Tech Sightings, September 23, 2014

Posted September 23rd, 2014 at 2:07 pm (UTC-5)
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Alibaba’s Jack Ma Rises to Top of China Rich List

Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma has become China’s richest man with an estimated fortune of $25 billion. According to Hurun Reports of China’s super-rich for this year, Ma has relegated to second place Wanda property group chief Wang Jianlin, whose fortune is estimated at $24.2 billion.

The Radical Plan to Connect African Nations With Cargo Drones

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s Africa Initiative is working to create the world’s first commercial cargo drone route. The route, scheduled to be in operation in 2016, will run 80 kilometers and connect a number of towns and villages with vital supplies, such as blood, before being upgraded to carry bigger payloads and cover longer distances.

Facebook to Unveil New Ad Platform to Track Users Across Multiple Devices

Facebook is getting ready to launch a revised version of the ad platform, Atlas Advertiser Suite,  which will help marketers understand and target their audience more effectively. Atlas will collect information not just from Facebook, but also from third-parties that place ads with the social media giant.

DuckDuckGo Joins Google in Being Blocked in China

Gabriel Weinberg, CEO and founder of privacy-oriented search engine DuckDuckGo has confirmed that the service is now blocked in China. DuckDuckGo was inaccessible in China earlier in the summer, but it is unclear when the full blockage started.

How Apple Can Surge in China Yet Lose 30% of Market to Android

Apple’s problem, says mobile strategist Curtis Prins, is that it makes cool products for rich kids – a market that is heavily saturated. And while China remains a good market for Apple products, the company has ceded 30% of its China market share to Huawai and Xiaomi, which target the larger numbers of Chinese who cannot afford to buy Apple products.

Messaging App Seeks to Bring Voices Back to Phones

Microsoft’s former chief software architect, Ray Ozzie, hopes his new mobile app, Talko, will help bring the inflections and closeness of the human voice to the iPhone and Android platforms. Talko sends spoken words instead of text messages and allows users to record a message and recipients to listen to it at their leisure.

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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