Posted by & filed under Digital Divide, Space-based internet.

Chawathil First Nation lies just 600 metres north of the Trans-Canada Highway in southwestern B.C., but it feels much more remote when you try to log onto the internet from here.

That’s apparent when, from behind a Plexiglas barrier at the band office, finance manager Peter John attempts to run an online speed test to measure the dial-up connection. 

It takes nearly two minutes for the page to load, and once it does, the meter shows the download speed is an agonizingly slow one megabit per second (Mbps)

With that kind of setup, it means students struggle with online classes, and the band can’t hold video meetings. 

“Everything they could get out of the internet, they’re not able to really get it because it’s not there,” John said.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: September 25th, 2020

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/covid-19-highlights-urban-rural-digital-divide-1.5734167

Discussion

  1. The “Digital Divide” is defined in various ways. Make sure you have a solid definition
  2. How might space-based internet change how rural communities get access to the internet?

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Apple.

A photo illustration shows the Apple App Store logo displayed on an iPhone held up against a blue-pink gradient background

Several major developers have formed a coalition to fight Apple over its app store policies. The Coalition for App Fairness counts Spotify, Epic Games and Tinder owner Match Group among its founding members. It claims Apple “taxes consumers and crushes innovation”, criticising what it calls anti-competitive policies.Apple, which is embroiled in legal action with some of the members, has long denied these accusations.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: Sept 24th, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54280982?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/business&link_location=live-reporting-story

Discussion

  1. The issue here is that if you want to develop an app for an Apple product such as the iPhone, the ONLY way to get that app to a customer is via the Apple App Store, which charges 30% of revenue to do that. Is that fair?
  2. What GOOD reasons are there for Apple to do this?

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Drones.

Ring Always Home Cam

Amazon’s smart home security division Ring has unveiled a flying camera that launches if sensors detect a potential home break-in.It is designed to activate only when residents are out, works indoors, and is limited to one floor of a building. But one campaign group described the drone camera as Amazon’s “most chilling home surveillance product” yet.”It’s difficult to imagine why Amazon thinks anyone wants flying internet cameras linked up to a data-gathering company in the privacy of their own home,” said Silkie Carlo from Big Brother Watch.” It’s important to acknowledge the influence that Amazon’s product development is having on communities and the growing surveillance market. ” When the Always Home Cam is triggered by a suspected break-in, owners will get a smartphone alert to let them see live footage.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 24th, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54285692

Discussion

  1. What are some of the ” chilling home surveillance ” issues being talked about here?
  2. How useful is it, really, to have a live video of your home being broken into?

Posted by & filed under 3D.

If you’ve ever wondered what exactly lies beneath the linen wrappings of ancient mummies, a new exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum uses modern technology to peel through the layers and reveal the remains — all without unravelling their bandages.

“In the 19th century, people were studying the mummies by unwrapping them. In the 20th century, it was X-ray. In the 21st century, we’ve got fancy CT scans — three-dimensional ones that in this case, leads to some interesting results,” said Krzysztof Grzymski, the ROM’s senior curator of Egypt and Nubia. 

Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Lives, New Discoveries features six mummified individuals who range from a young child to middle-age adults. It showcases their life stories and how they lived over 3,000 years ago along the Nile River.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: September 18th, 2020

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/rom-exhibit-egyptian-mummies-1.5728736

Discussion

  1. This is an interesting use of a technology to provide a learning experience for museum visitors. What sorts of businesses could you build around this same idea?
  2. Why is important to not “unwrap the mummy”?

Posted by & filed under IT and Politics, TikTok.

TikTok users rejoice over Oracle deal, but saga with Trump isn't over - CNET

The U.S. moved to expel the Chinese-owned WeChat and TikTok apps from U.S. app stores as of Sunday, while reserving the right to reverse a ban on TikTok’s video-streaming service once it can hammer out a deal to satisfy national security concerns.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday that the U.S. will prohibit cash transfers within the U.S. related to WeChat and its parent company Tencent Holdings Ltd. Other measures prohibited as of Sept. 20 include distribution, maintenance and updates of WeChat or TikTok through app stores in the U.S.

Source: Bloomberg

Date: September 18th, 2020

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-18/u-s-to-block-some-wechat-tiktok-transactions-as-of-sunday?srnd=premium

Discussion

  1. Why is the U.S. banning TikTok on U.S.-based app stores?
  2. Is it possible for governments to tap into data that has been harvested by apps?

