Tech Sightings, April 1, 2014

Posted April 1st, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC-4)
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Women, Impeded By Social Norms, Still Don’t Get IT

Non-profit organization Catalyst says only 14.6 percent of executive officer positions in Fortune 500 companies last year were held by women. This number hasn’t budged much in four years; and the same is true at startup companies and social media firms. But the problem might actually have deeper causes rooted in social and cultural norms, particularly in more traditional countries.

Facebook Internet Project: The Skies Have It

Facebook’s innovative plans to use drones, satellites and lasers to provide connectivity to the world might run into some problems, particularly in countries with totalitarian governments that block Internet access.

Fiber Optics May Leapfrog Africa into Future

Mobile infrastructure in Africa has become vital to national economies as mobile penetration continues to grow. Recent figures have Africa’s mobile phone penetration at 54 percent in 2012. Now, Africa’s new digital evolution is coming from undersea fiber-optic cables, which have dramatically increased transmission capacity and reduced transmission time and costs.

QWERTY Must Die: Welcome to the Future of Typing

Despite the proliferation of mobile devices, many people still prefer the old physical QWERTY keyboards to annoying touchscreen keyboards. Now, researchers are coming up with new ways to address mobile keyboard input.

How Technology is Fighting to Prevent a Climate-Change Apocalypse

While Silicon Valley focuses on cheap, reliable energy solutions, some of the more innovative companies are pushing to make clean energy mainstream, with the hope that it could ultimately help wean humanity off fossil fuels.

Will Today’s Newborns Become Immortal Cyborgs?

Children born in 2014 may face a different set of issues in a future where the definition of “human” becomes blurred. While this is all in the realm of speculation, Google’s director of engineering Ray Kurzweil says “The Technological Singularity,” which he sees coming in 2045, will be the point when artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence, triggering a new phase of evolution.

April Fools’ 2014: The Best Tech Pranks of the Day

Every year on April Fool’s Day, tech companies make announcements intended to dupe readers and have some fun. Check out some of this year’s best.

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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