Posted by & filed under Low-code, No-code.

IT professionals with deep coding skills have long been the lifeline of many corporations, providing technical solutions to everyday problems. But as companies push for digital transformation, IT departments are at maximum capacity, and projects have piled up.

Now, companies are tasking employees without traditional coding backgrounds to lead innovation in their own departments. These citizen developers can be anyone outside of IT who builds business applications and digital solutions. This new role is helping companies increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve processes.

Take Zimmer Biomet. The Warsaw, Ind.-based medical device maker struggled with how to simultaneously adopt new digital technology while also dealing with daily workflow issues. Then, Zimmer Biomet began working with Quickbase, a no-code operational agility platform that enables citizen developers to improve operations through real-time insights and automation across complex processes and disparate systems.

Source: Quickbase (a provider of no-code solutions)

Date: February 23rd, 2021

Link: https://sponsored.bloomberg.com/news/sponsors/features/quickbase/build-your-next-great-innovation-now/?adv=33910&prx_t=gX4GAKXBKAZKMQA&ntv_idp=1

Discussion

  1. What does it mean to you as you think about which major to take that ” companies are tasking employees without traditional coding backgrounds to lead innovation in their own departments “?
  2. ” These citizen developers can be anyone outside of IT who builds business applications and digital solutions. This new role is helping companies increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve processes. ” Would it be useful to have both a coding and systems analysis & design background, that the Management Information Systems major provides, in order to do this well?

Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology.

In this stock photo, a woman holds her hand to her face in frustration in front of a laptop computer, illustrating the realisation of a mistake

An entire California school board has resigned after making disparaging remarks about families in an online meeting which they did not realise was being publicly live-streamed.

“They want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back,” one member said about parents.

Another implied that parents wanted their children out of the house so they could take drugs during the day.

Parents, however, had been joining the public call as it progressed.

“Uh-oh,” said board member Kim Beede when she was told, several minutes into the discussion: “We have the meeting open to the public right now.”

The Webex meeting immediately went into private status.

Source: BBC News

Date: February 23rd, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56156795

Discussion

  1. Imagine it’s your job to set up and run meetings like this for your company. What steps do you take to make sure you don’t make this mistake?
  2. What sort of company could you set up to provide secure-WebEx or secure-Zoom services to clients?

Posted by & filed under Facebook, IT and Politics, Politics.

It used to be that the most influential media companies in Canada had to keep at least one eye on the Canadian public interest whether they wanted to or not.

Broadcasters are regulated through the Broadcasting Act, and while newspapers face less oversight, a restriction on foreign ownership means there is always the potential that a determined Canadian government could do something, such as  change tax rules, that could nudge them into line.

But now, as internet mega companies such as Facebook and Google have taken over much of the ad revenue and eyeballs that mainstream media used to enjoy, there have been only nascent efforts to make them answer to the public interest. 

This week, as Australia considered laws to make them pay for news, the new communications giants have demonstrated they can thumb their noses at mere national governments.

But with a growing sense around the world, including in Canada, that Facebook, Google and the like have grown too big and powerful, there are those who say an international effort is necessary to take on the titans of tech.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: February 19th, 2021

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/don-pittis-facebook-australia-governments-gang-up-1.5919005

Discussion

  1. Why is Facebook taking on the Australian, and other governments?
  2. Why does “governments ganging up” help governments beat Facebook into doing what they want?

Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology, COVID-19.

Face masks have become an everyday item due to the spread of coronavirus.

But now some brands are exploring ways to add hi-tech features focused on safety and utility.

Source: BBC News

Date: February 19th, 2021

Link to 3 minute 51 second video: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-56114512

Discussion

  1. Useful tech gadget, or gimmick? What makes the difference?
  2. How might you build a business around one of these tech masks?

Posted by & filed under Facebook, Net Neutrality.

Mobile-phone screen shows message from Facebook announcing its new rules for news sites on its platform. Newspaper underneath the phone.

The Australian government passed a law requiring Google and Facebook (and others) to pay for news content created by others. In response, Facebook banned all Australian news content from its platform.

One of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers described it as “an act of war”. But others see the actions of Australia’s politicians as being an outrage against the principle of net neutrality.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: February 19th, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/56127158

Discussion

  1. The article suggests that as a result of the Facebook ban on posting Australian news articles, the number of fake news articles being shown, or more properly, the prominence of fake news articles as a result of real news articles not being shown, has gone up. Why is this”
  2. What is “net neutrality” and why is this a part of that issue?

Posted by & filed under Electric vehicles.

