Tech Sightings, March 27, 2014

Posted March 27th, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC+0)
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Tomorrow’s Cargo Ships Will Use Augmented Reality to Sail the Seas

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Rolls-Royce says operating ships by remote control is already a possibility; and there are plans to deploy the first remotely-operated ship as early as next year.

NASA Crowdsources New Spacesuit Design

As of Wednesday morning, More than 83,000 people  have voted on three prototypes of spacesuits, jointly designed by NASA, suit manufacturer ILC Dover, and design students from Philadelphia University. NASA is using crowdsourcing to help pick the final cover layer design for its next generation spacesuit by April 15.

Yahoo Japan Buys SoftBank’s eAccess to Set Up New Mobile Internet Service

Yahoo Japan Corp will buy mobile network operator eAccess from Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank Corp to launch its own mobile Internet service. The purchase is scheduled for June 2.

Study: ‘Malleability’ Attacks Not to Blame for Mt. Gox’s Missing Bitcoins

A Swiss study says Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange probably lost fewer than 400 bitcoins to malleability attacks – far less than what the company reported. The findings cast doubts on Mt. Gox’s explanation of how it lost nearly half a billion dollars’ worth of digital currency.

Meet the Manic Miner Who Wants to Mint 10 Percent of all New Bitcoins

In Eastern Washington, Dave Carlson says he is running the world’s largest Bitcoin mining operation. His goal is to account for 7-10 percent of the world’s Bitcoin mining, as measured by hashtag power.

Stadium Security’s Newest Tool to Control Feisty Fans: Social Media

When the Minnesota Vikings had their final game in 1981, their fans rushed the field, grabbing everything in their path. Now, the firm that provides security to the team checks online social media chatter for trouble even before fans enter the stadium and responds as needed.

Google, Facebook, Twitter Face Lawsuit Over ‘Illegible, Incomprehensible’ Privacy Policies

A French consumer group has filed a lawsuit with the French High Court in Paris against Google, Facebook, and Twitter. The group argues the companies’ privacy policies are too complex for the average user to decipher.

Apple Planning Multicultural Emoji

An Apple exec tells MTV more diversity is needed in emoji characters, which are based on the Unicode standard, and it says the company has been working closely with the Unicode Consortium to update the standard.

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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