Ontario's delegation to participate virtually in Collision from Home, world’s largest tech conference
#Ontario; #VirtualTechConference; #CollisionFromHome, #InternationalParticipation
Jun 24 (Canadian-Media): Ontario with a delegation of 65 companies would showcase its vibrant tech sector at the world's biggest tech conference, Collision from Home to be held in 2021, a unique virtual program for international participants, media reports said.
Collision from Home. Image credit: Twitter handle
Originally scheduled to be held in Toronto prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Collision 2020 conference will return to Toronto in 2021.
A related international program featuring 22 sessions, would also be offered in this conference by Ontario, to over 500 international companies and technology buyers who want to take advantage of the business opportunities being offered by Ontario.
While participating in these digital sessions, Vic Fedeli, Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade would meet virtually with investors to showcase Ontario's two of the largest start-up ecosystems in the world, Waterloo and Toronto.
Vic Fedeli. Image credit: Twitter handle
"We cannot let the pandemic prevent us from attracting investment and creating jobs here in the province...That's why it is so important that over 65 Ontario companies, each at the forefront of their respective industries, are participating as part of the Ontario delegation in this influential global conference..."The lasting connections formed through Collision from Home will benefit the growth of Ontario's tech and innovation sectors and keep us focussed on future development, " said Vic Fideli June 22 in a news release.
With over 300,000 tech workers and 23,000 firms, and being North America's second-largest IT cluster, after California, Ontario is called home to the world leaders in artificial intelligence, fintech, cybersecurity, and digital media.
Global leaders in the IT sector, including Google, Uber, and Microsoft, have operations in Ontario.
Toronto, North America’s fastest-growing tech market, having equaled the number of tech jobs created in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2013, has also added about 80,100 tech jobs in the past five years.
#USDeptOfState; #UK; #SensitiveTechnologySafeguards; #USSpaceLaunches; #MTCR
United States, Jun 17 (Canadian-Media): The United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) concluded on June 16 the Agreement on Technology Safeguards Associated with U.S. Participation in Space Launches from the United Kingdom, or the U.S.-UK Technology, U.S. Department of State reports said.
U.S. Department of State. Image credit: Twitter handle
The agreement between the two countries was concluded by U.S. Department of State Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation Christopher Ford and the UK’s Ambassador to the United States, Karen Pierce
This Agreement, when enforced, establishes the technical safeguards to support U.S. space launches from the UK while ensuring the proper handling of sensitive technology consistent with our long-standing partnership and roles as founding members of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
Besides, protecting sensitive U.S. technology, this agreement also sets the standard for the how the of use such sensitive technology in the conduct of satellite and rocket launches from foreign locations should be done by others.
#Twitter; #USSocialMediaCompany; #ChineseGovt;
New York, Jun 12 (Canadian-Media): A vast network of accounts of false information favorable to the country's Communist Party that was allegedly linked to the Chinese government has been removed by Twitter, the U.S. social media company, media reports said.
Twitter. Image credit: Twitter handle
Beijing denied involvement Friday and said accounts smearing China should be taken down.
Twitter suspended 23,750 accounts with posts of pro-Beijing narratives, and another 150,000 accounts dedicated to retweeting and amplifying those messages.
A range of co-ordinated and manipulated activities were engaged by the network mostly in Chinese languages, applauding China's response to the coronavirus pandemic and "deceptive narratives" about Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, Twitter said.
Taiwan and Guo Wengui, an exiled billionaire waging a campaign against China's President Xi Jinping and his administration were also tweeted in their accounts.
Twitter suspended these accounts under its manipulation policies, which ban artificial amplification and suppression of information.
Most of the accounts had little to no followers and failed to get much attention.
Twitter and other social media services like Facebook and YouTube are blocked in China.
Although China has denied involvement, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing in Beijing on Friday that Twitter should shut down those accounts which attack and discredit China, and added that China was the biggest victim of false information.
More than 1,000 accounts linked to a Russian media website were also removed by Twitter as these accounts were found to be engaged in state-backed political propaganda in Russia.
Twitter had also suspended a network of 7,340 fake or compromised accounts used for "cheerleading" the ruling party in Turkey.
#Amazon; #FacialRecognitionTool; #IBM; #Microsoft
New York, Jun 10 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made by Amazon on June 10 that it would be putting one-year pause on letting the police use its facial recognition tool, due to growing concerns that the technology may lead to unfair treatment of African-Americans, media reports said.
