<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Tech News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/tech http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usTue, 06 Dec 2016 15:04:26 -0500Tue, 06 Dec 2016 15:04:26 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[NBC10 @Issue: New App Helps Families Prepare for College ]]> Sun, 04 Dec 2016 21:29:41 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/New-College-App.jpg Choosing a college is one of the biggest decisions students and their parents will make and it is not always easy. Now a new app is taking a little bit of the stress off by placing everything you need to know in one place. NBC10's Romsemary Connors sits down with Kimberly Lewis of Philadelphia Futures to talk about the expansion into an app.]]> <![CDATA[What are the Most Instagram-Popular Spots in PA, NJ, DE?]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:37:46 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/10-3-2013-instagram-generic.jpg

As the millennial saying goes, “picture or it didn’t happen.”

In a world where people obsess over their experiences on social media, USA Today gathered a list of the top 5 most-photographed places in each state.

The news outlet determined all 50 states’ most iconic locations by collecting the most “geo-tagged” places on Instagram. The photo-sharing app — which has about 100 million active users in the U.S. — lets people post the location where their photo was taken through its “geo-tag” feature.

Here are the most Instagram-popular spots in Pennsylvania and its neighboring states, according to the paper:

Pennsylvania -- Dominated by Philly

5. Temple University

4. Citizen’s Bank Park

3. PNC Park

2. Lincoln Financial Field

1. Philadelphia Art Museum

Delaware -- Beaches and campuses 

5. Cape Henlopen State Park

4. Delaware State University

3. Bethany Beach

2. Rehoboth Beach

1. University of Delaware


New Jersey -- Arenas, amusement park and airport

5. Prudential Center

4. BB&T Pavilion

3. Newark Liberty International Airport

2. Six Flags Great Adventure

1.MetLife Stadium

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook to Invest $20M in Affordable Housing Projects]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 22:15:19 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/187265573-facebook-generic.jpg

Facebook announced Friday a new partnership aimed at solving some of Silicon Valley's most difficult issues, including affordable housing.

The Menlo Park-based company is contributing an initial $20 million to the partnership, which includes community groups and government agencies in the region. Facebook said it hopes to attract more contributions and partners to the cause.

In addition to affordable housing, Facebook is devoting $625,000 to job training in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Facebook also will dedicate $500,000 to an assistance fund to "provide legal support to tenants threatened with displacement from evictions, unsafe living conditions and other forms of landlord abuse."

"Since shortly after Facebook was created, we’ve been part of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. The region — this community — is our home," the company said in a press release. "We want the region to remain strong and vibrant and continue a long tradition of helping to build technologies that transform the future and improve the lives of people around the world, and also in our extended neighborhood. We all need to work together to create new opportunities for housing, transportation and employment across the region. We’re committed to join with the community to help."

Photo Credit: File – Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Deep Learning: Teaching Computers to Predict the Future]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:16:02 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/atlas-computer.jpg

Researchers have configured computers to predict the immediate future by examining a photograph, NBC News reported.

A program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has analyzed 2 million videos to see how scenes typically progress, and can generate a 1.5-second video clip predicting a scenario based on a photograph.

The MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory hopes to generate longer videos with more complexity in the future.

To create the program, the team relied on a scientific technique called deep learning, which uses mathematical structures to pull patterns from massive data sets. It could lead to computers making diagnoses from medical images, customer predictions or even operating vehicles.

Photo Credit: Christian Science Monitor/Getty ]]>
<![CDATA[Taking the Plunge: Michael Phelps Looks to Dip Into Tech ]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:30:06 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/mikemikemike.jpg

Michael Phelps wants to dive into Silicon Valley's investment opportunities as he tries to make the transition from Olympic swimming star and product pitchman to entrepreneur.

"I would love to get involved, whether it's in a couple little startups here and there, take a little risk, have some fun and see where it goes," Phelps said in an interview during a recent visit to San Jose, California while appearing at an Intuit software conference.

For now, Phelps isn't providing any details about what he is going to do, though he says he has been getting advice from venture capitalists and other experienced investors in Silicon Valley startups.

