Windows 8.1 won’t install updates #microsoft #sccm #security #deployment #patch

Microsoft Windows 8.1

For those of you out there that are still struggling with Windows 8.1, I have some help for you today. For a few weeks I’ve been wondering why my 8.1 workstations only had about 13 Windows hot fixes installed. If I launched a command window and typed the “systeminfo” command it would say 13 hotfixes installed. Now it’s nearly 2017 so what’s the deal here you may ask. Well here’s the steps to resolve the missing hot fixes problem.

To cut to the chase, the missing fix is KB2919355.  Without this fix you will essentially be stuck and unable to move forward with your patching. But before you install this cumulative fix you must have the pre-requisite KB2919442 installed!

My sleuthing started courtesy of this report at CNET,

“Windows 8.1 users who have not yet installed the major update rolled out in April [2014] will not be able to install future patches and bug fixes for the OS.”

“That requirement was first revealed when Microsoft launched the so-dubbed Windows 8.1 Update in early April. But a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed to CNET that the requirement is now in place starting with the June Patch Tuesday updates rolling out today.”

“The majority of Windows 8.1 customers have installed the Windows 8.1 update,” Microsoft spokeswoman Jill Lovato told CNET in an email on Monday. “For those who have not yet made the transition, those newer updates offered with this month’s Update Tuesday will be considered ‘not applicable.’ Customers’ infrastructure will continue to function; however, it should be noted that they can’t consume any further updates until they apply the Windows 8.1 Update.”

So after KB2919355 installed I hit the mother-lode and Windows detected 247 updates. I installed them and I’m relieved now that I figured this out. By the way if you’re using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) you’ll need to change some attributes for the KB2919355 update. The maximum run time should be changed from 10 to 60 minutes (the install consumes up to 3.5GB apparently) . Also change the priority from normal to critical (because without this update you can’t move forward).

 

 

 

Windows 10 Update KB3194496 causes a restart loop post install #microsoft #os

Microsoft Windows 10 Hotfix issue

According to Thurrott, Microsoft has released a Windows 10 update that is problematic – specifically KB3194496. Several users are reporting that their computers are going into a restart loop.

“The update that is causing the problem, KB3194496, is not installing correctly for users. The update, when it does fail, is causing some machines to restart, often multiple times, as Windows 10 attempts to remove the failed update. Worse, after a restart, the file will attempt to install again resulting in the loop of failed install, reboot, re-install and failure again.”

Consider yourselves warned.

Read the whole story here.

Look out for malware on Android platforms

Android Malware

Having worked for Telus Mobility for a while now, I recently found out about this issue from a number of customers who are Android users. It often inspires panic and worry in people when it pops up on their phone.

The message can look like the following

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 2.20.46 PMRather than panic, we suggest doing a quick search on Google from another device to see what you can find out. Look at a number of Android forums like we did. Often you will find that these are SPAM pop up ads which encourage people to download a useless app which will cause further damage to their phone.

These ads also may say something like we detect that my Samsung Galaxy s5 active is 28.1% damaged because of four viruses from recent adult sites.

The pop up will also go on to say something like if you do not remove the virus now, it will cause severe damage to your phone.

Now of course we know that this isn’t’ true. If you get that while browsing *any* website, then it is probably a simple pop-up ad. This can also be another crafty way to scam you. We are becoming so entrenched with our digital lives that perhaps a pyramid scam does not work as well as it used to.

The pop up may go on to tell you that your phones SIM card will be damaged and your contacts photos, data and applications will become corrupt. Don’t believe it.

The alerts themselves can be viruses too. Clean the phone using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and any good anti-virus (one at a time, and they can take over 24 hours for the first run of each). I used Malwarebytes on my S7 and luckily it did not find anything.

The key here is to trust your instincts and be vigilant about these types of pop ups. Protect your phone with a malware program and don’t be sucked in by their claims. Check tech blogs regularly and source out your friends who have knowledge about this stuff. Good luck!

Free cloud computing service helps Canadian small businesses

CANARIE, a vital component of Canada’s digital infrastructure supporting research, education and innovation, today announced that over 600 Canadian startups across a range of industries have taken advantage of its DAIR cloud service.

