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?

Posted by & filed under Robotics.

A new bottle depot in Bowness is adapting smart technology to make recycling easier.

Bowridge Bottle Depot features a fully automated system that sorts and counts containers more efficiently and provides accurate refunds. 

That means shorter wait times and no shortchanging, says general manager Kulwant Dhillon.

“This technology sorts and counts 86 per cent of our stream that customers bring in,” he said.

“So it takes away the workload off our employees as well as provides accurate refunds to our customers in the shortest time.”

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: September 3rd, 2020

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/bottle-depot-bowridge-fully-automated-recycling-calgary-1.5709308

Discussion

  1. Are there other sorts of businesses that you could create using this technology?
  2. Is the application of robotics like this to business a good or bad thing for workers?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Human-Computer Interface.

Brain with interface

Elon Musk is due to demonstrate a working brain-to-machine interface as part of his ambitious plans to give people superhuman powers.His brain-hacking company, Neuralink, applied to start human trials last year. But Friday’s demonstration involved a robot and “neurons firing in real time”, a series of tweets reveals. The interface could allow people with neurological conditions to control phones or computers with their mind.But the long-term ambition is to usher in an age of what Mr Musk calls “superhuman cognition”. People need to merge with artificial intelligence, he says, in part to avoid a scenario where AI becomes so powerful it destroys the human race.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 1st, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53921596

Discussion

  1. What are some of the technology issues, do you think. that need to be overcome when connecting a human brain to a machine?
  2. What are some of the technology-ethics issues with a brain-to-machine interface?

Posted by & filed under Remote Work.

(Credit: Sadie Millard)

In early March, 2020 Manhattan resident Sadie Millard was visiting her boyfriend in Bermuda as New York City began shutting down due to Covid-19. Rather than return home, she logged on from her boyfriend’s place to remotely do her job as the chief administrative officer of a broker-dealer on Wall Street.

Now, Millard is hoping she doesn’t have to return to New York City – at least for a while. She’s applying for a new one-year residential certificate via the Work from Bermuda programme, which went into effect on 1 August. It would allow her to legally live and work remotely for up to 12 months in the British Overseas Territory, which lies in the North Atlantic about 1,050km (650 miles) off the US’s North Carolina coast.

“My thought was, if I’m going to be here or there, I’d rather be in Bermuda where I feel much safer given the strong rules and regulations the government has set up for testing and managing the virus,” she explains. “And if I have to get back to New York for any meetings, it’s almost quicker to fly in from Bermuda than to drive in from [New York vacation spot] The Hamptons.”

Source: BBC Work/Life

Date: September 1st, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200824-the-new-residency-schemes-inviting-workers-abroad?xtor=ES-213-[BBC%20Features%20Newsletter]-2020August28-[Worklife%7c+Button]

Discussion

  1. It all sounds very nice, to be able to work from a yacht in Bermuda, but what as some of the technology issues that are important to be aware of, and solved, before doing this is possible?
  2. What are some of the downsides of remote work?

Posted by & filed under COVID-19, IT Infrastructure.

Regina Public Schools hasn’t finalized numbers, it is also setting up a centralized virtual school, and in its case, the division will unite dedicated teachers under one roof as well.

Working from one location will help ensure “robust” internet connectivity on the teachers’ side while staff will “also benefit from working together with their colleagues, so they can share information,” said Terry Lazarou, supervisor of communications for Regina Public Schools. 

“They could share tips and tricks and basically become better at doing this as the year proceeds.”

Students won’t be allowed to bounce between online and in-class learning. School divisions, districts and boards are generally specifying that families who register for the remote option can change to in-person only at set times, for instance, at the end of a reporting term.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: August 27th, 2020

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/e-learning-fall-update-1.5695047

Discussion

  1. The using if information systems in education has taken a turbo-boast due to Covid-19. Do you agree, or not, with the statement that ” Working from one location will help ensure “robust” internet connectivity on the teachers’ side while staff will “also benefit from working together with their colleagues, so they can share information” ?

2. What sort of business could you set up to help schools with their information systems dedicated to online education?

Posted by & filed under Ethical issues, Facebook, Marketing.

Facebook has come under particular fire from organizations like the Anti-Defamation League, who say it isn’t doing enough to curb hate speech.

Almost one in three top brands are set to stop spending on advertising with social media platforms like Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube due to hate speech policies, according to a new survey.

Among major brands, five per cent said they have already withheld money from such platforms, and a further 26 per cent said they are likely to do so, according to a poll from the World Federation of Advertisers. The industry lobby group says it represents 90 per cent of global marketing spending, or about $900 billion U.S. a year. About 40 per cent of companies are undecided.

Facebook has come under particular fire from organizations like the Anti-Defamation League, who say it isn’t doing enough to curb hate speech. A growing list of top tier brands, from Starbucks Corp. to PepsiCo Inc. said they will stop spending on the platform, which sent Facebook’s shares down eight per cent on Friday. Still, Facebook is well-insulated from a blue-chip revolt because most of its ad sales come from small- and-medium sized businesses.

Source: Bloomberg

Date: August 27th, 2020

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/technology/2020/06/30/a-third-of-brands-set-to-halt-social-media-spending-survey-says.html

Discussion

  1. Brands need marketing to reach customers. Are these brands really reducing their social media spending, or just redirecting their social media spending, do you think?
  2. Should Facebook be responsible for policing “hate speech”?

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Apple, Facebook, Marketing.

Woman with phone next to sale sign

Facebook has said it could lose most of its revenue from ads on apps, because of changes to Apple’s operating system. In the upcoming iOS 14, apps have to explicitly ask users’ permission to collect and share data, meaning ads will no longer be able to just “follow” users to apps outside of Facebook. Users targeted in this way are eight times more likely to buy products, according to Facebook.But iOS 14 tests suggest “more than a 50% drop in… publisher revenue”.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: August 27th, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53930775

Discussion

  1. Why do think Apple is making apps ask for user’s permission to collect and share data?
  2. Does Apple care much about Facebook revenues?

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security.

Thousands of Canadians affected by recent cyberattacks on the Canada Revenue Agency and federal government computer systems could be vulnerable to other attacks, warn cybersecurity and privacy experts.

“They have to be very scared if they have another account with the same password,” said Ali Ghorbani, director of the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity at the University of New Brunswick. “If it doesn’t happen now, it would happen tomorrow.”

Former Ontario privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian said the risk to those whose accounts were breached shouldn’t be underestimated.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: August 18th, 2020

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cra-cyber-attack-privacy-1.5689928

Discussion

  1. Why do people use the same password for multiple accounts / websites?
  2. Is there software or a service available to make it easier and safer to not have the same password for different accounts / websites?

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

Apple has removed Fortnite from its App Store, preventing players from installing one of the world’s most popular games on iPhones.

It came after a Fortnite update that let players buy in-game currency at a lower rate if they bought direct from maker Epic Games – bypassing Apple.

Epic appeared to know the ban would come, announcing it had filed a legal complaint minutes after the removal.

Apple takes a standard 30% cut of sales from its compulsory payment system.

Source: BBC Business news

Date: August 18th, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53773715

Discussion

  1. Should Apple be allowed to dictate that all revenue coming from an app posted in its App Store must pay a 30% cut to Apple?
  2. Apple contends that Epic’s Fortnite game makes billions of dollars per year because it is on the Apple App Store. As such, Epic should be happy to pay Apple a 30% cut of that revenue. Is this a good argument or not?