Tech Sightings, December 26, 2013

Posted December 26th, 2013 at 2:30 pm (UTC-4)
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China Approves Pilot to Open Mobile Telecoms Market, Boost Competition

China has approved a pilot scheme allowing private companies to piggy back on the country’s three dominant telecommunications providers to offer own-brand mobile services, opening the world’s largest mobile phone market to increased competition.

From Twitter to Tinder: Social Media’s Biggest Hits and Misses of 2013

Social media has invaded every aspect of our lives, and in 2013 that fact became more apparent than ever. Have a problem with a company? Tweet at them to solve it. See a billboard on your commute to work? Note the Facebook logo in the lower corner. Beyoncé announces the biggest album of the year where? On Instagram, of course.

This Artist Uses Emoji to Explore Empathy, Autism, and How We Connect

New York performance artist Genevieve Belleveau is fascinated by misinterpretations of emoji characters. Her piece, Emoji Autism Facial Recognition Therapy, was one of the most intuitive and thought-provoking pieces at the highly regarded Emoji Art Show in Manhattan. It examines the common misinterpretations people make with emoji characters.

Personal Tragedy, Tricorders and the Idea of Mapping One’s Body

When Walter De Brouwer puts his head to something, he can produce single-handedly what usually takes several hospital machines and labs. His single hand, it should be said, holds a small and promising device with which Mr. De Brouwer, the co-founder and chief executive of Scanadu, hopes to remake medicine.

Reserve Bank of India Cautions Users on Risks Associated with Virtual Currencies Like Bitcoin

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cautioned users of virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin on the risks associated with them and that it is looking at the use and trading of these currencies.

Don’t Blame Social Media if Your Teen is Unsocial. It’s Your Fault

Are teenagers losing their social skills? Parents and pundits seem to think so. Teens spend so much time online, we’re told, that they’re no longer able to handle the messy, intimate task of hanging out face-to-face. “After school, my son is on Facebook with his friends. If it isn’t online, it isn’t real to him,” one mother recently told me in a panic. “Everything is virtual!”

Teens in the UK Are Calling it: Facebook is Dead and Buried

This year marked the start of teenagers adopting other social networks instead of Facebook as their parents signed up for Zuckerberg’s site in droves. In a European Union-funded study on social media, the Department of Anthropology at University College London is running ethnographic studies in seven countries to find out how teens were perceiving Facebook.

What Japanese Game Developers Resolve for 2014

Japanese gaming magazine, Weekly Famitsu, asked 100 game developers what their key phrases resolutions for 2014 were. Take a look at what some of them had to say.

How to Mind Your Digital Manners in the New Year

There’s one thing we can all agree on this holiday season: Our collective digital manners could use some work!

 Are Samsung Smartphones Seriously Vulnerable to Security?

 A researcher at Israel’s  Ben-Gurion University’s Cyber Lab alleged that a critical security vulnerability was discovered earlier this month, which would allow outsiders to breach the smartphone’s security and access supposedly secure user data. Samsung announced that similar allegations have been made before, and that the problem is not as serious as the researcher claims.

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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