Ransomware Payouts on the Rise; STEM Stigmas Start as Early as Age 6

Posted April 26th, 2017 at 12:55 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

FILE - An illustrations shows a man typing on a computer keyboard in Warsaw, Poland. (Reuters)

FILE – An illustrations shows a man typing on a computer keyboard in Warsaw, Poland. (Reuters)

Symantec: Cyber Extortion Demands Surge as Victims Keep Paying

Hackers are getting bolder as more of their victims are willing to pay hefty sums to free their computers from malicious software, according to cybersecurity firm Symantec. The trend is encouraging cybercriminals to demand increasingly hefty sums from users. The average amount tripled last year to $1,077 from $294 and continues to rise in 2017. Up to 69 percent of targeted devices in 2016 were consumer PCs.

Amazon Wants to Put a Camera and Microphone in Your Bedroom

Amazon’s plan is to rig its voice assistant Echo with cameras and a microphone to help users decide what to wear. When unsure, users can take a picture of their outfit and share it with friends for an opinion. On top of that, a new app called StyleCheck also offers help to style-challenged users. The fate of the personal pictures and data Echo collects remains unclear.

By Age 6, Kids Already Think Boys Are Better in Programming, Robotics

New research from the University of Washington shows that children start adopting stereotypes that boys are better than girls in programming and robotics by the first grade. That includes girls with a strong negative impression about their gender’s tech abilities who also have the least interest in programming and robotics. But further research also suggests a girl can be encouraged to develop skills and more positive attitudes toward computing.


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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