Internet’s Human Side; Smart Devices Vex Users; 3-D Cool Bricks

Posted March 10th, 2015 at 2:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:


Internet Offers Help to Homeless Sierra Leone Athlete Whose Family Died of Ebola

Jimmy Thoronka, a top athlete from Sierra Leone who went to Britain to participate in the Commonwealth Games, ended up homeless after losing his family in Sierra Leone to the Ebola virus. But as he was being prepared for deportation, Internet users came to his aid.

A 3-D Printed Brick Can Cool Your House

Oakland-based Emerging Objects, a 3-D printing company, has come up with a new way to cool your house — a 3-D-printed ceramic brick called the Cool Brick. The porous brick can soak up water and hold it in micropores where it evaporates, producing a cooling effect.

Study: Consumers Struggle With New Smart Tech

A new report from Accenture, a consulting, technology and outsourcing service, found that most consumers using smart devices experience challenges. The report, which polled samples in different countries representative of the size of their online populations, showed that more than 83 percent of people using wearable devices, smart home appliances and in-vehicle entertainment accessories found the gadgets too complicated, that they did not set up properly or work as advertised.

Twitter Opens Hong Kong Office, Gains China Foothold

Twitter is blocked in mainland China, but the company’s Hong Kong office, the first in the greater China region, will allow the social media giant to explore the Chinese advertising market for revenue.

Long-Delayed PlayStation 4 Will Arrive in China March 20

After much delay, Sony Corporation has announced that it will release its PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita game consoles in China on March 20. The move comes after Beijing recently lifted a ban on game consoles that began in 2000.

Google Unwraps New Lollipop Update

Android 5.1 improves performance and stability and adds new features, according to Google’s Android Blog. The update is expected to be available within the next few weeks.

The CIA Campaign to Steal Apple’s Secrets

According to secret documents acquired by The Intercept, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency spent years working to breach the security of Apple’s iPhones and iPads. The website said security researchers discussed their tactics at an annual conference that included strategies for exploiting security flaws in household and commercial gadgets.


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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