Us in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

"America was founded as a nation of immigrants. We ought to welcome smart and hardworking young people from every nation, and to help everyone in our society achieve their full potential," he wrote. "If we help more young immigrants climb the ladder to new opportunities, then our country will make greater progress."

Zuckerberg is among Silicon Valley's most philanthropic people. In 2013, the Facebook CEO and his wife Priscilla Chan donated $1 billion, according to reports.

He came out as an advocate for immigration reform in 2013 when he spoke publicly for the first time on the issue.

"Someone did a study and it showed half of tech companies are founded by immigrants," he said. "These are issues that don’t just touch our industry, but really touch the whole country."



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[TIPS: Take Better Vacation Pix on your Smartphone]]> Mon, 15 Jun 2015 11:44:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/smartphone-better-pxi.jpg More than 10 billion photos are taken each month. 6 billion of those are with smartphones. Accessories and apps can make the photo taking experience that much greater.]]>