<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Tech News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/tech http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.comen-usSun, 22 Oct 2017 23:45:02 -0500Sun, 22 Oct 2017 23:45:02 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[New Immersive Experience Lets Users Explore Mars Using VR]]> Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:34:07 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/10-20-2017-rover-360-mars20171019.jpg

Now everyone can get a taste of what scientists see on the red planet.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory collaborated with Google to produce Access Mars, a free immersive experience that be accessed with a computer, mobile device or virtual reality/augmented reality headset.

Access Mars: Experience access Mars by clicking here and learn about Curiosity’s mission here.

Using imagery from NASA’s Curiosity rover, users can explore the desert terrain while poking around nooks and crannies. The program features four notable regions: Curiosity's landing site, Murray Buttes, Marias Pass and Pahrump Hills. The rover’s current location on Mt. Sharp will be continually updated as new imagery comes in.

The software is adapted from a similar program used by NASA scientists to study Martian geology.

"We've been able to leverage VR and AR technologies to take our scientists to Mars every single day," said Victor Luo, lead project manager at JPL's Ops Lab, which led the collaboration. "With Access Mars, everyone in the world can ride along."

The experience was crafted by pairing Curiosity's imagery and scientific data with WebVR, an open-source virtual reality software that be accessed by anyone with an internet connection.

Visitors can learn more details about Curiosity’s experiments such as photos of digging sites, soil mineral compositions and even a selfie the rover took so scientists could monitor wear and tear.

"Immersive technology has incredible potential as a tool for scientists and engineers," Luo said. "It also lets us inspire and engage the public in new ways."

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL
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<![CDATA[How to Prevent Being Spied on in Vacation Rental Homes]]> Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:24:30 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cameras_Found_in_Airbnb_Condo_1200x675_1068525123576.jpg

For people on vacation, being watched on hidden cameras in your room should be the furthest thing on their mind, but police are warning people to be on the lookout after an alarming case last month involving a vacation rental, according to "Today." 

An Indiana couple found a hidden camera and microphone in a smoke detector pointed toward their bed at their Airnbnb rental in Longboat Key, Florida. The homeowner was arrested and charged with video voyeurism, police said.

It is surprisingly easy to hide cameras and microphones in everyday household items, according to Scott Black, owner of Bethlehem Spy Shop in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

"You can be 2 thousand miles away and as long as there's an internet connection,'' Black said, "we can monitor this from anywhere in the world."

Photo Credit: WFLA
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<![CDATA[This Is What Happens When You Take a Fidget Spinner to Space]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:25:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+SPACE+FIDGET+SPINNER+THUMB.jpg

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station tested a fidget spinner in zero gravity. They had time to play with the popular toy in between three scheduled space walks this month.

<![CDATA['Krack' Security Flaw Puts Every Wi-Fi Connection at Risk]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:28:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/551984311-Hacker.jpg

A newly discovered Wi-Fi security flaw reveals that your home network is hackable, giving outsiders access to everything from private chats to baby monitors, NBC News reports.

The attack, called Krack, takes advantage of the longstanding connection between devices and routers that is supposed to deliver a fresh, encrypted session every time you connect.

"When I woke up this morning and saw this one, I was taken aback," said Bob Rudis, chief data scientist at threat intelligence company Rapid7.

The gaping hole in the Wi-Fi protocol is fixable, and the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team has been reaching out to the many vendors who are affected. Rudis recommends checking with your internet service provider for the latest information on updates.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Cultura RF]]>
<![CDATA[SpaceX Successfully Launches and Lands Another Rocket]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 19:58:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/spacex2.png

SpaceX launched and landed its second rocket in three days. The unmanned Falcon 9 blasted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida before delivering a satellite and landing the leftover booster on an offshore barge. It is the third time a SpaceX has reflown a rocket.

<![CDATA[Not Just You: Facebook, Instagram Go Down Wednesday]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 12:43:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Facebook-generic-1.jpg

Facebook and Instagram went down for many users on Wednesday, with problems on the social media giant spiking, according to the website status-tracking page Downdetector.

Facebook acknowledged that people weren't able to use the site, or Instagram, which it owns. 

"We're aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram. We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible," a Facebook representative said.

There were thousands of reports of problems starting Tuesday morning about 10 a.m. ET, though the spike receded about three hours later. The reports came from across the nation, Europe and South America, according to Downdetector's map.

It wasn't immediately clear caused the issue.