Amazon. Image credit: Twitter handle
Amazon’s technology had received criticism in the past for misidentifying people of color, but Amazon said its tools were accurate but were improperly used by researchers.
Face Recognition App. Image credit: Facebook page
Amazon's independent ethics board also recommended that the technology is not currently reliable enough to ethically justify its use.
“Face recognition technology gives governments the unprecedented power to spy on us wherever we go,” Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties director for the American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.) of Northern California, said in the statement. “It fuels police abuse. This surveillance technology must be stopped.”
Facial recognition technology has been used by law enforcement agencies to identify suspects and missing children by trying to match facial pattern data extracted from photos or video with those in databases.
A police reform law was introduced by Democrats in the House this week to ban the use of facial recognition technology with police recording equipment.
Civil liberties advocates began calling for a ban on the use of facial recognition by law enforcement in 2018, after a report by academic researchers found racial bias in the systems.
The facial technologies made by IBM and Microsoft could correctly identify the gender of white men in photographs about 100 percent of the time but it was less accurate to identify the gender of darker-skinned women.
Whereas IBM and Microsoft quickly improved their systems. Amazon found itself under scrutiny.
Last fall, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, said the company was drafting privacy legislation for facial recognition. but did not provide details about the company’s proposed legislation.
#Ontario; #BIODigital; #LifeSciences; #BIO;
Toronto, Jun 9 (Canadian-Media): The Ontario government is bringing a delegation of 35 companies to the first-ever, fully digital Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) international conference, BIO Digital, where Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade will highlight the top reasons investors in the life sciences should choose Ontario.
BIO. Image credit: Website.
Minister Fedeli, joined by Nina Tangri, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister, will lead the province's delegation and promote Ontario as the premier destination for investment and trade in life sciences to a global audience.
Vic Fedeli. Image credit: Twitter handle
"This delegation of 35 companies is our largest to BIO to-date, which speaks volumes to what an incredible opportunity this is for Ontario to showcase our thriving life sciences sector," said Minister Fedeli. "More than ever, creative thinking in the life sciences sector will help us address the economic challenges we are facing today, and help lead to greater economic growth and prosperity in the future."
Ontario's life sciences sector is the largest in Canada, with about 1,900 firms including Sanofi, Roche, Apotex, BlueRock Therapeutics, Johnson & Johnson, and GSK. It provides 66,000 high-value jobs in the province, with a yearly payroll of about $5 billion. In 2018, Ontario's life sciences sector exported about $9.7 billion in goods, including essential vaccines, critical medicines and medical devices. Ontario's life sciences and digital strengths are converging, resulting in leading edge technology and services, such as Cyclica's proprietary AI-augmented drug discovery platform, currently being applied to identify compounds for infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
The conference's digital format presents a unique opportunity for Ontario's 35 participating companies to meet with potential partners, industry leaders and deal makers from major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies around the world. Last year, Ontario led a delegation of 14 companies to the conference in Philadelphia.
"We are proud to promote Ontario's deep talent pool, cutting edge innovation ecosystem, competitive business costs, welcoming immigration system and unparalleled access to global markets," said PA Tangri. "These advantages make our province an ideal partner for trade and investment and a destination for new ideas and technologies."
#Canada; #TelecomServices; #Covid19Pandemic; #ISEDC
Ottawa, Jun 6 (Canadian-Media): Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has engaged with Canada’s telecom service providers to ensure they can continue to provide the services that we all rely on to stay connected, news release said.
Navdeep Bains. Image credit: Facebook Page
Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced June 5 a six-month postponement of the 3500 MHz spectrum auction process and its associated key dates to allow the telecommunications industry to maintain its focus on providing essential services to Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The auction is now scheduled to start on June 15, 2021.
“Canada’s telecommunications service providers are doing their part in this difficult time, providing essential services to keep Canadians connected as we face the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic together. A number of providers have raised concerns, and the Government is implementing measures to address them. The Government will continue to reach out to telecommunications service providers—and to the private sector more broadly—to understand their challenges and support them to ensure that Canadians have access to high-quality networks and broad coverage at low prices,” said Bains.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISEDC) will continue to monitor COVID-19’s impact on the telecom industry and remains open to further changes to the timelines for spectrum auctions if necessary.
In addition, Minister Bains announced that a consultation on the 3800 MHz band would be launched in August. This consultation will give stakeholders the opportunity to comment on how additional spectrum can be used to further support Canada’s world-class wireless infrastructure and progress toward the next generation of connectivity.
