Wearable Devices Raise Privacy Concerns

Posted April 25th, 2014 at 2:36 pm (UTC-5)
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Wearable devices such as Fitbit or Google Glass are raising concerns over their data recording features.

And while some are finding a niche in sports, health and other professional sectors, privacy advocates say there are serious implications associated with many of these devices that should have been taken into account during their development.

“Some of this technology is a solution in search of a problem that might not exist,” said John Simpson, Privacy Project Director at California-based Consumer Watchdog, a group concerned about privacy implications of wearable devices, particularly Google Glass’ image and videotaping features.

Simpson called Google Glass “a stalker’s dream come true.” He said anyone wearing the glasses can tape everything a person using a bank’s ATM, for example, is doing without his or her knowledge, whereas “if somebody is taking a picture of you with a smartphone, it’s pretty obviously being held up.”

With wearable devices like Glass, he said “there’s no way knowing whether you are being filmed on videos or recordings.”

“And we think that’s a very – on the face of it – privacy-invasive sort of thing,” he said.

Google says a light comes on that others see when Glass is recording and takes issue with some of the claims made about Glass on its top 10 Google Glass myths site:

“The Glass screen is off by default. Video recording on Glass is set to last 10 seconds. People can record for longer, but Glass isn’t designed for or even capable of always-on recording [the battery won’t last longer than 45 minutes before it needs to be charged].”

Nevertheless, the ability of some wearable devices like Fitbit to keep track of user information on-the-move is a concern for Julia Horowitz, the consumer protection counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The privacy of user information is the responsibility of gadget manufacturers, Horowitz said.

And regardless of what the technological tools might look like, she said the legal world they are operating in is still the same.

So if something like Google Glass is being used in a medical context like in an operating theater, “then you are invoking all the rules that are laid out in HIPPAA, which is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act,” she said.

Simpson said wearable devices might be useful for hands-free multitasking and might even save lives.

But he stresses that hospitals using Google Glass, for example, have reconfigured the device to run only on their secure networks to protect patient information.

“That kind of privacy protection has to be built in,” he said, not just for the health sector, but for average consumers as well.

“The different shapes the technology takes,” Horowitz said, should not be allowed to influence people’s views on what their privacy system should look like.

She says it is less useful to see new technologies as defining privacy and data security rules “and more useful to think about the world of privacy and data security that we want … and make sure that the technology comports to that world rather than the other way around.”

As the wearable tech market expands, advertisers are sure to follow. Horowitz said privacy rules need to be continuously updated to cope with advertisers exploiting users’ behavior data to target them with native ads that look more like posts from friends than advertisements.

“An app or a technology that cannot collect all kinds of data from you and about you would not be able to feed that information to an advertiser,” she said. “And then ads would either start to look like the kind of generic spam that we saw in the ’90’s, or would … disappear.”

Turning back the clock as wearable devices gain momentum seems unlikely, which is why Simpson says steps need to be taken to safeguard privacy.

“There is a concept that’s known as Privacy by Design, which means that as you develop the technology, people who are concerned about some of the privacy issues …. consider these privacy implications as it is being developed,” he said.

Recognizing privacy issues as the technology is taking shape allows manufacturers to address the impact even if that means “that you wouldn’t do certain things with a device that was technologically capable of doing,” such as facial recognition, which Simpson considers to be invasive.

Facial recognition, already being used by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation will likely become more prevalent in the future.

It might be that wearable devices are heralding a brave new world altogether. But Simpson says “we need to … keep up our core values and our humanity and not let machines run the day.”

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.

Tech Sightings, April 24, 2014

Posted April 24th, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Big Tech Companies Offer Millions to Help With Heartbleed Crisis

Amazon.com, Cisco Systems, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel Corp and Microsoft are among the world’s biggest technology companies that have agreed to donate millions of dollars to set up a group to fund improvements in open source programs like OpenSSL, the software whose “Heartbleed” vulnerability has wreaked havoc with the computer industry.

