In Japan, some people now can use their eyes to unlock their smartphones, rather than their fingers.If Delta ID has its way, smartphone users in the United States and other countries will soon have the same option.A startup based in Newark, California, Delta ID specializes in iris recognition technology.Government agencies such as those that oversee border control have been using iris recognition devices for years.And EyeLock, a New York-based startup, has developed a portable iris sensor targeted at consumers and small business that can be plugged into PCs.But Delta ID is pioneering the use of iris recognition in smartphones, where it could replace fingerprint sensors and passcodes.Iris detection systems are generally thought to be significantly more secure than those based on fingerprints, with far less chance of mistaken identity.But iris sensors can work even if a person is wearing dark sunglasses or is on the move.And Delta ID s system appears to work just as fast as the latest version fingerprint sensors.Because the hardware is almost identical to the cameras and flashes that phone manufacturers already put in their devices, it should also be relatively inexpensive for them to incorporate the ActiveIris system, he said.
Dead writers perfume, In the Library and other book smells for your home and body.Superlative trees, from tallest to most goats to one you can drive through.Study: Being busy may be beneficial to your brain.And a by-the-numbers look at the changing demographics of San Francisco.Photo: The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group
Netflix has unveiled a free tool for measuring Internet speed — no subscription needed.All you have to do is go to Fast.com, and the tool will measure your Internet speed at that particular moment, whether you re on mobile or broadband.We all want a faster, better Internet, yet Internet speeds vary greatly and can be affected by other users on your network or congestion with your Internet service provider, David Fullagar, Netflix s vice president of content delivery architecture, wrote in the post.When you re experiencing streaming issues, fast.com allows you to check the download speeds you re getting from your Internet service provider.Fast.com works like similar tools out there, and Netflix s site even provides a link so you can compare its results with speedtest.net.But Netflix points out that its tool has no ads.This rollout comes a couple of weeks after the company launched a way for its subscribers to control their data use when they watch Netflix.That move came in response to complaints over Netflix throttling video streams to mobile users.In addition, Netflix has an ISP Speed Index that measures average monthly speeds of actual Netflix streams during prime time hours.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook is this week visiting India for the first time.And he is wasting little of his time on the ground in India by saying Apple will open a new app design and development center in the country in 2017.Cook officially called the upcoming Apple facility a design and development accelerator, and that it will be located in Bengaluru also known as Bangalore , which is considered to be the startup hub of India.India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world, Cook said in announcing the new center.With the opening of this new facility in Bengaluru, we re giving developers access to tools which will help them create innovative apps for customers around the world.Apple said it will use the facility to provide support for the Swift programming language, which Apple created to build apps for iOS, Mac and other products, and will conduct weekly briefings with developers to review development of apps at the center.It s no secret as to why Cook is laying the groundwork for more Apple involvement in India.Anyone with a Groupon account has likely seen an offer for one of these iPhones, which are often phones that were bought, returned for some reason, given the once-over to ensure everything works, and then offered up for sale at less than the original sticker price.However, the Indian government has put up resistance to Apple s efforts as it tries to promote homegrown smartphone makers who sell their products at prices even less than those of refurbished iPhones.Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook leaves the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai on May 18.
This demonstrates why so many people are looking to move to the San Francisco Bay Area, said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist with Glassdoor.com.Job satisfaction, work-life balance and hiring opportunity are unparalleled compared to anywhere else in the country in the Bay Area, Chamberlain added.The 2016 results demonstrate a huge improvement in the job hiring scores for both the San Jose and the San Francisco areas.The Boston area and the Washington, D.C. metro areas rounded out the top 5.The survey determined that the median base salary in Santa Clara County is $112,000.1 among the top 25 cities that were listed in the survey, every other metro area in the country is a distant second to the South Bay.Santa Clara County s base median salary is 27 percent higher than the San Francisco metro area and 32 percent higher than the Seattle region.The survey created a job score that was calculated from four equally weighted factors: hiring opportunity, cost of living, job satisfaction and work-life balance, said Allison Berry, a Glassdoor spokeswoman.San Jose had the highest score for hiring opportunity, cost of living and job satisfaction, Berry said.Photo: An aerial view of downtown San Jose.
