<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Tech News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/tech http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Sat, 20 Dec 2014 07:58:27 -0500 Sat, 20 Dec 2014 07:58:27 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Experts: WWIII Looks Like Sony Hack]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:03:12 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/N6P-SONY-KOREA-HACK-PKG---03282609.jpg

The term “cyber warfare” has been thrown around for years, with security experts wondering what the effects of a damaging cyber attack might look like. Now we know: a Hollywood studio left paralyzed, and the center of the tech world is wondering what's next.

As the billboards advertising Sony Pictures' "The Interview" were pulled down in Hollywood on Thursday, concerns about cyber terrorism shot up in Silicon Valley.

"World War III looks like this,” said Michelle Dennedy, Intel Security's chief privacy officer. She said technology is the new battlefield, and our gadgets are all potential targets.

"This is the wave of the future,” Dennedy said. “Bank robbers robbed banks because that's where the money was. Data is currency. Hackers are going for it because it's valuable."

What happened at Sony should, according to cyber security experts, be a warning to us all.

"This is the first time we've seen it at this scale,” said Truman National Security Project’s Mike McNerney.

The goal of hackers is not just disruption, it's fear, McNerney said. "This is different. The way they were able to combine this online attack that got them the attention they wanted, and then mix this with threat of physical violence, it's something we really haven't seen before."

But it’s likely something we'll see again, as hackers try to invade banks, retailers, anything with an easy to open virtual door.

"I think everyone needs to be worried about this," McNerney said, “whether it's an organization, government entity, or an individual.”



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Threat: Pay $1M or Get Hacked]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:04:20 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*120/IMG_02222.JPG

Hot on the heels of the infamous Sony hack, Pine Forge Academy in Berks County is facing a similar threat if it doesn’t pay $1 million to a person claiming to be with a group called Heart of the People.

The private Douglas Township boarding school received an anonymous email Tuesday from a "Heart hacker” who said the organization has taken down 57 institutions. Damage was assured to Pine Forge’s computer system and property if the rasnom isn't paid.

The "hacker" claimed to be paid $900,000 by some Pine Forge alumni to perform a cyberattack against the institution. They promised no harm if the $1 million is paid. The school alerted authorities who reviewed the message and searched the grounds before declaring them safe.

"We have no information about why this monetary ransom was made, the school authorities are cooperating with police authorities as they investigate this matter and will keep us posted on any further developments," said the academy's Headmistress Nicole Falconer.

Pennsylvania state police are tracing the email from its IP address. A novel case for them, authorities are seriously looking into the matter to determine if it's a sincere threat or a prank or scam. Police advised the school to strictly follow all safety protocols and procedures.



Photo Credit: Randy Gyllenhaal ]]>
<![CDATA[Safer Ride Mobile App Hopes to Deter Drunk Drivers]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 00:25:41 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008973143_1200x675_373567555814.jpg The Department of Transportation kicked off their annual campaign against drunk driving in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. The Safer Ride mobile app is also available to help you get home safely from holiday parties this time of year.]]> <![CDATA[Odd Google Searches That Trended in 2014]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 15:08:51 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/453920462.jpg

Google has released its 2014 list of its most common search requests. Many popular searches weren't surprising, like The World Cup, Robin Williams, and Disney's “Frozen.”

However, the search engine also revealed other searches that were also, somehow, popular this past year. People of the web turned to Google for odd info about dogs, beauty, diets, memes, fashion and famous selfies.

Take a look at searches that also trended in 2014: 



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Philly Police to Test Body Cameras]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:42:47 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008891845_1200x675_370474563783.jpg A pilot program will put cameras on 30 police officers in Philadelphia in an effort to create more transparency and community trust.]]> <![CDATA[No More Free Parking at Philly Kiosks]]> Tue, 09 Dec 2014 09:24:06 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/PPA+credit+card+parking+meter.JPG

A credit card transmission glitch that caused people to hit the ATM before parking in Philadelphia was fixed by midday Monday.

The city's parking authority said a computer glitch that developed over the weekend continued to block credit card payments at on-street kiosks into Monday morning.

"We want to apologize for any inconvenience caused by the failure of our kiosks to accept credit card payments," said Philadelphia Parking Authority Executive Director Vince Fenerty. "We worked throughout the weekend to successfully correct this technical problem and things are now back to normal."

Earlier, the PPA said the city's more than 1,000 pay stations would only accept cash and prepaid smart cards until it could restore credit card payments.

And drivers better pay up.

