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In yet another setback for popular video meeting app Zoom, New York City has banned its use for remote learning purposes in schools until further review and update due to security concerns.
The city’s Department of Education is transitioning schools to Microsoft Teams, which is believed to have the “same capabilities with appropriate security measures in place,” TechCrunch reported on Sunday.
“Providing a safe and secure remote learning experience for our students is essential, and upon further review of security concerns, schools should move away from using Zoom as soon as possible,” Danielle Filson, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Education, was quoted as saying.
“There are many new components to remote learning, and we are making real-time decisions in the best interest of our staff and students,” Filson said. After schools in the city closed on March 16, Zoom’s popularity as a tool enabling remote learning skyrocketed.
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But the platform also started facing criticism as reports of “Zoombombing” and other privacy issues started surfacing from different parts of the country. “Zoomraiding” or “Zoombombing” refers to a type of online harassment in which hate speech, pornography or other inappropriate content is suddenly flashed by disrupting a video call on Zoom.
Several schools in the US earlier reported that unidentified persons accessed classes conducted through Zoom. A Massachusetts-based high school reported that while a teacher was conducting an online class using the teleconferencing software Zoom, an unidentified individual(s) dialed into the classroom.
The popular video meeting app courted another controversy when security researchers from Citizen Lab at University of Toronto found that that some Zoom calls were routed through servers in China, along with conference encryption and decryption keys used to secure those calls.
Zooms Founder and CEO Eric Yuan has already apologized for the privacy and security issues being reported in his app that has seen a surge in usage globally as people work from home during lockdowns.
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The New York City Department of Education “continues to review and monitor developments with Zoom,” said the spokesperson, adding that it will update schools with any changes. (IANS)
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Drinking feni, may well be the answer, says the secretary of the Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association Hansel Vaz, who on Thursday said, that sipping the state's unique alcoholic drink and making it popular would directly aid the greening of Goa's hills and other barren landscapes.
"To get more cashews, we need to plant more trees. I always say, by drinking feni you will save Goa, because we will be planting more cashew trees and we will have greener hills. The beauty of cashew is you do not need fertile land. You can grow it on a hill which can provide no nutrition. We will be able to grow more trees, if we can sell feni properly," Vaz said. Vaz's comments come at a time when the hillsides of the coastal state have witnessed significant deforestation for real estate development and for infrastructure projects. Feni is manufactured by fermenting and double distilling juice from the cashew apple.
Best way to keep Goa green is to grab yourself a glass of feni. | IANS
The efforts to streamline the state "heritage drink" comes a month after the Goa government notified a formal policy, 'Goa Feni Policy 2021', which covers 26 different varieties of feni distilled in the state. "There were many barriers related to feni, which the policy has now addressed," treasurer of the Association Tukaram Haldankar said. One such hurdle was the previous government classification, which described feni as "country liquor", which would deter tourists from purchasing the drink. The reclassification of feni as a state "heritage drink" has lent dignity to the brew which has been manufactured locally in Goa since the 16th century.
"It should be a standard product like scotch, champagne," Haldankar said. "Like Mexico's tequila, Russian vodka and Japan's sake, we need to export our feni across the country and the world and the local distillers should also benefit economically," president of the Association Gurudutt Bhakta also said. (IANS/ MBI)
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