Choking Russia’s Internet; Uber Troubles; IoT; Google Hangouts

Posted December 10th, 2014 at 2:43 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

Russia’s Creeping Descent Into Internet Censorship

A new Russian law could soon prevent foreign Internet companies from reaching the country unless they set up local servers. The move would effectively put these companies at the mercy of the Russian government, which has been gradually expanding censorship.

Obama Becomes First US President to Write Computer Program

While kicking off the annual Computer Science Education Week Tuesday, Barack Obama reportedly became the first U.S. president to write a computer program, albeit a basic one to animate a character from a Disney movie. How much code he actually wrote himself remains in dispute.

Uber’s System for Screening Drivers Draws Scrutiny

Ride-sharing company Uber continues to attract its share of trouble. Authorities in New Delhi banned Uber Monday after an Indian woman alleged that she was raped and beaten by the driver. In Spain, a Madrid judge banned the service, pending further court action. In the U.S., California is suing Uber for misleading customers on driver background checks. And backlash against Uber continues to spread in many parts of the world.

The Sony Mega-Hack: What You Need to Know

Sony Pictures is still reeling from a recent destructive hack attack that crippled its systems and leaked a lot of information online. And the repercussions of the attack just keep coming.

Giving Vulnerabilities Catchy Names Prompts More Patching

Copenhagen-based security researcher Secunia ApS says giving vulnerabilities names like Heartbleed and Shellshock make it easier for computer users to learn about these flaws and ask that vendors release patches to fix them.

Intel Joins ‘Internet of Things’ Movement

Intel is partnering with Accenture, Dell and other firms to build an Internet of Things platform that will provide connectivity to everyday items.

Google Injects Smarts, Stickers Into Hangouts Communication App

The updated Hangouts app, which combines text, video and voice chat, uses natural language processing to detect if someone is looking for another person and then helps them meet.

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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