The PPA said it planned to fully enforce expired meter rules, with a 10-minute grace period, after relaxing ticketing on Sunday. The authority said it'll reverse fines for drivers who pay the kiosk within 10 minutes of being ticketed.

The PPA told anyone who believes they were unfairly ticketed to email their Customer Service Department at sruiz@philapark.org or call 1-888-591-3636.

Earlier this year the parking authority cited the proliferation of credit card-ready kiosks in its decision to phase out prepaid smart cards effective Dec. 31.

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<![CDATA[Philly DA's Office Warns of Online Shopping Fraud]]> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 07:17:06 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008771912_1200x675_364550211574.jpg The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office says this time of year is the perfect time for criminals to pounce on unsuspecting online shoppers. DA Seth Williams' office provides tips on how to protect yourself.]]> <![CDATA["Doorman" Keeps Online Orders Safe]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 03:42:56 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/1125-2014-Doorman.jpg

A San Francisco start-up wants to make sure you never miss a package again, or have one stolen off your doorstep. Doorman delivers boxes and envelopes to your door, when you are home.

“Shopping behavior online is changing dramatically,” said Co-Founder of Doorman Kapil Israni. “People are getting their toilet paper online. The problem is they're never home to get their package."

Doorman gives its customers an address to use when purchasing online. That package goes to the company’s warehouse, and customers are alerted when it arrives. The user can then respond with what time they’ll be home that night. One of the part-time contracted drivers then takes the package to your front door and texts you when they’re outside. Deliveries are made between 6 p.m. and midnight, seven days a week.

"This is our attempt to modernize the last broken piece of e-commerce,” said Co-Founder Zander Adell.

Packages arrive the same day they would if you ordered directly from a retailer. The cost is $4 per package, or $20 dollars a month. The hope, is you'll never miss a package again.

“There's nothing worse than getting a door tag. I'd rather get a parking ticket,” said customer Michele Mandell.

“If I'm not home, (other delivery companies) just return it. Then I have to take my car to the center and lose 3-4 hours,” said customer Loic Le Meur.

For now, Doorman is only available in San Francisco, but there are other options in the Bay Area.

Amazon has lockers you can ship packages to, and pick them up when you’re available.

If you ship through the Postal Service, you're urged to insure your package and make sure the box or envelope has to be signed for when it arrives. You can also track its progress online.

"One thing people do is have a trusted neighbor keep an eye out for their packages and say, 'hey, I'm expecting something, can you keep an eye out for it, and I'll do the same,” said USPS Spokesperson Augustine Ruiz.

The Postal Service announced its employees will begin delivering seven days a week through the holidays. USPS expects to deliver 12 percent more packages this holiday season than the same time last year. That equals more than 450 million packages.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[3-D Printing Gives Chance to Little Girl Born With Heart Defect ]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:31:49 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/195*120/11-24-14_Heart-Defect-Surgery-Hensel.JPG

Esther Perez was born with heart defects that could have taken her young life, but thanks to a series of breakthrough procedures at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the now-14-month-old little girl is thriving.

Using a series of conventional MRIs, 3-D MRIs and an incredible printer that reconstructed a model of the girl’s heart, doctors were able to plan her surgery, practice it and reduce her risks and increase her chances of survival.

That was the first miracle for her mother, Martha Perez, who found about her daughter's medical problem while she was still in the womb.

"I stop the pregnancy, or continue. Maybe the baby will be born for just five, 10 minutes, and then the baby maybe will be dying," she recalled, near tears.

Perez credits her faith with helping her to make it through the pregnancy, but when Esther was born, things looked bleak.

Her cardiologist said the baby just wasn’t getting enough oxygen to her body.

An early surgery provided a temporary fix, but as time went on it became clear a second, much more serious operation was needed.

Doctors decided the innovations could help, including creating a life-size model of Esther’s heart.

The paper-and-plastic model was an exact replica of Esther’s heart, so doctors could explore and strategize before the actual surgery.

"As soon as we opened the heart, it was exactly as I had seen before, so making the patch and doing the connections were quite straightforward," said Dr. Richard Kim, the cardiothoracic surgeon who operated on Esther.

Similar heart surgeries were done long before the 3-D technology was available, but doctors said it has helped increase the effectiveness and safety of similar operations.

Dr. Kim said Esther now stands a very good chance of having a healthy, normal life.

Perez said she’s grateful for the chance her daughter has been given.

"It’s a miracle," she said.

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<![CDATA[Uber Finalizes Plans in Wilmington]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:31:46 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/4532534881.jpg Uber is coming to Wilmington, Delaware and Zipcar could also soon arrive in town, according to a report.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[7 Tech Trends for 2015]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:34:08 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP836878317132.jpg

Will 2015 be the year of wearable tech?

