Tech Sightings, August 20, 2014

Posted August 20th, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC+0)
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BrightSource Solar Plant Sets Birds on Fire

Federal investigators are urging a California company to put on hold its plans to expand an energy plant that concentrates solar energy to produce steam after watching birds caught between the plant’s mirrors and boilers ignite in mid air – on an average of one every two minutes.

Get Ready to Say Goodbye to the Traffic Light

Did you know the traffic light is a 100 years old this month? Well, odds are it might not survive another century, let alone the next decade, thanks to self-driving cars that are able to communicate with each other.

Saluting the Women Behind the Screen

“Video games will never be widely accepted as the art form of interactive culture if half of humanity doesn’t help to shape their future,” says a father of two girls who shares his thoughts about the difficult path women face in the world of video game development.

Google Plan for Kid Accounts Alarms Privacy Watchdogs

Privacy advocates say Google needs to prove that it can safeguard kids’ privacy and give their parents tools to protect them before moving forward with a plan to allow kids to have their own Gmail and YouTube accounts.

Mobile App Attacks: No Malware, No Problem

Beware what you download without further investigation. Attackers can now masquerade their products as legitimate apps to compromise a device and steal personal information – and if you’re not careful, they will do it with your blessing.

Inside the Sneaky, Surprisingly Large World of Rogue Chrome Extensions

A team of researchers investigating 48,000 extensions for Google’s Chrome browser found that many are used for illicit activities typically undetected by users. The research found numerous malicious and suspicious extensions related to activities such as fraud, theft and abuse.

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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