Facebook's troubleshooting dashboard noted an increased level of in errors. A company that links to Facebook's back-end in order to let companies post to social media, SocialFLow, said there was a problem in a tweet before noon.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[The Best Ways to Finance the New iPhone 8 or X]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 10:53:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/iPhone+8.jpg

When the iPhone first launched, the only way to get Apple's latest smartphone was through a two-year contract through AT&T. Things have changed, NBC News reported. 

Consumers now have the option to finance the new iPhone 8, 8 Plus and upcoming iPhone X from Apple and the major wireless carriers, as a shift from two-year contracts to carrier financing becomes popular.

Experts say that it's important for people to read the fine print and know what they're signing up for.

"If you do finance through them, they kind of have you on the hook,” says John Oldshue, owner of SaveOnPhone.com. “Not only will they come right after you for the rest of the money if you decide to switch carriers in the middle of that time period, but some have a penalty for leaving the carriers.”

NBC News' Better ran down all the options for customers looking to buy the latest iPhones.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Startup Aims to Produce Hybrid-Electric Planes by 2022]]> Thu, 05 Oct 2017 15:02:51 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/zunum.png

Zunum Aero, a Seattle-based startup, has announced plans for a hybrid-electric plane.

<![CDATA[Yahoo: Every Single Account Was Impacted by 2013 Data Breach]]> Wed, 04 Oct 2017 02:27:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-493360991.jpg

Yahoo, now part of Oath, said that every single Yahoo account was affected by a data breach that took place in 2013.

That's about 3 billion accounts, CNBC reported.

Yahoo buried the stat in a recent update to its Account Security Update page. "Based on an analysis of the information with the assistance of outside forensic experts, Yahoo has determined that all accounts that existed at the time of the August 2013 theft were likely affected," Yahoo's page says.

Yahoo said that the company received new intelligence after it was acquired by AOL and that forensic experts discovered the attack was larger than originally thought. Yahoo will begin alerting accounts that weren't previously notified of the attack.

This story is developing please check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[GM to Ditch Gas- and Diesel-Powered Cars, Go All Electric]]> Mon, 02 Oct 2017 16:40:50 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GM-electric.jpg

General Motors plans to go 100 percent electric, the Detroit automaker announced Monday.

"General Motors believes in an all-electric future," said Executive Vice President Mark Reuss. "Although that future won't happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers' needs."

A number of auto manufacturers have recently announced plans to "electrify" their product lines. But GM said its promise takes this commitment a step further, NBC News reported.

GM currently offers one extended-range electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, but will add two others within 18 months, Reuss said, with "at least 20" to be in the line-up by 2023.

Photo Credit: General Motors via AP]]>
<![CDATA[FCC Chief to Apple: Enable Radio on iPhones, Save Lives]]> Thu, 28 Sep 2017 17:35:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/186*120/455053466.jpg

The iPhone is an incredibly advanced device, but some versions have a very old piece of technology embedded in it lying dormant: a radio receiver.

Now, the chairman of the U.S. agency that regulates radio, phones and other forms of communication wants Apple to activate the FM chips in iPhones to help get information to Puerto Ricans, whose island is near-totally blacked-out after Hurricane Maria hit land with devastating force last week.

"When wireless networks go down during a natural disaster, smartphones with activated FM chips can allow Americans to get vital access to life-saving information," said Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai Thursday in a statement. "I applaud those companies that have done the right thing by activating the FM chips in their phones. Apple is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted doing so."

Pai's call was backed by the National Association of Broadcasters, which also urged Apple to "light up the FM chip."

"It is time for Apple to step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first," Pai said in his statement.

Puerto Rico is in the midst of what San Juan's mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, House Speaker Paul Ryan and others have called a humanitarian crisis. Nearly half the island is without water and about all electricity customers without power as of Wednesday, according to federal agencies' most recent updates.

About nine in 10 cellphone sites were still out of service by Wednesday, and residents have complained that there's no way for them to get vital news about where to get supplies. Many people continue to be unable simply to reach family members on the mainland.

Usually, smartphones get data through the internet, but with so much of the island crippled, internet service is very hard to come by. But the FM chips that most phones are made with would allow them to tune into radio frequencies without anything other than power — if the chips are activated, and users have an app downloaded that can access broadcasts.

Pai has long identified this capability as being important option for smartphone owners to have when disasters hit, and the FCC has recognized that it's particularly useful in disaster situations when the internet is hard to access.