Getting into tech investing would be a new direction for Phelps, whose business experience to date consists mostly of his own line of swimwear and endorsement deals with the likes of Under Armour, Visa and Wheaties.

These and other big brands have paid him an estimated $75 million during his career. That's far more than the $1.65 million that he received from the U.S. Olympic Committee and Speedo for winning a record 28 medals, including 23 golds, in five Olympics. He's still promoting products; he is currently doing commercials for computer chipmaker Intel in a campaign that began in October.

Whatever he does next, Phelps isn't ready to start his own investment fund, like retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant did earlier this year with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel. And if Phelps has ideas for founding a startup of his own, he's keeping them to himself.

Making the leap from pitchman to businessman won't be easy, said David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California's Marshall Sports Business Institute. "Athletes come and go and many talk a big game, but they don't follow through," he said. Phelps "is really going to have commit to learning about business and demonstrate his seriousness about it."

Other celebrities have ventured into the tech industry in search of riches, with decidedly mixed results.

Notable successes include rapper and record producer Dr. Dre, who was part of the founding team that sold Beats to Apple for $3 billion 2014. Actor Ashton Kutcher co-founded an investment fund in 2010 that made early investments in startups such as the ride-hailing service Uber, the home rental-service Airbnb and the music streaming service Spotify. The fund's value had soared to $250 million from $30 million, based on a review of its books earlier this year by Forbes magazine.

Among the flops: HJR Capital, a tech-investment firm that collapsed in 2009, a decade after former San Francisco 49er lineman Harris Barton founded it and later enticed ex-teammates Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott to join him. In Rhode Island, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling started a video game company that went bankrupt in 2012.

Phelps is exploring ways to expand his business ventures beyond a line of swimwear and other clothing bearing his "MP" logo. Other products are in the pipeline for next year, though he won't say what. "I am getting my feet wet," Phelps said with a grin. "2017 will be a big year."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Philadelphia-Based Artist to Debut X-Ray Art]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:22:10 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/XRay+Art+1.jpg

Almost 30 years ago, Philadelphia-based radiologist Susan Summerton started collecting x-ray photos that coincidentally resembled letters, numbers, and shapes. Using those radiographic images of bones, organs, muscles and surgical materials, she embraced her artistic abilities and created reproductions of words and symbols.

The Temple grad named her medical artwork collection Xray Artistry, and is set to showcase it in her first solo gallery show at Large Format Digital Printing (LFDP) in New Jersey.

LFDP will host a public opening ceremony of the exhibit on Friday, Dec. 2, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 19 Bridge Street in the Stockton borough of New Jersey. The gallery runs through Jan. 6, 2017.

Summerton’s unique blend of medicine, photography, anatomy and art received recognition from prestigious organizations; in 2014, she submitted a piece of Xray Artistry to an international contest sponsored by the Radiologic Society of North America. The artwork received an Honorable Mention and was featured at the Society’s annual meeting, where she was selected as “Best New Exhibitor.” In October, the Philadelphia Native was invited to present her Xray Artistry collection at the prestigious Parallax Arts Fair in London, England.

Summerton— who works with a large group of radiologists in Philadelphia called Radiology Affiliates Imaging (RAI)— also uses her artistic vision to make customized gifts for anyone interested in owning a piece of the medical artwork.

To learn more about Xray Artistry, view artwork, or place custom orders, visit www.xrayartistry.com or contact Dr. Susan Summerton at 856.981.6783.

Photo Credit: Artwork and Photos by Susan Summerton, MD]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: New Drone Video Shows Apple 'Spaceship' Almost Done]]> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 11:41:10 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/applespaceship.jpg

A new drone video released over the Thanksgiving weekend shows that Apple's new "Spaceship" building in Cupertino is nearly completed.

David Sexton, who runs Sexton Videography, made a trip from his hometown Chicago to California's Silicon Valley over the holidays. He sent his DJI Phantom 3 Advanced drone into the air over Apple's new campus.

"I'm an Apple fan boy," Sexton told NBC Bay Area by phone on Monday. "I was on vacation and no one was around, so I decided to do a flyover."

Sexton did the same thing last December, and noted how remarkable the construction changes were in a year's time. "It was just a shell," he said. "It's really blossomed."