FBI Informant Tied to Cyberattacks Abroad

An F.B.I. informant coordinated a 2012 campaign of cyberattacks on foreign websites, including some run by the governments of Iran, Syria, Brazil and Pakistan. Documents and interviews with people involved in the attacks show that the informant exploited a vulnerability in a web-hosting software to direct at least one hacker to siphon huge amounts of data from foreign servers.

Vote on New Net Neutrality Rules Expected in May

A draft net neutrality proposal circulated Thursday among FCC commissioners is expected to be put to the vote May 15 at the agency’s open meeting. If approved, the proposal will be open for public comment before it becomes final.

A Machine That Makes Drinking Water From Thin Air

An Israeli company, Water-Gen, has developed Atmospheric Water-Generation Units that chill air and condense water vapor. Once the water is collected, it goes through extensive filtration to purify it for drinking.

Tokyo Court Starts Mt. Gox Bankruptcy Proceedings

Thursday’s Bankruptcy proceedings will attempt to sell the assets of the failed Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange, although creditors, including those who had bitcoins with Mt. Gox, might not get their money back.

Fixing Google Glass: Prescription for Perception

Some folks already have pronounced Google Glass dead. But the product has potential, albeit with some extremely serious flaws that should be corrected.

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.

Tech Sightings, April 23, 2014

Posted April 23rd, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Games for Change 2014: How Gaming Can Change Everything

Teaming up with the Tribeca Film Festival, this year’s Games for Change Festival aims to expand the discussion about using games for social change, including their impact on education and their potential use for therapy.

How China and Russia are Trying to Undermine the Internet, Again

A major international conference in Brazil is expected to produce nonbinding, international principles for countries to use in order to manage the Internet. Some countries however, notably China and Russia are more concerned with how Internet governance could affect state authority.

The Internet Keeps Getting Faster and More Dangerous

A report released by Akamai, a leading Internet content delivery network (CDN) company says the global average Internet connect speed is getting faster. But Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are increasing at a faster rate.

Report: Attackers Have Their Sights Set on the Cloud

A new report from Alert Logic shows a significant increase in cloud-based attacks as customers move their data to cloud-based servers.

Air-powered Leopard Robot Doesn’t Need Complex Brain to Walk

A team from Japan’s Osaka University is working to find a more natural way for robots to walk. Their creation is called Pneupard – a combination on the words “leopard” and “pneumatic.” It has artificial muscles that run on compressed air and have the potential to be more realistic than those based on electric motors.

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.

Tech Sightings, April 22, 2014

Posted April 22nd, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Children Use Minecraft to Redesign the Real World

Block by Block, a partnership between the United Nations Human Settlements Program and Minecraft developer Mojang, is an initiative that allows young people to design and upgrade 300 public spaces by 2016. The program has yielded several pilot projects, the first of which is an informal settlement in Nairobi.

 The Future of Social Media Is Mobile Tribes

As Internet use moves away from the desktop and the laptop and more toward mobile, native platforms are becoming more advanced and user behaviors are constantly shifting. The effect of this content-heavy landscape on meaningful interactions has lead to the creation of Mobile Tribes.

A Bump in the Road Toward Remote-Controlled Humans

Zabosu, an ambitious attempt to offer humans that could be controlled as if by remote control, has put its Kickstarter campaign on hold after raising only $550 out of its $100,000 goal.

Apple Aims to Shrink Its Carbon Footprint With New Data Centers

Apple is close to achieving its goal of powering all of its facilities 100 percent on renewable energy. Its campuses and data centers are now using 94 percent renewable energy; and the number is rising. The company intends to extend this effort to its retail stores.

Apple Offers Free Recycling of Its Products Worldwide

The company says its retail stores will take back Apple products for “free, responsible recycling.” A company spokesman has also confirmed that the program would be available worldwide.

Google Challenges Nonprofits on Ideas to Use Glass

Google has asked nonprofit groups to come up with ideas on how they would use Google Glass eye wear in their work. Five charities that propose the best ideas by May 20 will get a free pair of glasses, a trip to Google for training and a $25,000 grant to turn their project to reality.

