SFGate : Technology (61)

Nielsen says it will report on who's watching streamed shows

NEW YORK — The Nielsen company, which has long measured viewership of television programs, now says it has a way to collect and widely spread details about how many people watch programming produced by streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. Nielsen announced its new service on Wednesday and ...

EU unveils measures to tackle low-tech attacks

BRUSSELS — The European Union on Wednesday unveiled new measures to help counter deadly low-tech attacks following a spate of killings in major cities by extremists driving vehicles into crowds of people. The European Commission, which proposes and ensures compliance with EU laws, said the ...

EU says data privacy deal with US can be improved

BRUSSELS — The European Union says that the one-year-old rules governing data transfers with the U.S. are working well but that some improvements can still be made to the system to guarantee EU citizens' privacy protection. The EU-US Privacy Shield agreement was imposed last year amid concerns of ...

Amazon has brought benefits - and disruption - to Seattle

SEATTLE — Memo to the many places vying for Amazon's second headquarters: It ain't all food trucks and free bananas. For years, much of downtown Seattle has been a maze of broken streets and caution-taped sidewalks. Dozens of enormous cranes tower overhead as double-length dump trucks hauling ...

Big question for US cities: Is Amazon's HQ2 worth the price?

WASHINGTON — Dozens of cities are working frantically to land Amazon's second headquarters, raising a weighty question with no easy answer: Is it worth it? Amazon is promising $5 billion of investment and 50,000 jobs over the next decade and a half. Yet the winning city would have to provide ...

The Latest: Tibetan group protests at China Embassy in India

BEIJING — The Latest on the ruling Communist Party's congress meeting in Beijing : 3 p.m. Members of the Tibetan Youth Congress have protested at the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi as China's ruling Communists opened their national congress. The protesters held up placards blaming China for ...

Wooing Amazon with sun, fun ... and giant buttons

BOSTON — Mayors from Toledo to Tulsa are so eager to woo Amazon's much-vaunted second headquarters that they're brandishing bourbon, selling the sun, whispering sweet nothings to the company and even pushing its buttons. Literally. The Associated Press talked to the leaders of more than 50 cities ...

China's Xi calls for more technology development

BEIJING — President Xi Jinping called Wednesday for the ruling Communist Party to lead development of Chinese technology industries, an area fraught with trade tensions and complaints that Beijing encourages theft of foreign know-how. In a speech at the opening of a party congress, Xi called for ...

Twitter vows new crackdown on hateful, abusive tweets

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Twitter vowed to crack down further on hate speech and sexual harassment, days after CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweet-storm that the company was "still" not doing enough to protect its users. The policy changes were specifically aimed at protecting women who unknowingly or ...

Parts of unmanned Russian spaceship burn up over Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Parts of an unmanned Russian cargo spaceship burned across the night sky of the Arabian Peninsula, drawing gasps from Dubai to Riyadh before breaking up in the Earth's atmosphere and scattering in the Indian Ocean. The fiery end Monday night to parts of Progress MS-07 ...

Autonomous cars head for the Big Apple

DETROIT — Autonomous vehicles are already navigating the verdant hills of Pittsburgh and the pitched avenues of San Francisco. They may soon be tested by the chaos of Manhattan, where pedestrians, taxis, buses and bikes embark daily on an eternal quest to avoid impact. Cruise Automation, a San ...

Google Maps removes cupcake counter after 'fat shaming' backlash

When Google rolled out a new test feature for its iOS Maps app, it no doubt thought it was helping users stay healthy. Instead, it succeeded in making some very angry.

Univision goes dark for Verizon's cable customers

NEW YORK — Univision's channels have gone dark for Verizon's 4.7 million Fios cable customers because of a contract dispute. Verizon says Univision wants payments for its networks to more than double. Verizon says this is an "excessive price increase" given "reported declining viewership." ...

Facebook buys anonymous teen compliment app TBH

NEW YORK — Facebook has bought TBH, a teen-focused app that lets people give anonymous compliments to each other through polls and messages. Facebook on Tuesday confirmed the purchase, announced on TBH's blog, but did not say how much it paid. TBH, internet-slang short for "to be honest," says ...

Microsoft rolls out new Windows 10 update and laptops

Microsoft has begun rolling out an update to its Windows 10 operating system, hoping to spark enthusiasm for its virtual- and augmented-reality ambitions. The semi-annual update became available Tuesday. Along with virtual experiences, the Fall Creators Update brings new ways to share photos and ...

Google's Pixel 2: A phone built for artificial intelligence

NEW YORK — What's most fascinating about Google's new Pixel 2 phone is what's to come. The phone sets itself apart with promises to bake in Google's powerful artificial-intelligence technology for quick and easy access to useful, even essential information. But much of the neat stuff will come ...

