China Users on Banned Social Platforms Need Protection, Advocates Say

washington — Rights advocates are urging international social media platforms to do more to prevent Chinese authorities from obtaining the personal information of users. The call comes after two popular Chinese social media influencers alleged on X and YouTube that police in China were investigating their followers and had called some in for questioning. Social media …

Renewal of U.S.-China Science and Tech Pact Faces Hurdles

STATE DEPARTMENT — With a science and technology agreement between the United States and People’s Republic of China due to expire Tuesday, the State Department said it is negotiating to “amend, extend, and strengthen protections within” the agreement but declined to specify if the U.S. would extend the deal. “We are not able to provide information …

2 Exiled Chinese Bloggers Warn of Police Interrogating Their Followers

SHANGHAI — Two prominent Chinese bloggers in exile said that police were investigating their millions of followers on international social media platforms, in an escalation of Beijing’s attempts to clamp down on critical speech even outside of the country’s borders. Former state broadcaster CCTV journalist Wang Zhi’an and artist-turned-dissident Li Ying, both Chinese citizens known for …

Private US Lunar Lander Will Stop Working Tuesday 

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A private U.S. lunar lander is expected to stop working Tuesday, its mission cut short after landing sideways near the south pole of the moon. Intuitive Machines, the Houston company that built and flew the spacecraft, said Monday it will continue to collect data until sunlight no longer shines on the solar …

Japan Moon Lander Revives After Lunar Night

Tokyo — Japan’s moon lander has produced another surprise by waking up after the two-week lunar night, the country’s space agency said Monday. The unmanned Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) touched down last month at a wonky angle that left its solar panels facing the wrong way. As the sun’s angle shifted, it came back …

Tax-Free Status of Movie, Music and Games Traded Online Is on Table as WTO Nations Meet in Abu Dhabi

Geneva — Since late last century and the early days of the web, providers of digital media like Netflix and Spotify have had a free pass when it comes to international taxes on films, video games and music that are shipped across borders through the internet. But now, a global consensus on the issue may be …

Productivity Surge Helps Explain US Economy’s Surprising Resilience 

Washington — Trying to keep up with customer demand, Batesville Tool & Die began seeking 70 people to hire last year. It wasn’t easy. Attracting factory workers to a community of 7,300 in the Indiana countryside was a tough sell, especially having to compete with big-name manufacturers nearby like Honda and Cummins Engine.  Job seekers were …

Chip Giant TSMC Shifts From Hotspot Taiwan With Japan Plant

TOKYO — Chip giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. opened its first semiconductor plant in Japan Saturday as part of its ongoing global expansion. “We are deeply grateful for the seamless support provided by you at every step,” TSMC Chairman Mark Liu said after thanking the Japanese government, local community and business partners, including electronic giant Sony …

Head of Boeing’s 737 MAX Program Leaves After Midair Incident

WASHINGTON — Boeing said on Wednesday it was replacing the head of its troubled 737 MAX program effective immediately, the first major executive departure since the January 5 midair panel blowout of a new Alaska Airlines MAX 9.  Ed Clark, who had been with the plane-maker for nearly 18 years, departed as Boeing has been dealing …

US Chip Controls Threaten China’s Technology Ambitions

Furious at U.S. efforts that cut off access to technology to make advanced computer chips, China’s leaders appear to be struggling to figure out how to retaliate without hurting their own ambitions in telecoms, artificial intelligence and other industries. Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s government sees the chips — which are used in everything from phones …

Biden Eyes AI Dangers, Says Tech Companies Must Make Sure Products are Safe

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday it remains to be seen whether artificial intelligence (AI) is dangerous, but underscored that technology companies had a responsibility to ensure their products were safe before making them public.  Biden told science and technology advisers that AI could help in addressing disease and climate change, but it was …

Ukraine’s Destruction Brought to Life Through Virtual Reality Exhibit

An exhibition currently on display in Poland uses virtual reality to show the level of destruction Russia’s war has brought on Ukraine. For some visitors, the VR videos that can be viewed at the “Through the War” display have been overwhelming. Lesia Bakalets reports from Warsaw. Daniil Batushchak. …

