Mobile Tech Key to Migrant Health Care Solutions

Posted March 10th, 2017 at 11:33 am (UTC-4)
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Aid workers on the ground can use a digital portal to design appropriate medication labels and add the migrant languages they are working with to the system. The labels are attached to aid packs and can be scanned with a mobile phone for more information online. (Frontend/IOM)

Aid workers on the ground can use a digital portal to design appropriate medication labels and add the migrant languages they are working with to the system. The labels are attached to aid packs and can be scanned with a mobile phone for more information online. (Frontend/IOM)

More than 65 million people around the world are displaced and on the move with no access to health care. But mobile technology will soon change that, thanks to a partnership between design consultancy Frontend and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

When migrants and refugees fleeing their hometowns arrive at an emergency center or refugee camp, they typically receive health care, treatment and medications, among other assistance from aid groups. Once they leave to go back home or to other countries, they lose access to that care and any information surrounding it.

That is one of IOM’s key challenges – the mobility of health care and health care data. And it raises a lot of questions and difficulties for Frontend User Experience (UX) designer John Buckley. For him, it means aid groups will need to “change their practices to meet the reality on the ground” and take the service to end-users, wherever they are.

“Often times, displaced people were arriving at aid camps, receiving treatment and getting tested for various diseases and conditions, but moving on from the camp before the test results returned,” he said in an interview. “The aid agencies then have no way of relaying that information to the migrants or to the countries they were traveling to.”

But the prevalence of mobile devices among migrant populations offers aid organizations an opportunity to provide them with the same level of services they offer in emergency camps in Greece or Turkey, for example.

With help from students from various design colleges around the world and input from refugees and aid groups on the ground, the Irish firm and IOM came up with a new concept for a health care system that would address the challenge.

One such solution is an Electronic Health Record system that would allow migrants to get tested at the camps in Greece or Turkey and then use an app to access the results at a later date through their mobile phones, wherever they happen to be.

The idea is that the migrant, not a health system, “owned and had access to that information,” said Buckley. At the same time, the results are “translatable” so that “healthcare professionals in whichever jurisdiction could interpret the results for the patient.”

Part of the Future Bision of Migrant Health care is Remote Doctor Consulting, which will give more vulnerable migrants access to health care. (Frontend/IOM)

Part of the Future Vision of Migrant Health care is Remote Doctor Consulting, which will give more vulnerable migrants access to health care. (Frontend/IOM)

In the same way, patients on the move “could connect to an app and speak with a doctor in their own language through an IOM service,” he said. “This would alleviate difficulties migrants can face in terms of accessing health care in other countries.”

But an even bigger challenge is the way medications are currently labeled when they are distributed to migrants and refugees at emergency centers. Aid groups typically provide newcomers with medications in clear plastic bags, with different labels attached to them.

“There’s different types of labels by different agencies,” explained Buckley. “The medications, because they’re often donated or they’re always bought in bulk, will be single tablets … which may, depending on the provider, be different types of tablets.”

The pills a migrant or refugee receives could be yellow and oblong on some days, blue and round on others – a situation that promotes mistrust despite the fact that the medications are prescribed for that particular individual.

“They might not trust they have the tablet,” he said. “And so building a level of trust is vital.”

But that’s harder to do with the existing labels, which offer very basic information and little or no insight into the prescribed medication. “When you and I buy medication, we’ll have a full information leaflet,” he added. “We’ll have dosage information. There’s very little information on most of these packages.”

And while recipients at the camp can ask aid groups for clarification, they are on their own once they are on the move again.

The picture shows the design for a medication label for Paracetamol. Migrants who see similar labels attached to their aid packs can scan the label with their phones to look up further information about the medication online. (Frontend/IOM)

The picture shows the design for a medication label for Paracetamol. Migrants who see similar labels attached to their aid packs can scan the label with their phones to look up further information about the medication online. (Frontend/IOM)

But Frontend and IOM came up with an answer – an award-winning concept for a standardized label that all aid agencies can use.

The new label lets migrants with mobile phones scan a QR code to access more information about their medications. It also provides additional iconography and language for aid workers on the ground to customize the information for patients in different languages “so that a person with a mobile phone could scan that and get access to the information in their own language.”

Frontend and IOM are looking to partner with the World Health Organization to make the label a reality. In the process, Buckley hopes to promote human-centered design – understanding the needs of end-users first – as an effective way to tackle social issues.

