Future Toilets; Creepy Facebook Algorithm; Privacy; Free Windows 10?

Posted June 23rd, 2015 at 3:44 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

Gates-Funded Toilet of the Future Is Built So Anyone Can Repair It

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Caltech’s Group’s “toilet of the future” uses solar power to turn human waste into clear, sterilized water. After testing it in India, the group decided to tackle maintenance issues, should the toilet break down. The unit was, therefore, equipped with sensors that gather information about any problems and alert an operator so they can be fixed.

Creepy Facebook Tech Can ID You Even Without Seeing Your Face

According to New Scientist, Facebook has developed a new, experimental algorithm that is able to identify users in pictures without actually seeing their faces by using other features, such as hair, body shape, clothing, etc.

Researchers: Programmers Are Copying Security Flaws Into Your Software

Software vulnerabilities and flaws are like an open invitation to hackers who are able to exploit them. Writer Laura Hautala argues this happens because the software code is not sufficiently vetted for security issues. While inspecting code in programs used by its clients in the past year, software security company Veracode found 6.9 million flaws in more than 200,000 code inspections.

‘Fear of One Company Knowing Too Much About Us’ and Other Privacy Concerns

If you are using the Internet, social media services or connected devices, chances are your personal information is already out there. Jan Dawson, Founder and Chief Analyst at Jackdaw argues that personal information falls into different categories and classifications that should be taken into consideration as the privacy conversation moves forward.

Windows 10: Is It Free or Not?

First, Microsoft said its new operating system, Windows 10, would be free. Then the company made public promises that later were retracted. Now, there’s more confusion than ever. If you are one of the confused, writer Pete Pachal tries to make some sense of the whole thing, ahead of the upcoming release of Windows 10 in July.

Google Debuts ‘Undo Send’ Feature for Gmail

Have you ever regretted pressing that Gmail “send” icon to dispatch an angry email? Well, now you can retract it. A new feature from Google called “Undo Send” lets you do that. The catch is you can only do that within 10 seconds of pressing the send button.

Do Machines Dream? Google’s Do (Sort of)

Among other tasks, Google’s artificial neural network (ANN) has been taught to identify various objects, including works of art, to influence the way the system learns and extracts information. However, the result of feeding information and tweaking output has led to some interesting, almost hallucinogenic results.

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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