Posted by & filed under Cybersecurity.

More than one in five Canadian companies say they were hit by a cyberattack last year, with businesses spending $14 billion on cybersecurity as they confront greater risks in the digital world, according to a new Statistics Canada survey.

The most common suspected motive was an attempt to steal money or demand a ransom payment, according to the survey. Theft of personal or financial information was less typical — less than one-quarter of the cyberattacks — though it was the most cited reason for investing in cybersecurity, StatCan said.

Source: CBC News

Date: October 18th, 2018

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/statistics-canada-business-cybersecurity-1.4863500

Discussion

1) Why does it matter that 1 in 5 Canadian companies were hit by a cyberattack?

2) What are you doing to better understand cybersecurity risks and how to control those risks?

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Innovator's Dilemma, Netflix.

To keep his family of four entertained, Ben Emery pays about $180 a month for Spectrum TV and internet service, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. He gets Amazon mostly for free shipping and Hulu in part because his 5-year-old daughter likes “Teen Titans Go.”

“Netflix and Hulu got in early, so that’s where I’m willing to invest my money.

Source: Bloomberg

Date: October 18th, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-18/netflix-amazon-leave-little-room-for-streaming-video-latecomers?srnd=technology-vp

Discussion

1) How might a new upstart be able to succeed in a world where Netflix and Amazon dominate?

2) Do you understand Clayton Christensen’s Innovators Dilemma paradigm?  It is useful to use this disruptive innovation approach to consider how you might compete here.

Posted by & filed under app, App Economy.

A new delivery service has just raised $3 million from Casa Verde Capital, the $45 million venture firm founded by hip hop impresario Snoop Dogg, and Kevin Durant’s Durant Company — among others — to take advantage of the growing demand for marijuana delivery.

Source: Tech Crunch

Date: October 18th, 2018

Link: https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/24/pass-the-dutchie-to-the-left-hand-side/

Discussion

1) “We’re creating a tool that helps the user and consumer navigate the delivery space,” he said. “We’re educating the consumer to that buying experiences…”  How might you do this in an app?

2) Is this something new, or something old that is now new?  Why does this matter?

Posted by & filed under FaceBook.

A video wall

Facebook was aware of inaccuracies in the way it measured how many people viewed video on its site for a year longer than it has previously admitted, court documents have claimed.

Newly released papers that are part of a US legal action against the social network, claim that it knew about the problems in 2015.

Facebook described the case against it as “without merit”.

It said suggestions it had tried to hide the issue were “false”.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: October 18th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45901287

Discussion

1) You have watched videos on Facebook, sometimes to the end, sometimes not.  What do you think is a fair metric to measure how much video is being watched?

2) Should this be a linear metric, that is you just count the number of minutes and seconds watched and divide by the total length of the video?  Does it make more sense to have a metric that is exponential – the more someone watches of a video the more valuable their time watching is counted?

Posted by & filed under Cloud Computing, Data center, Data storage, Ethical Issues.

A woman watching a tablet device

Watching your favourite show or listening to your playlist has never been easier.

A virtually endless supply of film, music and TV can be streamed and downloaded almost instantly.

But at what cost to the environment?

Vast amounts of energy are needed to keep data flowing on the internet and demand will only increase as our reliance on digital services grows.

Some of that energy is generated from clean energy sources, but much of it comes from burning carbon-based fossil fuels, which scientists believe is a contributing factor to rising global temperatures.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: October 18th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45798523

Discussion

1) “More demand for the technology also means more energy is required to store and share vast amounts of information.  This is where data centres come in – often in vast buildings that house computer servers that store, process and distribute internet traffic. The servers themselves require a great deal of cooling.”  So, this is not just a Netflix issue.  What other issues are there?

2) How could you make a change?

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Artificial intelligence.

hopper travel app

Hopper — a mobile-only travel booking app cofounded by a former Expedia executive in Montreal, Canada that uses artificial intelligence to help you search for and book hotels and flights — has gained a little elevation of its own today. The startup has raised another $100 million in funding, money that it plans to use to build out its AI algorithms and expand deeper into international markets.

Source: TechCrunch

Date: October 12th, 2018

Link: https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/03/hopper-raises-100m-more-for-its-ai-based-travel-app-now-valued-at-780m/

Discussion

1) “Hopper has carved out a distinct place for itself by building an AI framework that not only helps people find good deals, but also discover trips they may have not known that they specifically wanted to take.”  Is this creepy, or useful?

2) $100 million for a travel app.  How is this possible?

Posted by & filed under Automation.

On the eve of legalized recreational marijuana and concerns about supply shortage, one of Canada’s largest producers believes automated machines will be the key to producing more cannabis.

Leamington-based Aphria currently has supply agreements with every province and Yukon, boasting about plans to produce roughly 20,000 kilograms of marijuana a month by spring.

As they expand their footprint to 3 million square feet, they’re constantly looking at automation to reduce costs and maintain quality, said co-founder John Cervini.

“It’s what’s made us the low-cost producer, helped us to maintain that low-cost producer status,” he said during a recent tour of the facility.

Source: CBC News

Date: October 12th, 2018

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/automation-aphria-leamington-cannabis-before-legal-marijuana-1.4857992

Discussion

1) What sorts of jobs will not be automated away?

2) Review this site:  https://willrobotstakemyjob.com/ What sorts of jobs do get automated away, and what sorts do not?

Posted by & filed under Apple, Emerging Economies.

The battle for India’s online shoppers has triggered a smartphone gold rush.

Flipkart and Amazon are leading an online sales bonanza that will see Indians buy smartphones worth over $1 billion in just five days, according to tech consultancy Counterpoint Research.
Bangalore-based Flipkart said it sold 1 million devices during the first hour of an online phone sale on Thursday that was part of its “Big Billion Days” shopping festival. By the end of the day, it had sold more than 3 million phones.
Source: CNN Technology
Date: October 12th, 2018
Discussion
1) Why is it important, or maybe it is not, that 300 million Indians now have a smartphone?
2) Why is it important, or maybe it is not, that almost none of the smartphones Indians are buying are iPhones?

Posted by & filed under cyber war, Cybersecurity, Ethical Issues, hackers.

A picture showing the inside of the car

Four Russians, a car full of electronic equipment, and a foiled plot to hack the world’s foremost chemical weapons watchdog.

The Dutch security services say Russia planned a cyber-attack on the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague earlier this year.

At a press conference on Thursday, Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld said the plan was thwarted with the help of officials from the UK.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: October 8th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45747472

Discussion

1) There are some in the intelligence community who are describing this cyberattack on the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons by Russian agents as “amateur hour”.  I find it headshaking too, as what you see in the picture above, and the attack as described, is something that was being conducted 20 years ago and is called “drive-by hacking”.  The equipment in the photo, allegedly from Russian’s premier spy agency GRU, is about 20 years out of date too.  All of what is being described here can be done off a high-end gaming laptop fitted with an off-the-shelf hi-speed wifi card.  Given all that, what is going on here?

2) Cybersecurity attacks are clearly on the rise.  What are doing for yourself to better understand the risks, and how to control those risks, even if you don’t become a cybersecurity specialist?