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Apple Sets To Replace “Siri” Female Voice With Two New Voices In The US

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Apple Sets To Replace "Siri" Female Voice With Two New Voices In The US
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Apple will add two new English language voices to its Siri voice assistant in an upcoming version of its iPhone software, the company said on Wednesday. Users will be able to choose from four voices for Siri, which will no longer default to a female voice in the U.S.

The change is currently available in a beta version of iOS 14.5 that was released on Wednesday. Apple previously said the update will be released for everyone sometime in “early spring.”

Digital assistants with default female voices have been scrutinized by researchers in recent years, with critics saying the choices reflect a male-dominated artificial intelligence industry and reinforce stereotypes.

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“We’re excited to introduce two new Siri voices for English speakers and the option for Siri users to select the voice they want when they set up their device,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement. “This is a continuation of Apple’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and products and services that are designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in.”

Apple previously offered male voices as the default in some regions, as well as Australian and British accents, but it has defaulted to a woman’s voice in the U.S. since its release in 2011.

Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant both currently default to feminine voices for English speakers but offer a range of alternative voice options.

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Apple’s iOS 14.5 will be a major update for iPhones. In addition to the new voices, it will add the ability to unlock a phone with an Apple Watch, new emojis including one that depicts a vaccine, and will include a privacy change restricting access to a device ID that mobile advertisers use.

cnbc.com

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Pantami: Forces Against NIN Policy Behind Attacks Against Me

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Pantami: Forces Against NIN Policy Behind Attacks Against Me
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Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has alleged forces against the Federal Government’s compulsory policy on National Identification Number (NIN) registration for all Nigerians and those residing in the country are behind recent attacks against him.

Pantami in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES dismissed all the allegations against him, describing them as ‘untrue’.

He further denied links to extremist views, saying criminals and other ‘entrenched interests’ are behind the attacks on him.

He said: “I have no doubt about this. It has to do with the National Identification Number. Do you know one thing? This policy was started in 2011, it was not successful. Why? It was fought

“…In 2015, it came up, it was not successful. In 2018 there was a time that there were meetings between government and mobile network operators.

“And it was actually announced that by the agreement with government, the deadline was January 2018. It is there online, I will share it with you if you like. By January 2018, it was not implemented because there are forces against it. There are forces!”

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Pantami explained NIN registration is not only meant for Nigerians but it could be obtained by anybody in Nigeria.

He said: “Now they have started coming with the news that people are coming from neighbouring countries to register.

“What they fail to understand is that the National Identification Number is not only for Nigerians; anybody in Nigeria can obtain it.

“Section 16 and 17 of the Act mention the registrable people in the country – citizens, legal residents, legal permanent residents, and legal residents for a minimum of two years. So, it is not only for citizens. And it is also important to know that this is not just an indication that they are citizens of Nigeria.

“It is rather an indication that you presented your biometric data, so the government has control over your data.

“And that data of NIMC (National Identity Management Commission), nobody has access to it in any way he likes. Getting access to it illegally is 10 years in prison. It is there in the law. But people will like to discredit it, because they don’t like it.”

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The Minister added: “As long as it is implemented by the government, it will go a long way in reducing crime and based on the statistics we have been seeing now, it’s really encouraging.

“As government, our priority is the protection of the lives and property of our citizens. Security is our priority as a government – whether in agric, digital economy, education or in health, in whatever.

“President Muhammadu Buahari is so passionate about security, and he directed me to do that because he knows I try to persevere despite challenges and do what is right in the interest of our citizens and humanity.”

“You know as a government appointee, and at this level, if you say you are going to be intimidated by everything, then you cannot do the work. You cannot do the work.

” I was with the Minister of Foreign Affairs this week, on April 12. I was with the Minister. I was with the ambassadors of the U.K., the U.S., South Korea, and many other countries.

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“Even this issue that we are talking about, based on our findings, preliminary investigation, many people are not happy with what we have been doing – linking National Identification Number with SIM. Because a situation will come that all the people using SIM to commit crime will not be able to do that.

“If they do that, the government will be able to intercept them easily. This is what they don’t want to happen. And this is a mandate given to me by President Muhammadu Buhari. He personally signed the letter that ‘you are mandated to do that’.

“As his appointee, I should either do it or say I cannot. So, since I am willing to serve my country, I must continue to do it to the best of my ability.

“So, in my meeting with them, they even encouraged me to push it and make it very successful.”

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FG: Issuance Of New Sims To Resume April 19

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FG: Issuance Of New Sims To Resume April 19
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The Federal Government says the issuance of new SIM cards will resume on April 19.

Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, made this known in a statement released by Femi Adeluyi, his technical aide (information technology), on Thursday.

In December 2020, the government suspended the activity as it embarked on an audit of the subscriber registration database.

Pantami announced that the country is set to implement a revised national digital identity policy for SIM card registration, adding that the national identification number (NIN) is mandatory at all levels.

“The policy includes guidelines on new SIM Acquisition and Activation, SIM Replacement, New SIM Activation for Corporates and Internet-of-Things/Machine-to-Machine (IoT/M2M), amongst others,” the statement read.

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“The possession of a National Identity number will be a prerequisite for each of these categories.

“For the corporate registration, institutions will be required to appoint a telecoms master (at the minimum of an executive management level) to provide the operational Primary NIN representation. The telecoms master will also be responsible to ensuring that the users provide their NINs to serve as a secondary NIN.

“For IoT/M2M activations, SIM security protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point to point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred.

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“In the event that a data only service is particular to individual use (eg home car tracking, WiFi, MiFi services, etc), the standard NIN registration process will be followed. A telecoms Master will also be required for corporates requiring IoT/M2M activations.

“The full details of the requirements for each class of service will be made available in due course.”

Pantami further directed the Nigerian Comunications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure that the provisions of the policy are strictly followed by all operators and subscribers.

“The revised policy will ensure that operators conform to the required standards for biometric capture,” the statement added.

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“The guidelines in the Policy have been painstakingly developed and while they are thorough, it should be noted that they have been developed that way in national interest since the SIM is essentially a national resource.

“The implementation of the Policy will commence on Monday, 19th of April 2021. The issuance of New SIMs and other suspended activities will resume on the same date, as long as verification is done and the guidelines are fully adhered to.”

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Minister Of Power Expresses Regret Over Power Outages

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Minister Of Power Expresses Regret Over Power Outages
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Engr. Sale Mamman @EngrSMamman

I sincerely regret the recent Power outages across the Nation and the difficulties it has brought with it, and wish to assure my Fellow Nigerians that everyone involved is working assiduously to restore the National grid to its previous historical levels and exceed that.

The problem is caused by the breakdown of some National Integrated Power Plants supplying electricity to the national grid. The plants are namely, Sapele, Afam, Olonrunsogo, Omotosho, Ibom, Egbin, Alaoji and Ihovbor. The Jebba Power Plant was shut down for annual maintenance.

Seven other integrated Power plants, namely Geregu, Sepele, Omotosho, Gbarain, Omuku, Paras and Alaoji are experiencing gas constraints while the Shiroro hydroelectric power plant has water management issues.

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https://mobile.twitter.com/EngrSMamman/status/1382640821292392448

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Minister Of Power Expresses Regret Over Power Outages

Minister Of Power Expresses Regret Over Power Outages

Minister Of Power Expresses Regret Over Power Outages

Minister Of Power Expresses Regret Over Power Outages

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