Tech Sightings, May 28, 2014

Posted May 28th, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC-4)
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Can Twitter End World Hunger?

The Global Poverty Project has once again challenged fundraisers to live below the poverty line for five days to mark World Hunger Day. While many charities have tweeted the effort, it remains unclear how social media, which is becoming increasingly pervasive, can help end world hunger.

What Fog Can Do for Deserts

MIT scientists, in collaboration with researchers at Santiago’s Pontifical Catholic University have come up with a system that can trap and condense the drops that make up dense coastal fog and accumulate it. Over time, the system is able to collect as much as 12 liters or 3.17 gallons of water a year.

Thai Ministry Sparks Alarm With Brief Block of Facebook

Millions of Facebook users in Thailand went for the panic button yesterday as the social media giant became inaccessible for about 30 minutes. A senior official at the Information Communications Technology Ministry said the site was blocked to thwart online criticism of the military following the May 22 coup.

Prison Terms in Iran Hint of New Reins on Internet

Iranian news sites report that the country’s judicial authorities have sentenced eight Facebook users to prison. Facebook has long been restricted in Iran.The move suggests an intensifying effort by Iran’s conservative forces to challenge President Hassan Rouhani’s recent call for greater Internet freedom.

Microsoft Demos Breakthrough in Real-Time Translated Conversations

After decades of research, Skype Translator is being developed by Skype and Microsoft. In a demo by Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, Skype translator carried out near real-time audio translation using a combination of Skype voice and IM technologies, and Microsoft Translator and speech recognition.

Where Are the Women in eSports?

Recent research shows female viewership of pro-gaming has jumped from 15 to 30 percent. But  women continue to be virtually absent from the professional gaming arena.

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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