His video, taken on Thanksgiving and posted on Nov. 25, shows aerials of Apple's 176-acre Campus 2, aka the Spaceship, being built between Homestead Road and Interstate Highway 280. The solar-paneled, space-age, circular building is slated to open in a few months, in early 2017.

The drone video also shows an underground auditorium, a huge research and development building, a tunnel with underground parking and a fitness center for employees.

A representative from Apple's Campus 2 media list did not respond for comment.

For more information on the project, click here.

Photo Credit: David Sexton/ Sexton Videography]]>
<![CDATA[Cyber Monday Preview]]> Sun, 27 Nov 2016 20:57:06 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Cyber-Monday-Generic.jpg Cyber Monday is about to begin and Lauren Mayk is live in the suburbs of Philadelphia looking at some deals that have already started. Local department stores are already giving out coupons for deals both in the stores and online to make shopping convenient for consumers.]]> <![CDATA[Safety Tips for Online Shoppers Ahead of Cyber Monday]]> Fri, 25 Nov 2016 19:41:39 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Amazon+Warehouse+Online+Shopping.jpg Cyber Monday will bring in masses of online shoppers, but those digitally shopping should beware of certain scams or wifi tricks. Dr. Rob D'Ovidio, associate professor at Drexel University, has some tips for shoppers.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Holiday Toys Go High Tech]]> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 09:25:08 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_hatchimal_1500x845.jpg From artificial intelligence in Hot Wheels to Barbie's dream smart home controlled through an iPad, this year's gifts for the holidays adapt new technology to add a new spin on traditional toys for children.

Photo Credit: NBC News ]]>
<![CDATA[Gift Guide for Gamers on Your Holiday List]]> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 14:40:47 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/223*120/Game-Splitter.jpg

This holiday season, the ghosts of video games past, present and future will be visiting the gift lists of players everywhere, and we've rounded up some hot items to make everyone happy. All prices listed below are the manufacturer's suggested retail price, but there are plenty of Black Friday sales to help your wallet.

Venture back to the 1980s with the NES Classic Console ($59.99) from Nintendo. This small replica of the original Nintendo Entertainment System console can fit in the palm of your hand but contains 30 classic games from the past.

The controllers are the original size, yet significantly smaller than today’s gaming controllers. Pick up an extra controller and watch the entire family try to set high scores on games like "Donkey Kong," "Super Mario Bros." and many others.

The console is a popular item this season, so call ahead for availability in stores or order early online. 

Looking for something a bit more current with a lot more power? The PlayStation 4 Slim ($299.99) version packs today’s technology into a smaller, trimmer console. Bundle it up with a hit like “Uncharted 4” and enjoy a quieter, cooler gaming experience with a better High Dynamic Range look.

Perhaps something stronger is on your gaming list. The Xbox One S ($299.99) features built-in 4K Ultra Blu-ray for movies and streaming video in 4K. Just be sure your television or monitor can handle the upgraded visual experience.

The PlayStation VR, named one of this year’s best inventions by Time magazine, is a glimpse into the future. The headset attaches to the PlayStation 4 console for an intense and immersive visual gaming adventure like no other. But what about that sound?

The Turtle Beach Stealth 350VR headphones ($79.95) have clearance for the VR headset and cables, while providing amazing high and booming lows from the VR games. With over the ear cushions, the headset is comfortable and provides amplification to make any VR scene more vibrant.

When you decide to take a break from all the gaming, PowerA’s charge and display station for PSVR ($49.99) can charge up one DualShock4 controller and two PlayStation Move controllers while also elegantly displaying the PSVR headset, keeping it off the floor and away from tripping or stepping hazards.

If you're looking for better sound in Xbox or Windows 10 gaming, the Astro A50 ($300) is a wireless headset that delivers up to 15 hours of battery life while letting players hear enemies from every angle with Dolby 7.1 surround sound. An optional mod kit includes synthetic leather headband and ear cushions for improved comfort while cutting down on extraneous (re: non-gaming, real world) noise.

But what if your gift receiver has all the hardware they need? Not to fear, because some of the top games of the year are out, just in time for the holidays.

