Reaching Out to Nepal; Robots Rising; the Tweeting Pope; WordPress Woes

Posted April 28th, 2015 at 2:12 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

Earthquake Rocks Internet in Nepal

The devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday claimed more than 4,000 lives and affected more than eight million people. It also took a toll on Internet connectivity. While international links survived, the same cannot be said for connectivity on the ground in areas where underground fiber cables and mobile cell towers may have been destroyed, or damaged.

Facebook to Match Users’ Nepal Donations

Taking another step to help earthquake victims in Nepal, Facebook added a note to users’ news feeds to give them the opportunity to help by donating to the International Medical Corps. Both Facebook and Google recently offered Web tools to help people find their loved ones in Nepal and inquire about their safety. Apple is also pitching in, allowing App Store customers to make donations.

Study Confirms Pope’s Twitter Influence

Yes, the Pope tweets. And when he does, the world listens, according to “Twiplomacy,” a study of the Twitter accounts of world leaders and their retweet rates. Pope Francis’ @Pontifex is the most influential Twitter account and his tweets rank third in the category of all-time popular tweets.

This cuddly Japanese Robot Bear Could Be the Future of Elderly Care

Robots are on the rise; and Robear, a new robot from researchers in Japan, uses advanced technology to see and operate. Robear can lift a person off the ground and is designed to help elderly people stand up or to lift them from a bed or wheelchair. Researchers hope that technology products like Robear might help address the needs of Japan’s aging population.

Self-Learning Systems to Replace Humans in Manufacturing

Researchers at the University of Maryland and NICTA, an information and computer technology research center in Australia, have developed a robotic system that learns processes from watching YouTube videos. The researchers’ goal is to develop a self-learning robot that can put into action  the concepts it learns. Writer Greg Nichols suggests these types of robots could augment automated manufacturing in the future.

​WordPress Urges Users to Update After Comments Exploit Released

WordPress is urging users to update their software after a researcher at Finnish security firm Klikki discovered a critical cross-site scripting flaw that lets attackers exploit the comments section of WordPress sites.

The Five Biggest Developments We Expect From Microsoft’s Build 2015

Microsoft’s Build developer’s conference opens in San Francisco on Wednesday; and already there is a list of what users would like to see coming out of that gathering. Writer Mark Hachman lists five things he’d like the tech giant deliver as its new operating system, Windows 10, takes shape.

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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