Tech Sightings, December 12, 2013

Posted December 12th, 2013 at 4:20 pm (UTC+0)
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The Verge 50 – The 50 People who Changed Our Lives This Year

2013 has been a year of revelations, disclosures, heartbreaking losses, and thrilling wins. A year of changes. But most of all, it’s been a year when it was never more clear that just a single person could change the way we all feel and think. Meet the dreamers, the informers, the noisemakers, the entertainers, the world changers, the old guard, and (yes) the next wave that make up the Verge 50.

Protecting Protected Species With High-Tech Barriers

Namibia’s elephant count has risen from under 10,000 around the turn of the millennium to 20,000 today. Lion and leopard populations have doubled since 2004. Cheetah populations, once in decline, are now larger than anywhere else in the world. Creatures in Namibia and elsewhere prowl around ever-expanding human settlements, killing livestock, and potentially getting shot. Luckily, there are some high tech (and a few low-tech) ways to keep them alive—and out of the way.

Indian Court Removes Obstacle to Microsoft-Nokia Merger

The Delhi High Court ruled on Thursday that Nokia would be allowed to transfer a phone factory to Microsoft, clearing a major obstacle to Nokia’s $7.4 billion sale of its mobile phone business to Microsoft.

Why Coding Classes Should Be Mandatory

Millions of students will learn some lessons in computer coding this week as part of “Hour of Code,” a national campaign offering free tutorials. The initiative is supported by President Obama, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Microsoft’s Bill Gates. But what most of us really need is semesters of code. Here’s why computer science courses should be mandatory for all young people.

StarCraft II Gamer Receives US Pro-Athlete Visa

The world’s first professional StarCraft II gamer has been granted a five-year pro athlete visa for the United States, making Kim “viOLet” Dong Hwan the first of his kind.

Police could use radio waves to bring cars to a halt

Devices that fire microwave blasts, scrambling cars’ onboard computers, could soon allow the authorities to rein in suspect vehicles.

Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

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Whether you are in a big city or a small village – technology is in your hands, your pocket, your car, your home. It is everywhere. And everywhere, it is becoming us.

Techtonics looks at how technology intersects people’s lives, how it empowers them or traps them in a world increasingly obsessed with technological wonders even as privacy slips through its fingers. It aims to inform, discuss, and hopefully inspire.

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