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Why the surging COVID-19 cases in APAC is worrying authorities

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Governments throughout the Asia-Pacific region are scrambling to impose further restrictions as new Covid-19 cases surge in record numbers.

Malaysia has reported almost 8,000 new infections over the past 24 hours, whilst Thailand recorded 47 deaths.

Melbourne, Australia enters its fourth lockdown, businesses left ‘devastated’

It comes as Australia’s second-biggest state, Victoria enters its first day of a seven-day snap lockdown to curb the spread of the highly infectious Indian variant.

Although, COVID-19 cases in Australia’s Victoria have fallen on first day of lockdown.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia is in its fourth lockdown.

The state recorded four new cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 30 with over 47,000 Covid-19 swab tests processed.

The lockdown is due to remain in place until 11.59pm June 3.

However, Acting Premier James Merlino said the government was still open to ending the lockdown earlier if possible, saying, “If we can end it sooner, we will”.

Mr. Merlino says the Government is right now working through a plan to support businesses after many have now been ordered to shut.

The Australian federal government has also come under intense scrutiny for failing to deliver on vaccine rollout targets.

The country has delivered at least the first dose of a Covid vaccine to just 13 per cent of the population.

Countries including the UK and the US have now administered the first dose to over half of their citizens and residents.

William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

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Race against the clock, will AI destroy music industry with new app

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In the ever-evolving landscape of AI technology, Udio, a new AI music generator developed by former Google Deepmind researchers, has recently made its debut.

Udio allows users to craft songs from simple text prompts, offering customisation options for various musical elements such as length, vocals, and lyrics.

 

The Good:

  • Accessible Creativity: Udio democratises music creation by providing a platform where anyone, regardless of musical expertise, can generate personalised songs effortlessly.
  • Customization Galore: Users have the freedom to tailor every aspect of their composition, from the mood of the music to the emotional depth of the vocals, allowing for a truly unique musical experience.
  • Realistic Vocals: One of Udio’s standout features is its ability to produce vocals that sound remarkably human, adding an emotional dimension to the generated music.

The Bad:

  • Ethical Concerns: As with any AI-powered tool, there are ethical considerations surrounding the authenticity of AI-generated music and its potential impact on the music industry, including issues of copyright infringement and artistic integrity.
  • Limitations in Length: While Udio offers flexibility in customisation, its maximum song length is limited to around 90 seconds, restricting its utility for those seeking longer compositions.
  • Copyright Ambiguity: While Udio attempts to navigate copyright concerns by restricting certain song requests, the boundaries remain unclear, leaving room for potential legal disputes and confusion among users.

 

Despite its innovative capabilities, Udio’s arrival has sparked debates within both the music and technology communities. While some laud its potential to inspire creativity and broaden musical horizons, others caution against the ethical implications and potential drawbacks of widespread AI-generated music.

As Udio continues to gain traction, it serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing dialogue surrounding the intersection of AI technology and creative expression. Only time will tell how Udio and similar innovations will shape the future of music creation and consumption.

 

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U.S. tech giant email systems utilised by Russian hackers

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Russian government-backed hackers have reportedly exploited access to Microsoft’s email system, stealing correspondence between officials and the tech giant.

Key Points:

  1. Russian government-backed hackers exploited access to Microsoft’s email system, as per a directive from CISA.

  2. The directive warned of hackers using email authentication details to infiltrate Microsoft customer systems, including government agencies.

  3. This follows Microsoft’s acknowledgment of ongoing struggles against intruders named “Midnight Blizzard” and a separate hack attributed to China.

According to an emergency directive from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released on Thursday.

The directive, issued on April 2, cautioned that hackers were leveraging email authentication details to infiltrate Microsoft customer systems, including those of unspecified government agencies.

This alarming revelation follows Microsoft’s acknowledgment in March of ongoing struggles against intruders dubbed “Midnight Blizzard.”

The cybersecurity industry’s concerns intensified further with a recent report from the U.S. Cyber Safety Review Board, attributing a separate hack to China and criticising Microsoft for cybersecurity oversights and lack of transparency.

While CISA refrained from naming affected agencies, Microsoft assured collaboration with customers and CISA to investigate and mitigate the breach. The Russian Embassy in Washington, historically denying involvement in hacking activities, did not respond immediately to requests for comment. CISA also cautioned that non-governmental organisations might have been targeted, urging customers to liaise with Microsoft for additional information.

 

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Google looks to snap up Hubspot as part of growth strategy

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Google’s bold bid to acquire HubSpot in a billion-dollar deal has raised eyebrows in the digital marketing industry.

HubSpot, Inc., founded by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah in 2006, develops software for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service.

The acquisition aims to enhance Google’s marketing tools and potentially benefit small to mid-market businesses with improved solutions.

However, concerns over regulatory hurdles and antitrust issues persist, prompting mixed reactions from investors and industry experts.

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