Today’s Tech Sightings:
Intel is making astrophysicist Stephen Hawking’s distinctive voice available to the public for free. The technology developed for Hawking, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is called the Assistive Context-Aware Toolkit (ACAT). Intel will now make the source code open for people to modify for their needs.
Google announced Tuesday it is readying a low-priced smartphone, made by Infinix, available in six African countries, including Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Morocco. The phone will cost $87.The move is part of Google’s Android One initiative, which aims to lower smartphone prices in less developed parts of the world.
A dispute centered on the creation of a new version of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, called Bitcoin XT, could lead to a split. According to Bitcoin’s chief scientist Gavin Andresen and chief developer Mike Hearn, the new version, which does not have the support of all of Bitcoin’s staff, is needed to meet increased demand.
The U.S. Department of Commerce said U.S oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages Internet domains, will continue until next year and perhaps beyond. ICANN, according to the department, needs time to finish its work; and the government needs to review the plan.
A lot of data collection is going on online with or without users’ consent. But with Windows 10, information finds its way to Microsoft even when some of the data-collection options are turned off. But writer Russell Brandom argues that computing has changed irreversibly in the sense that computers now need constant back-and-forth data traffic to provide consumers with the information they expect.
Google confirmed Monday that its “Android M” operating system, version 6.0, is now officially called “Marshmallow.” The operating system has not yet been released, but the new name is here to stay.