China Lifts Ban on Game Consoles

China has fully lifted its 14-year ban on selling video game consoles. While foreign console makers like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo still have to find a way around the country’s censorship rules to exploit the huge Chinese market, they can now manufacture and sell consoles in Shanghai’s free trade zone.

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.

Is There a Future for Passwords?

Posted April 18th, 2014 at 2:34 pm (UTC-5)
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FILE - A computer screen shows a password attack in progress

FILE – A computer screen shows a password attack in progress at the Norwich University computer security training program in Northfield, Vermont. (AP)

Whether you go online to check your email, use social media, shop or play games, the odds are you have more passwords than you can keep straight in your head and even more scribbled on enough sticky notes to decorate an entire room. And they just keep getting longer and trickier as cyber attacks become smarter and nastier. It is a cyclical race to find shelter in a password system that is creaking under the pressure.

Enter “Heartbleed” – a vulnerability in the widely-used security software OpenSSL that allows hackers to “bleed” or steal passwords, credentials, and other sensitive information from server memory.

As Kaspersky Lab‘s principal security researcher Kurt Baumgartner explains, the tricky part about this flaw is that “Heartbleed exploits hitting web servers are not necessarily logged as requests because the sensitive server content can be retrieved prior to requesting a resource from the server.”

He says it is “unique and extraordinary” for data bleeding or theft to occur very early in network communications. “On most web servers, all that may be logged is that a connection was set up, which doesn’t give a defender much to work with,” he said in an email interview.

The Canada Revenue Agency website is seen on a computer screen displaying information about an internet security vulnerability called the "Heartbleed Bug" in Toronto. (Reuters)

The Canada Revenue Agency website is seen on a computer screen displaying information about an internet security vulnerability called “Heartbleed” in Toronto. (Reuters)

The race is underway to patch the flaw for thousands of websites whose customers’ credentials continue to be at risk.

One of the early casualties was Canada’s tax system. The Canadian Revenue Agency reports that private information of about 900 people was siphoned through the Heartbleed security hole.

Normally, users might buy some time ahead of the next heist by changing their password. With Heartbleed, experts advise consumers to make sure the company has eliminated the vulnerability before they change their password, lest they make the new password available to hackers.

Does Heartbleed spell the end for passwords?

Heartbleed  “is simply the most recent example of the fact that we cannot trust our online activities to be secure,” said Jeffrey Carr, Founder and CEO of Taia Global, a cybersecurity firm.

No matter the safeguards, Carr says “the myth of some future secure network as well as the myth that the government somehow has the power to secure our networks remains popular even though there isn’t any proof to support it,” he said in an email interview.

No matter how eager we might be to ditch passwords, they are likely to be around for some time to come. “It really doesn’t matter whether or not passwords, tickets, or keys were used by the authentication process,” said Baumgartner. “The problem is a ‘pre-authentication’ issue, meaning whatever data the server maintains can potentially be grabbed right out of memory.”

That means OpenSSL and similar critical-use software should be “much more thoroughly audited and reviewed,” he said. “I have seen persuasive arguments for formal verification of critical components like these.”

So even if passwords were to be replaced – say with biometrics, “there will always be another way for attackers to compromise valuable data,” said Carr.

Biometrics, by the way, can also be compromised, as demonstrated by a group of German hackers who hacked the fingerprint scanner on Samsung’s Galaxy S5 phone and Apple’s iPhone5S and posted a YouTube video to show how they did it.

Baumgartner is hopeful that passwords will be replaced at some point. But he cautions that they “need to be replaced by an altogether stronger scheme.” He says “threat modeling for authentication schemes seem[s] to have been very narrowly defined by developers.”

While there have been improvements, Baumgartner says “there are so many incredible weaknesses here. Pass the hash and token re-use techniques [i.e., attacks known as authentication token theft and reuse, where stolen data is used to create new authentication sessions] have been extremely problematic for almost a decade now; and the situation is beginning to improve.”

So what’s the answer?

