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

‘Petya’ Spreads as Questions Mount; Facebook’s Hate Speech Rules

Posted June 28th, 2017 at 1:57 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Massive Cyberattack Has Spread to More Than 64 Countries Ukraine has managed to control the latest ransomware strain known as “Petya” or “NotPetya” that started Tuesday and spread to more than 64 countries. Petya showed up last year, but this updated strain has new capabilities. Its predecessor, WannaCry, wreaked global havoc in […]

Ransomware Attack Hits Europe; Microsoft Turns to AI to Fight Malware

Posted June 27th, 2017 at 1:53 pm (UTC-4)
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 Today’s Tech Sightings: New Ransomware Attack Hits European Firms, Infrastructure A massive cyberattack first reported in Ukraine has spread to Russia, Denmark, Britain and other countries. Hackers are targeting major companies, government agencies and infrastructure, banks, utilities, airports, and many others. In Ukraine, government agencies were unable to access their computers. In Britain, an advertising […]

‘OMG!’ How Technology Is Changing Personal Interaction

Posted June 23rd, 2017 at 11:40 am (UTC-4)
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Snippets of text, emojis, likes and dislikes are upending social interaction. While offering immediacy and convenience, they are taking away face-to-face body language and nonverbal cues, crucial for human communication. Technology is changing the way we communicate, “dramatically” shifting the way people relate to each other to channels like social media – a “2-dimensional medium […]

Facebook Changes Mission Statement; Hackers Altered US Voter Data

Posted June 22nd, 2017 at 1:11 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Facebook Changes Mission Statement to ‘Bring the World Closer Together’ Facebook’s original mission statement was “making the world more open and connected.” But as the company approaches two billion monthly users, CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared a new mission statement: to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer […]

The Future, According to Jack Ma; Uber CEO Resigns

Posted June 21st, 2017 at 12:18 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Alibaba’s Jack Ma: AI Could Lead to 4-hour Workdays and World War III Adding his voice to a chorus of visionaries warning about the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI), Alibaba Founder and CEO Jack Ma told CNBC AI automation could allow people more free time, perhaps leading to four-day work weeks in […]

Social Media Urged to Fight Political Bots; Most Web Apps Not Secure

Posted June 20th, 2017 at 12:48 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Oxford Professors Tell Twitter, Facebook to Fight Political Bots Top academic researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute are urging social media giants to take action to limit the widespread use of algorithms and bots for political propaganda. After analyzing millions of posts in nine countries, the professors leading the team described the […]

Uzbek, Other Video Game Bans Straddle Cultural Divides

Posted June 16th, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-4)
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Uzbekistan recently joined a long list of countries that ban video games for one reason or another. And while some games will get banned no matter the argument, an industry expert says a delicate balance is needed to satisfy local market expectations without sacrificing artistic expression. Video games may be a product of Western society, […]

Mobile Phishing’s New Tricks; Older Samsung Devices Left Vulnerable

Posted June 15th, 2017 at 12:32 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Login-stealing Phishing Sites Hide Their Evil With Lots of Hyphens in URL Malicious websites are using mobile-focused phishing attacks that are adding enough hyphens to their original domain names so that they are too long to be visible in the address bar. Researchers with security firm PhishLabs say the emerging trend is […]

Google Store Flooded With Fake Apps; What Fake News Services Cost

Posted June 14th, 2017 at 12:59 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Malicious Fake Protection Apps Flood Google Play Store In the aftermath of the infamous WannaCry ransomware, criminals are now flooding the Google Play Store with fake ransomware protection tools. Researchers with security firm RiskIQ found hundreds of cases where apps available for download claim to protect mobile phones, but in fact expose […]

Two-thirds of World Now on Mobile; US Election Hack Hit 39 States

Posted June 13th, 2017 at 12:46 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: 5 Billion People Now Have a Mobile Phone Connection Two-thirds of the world’s population is now connected on mobile phones, according to GSMA Intelligence, a research group operated by GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. GSMA Intelligence’s real-time tracker shows just a bit over 5 billion mobile users globally […]