• China’s COVID Lockdowns May Affect iPhone Shipments

    The Apple Store at Union Square, the heart of San Francisco’s upscale tourist district, had drawn more than 30 customers within a few minutes of opening Friday morning. Visitors, couples and even a preschool-age boy browsed the atrium packed with iPhone 13s and watches to try out. A sign urged people to trade in old phones to save money on the 13s.  But a staff member could not say when the iPhone 14 would come out — presumably sometime this year — or what it would cost. Some shoppers wondered whether it would be delayed or cost more than expected given the months of supply chain disruptions in China, where the phones are made.  “This stuff has got to hit hard at some point,” said Bill Kimberlin, an Apple Store shopper from San Francisco.  Apple, based in the Silicon Valley, just 50 miles south of San Francisco, outsources iPhone parts …

    21/05/2022

  • Scanning the Corpse’s Face: Ukrainians Using Facial Recognition Technology to Identify Russian Soldiers

    The Ukrainian government is using facial recognition software to identify Russian soldiers captured and dead. VOA’s Julie Taboh spoke with one software company CEO and an official with the Ukrainian national police about how the technology is contributing to the war effort …

    20/05/2022

  • Canada to Ban Huawei and ZTE From 5G Networks

    Canada will ban Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE from its 5G wireless networks because of national security concerns, officials said Thursday.  The long-awaited move follows those of the United States and other key allies and comes on the heels of a diplomatic row between Ottawa and Beijing over the detention of a senior Huawei executive on a U.S. warrant, which has now been resolved.  The United States has warned of the security implications of giving Chinese tech companies access to telecommunications infrastructure that could be used for state espionage.  Both Huawei and Beijing have rejected the allegations, while Beijing warned of repercussions for nations placing restrictions on the telecom equipment provider.  The company did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment on Canada’s ban.  Canadian Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino made the announcement at a news conference.  “Today, we’re announcing our intention …

    20/05/2022

  • Twitter Policy Aims to Clear Fog of War Misinformation

    Twitter is stepping up its fight against misinformation with a new policy cracking down on posts that spread potentially dangerous false stories. The change is part of a broader effort to promote accurate information during times of conflict or crisis.  Starting Thursday, the platform will no longer automatically recommend or emphasize posts that make misleading claims about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including material that mischaracterizes conditions in conflict zones or makes false allegations of war crimes or atrocities against civilians.  Under its new “crisis misinformation policy,” Twitter will also add warning labels to debunked claims about ongoing humanitarian crises, the San Francisco-based company said. Users won’t be able to like, forward or respond to posts that violate the new rules.  The changes make Twitter the latest social platform to grapple with the misinformation, propaganda and rumors that have proliferated since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. That misinformation ranges from …

    20/05/2022

  • Nigeria Becoming Destination for Africa’s Promising Tech Startups

    In February, the Nigerian technology startup CrowdForce announced a big break: It had received $3.6 million from investors to expand its financial services operations to many more underserved communities.   Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Tomi Ayorinde said new funding will boost its mobile agent network from 7,000 to 21,000 this year. “We were looking to scale faster and really gain market share,” Ayorinde said. “And what we’re doing is also very impact-related because we’re creating jobs, avenues for people to make extra income in their communities. So, it was also very interesting for impact investors to be part of what we’re trying to do.”  When Ayorinde helped launch CrowdForce seven years ago, he intended it to be a data collection company. But after about two years, the company overhauled its business model when Ayorinde realized it could fill a need for bank accounts.    “When we collected data of 4.5 million traders …

    18/05/2022

  • Musk: Doubt About Spam Accounts Could Scuttle Twitter Deal

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk says his deal to buy Twitter can’t move forward unless the company shows public proof that less than 5% of the accounts on the social media platform are fake or spam. Musk made the comment in a reply to another user on Twitter early Tuesday. He spent much of the previous day in a back-and-forth with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who posted a series of tweets explaining his company’s effort to fight bots and how it has consistently estimated that less than 5% of Twitter accounts are fake. In his tweet Tuesday, Musk said that “20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be much higher. My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate.” He added: “Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of 5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.” Twitter declined to comment. It’s Musk’s latest salvo …

    17/05/2022

  • Convicted Killer Turned Tech Whiz Confronts His Sordid Past

    When he was 20 years old, Harel Hershtik planned and executed a murder, a crime that a quarter of a century later is still widely remembered for its grisly details. Today, he is the brains behind an Israeli health-tech startup, poised to make millions of dollars with the backing of prominent public figures and deep-pocket investors. With his company set to go public, Hershtik’s past is coming under new scrutiny, raising questions about whether someone who took a person’s life deserves to rehabilitate his own to such an extent. “When I was young, I would say that I was stupid and arrogant,” said Hershtik, now 46. “You can be a genius and yet still be very stupid and the two don’t contradict each other.” Today, Hershtik is the vice president of strategy and technology at Scentech Medical, a company he founded in 2018, while behind bars, which says its product …

