Today’s Tech Sightings:
Game developer Kuato’s game, Hakitzu, a hit in London schools, already has been used in more than 1 million coding sessions. The game lets students, some of whom have had various issues, learn how to code by leading a robot through an adventure-shooter scenario.
A partnership between Japanese telecom giant SoftBank and IBM is set to bring to Japan new features and apps for IBM’s Watson supercomputer, famous for its appearance on the quiz show “Jeopardy,” to allow SoftBank to use Watson’s artificial intelligence in its empathetic robot Pepper.
Tug is a robot that shuffles around the halls of the University of California, San Francisco’s Mission Bay wing. The robot is part of a fleet of automatons that deliver drugs, cart away medical waste and deliver clean linens and meals. By March 1, the fleet will include 25 robots, the world’s largest team of medical robots.
A lot of people apparently treat their pets as members of their family. With that in mind, Microsoft is touting a new Skype feature that lets owners keep an eye on their pets and monitor them with a webcam.
U.S. law enforcement officials are hailing news that smartphone thefts have dropped sharply since the introduction of the kill-switch, particularly in iPhones. Overall smartphone thefts dropped 22 percent in San Francisco between 2013-2014. Meanwhile, iPhone thefts fell 40 percent.
Described as an “API-based clearinghouse for security threat information,” Facebook’s new ThreatExchange is a social platform that lets companies exchange information about cybersecurity threats and attacks. Several prominent players have joined, including Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Yahoo, Bitly and Dropbox.
Following reports that Samsung’s smart TVs vacuum information from users’ casual conversations, Samsung has clarified that its televisions only listen in if their owners let them. The company has changed its privacy policies to imply that it eavesdrops on users with voice recognition features that let viewers use verbal commands to operate their TV sets.