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.

More Ads Stray Into Windows 10; Backup Files Before Next iOS Update

Posted March 9th, 2017 at 1:14 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

FILE - A display for the Windows 10 operating system is seen in a store window at the Microsoft store at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, New York. (Reuters)

FILE – A display for the Windows 10 operating system is seen in a store window at the Microsoft store at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, New York. (Reuters)

Microsoft Ads Invade Windows 10’s File Explorer

Microsoft is spamming Windows 10 systems with ads that are appearing in the file system. Some users report an ad about Office 365 hidden in an offer to expand cloud storage. Writer Ian Paul shares a tip to turn these ads off if you are one of numerous people who have been complaining about this intrusion on social media in the past few days.

The Next Version of iOS Will Feature Major but Hidden Change

When was the last time you backed up your iOS data? Writer Julie Bort suggests that you do before the next iOS version arrives. The update introduces a new filing structure to replace the previous, 30-year-old system. The catch is the change is not compatible with older files, so if your files go the way of the dinosaur, you’re going to wish you had them on a backup device.

Europol: Technology Is Now at Root of Almost All Serious Crime

Europe’s police agency is blaming technology for driving almost all serious crime. In a study of organized crime, the agency said ransomware has become a major concern, but many traditional criminals are now relying on computers, drones and social media to track their victims and determine the best time for them to go after their valuables.

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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.

Getting More Women Into Tech; Millions of Android Devices at Risk

Posted March 8th, 2017 at 1:03 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

Women perform behind "Glass Celling" during a rally to mark International Women's Day in Tbilisi, Georgia March 8, 2017. (Reuters)

Women perform behind a “Glass Celling” during a rally to mark International Women’s Day in Tbilisi, Georgia, March 8, 2017. (Reuters)

Microsoft, LinkedIn Encourage Girls to Pursue STEM on International Women’s Day

The World Economic Forum notes that only 16 percent of female students graduate from STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curricula. In the U.S., only 26 percent of employees in computer and mathematics jobs are women, according to the Department of Labor. In an effort to boost the numbers, Microsoft and LinkedIn have launched a campaign to encourage more women to go into STEM fields, aided by a tool called Career Explorer, which is designed to inspire women to pursue STEM studies.

Connecting Everything to the Internet: What Could Go Wrong?

Like it or not, Wi-Fi is about to connect every gadget in your life, regardless of how useless or unsafe. Writer Max Eddy argues Internet of Things (IoT) devices are lacking in utility as manufacturers roll them out without regard to privacy or security. But they are unsafe not just because they could be hijacked or compromised, but because manufacturers are siphoning off volumes of user data indiscriminately without being transparent about how this personal information is used and stored.

Hundreds of Millions of Android Devices at Risk

The fallout from Tuesday’s WikiLeaks’ dump of thousands of documents allegedly exposing a trove of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency hacking tools has sent gadget makers scrambling. Apple said it will quickly address all iOS vulnerabilities that supposedly allow the CIA to siphon off data from iPhones and iPads. But Samsung smart TVs and other Android devices are also said to be at risk. Several vulnerabilities still need to be addressed, mostly targeting Android 4.4 and earlier versions. Up to 33.4 percent of all active Android devices run Android 4.4 or older, according to Google.

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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.

Alleged CIA Hacking Kit Published; Danish Watchdog Calls Out Google

Posted March 7th, 2017 at 12:59 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

A screenshot from WikiLeaks' website shows the documents purportedly taken from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and revealing the extent of the agency's hacking powers. (WikiLeaks Website)

A screenshot from WikiLeaks’ website shows the documents purportedly taken from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and revealing the extent of the agency’s hacking powers. (WikiLeaks Website)

WikiLeaks Publishes CIA Trove Alleging Wide-scale Hacking

Thousands of documents, allegedly from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, have been dumped on the internet, purportedly exposing the agency’s massive trove of hacking tools. The documents were published by WikiLeaks, though it is unclear how the group gained access to them. The dump includes more than 8,700 documents and files pointing to discussions about ways to hack into smart televisions and mobile devices.

Danish Watchdog Reports Google for Unlimited Data Storage

A Danish consumer group has reported Google to the Danish Data Protection Agency for allegedly breaking privacy laws by not capping the storage of personal data on its servers. The group revealed in a report that “Google today has 9-10 years of data on users with a Google account.”  There has been no comment from Google yet.