    16/05/2022

  • IBM: 6 Black Colleges Getting Cybersecurity Centers

    Six historically Black universities in five Southern states will be getting the first IBM cybersecurity centers aimed at training underrepresented communities, the company said. The schools are Xavier University of Louisiana, that state’s Southern University System, North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State, Clark Atlanta and Morgan State universities, according to a news release Tuesday. “Technology-related services are in constant demand, and cybersecurity is paramount,” said Dr. Ray L. Belton, president of the Southern University System based in Baton Rouge. The centers will give students, staff, and faculty access to modern technology, resources, and skills development, said Dr. Nikunja Swain, chair and professor of the Computer Science and Mathematics Department at South Carolina State, in Orangeburg. “It will further enhance our ongoing activities on several key areas, including cybersecurity, data science analytics, cloud computing, IOT, blockchain, design thinking, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence,” he said. IBM said it plans more than …

    16/05/2022

  • US, China Vie for Africa Mobile Phone Sector

    Africa, in recent years, has become the new frontier where China and the United States, the world’s two biggest economic superpowers, are competing for influence in a key industry: telecommunications. This week, Ethiopia celebrated the launch of a 5G network powered by China’s telecom giant Huawei in Addis Ababa. Just before that, on a visit to the continent last week, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visited U.S. mobile company Africell’s offices in Angola, where the firm has amassed some 2 million users since it was launched just over a month ago.   “Today in Luanda, I visited @AfricellAo, an innovative, state-of-the-art U.S. company expanding 5G access in Angola with trusted technology components,” she wrote in a tweet. Asked in a subsequent press briefing whether the tweet wasn’t a dig at Huawei – which already has a huge digital foothold in Africa but which was sanctioned in the U.S. …

    13/05/2022

  • The Next New Thing: Companies Are Building the ‘Metaverse’ but What Is It?

    The “metaverse” has been touted as the next digital shift, 3-dimensional online spaces where people will shop, work, play games, and go to concerts. VOA’s Michelle Quinn is looking at what the Metaverse is or might be. VOA footage and video editing by Matt Dibble. …

    13/05/2022

  • Musk Says $44-billion Twitter Deal Temporarily On Hold

    Elon Musk said on Friday his $44-billion deal for Twitter Inc was temporarily on hold, citing pending details on spam and fake accounts. “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk said in a tweet. Shares of the social media company fell 20% in premarket trading. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company had earlier this month estimated that false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5% of its monetizable daily active users during the first quarter. It also said it faced several risks until the deal with Musk is closed, including whether advertisers would continue to spend on Twitter. Musk, the world’s richest man and the chief executive of Tesla Inc, had said that one of his priorities would be to remove “spam bots” from the platform. …

    13/05/2022

  • Bill Gates Says He Has COVID-19, Experiencing Mild Symptoms 

    Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Tuesday he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms.  Via Twitter, the billionaire philanthropist said he will isolate until he is again healthy.  “I’m fortunate to be vaccinated and boosted and have access to testing and great medical care,” Gates wrote.  The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the most influential private foundation in the world, with an endowment of about $65 billion.  Bill Gates has been a vocal proponent for pandemic mitigation measures, specifically access to vaccines and medication for poorer countries. The Gates Foundation in October said it will spend $120 million to boost access to generic versions of drugmaker Merck’s antiviral COVID-19 pill for lower-income countries.  …

    11/05/2022

  • Elon Musk Says He’d Reinstate Trump’s Twitter Account

    Elon Musk on Tuesday said he would reinstate former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.  The Tesla CEO who’s vying to buy Twitter and take it private for a reported price tag of $44 billion made the comment at the Financial Times Future of the Car conference.  “I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” Musk said. “I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”   Musk added that Trump’s ban was “morally wrong and flat-out stupid.”  Trump’s account was permanently banned after the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, with Twitter saying his continued presence on the platform was a “risk of further incitement of violence.”   Musk added that permanent bans should be “extremely rare” and reserved for “bots, or spam/scam accounts.”   “Free speech …

    11/05/2022

  • Biden Starts Program to Provide Discounted Internet Service in US

    The Biden administration announced on Monday that 20 internet companies have agreed to provide discounted service to people with low incomes, a program that could effectively make tens of millions of households across the U.S. eligible for free service through an already existing federal subsidy. The $1 trillion infrastructure package passed by Congress last year included $14.2 billion funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides $30 monthly subsidies ($75 in tribal areas) on internet service for millions of lower-income households. With the new commitment from the internet providers, some 48 million households will be eligible for $30 monthly plans for 100 megabits per second, or higher speed, service — making internet service fully paid for with the government subsidy if they sign up with one of the providers participating in the program. Biden, during his White House run and the push for the infrastructure bill, made expanding high-speed internet …

    09/05/2022

  • Musk Gets $7B Backing for Twitter Bid From Tech Heavyweights

    Billionaire Elon Musk has strengthened the equity stake of his offer to buy Twitter with commitments of more than $7 billion from a range of investors, including Silicon Valley heavy hitters like Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison. Other investors include Sequoia Capital Fund, which pledged $800 million, and VyCapital, which pledged $700 million, according to a Thursday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. But Ellison, who is also a and Tesla board member, is making the biggest contribution, pegged at $1 billion. Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud has pledged 35 million in Twitter shares in support of Musk, according to the filing. Musk in earlier regulatory filings revealed that he has sold roughly $8.5 billion worth of shares in Tesla to help fund the purchase. Musk later tweeted that he doesn’t plan any further sales of the company’s shares, meaning he would need outside commitments to …

    05/05/2022