Today’s Tech Sightings:
Google’s Project Loon and the government of Sri Lanka have just signed an agreement to provide connectivity to the entire country. The island’s IT Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, said the project — using helium balloons to provide Internet access — will connect Internet users at affordable prices.
Japan’s largest telecommunications firm, NTT, is deploying tiny communication robots in the homes of some of the country’s elderly citizens. The robots, which cost about $800 each, in addition to a monthly service of about $30, interact with wearable devices to help users with health functions, and they can turn home lighting and gadgets on and off.
The new Windows 10 operating system launched Wednesday at midnight. It will be available in 190 countries as a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users, as well as for Windows Phone 8.1 users. Microsoft is gambling this approach will help put Windows on more devices and increase revenues.
A new report from cybersecurity firm FireEye shed more detail on Hammertoss, a backdoor malware strain that uses network traffic noise to spy on corporations. FireEye believes Russian hackers specializing in advanced persistent threat (APT) campaigns developed the malware.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices are becoming more prevalent, and in some cases, creeping out privacy-oriented users. Digital assistants like Amazon’s Echo listen to conversations and requests for the weather, for example, as they sit in a home or office. The devices can record, analyze and store the conversations of the unwary.
A new feature that comes with Windows 10 – Wi-Fi Sense – automatically connects a PC to Wi-Fi networks previously used by friends and family. But it will not share Wi-Fi passwords by default with anyone else; and the operating system asks the users if they want to share the password with friends and family.