Tech Sightings, December 17, 2013

Posted December 17th, 2013 at 2:30 pm (UTC+0)
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New Smartphone-Controlled Device Lifts Heavy Objects

A new smartphone-controlled device that can lift heavy items – weighing up to 23 kg – with just the push of a button has been developed in the US. The myLifter device is controlled via an app on your smartphone and can lift heavy objects despite its small size.

Bitcoins Fail Currency Test in Scandinavia’s Richest Nation

Bitcoins were dealt a blow in Norway as the government of Scandinavia’s richest nation said the virtual currency doesn’t qualify as real money.

Rumor: China Really Hates Bitcoin

The rollercoaster ride that is the Bitcoin market took a deep dive yesterday following yet another bombshell out of China – this time round, the People’s Bank of China has been rumored to consider banned third-party payment companies from doing business with Bitcoin exchanges.

As Pay Phones Vanish, So Does Lifeline for Many

In an age when just about everyone seems to have a cellphone, coin-operated phones are disappearing from the landscape at a rapid clip — and with them a lifeline for the poor.

The Promise And Pitfalls Of Connected Classrooms

Think outside the home—how can we connect our classrooms to empower student success?

Is Facebook Collapsing Under Its Own Weight?

Freelance analyst Benedict Evans argues Facebook’s recent exponential rate is now starting to turn into a problem for the company.

Internet’s Sad Legacy: No More Secrets

Anyone who can watch you will watch you. In technology, that is one of the big lessons of 2013.

The Pioneers Behind a Human-Powered Helicopter

The challenge was to design an aircraft that, powered only by a human, can hover 3 meters (9.84 feet) off the ground for at least 60 seconds. Only a handful managed to get their “human helicopter” off the ground.

Zoox’s Self-Driving Car: Where It’s Going, We Won’t Need Steering Wheels

The driverless-car designer says the human driver is the biggest danger in autonomous 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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