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04
AUG

Microsoft in Talks to Buy TikTok in US

Microsoft confirmed that it has held talks with Chinese technology company ByteDance to acquire its popular social app TikTok in the United States. Microsoft said it will work with the U.S. government on a deal that they hope to wrap by September 15.  Matt Dibble has the story. 
27
JUL

Technology Works Behind the Scenes to Keep US Mail-in Voting Secure

It’s going to be a record year for voting by mail in the U.S. election and that has raised security concerns about each step of the process.  
 
But election officials say they have systems in place to make voting by mail a success even as health concerns about voting during the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing states to expand their current vote-by-mail options.
 
“Somewhere between 90 million and 105 million ballots might come through the mail,” said Eddie Perez, global director of technology development at the OSET Institute, a nonprofit election technology organization. “If what we're seeing in other primary elections is any guide, it's probably safe to estimate that somewhere between 65% and 75% of all ballots cast in the November election might come by mail.”
“That's a very, very significant volume of mail,” he added.
 
To get an idea of how significant, the share of voters who cast ballots via mail-in methods increased nearly threefold between 1996 and 2016 – from 7.8% to nearly 21%, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the Census Bureau’s voter supplement data. Of course, the total number of voters in each election wasn’t the same, and isn’t known for 2020, so the comparison is imprecise. But the leap from nearly 21% to 75% or even 65% of all votes coming by mail is significant.
 
Numerous logistical and security challenges must be met to make sure voting by mail goes smoothly. Of particular concern is the security of states’ voter registration databases, which could be a rich target for hackers.  
 
Still, election experts say that the mail-in voting process has checks throughout, enhanced by technology and election software, starting with the ballot sent to the voter.  
 
“Sometimes you hear talk as if blank ballots are simply being sent out into the world almost willy-nilly without control,” Perez said. “And that's simply not the case. There’s always a tight association between a voter whose eligibility has already been verified and the step of actually sending that voter a ballot.”  Sorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
download this video to view it offline.360p | 7 MB480p | 11 MB540p | 15 MB720p | 28 MB1080p | 50 MBOriginal | 67 MB Embed" /> Download AudioRunning digital traps
 
Once the voter mails in or drops off the ballot, the county’s voting software system goes to work. Digital scanners take images of the ballot envelope ...
06
JUL

Will New American CEO Change TikTok's Image in US?

Kevin Mayer, a former executive at Disney, recently started his new role as TikTok’s new CEO. He must prove to American lawmakers, regulators and consumers that they can trust the Chinese-owned app with their data, which analysts say won’t be easy. VOA’s Adrianna Zhang has more.
Camera: Yiyi Yang
03
JUL

Facebook Advertisers Boycott, Demand Changes

Companies such as Coca-Cola, Adidas, Ford and Lego are boycotting Facebook this month, pulling ads that appear on the social network in the United States. Some advertisers are part of an organized boycott demanding the company do more to crack down on hate speech, conspiracies and misinformation on its site on topics such as voting. Facebook has responded with some changes but will it be enough? Michelle Quinn reports
19
JUN

Trump vs. Twitter: The Debate Over Free Speech and Censorship in Social Media

Twitter has been important in burnishing the image President Donald Trump wants to portray of a brash straight-talking politician, but the social media company has recently begun to flag Trump's tweets when they are deemed misleading. Other online platforms like Facebook and Snap are making their own decisions about content. Tina Trinh reports.Produced by: Tina Trinh 
 
18
JUN

COVID-19 Sparks Technology Innovation

Engineers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, are developing new technology for health care workers on the front lines of fighting the spread of COVID-19. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, an unexpected benefit of the current pandemic is technological innovation that could have a lasting impact.Camera: Kane Farabaugh        Produced by: Rob Raffaele
07
JUN

Virginia NGO Provides Computer Lessons To Low-Income Immigrants

A Virginia NGO called Computer CORE helps low-income immigrants master using computers in order to help them find jobs. However, the coronavirus pandemic has made life hard for the organization because so few of the students have computers or an internet connection at home. VOA’s Maxim Moskalkov has the story. Camera: Sergey Sokolov      
05
JUN

Virginia NGO Gives Free Computer Lessons to Low-Income Immigrants

A Virginia NGO called Computer CORE helps low-income immigrants master using computers in order to help them find jobs. However, the coronavirus pandemic has made life hard for the organization because so few of the students have computers or an internet connection at home. VOA’s Maxim Moskalkov has the story.
Camera: Sergey Sokolov
03
JUN

Silicon Vallery Entrepreneurs Reach Out to Help Venezuela

A group of young professionals in California’s Silicon Valley has created a non-profit organization called “Code for Venezuela,” dedicated to bringing together tech innovators to solve the most pressing needs of the South American nation.  The group’s latest initiative aims to help residents in Venezuela find information about COVID-19.   Cristina Caicedo Smit has the story

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