Tech Sightings, November 20, 2014

Posted November 20th, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Africa’s Mobile Money Goes to Europe with M-Pesa

Africa’s money transfer system, M-Pesa, launched in 2007, now has some 17 million active users worldwide. And with the recent launch of a mobile wallet in Romania, M-Pesa in expected to continue its advance in the European market.

New Tool Helps Spy Victims Detect Government Surveillance

German security researcher Claudio Guarnieri has developed an app launched by Amnesty International in partnership with civil rights and consumer protection groups that searches Windows computers for known spyware. Amnesty says open source app Detekt, which is free, has uncovered surveillance programs in dozens of countries around the world.

Report: US, Israeli Companies Supply Spy Gear to Repressive Regimes

A new report from the London-based watchdog group Privacy International claims that U.S. and Israeli companies are supplying Central Asian nations that have track records of human rights abuses with sophisticated surveillance technology. The report says the technology allows these governments to silence free speech and political dissent.

Doxxing Defense: Remove Personal Info From Data Brokers

If you have been subjected to online harassment, or if you just don’t want your address and personal information published to the rest of the world, you might want to dedicate some time to make yourself a less visible target. Here are a few tips to help you do that.

Yahoo Usurps Google in Firefox Search Deal

A deal struck between Yahoo and Mozilla makes Yahoo the default search engine for Firefox Internet browsers, thereby replacing Google. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer hopes this move will boost Yahoo’s search market share, which is about 10 percent in the U.S. market.

Google to Launch Its App Store in China

After leaving China in 2010 due to censorship, repeated hacking attempts and potential intellectual property loss, Google is ready to get back in the game. Its Information news website says the company will launch a Google Play app store in China to give it access to about half of its Android operating system users.

Android Lollipop Users Warn of ‘Unusable’ Devices After Upgrading

If you are thinking of upgrading to Google’s latest mobile operating system, Android 5.0 Lollipop, you might want to hold off. Android users who upgraded say they have experienced broken apps, crashes, slowdowns and connectivity issues, among other woes.

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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