Stocks fall as trade worries spread; When your cam and mike may be spying on you; An education disruption in Dubai

1 Stocks fall as trade worries spread (Marley Jay in San Francisco Chronicle) Stocks ended the week the way they began it: tumbling as investors worry that tariffs and harsh words between the US and China will touch off a trade war that derails the global economy. The latest drop came as the White House proposed tripling the amount of goods from China that will be subject to tariffs.

The stock market changed direction again and again this week as investors tried to get a sense of whether the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies will escalate. On Friday, technology companies, banks, industrial and health care stocks sank. The market didn’t get any help from a March jobs report that was weaker than expected.

With administration officials sounding conciliatory one day and hostile the next and the president quick to fire off yet another tweet, investors simply don’t know what the US wants to achieve in its talks with China, said Katie Nixon, chief investment officer for Northern Trust Wealth Management.

2 When your phone cam and mike may be spying on you (Dylan Curran in The Guardian) When former FBI director James Comey was asked back in September 2016 if he covered his laptop’s webcam with tape, he said, “Heck yeah, heck yeah. I am much mocked for that, but I hope people lock their cars … lock your doors at night. I have an alarm system, if you have an alarm system you should use it, I use mine.”

If he does, we all should. Who could be accessing your camera and microphone? Apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat. For instance, a documentary maker installed a Find my Phone application on a phone, then let someone steal it. After the person stole it, the original owner spied on every moment of the thief’s life through the phone’s camera and microphone.

The documentary tracks every move of this person, from brushing their teeth to going to work. To grabbing a bite to eat with their co-worker to intimate moments with a loved one. This is the power of apps that have access to your camera and microphone.

Edward Snowden revealed an NSA program called Optic Nerves. The operation was a bulk surveillance program under which they captured webcam images every five minutes from Yahoo users’ video chats and then stored them for future use. It is estimated that between 3% and 11% of the images captured contained “undesirable nudity”

Hackers can also gain access to your device with extraordinary ease via apps, PDF files, multimedia messages and even emojis.

3 An education disruption in Dubai (Sarwat Nasir in Khaleej Times) For the past few years, parents and educators have argued that school curriculums have grown “outdated”. Students often asked how some of the current school subjects will help them in the future and if it’s really relevant for them to study.

Now, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is working on a project that aims to revolutionise the education sector in Dubai. The Rahhal project will allow students to attend school part-time and use the rest of the time honing their main skillset.

For instance, if a student is passionate about and skilled in robotics, he or she can use the remainder of the school hours to train in that area. Rahhal is part of the 10X initiative – a programme by the Dubai Future Foundation where government bodies are required to rethink their regulations, working methods and projects in order to get 10 years ahead of time.

As part of the project, students will also be able to study at two, three or four different schools if they wish to. Pupils can also learn while on the job and can have more than one job to learn and hone their skills. Parents can also educate their children at home or within their own community. Adults who wish to continue learning can design their own programmes, according to their needs and schedules.

About joesnewspicks

This blog captures interesting news items from around the world for those strained by information overload and yet need to stay updated on global events of significance. The news items displayed are not in order of merit. (The blog takes a weekly off — normally on Sundays — and does not appear when I am on vacation or busy.) I am a journalist for nearly three decades.
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