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

‘Smart Cities’ Are Not Just About Technology

Posted May 12th, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-4)
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‘Smart cities’ or high-tech communities are popping up in parts of the developing world to connect citizens, spur economic development, and provide better services. But some experts caution that these smart hubs are more about sustainability and quality of life than the technology that supports them. ‘Smart cities’ is hardly a term everyone agrees on […]

Keylogger Found on HP Laptops; Is Facebook Out of Touch?

Posted May 11th, 2017 at 12:43 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: ‘Keylogger’ Found on Several HP Laptops A security researcher at Swiss firm Modzero has uncovered an audio driver on HP laptops with a keylogger feature that records every keystroke. Anyone with local access to the affected computer could comprise passwords and other data. The logging activity was discovered in the Conexant HD […]

Microsoft Conference Digs Deep Into AI; Malawi First to Use OpenTrial

Posted May 10th, 2017 at 12:30 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Microsoft Fully Dives Into Artificial Intelligence CEO Satya Nadela kicked off Microsoft’s Build 2017 developer conference in Seattle, Washington,  Wednesday, with a call for technological empowerment. The Azure cloud platform and artificial intelligence are part of the company’s push to create smarter interactions between technology and users across multiple devices. The three-day […]

Android’s App Permissions Flaw; Assistive Tech Gets Smarter

Posted May 9th, 2017 at 12:30 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Serious App Permissions Flaw Will Not be Fixed Until Android O Google’s Android operating system might get a lot of unwanted attention from hackers because of its popularity, but research from Check Point security firm points to deeper problems. Google Play’s app permission model grants apps downloaded from the store extensive access, […]

Immersive Education Has Promise, but a Long Way to Go

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-4)
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Virtual reality (VR) technologies are slowly, albeit selectively, showing up in U.S. schools as educational tools. And there are efforts to bring them to schools in developing countries as well. But given the challenges, some experts say it is too early to even consider their impact on education. Spearheading the effort to bring virtual reality technologies […]

May 4 Is World Password Day; Malware Is Coming to a Mac Near You

Posted May 4th, 2017 at 12:35 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: On World Password Day, Here Are 4 Tips to Secure Online Accounts In case you didn’t now, May 4 is World Password Day. And if you’ve been recycling the same tired password for numerous accounts, stop. To mark the occasion, writer Conner Forrest has a few tips to help you secure your […]

The Trouble With Android; ‘Instant Apps’ Coming to Android JellyBean

Posted May 3rd, 2017 at 12:13 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Can Google Win Its Battle With Android Malware? The Android operating system continues to get the lion’s share of malware and ransomware by virtue of its large market dominance, according to recent data. Unlike Apple, which does not encourage non-Apple apps, Google allows Android users to download apps from other stores, in […]

Facebook Denies Mood-based Ad Tools; ‘Minecraft’ to Teach Coding

Posted May 2nd, 2017 at 1:09 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Facebook Denies Selling Ad-targeting Based on Users’ Emotions Facebook has denied a report from The Australian that claimed the social media giant gives advertisers tools to target users whenever they are in emotionally-vulnerable moods. The newspaper claimed that includes insecure teenagers as young as 14. A Facebook spokesman called the claims “misleading” […]

Hype Aside, Blockchain Could Empower Developing World

Posted April 28th, 2017 at 11:35 am (UTC-4)
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If you believe all the hype, blockchain is the next revolution that will change the world as mobile technology did in early 2000. It might. But a few hurdles need to be cleared before this digital platform can potentially empower some of the world’s poorest citizens. Simply put, blockchain is a data application or ledger […]

Apple Eyes Money-transfer Service; Cyber Threats Haunt US Agencies

Posted April 27th, 2017 at 12:56 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Apple in Talks to Launch Its Own Money-transfer Service Apple has been flirting with the idea of building its own money-transfer service for a while. But recent discussions with partners in the payments industry seem to put it back on this track in a market dominated by traditional players like PayPal. According […]