Want to Chat Securely? Here’s What to Look for in an App

More and more chat apps are using end-to-end encryption to secure your communications so that third parties are unable to intercept them. But not all apps are created equal. Writer Selena Larson has a few tips to help you read the fine print to privacy and encryption and pick the messaging app that’s right for you.

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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.

Cope With Eating Disorders, ADHD and Smoking With These Apps

Posted March 3rd, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-4)
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A screenshot of 'Renew', the new program for 'Recovery Record', an app to help people with eating disorders. (Recovery Record)

A screenshot of “Renew’,” a new program for “Recovery Record’,” an app to help people with eating disorders. (Recovery Record)

A few months into 2017, some folks might still be having a hard time following up on their New Year’s resolutions and others may be looking for ways to change their behavior. But a few interesting apps that recently crossed Techtonics’ radar could nudge you in that direction and give you a helping hand.

Recovery Record’s Renew

Renew is a new program for free mobile app Recovery Record that targets people with eating disorders. Born out of a partnership between the National Eating Disorders Association and mental health platform Recovery Record, the program capitalizes on mobile penetration in the United States to reach millions of people with eating disorders who never receive the treatments they need.

Developed by Stanford University and the National Institute of Mental Health, the program uses insights from clinical trials and scientific research to guide individuals coping with eating disorders toward treatment options and developing strategies that work for them.

Similar apps around cognitive behavioral therapy include Rise Up + Recover and WhatsMyM3.

Kick.It

Out of Australia comes a new app to help smokers kick the habit for good. Kick.It uses extinction therapy to change the smoker’s behavior and provide support. When a smoker feels the urge to light up, he can log into the app instead and reach out for community support.

Other apps, both paid and free, that encourage smokers to kick the habit include Butt Out, Kwit, and Smoke Free.

iGotThis

iGotThis is a new app that focuses on helping children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) boost their self-esteem and productivity. The app, currently being funded in Kickstarter, provides a variety of activities to teach kids skills that reinforce good habits and put them on the path to success.

The app also helps parents improve communication and positive reinforcement, and provides them with planners, checklists and reminders to make their work easier. And when they need a little help, the app connects them with community support in real time.

ModMath, also in Kickstarter, is a free app that helps kids with ADHD deal with dysgraphia and

A screenshot shows options for recording notes in Titan Note. (Erik Jansson)

A screenshot shows options for recording notes in Titan Note. (Erik Jansson)

dyslexia. Dysgraphia makes the handwriting of affected children illegible and can cause problems for them when studying math and using correct numbers. With ModMath, children can use touch screens and on-screen keypads to do their math homework and then send it off to their teachers.

There’s also an older app called ADHD, which provides information and insights for better understanding of the disorder.

Titan Note and Titan Note App

Currently in its campaign phase in Indiegogo, Titan App is a small device that records spoken words and transmits them to the Titan Note app, available for iOS and Android, where they are transcribed in real-time. Users can edit the material and download it as needed. While the app is intended to make tedious note-taking a bit easier, it could also help people who have trouble using paper and pen, such as those coping with Multiple Sclerosis, Dystopia, or Parkinson’s disease.

Titan Note can also translate texts into 10 different languages, including Spanish, German, French, Italian and Danish.

Sounds great, but some people are skeptical.

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.

Jury Out on Online Suicide-prevention Tools; ‘TorrentLocker’ Is Back

Posted March 2nd, 2017 at 12:31 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

FILE - Facebook's User Operations Safety Team workers look at reviews at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. (AP)

FILE – Facebook’s User Operations Safety Team workers look at reviews at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. (AP)

Big Questions Surround Facebook’s Suicide-Prevention Tools

Facebook has been ramping up its suicide-prevention tools to include ways to encourage users to report people whose Facebook streams contain signs of self-injury. The person with the perceived suicidal tendencies then sees a message that provides resources for help. Writer Rachel Metz says experts see this as a move in the right direction, although there is no scientific evidence that these types of tools are effective.

Inventive Dad Builds Son a Bionic Arm Using 3-D Printer

Sol Ryan’s arm was amputated when he was only 10 days old. After his Welsh father, Ben, was told there was nothing doctors could do for his son until he is three years old, he came up with the idea of developing a bionic arm for him, using 3-D printing technology. The prototype, based on a scan of the child’s arm, imitates the way spiders move, using liquid pressure, and allows the child to grab and manipulate objects.

