Tech Sightings, July 8, 2014

Posted July 8th, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC+0)
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Jack Ma’s Journey to Build Alibaba Was Full of Crazy

Alibaba founder Jack Ma, an English teacher, went on to start an e-commerce business that is able to take on global multi-billion-dollar companies.This is the subject of a new movie titled “Crocodile in the Yangtze” that offers a comprehensive look at the journey that lead Ma to found Alibaba.

The Future of Birth Control and Drug Delivery

Backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an MIT spin-off has developed a drug-dispensing remote-controlled implant that the user can control with the press of a button. In its first commercial application, the device is used to administer a contraceptive for 16 years.

Devices in Standby Mode Waste $80 Billion

According to the IEA, the world’s 14 billion devices that use the standby mode waste up to $80 billion in energy costs; and the figure is expected to mushroom in the next decade as more devices come online.

Gartner: PC Market Not Dead Yet

The global PC market is expected to witness a slight revival this year after a 9.5 percent decline in 2013, says a new study from Gartner, Inc. While still in decline, the study says the PC market will only drop by 2.9 percent in 2014.

Paid Android Wear Apps Don’t Work, Thanks to DRM

Yes, it’s a bug. A report from Android Police says the encryption keys of paid Android apps obtained at the Google Play Store fail to transfer to the wearable item, like a watch, for example. That means that the watch also fails to install the associated wearable apps. The only way to go around this is to not charge for the apps.

Google’s Larry Page Talks of Killing the 40-Hour Work Week

In a conversation with Khosla Ventures, Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page said “the idea that everyone needs to work frantically to meet people’s needs is not true.” He said part of why people work 40 hours a week is to meet their needs. In theory, he said he would approach unemployment by hiring two part-time employes instead of one full-time staffer.

The Death of Dogecoin

Dogecoin exchange Moolah has been soliciting investments from users over the past few months in an effort to turn the cryptocurrency into a serious business. But a recent contribution of $50,000 from Moolah founder and director Alex Green has triggered speculation that Dogecoin, which is supposed to be ultra-cheap, is beginning its decline.

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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