Tech Sightings, March 5, 2014

Posted March 5th, 2014 at 2:41 pm (UTC+0)
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The Benefits of Connecting Kids With Autism to Social Media

Autism Expressed is the first and only online learning program that teaches digital literacy to students with autism and other developmental disabilities. It was launched last summer launched by a student at Philadelphia’s University of The Arts and has already benefited thousands of students.

Mobile Technology Improves Water Access in Rwanda

Portland State University in the United States has developed a small device to monitor water pumps in Rwanda, making it easier to find and fix broken pumps. The smartphone-sized device, which is installed on each pump, runs on one battery and has a SIM card that sends information on water flow to a central server.

A Closer Look at Facebook’s Motives in Acquiring its Fleet of Titan Drones

Looking to acquire Titan Aerospace – an American maker of high-altitude drones – under the guise of connecting the world’s unconnected demographics, Facebook plays the philanthropist while ensuring its business continues to grow and survive.

Japan May Tax Bitcoin Deals, Stop Banks, Brokerages From Handling

The Japanese government will decide Friday how to handle bitcoins, following  the collapse of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, once the world’s dominant bitcoin exchange. New rules could put Bitcoin on the same footing as gold, while financial institutions will not be allowed to handle the digital currency as part of their business.

Implosion of Bitcoin Exchange Spawns Mutant Digital Currency

As bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox descends into bankruptcy after a $460-million hack, a new website, Bitcoinbuilder.com, has sprung up to let speculators buy the rights to assets locked inside the troubled exchange – that along with a new effort to create a new digital currency.

BlackBerry CEO: Company Recovery a Coin Toss

BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen tells the Financial Times that recovery and restructuring efforts at the company have a “50:50 chance” of success.

Can Apple Help Make Hearing Aids Cool?

A new collaboration between Apple and Danish hearing-aid company GN ReSound is set to produce a new hearing aid compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The device, announced last week, syncs wirelessly with Apple’s mobile devices and takes advantage of iOS 7′s accessibility features for the hearing-impaired.

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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About

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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