Posted by & filed under Career, Gamification, Healthcare.

Sainsbury and his team — which includes co-founder Rajiv Singal, chief of surgery at Toronto’s Michael Garron Hospital — began developing their simulator in 2016. Sainsbury had a background in film and gaming and was pursuing his PhD at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Singal is a urologic surgeon and had implemented the daVinci robotic surgical program at Michael Garron. When Singal watched Sainsbury demonstrate an early iteration of the system at a grad exhibition, he immediately saw the application for his field, and they went into business together. While simulation trainers were already being used in heart and brain surgery, there was nothing for urologic surgery, a relatively niche market but one whose procedures can be just as tricky. Sainsbury and Singal envisioned a future where students could learn techniques without the costs and risks of, say, using actual surgical facilities or working on cadavers; practising surgeons could hone or upgrade their skills; and, best of all, doctors could be trained, remotely, by clinicians anywhere in the world.

Source: Toronto Daily Star

Date: September 30th, 2022

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/mars/2022/09/29/the-virtual-cutting-edge-how-augmented-reality-is-poised-to-transform-surgery.html

Discussion

  1. In what other ways, besides surgery, could a tool like this be used?
  2. Why would an MIS degree be useful in this field, or how would you put an MIS to use in this field?

Posted by & filed under Space-based internet, The Internet.

Activists in Iran are expressing concern about widespread internet outages and residents being unable to access social media.
Anger has circulated online after over a week of protests sparked by the death of a Kurdish woman in police custody.
Internet monitoring group NetBlocks said Instagram and WhatsApp – two of the major communication tools that Iran usually allows – had been restricted.
WhatsApp said it was working to keep Iranian users connected.
The two Meta-owned apps have millions of Iranian users and have become increasingly popular after authorities blocked other platforms in recent years, including Facebook and Twitter.
Telegram, YouTube and TikTok have also periodically been closed down.

Source: BBC News

Date: September 30th, 2022

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-62996100

Discussion

  1. How is it possible for a country to cut off access to the internet?
  2. Why is it not possible in many countries to cut off access to the internet?

Posted by & filed under Competitive Advantage, Consumer Technology.

Imagine if you could put an ultra-thin, transparent solar sheet on your window to generate energy, not just from sunlight but also artificial lights from inside your room?
Seen as the most promising next-generation solar cell, this technology, called perovskite, is exactly what Japanese start-up Enecoat Technologies is trying to develop.
When ready, the Kyoto-based firm hopes its product will produce as much power as a regular solar panel of the same size.
“We are hoping to market them in three to four years,” says the co-founder and chief executive of the company, Naoya Kato. “But to use them outdoors, we need to make them durable for any kind of weather conditions, so that will take longer.”

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 30th, 2022

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-62719774

Discussion

  1. “deep tech…are small firms who are merging high-tech engineering innovation with scientific discovery. The hope is that it will lead to the development of transformational products.” What other types of “deep tech” are around right now?
    One of the best ways to find out is to review the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.
    The 2022 one is here, with anything in the “Innovation Trigger” band likely being “deep tech”

2. “a successful product launch in this sector takes time. ” Isn’t this always the case? Why is this more of an issue in the “deep tech” industry?
Note, on the Gartner Hype Cycle above they also give a prediction of how long it takes to get to the “plateau of productivity”.

Posted by & filed under Health-tech, Healthcare.

Almost as bad as the anxiety were the feelings of sadness, helplessness and isolation. When Howard shared her thoughts with colleagues, they told her she was catastrophizing. But, she wondered, can one really be catastrophizing if the catastrophe itself is real?
“My colleagues would look at me as though I were the one misunderstanding the situation,” she says. “When you’re with people who haven’t yet tweaked to the dangers of climate change, you can feel incredibly lonely.” In desperation, she sought professional help. “I called a couple of counsellors,” she recalls, “but they didn’t know what to do with me either.”
Howard was suffering from climate anxiety, which researchers have studied since at least 2007. Much like climate change itself, the condition can seem abstract, unless you’re one of the millions of Canadians who’ve experienced it firsthand.

Source: Toronto Daily Star

Date: September 22nd, 2022

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/mars/2022/09/14/dealing-with-dread-how-virtual-therapy-can-help-people-cope-with-eco-anxiety.html

Discussion

  1. “Cassandra Cornacchia is a registered social worker who offers counselling via several organizations, including Inkblot Therapy, a Canadian company that provides digital-first mental-health care. She argues that, for many people, online treatment is not only a workable care model but an ideal one.” Why might online “digital-first mental-health care” be “ideal”?
  2. What sort of technology is needed to support all aspects of this type of healthcare?

Posted by & filed under Bitcoin, Blockchain, crypto-currency.

The Merge – Ethereum, the world’s second biggest cryptocurrency, attempts the Merge, a radical new operating model that cuts its energy usage by 99%. Will it work – and how will it reshape crypto?

Source: BBC Podcast

Date: September 22nd, 2022

Link to podcast (Start to about 10 minutes 45 seconds in) https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3ct375m

Discussion

  1. Why is it important that the technology of blockchain is efficient when it comes to energy use?
  2. Proof of stake is how ethereum works. It has been described like this: “There’s a lottery. To win the lottery, you need to purchase a lottery ticket. To be allowed to buy a lottery ticket, you must be chosen. To be chosen, you need to commit money to the lottery. The more money you commit, the more likely you are to be chosen. If you’re chosen to buy a ticket, your ticket will automatically match the winning number and you win. So the more money you have committed, the more likely you are to win the lottery.” (https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/08/14/the-investors-definitive-guide-to-proof-of-work-and-proof-of-stake-abridged/). This doesn’t seem quite fair. Thoughts?

