BBC: US blacklists seven Chinese supercomputer groups

BBC: US blacklists seven Chinese supercomputer groups. “The US has blacklisted seven Chinese groups it accuses of building supercomputers to help its military. It is the first move by the Biden administration to make it harder for China to obtain US technology On Thursday, three companies and four branches of China’s National Supercomputing Center were added to the US blacklist.”

Arizona State University: Volunteers help SolarSPELL get back in action

Arizona State University: Volunteers help SolarSPELL get back in action. “Volunteers from the Phoenix Peace Corps Association and the Arizona State University community came together April 3 to build dozens of portable, digital SolarSPELL libraries. The small devices are powered by a solar panel connected to a rechargeable battery and a tiny computer built by Raspberry Pi. The small containers cast a Wi-Fi signal that allows any user to connect a smartphone, tablet or computer in areas with no telecommunciation infrastructure, and the libraries are loaded with relevant, localized educational information.”

Infosecurity Magazine: #WorldBackupDay: Pandemic Has Emphasized the Need for Backups

Infosecurity Magazine: #WorldBackupDay: Pandemic Has Emphasized the Need for Backups. “It is fair to say this year’s World Backup Day, held on March 31, takes on extra significance. This is not just because it is the 10th anniversary of this global campaign to educate people on the importance of backing up their digital documents as reliance on technology grows. It also comes around a year since countries throughout the world were plunged into lockdown restrictions in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19, leading to a shift to home working and a much greater reliance on the internet for everyday services.”

THIIS: Professional hub launches with searchable database of independent living tech

THIIS: Professional hub launches with searchable database of independent living tech. “ProAssist has been created by the charity Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) in partnership with the TEC Services Association (TSA), the national body for technology enabled care (TEC) services. With a searchable database of over 10,000 products from more than 900 retailers, this UK-wide resource helps identify the options across a wide range of technologies, from the latest digital devices to simple aids.”

ABA Journal: High tech can heighten discrimination; here are some policy recommendations for its ethical use

ABA Journal: High tech can heighten discrimination; here are some policy recommendations for its ethical use. “From federal surveillance of social justice protests to facial recognition technology that results in inordinately high false positives for certain demographic groups, recent surveillance trends have deep historical roots and troubling future implications for traditionally marginalized groups. These trends threaten our core constitutional values, democratic principles and the rule of law.”

The Register: Vietnam pursues ten-year AI plan, aspires to crack world’s top 50 for R&D by 2030

The Register: Vietnam pursues ten-year AI plan, aspires to crack world’s top 50 for R&D by 2030. “Vietnam has set off in pursuit of a ten-year plan to become a middle power in the field of artificial intelligence. The plan is extensive, but modest. By 2025 the nation hopes AI is ‘an important technology of Viet Nam’ and ‘among the top four countries in the ASEAN and in the group of 60 world’s leading countries in research, development and application of AI’.”

New York Times: Your Pandemic Tech Habits

New York Times: Your Pandemic Tech Habits. “I wrote last week about our pandemic-altered year of technology, and I asked On Tech readers to tell us what you loved or loathed about a more virtual life…. Here is a taste of readers’ views on technology that has helped them cope. The responses have been lightly edited.”

New York Times: Learning Apps Have Boomed in the Pandemic. Now Comes the Real Test.

New York Times: Learning Apps Have Boomed in the Pandemic. Now Comes the Real Test.. “Venture and equity financing for education technology start-ups has more than doubled, surging to $12.58 billion worldwide last year from $4.81 billion in 2019, according to a report from CB Insights, a firm that tracks start-ups and venture capital. During the same period, the number of laptops and tablets shipped to primary and secondary schools in the United States nearly doubled to 26.7 million, from 14 million, according to data from Futuresource Consulting, a market research company in Britain.”

IDC: Pandemic shifted consumer spending to wearables market (Neowin)

Neowin: IDC: Pandemic shifted consumer spending to wearables market. “The analyst firm IDC has reported that 444.7 million wearables units were shipped in 2020, representing an increase of 28.4% compared to 2019; according to IDC, this was a result of lockdowns which caused people to build up more disposable income. IDC also said the market saw a year-over-year increase in 4Q20 of 27.2% driven by the availability of new devices and reduced prices.”

BBC: China’s tech giants fall under regulator’s pressure

BBC: China’s tech giants fall under regulator’s pressure. “China’s tech giants are coming under increasing pressure from regulators worried about their growing influence. By Monday, Tencent had shed more than $60bn (£42bn) from its market value as its share price slid over concerns of greater regulator scrutiny. Media reports suggest that rival tech giant Alibaba may have to sell some of its media assets under the crackdown.”

Route Fifty: New Project Aims to Identify Local Government Assets at Risk of Cyberattack

Route Fifty: New Project Aims to Identify Local Government Assets at Risk of Cyberattack. “State and local governments are poised to get some extra help identifying critical technology systems that could be at risk of cyberattacks, as part of a new federal pilot program. The Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency will provide $1.2 million to fund the pilot, which will be overseen by the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio.”

Route Fifty: Pandemic Drives Phone, Computer ‘Right-to-Repair’ Bills

Route Fifty: Pandemic Drives Phone, Computer ‘Right-to-Repair’ Bills. “The legislation would loosen restrictions on manufacturers’ information and parts and allow small repair shops and handy device owners to do their own fixing. Manufacturers and distributors of brand-name products are opposed. They say unauthorized repairs are unsafe and compromise security by putting nonstandard components into machines which, they say, makes them more vulnerable to hacking. Supporters of the right-to-repair bills dispute those assertions.”

New York Times: Our Virtual Pandemic Year

New York Times: Our Virtual Pandemic Year. “Here are three things that I’ve learned in the past 12 months: Technology showed its utility by helping people and businesses manage through a crisis. Our increasingly digital lives have also created new problems that will be hard to fix. And the most important things have nothing to do with technology. Let’s talk about each of these.”

From Amazon to Zoom: A year of tech in the pandemic, by the numbers (Mashable)

Mashable: From Amazon to Zoom: A year of tech in the pandemic, by the numbers. “It’s impossible to fully quantify how the pandemic has affected Americans’ relationship with tech, but we know we’ve downloaded tons of news apps, streamed obscene hours of Netflix, and attempted to de-stress with YouTube yoga. Here’s our attempt to break down a very difficult and unusual year by the numbers.”