Posted by & filed under Electric vehicle.

Daimler is ending sales of its diminutive all-electric smart fortwo cars in the U.S. and Canada, officially pulling the plug on a vehicle that has struggled to gain ground in North America as the German automaker prepares to bring the brand to China.

Source: Tech Crunch

Date: May 3rd, 2019

Link: https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/29/daimler-pulls-the-plug-on-electric-smart-car-sales-in-u-s-canada/

Discussion

  1. Why do you think the sale of this all-electric car stalled in Canada?
  2. Why would this vehicle be a better bet in China?

Posted by & filed under business models, Consumer Technology.

Rogers president and CEO Joe Natale at the company's annual general meeting in Toronto on Thursday.

Rogers reported 23,000 net wireless contract additions in the period ended March 31. That’s versus the consensus forecast of analysts for more than 60,000 and well off the 95,000 new post-paid customers in the year earlier first quarter.

The Toronto-based wireless, cable, internet and media company also missed analysts’ forecasts for new subscribers in its internet and cable divisions as it lost a worse-than-forecast 28,000 television customers. Natale said new cable additions were hit by macro-economic factors, including an easing of housing starts.

Source: Toronto Star

Date: May 3rd, 2019

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/technology/2019/04/18/wireless-weakness-weighs-on-rogers-results.html

Discussion

  1. Why would wireless contracts additions be so slow to grow?
  2. What causes a person to move to a cellphone from a landline phone?

Posted by & filed under app, App Economy, Artificial intelligence.

YOU might expect to hear an angry buzzing when honeybees have been disturbed. But some apiarists reckon they can also deduce the condition of their bees from the sounds they make. A steady hum could be the sign of a contented hive; a change in tone might indicate that the bees are about to swarm. That intuition is about to be put to the test. Soon, beekeepers will be able to try to find out what is troubling a colony by listening to the buzz using a smartphone app. The app, which is in the final stages of testing, has been developed by Jerry Bromenshenk and a group of fellow bee experts at the University of Montana. It uses a form of artificial intelligence to analyse the sound that bees are making in order to deduce whether they are suffering from a number of maladies. Source: Bee Culture Magazine Date: May 3rd, 2019 Link: https://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-a-new-app-listens-to-the-problems-of-bees-matching-honey-bee-noises-to-their-ailments/ Discusssion (Note: David Firth, the author of this blog, is the business manager and co-developer of the Bee Health Guru app
  1. What are some of the issues of pushing a smartphone technology app on to beekeepers?
  2. What are some other possible applications of this app?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

At one time, the staggering success of the iPhone helped catapult Apple to become the world’s most valuable company. Now, its lackluster smartphone sales are dragging down Apple’s business.Apple (AAPL) said Tuesday that its revenue for the first three months of 2019 declined 5% from the year prior to $58 billion as it grappled with sluggish smartphone demand. iPhone sales for the period fell 17% from the year prior.For years, Apple’s iPhone business appeared to defy gravity as the company managed to sell more devices and gradually charge more for them. But that narrative was shattered at the beginning of this year when the company warned investors that iPhone sales had taken a hit from a slowdown in China amid an ongoing trade war. Source: CNN Technology News Date: May 3rd, 2019 Link: https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/30/tech/apple-q2-earnings/index.html Discussion
  1. Does it matter that iPhone sales are slowing down?
  2. What was last genuinely innovative thing Apple came up with?

Posted by & filed under FaceBook, Privacy.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Meets With Members Of Congress On Capitol Hill

The latest damning assessment of Facebook’s trampling of user privacy comes from the Canada and British Columbia privacy commissioners — which have just published the results of an investigation kicked off in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal last year.

They found the social network company committed serious contraventions of local laws and failed generally to take responsibility for protecting the personal information of Canadians.

Facebook  has disputed the findings and refused to implement the watchdogs’ recommendations — including refusing to voluntarily submit to audits of its privacy policies and practices over the next five years.

Source: Tech Crunch

Date: April 26th, 2019

Link: https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/25/facebook-broke-canadian-privacy-law-joint-probe-finds/

Discussion

  1. “Facebook’s refusal to act responsibly is deeply troubling given the vast amount of sensitive personal information users have entrusted to this company.”  And yet people will continue to use Facebook.  Why is it that most users don’t care about their own privacy?
  2. What could you do to impact how people view their own privacy online?

Posted by & filed under PayPal, Uber.