Posted by & filed under Data center, Microsoft.

Two men power-wash the exterior of the Microsoft data centre capsule

Two years ago, Microsoft sank a data centre off the coast of Orkney in a wild experiment.That data centre has now been retrieved from the ocean floor, and Microsoft researchers are assessing how it has performed, and what they can learn from it about energy efficiency.

Their first conclusion is that the cylinder packed with servers had a lower failure rate than a conventional data centre.When the container was hauled off the seabed around half a mile offshore after being placed there in May 2018, just eight out of the 855 servers on board had failed.That compares very well with a conventional data centre.”Our failure rate in the water is one-eighth of what we see on land,” says Ben Cutler, who has led what Microsoft calls Project Natick.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 18th, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54146718

Discussion

  1. Why would anyone want to put a data center on the seabed?
  2. Why do you think the failure rate of the servers in this seabed data center was 1/8th that of those on land?

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security.

Watch the latest episode of our new video series, Breaking Breaches! LMG Security’s Sherri Davidoff & Matt Durrin explore how the recent Blackbaud double-extortion ransomware data breach is still hitting companies, non-profits, insurers & consumers. Hear details about the incident, the ripple effects from the breach & how to keep your organization safe

Source: LMG Cybersecurity

Date: September 7th, 2020

Link to YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkYtCGuRr4c&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR36B-u5f2DdiMWgiq4hgqjtYieN4A6qJDb3vzjfT1SzIfwhhirOD-8rYdQ

Discussion

  1. Cybersecurity has become a big risk for companies. What do we mean when we say this?
  2. What can you do to be more cyber secure?

Posted by & filed under Emerging Technologies.

A massive, white 4,000-kilogram contraption jerks and tilts, its electric motor whining as it pumps fluid into eight hydraulic cylinders moving the legs.

The operator of Prosthesis, as it’s called, is new at this — it’s his second day at the complicated controls, and the goal is still just to make it walk.

So far, trainee Chris Livingston mostly manages to kick up dust, dig ruts in the dirt, and get a surprisingly strenuous workout.

Prosthesis is a project led by Jonathan Tippett, co-founder of the company created to build it, Furrion Exo-Bionics.

It’s a mechanized exoskeleton — a machine controlled by the movements of its pilot, strapped into a harness at its centre.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corportation

Date: September 7th, 2020

Link (includes short video): https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/giant-mechanized-exoskeleton-now-ready-for-pilot-trainees-1.5710431

Discussion

  1. Beyond entertainment, can you come up with a business or service that could use this technology?
  2. Why is this sort of technology hard to develop?

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Apple, Uncategorized.

Apple Covid image

Apple has begun letting its iPhones carry out contact-tracing without the need for users to download an official Covid-19 app. As an alternative, users are being invited to opt in to a scheme called Exposure Notifications Express (ENE). This keeps a 14-day log of other nearby smartphones detected via Bluetooth and serves an alert if another owner is later diagnosed to have the virus. The local public health authority will determine what the notification says. It might tell the user to download a more fully functional app for further guidance. However, it also gives officials the option of not developing an app of their own, in which case the user could be directed to go to a testing centre or to call a hotline for more information.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 7th, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53987928

Discussion

  1. A lot of time, effort, money and political will has been put in by countries to develop contact tracing apps, and now Apple just switches on some functionality of bluetooth already built into the phone. Why do you think Apple is doing this now?
  2. Is there a business or service you could build off this functionality?

Posted by & filed under Amazon, E-Business, E-Commerce.

a store filled with lots of fresh produce: Amazon Fresh Grocery Store Opens in California

Amazon Prime users are already going to be familiar with ordering from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods using the website and app. And Amazon first launched small-scale Amazon Go shops in select markets back in 2018. Now, Amazon is diving into a full-on supermarket with the opening of its Amazon Fresh grocery store in Woodland Hills, California, a neighborhood in Los Angeles.

The new store will offer all of the classics you’ll see at any large-scale grocery store and its own brands of food, as well as local brands, regional foods and 365 by Whole Foods Market products.

Source: MSN

Date: September 7th, 2020

Link: https://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodnews/amazons-new-grocery-store-could-change-shopping-forever/ar-BB18rg7M

Discussion

  1. What’s going on here? Why is Amazon, a 100% online company, opening a grocery store?
  2. What does Amazon hope to learn from an actual store?