Leap Second; 3-D-Printed Building; VPN Leaks; Apple Price Fixing

Posted June 30th, 2015 at 3:20 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

The Leap Second Is Coming to Confuse the Internet Today

It’s June 30; and that could be a problem. Just before midnight in London tomorrow, the world’s atomic clocks will gain a second before reverting back to 00:00:00. The extra leap second is needed to keep the clocks synced with the Earth’s rotation, although the last time this happened, it crashed a whole host of unwary websites.

Creating a Tech Hub in Gaza

Gaza Sky Geeks is a startup “accelerator” in Gaza City that helps develop business ideas and connect entrepreneurs with investors. U.S. charity Mercy Corps runs the project with backing from Google. Californian Iliana Montauk, who started Gaza Sky Geeks, hopes to harness the power of Gaza’s young population to create tech success stories.

The ‘Father of SMS,’ Matti Makkonen, Dies at 63

Finnish pioneer Matti Makkonen, widely considered the “father of SMS” for co-inventing and pioneering the idea of text messaging in 1984, died of illness at the age of 63. While messaging apps are beginning to take over, SMS messaging, which revolutionized communications at the time, remains widely used.

Dubai Plans to Build 3D Printed Office Building

The United Arab Emirates announced that Dubai soon will use 3D printing to create a new office building as part of a larger project to make the Gulf state a hub for technological innovation and 3D printing.

VPNs Are Now Leaking User Information

A recent study that researched 14 popular Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) found that at least 11 have a vulnerability known as the IPv6 leakage, which leaks user information, including website traffic data and forum comments.

Bitcoin-Inspired ‘Enigma’ Lets Computers Mine Encrypted Data

Following Bitcoin’s example, a couple of entrepreneurs and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab have come up with a prototype for a system called Enigma that facilitates the sharing of encrypted data without decrypting it. Enigma uses “homomorphic encryption,” which mimics some of Bitcoin’s decentralized architecture, encrypting data by splitting it up and distributing it throughout its networks until the user puts it back together and decrypts it.

MIT Develops Donor ‘Transplants’ for Buggy Code

Researchers at MIT have come up with a system called “Automatic error elimination by horizontal code transfer across multiple applications” to reduce errors in open-source programs. The system automatically transfers code from donor programs to buggy applications to eliminate mistakes.

US Appeals Court: Apple Conspired to Fix E-book Prices

A divided U.S. federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Apple violated anti-trust laws by conspiring with five publishers to raise e-book prices. The 2-1-vote ruling said the tech giant ensured that market-wide prices rose to the level dictated by Apple and the publishers.

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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