Where businesses are concerned, Carr says firms need to identify and segregate their most valuable data. “Valuable data must be stored on servers that are air-gapped [i.e., insulated from unsecured networks],” he said. “And access to that data must be continuously monitored and controlled in real-time by human beings rather than by automated processes.”

As for individuals, the advice is the same. “The only real protection that the average citizen has is to retreat from Internet usage for any activity which would cause that person harm if compromised,” he said. “That might  be sending confidential or potentially harmful information via email, or using online banking if you’re a small business.”

So don’t use those sticky notes for wallpaper just yet. As long as there are software glitches and vulnerabilities, sooner or later, some cyber crook will try to slither through. And until there is a better way to guard private data, vigilance and better passwords will still be needed.

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.

Tech Sightings, April 17, 2014

Posted April 17th, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC-5)
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‘Titanic’ Director Cameron’s Mini Robot Probes May Aid Malaysian Jet Quest

Film director and deep-sea explorer James Cameron says robot probes used on the wreck of the Titanic could investigate debris from the missing Malaysian jet once it’s located. The miniaturized probes could help explore larger structures of the plane, if found.

Singapore Broker Urges ‘Light Touch’ Bitcoin Regulation

David Moskowitz, Director of Singapore-based Bitcoin broker, Coin Republic, says regulation alone will not address concerns such as money laundering or the failure of a Bitcoin exchange. He suggests that technology should be allowed to do most of the governing to safeguard against illegal activities.

‘Chinese Twitter’ Firm Weibo to Go Public in US

Sina Weibo, known as China’s version of Twitter, is going public in the United States Thursday at a price below expectations. Weibo debuts on Nasdaq in an initial public offering expected to raise at least $340 million.

Around 50 million Android Smartphones Still Vulnerable to Heartbleed Flaw

Tens of millions of Android smartphone users worldwide are still vulnerable to the Heartbleed OpenSLL security flaw. According to data provided by the Guardian and Google, devices running the 2012 Jelly Bean Android version 4.1.1 are particularly vulnerable.

New Phishing Scam Sees Hackers Bypass Steam Guard Security

A new phishing scam is allowing hackers to bypass security measures that Steam, an online game distribution service, put in place protect users whose accounts are compromised.

Faulty Charger Forces Nokia to Halt Lumia 2520 Tablet Sales in 7 Countries

According to Nokia, the plastic cover of the charger’s exchangeable plug can sometimes come loose and separate. If that happens, internal components can cause an electric shock if touched while the device is plugged into a socket.

Google Glass to Assist Surgeons

A new study published in the International Journal of Surgery says Google’s high-tech eye-wear, Google Glass, can be useful for surgeons, particularly for training and hands-free access of information while in the theater, although patient privacy remains a concern.

Americans Wary of Futuristic Science, Tech

A new report from the Pew Research Center shows that Americans, typically enthusiastic about new technologies, are a bit nervous about technologies like drones buzzing overhead or meat manufactured in a lab.

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.

Tech Sightings, April 16, 2014

Posted April 16th, 2014 at 2:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Mt. Gox Files for Liquidation

Citing rehabilitation issues, Mt. Gox asked a Tokyo-based court for permission to close its doors, thereby abandoning any plans to rebuild its business under bankruptcy protection in Japan and the United States.

A Kinder, Gentler Robot is Coming

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory is experimenting with the first autonomous robot made mostly of soft parts.  Inspired by new technologies like 3D printing, scientists from a variety of disciplines have come together to reinterpret the robot to make it look less mechanical.

Carpenter who Cut Off Fingers Makes ‘Robohand’ With 3-D printer

Richard van As lost four fingers in a carpentry accident in 2011. But the experience pushed him to the Internet in search of a new hand. He found a partner and together they developed a mechanical finger for van As and countless amputees around the globe.

Rescue Robots ‘Can Aid Safety, but Faster Use Is Key’

Experts meeting in Germany say the use of robots in real-life disaster situations is still constrained by the need to understand how robots can help rescuers and encourage scientists to deploy robots faster to help with disaster relief.

Teenager Uses Facebook to Save Romania’s Stray Dogs

Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Ana-Maria Ciulcu uses Facebook to appeal to Europe’s dog lovers to help find good homes for stray dogs.

