Civil defence used to involve air raid wardens, ambulance drivers and rescue teams.
That was at the height of the Cold War, and the hot wars of the 20th century that preceded it. These days, it means taking the fight online — against hackers and cyber criminals looking to take down or ransom critical infrastructure, such as hospitals.
The COVID-19 crisis has prompted Canadian IT professionals to form an all-volunteer cyber defence team to protect Canada’s hospitals, health-care providers, municipalities and critical infrastructure from online attacks during the COVID-19 crisis.
The SecDev Group, which has pioneered advanced analytics and cyber safety, has been spearheading the recruitment effort and has asked information technology professionals to step up and provide preventative measures and remedial services.
Formula 1 streamed its first ever Virtual Grand Prix, with full pundit and commentary team. Celebrities including singer Liam Payne and cyclist Sir Chris Hoy played against each other and in teams from their own homes, in isolation.
Television outlets are also getting in on the action. In the US, more than 900,000 viewers tuned in for the inaugural eNascar iRacing Pro Invitational Series on Fox Sports. The network has said it will host an entire series of stock-car races, replacing the ones lost due to the pandemic.
I believe that once Covid-19 is contained, we are about to see a huge acceleration of change around the Future of Work. Work that is repeatable and requires little human skill is going to get automated away much, much faster than it already was. Think how useful it would be right now if we had automated pharmacies.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been in stealth mode for the last 5 years, quietly infiltrating companies around the world. PwC, a global Accounting, Tax and Consulting firm has spent two full days teaching RPA to every single one of it’s 23,000 employees in the U.S. so that they can in turn roll it out in their clients.
RPA performs the routine tasks of a business that require little skill but much repetition.
I think that we are about to see an explosion of RPA once Covid-19 is contained. Businesses are realizing that having people perform the many routine tasks of a company puts them at serious risk when those people are not around. RPA provides a way for a business to keep the cogs of a business turning without having to have people around to do it. Covid-19 has really highlighted how big an issue this is.
David Moss of Blue Prism RPA said that doing RPA properly requires management to think about what parts of everyday work are “repeatable” and what is “humanistic”. You assign “repeatable” work to robots, RPA. You assign “humanistic” activities, such as answering customer’s questions, to humans.
If you want to see RPA in action, this video shows RPA software from UIPath processing orders all the way from getting them via email to the accounting general ledger. It even sends emails if it finds a problem.
In the early days of Canada’s COVID-19 outbreak, Elisa Baniassad was able to trace how new cases were spreading and plan her outings accordingly.
“When I plotted how the virus was being transmitted, I saw that it was from close contact. People weren’t getting it out on the street, they were getting it at home from their family members,” said the computer science instructor at the University of British Columbia.
Baniassad is one of a handful of people making use of the reams of data being collected and published daily around the world to help governments and citizens plan and be informed of the latest situation.
Her diagrams are published on ViriHealth.com, a website started by someone in Toronto to keep track of the information released by the provinces.
There’s a huge amount of misleading information circulating online about coronavirus – from dodgy health tips to speculation about government plans. This is the story of how one post went viral.
It’s a list of tips and advice – some true, some benign, and some possibly harmful – which has been circulating on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and elsewhere.
Dubbed the “Uncle with master’s degree” post because of the alleged source of the information, it’s hopped from the Facebook profile of an 84-year-old British man to the Instagram account of a Ghanaian TV presenter, through Facebook groups for Indian Catholics to coronavirus-specific forums, WhatsApp groups, and Twitter accounts.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has authorized the country’s internal security agency to tap into a vast and previously undisclosed trove of cellphone data to retrace the movements of people who have contracted the coronavirus and identify others who should be quarantined because their paths crossed.
Canada’s big phone companies warned MPs on a parliamentary committee Tuesday their networks aren’t yet ready to implement new anti-spoofing technology to guard against fake calls — and many existing landline phones and cellphones will need to be upgraded in order for the technology to be effective.
Representatives from Bell, Rogers and Telus appeared Tuesday before the Industry, Science and Technology House of Commons Committee that’s studying how to prevent the millions of fraudulent phone calls Canadians receive each month.
“When you design courses for online, it actually takes deliberate thought and attention as to doing it in a good way. “So if we’re asking people just to suddenly teach their in-person courses online, it will be very difficult for those instructors to offer equal quality.” What sorts of things need to be considered as you move in-person content online?
What sort of business could you set up to help move in-person service delivery (which in-class instruction is) online?
Facebook is already working with researchers at Harvard University’s School of Public Health and the National Tsing Hua University, in Taiwan, sharing anonymised data about people’s movements and high-resolution population density maps, which help them forecast the spread of the virus.
The social network is also helping partners understand how people are talking about the issue online, via tools such as Crowdtangle, which aggregate social-media posts.
In the past, Google search data has been used to track infectious diseases.
Google said its team was “working round the clock to safeguard our users from phishing, conspiracy theories, malware and misinformation”. How might Google be doing this?
” YouTube, meanwhile, is using its homepage to direct users to the World Health Organization and other groups, for education and information, while working to remove videos suggesting alternative cures as soon as they go live. “ How might YouTube be detecting “alternative cure” videos?