Red Envelopes From China; Superfishy Lenovo; Sony; Bitcoin Auction

Posted February 19th, 2015 at 2:45 pm (UTC-5)
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Chinese Usher in Lunar New Year on WeChat With a Billion Virtual Red Envelopes

The annual tradition of gifting red envelopes with token money went online yesterday as the Chinese celebrated the new lunar year on the popular messaging app WeChat, also known as Weixin in China. Weixin users, said to number more than 400 million, exchanged 1.01 billion red envelopes, although it is not clear how much money was transferred.

Lenovo to Stop Pre-installing Controversial Software

China’s Lenovo Group, the world’s largest PC maker, announced Thursday it will stop pre-installing software that security experts describe as malicious. The decision followed reports that the company pre-installed software called Superfish on its laptops that makes them more vulnerable by opening encrypted connections and basically letting hackers take control or eavesdrop.

Google: Proposed Government-Sanctioned Hacking is a Threat to Us All

Google has filed formal opposition to a proposed change in federal criminal procedure that would allow judges to approve warrants for remote hacking and surveillance both in the U.S. and in foreign countries.

US Marshals Will Auction off Over $11 Million in Bitcoin

On March 5, 2015, the U.S. government will auction 50,000 Bitcoins in blocks of 2,000 and 3,000 bitcoins. A Bitcoin is currently valued at about $235. So a block would be worth around $11.8 million, give or take market fluctuation.

Sony Is No Longer an Electronics Company

Is Sony coming apart? The Japanese company, one of the pioneers of consumer electronics, announced last night that it is spinning off its audio and video divisions. The company spun off its TV division last year. More recently, CEO Kaz Hirai told investors he has to consider spinning off the smartphone business as well.

​Microsoft Joins With Mozilla in Bid for Fast Web Apps

A new partnership between Microsoft and Mozilla will allow Microsoft to bring Firefox technology — asm.js — to Windows 10 and its own browsers to accelerate some Web-based applications, such as games.

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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