Bill Gates vs. Google Glass: Pending Patent Would Thwart Video Snooping

A patent filing, listing the Microsoft co-founder as an inventor, proposes to equip computer and device displays with technology that would alert the user and blur or edit screen content if a  camera is detected in the vicinity. While the patent does not refer to Google Glass, which is equipped with a video camera, it addresses the increasing presence of video cameras in society.

Apple, Google, Samsung Agree to Support Smartphone Kill Switches

As smartphone theft continues to rise, Apple, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft agreed to introduce anti-theft smartphone kill switches in future devices –  a move that could save device owners billions of dollars each year.

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.

Tech Sightings, April 15, 2014

Posted April 15th, 2014 at 2:53 pm (UTC-5)
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Are Touchscreens Melting Your Kid’s Brain?

Touchscreens continue to proliferate, but researchers know very little about what effect they might have on children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids under the age of two should not be using touchscreens, while older kids should limit use to two hours.

Heartbleed Heartache: This Was Not a Drill, People, and You Failed

A week after the Heartbleed vulnerability emerged, the SANS Institute’s Internet Storm Center cancelled its yellow alert that required immediate action to contain the impact. As things settle down, the finger-pointing begins.

Kenya Shakes Up Mobile Money By Licensing Three MVNOs

Kenya’s Communications Commission has licensed Mobile Pay, Finserve Africa and Zioncell Kenyato to offer customer registration, SIM cards issuance, billing and customer care in a mobile payment market dominated by Safaricom’s M-Pesa.

Swedish Startup Lets You Pay With the Swipe of a Hand

Swedish company Quixter has come up with a new variation on biometrics that lets customers at retail outlets swipe their palms instead of their credit cards to make a payment.

Google Fires Up Asia Pacific Region Cloud Platform

Google has boosted its Cloud Platform with two new East Asia regions to serve the growing number of users in Asia. The move follows Google’s recent launch of new datacenters in Taiwan and Singapore.

‘Gods’ Make Comeback at Toyota as Humans Steal Jobs From Robots

Going against the automation trend, Toyota is replacing machines with humans in plants across Japan to allow workers to develop new skills and find new ways to improve production lines.

Thermoelectric Generator Turns Body Heat Into Energy

A team of researchers from the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has created a light, flexible generator made of thermoelectric substances printed on glass fabric – a design that minimizes heat loss and maximizes output.

MIT Whizzes Invent Magical Furniture That Changes Shape on Demand

Looking ahead to a future where furniture can sense our emotions and respond accordingly,  MIT’s Tangible Media Group has come up with Transform, a table-like structure that metamorphoses based on the motions and emotions of humans around it.

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.

Women, Minorities Underrepresented in Silicon Valley, Other Tech Hubs

Posted April 11th, 2014 at 2:20 pm (UTC-5)
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FILE - An aerial view of Silicon Valley's capital city San Jose, (AFP)

FILE – An aerial view of Silicon Valley’s capital city San Jose, (AFP)

Silicon Valley is the global leader in technological wizardry, but it suffers from an image as a young, all-white, all-male club.

The success of social media startups like Facebook that appeared in recent years and grew their ranks by hiring young people created the notion that “young college dropouts” can “make it big in Silicon Valley,” said Stanford University‘s Vivec Wadhwa.

That image is contradicted though by entrepreneurs like Tesla’s Elon Musk – who, while not old, is not fresh out of college – and others like him who build successful long-term technologies.

But the “all white male” part of the image may take longer to change.

 “They are all men,” said Wadhwa of entrepreneurs founding new companies in Silicon Valley and the technology scene.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that in 2013, more than 90 percent of startup founders were men and 82 percent were white. And according to Catalyst, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve women’s employment opportunities, women hold only 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions.

“The reason why there are so few women in technology is because the deck has been stacked against women,” said Wadhwa.

The deck has also been stacked against typically disadvantaged communities, which is why Wadhwa calls California’s tech hub an “imperfect meritocracy,” because “certain groups are left out,” particularly women, African-Americans and Hispanics.”

