Tech Sightings, August 26, 2014

Posted August 26th, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC+0)
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Nine Incredible Science Projects by Brilliant Kids

You won’t believe some of the innovations these kids have come up with – from flashlights that run on heat from a human hand, to a device for the hearing impaired to listen to music.

Austin Nonprofit Builds ‘Microhouses’ for Homeless

A Texas non-profit, Mobile Loaves & Fishes, has come up with the idea of building tiny, homey houses that can be put together in a matter of hours as accommodations for homeless people. An on-site medical center will help provide health and medical services.

Report: Silicon Valley Creating Black, Hispanic Underclass

A report from Working Partnerships USA says Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are creating an underclass of black and Hispanic workers with low wages and few benefits, even though these demographics make up 28 percent of the work force in places like California’s Santa Clara County.

Study: Social Media Users Shy Away From Opinions

A recent study from the Pew Research Center found that regular social media users are less likely to share their opinions, even offline, unless they know that their audience agrees with their point of view.

Virtual Toddler Could Unlock Brain’s Secrets

BabyX, a computer-generated child, was developed by New Zealand’s Auckland Bioengineering Institute as part of a project to recreate brain activity. BabyX can mimic neural learning behavior; and its algorithms include learning models such as association, conditioning, repetition, and reinforcement.

A Massive Online Brain for All the World’s Robots?

Researchers at Cornell University are developing what they call RoboBrain, an online service of information and artificial intelligence intended for robots to tap into to better understand the world around them.

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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