Hacking to Aid Nepal; ‘Venom’ Bug; Unforgettable Searches; ‘Bleep’ Goes Live

Posted May 13th, 2015 at 2:46 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

Nepal’s Aid System Is Broken. So These Lifesavers Hacked It

As Nepal’s government and NGOs struggle to cope with the devastation of the country’s second major earthquake in less than a month, a group of young people armed with Facebook, open source mapping technology and a lot of nerve have come together to create a local hub for aid operations in Kathmandu’s bed-and-breakfast Yellow House.

‘Venom’ Security Vulnerability Threatens Most Datacenters

If the catastrophic Heartbleed vulnerability wasn’t enough, CrowdStrike’s researcher, Jason Geffner, has discovered a zero-day vulnerability named “Venom” that could allow hackers to infiltrate and take control of parts of a datacenter. Venom is found in legacy components of a virtualization software. A hacker can exploit the vulnerability on virtualized machines that run multiple operating systems on a single server to access all connected devices and their data.

Google Rejects 60 Percent of Right to Be Forgotten Requests

The Court of Justice of the European Union last year granted people the right to request that search engines remove their search results, including their names, from listings. But Google, which received more than 253,000 removal requests, has only removed around 40 percent.

Skype’s Real-Time Translator Makes Us All Instant Multilinguists

Skype can translate voice-to-text and text-to-text instantaneously in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Italian, although it is likely to add more languages in the near future. Skype already supports up to 50 languages in text.

Japanese Smartphone Gets Iris-Scanning for Mobile Payments

Forget the thumb scan. Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo and Fujitsu have unveiled what they say is the world’s first smartphone with iris recognition technology. The iris scan can be used to unlock the device and certify mobile payments.

​BitTorrent’s No-Cloud Encrypted Messaging App Bleep Goes Live

BitTorrent’s Bleep is a peer-to-peer app for private messaging that provides end-to-end encryption of messages and only stores them on the user’s device. The app moves BitTorrent away from its history of file-sharing after being accused by privacy advocates of facilitating piracy. The company is also working on Maelstrom, a peer-to-peer browser that eschews a central webserver.

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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