Україна хоче отримати 3-5 млрд доларів допомоги від стратегічних партнерів – ОП

Такі пакети допомоги стали б «додатковою подушкою» і могли б гарантувати стабільність фінансової системи України «незалежно від того, як розвиватиметься ситуація», вважають в Офісі президента …

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Nigerian Language Advocates Seek Inclusion of African Languages in Tech Devices

Voice-activated virtual assistant technologies, such as Siri and Alexa, are becoming increasingly common around the world, but in Africa, with its many languages, most people are at a digital disadvantage. To address the problem, some African researchers are creating translation tools to recognize and promote indigenous languages, such as Yoruba.  Yoruba language teacher Oluwafemi Awosanya resumes a day’s classes with his students. He has been teaching the language for 10 years, but says he often struggles to migrate his class modules to an online students’ blogsite he created because there is no speech recognition technology for Yoruba.   “Yoruba language is a language that has to do with signs at the top, so I need to go (the) extra mile. When typing my notes, I have to first type on Microsoft Word and even when I type on Microsoft Word it gives me best highlighting, like your words are not correct,” Awosanya said. Awosanya spends several hours manually editing and correcting his notes before uploading them to his blog.  He says despite technological advances in Africa, languages like Yoruba, one of the most commonly spoken in Nigeria, remain neglected, affecting his students.   “It limits knowledge. There are things you wish you want to educate the children on, things you want to exhibit in the classes…” Awosanya said. More than 2,000 distinct languages are spoken in Africa. Researchers say two-thirds of the native speakers miss out on emerging technologies due to language limitations in the tech world.  Nigerian writer and language advocate Kola Tubosun says the issue threatens Africa’s technological future. He has since been trying to promote inclusivity for his native Yoruba tongue.  He created an online Yoruba dictionary as well as a text-to-speech machine that translates English to Yoruba. He said the initiative was partly inspired by his grandfather, who could not read or write in English.  “If a language doesn’t exist in the technology space, it is almost as if it doesn’t exist at all. That is the way the world is structured today and in that you spend all your time online every day and the only language you encounter …

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Ляшко анонсував «покарання» керівників лікарень за недоплати лікарям і медсестрам

«Ситуація, коли на рахунках лежать десятки мільйонів гривень залишку, а медичний колектив працює за мінімалку – абсолютно неприпустима», заявив міністр …

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Nigerian Language Advocates Call for Including African Languages in High Tech Devices

Voice activated virtual assistant technologies, such as Siri and Alexa, are becoming increasingly common around the world but in Africa, with its many languages, most people are at a digital disadvantage.  To address the problem, some African researchers are creating translation tools to recognize and promote indigenous languages, such as Yoruba. Timothy Obiezu in Abuja has details. Camera: Emeka Gibson   …

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Delay in Creating New US Cybersecurity Board Prompts Concern

It’s a key part of President Joe Biden’s plans to fight major ransomware attacks and digital espionage campaigns: creating a board of experts that would investigate major incidents to see what went wrong and try to prevent the problems from happening again — much like a transportation safety board does with plane crashes. But eight months after Biden signed an executive order creating the Cyber Safety Review Board it still hasn’t been set up. That means critical tasks haven’t been completed, including an investigation of the massive SolarWinds espionage campaign first discovered more than a year ago. Russian hackers stole data from several federal agencies and private companies. Some supporters of the new board say the delay could hurt national security and comes amid growing concerns of a potential conflict with Russia over Ukraine that could involve nation-state cyberattacks. The FBI and other federal agencies recently released an advisory — aimed particularly at critical infrastructure like utilities — on Russian state hackers’ methods and techniques. “We will never get ahead of these threats if it takes us nearly a year to simply organize a group to investigate major breaches like SolarWinds,” said Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat who leads the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Such a delay is detrimental to our national security and I urge the administration to expedite its process.” Biden’s order, signed in May, gives the board 90 days to investigate the SolarWinds hack once it’s established. But there’s no timeline for creating the board itself, a job designated to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. In response to questions from The Associated Press, DHS said in a statement it was far along in setting it up and anticipated a “near-term announcement,” but did not address why the process has taken so long. Scott Shackelford, the cybersecurity program chair at Indiana University and an advocate for creating a cyber review board, said having a rigorous study about what happened in a past hack like SolarWinds is a way of helping prevent similar attacks. “It sure is taking, my goodness, quite a while to get it going,” …