For those looking for something nostalgic, “Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration” ($59.99) not only includes the latest release, but also offers a glimpse at Lara Croft’s 20 years as one of the most iconic video game characters of all time. Outfits, weapons, skins and more span her travels as an amazing adventurer. Plus, the game also features new modes, including a VR mode and story in stately, but crumbling, Croft Manor.

More interested in shooting games rather than discovering lost artifacts? “Titanfall 2” ($59.99) offers a brand-new single player campaign along with new abilities and Titans for a fast-paced, explosive multiplayer challenge that will have any player calling for their favorite mech.

Rather sneak around than blow stuff up? “Dishonored 2” ($59.99) returns players to the court at Dunwall, where they discover a plot to overthrow the Empress. As Emily, or her father, Corvo, sneak your way past enemies and traps to regain the throne with as little bloodshed as possible. Of course, you can always just shoot your way back to power, but where is the fun in that?

If gaming on the go is more your gift recipient’s style, “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon” ($39.99 each) for the portable Nintendo 3DS console is the perfect way to go. Trainers head to the Aloha Islands to discover and catch new Pokémon, including new Legendary creatures. Dozens of new Pokémon friends and challenges await on each of the Aloha Islands.

PC gamers will be challenged over and over again with “Civilization VI” ($59.99). Build a lasting civilization that can stand the test of time in a new turn-based strategy game re-built from the ground up. Visually, the expansion of how cities are represented will amaze and perplex your games, while new leaders and gameplay changes will test how they want to use their “one more turn.”

If tabletop gaming is more the speed of your gift recipient, consider something from the “Dungeons and Dragons” line. A new release, “Volo’s Guide to Monsters,” ($49.99) is more than just another book of creatures. It takes a deep dive into monster lore and is a launching point of imagination for any D&D game. There are also some new adventures available, so your Dungeon Master can use their new knowledge.

For the Twitch or YouTube streamer in your life, Blue’s Raspberry microphone ($199.99) provides 24-bit studio-quality sound in a form that is smaller than most smartphones. It is perfect for in home studio use or when they decide to take their show on the road. A simple USB plug connects the Raspberry to any PC, Mac, Windows tablet, iPhone or iPad for an instant podcast or recording session.

Whatever they want, hardware or software, there are plenty of choices and deals out there to satisfy the player on your gift list. A few things to keep in mind: Know what console or computer they play their games on and what kinds of experiences they enjoy. There is nothing worse than unwrapping a new game and discovering it is for the wrong platform.

Or you could just buy them a new console with the game so you will never have to run into that issue.

<![CDATA[Top Holiday Gifts for Gamers]]> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 14:03:17 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Gifts21.jpg From hardware to software to desktop gaming, this gallery offers a bit of everything for the game players on your holiday gift list this year.

Photo Credit: Blue, Arkane Studios/Bethesda Studios]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Users Get $15 Check From Class Action Settlement]]> Tue, 22 Nov 2016 21:02:49 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/facebook-logo2.jpg

Some of Facebook's 1.8 billion users have recently received a $15 check from the social media giant in the mail, leaving many recipients scratching their heads. "Is this check real?"

The answer is: Yes.

The money comes from a class action lawsuit settlement over Facebook’s use of members' names and faces in “Sponsored Story” ads without their permission and without paying them.

Fraley vs. Facebook was filed in April 2011. In their lawsuit, the five plaintiffs claimed Facebook improperly used photos and names of users in Sponsored Story ads, which are created by members “liking” companies’ pages or content. The plaintiffs also argued that Facebook violated a California law that forbids companies from using people’s likenesses or names in advertisements without their consent. Finally, the suit asserted that Facebook should have received parental consent to use the names and likeness of any user under the age of 18.

After more than two years of deliberation, a U.S. federal judge in California approved a $20 million settlement in August 2013. Facebook also promised to give users more “control” over how their photos are used in ads.

Facebook users were who filed to join the class action by the May 2, 2013 deadline were eligible to receive a payment.