US tech giants may find their future shaped by Europe

LONDON — Silicon Valley is a uniquely American creation, the product of an entrepreneurial spirit and no-holds-barred capitalism that now drives many aspects of modern life. But the likes of Facebook, Google and Apple are increasingly facing an uncomfortable truth: it is Europe's culture of ...

Greenpeace faults many tech giants for environment impact

SEOUL, South Korea — The environmental group Greenpeace issued a report on Tuesday giving technology titans including Samsung Electronics, Amazon and Huawei low marks for their environmental impact. Many of the biggest technology companies failed to deliver on commitments to reduce emissions of ...

Self-driving cars could ease traffic, but increase sprawl

BOSTON — A new study inspired by Boston's early experiments with self-driving cars finds that the technology could ease congestion, but might also lead to more cars on the road and further encourage urban sprawl. The report, released Tuesday by the Boston Consulting Group and the World Economic ...

Netflix sinking deeper into debt to fuel subscriber growth

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix is sinking deeper into debt in its relentless pursuit of more viewers, leaving the company little margin for error as it tries to build the world's biggest video subscription service. The big burden that Netflix is shouldering hasn't been a major concern on Wall Street so ...

Researchers discover vulnerability affecting Wi-Fi security

Security researchers have discovered a Wi-Fi network vulnerability that could allow attackers to steal sensitive information or spread malicious software while someone is logged into a computer or mobile device. A report published Monday said the breach could only happen if an attacker is within ...

Fact-checking fake news on Facebook works - just too slowly

NEW YORK — Facebook's effort to limit the spread of fake news using outside fact-checkers appears to be having an effect — although that finding comes with a major caveat. Once a story receives a false rating from a fact-checker, Facebook says, subsequent "impressions" can fall off by 80 ...

Court agrees to take on US-Microsoft dispute over emails

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Monday to take on a major dispute over the government's authority to force American technology companies to hand over emails and other digital information sought in criminal probes but stored outside the U.S. The justices intervened in a case of a federal drug ...

Yahoo can provide dead man's emails to family, court says

BOSTON — Massachusetts' highest court says federal law does not prohibit Yahoo from providing a deceased man's family members access to his email account. The Supreme Judicial Court said Monday that a lower court was wrong to conclude that the Stored Communications Act prohibited Yahoo from giving ...

Light in the sky over UAE likely Russian rocket breaking up

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A light seen in the night sky over the United Arab Emirates likely was a discarded Russian spaceship breaking up after re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. Those in Abu Dhabi and Dubai shared online videos and pictures of the light seen in the sky Monday night. ...

Twitter turns over 'handles' of 201 Russia-linked accounts

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Twitter has handed over to Senate investigators the profile names, or "handles," of 201 accounts linked to Russian attempts at influencing the 2016 presidential election. The company has stepped up its efforts to cooperate with investigators after it was criticized for not ...

Facebook takes on food delivery, challenges Uber and others

NEW YORK — Several online services already offer food delivery, but that doesn't mean Facebook won't jump on board anyway. The social-media giant says ordering food for takeout or delivery is complicated. It promises to help save time by bringing existing food-delivery services into its app and ...

Uber appeals decision to cancel its London license

LONDON — Uber has appealed the decision to deny it a new operating license in London. The ride-hailing app had until Friday to file an appeal, which will allow it to continue operating while the case is heard. It said in a statement it was hoping to "continue having constructive discussions with ...

Poland says it's repelled a 3rd Russian hacking attack

WARSAW, Poland — Poland's defense minister says the nation's cyber experts have successfully repelled a third hacking attempt from Russia but warns the cyberattack threat is mounting. Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said Friday the recent attack targeted companies in Ukraine that also have ...

Paris hopes to ban gas-powered cars in city by 2030

PARIS — In the future, the noise of car engines revving around the streets of Paris might become just a memory. In its latest initiative to reduce air pollution, Paris City Hall wants gasoline-powered cars off the roads by 2030. The controversial move announced Thursday follows Mayor Anne ...

Head of Samsung's booming semiconductor business to resign

SEOUL, South Korea — The chairman of Samsung Electronics Co.'s board of directors, who has been the public face of the company after its de facto chief was jailed on corruption charges, said Friday he will resign next year to make way for a new leader. "As we are confronted with unprecedented ...

The Latest: Head of Samsung semiconductor unit to resign

SEOUL, South Korea — The Latest on Samsung Electronics : 10:30 a.m. The chairman of Samsung Electronics' board of directors and one of the company's three chief executive officers says he will resign next year. Kwon Oh-hyun said in a statement Friday that he will resign as the head of the ...

Emergency alerts draw complaints in fast-moving wildfires

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The story is repeated again and again: The dead of night, no warning, then panic after realizing the smoke and flames were approaching. Fleeing residents from across Northern California wine country, where at least 31 people have died in wildfires that started Sunday, ...