The long-awaited Apple Watch will be making its debut in early 2015 and consumers will be able to get their hands on newly available 3D printers to make food and collectibles. Smart home devices are also among the hot tech trends in the new year, experts say.

“It’s a world of synced devices that will become mainstream in 2015," said Stacy Glasgow, a Chicago-based consumer trends consultant for market research firm Mintel. "It’s no longer about startups or early adopters. We’re seeing a lot of big retailers giving consumers smart products and devices.”

Glasgow said that in Mintel’s research, the company found that 59 percent of U.S. consumers were interested in using an app or device to control their home. About 22 percent already owned a wearable device already. “We definitely see that number in a position to grow,” she said.

Eric Openshaw, vice chairman and U.S. technology, media and telecom leader for Deloitte based in San Francisco, said that the wearable technology market is exploding but is probably going to be more important for businesses rather than consumers.

“I think there are huge benefits for the industrial user,” he said.

Coye Cheshire, an associate professor for the School of Information at the University of California at Berkeley, said most of the trends we’re seeing have to do with playing with user data.

“It’s called instrumenting the experience,” he said. “It’s all these apps, such as fitness apps or other metrics, capturing user data and returning it back to the consumer.” The hype is exciting, but he said society is not quite sure what it really wants to know. “The assumption is that if there’s more of this data and you turn it back to the people it will equal better experience, but it remains highly unknown if that’s the case.”

Here's a list of seven tech trends for 2015:

TellSpec

The TellSpec is a small spectroscope that uses a beam of infrared light to figure out the composition of food and help users determine exactly how many calories and grams of fat, protein or carbohydrates they are consuming just with a wave of the device. The TellSpec shoots the information to a smartphone (Android or iOS) where users can see not only the vital stats of the food, but also if it contains allergens like eggs or gluten. The company has been busy scanning foods so the spectroscope has a full database and can identify traces of ingredients, according to Fast Company.

Cheshire seemed interested but not optimistic about the scanner. “Will some people carry them around? There are a small amount of people who are responsible for almost all the uptick of all devices,” he said of the new adopters. But will it be popular with the mainstream – that’s another story.

Wearable Technology

The Apple Watch will likely be a must-have for those who want both a status symbol and a stylish timepiece (they come in different colors, from sensible stainless steel to elegant 18K rose gold). Other wearable tech, such as Google Glass, have already made their debut and caused the public to crave more gadgets like it. Samsung is launching a new platform, Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions (also dubbed SAMI), to capitalize on wearables. Expect to see more offerings from Microsoft, Motorola, Jawbone and others, including the Polo Tech Shirt which also offers biometric readings with a designer label.

Gartner Inc. predicts more wearable tech will come on the market because our society is becoming increasingly mobile and wants it available in more environments, including work. Cheshire said that cheaper sensors are making it possible. “This is the early stage of wearable technology and different companies are trying to throw things at the wall and see what sticks,” he said. "If were playing futurist, I wouldn’t bet on many of these things being around in a few years."

Smart Appliances and Smart Homes

“Virtually every large appliance is looking at the ‘Internet of Things,’ from sensor technology to smartphones to home networks,” Openshaw said of today's smart appliances and machines. Both Nest and Apple have devised ways to tell your house to turn on lights, adjust the thermostat or record TV programs via your smartphone, and you can expect to see more in 2015.

According to GigaOm, small startups are also joining the smart home movement by adding Bluetooth so users can control light bulbs, outlets or even receive pictures with their smartphone of who is knocking at your door. Expect all these apps to work with voice integration, so you will literally be talking to your smartphone to start your dryer or start preheating the oven.

Digitized Dining

We’re all familiar with making reservations online with apps such as OpenTable or finding food online via GrubHub, but now more restaurants are letting you order your food online. Already Pizza Hut offers that capability (and receives half of its online orders from mobile devices) as does Panda Express. Some Chili’s and Applebee’s provide tablets for customers to order, while McDonald’s and White Castle are also working on a touch-screen customizing kiosk, which may do away with a cashier altogether.

“I think the trend is rooted to an unprecedented expectation for on-demand convenience,” Glasgow said. “It’s this new immediacy in shopping and food service.” She said to expect more “blurring” between online and brick-and-mortar stores.

Paying With Your Phone

The idea of “click and pay” with a smartphone has been around for the last few years, but perhaps it needed Apple’s new iPhone 6 to bring the mobile payment system to the mainstream. Security professionals say it's a "significant improvement over using a credit card" and Apple said it "doesn't collect your purchase history, so we don't know what you bought, where you bought it or how much you paid for it."

