US, Asia Innovation; LI-FI; Android Hack; Facebook Dislike Option

Posted September 16th, 2015 at 3:58 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

US Universities Lead in Innovation, Asia a Rising Power

A Reuters Top 100 survey found U.S. universities leading the world in scientific innovation while facing stiff competition from Asia. Stanford University came on top; and the next nine spots all went to U.S. schools. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University ranked second and third respectively. Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Imperial College London took the 10th and 11th spots.

WiFi, Move Over – Here Comes Li-Fi

While researchers have been tinkering for years with the idea of using light to carry data, scientists at Disney recently used Linux Light Bulbs – a communications protocol that sends data through visible light – to allow devices to communicate with each other over the Internet Protocol. The technology has also been researched for several years at the University of Edinburgh; and NASA has been conducting experiments on it.

HP to Slash 30,000 Jobs as Part of Spinoff

Hewlett Packard announced this week it will cut 30,000 jobs as it splits to form a new enterprise consisting of smaller technology units focusing on software, consulting and data analysis. The cuts are intended to reduce expenses and costs and will likely affect 10-12 percent of the HP enterprise’s 252,000 workers.

Vodafone Slammed After Hacking Journalist’s Phone Records

Telecommunications company Vodafone is under fire in light of reports claiming it may have unlawfully accessed the call and text records of journalist Natalie O’Brian, who broke a story about a data breach at the company. The access was intended for a 2011 investigation to track down a source, but Vodafone denies asking investigators to gain access to the journalist’s records.

Twitter Sued Over Claims It Eavesdrops on Direct Messages

A gentleman by the name of Wilford Raney has filed suit against Twitter in a San Francisco federal court, alleging that the social media platform intercepts – and sometimes even alters – direct messages. Raney argues that Twitter shortens included hyperlinks, for example, so that when the message is sent, analytical data is sent back to Twitter.

Android Lockscreen Hack Gives Attackers Full Access to Locked Devices

Once the camera is swiped open from a locked Android device, hackers then dump a very long string of numbers into the password field that confuses the system and unlocks the device. This vulnerability affects Android versions 5.0 to 5.1.1 and allows hackers to do anything on the device its rightful owner can do.

Zuckerberg: Facebook Creating ‘Dislike’ Button to Express Empathy

Facebook CEO Mike Zuckerberg said the social media service is adding a “Dislike” button to its pages. But he said the button will be limited to expressing sympathy.

Microsoft’s Zune Winds Down November 15

People still using Microsoft Zune services should consider looking for alternatives. Microsoft has announced it is shutting down the service on November 15, which means that users will no longer be able to download or stream Zune media. Folks with a Zune Music Pass will be switched over to a Groove Music Pass as of October 15.

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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