<![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-usWed, 27 Jul 2016 13:19:37 -0400Wed, 27 Jul 2016 13:19:37 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Back To School Laptops: Top Picks]]> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 09:34:11 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/TechTalker0722_MP4-146944855631300001.jpg Shopping for a new computer before school resumes? NBC's Mark Barger has some of your best options.]]> <![CDATA[Last VCR Manufacturer to Stop Production]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:25:13 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/182*120/Electronics+Recycled1.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rowan's Student Success Center Gets Virtual Tour]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 10:43:55 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000016362924_1200x675_729345091888.jpg Rowan College in Burlington County is building a new multi-million dollar student success center. It is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2017, and can be viewed via a new virtual tour.]]> <![CDATA[Husband Searching for Pokemon Slams Into Cop Car: Police]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:43:06 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Rehoboth+Pokemon+Go+crash.jpg

Police along the Delaware beaches have a warning for drivers after an eager couple trying to catch a Pokemon crashed into a marked police cruiser: "If you are going to play Pokemon Go, please do not do so while operating a motor vehicle."

Rehoboth Beach Police released a photo Wednesday of a damaged police cruiser they say was struck by a 28-year-old man anxious to locate a Pokemon Gym.

Dover, Delaware’s Mark Oldenburg was driving along Rehoboth Avenue when he crossed into the adjacent lane and crashed into the passenger side of the marked vehicle around 12:05 a.m., said police.

Oldenburg’s wife had told him to pull onto the median "because there was a Pokemon Gym in that direction," said police. He didn’t check his surroundings before pulling over and crashing into the police car.

No one hurt but police urged people to pay attention to the road rather than digital creatures because "we only have so many cars."

Police cited Oldenburg for inattentive driving and an improper turn.



Photo Credit: Rehoboth Beach Police
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<![CDATA['Pokemon Go' Could Generate Billions For Apple: Analyst]]> Wed, 20 Jul 2016 19:50:40 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-546258766.jpg

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Twitter Suspends Breitbart Editor Over Leslie Jones Abuse]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 06:46:46 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-543705532.jpg

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Getty Images for Hilarity For Ch]]>
<![CDATA[Homeowner Opens Fire On 'Pokemon Go' Players]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 11:29:43 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_pokemonshooting0719_1920x1080.jpg A Florida man mistook teens playing "Pokemon Go" for burglars and opened fire on them outside his home. WESH's Gail Paschall-Brown reports.]]> <![CDATA[Rutgers Police Add Body Cams]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 06:10:23 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/rutgers+police+body+cam.jpg

Rutgers University police will soon be wearing body cameras as they patrol campuses in Camden, New Brunswick, Piscataway and Newark.

It comes as police nationwide are under a microscope, and in some cases, under attack.

"I think it'll have a positive impact on our relations with the community," Chief Kenneth Cop said in an exclusive interview with NBC 4 New York. 

Fourteen of the body cameras are being rolled out this week as part of the beta phase of their deployment. The rest will be mounted on officers by the time school starts at the end of the summer.

Students generally seemed to like the idea, and most had high praise for the Rutgers police.

For Sgt. Bryant Myers, a 17-year veteran of the Rutgers force, it's a chance to show the public transparency and the police department's professionalism.

"One can get a chance to view the steps that we take," Myers said.

]]>
<![CDATA[Uber Hits 2 Billion Rides ]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 07:27:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/uber-generic1.jpg

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

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

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

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

Monday's announcement breeds optimism for Kalanick.

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



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Cemetery Welcomes 'Pokemon Go' Players]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 03:23:35 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/pokemon+go+cemetery.jpg A Michigan cemetery is welcoming "Pokemon Go" players with open arms, but that isn't sitting well with some families who have loved ones buried there. WDIV's Nick Monacelli reports.]]> <![CDATA[Pokemon Invade the Alamo]]> Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:25:04 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_alamopokemon0715_1920x1080.jpg With Pokemon Go preoccupying people all over the country, the directors of the Alamo in San Antonio have noticed visitors paying more attention to their phones than to the history of the landmark.

Photo Credit: WOAI]]>
<![CDATA[Pokemon Go Ride Services Combat Distracted Driving]]> Mon, 18 Jul 2016 09:28:12 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_pokemondriving0715_1920x1080.jpg Law enforcement agencies throughout the country are warning drivers not to use Pokemon Go while driving prompting "Pokemon Go Drivers" to offer their services to gaming customers.]]> <![CDATA[FCC Paves Way for Speedy Next-Generation 5G Networks]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 09:34:02 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Mobile-World-Conference-GettyImages-511717806.jpg

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nintendo Plans Retro 'Mario,' 'Zelda' Console]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 05:04:46 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NES_Classic_2.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

The complete list of games:

  • Balloon Fight
  • BUBBLE BOBBLE
  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr. 
  • DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE
  • Dr. Mario
  • Excitebike
  • FINAL FANTASY
  • Galaga
  • GHOSTS’N GOBLINS
  • GRADIUS
  • Ice Climber
  • Kid Icarus
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Mario Bros. 
  • MEGA MAN 2
  • Metroid
  • NINJA GAIDEN
  • PAC-MAN
  • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics
  • SUPER C
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros.  2
  • Super Mario Bros.  3
  • TECMO BOWL
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link



Photo Credit: Nintendo of America]]>
<![CDATA[South Jersey Teen Jumped While Playing Pokemon Go]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 20:21:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Teen+Attacked+Pokemon+Go_20231038.jpg

A South Jersey teen is recovering after being attacked while playing the uber-popular mobile game Pokemon Go.