But there are still some issues. According to Consumer Reports, a reporter used his wife’s credit card after scanning it into his iPhone without impunity or questions and in October, Bank of America apologized for charging customers twice for purchases they made using the system.

Cheshire said that digital payment isn't enough to the transaction more seamless. “Paying by your phone alone doesn’t make it efficient,” he said, “but if you also make an order and pay for it with the same phone it can be.”

Life360

It may sound a bit creepy, and your teenagers will hate it, but keeping tabs on your entire family at all times is now a reality with this free Life360 app.

“If I had an application for (my kids aged) 11 to 12 so I could know what they’re doing, I would be thrilled,” Openshaw said.

Parents will likely love the “Places” part of the app that is literally a map that shows everyone in the circle coming or going from certain spots and alerts users when members have left or have entered a specific area.

“I think the social implication is that we’re raising our kids to know they can’t be trusted or trust people in general,” Cheshire said. Glasgow disagreed, saying that it may calm parental anxieties. “If I have an application for (my kids aged) 11 to 12 to know what they’re doing, I would be thrilled,” Openshaw said.

3D Printers

How would you like to have a printer that can create a gun or a pizza? Apparently many people are interested. The shipments of 3D printers will double in 2015 and double again in 2016, according to Gartner Inc. Previously the domain of scientific labs or universities, 3D printers have captured the interest of the masses perhaps because it can reduce costs and create facsimiles almost instantly.

“We see another trend that consumers are finding they enjoy making things on their own and I think 3D printing facilitates that,” Glasgow said, mentioning the beauty of 3D printer Mink which can create custom-colored eye shadow or lipstick.

Consumers may also be interested in exploring cuisine with the Foodini, a 3D printer that creates your favorite foods from “sweet to savory” according to CNN. Lynette Kucsma, co-founder of Natural Machines which creates the Foodini, says a consumer version of its product will be out soon and retail for around $1,000.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Company Unveils Electronically-Powered Skates]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:18:37 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/1121-2014-RocketSkates.jpg

Forget walking or rollerblading — how about rocket skating?

California-based company Acton has developed electronically-powered skates that can propel the wearer up to 12 miles per hour — no pushing required.

Founders said the idea was inspired by "Iron Man," "Inspector Gadget" and "The Jetsons."

"The idea of just being able to slide around the urban environment is very exciting," said Peter Treadway, co-founder of Acton. "It's kind of like a magic carpet for your feet."

The skates were released this week and sell for $500 a pair.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Drone Tests to Start in New Jersey]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:38:29 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008721874_1200x675_361977923664.jpg NBC10's Ted Greenberg explains how drones could be used to examine hurricane damage.]]> <![CDATA[FB Shuttle Drivers “Like” Union Bid]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 07:11:56 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/fb16.jpg

Shuttle bus drivers who take Facebook employees to and from Silicon Valley overwhelmingly gave the "thumbs up" to forming a union on Wednesday, after they had complained publicly for months about their low pay, split shifts and health insurance benefits.

Rome Aloise, secretary for the Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro, said the vote was 43 in favor of unionizing and 28 opposed. A total of 16 of the 87 drivers who work for Loop Transportation - the shuttle company contracted to drive Facebook employees, did not vote.

"This will now give these drivers at Facebook, and most probably the drivers for all of the companies that use this type of service a chance at a piece of the pie," Aloise said. "This makes it possible for those that make Facebook successful to get to work comfortably, safely and in a timely fashion.  Hopefully the tech companies will step up and pay the "freight" so to speak"

The National Labor Board still needs to certify the election, and then bargaining can begin with Loop for a first-time contract.

In a statement, Loop CEO Jeff Leonoudakis said that the company didn't feel "our drivers' interests are best served by union representation."

But, he added: "Our drivers have spoken and we will now begin the negotiation process."

Leonoudakis reiterated that the company's drivers earn between $17 and $25 an hour and get full medical benefits valued at up to $714 per month per employee. One of the drivers' complaints is over their split shifts. They pick up Facebook employees about 6 a.m. and have to take them home sometimes 14 or 15 hours later - and are only getting paid for an eight-hour shift.

Leonoudakis said that the drivers can sleep at the Loop Transportation yard, or eat for free at Facebook's campus.

Facebook officials has not formally commented on the labor strife, indicating that the fight is not with their tech company, but with a third party contractor.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Google "Trekkers" Maps Hiking Trail]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 08:23:54 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/1118-2014-GoogleTrekker1.jpg

Google "trekkers" are helping you map out your next hiking trip and get a feel for being on the trail.

