Braille Tutor; Google vs. EU; Coding Hype; Smartphone Aids Chess Cheat

Posted April 15th, 2015 at 2:00 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

Black Box Teaches Braille to Blind Children in India, Zambia

Carnegie Mellon University’s Braille Tutor, part of a program called TechBridgeWorld, is a computerized machine that teaches Braille to elementary school children in poor countries around the world. The inexpensive machine is now in use on in India, Tanzania, and Zambia.

GAO Report Warns Hackers Could Bring Down Plane Using Passenger Wi-Fi

A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office has warned that hackers might be able to exploit passenger Wi-Fi connections to commandeer a plane. According to the report, aviation and cybersecurity experts said firewalls used by airlines to protect their systems could be hacked.

EU Charges Google in Internet Search Anti-Trust Case

After four years of scrutiny, the European Union (EU) accused Google Wednesday of distorting Internet search results to favor its shopping service over the competition. The EU also launched a new antitrust investigation into Google’s Android mobile operating system. The tech giant could be fined up to 10 percent of its annual sales, or up to $6.6 billion.

With Latest Patches, Oracle Signals No More Free Updates for Java 7

Oracle is encouraging users to upgrade their Java 7 software to the next version. The company recently released a batch of patches to address Java client security vulnerabilities, but will no longer issue any more fixes for Java 7.

Don’t Believe (All) the Hype About Coding

As educators and policy makers embrace coding as the doorway to the digital future, writer Nick Morrison warns that the emphasis on coding could squeeze out other areas of computing that are equally vital for the next generation to learn about.

Chess Grandmaster Kicked out of Competition for Using Smartphone During the Game

Georgia’s national chess champion, grandmaster Gaioz Nigalidze, was thrown out of the Dubai Open after his opponent, Armenian champion Tigran Petrosian, complained that Nigalidze visited the bathroom too often, using the same cubicle. An investigation revealed a smartphone buried in the trash in the cubicle. While Nigalidze denied the phone was his, the device was logged into his Facebook account and had a running chess program that showed his position in the game.

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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