US-Trained Woman Teaching Digital Skills to Children in Rural Kenya

The digital divide is one of the biggest challenges to education in sub-Saharan Africa, where the United Nations says nearly 90% of students lack access to household computers, and 82% to the internet. In Kenya, the aid group TechLit Africa aims to change that by building scores of computer labs. Juma Majanga reports from Mogotio, …

TikTok Fined $15.9M by UK Watchdog for Misuse of Kids’ Data

Britain’s privacy watchdog hit TikTok with a multimillion-dollar penalty Tuesday for misusing children’s data and violating other protections for users’ personal information. The Information Commissioner’s Office said it issued a fine of $15.9 million to the short-video sharing app, which is wildly popular with young people. It’s the latest example of tighter scrutiny that TikTok …

Australia Bans TikTok on Government Devices

Australia said Tuesday it will ban TikTok on government devices, joining a growing list of Western nations cracking down on the Chinese-owned app due to national security fears.    Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the decision followed advice from the country’s intelligence agencies and would begin “as soon as practicable”.    Australia is the last member of the …

Virgin Orbit Files for Bankruptcy, Seeks Buyer

Virgin Orbit, the satellite launch company founded by Richard Branson, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will sell the business, the firm said in a statement Tuesday.    The California-based company said last week it was laying off 85% of its employees — around 675 people — to reduce expenses due to its inability to secure sufficient funding.    …

Germany Could Block ChatGPT if Needed, Says Data Protection Chief

Germany could follow in Italy’s footsteps by blocking ChatGPT over data security concerns, the German commissioner for data protection told the Handelsblatt newspaper in comments published on Monday. Microsoft-backed MSFT.O OpenAI took ChatGPT offline in Italy on Friday after the national data agency banned the chatbot temporarily and launched an investigation into a suspected breach …

NASA to Reveal Crew for 2024 Flight Around the Moon

NASA is to reveal the names on Monday of the astronauts — three Americans and a Canadian — who will fly around the Moon next year, a prelude to returning humans to the lunar surface for the first time in a half century.    The mission, Artemis II, is scheduled to take place in November 2024 with the four-person …

Twitter Pulls ‘Verified’ Check Mark From Main New York Times Account

Twitter has removed the verification check mark on the main account of The New York Times, one of CEO Elon Musk’s most despised news organizations. The removal comes as many of Twitter’s high-profile users are bracing for the loss of the blue check marks that helped verify their identity and distinguish them from impostors on …

Dutch Refinery to Feed Airlines’ Thirst for Clean Fuel 

Scaffolding and green pipes envelop a refinery in the port of Rotterdam where Finnish giant Neste is preparing to significantly boost production of sustainable aviation fuel.  Switching to non-fossil aviation fuels that produce less net greenhouse gas emissions is key to plans to decarbonize air transport, a significant contributor to global warming.  Neste, the largest …

Italy Temporarily Blocks ChatGPT Over Privacy Concerns

Italy is temporarily blocking the artificial intelligence software ChatGPT in the wake of a data breach as it investigates a possible violation of stringent European Union data protection rules, the government’s privacy watchdog said Friday. The Italian Data Protection Authority said it was taking provisional action “until ChatGPT respects privacy,” including temporarily limiting the company …

Namibia Looks East for Green Hydrogen Partnerships

The administrator of the National Energy Administration of China, Zhang Jinhua, on Friday paid a visit to Namibia President Hage Geingob. The visit is aimed at establishing cooperation in the area of green hydrogen production. Namibia is positioning itself as a future green hydrogen producer to attract investment from the globe’s leading and fastest growing …

Call for Pause in AI Development May Fall on Deaf Ears

A group of influential figures from Silicon Valley and the larger tech community released an open letter this week calling for a pause in the development of powerful artificial intelligence programs, arguing that they present unpredictable dangers to society. The organization that created the open letter, the Future of Life Institute, said the recent rollout …