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.

All posts by Aida Akl

Digital Assistants Explored to Aid the Elderly; Hacking for Dementia

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 12:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Home Digital Assistants Could Be Boon for Assisted Living Voice-activated devices and digital assistants are quickly spreading and Elliptic Labs, which uses ultrasound technology to detect motion, wants to use the technology to help the elderly. The company is launching new software that can be added to digital assistants like Amazon’s Echo. […]

With Blockchain, Sub-Saharan Women Move Forward Without Bias

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-5)
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Blockchain, the technology underlying digital currency Bitcoin, is making it easier for Sub-Saharan African women farmers to establish their economic credentials and negotiate gender bias. If you are a woman farmer in Sub-Saharan Africa and you go to a bank to borrow, you have to bring like seven pieces of paper, you might have to […]

Inside Uber’s Workplace Culture; Google Renews Fight for Racial Justice

Posted February 23rd, 2017 at 12:16 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Inside Uber’s Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture Ride-hailing app Uber, one of Silicon Valley’s most successful ventures, is in full damage control after engineer Susan Fowler, who left Uber in December, recently described a long-standing culture of gender discrimination and harassment. In an in-depth look, the New York Times says that includes groping, […]

The Biggest Online Threats; Robots Help Sick Kids Attend School

Posted February 22nd, 2017 at 12:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: The 15 Biggest Threats Online, Ranked A new report from the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security puts hacking for profit at the top of a list of leading online threats. The report says the trend will continue, aided by new tools and malware to boost the criminal business. Malware […]

The Benefit – or Not – of Health Trackers; Kaspersky Launches New OS

Posted February 21st, 2017 at 1:03 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Scientists Warn Health Apps Could Be Doing More Harm Than Good Health apps might encourage better lifestyles, but researchers warn many of the thousands of available apps – ranging from fitness trackers to insulin monitors often are not based in real science. Researchers say there is no way to determine if the […]

Tech Goes to Work to Help Europe’s Refugees Assimilate

Posted February 17th, 2017 at 11:29 am (UTC-5)
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Technology is finding ways to bridge cultural gaps and help refugees from the Middle East and North Africa assimilate in Europe while giving back to their host countries. When millions of refugees began to wash ashore in Europe in 2015, so did myriads of challenges – meeting basic needs, education, healthcare, jobs, safety, and mitigating cultural […]

Twitter Restricts Abusive Users; IBM, VISA Team Up for IoT

Posted February 16th, 2017 at 12:56 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Twitter Starts Temporarily Restricting Abusive Accounts Twitter will now temporarily restrict users who engage in abuse and sexual harassment online so that only their followers are able to see their tweets. The move also prevents these tweets from being retweeted to non-followers. This is the latest in a series of measures Twitter […]

Suspected Russian Hackers Target Macs; a Visor for the Legally Blind

Posted February 15th, 2017 at 1:04 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Russian Cyberspies Blamed for US Election Hacks Now Targeting Macs Bitdefender cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a Mac OS Trojan that probably was used by the Russian hackers blamed for breaching the U.S. Democratic National Committee last year. The program, called Sofacy or X-Agent, has been around for other operating systems, but researchers […]

Cameroon Internet Blocked; Hidden Sensors Track Employees

Posted February 14th, 2017 at 12:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Cameroon’s Internet Outage Is Draining Its Economy Cameroon is under international pressure to restore internet services. Up to 20 percent of Cameroon’s population has been denied internet access since January, and the problem persists. By all accounts, the internet disruptions are thought to be politically motivated, targeting long-marginalized English-speaking populations in the […]

Google Wi-Fi Goes to India; Stuxnet-like Malware Spreading Worldwide

Posted February 9th, 2017 at 11:51 am (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Google Wi-Fi Station Project Is Coming to India First Google Station, a project that aims to bring fast Wi-Fi connectivity to railway stations and other public places, will launch for the first time in Pune, a city southeast of Mumbai, India. The project is a collaboration between several local and international tech […]