Tech Sightings, August 14, 2014

Posted August 14th, 2014 at 2:06 pm (UTC+0)
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Tech CEOs join the Ice Bucket Challenge

What’s the Ice Bucket Challenge, you ask? The idea is that people dump a bucket of ice-cold water over their head and challenge others to do the same – all in the interest of helping raise awareness of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). This year’s challenge drew Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who challenged Google CEO Larry Page and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to follow suit.

Intel Explores Wearable Devices for Parkinson’s Disease Research

Intel Corp and the Michael J. Fox Foundation are teaming up for research on Parkinson’s disease. Intel is planning to use wearable gadgets to monitor patients, collect their data and share it with researchers. Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s.

Whisper’s Non-Profit Your Voice Is Now a Digital Platform to Discuss Depression

Following recent discussion of depression and suicide, Whisper founders are planning a $1 million grant to fund Whisper’s non-profit entity, Your Voice. The company also announced that Your Voice is being turned into a platform for discussions to help people with depression.

Twitter Reviews Policies After Robin Williams’ Daughter Harassed

Twitter announced that some accounts have been suspended in relation to abuse targeting Zelda Williams, the daughter of late comedian Robin Williams. Twitter officials say they are evaluating ways to improve policies to better handle similar tragic situations in the future.

Apple Bans Two Chemicals From iPhone Assembly Lines

Following allegations of unsafe working conditions, Apple has banned benzene and n-hexane from all of its iPhone factories. Both cleaning agents are potentially hazardous, although an Apple investigation found that their use is not widespread in the company’s plants.

The Biggest iPhone Security Risk Could Be Connecting One to a Computer

Apple has successfully fended off malicious software over the years, but a team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology plan to demonstrate a major iOS glitch at next Wednesday’s Usenix Security Symposium in San Diego. The researchers argue that iOS becomes vulnerable to attackers when devices are connected to a computer via USB or when Wi-Fi synching is enabled.

Facebook Now Lets Marketers Track You Around the Web. Here’s How to Stop It

While Facebook can now gift its advertisers all of your mobile and Web browser history, you can still opt out if you follow a few easy steps.

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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About

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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