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

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 […]

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: 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 […]

Emojis Tackle Language Disorders; Parsing Future Tech From Fiction

Posted April 25th, 2017 at 1:52 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Samsung Develops Emoji-based Chat App for Language Disorders More often than not, people use emojis for fun when they chat. But for those with language disorders like aphasia, which makes reading, writing and talking difficult, emojis might be just the thing to help facilitate communication. To address the gap, Samsung’s Italian subsidiary […]

Blockchain? What’s Blockchain?

Posted April 20th, 2017 at 1:47 am (UTC-4)
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“I don’t even know what blockchain is,” someone recently told Techtonics. So to demystify the latest buzzword in technology, blockchain is a secure, distributed digital ledger shared among all participants. For example, parties to a transaction agree to make blockchain the official source of record, say for a land deed. So they encode the deed […]

Social Media’s Live Streaming Woes; Microsoft Kills Mobile Passwords

Posted April 19th, 2017 at 11:56 am (UTC-4)
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Today’s tech Sightings: Saving Social Media as Live Streaming Murder Becomes New Normal It took Facebook three hours to take down one video. Before it did, the video showing the murder of a 74-year-old man in Cleveland was copied, circulated, and watched at least 1.6 million times. CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the issue on the […]