You look at some of these tech stocks that are so, so weak as a concept and a company, and they re selling for so much money.He slammed companies that have never made any money and that have a bad concept.Trump s less nuanced version ruffled some feathers.Finally someone calls it out, veteran VC Marc Andreessen tweeted sarcastically, prompting one commenter to suggest Trump might try to build a firewall and get San Francisco to pay for it.The phrase make bubbles great again began popping up on social media — a play on Trump s make America great again campaign slogan.Trump also managed to anger some people on the other side of the Bay this week by calling Oakland one of the most dangerous places in the world in an interview with The New York Times.The comment prompted a biting reply from Mayor Libby Schaaf.Chris Christie, left, takes questions from members of the media during a news conference on Super Tuesday primary election night in the White and Gold Ballroom at The Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., March 1, 2016.
MOUNTAIN VIEW — Google has decided to echo Amazon.The search giant is developing an in-home voice-activated Internet device that will be able to answer users queries, play music and control smart home devices, the company announced at its I/O developer conference Wednesday.Dubbed Google Home, the device, which will be out later this year, looks like it s targeted straight at Amazon s Echo.Home will serve as a showcase for Google s new intelligent assistant technology, prosaically named the Google assistant.Google representatives at the conference indicated that consumers will be able to use the device to make or cancel dinner reservations, check flight information, look up sports scores and turn on lights in their home.The device will have a built-in speaker, and owners will be able to use it in coordination with Google s Chromecast Audio product to play music throughout their house.Google didn t say what Home will cost or when exactly it will be available.Amazon s Echo, which the company debuted in late 2014, costs $180.Photo: Google s Home product viewed on a screen above the stage at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View during the keynote presentation at Google s I/O developer on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.Troy Wolverton, Mercury News.Tags: amazon, amazon echo, chromecast audio, Google, google assistant, google home, intelligent assistants, smart home
MOUNTAIN VIEW — Google is getting in on the bots game, joining Facebook and Microsoft.This summer, the search giant plans to launch a new messaging app called Allo, Google representatives announced at the company s I/O developer conference on Wednesday.The app incorporates Google s intelligent assistant technology and is to allow users to accomplish more things without having to launch other apps.By simply typing questions or commands within Allo, users will be able to make dinner reservations, check sports scores, find photos or check their flight reservations.So it can understand the context questions are asked in.So, in one demonstration, Google representatives showed how users could use Allo to find information about soccer star Cristano Ronaldo and then get Allo to find videos of him by just typing best tricks.The Google assistant was able to glean that the user was interested in seeing videos of Ronaldo from the context of the conversation.Google s move into text bots follows Facebook and Microsoft.Meanwhile, Facebook at its F8 conference last month unveiled similar features that are coming to its popular Messenger app.Bots have the potential to make it less important which operating system users have on their smartphones.Troy Wolverton/Mercury News Tags: allo, bots, chatbots, facebook, Google, intelligent assistants, Messenger, Microsoft, Skype, the google assistant
Now, Talk It Over: On your anniversary, you want to remember the good times that got you to where you are today.You probably don t want to feel forced into spending time with someone you don t really feel like hanging around with.Well, that s kind of what Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg was faced with Wednesday.See, Wednesday marked the fourth anniversary since Facebook held its IPO and became a publicly traded company.On this day in 2012, Facebook went public at $38 a share.And in order to ensure whatever comes out of Handler s mouth is understood as much as possible, Netflix has hired more than 200 translators to handle the 20 languages in which Chelsea is being streamed.It s too early to say if Handler s humor will cross all those international borders no matter how well Netflix s translators do their jobs.The company will offer up $1.4 billion of its shares, and the rest will come out of the portfolio of Chief Executive Elon Musk.Tesla is banking on the $35,000 Model 3 to spur its next phase of growth, as the company has set a target of producing 500,000 cars a year by 2018.Cisco Comes Out On Top: Cisco Systems reported its fiscal third-quarter results after the stock market closed Wednesday, and investors liked what the networking-equipment maker had to say.Cisco reported a profit of 46 cents a share on revenue of $12 billion.Apparently, a bunch of people thought Lively s use of one of Sir-Mix-A-Lot s lines from his 1992 hit Baby Got Back showed racial insensitivity.