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UAE Bans Flying of Recreational Drones After Fatal Attack

The United Arab Emirates has banned the flying of drones in the country for recreation after Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed a fatal drone attack on an oil facility and major airport in the country. As of Saturday, drone hobbyists and other operators of light electric sports aircraft face “legal liabilities” if caught flying the objects, the Interior Ministry said, adding it may grant exemptions to businesses seeking to film. A rare drone and missile strike on the capital of Abu Dhabi blew up several fuel tankers and killed three people last week. The Houthis, who hold Yemen’s capital and have fought a bloody, yearslong war with a Saudi-led military coalition that includes the UAE, claimed the assault. While the UAE has largely withdrawn troops from the stalemated conflict, the country continues to be a major player and support local militias on the ground. The UAE said the Houthis targeted the country with bomb-laden drones and cruise and ballistic missiles, adding the country had intercepted some of the projectiles. In response to the strike, the Saudi-led coalition has escalated attacks on the rebel-held parts of Yemen in the last week. Government regulations in the UAE already restrict flying drones in residential areas as well as near, around and over airports. Drone users typically must obtain a certificate from the civil aviation authorities.    …

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Facebook Removes Kurdish Pages Linked to Misinformation on Belarus Migrant Crisis

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has removed two popular Kurdish Facebook pages accused of spreading misinformation that helped convince thousands of Kurds to mass along the border of Belarus and Poland late last year. The two accounts, one from a Kurdish lawmaker with 143,000 followers and another belonging to a Kurdish journalist with nearly 270,000 followers, were spreading misinformation that falsely claimed Kurds who went to the Belarus-Poland border would be allowed into the European Union. There was no such immigration plan. Instead, frustrated crowds clashed with border guards and thousands were later deported.  The false posts were among many seen by Kurds who traveled to the border area and were interviewed by VOA. “We followed the crowd towards the Polish borders after rumors on Facebook. It resulted in nothing more than adversity for this destitute people,” said Hersh Saeed Ahmad, a Kurdish migrant in Belarus. But the accounts on Facebook continued to publish widely read posts until earlier this month when VOA contacted Meta asking if the pages were violating the company’s policies.  “Meta has decided both pages violated our policies for misinformation under Violence & Incitement Community Standards, and both have been taken down,” a spokesperson from the company told VOA in an email. The episode illustrates how the social media network continues to struggle to police even well-known spreaders of misinformation who are involved in high-profile news events, especially when misinformation is being published in languages other than English. Spreading misinformation  The Belarus-EU border crisis began last July and worsened by November, when thousands of migrants from the Middle East, North Africa and Iraqi Kurdistan, attempted to cross into the EU from Belarus. In mid-November, violence broke out at the Polish border when security forces used tear gas and water cannons to prevent migrants from breaking the border fencing. Polish police at the time reported several injuries in their ranks from migrants throwing stones at them. At the time, Facebook told news outlets that it was working to shut down information about human trafficking in the region. But two prominent Kurdish Facebook pages continued to traffic …

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Biden Pushes Expansion of Domestic Semiconductor Manufacturing