Posted by & filed under Blockchain.

The second biggest cryptocurrency, Ethereum, is set to switch over to a new operating model that it says uses 99.9% less energy.

Called The Merge, the change has been planned for eight years, and is designed to answer critics who reject cryptocurrency on environmental grounds.

Source: BBC News

Date: September 22nd, 2022

Link to 2 minute 32 second video: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-62899880

Discussion

  1. “The Merge” is taking Ethereum, which is a workhorse of blockchain technology, from “proof of work” to “proof of stake”.
    “Proof of Work” is how bitcoin works, and is described here if you are not sure about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin#Mining
    “Proof of Stake” is a different way of making sure a new addition to the blockchain is valid. It is described in detail here: https://blockgeeks.com/guides/proof-of-work-vs-proof-of-stake/

    Why is it so important to move from (very energy intensive) proof of work to (energy un-intensive) proof of stake?
  2. In “Proof of stake” the more you own, the more you get to be the one deciding that what goes on the blockchain is valid. How is this better?

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

There’s an increasing amount of technology and data on farms and in the agricultural sector. But as farm equipment becomes more advanced and connected to the internet, there also are concerns they’ll become targets for cyberattacks, something that could also put Canada’s food security at risk.

Ali Dehghantanha is a computer scientist at the University of Guelph and the Canada Research Chair in cybersecurity and threat intelligence.

His Cyber Science Lab focuses on cybersecurity, digital forensics, threat hunting and threat intelligence. In the past year, it has been called to investigate 11 cases of cyberattacks involving the farm industry. Dehghantanha said that the most common attacks involve ransomware, where the attacker gains access to a computer system and data, then asks for payment to release it back to the individual.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: September 15th, 2022

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/canada-agriculture-industry-cyber-attacks-1.6570959

Discussion

  1. Why would “cyber barn raising” help farmers?
  2. Clearly cyber ransomware attacks are a major source of threat. Why don’t the developers of the technology do more to protect against this?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence.

Revolutions in art are nothing new, but this one, some think, may be terminal.
“Art is dead Dude”, Jason M Allen told the New York Times.
Mr Allen is the winner of the Colorado State Art Fair’s competition in the category of “emerging digital artists”.
His winning entry “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial” was made using Midjourney, an artificial intelligence system that enables images to be created simply by inputting a few text prompts – for example “an astronaut riding a horse”.
Many artists were furious, but Mr Allen was unmoved: “It’s over. A.I. won. Humans lost”, he told the paper.
Mr Allen earned just $300 (£262) from the contest, but the news struck a tender nerve.

Some artists were already fearful that a new breed of AI image generator could take their jobs, and take a free ride on the years spent learning their craft.
“This thing wants our jobs, it’s actively anti-artist”, wrote California-based movie and game concept artist RJ Palmer in a Tweet liked more than 25,000 times.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 15th, 2022

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-62788725

Discussion

  1. Really the question should be “What is art?”!
  2. Does it matter that AI created the art piece?
  3. In what ways could this technology be put to good business use?

I went to midjourney AI at midjourney.com and put in “professor in a classroom teaching students”. In seconds these are some of the results.

Posted by & filed under Platform.

The UK’s competition watchdog has found streaming has made the music industry challenging for many artists. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said more than 80% of recorded music was now listened to via streaming, with more than 138 billion streams in the UK last year.
Members of the British Parliament had demanded a “complete reset” of the industry, amid “pitiful returns” for artists. They had called for the CMA to look into the power of the major players.
Although the primary focus of the report was on consumers, the watchdog found a small number of high-profile artists enjoyed most of the financial success while the majority made no substantial earnings.
CMA interim chief executive Sarah Cardell said: “For many artists, it is just as tough as it has always been – and many feel that they are not getting a fair deal.” But the report notes streaming has made it easier not only for listeners to access music but also for artists to record and share it.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 15th, 2022

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-62305395

Discussion

  1. The issue here is that the digital distribution of music has led to “138 billion streams in the UK last year”, which is great for listeners, but “pitiful returns” for artists. Is this the fault of technology and digital distribution, is it the fault of the music platforms, or is it a good thing?
  2. Why is music “the first thing to get disrupted” (according to Chris Anderson, author of “Free!” and “The Long Tail”?

Posted by & filed under Platform.

Erin Stephenson is co-founder of DOZR, a Kitchener-based digital marketplace that contractors turn to when they need to rent heavy machinery like a backhoe or bulldozer.

“Typically, when you need construction equipment, you need it now,” Stephenson says. But in the past, the equipment rental market has had little transparency around rates and availability — driving up construction costs. Founded in 2015, DOZR’s platform matches suppliers and contractors, and the firm also provides e-commerce software for rental companies to automate their operations.

Source: Toronto Daily Star

Date: September 7th, 2022

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/mars/2022/08/31/this-kitchener-entrepreneur-is-bulldozing-stereotypes-in-construction.html

Discussion

  1. “DOZR’s platform matches suppliers and contractors”. Platform’s that match are very common, it seems. The most well known might be AirBnB (accomodation) and Uber (riders and drivers). Is Netflix a type of “platform [that] matches suppliers and contractors”? I think it is possible to say “yes” and Netflix matches viewers with video-content producers.
  2. What other technology platforms are there that match suppliers and buyers?