Cortana’s Super Bowl Pick; the Wearable Future; the Dreaded AI

Posted January 29th, 2015 at 2:16 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

Beware Rise of the Machines, Warns Bill Gates

Adding his voice to physicist Stephen Hawking and Tesla Motors’ CEO Elon Musk on the dangers of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Microsoft founder Bill Gates said AI could pose a serious threat to humanity unless it is kept under control.

Mozilla Puts Old Hardware to New Use Running Tor Relays

Following up on its November announcement, Mozilla has begun repurposing decommissioned servers and networking equipment as high-speed relays on Tor’s anonymity network. The move is part of Mozilla’s Polaris Privacy Initiative to enhance Web privacy in collaboration with non-profit organizations.

The Future of Wearables Isn’t a Connected Watch

Author Mat Honan looks at the slow evolution of wearable devices and the rise of a new generation of task-specific wearables that might point the way to the future of this technology.

New Rules in China Upset Western Tech Companies

Beijing’s new regulations, laid out in a 22-page document obtained by foreign technology companies that do business in China, require companies that sell computer hardware to Chinese banks to surrender their source code, submit to invasive audits and build back doors into their systems. Foreign firms are concerned Chinese authorities are trying to drive them out of the world’s largest and fastest-growing market.

Alibaba Says SAIC Report Flawed, Preparing Formal Complaint

Alibaba Group’s Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai said Thursday his company will file a formal complaint following a Chinese regulator’s report that criticized the e-commerce giant for not doing enough to ban illegal business on its platforms.

YouTube’s Video Pick Spells Doom for Adobe Flash

YouTube engineering manager Richard Leider’s recent announcement that the platform is switching to HTML5 Web-standard video spells trouble for Adobe Flash. The move is a major victory for Web standards proponents eager to do away with proprietary Web plug-ins.

Microsoft’s Cortana Picks Patriots to Win Super Bowl

Spoiler alert! Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana’s latest prediction picks the New England Patriots as the winners of Sunday’s NFL Super Bowl XLIX matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Cortana’s World Cup predictions last year were dead-on with 15-1 accuracy.

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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