The tours and experiences market is projected to be worth $183 billion this year, and today a startup that has made inroads into the space through bootstrapping is announcing its first outside investment.
ToursByLocals — which sources local guides in some 162 countries, then helps tourists search and book them for either individual or small group tours and experiences in the place they are visiting — is today announcing 33 million Canadian dollars (US$25 million) in funding, from a single investor, Tritium Partners, money that it plans to use to hire more talent, build out its proprietary booking, payment and review publishing technology and expand its business development team.
This is the first outside funding for the Vancouver, Canada-based startup, which for the past 10 years has bootstrapped its business, building it up to 1.45 million customers and some US$45 million in revenues. It has around 100 employees today.
1) “In the brave new world of retail this won’t necessitate a trek out to the nearest late night supermarket. Instead the shop can come to you. With the touch of an app button, you hail a low-slung electric vehicle, like a glass-sided motorhome, which quietly glides into a parking space near you. You enter the shop by swiping your mobile phone at the door, pick up your wares and swipe out again. There’s no cashier or sales assistant, and no-one to clean up if you drop a carton of milk on your toe.” What are some of the cybersecurity issues around this idea?
2) What are some of the technology (in addition to cybersecurity) issues around this idea?
A joint investigation by watchdogs in Canada and British Columbia has found that Cambridge Analytica-linked data firm, Aggregate IQ, broke privacy laws in Facebook ad-targeting work it undertook for the official Vote Leave Brexit campaign in the UK’s 2016 EU referendum.
A quick reminder: Vote Leave was the official leave campaign in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. While Cambridge Analytica is the (now defunct) firm at the center of a massive Facebook data misuse scandal which has dented the company’s fortunes and continues to tarnish its reputation.
“The investigation finds that the personal information provided to and used by AIQ comes from disparate sources. This includes psychographic profiles derived from personal information Facebook disclosed to Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, and onward to Cambridge Analytica.” And yet most consumers will barely care. Why is this?
What sorts of monitoring could be put in place to ensure companies adhere to the rules and regulations?
“Kids trust their teachers because they’ve learned to trust them, whereas they’re still figuring out whether or not sources like voice assistants are trustworthy.” How might kids and adults be taught to trust intelligent agents like the Amazon Alexa?
” when the statements involved scientific and historical facts, kids tended to trust the teacher while adults were more inclined to trust the internet. The researchers concluded this could be due to the vast amounts of information available online, the fallibility of human memory and the tendency for adults to become less trusting of humans as they get older. ” How is this insight important to the developers of intelligent agents like the Amazon Alexa?
The oil producing equipment is not going extinct like the traditional grain elevator, but just as technology changed how agriculture companies built their terminals, innovation is altering the number, size and placement of pumpjacks.
For much of the last century, oil wells were similar to drilling a water well — they were vertical. That changed in the mid-2000s when companies discovered how to turn the drill bit and produce directional wells.
Technology continues to improve and as a result, oil wells are getting longer and longer. The average oil well drilled is now about three kilometres in length.
Artists have told the BBC how their artwork is being stolen from social media and sold for profit online.
They claim malicious individuals are finding their art, often with the aid of an automated system known as a bot, and uploading it on to a website where it can be sold on a T-shirt without the artist’s permission.
The individuals then comment underneath the artist’s work on social media with a link to the T-shirt website, tricking the artist’s fans into thinking it is an official product.
Some artists have claimed this entire process can occur without any human intervention.
They say the bot finds the image, uploads it to a third-party T-shirt-selling website, and posts the link automatically.
The Royal Canadian Mint fell for what’s known as a “spear-phishing” scam and almost forked over an employee’s paycheque to fraudsters, according to a breach report obtained through access to information.
Spear-phishing is a type of fraud which sees swindlers carefully collect information on a target in order to impersonate them. It’s one of the “most common and most dangerous attack methods” and it’s getting increasingly difficult to investigate, says a bulletin issued by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre last month.
In the Mint’s case, a “malicious actor” masquerading as a former Mint employee reached out to the Crown corporation’s human resources department back in February. The scam artist requested a change to a real former employee’s bank account information for payroll purposes, according to a copy of the incident report obtained by CBC News through access to information.
After some back-and-forth emails, a human resources worker at the Mint — thinking they were talking to the real former employee — changed the banking information. They also gave the fraudster a pay stub, as requested.
One of the bigger problems with this issue of spear-phishing is captured by the photo for this article, which shows a lone hacker, in a hoodie, presumably in the basement of his parent’s home. In reality, almost all spear-phishing attacks are conducted by criminal organizations that have banks of what are essentially office workers conducting the email scams. Why is it a serious issue that people and companies think of this as being a “lone hacker in the basement” issue?
How do you train employees to not fall for these spear-phishing attacks?