Reinventing Desktop PCs; New GPS; Rombertik; Smart Luggage

Posted May 5th, 2015 at 2:39 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

A Desktop Computer for Developing Countries?

Mobile devices are prevalent in developing countries, particularly in remote areas with poor infrastructure and regions where power supplies are unpredictable. But the CEO of Endless Computers, Matt Dalio, has come up with a $169 desktop PC for emerging markets, equipped with app-based software and hardware that can cope with power surges.

Mark Zuckerberg, Silicon Valley Invest $100 Million in a Startup Elementary School

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and other technology-centric backers have raised $100 million to fund AltSchool, a chain of private schools in San Francisco that builds customized software and hardware for teachers. The tools allow teachers to tailor personalized education plans for each student.

New Centimeter-Accurate GPS System Could Transform Virtual Reality, Mobile Devices

Scientists at Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have built an affordable, centimeter-accurate GPS system equipped with a powerful receiver that delivers much more accurate results than the current GPS generation. Paired with a smartphone camera, the new system can build a globally referenced 3-D map of immediate surroundings to expand the radius of VR games.

Internet Pioneer Vint Cerf Speaks Out About IoT, Pitfalls of Encryption ‘Back Doors’

Often called Father of the Internet, Vint Cerf, co-founder of the Internet, called for a greater push toward the development and adoption of the next IP address platform, IPv6, to accommodate Internet of Things devices. He also said there are better ways to give governments access to information without resorting to “back-doors.”

This Terrifying Malware Destroys Your PC If Detected

Cisco’s Talos Group blog has warned against a new type of destructive malware. Nicknamed Rombertik, the malware cripples a computer if detected. Rombertik, which spreads through spam and phishing emails, looks legitimate when installed, but is designed to intercept plain text entered into a browser. Once detected, the intruder proceeds to self-destruct, taking much of the PC information with it.

Mexican Official: Silicon Valley Executive Dave Goldberg Died of Head Trauma

A Mexican government official said the CEO of SurveyMonkey, Dave Goldberg, husband of Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg died of head trauma Friday after collapsing at the gym in a private Mexican resort. A spokesman said Goldberg collapsed while exercising and apparently “fell off the treadmill and cracked his head open.”

Samsonite, Samsung Working on Bags That Check Themselves in at the Airport

Samsung and luggage giant Samsonite have united to create smart luggage equipped with chips that can sense when a bag has entered the airport and automatically check in for the flight. The chip identifies the traveler, receives all relevant flight information and sends unique identifiers to the owner’s phone. Once the traveler places the bag on a conveyer belt, the embedded information will guide it to where it needs to go.

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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