Posted by & filed under 5G, Huawei.

BCE Inc. and Telus Corp. will both use equipment from Scandinavian component makers Nokia and Ericsson to build out their next-generation 5G networks in Canada.

BCE, the parent company of Bell, said Tuesday morning it will partner with Swedish telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson to build out its next generation wireless network, known as 5G.

Notably absent from that list of two suppliers is Huawei, the Chinese technology company that has become a lightning rod because of its close relationship with the Chinese government.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: June 4th, 2020

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/bce-5g-ericsson-1.5594601

Discussion

  1. This is big news because Huawei is the world’s leading vendor of 5G equipment. Huawei is a Chinese company, and as such is thought to be under control or influence of the Chinese government. Nokia and Ericsson are Scandinavian companies. Why are countries okay to use Scandinavian telecom equipment but not Chinese telecom equipment for critical infrastructure?
  2. Does it matter that almost every smartphone in Canada was assembled in China?

Posted by & filed under Apple, Privacy.

Looter running away from Apple store in Los Angeles

iPhones stolen in lootings of Apple stores in the US are tracked, disabled and the local authorities notified, according to messages displayed on their screens.

Apple has temporarily closed some of its US stores following a series of attacks, amid protests over the death of George Floyd.

Several images of the warnings have been shared on social media.

Apple said that it did not comment on “security matters”.

It is not clear whether the company has passed on the location of stolen devices to any police forces.

It has long been rumoured that the devices on display in Apple stores have software installed so that they can be tracked if any are stolen.

Source: BBC Business

Date: June 4th, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-52903677

Discussion

  1. Do you think this tracking software is only installed on the phones on display at Apple stores, all phones in the Apple stores, or all Apple phones?
  2. Are there any privacy issues with Apple installing tracking software on phones that are put out exclusively for display?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence.

Microsoft logo

Microsoft is to replace dozens of contract journalists on its MSN website and use automated systems to select news stories, US and UK media report.

The curating of stories from news organisations and selection of headlines and pictures for the MSN site is currently done by journalists.

Artificial intelligence will perform these news production tasks, sources told the Seattle Times.

Microsoft said it was part of an evaluation of its business.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: June 4th, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52860247

Discussion

  1. How do you think AI can “curate” news stories?
  2. What are some issues with allowing AI to do the work of humans in situations like this?

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security, Cyberattack.

Canada’s cyber spy agency says authorities are investigating possible security breaches at Canadian organizations doing COVID-19-related research — less than a week after it warned that Canadian intellectual property linked to the pandemic is a “valuable target” for state-sponsored actors.

“We’ve seen some compromises in research organizations that we’ve been helping to mitigate and we’re still continuing to look through what’s the root cause of those,” said Scott Jones, head of the Communications Security Establishment’s Cyber Centre, during an appearance in front of the Commons industry, science and technology committee this evening.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: May 27th, 2020

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cse-research-compromises-1.5577744

Discussion

  1. ” we’ve seen activity coming from organizations where they’ve seen malicious activity, or at least suspicious [activity]”. What might be included in “suspicious activity”?
  2. What are some ways you could guard against malicious activity from hostile forces?

Posted by & filed under COVID-19, Live-streaming.

illustration of live-streaming sales session

“I’m a bit nervous,” confessed Li Qiang, the deputy mayor of Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus was first reported late last year, as he awaited the start of his first-ever live-streaming event.

It is not the kind of tone one often hears from a senior Communist party official. But in an effort to revive China’s economy after the devastating epidemic, Mr Li was determined. He spoke fondly of his long appreciation of Wuhan’s local delicacy, hot and dry noodles, and urged locals to frequent his favourite shop.

And the result? Chinese media reports say that on the first day of the campaign – 8 April – these live-streaming sales across the province garnered 17.9m yuan ($2.5m; £2m). They sold nearly 300,000 items in nine hours – including 44,000 portions of Mr Li’s favourite hot and dry noodles.

Source: BBC Business News

Date: May 27th, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52449498

Discussion

  1. What sort of businesses could you set up to help companies live-stream?
  2. Is this a pandemic-only formula for success, or does it have legs after the pandemic?

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

Before COVID-19 changed everything, Katt Hryciw was like tens of thousands of other people who hoped to secure a campsite in Banff National Park this summer.

She set an alarm, woke up early on Jan. 8, the first day Banff reservations could be made, and sat poised at her computer. 

“And then as soon as it hits 8 o’clock, it’s just an hour of frustration, trying to book anything and largely being unsuccessful,” she said.

It’s an annual ritual for many would-be campers: logging on to the Parks Canada online reservation system the moment it opens, only to see the website slow to a crawl or crash altogether.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: May 22nd, 2020

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/parks-canada-online-reservation-system-2020-camping-failure-1.5576905

Discussion

  1. A distributed denial of service attack (DDoS attack) is where lots of distributed computers all try and access a website at once, thereby overwhelming the webserver. How is this different, if at all, from thousands of people trying to book a campsite at the same time on the Parks Canada online reservation website?
  2. What’s a good way to deal with being overwhelmed with web traffic?

Posted by & filed under COVID-19.

Promotional shop displays show figures of some of Animal Crossing's main characters

The coronavirus pandemic has been bad news for business. But even as some technology companies have been squeezed tight, others have actually seen a boost.

Some were in the right place at the right time – while others have seen the real-world trade they rely on shut down completely.

Source: BBC Business News

Date: May 20th, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-52453296

Discussion

  1. What attributes make a tech company “a winner” during the stay-at-home pandemic period?
  2. Will these attributes be important post pandemic stay-at-home?

Posted by & filed under Bitcoin, crypto-currency.

A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, which has been cut in half.

Bitcoin has just gone through a much-hyped adjustment that reduced the rate at which new coins are created.

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency’s so-called “halving” happens roughly every four years.

The digital currency relies on what are known as “miners”, who run software that races to solve complex maths puzzles in return for Bitcoins.

Monday’s halving event means that the reward for unlocking a “block” has been cut from 12.5 new coins to 6.25.

Halving was written into the cryptocurrency’s code by its creator, who is known as Satoshi Nakamoto, to control inflation.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: May 20th, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52628034

Discussion

  1. Do you understand how bitcoin mining works?
  2. What is the impact on bitcoin miners when “halving” occurs?

Posted by & filed under IT and Politics, Space-based internet.

Barb Stamatinos had been on a waiting list for four years to get internet access when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.   

Stamatinos is an administrator with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and she is wondering why her family has had to install essential technology on their Jedburgh, Sask., area farm northwest of Yorkton, at their own cost during a crisis.

“It takes me 20 minutes to download a 200-page document,” said Stamatinos, describing how she moves her work space to different rooms to find the best cellphone reception.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: May 13th, 2020

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/internet-rural-remote-saskatchewan-covid-19-1.5562476

Discussion

  1. Does the government have a duty to make sure there is equal access to internet service?
  2. How will satellite-based internet service change the game for rural communities?