Today’s Tech Sightings:
The devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday claimed more than 4,000 lives and affected more than eight million people. It also took a toll on Internet connectivity. While international links survived, the same cannot be said for connectivity on the ground in areas where underground fiber cables and mobile cell towers may have been destroyed, or damaged.
Taking another step to help earthquake victims in Nepal, Facebook added a note to users’ news feeds to give them the opportunity to help by donating to the International Medical Corps. Both Facebook and Google recently offered Web tools to help people find their loved ones in Nepal and inquire about their safety. Apple is also pitching in, allowing App Store customers to make donations.
Yes, the Pope tweets. And when he does, the world listens, according to “Twiplomacy,” a study of the Twitter accounts of world leaders and their retweet rates. Pope Francis’ @Pontifex is the most influential Twitter account and his tweets rank third in the category of all-time popular tweets.
Robots are on the rise; and Robear, a new robot from researchers in Japan, uses advanced technology to see and operate. Robear can lift a person off the ground and is designed to help elderly people stand up or to lift them from a bed or wheelchair. Researchers hope that technology products like Robear might help address the needs of Japan’s aging population.
Researchers at the University of Maryland and NICTA, an information and computer technology research center in Australia, have developed a robotic system that learns processes from watching YouTube videos. The researchers’ goal is to develop a self-learning robot that can put into action the concepts it learns. Writer Greg Nichols suggests these types of robots could augment automated manufacturing in the future.
WordPress is urging users to update their software after a researcher at Finnish security firm Klikki discovered a critical cross-site scripting flaw that lets attackers exploit the comments section of WordPress sites.
Microsoft’s Build developer’s conference opens in San Francisco on Wednesday; and already there is a list of what users would like to see coming out of that gathering. Writer Mark Hachman lists five things he’d like the tech giant deliver as its new operating system, Windows 10, takes shape.