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

Emojis Tackle Language Disorders; Parsing Future Tech From Fiction

Posted April 25th, 2017 at 1:52 pm (UTC-5)
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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-5)
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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-5)
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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 […]

Murder, Graphic Content Haunt Facebook; Android Pay, PayPal Team Up

Posted April 18th, 2017 at 11:54 am (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Facebook Kicks Off F8 Developer Conference Amid Murder Controversy CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a lot to talk about at Tuesday’s F8 developer conference in San Jose, California. But his keynote speech comes at an inopportune time as the social media giant grapples with violent videos of murder, torture and rape. In the […]

‘Let Girls Learn’ Brings Education Tech to Rural Ghana

Posted April 14th, 2017 at 11:35 am (UTC-5)
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More than 62 million girls around the world are not attending school. But through the U.S. government’s ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative, a multilateral effort is putting education technology and a future at their fingertips. In parts of the developing world, girls are expected to do house chores, care for siblings, and fetch water. But they […]

Kids Lose Sleep With Touchscreen Use; an Argument for Editing Tweets

Posted April 13th, 2017 at 12:03 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Study: Kids Who Use Touchscreen Devices Sleep Less at Night Earlier research has linked television and video games to sleep problems, but for the first time, a new study appearing in the Scientific Advances journal, looked at the use of mobile touchscreen devices among children. The study found that infants and toddlers […]

Brexit Vote Site May Have Been Hacked; Net Neutrality Fight Begins

Posted April 12th, 2017 at 1:44 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: UK Lawmakers: Brexit Referendum Website Might Have Been Hacked Rumors of possible manipulations swirled early on in last year’s Brexit referendum saga. But now, a UK legislative committee says the website that allowed more than a million potential voters to register for the referendum might have been hacked. Last June, the British […]

Social Media Use Skyrocketing; Google Denies Bias Against Women

Posted April 11th, 2017 at 12:57 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Social Media Gains 14 New Users Every Second Internet users around the world have increased by one percent since January of 2017, accounting for more than 3.8 billion people. The percentage represents an increase of 28 million people. And in the past three months alone, nearly 110 million people started using social […]

Few Women in IT, Cloud Computing, but It’s Complicated

Posted April 7th, 2017 at 11:35 am (UTC-5)
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Women comprise only about 11 percent of the information security workforce and are equally underrepresented in cloud technologies in some regions, according to two new studies. But as some experts point out, this is only one part of a much bigger picture. Despite growing demand for IT talent, the percentage has remained unchanged since 2013. […]

Twitter Eyes India Expansion; Facebook Goes After Fake News – Again

Posted April 6th, 2017 at 1:52 pm (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Twitter Pushes Into Countries With Poor Connectivity Twitter’s latest “Twitter Lite” mobile service, a faster, more data-efficient version of the microblogging service, will target parts of the world where connectivity is spotty in an effort to add new users. Twitter Lite will be rolled out globally, but is primarily aimed at India, […]