Drones may help keep the lights on and the stove fires burning.PG is testing drones for monitoring electricity infrastructure and is working with NASA to use the unmanned aerial vehicles to spot gas leaks.The utility has two testing programs underway, to address issues in both gas and electricity services.A recent drone flight over a hydroelectric plant in the Sierra Nevada mountains outside Fresno marked PG s foray into drone testing.For humans to inspect facilities such as the Balch Powerhouse in the Sierras, fall-protection equipment is required for the risky work that requires a significant investment in training and protective equipment, according to PGThe utility hopes to use drones to assess power lines and other equipment in remote areas.for increasing reliability of our service and response time to outages, PG executive Pat Hogan said in a press release.On the gas side, the utility is working with NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and other researchers to test a drone-borne NASA laser-based sensor to detect gas leaks from the air.The ability to deploy and aerial methane-detection tool over long distances and in remote areas could signal a major turning point in future gas-leak detection capabilities for PG, and the larger utility industry as a whole, said PG executive Jesus Soto.The utility said it was also looking ahead to using drones for storm and disaster response.Using drones to capture high-resolution imagery in real time will help speed up damage assessments and the deployment of the right resources to restore power.
Commune with nature — and ads?National parks may relax corporate-sponsorship rules to pay for big centennial bash.From duct tape to brass knuckles, things labeled American in other countries.An interactive infographic shows how the American diet has changed over the past several decades.And walking in 100-mph winds — and living to tell about it.Photo: Duct tape apparently is called American tape in Spain.
Those are some of the words used by those who attended Mark Zuckerberg s meeting with conservatives Wednesday at Facebook s headquarters in the wake of accusations of political bias at the social network.But also: No one is kidding themselves — everyone knows how left-wing Silicon Valley is.The accusations of bias stem from a recent Gizmodo report based on an anonymous former Facebook worker who claimed his fellow Trending Topics curators suppressed news from conservative media outlets.Facebook has denied finding evidence to support the claim, but the controversy ruffled enough feathers — including those of a senator — that CEO Zuckerberg arranged a meeting with conservatives such as Glenn Beck and several others.In a post Wednesday after the meeting, Zuckerberg thanked those who attended and said: It s important that Facebook remains a platform for all ideas and that we continue to give every person a voice.It doesn t make sense for our mission or our business to suppress political content or prevent anyone from seeing what matters most to them, he said.The Wall Street Journal cited a Barclays Capital estimate that political candidates were expected to spend up to $300 million on Facebook ads this year.Other Facebook executives who attended the meeting included Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, plus a couple of conservatives, according to Politico and the WSJ: board member Peter Thiel, who is a California delegate for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and Joel Kaplan, formerly an aide to George W. Bush and now the company s head of global public policy.Photo from Associated PressTags: conservatives, facebook, Glenn Beck, mark zuckerberg, trending news
For those who keep track of such things, here s the official number for Tesla Model 3 reservations: 373,000.That s according to a prospectus filed Wednesday by the electric car maker, which also announced it is selling about $1.4 billion worth of stock.In addition, CEO Elon Musk is selling some of his shares, bringing the stock offering to about $2 billion as the company raises the money it needs to make all those cars, among other things.Last we checked in on Tesla Model 3 reservations, they were at almost 400,000, CEO Elon Musk said at a conference in Europe last month.The demand exceeded expectations, with the company s stores seeing iPhone-like lines on that first day and people plunking down $1,000 for reservations for a car they hadn t even seen.Tesla is proud that people are basically ordering the car on faith, as reflected in its prospectus: We have obtained this level of reservations… without yet publicly disclosing numerous features about the car, the company said.It says it still expects first deliveries of the car in late 2017.In its most recent earnings call earlier this month, Tesla announced that it was raising its production goal to 500,000 cars a year by 2018.Photo: The Model 3, Tesla s $35,000 electric sedan, was unveiled Thursday, March 31, 2016.