"I don't think people realize how vulnerable people get," said former FEMA Administator Craig Fugate, citing cell system overload during Hurricane Sandy and the Virginia earthquake, in an interview with NAB. 

FEMA urges people to have battery-powered radios in their disaster preparedness kits, but Fugate said in the 2014 interview, "If your radio's now in your cellphone, that's one less device that you have to have extra."

Currently, the NAB-supported NextRadio app, which can broadcast from the FM chip, is available on a wide variety of Samsung, HTC, Moto and other smartphones. But not iPhones.

Apple did not respond when Wired wrote about the issue of smartphones' FM chips last year. In a statement to NBC on Thursday, an Apple spokesperson said that its iPhone 7 and new iPhone 8 do not have FM radio chips in them "nor do they have antennas designed to support FM signals, so it is not possible to enable FM reception in these products."

"Apple cares deeply about the safety of our users, especially during times of crisis and that’s why we have engineered modern safety solutions into our products," Apple said in a statement. "Users can dial emergency services and access Medical ID card information directly from the Lock Screen, and we enable government emergency notifications, ranging from Weather Advisories to AMBER alerts."

Apple did not address the older models of iPhones, and the FCC declined to comment on the company's statement.

Activating the FM chip wouldn't immediately help anyone in Puerto Rico without internet already. But advocates argue it would help Americans be prepared for the next disaster.

Wireless companies have long urged Congress to let FM chip activation be up to individual carriers.

Asked at a 2013 congressional hearing why cellphone providers are reluctant to activatation of the chips, then-executive vice-president of the wireless association CTIA, Christopher Guttman-McCabe, said, "we leave it up to that ecosystem, and the carriers will compete against each other as well as the handset manufacturers."

In a recent statement, CTIA spokesman Nick Ludlum touted wireless providers' quick response to the three recent hurricanes that hit the United States, including by bringing in portable generators and cell equipment.

NBC reached out to the CTIA for a response to Pai's statement.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Twitter to Test 280-Character Tweets]]> Tue, 26 Sep 2017 16:24:23 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/twitter-logo.jpg

Twitter is experimenting with raising the limit on tweets from 140 characters to 280 characters.

The company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday it was rolling out 280-character limit tweets to "a small group" of users who tweet in languages that may make it difficult to include everything they want to say.

"We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too," Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen wrote. "But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint."

Shares of Twitter rose more than 1 percent in extended trading following the news, CNBC reports, after declining more than 2 percent during the regular session.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA['Smart' Billboards Will Watch You Drive]]> Mon, 25 Sep 2017 15:47:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Smart_Billboards.jpg

Synaps Labs, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is preparing to bring "smart billboards" to U.S. streets within the next six months. The billboards generate an advertisement specifically tailored to approaching cars.

<![CDATA[Asteroid-Bound Spacecraft Will 'Slingshot' Past Earth: NASA]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 08:01:59 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/NASA_Asteroid_Mission.jpg

NASA will undergo a first-of-its-kind mission Friday to visit a near-Earth asteroid, collect samples and deliver them safely back to Earth using its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

<![CDATA[SEC Says Hackers Breached System, Accessed Data]]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:59:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/166323747-computer-generic.jpg

Hackers breached the filing system of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and may have accessed "nonpublic information" for profit, the agency said in a statement late Wednesday.

The SEC, which regulates the financial securities industry, gave few details on the hack but said the hackers may have made "illicit gain through trading," NBC News reported.

It is not believed that any personally identifiable information or SEC operations were compromised, the agency added.

The hack was first detected in 2016, but the SEC didn't realize until last month that the hackers may have benefited from the data accessed.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Companies Help Schools Teach Students How to Work for Them]]> Tue, 19 Sep 2017 08:16:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/delta+airlines.jpg

Some companies are so set on having workers who know just how their computer systems work that they're partnering with schools to start or invest in job training programs of their own, NBC News reported.

Call it "new collar" jobs, as opposed to white collar and blue collar. They require some specialized education to get the job, but not a four-year degree.

For example, Delta has partnered with 37 aviation maintenance schools to help shed light on the often-technical aviation maintenance technician job. A company executive said that the curriculum required by the Federal Aviation Administration is "very generic" and that it takes at least a year of working at Delta even with certification to be able to sign off on anything as an AMT.

Nationwide, there were 6.2 million job openings at the end of June, a record high, and many of these openings are "new collar jobs that are unfilled as a result of an unskilled and under-skilled workforce," said Eugene Giovannini, chancellor at Tarrant County College in Texas.

Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, File]]>