Cloud computing enables businesses to use virtual computing, network and data storage resources on an as-needed basis, with the flexibility to scale these resources based on their needs at any given time. This means that Canadian businesses can develop, test, and demonstrate new products and services that simulate a range of potential scenarios – like different transaction volumes or geographic variations – while experimenting with a range of development options to determine the optimal method for building and launching their cloud-based products.

“CANARIE’s free cloud computing service helps small and medium-sized businesses become more innovative without incurring additional overhead costs,” says the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism. “The Government of Canada is pleased to support services like DAIR, which makes it easier for Canadian businesses to bring products to market.”

“Cloud technologies are disruptive to the way companies operate, and the faster Canadian businesses can adopt them into their business models, the more competitive they will be on the global stage,” says Randy Jones, Senior Director, Technology Innovation at CANARIE. “With DAIR, startups can experiment and test ideas and approaches in a risk-free environment. Our aim with this service is for Canadian startups to gain the experience and knowledge they need to be in a strong position to succeed when they launch commercially.”

“In addition to ensuring our data stays in Canada, DAIR offers high quality, reliable, scalable, and secure cloud infrastructure that supports our team as we continue to refine our product offering,” says Pat Crosscombe, Founder and CEO of BoardSpace, a developer of document and workflow solutions for boards of directors. “DAIR has been invaluable as we continue to evolve, testing integration with e-commerce platforms and refining our onboarding processes.”

Other innovative Canadian startups taking advantage of the flexibility and power of the DAIR cloud include:

  • Advance Property eXposure’s enterprise software uses smart mobile technology to deliver to first responders, secure, digital information such as building layouts, exits, electrical shutoffs, and building contact information reliably within seconds. Information is critical for situational awareness and their solution helps responders plan their approach while on route and save precious minutes in time-sensitive situations.
  • BOS Forestry develops software solutions to help manage information flow in the forestry industry – from planning the harvest, to cutting and weighing the timber, to tracking its transport to the mill, right through to sending harvest information to relevant government departments.
  • Curatio has created a mobile health platform that connects individuals with chronic health issues to a circle of support, including family, friends, caregivers, and medical professionals, with a goal of better managing ongoing treatment and wellness.
  • EDMS integrates dental clinic data from different dental software programs to help corporate owners manage and interpret data generated from a wide range of clinic systems. EDMS’ common reporting platform supports better decision-making and forward planning.
  • Identos offers a range of security infrastructure solutions for mobile applications. Identos developers were able to collaborate with early customers on product development and evolution in real time by helping these customers test their application prototypes using DAIR.

Any Canadian small or medium-size company (< 500 employees) may apply to use DAIR to develop, test, or demonstrate products.  More information on DAIR, along with a link to apply, may be found at >canarie.ca/cloud.

A range of case studies exploring how Canadian businesses are using the cloud to power product development and accelerate their time to market may be found here: canarie.ca/cloud/case-studies.

Want a quicker view of DAIR? Watch the video here: youtu.be/oye-Er_83lQ

About CANARIE

CANARIE designs and delivers digital infrastructure, and drives its adoption for Canada’s research, education and innovation communities. CANARIE keeps Canada at the forefront of digital research and innovation, fundamental to a vibrant digital economy.

CANARIE evolves the national ultra-high-speed backbone network that enables data-intensive, leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. One million researchers, scientists and students at almost 2,000 Canadian institutions, including universities, colleges, research institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories have access to the CANARIE Network.

CANARIE also leads the development of research software tools that enable researchers to more quickly and easily access research data, tools, and peers. In support of Canada’s ICT sector, CANARIE offers cloud computing resources to startups to accelerate product development, and links a powerful network of public and private sector partners in a Centre of Excellence for Next Generation Networks (CENGN).

Twelve provincial and territorial network partners, together with CANARIE, collectively form Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN). This powerful digital infrastructure connects Canadians to national and global data, tools, colleagues, and classrooms that fuel the engine of innovation in today’s digital economy.

Established in 1993, CANARIE is a non-profit corporation, with major investment in its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada.

