Tech Sightings, July 2, 2014

Posted July 2nd, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC+0)
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The Line Between Wearable Technology and Prosthetics is Blurring

Wearable technology is increasingly augmenting the human senses through hearing, sight and smell aids. But how far will technology go before the lines are blurred?

3-D Printed Fabric Made of Yarn Can Stop a Knife

A student at London’s Royal College of Art has developed a process that can 3-D print impact-resistant material. Oluwaseyi Sosanya hopes that his new fabric can defend against knife stabs and lacerations.

Sonar Sticks Use Ultrasound to Guide Blind People

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi have created a “Smartcane” that uses ultrasound waves and vibrations to detect obstacles in the user’s way.

Researchers Create Walking, Muscle-Powered Biobots

Using a combination of biology and engineering, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed robots with bio-based muscular engines. The robots walk when a current is applied to their engines.

Cybercrime Scheme Aims at Payments in Brazil

The New York Times reports that EMC Corp researchers have discovered a cybercrime operation targeting Brazilian online transactions worth $3.75 billion. The ring specifically targets Boleto Bancário, or Boletos, a popular form of payment that can be issued online.

Google Aims to Defrag Android Universe

As Android migrates to the world of wearable tech, Google is moving to limit the control hardware makers have over its operating system and contain Android fragmentation, which has been viewed as a contributor to the operating system’s security woes.

How to Opt Out of Facebook’s Mind-Altering Experiments

Are you a Facebook user? If you are, chances are you have given the company consent to use content from your News Feeds to analyze user behavior. Unfortunately, the only way to exempt yourself from scientific research at the moment is to delete your Facebook account.

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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