In keeping with the Government’s commitment to track progress on the 25 percent reduction in wireless service prices over the next two years, Minister Bains announced that the first quarterly pricing report on 2 GB to 6 GB data plans will be made available online in July 2020.
The Government would like to thank employees in the telecommunications industry for their continued hard work to ensure that Canada’s networks remain strong and resilient, enabling the work-from-home economy while we all do our part to combat COVID-19.
#Europe; #ChangeInFloodPattern; #MostFloodRichPeriods; #MoreFloodsInSummer
Vienna (Austria), Jul 25 (Canadian-Media): The change in the flood pattern for the first time was found over the last decades in Europe compared to past centuries, according to an international research project coordinated by the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), with participation from researchers of the University of Barcelona, Spain. The study, published in the journal Nature, concludes we are in one of the most flood-rich periods in Europe from the last five hundred years.
Photograph of the Almanzora River in the town of Huércal-Overa (Almería) in the bridge of Santa Bárbara during the floods between October 18 and 19 in 1973. Photo provided by the Town Hall of Cuevas del Almanzora. Figure: structures still preserved from the bridge of Santa Bárbara built during the 19th century eighties. Image credit: Lothar Schulte/UB
The last three decades within the last half of the millennium, the study said, are among the most important periods regarding the frequency and magnitude of floods in Europe, the distribution of the floods, as well as the temperature of the air and flood seasonality have changed, with a higher percentage of floods in summer.
Whereas from 1500 to 1900, floods used to take place with higher frequency during cold climate phases, while after 1990, floods increased within the context of global warming.
Nine periods of floods that were more abundant and the associated regions were identified after analysis of the data., the most notable periods being 1560-1580 (western and central Europe), 1760-1800 (most part of Europe), 1840-1870 (western and southern Europe), and 1990-2016 (western and central Europe).
The analysis also highlighted that the current phase is the third most severe regarding floods.
Now, floods cause annual damages accounting for more than 100,000 million euros, and the general tendency of abundant floods is increasing.
Historical data from half a millennium
The international study, coordinated by Günter Blöschl, director of the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management in TU Wien with participation of thirty-four research groups from all over Europe, among which are also researchers of the National Museum of Natural Sciences (CSIC Madrid) and the University of Almería (UAL).
In the study, thousands of historical documents with direct and contemporary information on flood episodes in Europe from 1500 to 2016 were analysed by the researchers.
Historical data from Spain and a part of the series in Switzerland was provided by the research teams of the University of Barcelona, CSIC and the University of Almería, which possess detailed records in the European context.
"The special challenge of this study was to compare sources and texts that were very different from others from other centuries and cultural regions", said Mariano Barriendos, researcher at the Department of History and Archaeology of the UB, together with Andrea Kiss (TU Wien).
Those texts were studied in their historical context with deep attention to details and a cross-check between episodes of different kinds of documents, places and basins. For instance, the case of data in the Spanish Mediterranean watershed, this check included 4,500 flood cases.
Differences in current river floods
The result of the comparison with air temperature reconstructions in all Europe which verified that the most notable historical flood periods were colder than intermediate phases seemed to contradict the observation which states that in some areas, such as northern-eastern Europe, the recent warm weather is aligned with severe floods.
"The co-variability of temperatures and rainfall, and their modifications, as well as the intensification or weakness due to atmospheric dynamics, can be key aspects to understand those processes", said Fernando Sánchez Rodrigo, physicist at the University of Almería.
The seasonality of floods within the year has changed as well. Previously, the 41% of floods in central Europe took place in summer, compared to the nowadays' 55%. These shifts are related to changes in rainfall, evaporation and snowmelt, and are an important indicator to distinguish between the role of climate change and other control factors such as deforestation and river management.
These results have been obtained from a new database compiled by the authors of the study, which includes the exact dating of almost all flood episodes recorded in documentary and bibliographical sources.
Gerardo Benito, research professor of Earth Sciences of the CSIC, notes that this database provides direct proof of the level of floods during periods of climate crisis, with a high potential for risk studies.
The new study is the first to assess historical periods of floods for a whole continent with such detail during the last five hundred years.
Better data, better forecasts
Due to the change in flood generating mechanisms, use of tools, was advocated by Günter Blöschl, to study the risk of floods that capture the physical processes involved as well as management strategies to incorporate recent changes in the risk analysis.
It is highlighted by the team of authors that the adaptation of the management of floods should be done by keeping in mind new realities of the effects of this phenomenon during the coming decades.