This Old Ransomware Variant Is Back – With Sneaky New Tricks

TorrentLocker ransomware, also known as CryptoLocker, is making a comeback after two years in hibernation. The revived variant uses emails marked ‘high importance’ that include a malicious attachment. Once downloaded, the virus steals credentials and demands ransom. The previous version targeted Windows users in 2014.

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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.

Uber’s Harassment Reality Check; Slack Bug Puts User Accounts at Risk

Posted March 1st, 2017 at 12:56 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick poses fpr a picture at the 89th Academy Awards - Oscars Vanity Fair Party in Beverly Hills, California, Feb 26, 2017. (Reuters)

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick poses for a picture at the 89th Academy Awards – Oscars Vanity Fair Party in Beverly Hills, California, Feb 26, 2017. (Reuters)

Uber Case Could Be Watershed for Women in Tech

The recent allegations of Uber’s culture of sexism and sexual harassment have put the tech sector and its diversity problems in the spotlight – again. But writer Farhad Manjoo argues the Uber case feels like a watershed that could trigger innovation and new momentum toward finding ways to remake a tech culture that has long sidelined women.

China’s Mobile Search Engine Baidu Goes Dark for Nearly 20 Minutes

Baidu, China’s Google equivalent, went dark for 18 minutes last night, according to media accounts and the search engine’s official account. Baidu, which boasts more than 665 million users, apologized for the mishap.

Slack Bug Grants Hackers Full Access to Your Account and Messages

Researchers with cybersecurity firm Detectify have uncovered a bug in the popular chat client Slack that lets hackers manipulate communications and hijack user accounts. With this vulnerability, hackers who trick users into opening a malicious page can steal their Slack tokens. The researcher who first discovered this was able to hang up other people’s calls, intercept messages, and several other alarming actions.

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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.

Digital Assistants Explored to Aid the Elderly; Hacking for Dementia

Posted February 28th, 2017 at 12:25 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

Amazon's Echo, an Internet-connected digital assistant that can be set up in a home or office to listen for various requests, such as songs, sports scores or the weather, is shown in New York, July 29, 2015. (AP)

Amazon’s Echo, an Internet-connected digital assistant that can be set up in a home or office to listen for various requests, such as songs, sports scores or the weather, is shown in New York, July 29, 2015. (AP)

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. The motion-detection program can send an alert from an elderly person’s home, for example, if it does not sense any movement for a prolonged period of time.

Nonprofit tech movement HackerNest is holding a coding session called DementiaHack in Toronto on March 4. The event is intended to raise awareness about dementia and encourage the development of products to help people with dementia and their caregivers.

This Tiny Chip Could Revolutionize Smartphone, IOT Security

A new chip unveiled at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, could significantly improve mobile security. The chip, developed by South Korean engineers at SK Telecom, can generate secure random numbers, which are then used to create encryption keys. These numbers have not been generated before with anything as small as this chip, a 5 millimeter square the size of a fingernail.

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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.

With Blockchain, Sub-Saharan Women Move Forward Without Bias

Posted February 24th, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-4)
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FILE - Women from a local cocoa farmers association lift a sack in a cocoa warehouse in Djangobo, Ivory Coast, Nov. 17, 2014. (Reuters)

FILE – Women from a local cocoa farmers association lift a sack in a cocoa warehouse in Djangobo, Ivory Coast, Nov. 17, 2014. (Reuters)

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 bring your uncle or brother or husband, and you still don’t get treated equally because they’re not trusting your data directly – Ashish Gadnis

When Ashish Gadnis, CEO of the financial tech company BanQu (pronounced “bank you”), was in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2014, one of the women farmers he worked with made a little money on her harvest and wanted to open a bank account. She couldn’t because of what Gadnis described as “dinosaur laws that [require] a male co-signing” for her.

“They were willing to help me open a bank account,” he said in an interview. “That’s where the name [of his company] comes from because the guys kept saying ‘we can’t bank her, but we can bank you’ … because she was a woman. And she had a piece of land, … she had microfinance, but she “was not recognized as a valid person to have an economic profile.”

