Moore’s Law Turns 50; Killer Robots; Google vs. EU; Twitter Redesigned

Posted April 16th, 2015 at 2:02 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

Happy Birthday to Moore’s Law

Moore’s Law turns 50 on Sunday. The concept, put forward in the 1960s by Intel’s Gordon Moore, proposed that the complexity of chips doubles every two years as components become smaller, faster and more energy-efficient. Many pundits thought the prediction would falter in a decade. But half-a-century later, Moore’s Law continues to hold true, driven largely by economies of scale.

The Multibillion-Dollar Quest to Make Faster, Cheaper Gadgets

And Intel and other leading chipmakers are racing to come up with the next generation of powerful computer chips that can defy Moore’s Law, which remains one of the most accurate predictors of future technology.

Jody Williams Helped Ban Landmines. Can She Stop Killer Robots?

Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, who helped launch the International Campaign to Ban Landmines in 1992, now wants an international treaty to ban autonomous machines that can target and kill human beings. Williams is in Geneva as part of a United Nations panel trying to determine if killer robots should be banned from the start or regulated on delivery.

EU Case Against Google May Be Undercut by Rapid Technology Changes

Comparisons between the European Union’s recent anti-trust filing against Google and Microsoft’s past anti-trust travails seem unescapable, albeit irrelevant in this day and age, given the rapid pace of technological advancement. The fluidity of the tech market that might see the rise of a new company today, might well bury another established player tomorrow.

IBM to Make Decades Worth of Cyber-Threat Data Public

IBM’s new X-Force Exchange will offer interested companies a 700-terabyte database of cyber-threat and intelligence data collected over the past two decades. The information includes threat data from 270 million computers, devices, websites, images, spam, and email phishing attacks.

Twitter New Homepage Designed to Get People to Flock to Service

Twitter’s quest to expand its subscriber base continued with a redesigned homepage the company hopes will entice non-members to join. The new page features popular content and various news categories that non-members will be able to read in real time.

iRobot Runs Afoul of Astronomers Over Proposed Mower

Robotics company iRobot has requested permission to certify a robotic lawn mower that uses radio beacons along the perimeters of a lawn to operate. However, the U.S. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which operates radio telescopes to listen to the heavens, has taken issue with this request, citing potential signal interference along the radio bandwidth it uses to operate its telescopes.

How to Break Bad Habits With Tech

It’s puzzling how technology could possibly help break some of the bad habits it helped create, such as mobile addiction and recklessly texting while driving. That said, there’s an app that purportedly helps tackle bad habits.

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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