Blogs » Digital Babble » Tech Bytes: Tech tools help Haiti, Microsoft patches IE, 11-year-old writes iPhone app

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Technology to the rescue

In response to the crisis in Haiti, tech volunteers have been busy developing software and online tools to help track missing people, map disaster areas and allow for urgent cell phone text messaging.

Haitianquake.com is an online lost-and-found site created with the purpose to help Haitians in and out of the country locate missing relatives. The site, a database that can be updated by anyone, was created by Tim Schwartz and group of 10 software developers and was online less than 24 hours after the quake struck.

Google also created a similar database, PersonFinder, which was promoted by the State Department on its Web site and Twitter. Haitianquake.com has now merged and joined forces with PersonFinder in an effort to consolidate all data and have it stored in one place.

Another tool developed by volunteers is a cell phone text-messaging system which has helped the Red Cross and other relief groups dispatch rescuers, food and water to those in need in Haiti. Text messages can be sent for free from phones on the Haiti's Digicel service to the number 4636. [Source: Yahoo!News.com]

Microsoft patches IE

Today Microsoft announced it will issue "an out-of-cycle patch" for an Internet Explorer 6 flaw. This flaw is believed to have been used by China-based cyber spies in attacks aimed at Google and other companies. Microsoft did not announce when the patch will be released, but will provide more details Wednesday. In the meantime, users were encouraged to protect themselves by upgrading to a newer version of Internet Explorer. [Source: Cnet.com]

11-year-old writes iPhone app

Cameron is only 11-years-old, but he has already written an app for the iPhone and had it approved by Apple. The app is called iSketch, it’s a drawing and painting program. Cameron is donating some of the proceeds to a children's hospital. You can read more about the app on Cameron's Web site, www.cccdevelopment-llc.com/index.html. [Source: Crunchgear.com]