Michael Marotta was on his way to a friend’s house in Washington Township, New Jersey just before midnight Thursday when he was attacked by two men.

They punched the 17-year-old in the head and kicked him in the ribs before stealing his phone.

"I kept trying to get up. They would pick me up throw me back down,” he told NBC10's Cydney Long.

The attack sent him to the hospital for stitches to his eye, and a staple in his head.

Police have arrested one suspect. They're still searching for a second.

Marotta says from now on, he will hunt for Pokemon in pairs.

“I’m still probably going to play when I get my phone back, but I’m probably going to be more cautious about where I’m going, how late I go out,” he said.



Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Mall Security Robot Injures Boy]]> Wed, 13 Jul 2016 16:01:20 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/0712-2016-SecurityRobot.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[What You Need to Know About Pokemon Go]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 13:05:58 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-546258766.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Potential 'Pokemon Go' Dangers]]> Tue, 12 Jul 2016 05:23:20 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Pokemon-Go-Screenshot1.jpg As more and more people play the wildly popular Pokemon Go mobile game, police are warning the public about potential dangers. NBC10's Keith Jones has the details.]]> <![CDATA[Philly Police Provide Safety Tips for Pokemon Go Players ]]> Tue, 12 Jul 2016 01:10:59 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Pokemon-Go-Screenshot.jpg

As Pokemon fever sweeps the nation thanks to a new phone app, Philadelphia police are providing safety tips to the many residents caught up in the craze.

Pokemon, short for ‘pocket monsters’, became popular with the release of a television show and video games in the 1990s and has become a cultural phenomenon across the globe. The newest installment of the Pokemon franchise has come in the form of the smart phone app, Pokemon Go. The game allows users to leave the house and explore their surroundings to catch Pokemon through augmented reality.

But officials are warning folks to be aware of their surroundings while playing. Since the app’s U.S. launch on July 6, reports of crime have begun to surface- including one armed robbery out of Missouri where it was believed the suspects targeted the victim through the application. The Philadelphia Police 35th District also tweeted Sunday night that they were seeing a string of robberies targeting victims who were using the app.

As app players enjoy the new, unexplored world around them, Philadelphia Police spokesman Eric Gripp sent NBC10 a few simple tips to keep people safe while ‘catching them all.'

  • Tell your kids about stranger-danger. The way that the game is designed can bring people together in the real world as they search for Pokemon in common areas called gyms and pokestops. Obviously, you never know who you could run into while playing.
  • Set limits on where your kids can go. "Don't leave the street/neighborhood without me" can limit the amount of strangers that you or your kids could encounter.
  • Watch the road! I've already seen a number of people - both kids and adults - so engrossed while staring at their phones and following a map, that they've walked right into the street and into objects. Pay attention!
  • And as always, if you run into an individual that is seemingly up to no good - don't hesitate to dial 911!

Besides the new app, Pokemon fans in the area are also enjoying music from the franchise. ‘Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’ is underway Sunday evening at the Mann Center in Philadelphia. The Orchestra is bringing to life new music arrangements and visuals from eras of the Pokemon video games.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['Pokemon Go' Leads to Injuries]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 17:10:25 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/209*120/Pokemon+Go.jpg

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

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

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

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

REAL WORLD, VIRTUAL CREATURES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A NEW SOCIAL MEDIUM

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NASA to Deploy Flying Laboratory]]> Fri, 08 Jul 2016 08:19:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/205*120/07-07-2016-dc-8-nasa-1.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Interactive: About the DC-8 Airliner



Photo Credit: NASA
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<![CDATA[NBC10 Adds Amazon Echo's Alexa to the Team]]> Tue, 05 Jul 2016 11:51:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Amazon-echo.jpg Keith Jones and the NBC10 News Team test out Amazon Echo by asking Alexa about today's headlines. You can do the same without even needing to leave bed.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dating Site Faces Probe Over Use of 'Fembots']]> Tue, 05 Jul 2016 10:57:58 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-4844780722.jpg

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Photo illustration by Carl Court/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tesla Investor Group Wants Less Dominance by Musk]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 08:45:40 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_744246684318.jpg

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

Musk is also the chairman and largest shareholder of SolarCity.

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

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



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Robo Dog Does Dishes, Plays Fetch]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 06:13:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/robot9.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Boston Dynamics
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<![CDATA[House Dems Stream Sit-In]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 07:15:58 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Periscope-GettyImages-473860588.jpg

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

Such are the perils of recording video on a cellphone.

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

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

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

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

Scott streams on Twitter and Periscope: @scottbudman



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>