For more information, please visit: www.canarie.ca.

DNS is the Achilles heel of the Internet – Test your DNS configuration here

Internet connected nodes

Today at the national meeting of Canada’s Chiefs of Police, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) called on Canada’s law enforcement community to protect their domains and DNS from cyber-attacks.

“The DNS is the Achilles heel of the Internet,” said Jacques Latour, chief technology officer at CIRA. “When your DNS goes down, your website, your web applications, your email, your web services all fail. It can be devastating to an organization.”

Law enforcement agencies, because of their profile in the community, are likely targets for hackers and cyber-criminals.

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The Canadian Internet Registration Authority recommends law enforcement immediately take several steps to secure their Internet infrastructure and prevent outages.

Use an Anycast DNS service: Some legacy web architectures use what is called a unicast DNS. These services offer little redundancy and leave the DNS extremely vulnerable to DDoS attack. Ensure that you have an Anycast DNS solution that can withstand attacks and keep services online.
Confirm the DNS is properly configured and includes a primary and secondary: Redundancy is important when setting up a world-class DNS configuration, and administrators should confirm that their DNS settings are configured correctly. In testing, CIRA found Canada’s DNS availability is startlingly poor, with a lack of redundancy and configuration errors causing 93 per cent of DNS servers in Canada to miss queries over a six month period. For lesser-known websites this may not be an issue, but misconfigurations could leave law enforcement open to attack.
Use a domain locking service: Any .CA domain can be locked with CIRA to prevent unauthorized changes to the domain settings. This prevents malicious actors from redirecting a domain to a new site with damaging information, a common form of cyber-attack. In 2015 the City of Ottawa’s website was redirected to an image of a dancing banana. ISIS sympathizers have also used this tactic to redirect pages to ISIS propaganda.
“As the fist-line of defence against online criminals, we need law enforcement to be leading the way on DNS security,” said Latour. “Safe and secure DNS solutions tend to be exceptionally affordable and simple to deploy. I find it troubling that many police forces do not take these simple steps to protect their online services.”

Additional resources:

Test your DNS configuration: CIRA offers a simple test that you can use to find critical errors in your DNS configuration. You can access the test for free at dnstests.cira.ca.

Get a free trial of CIRA D-Zone Anycast DNS: CIRA offers a made-in-Canada DNS solution that is ideal for Canadian organizations. IT Managers can learn more about this service with a free trial and sign-up at cira.ca.

About CIRA

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. A Member-based organization, CIRA also develops and implements policies that support Canada’s Internet community, and represents the .CA registry internationally.

 

SOURCE Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

 

For further information:

or interview requests: Ryan Saxby Hill, Communications manager, CIRA, ryan.hill@cira.ca, 613-316-2397

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Sandvine enhances network security with Symantec

web URL filtering

 Sandvine, a leading provider of intelligent broadband network solutions for fixed and mobile operators, today announced enhancements for its Network Security product, including new integration with Symantec RuleSpace, a web categorization service, and Symantec DeepSight™, a cyber-threat intelligence service. This new integration will enable Communications Service Providers (CSPs) to better protect both their subscribers and their network infrastructure.

Sandvine’s Network Security is a cyber security solution that introduces a layer of intelligence into the network that can recognize and respond to cyber threats as they appear in real time, including outbound spam, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and botnet command and control communication.

Sandvine’s Network Security will leverage Symantec’s RuleSpace and DeepSight to build upon and enhance this established feature set while enabling CSPs to protect subscribers and their infrastructure in a number of new ways, including:

  • Parental and web controls: help provide subscribers or institutions with the ability to selectively block web content they do not wish to access from over 100 different categories such as adult content or gambling sites
  • Subscriber phishing and malware protection: help prevent subscribers from accessing sites that are known to host phishing and malware attacks
  • Deeper understanding of network attacks: empower CSPs with up-to-date and actionable intelligence about malicious IP addresses conducting attacks, including geo-location and reputation

“Bringing together Sandvine’s carrier-class Network Policy Control capabilities and Symantec’s industry-leading security expertise will allow operators of any size or access technology to protect their networks. The combined solution does not require subscribers to download client software, and is being delivered on Sandvine’s platform which, unlikeother security offerings, is purpose-built to scale to the requirements of modern telecommunications networks,” said Don Bowman, CTO, Sandvine.

