Facebook owner Meta to lay off 11,000 staff

by Juliette MICHEL with Joseph BOYLE in Paris Agence France Presse New York, United States (AFP) — Facebook owner Meta will lay off more than 11,000 of its staff in “the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” boss Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday. He said the cuts represented 13 percent of the social media titan’s workforce and would affect its research lab focusing on the metaverse as well as its apps, which include […]

Hackers leak Australian health records on dark web

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Hackers on Wednesday began leaking sensitive medical records stolen from a major Australian health insurer that had earlier refused to pay the group’s ransom demand. Medibank told investors and customers that a “sample” of data from some 9.7 million clients had been posted on a “dark web forum”. Names, birth dates, addresses, passport numbers and information on medical claims were among the sensitive personal data posted anonymously early Wednesday. Medibank said […]

Pictures: Last Total Lunar Eclipse until 2025

  (NASA) On November 8, 2022, the Moon passed fully into Earth’s shadow and produced a total lunar eclipse. Totality took place between 5:17 a.m. and 6:42 a.m. EST (10:17 and 11:42 UTC), with the partial and penumbral phases of the eclipse continuing until 8:50 a.m. EST (13:50 UTC). The next total lunar eclipse will occur on March 14, 2025  – though we will continue to see partial and penumbral lunar eclipses during that time. […]

Defectors seek alternatives to Musk-owned Twitter

by Daniel HOFFMAN Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, users irked by the platform’s new regime have vowed to move their online presence elsewhere, with German-owned Mastodon attracting the most attention. Musk’s first moves have been a shock to some. Just a week after taking over the reins of Twitter, the owner of SpaceX and Tesla launched radical changes by firing thousands of staff, promising the return of banned […]

Google wants AI in one thousand languages

New York, United States | AFP | Google on Wednesday said it wanted to develop artificial intelligence using the world’s one thousand most spoken languages as tech giants compete to dominate the internet’s next battleground. Data is crucial to advances in AI, and Google and its big tech rivals want to tap information to help make products perform better and be more available to the widest possible audience. “Imagine a new internet user in Africa […]

Plea from Ukraine first lady kicks off annual tech summit in Portugal

  Lisbon, Portugal | AFP | One of the world’s biggest tech conferences will get going in Lisbon on Wednesday, after Ukraine’s first lady formally opened the event by urging participants to use their skills to save lives rather than end them. Olena Zelenska told an audience of several thousand at the Web Summit’s opening ceremony late on Tuesday not to put “technology at the service of terror” — unlike some in Russia. “Some IT […]

Musk announces $8 monthly charge for verified Twitter accounts

by Julie JAMMOT Agence France-Presse SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — New Twitter head Elon Musk said Tuesday the site will charge $8 per month to verify users’ accounts, arguing the plan would solve the platform’s issues with bots and trolls while creating a new revenue stream for the company. The announcement comes only days after the world’s wealthiest man took sole control of the social media giant in a contentious $44 billion deal. “Power […]

Meteorite that smashed into Mars shook planet, NASA says

Washington, United States | AFP | by Lucie AUBOURG Scientists who study Mars on Thursday revealed the remarkable gift they received from the planet last year. On December 24, 2021, a meteorite hit Mars’ surface, triggering magnitude 4 tremors, which were detected by NASA’s InSight spacecraft  — which landed on the planet four years ago — some 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers) away. The true origin of this so-called marsquake was only confirmed when the Mars […]

YouTube to certify health care providers’ accounts

Washington, United States (AFP) — Doctors, nurses and other health care professionals can apply to have their YouTube channels certified, the video sharing platform said Thursday, in a push to limit misinformation on the site. The change will allow viewers to more easily access videos containing “high-quality health information,” YouTube said. “This is a big step towards helping people more easily find and connect with content that comes from the extraordinary community of healthcare professionals […]

China Covid curbs disrupt production at world’s biggest iPhone factory

  Beijing, China | AFP | Wednesday  Millions of people in China were under tight Covid restrictions on Wednesday as sporadic outbreaks across the country prompted business closures and disruption at the world’s largest iPhone factory. China is the last major economy welded to a zero-Covid strategy, persisting with snap lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines in a bid to keep infections to a minimum. But fast-spreading virus variants have challenged that approach in recent […]

Partial solar eclipse begins in Iceland headed towards India

Paris, France | AFP | A partial solar eclipse began over Iceland on Tuesday as the rare celestial spectacle started to make its way east across a swathe of the Northern Hemisphere. The partial eclipse began at 0858 GMT and will end off the coast of India at 1302 GMT, crossing parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East on its way, according to the IMCCE institute of France’s Paris Observatory. Amateur astronomers must […]

Partial solar eclipse from Iceland to India on Tuesday

  Paris, France | AFP | A partial solar eclipse will be visible across a swathe of the Northern Hemisphere on Tuesday, with amateur astronomers warned to take care watching the rare phenomenon. The eclipse will start at 0858 GMT in Iceland and end off the coast of India at 1302 GMT, crossing Europe, North Africa and the Middle East on its way, according to the IMCCE institute of France’s Paris Observatory. Solar eclipses occur […]