The backpack-type trekker carries 15 cameras and records the hiker's every move with the same technology used in Google Earth and Google Maps.

"The trekker takes an image as the person walks -- every two and a half seconds," said Deanna Yick, a Google Street View manager. "That enables us to get a picture of what a place is like and a feel for being there."

Hannah Lonergan recently went on a hike using a Google trekker.

"It's a lot heavier, you have an antenna, you have to watch out for low-hanging branches," Lonergan said when asked how a trekker compares to a regular camping backpack. She added that the trekker weights about 60 pounds.

The City of Monterey is working with Google to get trekkers on local trails.

"We feel like this is a great way to showcase Monterey County," said Tammy Blount, Monterey City Convention Bureau CEO.

Google officials said trekkers can handle privacy concerns on the spot. For example, if someone is hiking on the trial and doesn't want to be in the picture, the hiker can pause the camera and make sure the hiker's anonymity is preserved.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Tony Hawk Rides Hoverboard]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 08:28:20 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-11-17+at+3.26.35+PM.png

The hoverboard is reality, and Tony Hawk has taken a spin on it.

The pro skateboarder tested the $10,000 prototype Hendo Hoverboard after husband and wife Greg and Jill Henderson launched a Kickstarter to fund it. 

In the video, Hawk performs a few tricks on the board, which hovers an inch off the ground and uses magnets, though he also ends up falling several times.

Hawk had caught attention for another hoverboard video earlier this year — a fake video made by Funny or Die that featured the skateboarder, musician Moby and others riding boards high into the sky, in a prank for which Hawk eventually apologized.  


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<![CDATA[Fugitive of 12 Years Caught]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 20:53:35 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/11-14-14-Eduardo+Rodriguez+Juan+Carlos+Campos+Gamino.jpg

A fugitive wanted for murder on the lam for more than a decade was captured in Riverside, California, after police recognized photos of him on Facebook, federal authorities said Friday.

Eduardo Rodriguez, 35, was taken into custody about 6:30 p.m. Thursday at his home in the 3500 block of Farnham Place, Laura Vega of the U.S. Marshals Service said. He had been living under an assumed identity for at least five years and was working as a carpenter in Riverside.

Rodriguez, also known as Juan Carlos Campos Gamino, disappeared soon after he was indicted in 2003 on four counts of homicide and two counts of attempted homicide. The Los Angeles Police Department listed him as one of its most wanted fugitives.

Last year, after the LAPD case went cold, a Glendale police detective on light duty because of an injury began monitoring the Facebook pages of Rodriguez's family members and friends, Vega said. The detective recognized him in photos with a woman.

Glendale police tracked down the identity of the woman, who turned out to be Rodriguez's fiancee, and U.S. marshals began surveilling the woman's home. He was taken into custody Thursday evening, Vega said.

"Everyone was pointing at him and told him to put his hands up," neighbor Nancy Vallejo said. "That's when we noticed, oh my gosh that's our neighbor."

Rodriguez's fiancee told NBC4 on Friday she had no idea he was wanted for multiple homicides, and the couple's neighbors said he seemed like a normal father of three children. Additional details about the children were not immediately available.

"He looks like a really nice person," neighbor Francisca Garivay said. "He is really nice to us."

"He didn't seem like that type of guy," another neighbor said. "He seemed like a hard working guy."

His fiancee also told NBC4 Rodriguez would sometimes go to Mexico, which investigators also suspected.

At the time Rodriguez was charged with the crimes, he was second in command of the Toonerville criminal street gang under Timothy McGhee, Vega said.

Officials said the gang, previously led by McGhee, claimed an area of narcotics distribution around Los Feliz Boulevard between San Fernando Road and the Los Angeles River in Atwater Village and Glendale.

McGhee, who is now behind bars, is suspected of committing at least 12 murders in the years between 1997 and 2001, and was convicted in 2007 of three murders, Vega said. McGhee was sentenced to death and multiple, consecutive life sentences in January 2009.

Rodriguez was taken to Los Angeles for booking, and will be scheduled for arraignment later, officials said. Details of Rodriguez's alleged crimes were not immediately available.



Photo Credit: Los Angeles Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Techology Upgrade at Philly Boys & Girls Club]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 16:12:10 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008647920_1200x675_357895747640.jpg Singing superstar Jordin Sparks joins Comcast's David Cohen as Comcast helps bridge a technology gap for the kids and the Wayne Avenue Boys & Girls Club. Comcast is the parent company of NBC10.]]>