That is one of the biggest problems for women in Sub-Sahara, said Gadnis. According to a 2014 report by the World Bank and the ONE Campaign, women account for nearly half of the agricultural workforce in the region, but “they tend to be locked out of land ownership, access to credit and productive farm inputs like fertilizers, pesticides and farming tools, support from extension services, and access to markets and other factors essential to their productivity.”

They are left behind, stressed Gadnis, because “they don’t have an identity … at an economic level that establishes their land rights, their harvest information, their microfinance loans, their mobile phone usage and things like that.”

To address the problem, BanQu uses blockchain to establish economic identities and proofs of record for people in extreme poverty zones.

Blockchain is a decentralized, trust-based ledger that lets all concerned parties verify their transactions by consensus. Instead of keeping multiple, separate balance sheets, all parties to a transaction can enter the record into a “block.” Once it is verified by consensus, it’s added to the “chain” and cannot be altered.

“The value of it is that you don’t have to rely on a central authority to validate anything that is stored on the blockchain,” said Joshua Forman of Colorado-based Forman Consulting, which focuses on the adoption and expansion of technology products in organizations

According to Gadnis, women farmers, migrant workers, and refugees who get aid from the United Nations or international non-governmental organizations, such as training and microfinancing, often don’t have access to that information.

“When the programs of these INGOs or social enterprises end, the woman farmer or the refugee does not have anything that they can basically collect in terms of their work history, their economic profile,” he said. “…That mother farmer – her data today is sitting in the microfinancing institutions database, the UN database, some INGO’s database, and she doesn’t have anything.”

With a blockchain profile that establishes ownership, business assets, and production values, the farmer can access her records using a mobile phone to present “proof of identity” or ask her bank to do so. That “is extremely empowering in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Gadnis, because it opens up access to finance, gender equality and various other opportunities for women and minorities.

“I saw this many, many times last year in Sub-Saharan Africa – women get a lower price on their grain because [they] are not visible on the supply chain,” he said. “Because the blockchain is a distributed trust network, the woman farmer now has equal rights because nobody can say that she doesn’t exist.”

The approach could also improve microfinancing terms for women, once they are more visible on the supply chain.

“Microfinance, while [it] has been good, it continues to be expensive,” Gadnis said. “… If I am a coffee buyer and I exactly knew who the farmers were in the trust network and what was their land, what was the rainfall, I can easily reduce the cost of borrowing. In fact, I can also use crop insurance at a lower cost because in a trust consensus network, I know that this is your land.”

While acknowledging that blockchain can peel away a layer of gender bias as it removes intermediaries from the equation, Forman said implementing it can be tricky and time-consuming because all parties to a transaction have to agree that the blockchain ledger is the source of record.

These records, such as land ownership deeds, typically are controlled by governments. “You’ll have to get through the bureaucracy to be able to make that the way that it’s done,” he said.

“The government first has to acknowledge that that will be the source and everybody who is going to buy, sell, lease land, is also going to have to agree that this is where the information will be stored,” he explained. “… So that’s a public policy and just a general social consensus that needs to occur.”

But once these challenges are met, Forman said the blockchain ledger, which cannot be falsified, will benefit landowners by cutting back on corruption and bureaucracy, and improving production and economic input.

For Gadnis, there is also a humanitarian value to blockchain that should be acknowledged. He said while only a handful of companies, including BanQu, are applying blockchain to developing countries, the technology can empower people in poverty and refugee zones by putting key parts of their information in their hands.

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.

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

Posted February 23rd, 2017 at 12:16 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

A man arrives at the Uber offices in Queens, New York, U.S., Feb. 2, 2017. (Reuters)

A man arrives at the Uber offices in Queens, New York, U.S., Feb. 2, 2017. (Reuters)

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, slurs and even threats of violence.

Google.org Is Committing $11.5 Million to Racial Justice

Google.org has renewed its commitment to reducing racial disparity in the U.S. criminal justice system with an additional $11.5 million. That’s on top of $3 million granted last year to 10 racial justice groups. Now Google.org has to identify the recipients of the new grant, half of which is focused on data science and transparency. The other half goes to new models of reform in the criminal justice system.

How to Scrub Your Private Data From ‘People Finder’ Sites

If you are trying to save the remaining vestiges of your privacy in an increasingly-connected world, there are still a few things you can do. Writer Fahmida Y. Rashid offers some useful tips to users who don’t mind the extra work to help them weed out their personal information from people finder sites.

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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.