The souped-up hybrid Ford Fusion will be collecting mapping data and testing its self-driving capabilities, all with a trained driver behind the wheel to monitor the car s performance.Steel City residents likely won t have any trouble recognizing the car — it s marked with the Uber logo and is outfitted with high-tech gadgets including radar sensors, laser scanners and cameras.While Uber says it s still in the early days of testing, it appears to be the first ride-hailing company to get an autonomous car on the road.Earlier this month Lyft announced a plan to have self-driving electric cars on public roads within a year, via a partnership with General Motors.And Apple s recent $1 billion investment in Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing has led to speculation about how the deal could advance Apple s secretive Project Titan self-driving car project.1.3 million people die every year in car accidents — 94% of those accidents involve human error, the company wrote in its blog post.In the future we believe this technology will mean less congestion, more affordable and accessible transportation, and far fewer lives lost in car accidents.The company says it chose Pittsburgh because of the city s strong engineering talent and research facilities — and it s an ideal environment to test the self-driving car on a variety of road types, traffic patters and weather conditions.Photo: Uber s self-driving car is hitting the road in Pittsburgh.
Here s what s on the Thursday menu.Theranos voids two years of blood-test results, issues thousands of corrected reports.WSJ Google appeals French right to be forgotten order — which calls for Google to apply removals of links to all its domains, not just ones in Europe — to France s highest court.The students who are suing Google over email scanning have asked magistrate judge Paul Grewal, who is overseeing procedural matters related to the case, to recuse himself because he has accepted a job with Facebook.He starts next month.In meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook, China regulator stressed Chinese users security.LinkedIn said Wednesday it s working to invalidate 100 million potentially compromised passwords that were taken during a 2012 breach, after reports that a hacker is selling them.Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos responded Wednesday to recent accusations by Donald Trump that he and the company have tax and antitrust issues, saying it s not an appropriate way for a presidential candidate to behave.Washington Post Taxi prices around the world have declined because of what Deutsche is calling the Uber effect.Photo: Judge Paul Grewal poses in his office in the federal courthouse in downtown San Jose, Calif., Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.Grewal, a magistrate judge, is set to start working at Facebook next month as deputy general counsel in charge of litigation.
You have to wonder what other errors Theranos has that it s going to need to correct.The latest issue surrounding the troubled lab-technology company: It has voided the results of two years worth of blood tests that were done with Theranos Edison blood-testing devices.The Wall Street Journal reported that Theranos has re-issued thousands of test results that it has corrected.The company processed approximately 890,000 tests a year in its labs.You read that right: Two years of blood tests were basically stricken from the record.The company s valuation ended up being based on a technology that Theranos itself had given up on.All of that can t help Theranos case that the doors of its Palo Alto headquarters, and its testing labs, should be kept open.The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services are still considering pulling Theranos license to operate labs in California, and have proposed kicking Theranos Chief Executive and founder Elizabeth Holmes out of the blood-testing industry for two years and fining the company, to boot, according to the Journal.Last week, Sunny Balwani stepped down from his president and chief operating officer posts at Theranos rather than face the possibility of a two-year ban from the blood-testing industry himself.Photo: Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes in 2014.
