Tech Sightings, October 8, 2014

Posted October 7th, 2014 at 2:06 pm (UTC-4)
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US Says It Can Hack Into Foreign-Based Servers Without Warrants

A new U.S. Justice Department legal filing says the United States may hack foreign servers without warrant. The filing was made during the prosecution procedures of Ross Ulbricht, who is believed to be the operator behind the Silk Road illicit drug website.

Computer Kit Will Teach Kids How to Build Computers

A new Kickstarter project called the Kano computer kit is being designed to teach kids 6-15 how to build computers and how to code. The kit comes with a wireless keyboard, a speaker, a Wi-Fi adapter, a power cable, and an illustrated instruction manual.

How Risky is Your Uber Ride? Maybe more Than You Think

A San-Francisco bartender and his friends who hailed an Uber cab were taken for a ride that ended in violence. Folks who download the Uber app agree to a host of conditions that consumer advocates say absolve the company of liability. Uber claims the service is ultrasafe.

Study: Voice-Activated Car Gadgets Are Dangerous for Drivers

A new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the University of Utah reveals that complex voice-activated gadgets for cars that allow drivers to send messages or mail require more concentration than a driver who should be focused on the road can afford.

Colorful Butterfly Wings Inspire Counterfeit-Proof Tech

Latin America’s male Pierella luna butterfly uses an optical trick called a reverse color diffraction to attract a mate by seemingly changing color when viewed from different angles. Now, Harvard University researchers have created something called a diffraction grating that allows them to mimic this trick, which could come in handy for security printing.

Your phone is Your Next Credit Card

A host of new developments suggest mobile phones are increasingly becoming  the world’s mobile wallets. It remains to be seen which mobile payment model will dominate this market.

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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