Apple’s Car Buzz; Robot Ethics; Impossible Malware?

Posted February 17th, 2015 at 2:38 pm (UTC-4)
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Google Exec: Digital Media Could Vanish

Remember the LP and the cassette player? Or the Floppy Disk? Looking back, it seems as if these gadgets became obsolete a very long time ago. With the stunning speed of technological progress, though, even newer gadgets are at risk of becoming passé just as quickly. Google’s Vice President, Vint Cerf, warns the world’s treasure trove of data could be lost forever if today’s technology becomes obsolete.

Robbie the Robot Helps People With Disabilities

Researchers at Dublin’s Trinity College, answering the call of a teenager born without arms or legs, have created Robbie, a personal robot that will allow disabled individuals a little more independence. Built with a United Nations grant, Robbie can perform simple, voice-activated tasks that include gripping, holding and releasing objects, among other functions.

Time Running Out for Ethicists to Tackle Robot Quandaries

Robots have arrived, and in a few years, will be far more prevalent, particularly in industrial fields. Writer Graham Templeton argues that with the advent of the robot generation, there are many unanswered moral questions that machines will have to be programmed to tackle. He says “robot ethics is the most important philosophical issue of our time.”

Beyond Stuxnet, Flame: Meet ‘Most Advanced’ Cybercriminal Gang Recorded

The Equation Group, dubbed the “ancestor” of Stuxnet and Flame operators, has been operating since 2001 and possibly earlier, according to Kaspersky Lab Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT). The group uses several, very advanced platforms to dispense malware, and according to Kaspersky, it well could be one of the most sophisticated cyber espionage groups in the world.

Destroying Your Hard Drive Is the Only Way to Stop This Malware

According to Kaspersky, the Equation Group has infiltrated key institutions in several countries, using malware that is impossible to extract once it has infected a computer. Kaspersky said the group’s methods include infecting hard drive firmware, the code that allows hardware and software to communicate. The malware then reprograms the hard drive, among other things. Also, forget reformatting the drive, as that also is ineffective.

Windows 10 Lets You Say ‘Bye’ to Passwords Forever

Microsoft’s new Windows 10 operating system, slated to be released later this year, will support the Fast Identity Online (Fido) standard, which will allow users to log into several applications without the headache of passwords. Fido works with face, voice, iris, fingerprint, or dongles biometrics.

An Apple Car?

The Internet is buzzing with news that U.S. tech giant Apple is building a car. The Wall Street Journal reports the vehicle project code-named “Titan” will produce something that looks like a minivan. But despite the ambiguity, one financial analyst is already wondering if this will be Apple’s future iPhone.

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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