The Technology News Daily Digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for August 5, 2014 includes stories about a smartphone manufacturer that has topped the sales charts in China, additions to the Scrabble dictionary, and an update on the story of Google’s recent dabble in crime-fighting. Today, an old favorite is updated to fit modern customs while mobile manufacturing giants make way for what could be the next big contender and Google gives internet sexual predators a new reason to fear the growing surveillance state.
The Chinese smartphone manufacturer officially known as Xiaomi is making waves overseas. Forbes lists Lei Jun, founder and CEO of the Beijing-based company as the 23rd richest man in China. Xiaomi was fairly obscure when it was founded in 2010, but in the following years, the company has begun to rise in popularity with the release of its Xiaomi Mi line of handset devices. China houses the largest market for handset mobile devices in the world, and last quarter, Xiaomi reached the top of its sales charts, a staggering feat for such a young company. Xiaomi reportedly shipped approximately 15 million handsets within China, beating their well established competitor, Samsung, who reported 13.2 million smartphones shipped. The source of the company’s success may lie in the unique software that it pairs with its devices. Android users cannot access theses features from any other device.
Scrabble enthusiasts can rejoice now that the game’s list of accepted words will be expanding. Of course, many favorite colorful phrases and words-of-choice will still be omitted from the game. About 5,000 new terms will be added to the Scrabble dictionary for the first time in almost a decade. Acceptable terms for use in the word-based game will now include selfie, hashtag, bromance, frenemy, bling, emo and mixtape. A contest on social media also led to the inclusion of geochache in the dictionary. The 76-year-old game will also begin to allow a larger number of two letter words. Po, which means by mouth, for example, is worth a surprising 14 points on its own. President of the North American Scrabble Players Association, John Chew commented that “The additions go a long way toward bringing us closer to the language as it is currently spoken.”
Google: Crime Fighter
Since word got out that Google monitoring caught a destructive deviant, the internet has been abuzz with heightened privacy concerns and talk of a 4th amendment violation on the part of Google. Forty-one year old John Henry Skillern of Houston, Texas already had one prior charge of aggravated sexual assault against a young boy, but when Google’s monitoring system spotted some explicit photos of a young girl, the alarm bells of internet safety concerns once again rang with parents all over the country. The discovery raised questions as to whether or not sex offenders convicted of crimes against children can be successfully rehabilitated after even more contraband material was discovered on the offender’s tablet and mobile phone. Police investigating Skillern’s home also discovered emails sent from Skillern’s computer wherein he openly discussed his sexual interest in young children and shared videos of children visiting the Denny’s where he was employed as a cook.
The Technology News Commentary By Faye Barton
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