Tech Sightings, July 31, 2014

Posted July 31st, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC+0)
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Facebook-Backed Nonprofit Brings Free Internet to Zambia

Facebook’s non-profit group, Internet.org, is releasing an app that provides Zambians with limited, but free Internet data access and news about health, employment and other relevant local information.

New Display Tech Corrects for Bad Eyesight

Are the days of the reading glasses numbered? The University of California, Berkley has developed a prototype that uses software and an optical prescription to tailor screen images for patients and correct the way their eyes process light.

Six Great Ways to Teach Your Kids to Code

Until schools start incorporating computer programming in their curricula, there are plenty of resources on the Internet to help kids develop these skills. Here’s is a list of the top websites that help teach coding from basic levels to more advanced skills.

ICANN: Countries Don’t Own Their Internet Domains

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees the Internet, has filed a motion to stop plaintiffs who have won a court case against Syria, Iran and North Korea from seizing the three nations’ country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). According to ICANN, ccTLDs cannot be seized because they are not property.

Android Grabs Record 85 Percent Smartphone Share

Research firm Strategy Analytics says Android’s mobile operating system now controls a record 84.6 percent share of global smartphone shipments. The market share of rivals like Apple’s mobile iOS dipped to 11.9 percent in the second quarter of this year, from 13.4 percent last year.

Xiaomi’s Star Rises as Chinese Handset Makers Gnaw at Samsung’s Share

A report from Strategy Analytics shows that market share controlled by China’s three-year-old Xiaomi Inc, also known as the Apple of China, makes it the world’s fifth largest smartphone manufacturer. Three of the top five smartphone sellers were Chinese in the second quarter of this year.

Google Fixes Android’s Fake ID Security Hole

Google has issued a fix after Bluebox Labs discovered a new, serious Android vulnerability. Blubox reported that malware could exploit Android’s Fake ID, a security hole in all versions of the mobile operating system through Jelly Bean.

Why USB Security Is Fundamentally Broken

If you trade USBs with your friends without scanning their contents for viruses, then you are risking passing around potential virus infections. But there’s more. Security researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell have found that malware introduced to the firmware that controls USB functions remains hidden after the drive’s contents have been deleted. And there is no easy fix for this at the moment.

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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