Silicon Valley Diversity; S. Korea Lifts Browser Rule; Can Tech Save Failing Aircraft?

Posted April 2nd, 2015 at 2:00 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

Can Technology Steer a Plane Away From Disaster?

The Germanwings Flight 9525 that was deliberately slammed into the French Alps last week, killing 150 people, has ignited renewed calls among aviation experts to develop and deploy software that can control an aircraft and automatically steer it to safety if it loses altitude.

Silicon Valley Black Leaders Take on Diversity in Tech

More than 200 Silicon Valley black leaders from nearly every big player in tech – Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook, among many others – gathered recently in Palo Alto, California for a “Silicon Valley Diversity Brunch.” The attendees, all successful black men and women in the tech sector, now want to help make it easier for a new generation of black tech workers to find acceptance and success in Silicon Valley.

Shocker: The Web Makes Us Think We’re Smarter Than We Really Are

New research from Yale University, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, found that people who searched online felt they had greater knowledge than those who used other sources to obtain information. The research, a result of a series of experiments involving more than 1,000 participants, showed that the Internet makes people think they are smarter.

Google Chrome Will Banish Chinese Certificate Authority for Breach of Trust

Google will stop trusting digital certificates issued by the China Internet Network Information Center for its Chrome browser due to last week’s trust breach that led to the issuance of unauthorized credentials for Gmail and Google domains.

Wider Use of HTTPS Could Have Prevented Attack Against GitHub

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said Wednesday the distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) that hit code-sharing site GitHub last week took place because someone tampering with traffic to Chinese sites that use JavaScript analytics and Baidu advertising tools replaced the code that sends data traffic to GitHub. The code-swapping happened because the Chinese websites were not using encrypted HTTPS traffic in their URLs, according to EFF software engineer Bill Budington.

Facebook Introduces Video App Riff

A new feature from Facebook called Riff allows users to create short videos and add them to their news feeds with hashtags. The idea is to encourage friends to follow suit, adding more videos to tell their stories. The service is the latest move from Facebook toward undermining the popular YouTube as a destination for social videos.

South Korea Finally Removing Ancient ActiveX Payment Requirement

South Korea is scrapping a 1999 law that required online vendors to adopt Microsoft ActiveX in order to use the Korea Information Security Agency cipher needed for online transactions. The requirement also forced all users to download Internet Explorer. Once a new SSL encryption system that supports all browsers is in place, South Koreans will be able to pick the browser of their choice.

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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