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Musk Faces Deposition With Twitter Ahead of October Trial

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is scheduled to spend the next few days with lawyers for Twitter, answering questions ahead of an October trial that will determine whether he must carry through with his $44 billion agreement to acquire the social platform after attempting to back out of the deal. The deposition, planned for Monday, Tuesday and a possible extension on Wednesday, will not be public. As of Sunday evening, it was not clear whether Musk will appear in person or by video. The trial is set to begin October 17 …


VOA Interview: Anne Neuberger

With Russian President Vladimir Putin accelerating war efforts and threatening to use nuclear weapons, White House Bureau Chief Patsy Widakuswara spoke with Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology at the Biden administration’s National Security Council, on the possibility of increased cyber warfare on Ukraine and her allies. Neuberger also spoke of the recent Iranian cyberattacks on Albania, and the administration’s view of NATO’s collective defense principle in cyber warfare. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. VOA: Anne Nueberger, thank you so much …


Experts Warn US Is Falling Behind China in Key Technologies

At a gathering of current and former U.S. officials and private-sector executives Friday in Washington, concern was rampant that the United States has fallen behind China in the development of several key technologies, and that it faces an uncertain future in which other countries could challenge its historic dominance in the development of cutting-edge communications and computing technology. The gathering was convened by the Special Competitive Studies Project, an effort spearheaded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, the stated purpose of which is “to ensure that America is positioned and …


Privacy Threatened as More Governments Use Spyware to Monitor Their People

A U.N. report warns the right to privacy is under siege as an increasing number of governments are using spyware to keep tabs on their people. The U.N. human rights office said urgent steps are needed to address the spread of spyware. It noted many governments are using modern digital networked technologies to monitor, control and oppress their populations. U.N. officials say the technologies must be reined in and regulated in accord with international human rights laws and standards. Human rights spokeswoman Liz Throssell said the report details how surveillance …


YouTube, Meta Will Expand Policies, Research to Fight Online Extremism

Major tech companies on Thursday committed to taking fresh steps to combat online extremism by removing more violent content and promoting media literacy with young users, as part of a White House summit on fighting hate-fueled violence. Platforms such as Alphabet’s YouTube and Meta’s Facebook have come under fire for years from critics who say the companies have allowed hate speech, lies and violent rhetoric to flourish on their services. U.S. President Joe Biden earlier Thursday called on Americans to combat racism and extremism during a summit at the White …


With $19.5 Billion Investment, India Joins Global Race to Make Semiconductors

India’s ambitions to create a domestic semiconductor manufacturing capability got a boost with this week’s announcement of a $ 19.5 billion investment by Taiwanese electronic company Foxconn and local conglomerate Vedanta. The companies will set up manufacturing facilities for producing the chips in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, Gujarat. The plants are expected to be operational by 2024. Modi called the agreement an important step in “accelerating India’s semi-conductor manufacturing ambitions” in a tweet Tuesday following the announcement. India has joined the global race to make the chips at …


Whistleblower Tells Senators of Twitter Security Flaws

U.S. senators expressed empathy with Twitter’s former security chief during a hearing on Tuesday as he outlined serious concerns about the influential social media platform. “It doesn’t matter who has keys if you don’t have any locks on the doors. And this kind of vulnerability is not in the abstract. It’s not far-fetched to say an employee in the company could take over the accounts of all of the senators in this room,” said Peiter “Mudge” Zatko in testimony before the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. “Given the real harm to users …


Twitter Whistleblower Bringing Security Warnings to Congress

Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, the Twitter whistleblower who is warning of security flaws, privacy threats and lax controls at the social platform, will take his case to Congress Tuesday.  Senators who will hear Zatko’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee are alarmed by his Twitter allegations at a time of heightened concern over the safety of powerful tech platforms.  It’s Zatko’s second Capitol Hill appearance, and in some ways a 21st-century echo of his first. In 1998, he testified before a Senate panel along with fellow members of a hacker collective …


Ethereum Blockchain Set for ‘Monumental’ Overhaul

An army of computer programmers scattered across the globe is set to attempt one of the biggest software upgrades the crypto sector has ever seen this week to reduce its environmentally unfriendly energy consumption. Developers have spent years working on a more energy-efficient version of the ethereum blockchain, a digital ledger that underpins a multibillion-dollar ecosystem of cryptocurrencies, digital tokens (NFTs), games and apps. Ethereum — the second most important blockchain after bitcoin — burns through more power each year than New Zealand. Experts say the changeover, expected to take …


Voice-Operated Smartphones Target Africa’s Illiterate

Voice-operated smartphones are aiming at a vast yet widely overlooked market in sub-Saharan Africa — the tens of millions of people who face huge challenges in life because they cannot read or write. In Ivory Coast, a so-called “Superphone” using a vocal assistant that responds to commands in a local language is being pitched to the large segment of the population — as many as 40 percent — who are illiterate. Developed and assembled locally, the phone is designed to make everyday tasks more accessible, from understanding a document and …


US Moves to Keep Advanced Semiconductor Technology Out of China

Companies that accept U.S. funding under a plan to build up America’s computer chip-making capacity will be barred from establishing advanced fabrication facilities in China for 10 years, the administration of President Joe Biden announced this week. The Commerce Department rolled out its plan to distribute $50 billion provided by the CHIPS Act, which Biden signed into law last month. In an appearance at the White House on Tuesday, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the rules include specific language on transferring technology to China. “Companies who receive CHIP funds can’t …


Apple Offers Adventure Watch, Satellite SOS iPhone — and Steady Prices

Apple on Wednesday avoided price hikes of its best-selling iPhones during its biggest product launch of the year, focusing on safety upgrades rather than flashy new technical specs, with the exception of a new adventure-focused watch.  The iPhone maker leaned into safety technologies, like the ability to detect a car accident and summon a rescue from a remote mountaintop, to add allure to its devices. Apple positioned itself as the brand to allow users to pursue excitement and adventure — with a safety net.  Such intangible features “are the things …