Third parties kept the case tied up in appeals court for years, but after those were finally resolved this year, the settlement awards were freed up to be distributed to Class Members, according to the class action's website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Hackers Hijack Smart Devices, Analysts Warn of 'Cyber War']]> Tue, 22 Nov 2016 13:41:45 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/slack-imgs.com.png

Baby monitors, thermostats, home surveillance cameras — these gadgets are not what comes to mind when picturing an evil army, but cybersecurity experts warn that malicious hackers are using common household smart devices to cause chaos and panic on the Internet, NBC 5 Chicago Investigates reported. 

“How could a baby monitor become an evil device for a hacker?” said Darren Guccione, chief executive officer of Keeper Security, Inc. “We are in a cyberwar. There is no doubt we are in a cyberwar right now.”

Guccione said hackers are placing malicious software on vulnerable smart devices — those with weak usernames and passwords — to control them and attack third-party businesses.

The result? Websites of some of the biggest corporations, such as Twitter, Netflix, Amazon, PayPal, crashed and were inaccessible for hours.

“(Hackers) are getting really sophisticated about how they do this, and that’s the dangerous thing,” said Guccione.

Photo Credit: NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Comcast Unveils New High-Tech Center in New Jersey]]> Fri, 18 Nov 2016 14:29:54 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000018007924_1200x675_812469827916.jpg The new Comcast High-Tech Center in Voorhees, New Jersey adds nearly 250 workers to help technicians in the field. Comcast is the parent company of NBC10.]]> <![CDATA[Cyber Criminals Could Be Hacking Your Work Space]]> Fri, 18 Nov 2016 10:10:19 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000018003404_1200x675_812221507928.jpg Cyber criminals are targeting your work space and you may not even know it. NBC10’s Matt DeLucia is in our Digital Operations Center to tell us how it’s being done and what you can do to prevent it.]]> <![CDATA[Prevent Workplace Cybercrime]]> Fri, 18 Nov 2016 08:03:02 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000018002846_1200x675_812188739814.jpg NBC10’s Matt DeLucia gives insight onto how to prevent your computer from being hacked.]]> <![CDATA[Google's Digital Death Sentence]]> Fri, 18 Nov 2016 06:44:55 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_16132525649141-google-generic.jpg

Some of Google's unwitting users are learning a harsh lesson: If you violate the company's policies, it can abruptly cut you off from your Gmail account, online photos and other vital digital services.

Several people who recently bought Google's new Pixel phone on behalf of a New Hampshire dealer are now suffering that punishment after the company detected their online purchases and judged they violated its terms of service. Those rules, outlined in a document that few people read closely, forbid the purchase of the Pixel for "commercial" resale.

"There isn't an hour that doesn't go by that I don't think about the enormity of what Google has done to me," said one of the affected resellers, Shmuel Super of Brooklyn, New York. "This is like a digital death sentence."


Super and his fellow resellers got into trouble for buying up to five Pixel phones from Google's online store and having them delivered to New Hampshire for resale. They received $5 for each phone. As of Sunday, some started finding themselves locked out of their Google accounts.

In a Thursday statement, Google described the resale arrangement as a "scheme" devised by a dealer looking to sell the Pixels at marked-up prices in violation of its policies.

Google declined to say how many people were affected by the account lockdown. DansDeals , a consumer-focused website that first reported Google's crackdown, concluded that more than 200 people had been blocked from their Google accounts after talking to the New Hampshire dealer behind the Pixel buying spree. The Associated Press was unsuccessful in its efforts to identify and interview the dealer.

The crackdown may come as a surprise to the hundreds of millions of people who now routinely rely on Google, Facebook, Apple and other tech companies as the caretakers of their digital lives. Few of the people involved in this situation appear to have backed up their data outside of Google.

Google said it plans to restore the accounts of customers who it believes were unaware of the rules, although the company didn't specify how long that might take.


Once they figured out why they were being locked out, the exiled consumers realized how dependent they had become on Google as the custodian of their digital communications, records and other mementoes.

Some said they couldn't retrieve confirmation numbers for upcoming flights or notices about an upcoming credit-card payment. Others couldn't fetch work documents or medical records. Some started getting phone calls from friends, family and colleagues wondering why they weren't responding to emails.