U.S. President Joe Biden touted a $20 billion investment by American technology company Intel to build a semiconductor factory in Ohio to address a global shortage that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S.-China trade war. In a speech from the White House on Friday, Biden said the Intel factory, part of the administration’s effort to work with the private sector, would create thousands of jobs. He urged Congress to pass legislation to further expand domestic chip manufacturing, framing it in the context of strategic competition with China. “Today 75% of the production takes place in East Asia; 90% of the most advanced chips are made in Taiwan,” Biden said. “China is doing everything it can to take over the global market so they can try to outcompete the rest of us.” Semiconductor chips function as the brains of cars, medical equipment, household appliances and electronic devices. The $20 billion factory is an initial investment, said Patrick Gelsinger, chief executive officer of Intel, at the White House event. “This site alone could grow to as much as $100 billion of total investment over the decade,” he said. The White House pointed to other investments in semiconductor manufacturing in the United States earlier this year by Samsung, Texas Instruments and Micron. “Congress can accelerate this progress by passing the U.S. Investment and Competition Act, also known as USICA, which the president has long championed and which he called for action on today,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki, referring to legislation that aims to strengthen research, development and manufacturing for critical supply chains to address semiconductor shortages. Driven by Washington’s desire to retain an edge over China’s technological ambitions, USICA was passed with rare bipartisan Senate support in June but still needs to be passed by the House of Representatives. It includes full funding for the CHIPS for America Act, which provides $52 billion to catalyze more private sector investments in the semiconductor industry. “The Chinese have been really clear. They want an indigenous chip industry. They want to be globally dominant, and that means displacing the U.S. and …

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Israel Probes Allegations Police Cyber-Spied on Citizens

Israel on Thursday launched an investigation into allegations police used the controversial Pegasus spyware on the country’s citizens. In a letter sent to police commander Koby Shabtai, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit asked to receive all wiretapping and computer spying orders from 2020 and 2021 in order to “verify allegations made in the media.” The Israeli business daily Calcalist reported Thursday that Israeli police used Pegasus software to spy on an Israeli they considered a potential threat and attempt to gather evidence that could be used as leverage in future investigations. According to the newspaper, which did not cite any sources, the police action represents a “danger to democracy.” Police commissioner Yaakov Shabtai, reacting to the story, said that “the police have not found any evidence to support this information.” “The Israeli police are fighting crime with all the legal means at their disposal,” Shabtai added in a statement. Israeli security forces have wide leeway to conduct surveillance within Israel with judicial approval. On Wednesday, Israel’s justice ministry pledged a full investigation into allegations that Pegasus spyware was used on Israeli citizens, including people who led protests of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Pegasus, a surveillance product made by the Israeli firm NSO that can turn a mobile phone into a pocket spying device, has remained a source of global controversy following revelations last year it was used to spy on journalists and dissidents worldwide. Once installed in a mobile phone, Pegasus allows access to the user’s messaging and data, as well as remote activation of the device for sound and image capture. NSO would neither confirm nor deny it sold technologies to Israeli police, stressing that it does “not operate the system once sold to its governmental customers and it is not involved in any way in the system’s operation.” “NSO sells its products under license and regulation to intelligence and law enforcement agencies to prevent terror and crime under court orders and the local laws of their countries,” it said in a statement sent to AFP. Israel’s defense ministry, which must approve all exports of Israeli-made defense industry products, …

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Senate Panel Moves Forward With Bill Targeting Big Tech

Legislation that would bar technology companies from favoring their own products in a way that undermines competitiveness moved forward Thursday after a Senate panel voted to move the bill to the Senate floor.  The American Innovation and Choice Online Act received bipartisan support in a 16-6 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  The bill targets Amazon; Alphabet, the parent company of Google; Apple; and Meta, which was formerly called Facebook.  The companies had worked strenuously to sink the bill, arguing it could disrupt their services.  Smaller tech companies that supported the bill argued it will benefit consumers through adding competition.  “This bill is not meant to break up Big Tech or destroy the products and services they offer,” said Senator Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the judiciary panel. “The goal of the bill is to prevent conduct that stifles competition.”  Matt Schruers, president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, was critical of the bill and said he thought it would not pass the full Senate.  “Antitrust policy should aim to promote consumer welfare — not punish specific companies,” he said in a statement.  Another bill aimed at Big Tech, which has bipartisan sponsorship, is also working its way through Congress. The Open App Markets Act would prevent the Apple and Google app stores from requiring app makers to use their payment systems.  The House of Representatives is also considering versions of both bills.  Some information for this report came from Reuters.  …

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