“If you look at the African-American community – they were left out of a large part of the economic pie anyway because they tend to come from poorer communities that receive less education than they should and they are not given the encouragement that they should,” he said. “This is a general disadvantage that those communities have. It’s not only in technology. But they need to be uplifted without doubt.”

And yet, he argues that Silicon Valley has been “inclusive” in incorporating people from all over the world and looking “like the United Nations.”

Walking into the Google cafeteria or any other leading Silicon Valley company, “you see people from all over the place,” he said. “So much so that they serve Indian curries, Chinese food. They serve Brazilian food. They serve international foods here because it is an international club.”

Indians, in particular, have flourished in Silicon Valley.

“The fact that Indians come to Silicon Valley and succeed shows that by helping each other, as Indians did, by being ambitious, by being determined, you can break the glass ceilings – that any community can succeed,” Wadhwa said.

Well, maybe not any community. CEOs of some of Silicon Valley’s leading companies have come under fire for their recruiting practices. And Wadhwa chides them for that.

“Don’t pretend that you are a meritocracy in Silicon Valley,” he counseled. “Admit that there is a problem here. Then look at what the roots of the problem are and fix it.”

He said companies that diversify their working force are more likely to be more innovative.

“Silicon Valley is the most innovative … land on the planet,” he said. “It’s because it is diverse. Imagine if we increase diversity even more, imagine if we included the 50 percent of the population that’s being left out. It would be a lot more effective, productive, economical … a lot more magic would happen over here if we included people we are leaving out.”

That holds true for emerging tech sectors in Africa and Asia, said Wadhwa, where technologies are being developed by “certain segments of the population” and the “technology ecosystems are dominated by males,” particularly in countries like China and South Africa.

Fixing the problem has to start with the parents, said Wadhwa. In some parts of the developing world, parents prefer to spend their limited income to educate their sons, thereby neglecting their daughters’ education or dissuading them from entering male-dominated career paths.

“Parents have to now encourage their daughters to become scientists and engineers, to become computer programmers, to have the ambition to change the world,” he said. “It starts with Mom and Dad. We can’t just blame our schools. We can’t just blame our corporations.”

But they cannot do it alone. Wadhwa suggests that schools need to “reprogram” teachers so that they refrain from discriminating against students because of their gender or race. “We have to now increase awareness within the universities and the schools and then the workplace,” he said.

“Let’s make it a perfect meritocracy,” he said
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.

Tech Sightings, April 10, 2014

Posted April 10th, 2014 at 2:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Facebook to Pull Messages from App

With the acquisition of WhatsApp, Facebook will soon begin pulling chat messages out of its primary apps in hopes of “…help[ing] connect everyone in the world.”

Why You Should Treat Customer Care Like it’s Your Core Product

With the click of a finger, consumers seemingly have unlimited control to identify their favorite (or least favorite) brands on social media platforms. Many brands now look at platforms like Twitter and Facebook as the true barometer of the health and effectiveness of their customer support systems.

A German Company is Printing Food for the Elderly

A German company, Biozoon, is working on a 3D-printed food extruder-based printer that will allow some elderly patients the ability to eat without choking – the food literally melts in the mouth.

Why Dropbox and Box are Expanding Beyond Straight-up Cloud Storage

As competition becomes more fierce, Dropbox and Box are diversifying – announcing new apps and services. The hope is that users will consider more than just the price tag when picking a cloud storage service.

Behold JuggaloCoin, a Bitcoin-like currency just for Juggalo

It’s a miracle. The birth of JuggaloCoin, a virtual currency strictly for Juggalos — the counterculture devoted to the Insane Clown Posse rap group. The cryptocurrency launches Wednesday, and should appeal to those looking to “buy Juggalo necessities, like clown makeup, stick meat, Faygo, and HatchetGear.” CNET says it’s unclear if JuggaloCoin is actually real or a spoof.  But if it is legit, it might not be that absurd of an idea — considering how many Juggalos there are around the world.