Tech Sightings, October 16, 2014

Posted October 16th, 2014 at 1:50 pm (UTC-5)
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SMS Service Could Spot the Next Ebola Outbreak Zone

Australian doctor Mohamad-Ali Trad is looking to raise enough money to launch an SMS service in West Africa that directs patients who text key words to a given number to appropriate services where they can get help. Trad says the system also records the geographic patterns of the key words, making it possible for authorities to identify potential outbreaks.

Facebook Unveils ‘Safety Check’ for Disaster Efforts

Facebook’s new safety check tool allows users to contact their friends and family in case of an emergency to let them know that they are safe and to check on the safety of others.

Parents Face Defamation Trial Over Fake Facebook Page Their Kid Made

Do you know what your kid does online? You might want to check. A Georgia teenager set up a fake Facebook page to mock a classmate.  An appeals court ruled yesterday that his parents should face a defamation trial.

FBI Warns of Cyberattacks Linked to China

The FBI warned companies of possible cyberattacks by individuals linked to the Chinese government. The FBI also offered information to help firms determine if their computer systems were compromised and how to mitigate further threats.

South Korea Tries to Ease Cyber Surveillance Fears

South Korea’s assurances come amid fears that prosecutors might access online chats on a domestic chat app, a concern that has driven customers to use foreign rival apps instead. Prosecutors launched a cyber probe last month after the country’s president made remarks that raised fears of snooping among users and online services.

Invisible Umbrella Creates Shield of Wind, Soaks Innocent Bystanders

An innovative Kickstarter project is looking to reinvent the umbrella. The new device, called the Air Umbrella, is topless and uses the bottom to suck the air through and shoot it out of the top like a canopy. The problem is that the rain, which is also sucked through, ends up spraying bystanders.

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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