Tech Sightings, September 17, 2014

Posted September 17th, 2014 at 2:33 pm (UTC-4)
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Middle-School Dropout Codes Clever Chat Program That Foils NSA Spying

John Brooks, a coder who dropped out of school at the age of 13, first created Ricochet, an encrypted instant messaging program, as a hobby. After the Snowden leaks about U.S. intelligence spying came to light, Brooks realized that he has the solution that can protect user data and communications.

The Future of Permanent, Integrated Prosthetic Limbs and Bionic Implants

Users of prosthetics limbs typically strap their artificial limbs to the exterior of their bodies and remove them as necessary. Now, researchers at England’s Royal National Orthopedic hospital have found a better way – an implant that attaches a prosthetic directly to a patient’s endoskeleton.

Conservative Group Issues Video Lambasting Gaming’s Feminist Critics

The conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) issued a video criticizing so-called “feminist tech writers” and “concernocrats” for pushing against sexism in the tech industry. AEI resident scholar Christina Hoff Sommers argues that hardcore games are meant for men and should include imagery that appeals to them.

Report Gives Facebook, Twitter, YouTube an ‘F’ in Handling Harassment

A new report from the Association for Progressive Communications’ Women’s Rights Program, which tracks instances of online sexual harassment and the ways in which they were addressed, has slapped the top three social networks with a failing grade for their “public commitment to human rights standards.”

Apple Expands Two-Step Verification to iCloud

Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook recently promised to improve security after iCloud leaks dumped celebrity nude pictures on the Web, expanded its two-step verification to The new process will now deny access to users who fail to enter both their passwords and codes.

Web-Surfing Adults More Infection-Prone Than Teens

Teenagers spend more time online, yet get fewer malware and viruses than adults. Enigma Software, which makes anti-malware programs, reviewed reports of more than two million infections and found that Web surfers 50-to-64-years old using older PCs ran a risk of infections 161 percent higher than teenagers.

Android Browser Flaw “Privacy Disaster” for Half of Android Users

A flaw that lets malicious sites inject JavaScript into other sites in order to read and access all kinds of data puts Android Browser users at risk of losing sensitive information every time they visit a new website.


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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