Facebook's Sandberg favors release of Russia-linked ads

NEW YORK — A top Facebook executive says ads linked to Russia trying to influence the U.S. presidential election should "absolutely" be released to the public, along with information on whom the ads were targeting. Previously, Facebook declined to make the ads public. While Facebook's chief ...

Russia-backed Facebook page colored with hot-button phrases

SAN FRANCISCO — What does Russia-sponsored political influence look like on Facebook? An Associated Press analysis of the content on a now-shuttered Facebook page called "Being Patriotic" shows it's colored with words like "illegal," ''country" and "American" and phrases like "illegal alien," ...

Google pledges $1 billion to fund non-profit education

PITTSBURGH — Google says over the next five years it will spend $1 billion on nonprofit organizations helping to raise education levels around the world and commit its employees to a million hours of volunteer work doing the same. CEO Sundar Pichai announced the goal Thursday morning in ...

Equifax pulls customer service page, cites vendor's software

NEW YORK — Equifax said Thursday that problems with an online customer help page were caused by a vendor's software code and not by a cyberattack on its systems. The company earlier said it had disabled its credit report assistance page after reports that another part of its website had been ...

APNewsBreak: Border Patrol tests camera-toting balloon

SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Border Patrol is considering a surveillance balloon that can be quickly moved to spot illegal activity, part of an effort to see if more eyes in the sky translate to fewer illegal crossings. Agents in Texas recently finished a 30-day trial of the camera-toting, helium-filled ...

Shares of TV providers drop as AT&T warns of video losses

NEW YORK — Signs that more people are dropping their traditional TV subscriptions weighed on TV providers' stocks Thursday. AT&T said it lost 90,000 video subscribers in the U.S. in the third quarter. It's a steeper drop than the same period last year, even though gains from its newer, cheaper ...

Congress calls on FCC to silence cellphones in prisons

COLUMBIA, S.C. — More than 50 members of Congress are giving federal regulators a deadline for resolving how to prevent prisoners from using contraband cellphones behind bars. In a letter dated October 4 and obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, 48 House members and four U.S. senators wrote ...

Target joins other retailers in offering voice shopping

NEW YORK — Target is jumping into voice-activated shopping as it deepens its relationship with Google, offering thousands of items found in the store except for perishables like fruit and milk. The move is happening as Google says shopping will be available later this year through Google Assistant ...

Paris plans to ban gas-powered cars in city by 2030

PARIS — The noise of car engines enveloping the streets of the French capital might in the future become a memory for Paris pedestrians. In its latest initiative to reduce pollution, Paris City Hall is planning to ban gas-powered cars by 2030. The controversial move follows Mayor Anne Hidalgo's ...

Emergency alerts get scrutiny after deadly wildfires

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Communities in wildfire-prone Northern California have an array of emergency systems designed to alert residents of danger: text messages, phone calls, emails and tweets. But after days of raging blazes left at least 23 dead, authorities said those methods will be assessed. ...

Lawyers, prosecutors face off at Samsung heir's appeal case

SEOUL, South Korea — Prosecutors cited a past ruling on a North Korean spy case as one reason why Samsung's billionaire heir deserved a lengthy prison term after being convicted of offering bribes to the country's then-president and one of her associates. The prosecutors and Lee Jae-yong's lawyers ...

Woman who searched for days learns mother killed in wildfire

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — A frantic Jessica Tunis had been calling hospitals and posting on social media when her family's search ended up back at the charred ruins of her mother's Santa Rosa house on Wednesday, looking for clues in the debris as to where she might be. Linda Tunis had last called ...

Rare photos by early NASA astronauts being auctioned off

BOSTON — John Glenn was the first person to snap a photograph of Earth from outer space. Neil Armstrong took the first picture from the moon's surface. The original prints of those are among 445 rare photos taken by American astronauts that are being sold by Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers ...

Trump threatens NBC but experts see no real risk to licenses

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump is threatening NBC's broadcast licenses because he's not happy with how its news division has covered him. But experts say his threats aren't likely to lead to any action. The network itself doesn't need a license to operate, but individual stations do. NBC owns ...

Self-driving cars: Not ready yet, but new rules open a path

LOS ANGELES — Although consumers can't yet get a self-driving car for themselves, the technology's long and windy road to market is getting shorter. A public rollout is not imminent. Companies need to perfect the technology before unleashing it for regular drivers, and that means more of the ...

Facebook exec meets with lawmakers amid Russia probe

WASHINGTON — One of Facebook's top executives met Wednesday with House members investigating the company's Russia-linked ads and told them the social media giant is serious about dealing with the issue. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, told lawmakers behind closed doors that ...

Could cyberattacks knock out lights in the US? Not so easily

Hackers likely linked to the North Korean government targeted a U.S. electricity company late last month, according to a security firm that says it detected and stopped the attacks. John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis for FireEye, said Wednesday that phishing emails were sent on Sept. ...