Uber office sign
Uber has revealed that it is seeking a valuation of $90bn (£70bn) in its much anticipated stock market flotation. The taxi-app firm has said that its shares will be priced at between $44 and $50 each, with the share issue set to raise about $10bn. As part of the offer it will sell $500m worth of shares to payment giant, PayPal. Uber warned earlier this month that it may never make a profit. The IPO price values the company below the $100bn some had expected it to aim for. As well as the original “ride-hailing” business, Uber is developing driverless cars, and has a food delivery business, Uber Eats. Source: BBC Technology News Date: April 26th, 2019 Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48063637 Discussion
  1. Why is Paypal buying half-a-billion dollars of Uber stock? What’s in it for PayPal?
  2. Why would anyone buy IPO stock in a company that is losing $1bn a quarter?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence.

AI art
Last year a portrait of Edmond Belamy sold for $432,000 (£337,000). A bit steep, you might think, for a picture of someone you’ve never heard of. And you won’t have heard of the artist either, as the picture was created by an algorithm drawing on a data set of 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th Centuries. And to be honest, it’s a bit rubbish. The sale, which astonished auction house Christie’s, raised many important questions. Can a computer, devoid of human emotion, ever be truly creative? Is this portrait really art? Does any of that matter if people are prepared to pay for it? And as artificial intelligence evolves and eventually perhaps reaches or surpasses human level intelligence, what will this mean for human artists and the creative industries in general? Source: BBC Technology News Date: April 26th, 2019 Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47700701 Discussion
  1. “In 2017, one of DeepMind’s AI programmes beat the world’s number one player of Go, an ancient and highly complex Chinese board game, after apparently mastering creative new moves and innovative strategies within days. Google would say that was creativity – new ways of finding solutions that it was not taught.” What do you think counts as creativity?
2. Does creativity have to solely come from humans to actually be creativity?

Posted by & filed under IT and Politics, IT Infrastructure, IT Trends.

The federal government is investing $52.4 million in an innovation network that is expected to create 18,000 skilled jobs in Waterloo, Toronto and Ottawa.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the funding for the new “Scale-up Platform” program for tech companies at the Communitech technology hub in Kitchener, Ont., on Tuesday.

The federal government says the platform will be the first of its kind in Canada, and it will incorporate the skills of Ontario’s “top innovation hubs”: Communitech, in Kitchener, the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto and Invest Ottawa.

The three will work with tech companies to grow their businesses.

Source: CBC News

Date: April 19th, 2019

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/prime-minister-trudeau-kitchener-tech-hub-announcement-1.5099705

Discussion

  1. “”For the first time in decades, we have a crop of scale-ready firms that are on the path to $100 million. Our job — through the Scale-up Platform — is to help those high-growth firms find the talent and capital to accelerate their growth,” said Iain Klugman, President and CEO of Communitech.”  What do you think “scale-ready” means?
  2. Why do networks like these work so well for tech-related firms?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Careers.

A call centre
I am becoming increasingly concerned that AI will, in fact, block the traditional growth path by replacing low-wage jobs with robots. As Kai-Fu Lee, a Beijing-based venture capitalist who invests in artificial intelligence, tells us, AI is potentially the most revolutionary technology to emerge this century. It is also, along with the associated technologies of machine learning and robotics, advancing at breakneck speed. Already AI has the capacity to replace many work tasks that are rules-based and repetitive, and which do not require great dexterity or empathy. In developed economies, for instance, robots have replaced well over half of the jobs in the car and related industries in recent decades. Source: BBC News Date: April 19th, 2019 Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47852589 Discussion: 1) AI has the capacity to replace many work tasks that are rules-based and repetitive, and which do not require great dexterity or empathy. ” What topics have you covered so far in your business school courses that almost exactly match this statement? 2) What are you doing to better understand how AI works? ” AI has the capacity to replace many work tasks that are rules-based and repetitive, and which do not require great dexterity or empathy. ” What topics have you covered so far in your business school courses that almost exactly match this statement?

Posted by & filed under FaceBook, System development.

Man looking at Facebook
Facebook “unintentionally” uploaded the email contacts of more than 1.5 million users without asking permission to do so, the social network has admitted. The data harvesting happened via a system used to verify the identity of new members, Facebook asked new users to supply the password for their email account, and took a copy of their contacts. Facebook said it had now changed the way it handled new users to stop contacts being uploaded. Source: BBC News Date: April 19th, 2019 Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-47974574 Discussion
  1. How likely is it that no one immediately noticed that the entire contact lists of 1.5 million people suddenly appeared in a database at Facebook? (If each person only had 100 contacts that would be 150 million entries in a database)
  2. What does it say about Facebook’s software testing procedures that this “error” existed?