WoW for Ebola; Samsung’s TV Saga; Apple’s Labor Woes

Posted February 12th, 2015 at 2:21 pm (UTC-4)
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WoW Players Raise Nearly $2 Million to Fight Ebola

Blizzard’s World of Warcraft’s latest charity campaign has netted more than $1.9 million to help fight Ebola in Africa. The donations were raised through in-game purchases; and all proceeds were donated to the Red Cross.

Microsoft Researchers Say Their Newest Deep Learning System Beats Humans

An academic paper from the Asian office of Microsoft’s research division touts its latest Artificial Intelligence deep learning system as a cut above humans and the competition. Microsoft’s deep learning outperformed humans by one metric when identifying and selecting correct images out of 1,000 options.

NGO: Apple’s Inability to Monitor Standards Lets Pegatron Pay Low Wages

Labor rights group China Labor Watch said Apple’s inability to monitor supply chain standards is letting firms like Taiwan’s assembler Pegatron Corp keep wages below living expenses. The group said Pegatron’s low costs helped it get Apple’s business, which was moved from Foxconn following an increase in labor costs.

Apple Bans ‘Bonded Servitude’ at Supplier Factories Worldwide

Apple is changing a widely-criticized labor practice. The tech giant announced in its annual supplier audit Wednesday that it is now requiring factories and suppliers to pay recruitment fees to new employees and that it would prohibit Apple assembly line employees from being charged these expenses. The practice is also known as bonded labor.

Players Control This Game With Their Heartbeat

Skip a Beat, an endless runner game developed by Amsterdam-based Happitech, a healthcare software company, lets players use their heartbeat rate to raise their scores. Using a smartphone camera and flash to measure heart rate, players can choose from a relaxed mode to a more active pace to keep their heartbeats within a given range, thereby increasing their scores.

Samsung Smart TV Owners Fume Over Sneaky Pop-Up Ads

Samsung’s TV saga continues. After learning that Samsung smart TVs eavesdrop on private conversations and mine data for third parties, owners discovered that their devices inject ads in movies they are watching without their consent. On Wednesday, Samsung declared that its smart TVs only listen in if allowed and amended its privacy policies to reflect that feature. The company also told the ad-injection was due to an error which is being investigated.

Going to Pyongyang? Check Out the Foreigner-Only Wi-Fi

At best, North Korea’s Internet access is scant with about 1,000 assigned IP addresses available to the elite. Adding insult to injury, a new report from NKNews said foreigners can now access the Internet through Pyongyang’s Wi-Fi network, in addition to state-run mobile company Koryolink’s network.

Apple Approves Kim Jong-Un Parody Game

Little Dictator, a mobile game that depicts North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un straddling a nuclear missile in flight was blocked earlier in February for violating Apple’s app review policy. Apple has now reversed course and approved the game for release.

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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