Less than two weeks ago, GM caught some people by surprise with its pledge to make the vast majority of the vehicles it produces electric by 2035.  Warren Mabee, director of Queen’s University’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy, believes for the oilpatch, the significance of GM’s announcement outweighs the recent cancellation of Keystone XL.

“That really starts to eat away at the demand side of the equation as consumers have more and more electric vehicles available to them,” Mabee said. 

“And as the costs sort of come in line with what [consumers are] expecting to pay, I think we’re going to see fewer and fewer people opting for gasoline-powered vehicles. 

“That really has long-term implications for the industry.”

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Company

Date: February 12th, 2021

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/general-motors-electric-oilpatch-1.5905637

Discussion

  1. What does it mean when it says “That really starts to eat away at the demand side of the equation as consumers have more and more electric vehicles available to them,”
  2. What parts of GM’s switch to making fully-electric vehicles are relevant and of significance to an MIS major?

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security, Cyberattack, Cyberloafing.

Tap water, file

A computer hacker gained access to the water system of a city in Florida and tried to pump in a “dangerous” amount of a chemical, officials say.

The hacker briefly increased the amount of sodium hydroxide (lye) in Oldsmar’s water treatment system, but a worker spotted it and reversed the action.

Lye is used in small amounts to control acidity but a large amount could have caused major problems in the water.

Oldsmar Mayor Eric Seidel said: “There’s a bad actor out there.”

No arrests have yet been made and it is not known if the hack was done from within the US or outside.

A computer controlling Oldsmar’s water treatment system was remotely accessed on Friday.

A plant operator saw an attempt to access the system in the morning but assumed it was his supervisor, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

But another attempt was made early in the afternoon and this time the hacker accessed the treatment software and increased the sodium hydroxide content from 100 parts per million to 11,100 ppm.

The operator immediately reduced the level to normal.

Source: Tampa Bay Times

Date: February 12th, 2021

Link: https://www.tampabay.com/news/pinellas/2021/02/08/someone-tried-to-poison-oldsmars-water-supply-during-hack-sheriff-says/

Discussion

  1. Why might a hacker do this?
  2. What does it say about the design of controls in the system that it took human intervention to prevent the sodium hydroxide content from being 100 parts per million to being moved to 11,100 ppm ?

Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology, Self-driving vehicles.

Hyundai's concept EV is called Prophecy

The car firm has been investing heavily in new technology with a string of partnerships, acquisitions and investments within the tech space.

Its takeover of robotics firm Boston Dynamics last year was a clear indication of the direction it is taking – into cutting-edge technology.

The whole auto industry has been forced to innovate as the move towards electric cars and autonomous vehicles accelerates.

Hyundai has been criticised in the past for lagging behind rivals in adopting emerging technologies but is fast catching up, sealing a string of alliances and investments with technology groups recently.

“Hyundai has a different set of motivations and more incentive to push the limit. They have been a lot more aggressive in reinventing themselves,” says Dale Hardcastle, a partner at consultancy firm Bain.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: February 12th, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55806568

Discussion

  1. Why do you think that a global car company wants to become a technology company?
  2. What sorts of changes are going to be needed for a car maker to become a technology company?

Posted by & filed under Electronic Surveillance.

A report by four Canadian privacy commissioners has found Clearview AI’s technology created a significant risk to individuals by allowing law enforcement and companies to match photos against its database of more than three billion images, including Canadians and children. Clearview AI’s software collects images from the internet and allows users to search for matches. 

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: February 6th, 2021

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/technology-clearview-facial-recognition-1.5899008

Discussion

  1. ” Clearview AI’s technology created a significant risk to individuals by allowing law enforcement and companies to match photos against its database of more than three billion images, including Canadians and children ” Why should this be illegal?
  2. What could Clearview do to gather photos legally for its purposes?

Posted by & filed under IT and Politics, Politics.

Computer chip

For the most part they go unseen but computer chips are at the heart of all the digital products that surround us – and when supplies run short, it can halt manufacturing.

There was a hint of the problem last year when gamers struggled to buy new graphics cards, Apple had to stagger the release of its iPhones, and the latest Xbox and PlayStation consoles came nowhere close to meeting demand.

Then, just before Christmas, it emerged the resurgent car industry was facing what one insider called “chipageddon”.

New cars often include more than 100 microprocessors – and manufacturers were quite simply unable to source them all.

Since then, one technology company after another has warned they too face constraints.

Samsung is struggling to fulfil orders for the memory chips it makes for its own and others’ products.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: February 5th, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55936011

Discussion

  1. What are some issues that arise when one country dominates design (the US in this case) and another or two dominates manufacturing (Taiwan and South Korea in this case)?
  2. How might you advise your company, as a CIO, on how to deal with issues surrounding shortage in supply of a key technology component?