Tech Sightings, March 13, 2014

Posted March 13th, 2014 at 2:52 pm (UTC+0)
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 Intel Lead on Conflict Minerals Helps, Challenges Other Firms

After spending more than five years figuring out how to rid its supply chain of minerals that finance conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Intel Corp is now offering to “open source” its methods so that other companies can follow suit.

Singapore Backtracks, Unveils New Bitcoin Regulations

Backtracking on a previous decision not to restrict Bitcoin transactions, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a statement Thursday saying it will “regulate virtual currency intermediaries,” including Bitcoin exchange and vending machine operators.

Mt. Gox Kept Bitcoin Exchange Open Despite Knowledge of Large-Scale Theft

A sworn declaration in the filing from Robert Karpeles, Mt. Gox ‘s CEO, indicates that the bitcoin exchange may have continued to collect trading fees before shutting down its website, despite knowledge that a vast number of bitcoins had disappeared.

Chinese Tech Firms Issue Virtual Credit Cards for Online Shopping

Alipay, the payment side of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba will collaborate with China’s CITIC Bank to issue one million virtual credit cards beginning next week. Online shopping histories will determine the creditworthiness of applicants.

FDA Approves Battery-Powered Headband That Prevents Migraines

Cefaly is the first transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device designed for use with migraine pain, which could last for up to 72 hours if left untreated. The battery-operated, portable device, worn on top of the ears and across the forehead, stimulates the trigeminal nerve believed  to contribute to migraine pain.

Inside Japan’s Indie Games Fest

Last year, Japan’s annual Tokyo Game Show exposition added a dedicated “Indie Games Corner.” This year, the  BitSummit festival welcomed more than 5,000 visitors – a small number compared to the hundreds of thousands who visit Tokyo Game Show each year, but a significant one in a country where independent games remain outside the mainstream.

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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