Tech Sightings, March 18, 2014

Posted March 18th, 2014 at 2:18 pm (UTC+0)
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The African Version of Amazon Will Emerge From Nigeria

Not to be outdone by Amazon, African companies in East Africa are also experimenting with a drone initiative that uses large cargo robots in a race around Mount Kenya to deliver and collect payloads. That initiative faces many challenges, though, and the future “African Amazons” are likely to be born on the other side of the continent – in Nigeria, West Africa.

Solar-Powered Toilet Turns Feces Into Fertilizing Charcoal

About 2.5 billion people don’t have proper sanitary facilities, or more specifically, toilets. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Colorado – Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – has developed a toilet that uses solar power to scorch and disinfect human waste, and turn it into a byproduct called biochar.

Wireless Electricity? It’s Here

A Massachusetts start-up called WiTricity is working on generating electricity without the need for wires. The method involves building a coil of electrical wire that generates a magnetic field when power is attached. When another coil is brought close, a wireless electrical charge can be generated.

Young South African Duo Creates Cross-Continent Mobile App

The ‘Global Entrepreneur Award’ was awarded Tuesday to William Colglazier, age 9, and Alexander Glidden, age 8, for developing the @Me-on-the-Move mobile app, which breaks new ground by working across borders, and making it easier for people to use open data to create applications that can transcend borders.

Mt Gox Users Now Can Check Bitcoin Balances on Closed Exchange

Mt Gox, which is filing for bankruptcy protection, offered Tuesday to allow users to check their balances. Users with a Mt Gox account can log in and see their accounts, though that is all that they will be allowed to do.

Most Businesses Unprepared for Cyberattack, Study Finds

Research done by the Economist Intelligence Unit and Arbor Networks has found that corporations are unprepared for dealing with escalating cyberthreats, putting their clients’ personal and financial information at risk should their systems be penetrated by hackers.

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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