On Thursday, Apple offered, in a sneak preview of its new Apple Union Square in San Francisco, a new direction for its retail stores.Retail s purpose is getting fuzzier with more and more online shopping.Despite Apple 480 stores in 17 countries, Apple s biggest store is really Apple.com in terms of visitors.But there is a connection between physical stores and online shopping, said Angela Ahrendts, Apple s senior vice president of retail and online stores.With its new store, Apple is trying for something different: To create a town square feeling where people meet, listen to music or watch an artist create.In its new store, Apple uses its iconic materials — glass, blonde wood tables, steel.Impressively, the 42-foot high glass walls of the south side of the building open like shoji screens.We think of this as our largest product, Ahrendts said.The Genius Bar has been replaced with the Genius Grove, a calmer, more Zen place for getting one-on-one help.Oh yeah, if you want to buy one of those watches, phones or tablets, they are on sale, too.But the products, while showcased, recede into the background.Something will always be going on at the store, Ahrendts said, whether it s artists or photographers doing some work or musicians playing in the new public space in the back.The store has balconies and places for visitors to parade a bit and gawk.That park will be open 24/7 with free WiFi and a 50-foot tall green wall.Anyone is invited at anytime, Ahrendts said.A sweat lodge?But Apple Union Square is an interesting start.
Networking routers and switches and services don t play as well in a TV commercial as do iPhones shooting 4K video.You could make an argument that the only time Cisco was really cool was back in 2009, when it paid $590 million for Pure Digital, the maker of the then-popular line of Flip Video digital video cameras.And whether it was because a consumer gadget didn t fit in with its traditional networking gear business, or people just didn t buy enough Flips once they really got into shooting video on their iPhones, Cisco shut down Flip, and stopped making its video cameras in 2011.And on Thursday, Cisco s shares rose 3.2 percent to close at $27.57 after the company reported one of its typically solid business quarters.So, in case you missed it…Late Wednesday, Cisco reported fiscal third-quarter earnings of 57 cents a share on $12 billion in sales, while Wall Street analysts had forecast the company to earn 55 cents a share on $11.97 billion.By contrast, sales of routers were off by 5 percent and switching-gear revenue declined by 3 percent.No, it s not the kind of stuff that will have the cool factor of something like a 50-foot-high green wall and a park where you can wander in and contemplate whether you should get the 64-gigabyte or 128GB iPhone 6 Plus.: If Cisco is boring, yet consistent, anything involving John McAfee is going to be like 17 straight rides on Disneyland s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad without being strapped into your seat.It was barely a week ago, that McAfee, founder of McAfee, one of the first big anti-virus software companies, one-time-kinda-but-not-really fugitive from Belize, and current Libertarian Party presidential candidate, was named Chief Executive to MGT Capital Investments.Actually, it was more like McAfee took over the company, as part of his joining MGT was it acquiring his latest venture, anti-spy technology company D-Vasive, and saying it would rename itself John McAfee Global Technologies.So, it should come as no surprise that investing in a John McAfee company would be as wild an experience as McAfee being McAfee.
Personal data of more than 100 million LinkedIn users may have been stolen, the company has warned.For nearly four years, everything seemed fine.On Wednesday the company began invalidating passwords for all accounts created before the 2012 theft that hadn t been updated since the breach, LinkedIn said.Regularly changing your password is always a good idea and you don t have to wait for the notification, LinkedIn said in the statement, which was on the company blog.In a tilt at the infamous windmill of criminal hacking, LinkedIn added that it had demanded that parties cease making stolen password data available and will evaluate potential legal action if they fail to comply.People can t rely on organizations to keep their personal data safe, but must take as many steps as possible to secure it themselves, Kennerley said.In this case, ensuring that the password used for LinkedIn is different from other accounts is crucial – this will limit the potential impact on other accounts, including email, which can lead to other, more sensitive, information being stolen.Photo: LinkedIn headquarters in Mountain View AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File Tags: Dave Kennerley, email, hackers, hacking, linkedin, passwords, personal data, personal information, Russian, Webroot
Cheers to six-pack rings that are made of beer byproducts and can be eaten by sea creatures.After the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this summer, each party s presidential nominee will get an intelligence briefing akin to an advanced social-studies seminar.Kafkaesque, Orwellian: Do overused words lose their meaning?And here you go, have fun exploring Mars.Photo: Images of the Red Planet are transmitted to Earth by unmanned vehicles in the IMAX feature Roving Mars.Bay Area News Group archives