Like other two other people interviewed by the AP, Super said he had no idea that he was violating Google's policies when he bought the Pixels for the New Hampshire dealer. He can't believe Google would do something as extreme as locking him out of his account without warning, rather than just banning him from buying its phones in the future.

"Google's slogan is 'Don't be evil,' but to me, there is nothing more evil that what Google has done here," Super said.


Some of the Pixels purchased for resale were delivered before Google recognized the violations and meted out a punishment spelled out in a separate terms-of-service document . "We may suspend or stop providing our services to you if you do not comply with our terms or policies or if we are investigating suspected misconduct," Google warns in one section.

Google doesn't give any advance notice before it shuts down an account, and doesn't make distinctions between minor and major violations. Affected users can appeal for reinstatement, though it's unclear how long that might take or what criteria Google uses in such cases.

Apple also forbids online purchases of iPhones for resale, although its terms of service say only that the company reserves the right to cancel any order suspected of breaking the rule.

Daniel Levy, who has been locked out from his Google account since Monday, said he has learned a hard lesson, though not necessarily the one the company intended.

"They confiscated my property and shouldn't be trusted," said Levy, who lives in Lakewood, New Jersey. "I will never use their services again."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[New App Connects Neighbors in New Castle County]]> Thu, 17 Nov 2016 21:51:40 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/New+Castle+Nextdoor+App+FURLONG+5P+PKG+-+00002100_21527863.jpg People in New Castle County are using a new app to find everything from contractors, to babysitters and missing pets. NBC10 Delaware Bureau Reporter found out how the Nextdoor app can help keep your community safe.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Drone Do's and Don'ts]]> Thu, 17 Nov 2016 21:34:45 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Drone+Flying+Philly.jpg A 20-year-old Drexel University student was arrested for violating several FAA rules when he flew a drone over a large student protest on Wednesday night. This prompted NBC10’s Randy Gyllenhaal to find out the “do’s and don’ts” of operating a drone in the city.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Google Unveils New Weapon in Fight Against Terrorism ]]> Thu, 17 Nov 2016 09:14:50 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GOOGLE_AP_16118529018333.jpg

Developers at Jigsaw, Google's think-tank, are two months into a pilot project called Redirect, which aims to push web users searching for jihadist information toward content designed to counter the slick tools of terrorist recruitment, NBC News reported.

"There are people interested in ISIS' message on one side and there are videos that undermine ISIS' message on the other hand," said Yasmin Green, head of research and development at Jigsaw. "We are using targeted advertising to marry the two."

In traditional targeted advertising, a new mother searching for information on Google about getting a baby to sleep might start seeing ads for blankets and white-noise machines in their feeds.

Through Redirect, someone searching for details about life as an ISIS fighter might be offered links to independently produced videos that detail hardships and dangers instead of the stirring Madison Avenue-style propaganda the terror group puts online.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[New Apps Help Identify Philly's Most Dangerous Buildings]]> Wed, 16 Nov 2016 17:07:07 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/West+Philadelphia+Building+Collapse+6.jpg

Computer software may play a huge role in reshaping the City of Brotherly Love.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections, in partnership with the Office of Information Technology, created two software applications that help identify Philadelphia’s most dangerous buildings.

“The Vacant Property Model and the Residential Structural Assessment analyze multiple streams of City data to zero in on specific vacant buildings for inspectors to prioritize, re-inspect, or recommend for demolition,” said the Mayor’s Office of Communication in a statement.

L&I’s goal with these two tools is to protect the public from dangerous buildings. With the software, more than 4500 structures were deemed unsafe.

Karen Guss, Director of Communications for L&I, claims the technology helps define the "dangers" of buildings.

"The apps look at the qualities that pose as a public safety threat in the [identified] buildings," she said. "It takes smalls factors into consideration such as when a building is near a bus stop-- which helps us prioritize since there's pedestrians around."

The software tools also offer innovative data-driven features with its enhanced imaging. Users can zoom in on buildings and read what other agencies-- such as the Department of Public Health, the Water Department, and the Streets Department-- have to say about them. The zooming feature also lets users pinpoint the dangerous characteristics of a building.

