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The arrival of the pandemic intensified feelings of loneliness and social isolation for millions of older people, many of whom were already battling depression and other health issues. For those struggling, a robot companion might make a difference, and states like New York are starting to provide them to residents…

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine appears to be having an unanticipated impact in cyberspace — a decrease in the number of ransomware attacks.  “We have seen a recent decline since the Ukrainian invasion,” Rob Joyce, the U.S. National Security Agency’s director of cybersecurity, told a virtual forum Wednesday.  Joyce said one…

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Meta, the company that owns Facebook, is hosting its second annual Africa Day campaign to promote Africans who are making a global impact. The content producer for the film project, South African filmmaker Tarryn Crossman, said Meta identified eight innovators, creators and businesspeople on the continent whose stories the company…

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 Facebook parent Meta said it will start publicly providing more details about how advertisers target people with political ads just months ahead of the U.S. midterm elections.  The announcement follows years of criticism that the social media platforms withhold too much information about how campaigns, special interest groups and politicians…

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A South African company that promotes solar power and uses crowdsourcing to raise capital is financing a solar-powered farm in Zimbabwe that is also benefiting neighboring farmers. The company, The Sun Exchange, raised $1.4 million for the farm. Columbus Mavhunga reports from Marondera, Zimbabwe. …

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When Chandler Jones realized she was pregnant during her junior year of college, she turned to a trusted source for information and advice. Her cellphone. “I couldn’t imagine before the internet, trying to navigate this,” said Jones, 26, who graduated Tuesday from the University of Baltimore School of Law. “I…

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The Apple Store at Union Square, the heart of San Francisco’s upscale tourist district, had drawn more than 30 customers within a few minutes of opening Friday morning. Visitors, couples and even a preschool-age boy browsed the atrium packed with iPhone 13s and watches to try out. A sign urged…

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The Ukrainian government is using facial recognition software to identify Russian soldiers captured and dead. VOA’s Julie Taboh spoke with one software company CEO and an official with the Ukrainian national police about how the technology is contributing to the war effort …

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Canada will ban Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE from its 5G wireless networks because of national security concerns, officials said Thursday.  The long-awaited move follows those of the United States and other key allies and comes on the heels of a diplomatic row between Ottawa and Beijing over the…

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Twitter is stepping up its fight against misinformation with a new policy cracking down on posts that spread potentially dangerous false stories. The change is part of a broader effort to promote accurate information during times of conflict or crisis.  Starting Thursday, the platform will no longer automatically recommend or…

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In February, the Nigerian technology startup CrowdForce announced a big break: It had received $3.6 million from investors to expand its financial services operations to many more underserved communities.   Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Tomi Ayorinde said new funding will boost its mobile agent network from 7,000 to 21,000 this year….

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk says his deal to buy Twitter can’t move forward unless the company shows public proof that less than 5% of the accounts on the social media platform are fake or spam. Musk made the comment in a reply to another user on Twitter early Tuesday. He…

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When he was 20 years old, Harel Hershtik planned and executed a murder, a crime that a quarter of a century later is still widely remembered for its grisly details. Today, he is the brains behind an Israeli health-tech startup, poised to make millions of dollars with the backing of…

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Six historically Black universities in five Southern states will be getting the first IBM cybersecurity centers aimed at training underrepresented communities, the company said. The schools are Xavier University of Louisiana, that state’s Southern University System, North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State, Clark Atlanta and Morgan State universities, according to…

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Elon Musk said on Friday his $44-billion deal for Twitter Inc was temporarily on hold, citing pending details on spam and fake accounts. “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk said in a tweet. Shares of…

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The “metaverse” has been touted as the next digital shift, 3-dimensional online spaces where people will shop, work, play games, and go to concerts. VOA’s Michelle Quinn is looking at what the Metaverse is or might be. VOA footage and video editing by Matt Dibble. …

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Africa, in recent years, has become the new frontier where China and the United States, the world’s two biggest economic superpowers, are competing for influence in a key industry: telecommunications. This week, Ethiopia celebrated the launch of a 5G network powered by China’s telecom giant Huawei in Addis Ababa. Just…

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Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Tuesday he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms.  Via Twitter, the billionaire philanthropist said he will isolate until he is again healthy.  “I’m fortunate to be vaccinated and boosted and have access to testing and great medical care,” Gates wrote.  The…

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Elon Musk on Tuesday said he would reinstate former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.  The Tesla CEO who’s vying to buy Twitter and take it private for a reported price tag of $44 billion made the comment at the Financial Times Future of the Car conference.  “I do think that…

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The Biden administration announced on Monday that 20 internet companies have agreed to provide discounted service to people with low incomes, a program that could effectively make tens of millions of households across the U.S. eligible for free service through an already existing federal subsidy. The $1 trillion infrastructure package…

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