Rise of Smartphones; Global Wi-Fi; Bitcoin; Apple; PayPal User Policy

Posted June 3rd, 2015 at 2:26 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

The Unstoppable Rise of the Smartphone

A new mobility report from Ericsson said about 70 percent of the world’s population will be using smartphones by 2020. That means that 6.1 billion smartphones will be sold globally within five years. Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa accounted for the highest number of new subscriptions.

Microsoft Leaks Wi-Fi App That Keeps You Connected Around the World

It looks like Microsoft’s Wi-Fi website went live ahead of schedule, accidentally leaking that the company has a new app that promises free global Internet access. The company already has Skype Wi-Fi, which allows the use of Skype credits to pay for Internet hotspots.

​Bitcoin’s Blockchain App Busted

The latest trouble for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency involves Blockchain, which claims to be the most popular Bitcoin wallet. Users of the older version of Blockchain running on Android 4.1 ‘Jelly Bean’ or older are vulnerable to a security hole that has some users sharing the same wallet. That means Blockchain, which should generate random numbers for each account, is using the same number for all of them instead.

Meet the Exec Pushing Google to Fix Its Dismal Diversity

Google’s latest diversity report continued to show that women hold only one-fifth of its tech jobs and leadership positions. The company has about 53,600 full-time employees. But Nancy Lee, Google’s head of diversity strategy, who had a great deal to do with the release of these numbers, said it takes time to affect this type of change, although early indicators are promising.

Apple’s Tim Cook Delivers Blistering Speech on Encryption, Privacy

Apple’s Tim Cook took jabs at Facebook and Google Tuesday for monetizing the user information they collect. He said Apple rejects “the idea that our customers should have to make tradeoffs between privacy and security.” Cook made the comments during an event in Washington honoring corporate leadership.

Message with 8 Characters Crashes Skype

Skype users found that sending and receiving messages that include “http://:” crashes the app in Windows, Android, and iOS. Apparently, it does not affect Skype for Mac or the touch-friendly version of Windows.

Horrible New PayPal Policy Opts You Into Getting Robocalls

If you use PayPal for electronic payments, you might want to pay attention. The company is releasing a new update to its user agreement policy that could bombard subscribers with “autodialed or prerecorded calls and text messages” if they go ahead and agree to the terms.

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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