“The data [the apps provide] is so specific, we can find a hole on the roof of a building and it will give us an exact measurement of the hole," Guss said.

A showcase of the models took place in the Innovation Lab of the Municipal Services Building, located at 1401 JFK Boulevard, Tuesday. Attendees learned how the mapping tools are used on the ground and saw what the tools revealed about how Philadelphia has transformed over the last 10 years.

The two software apps are being used internally for now. However, Guss asserts that L&I is releasing as much relevant information that they find through the apps as possible to the public.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Russia Continues Hacking, Gathering Intelligence on US]]> Tue, 15 Nov 2016 19:40:23 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-478186613cyber.jpg

Russia has always placed a top priority on gathering as much intelligence as it can about American government officials, and the team now gathering around the new president-elect is no exception. In the overnight hours after Tuesday’s election, hackers linked to Russian intelligence launched a sweeping cyber-espionage campaign to find out what a Donald Trump victory could mean for Vladimir Putin’s government.

Sean Kanuck, the U.S. National Intelligence Officer for Cyber Issues from 2011 to 2016, told NBC News that Russia would likely be after any information on Trump and his advisors that would help Russia gain strategic advantage over the U.S. 

The Nov. 9 attack targeted “people who are or will be associated with the incoming administration,” said Steven Adair of the cyber security firm Volexity.

The attack came from the hacking crew known as Cozy Bear, which is linked to previous attacks on the Democratic National Committee, the White House, the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Protecting the Public with New Safety App]]> Tue, 15 Nov 2016 19:12:58 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Delaware+Safety+App_21498436.jpg Schools, malls and hospitals in New Castle County now have a better way to contact police in an emergency. NBC10 Delaware Bureau Reporter Tim Furlong has the details on the new app that can save lives with the push of a button.]]> <![CDATA[Twitter Takes New Steps to Address Cyberbullying]]> Tue, 15 Nov 2016 11:28:35 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Twitter-generic1.jpg

Twitter says it's giving users more tools to combat abuse that's becoming more common on the social media platform.

Users are getting more options for muting tweets they don't want to see, the company said in a blog post Tuesday. Reporting hateful conduct is becoming direct as well, and Twitter's support teams have been retrained on contextualizing hateful conduct so the company can take action faster and more transparently.

"We don't expect these announcements to suddenly remove abusive conduct from Twitter. No single action by us would do that. Instead we commit to rapidly improving Twitter based on everything we observe and learn," the blog post said.

The expanded muting function being rolled out in the coming days allows users to mute phrases, keywords and conversations. Twitter said in the blog post that it's been a commonly requested feature.

Cyberbullying, harassment and abuse are on the rise on Twitter, the company said, and many on the platform have sought more action from Twitter to put an end to it.

Among the many people who have decried cyberbullying is Melania Trump, wife of President-elect Donald Trump. She's said she will make reigning in cyberbullying her priority as first lady.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Cellphone Charger Explodes in College Student's Pocket]]> Fri, 11 Nov 2016 18:59:57 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Rowan+Student+Cellphone+Charger+Explodes+in+Pocket.jpg

A Rowan University student was burned after a portable cellphone charger exploded in his pocket, Gloucester County emergency officials and witnesses said.

The student was sitting in the school's Chamberlain Student Center around 7:30 p.m. Thursday when the charging went awry.

Alex Revolus was sitting near the student when he caught whiff of a burning smell. Then the student screamed, according to Revolus.

"His hand was black because he tried pulling it out of his pocket," the engineering student said. "His pants were actually stuck to his skin."

The student was taken to Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Washington Township for treatment. He suffered 3rd degree burns to his leg and hand. He's since been released from the hospital.

The student center was evacuated for a time due to the incident.

Rowan University officials said they've been unable to determine the make and model of the portable charger because the device was so badly burnt. The student doesn't remember the model information either.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a number of recalls for electronic devices with lithium-ion batteries -- the most notable being the Samsung Note 7 smartphone -- over fire fears.

This latest incident at Rowan has some students who were planning to get a portable battery charger rethinking a purchase.

"Now I'll just stick with the plug-in ones," student Khenny Emile said.

Photo Credit: NBC10
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>