A Gastronomical Virtual Experience: Enjoying the Taste of Food Without the Calories

Through a headset around the head and over the eyes, virtual reality can take us to computer-generated environments very different from the physical environment we’re in. Now, virtual reality technology is offering the food industry a new life. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, virtual reality can change the future of our dining experiences and make food tastier and healthier. Faith Lapidus narrates. …

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UN Panel Agrees to Move Ahead With Debate on ‘Killer Robots’

A U.N. panel agreed Friday to move ahead with talks to define and possibly set limits on weapons that can kill without human involvement, as human rights groups said governments are moving too slowly to keep up with advances in artificial intelligence that could put computers in control one day. Advocacy groups warned about the threats posed by such “killer robots” and aired a chilling video illustrating their possible uses…

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Tesla Adds Big Trucks to Its Electrifying Ambitions

After more than a decade of making cars and SUVs — and, more recently, solar panels — Tesla Inc. wants to electrify a new type of vehicle: big trucks. The company unveiled its new electric semitractor-trailer Thursday night near its design center in Hawthorne, California. CEO Elon Musk said the semi is capable of traveling 500 miles on an electric charge and will cost less than a diesel semi considering…

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FCC Upgrade: Better Picture, Less Privacy — And You’ll Need a New TV

U.S. regulators on Thursday approved the use of new technology that will improve picture quality on mobile phones, tablets and television, but also raises significant privacy concerns by giving advertisers dramatically more data about viewing habits. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to allow broadcasters to voluntarily use the new technology, dubbed ATSC 3.0, which would allow for more precise geolocating of television signals, ultra-high definition picture quality and…

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Experts Question Role of Data Mining Firms in Kenya’s Annulled Election

Kenya’s annulled 2017 presidential election was among Africa’s most expensive.  President Uhuru Kenyatta and main challenger Raila Odinga spent tens of millions of dollars on their campaigns, including sizeable investments in global PR firms that mined data and crafted targeted advertisements. As experts sort through the historic election’s aftermath, the involvement of data analysis companies has come to the forefront, raising questions about privacy, voter manipulation and the role of foreign…

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News Outlets, Social Media Team Up to Qualify Credible News

Seventy-five news organizations teamed with social media giants Facebook and Twitter as well as Google and other tech firms Thursday in an initiative to identify “trustworthy” news sources shared online. The “Trust Project,” a consortium of news agencies and tech firms meeting in Santa Clara, California, is creating a “trust indicator” to make readers aware of a news story’s credibility. “In today’s digitized and socially networked world, it’s harder than…

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Tesla to Enter Trucking Business With New Electric Semi

After more than a decade of making cars and SUVs — and, more recently, solar panels — Tesla Inc. wants to electrify a new type of vehicle: big trucks. The company was set to unveil its new electric semitractor-trailer Thursday night near its design center in Hawthorne, California. The move fits with Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s stated goal for the company of accelerating the shift to sustainable transportation. Trucks account…

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IBM Urged to Avoid Developing Tech for ‘Extreme Vetting’

A coalition of rights groups launched an online petition on Thursday urging IBM Corp to declare that it will not develop technology to help the Trump administration carry out a proposal to identify people for visa denial and deportation from the United States. IBM and several other technology companies and contractors attended a July informational session hosted by immigration enforcement officials that discussed developing technology for vetting immigrants, said Steven…

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The Ultimate in Luxury Air Travel

If you’re wealthy and you want to buy an airplane, no matter how big, you want to go to the biennial Dubai Air Show. There, you will find everything, from a small two-seater to a diamond-encrusted jet. Aircraft manufacturers say business is booming as more and more rich people try to avoid crowded commercial flights. VOA’s George Putic has more. …

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Africa’s Renewable Energy Set to Soar by 2022

Strong demand is set to give a huge boost to renewable energy growth in sub-Saharan Africa over the next five years, driving cumulative capacity up more than 70 percent, a senior international energy official said Wednesday. From Ethiopia to South Africa, millions of people are getting access to electricity for the first time as the continent turns to solar, wind and hydropower projects to boost generation capacity. “A big chunk…

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