“We’re excited to partner with Sandvine and enrich its Network Security product with the intelligence that both RuleSpace and DeepSight provide,” said Sudhir Mehta, Sr. Director of Global Partner Solutions,Symantec. “Protecting the network at the operator level, the way Sandvine’s Network Security does, is one of the best ways to help ensure an operator can implement clean pipes.”

ABOUT SANDVINE
Sandvine’s network policy control solutions add intelligence to fixed, mobile and converged communications service provider networks to enable services that can increase revenue and reduce network costs. Powered by Sandvine’s Policy Engine and SandScript policy language, Sandvine’s networking equipment performs end-to-end policy control functions including traffic classification, and policy decision and enforcement across the data, control and business planes. Sandvine’s products provide actionable business insight, the ability to deploy new subscriber services and tools to optimize traffic while enhancing subscriber Internet quality of experience.

Sandvine’s network policy control solutions are deployed in more than 250 networks in over 90 countries, serving hundreds of millions of data subscribers worldwide, www.sandvine.com.

 

 

 

Sandvine

Bell & IBM bring new hybrid cloud capabilities to Canadian market

Bell Business Markets and IBM today announced a new partnership to expand the cloud computing services available through Bell Business Cloud. This partnership will give businesses across Canada access to the IBM Cloud via a secure, high-speed private connection from Bell, simplifying the way customers adopt and build out their hybrid clouds.

More and more organizations are looking for a reliable and secure connection to the cloud, that doesn’t rely on sending data over the public Internet. Bell Business Cloud addresses this issue by enabling enterprises to plug into the IBM Cloud, giving them direct access to a wide range of on-demand computing and storage options.

These new services include:

  • Bell Cloud Connect: connecting the largest and most advanced IP network in Canada to IBM Cloud for end-to-end performance, security and reliability
  • Bell Cloud Compute: running on IBM Cloud to offer a secure, scalable, self-serve environment for managed virtual machines that improves operational performance while reducing costs
  • Backup & Restore: providing access to IBM Cloud to protect customer data and applications through a secure backup location as well as ensuring availability of data and applications.

“Bell is an established leader in data hosting and cloud computing, providing customers with exceptional support from an expert nationwide team,” said Tom Little, President, Bell Business Markets. “With businesses of all kinds increasingly relying on cloud services for their mission critical applications, adding IBM Cloud services to Bell Business Cloud provides customers with the seamless integration, security and dependability they expect and require.”

“The world’s appetite for data is increasing and with this comes a greater need for organizations to support cloud workloads. IBM Cloud is the leading platform for data-driven cloud and analytics that enables organizations to open the doors to more responsive and innovative ways of doing business,” said Nevil Knupp, VP of Cloud, IBM Canada. “IBM Cloud supports Bell’s new client offerings to help companies gain more control of their data, improve application performance and efficiencies with enhanced collaboration, centralize IT management, reduce costs and achieve greater efficiencies.”

IBM is equipped with one of the highest performing cloud infrastructures available to offer organizations speed, power, and flexibility, while delivering a high degree of customization, transparency, predictability, and automation. According to analyst findings from Synergy Research around Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and private cloud, IBM is positioned as a top performer and leader in the private and hybrid cloud space.

IBM Cloud delivers fast, easy and automated access to a public, private and hybrid cloud services that enable companies to lower their overall IT costs while increasing agility and productivity. IBM offers a complete portfolio of cloud services, with over 40 data centers in every major financial market around the world, supporting a wide range of applications including big data, analytics, mobile and cognitive.

As Bell’s Business Cloud ecosystem continues to evolve through new partnerships, customers will benefit from additional solutions, enterprise applications and business tools, with the ability to increasingly acquire their technologies on a utility basis.

Driven by industry-leading innovation and supported by a strong expertise, Bell Business Markets offers a comprehensive portfolio of products and services including data centre solutions, unified communications, security and professional services supporting all the customer’s ICT needs.

Bell’s Business Cloud in partnership with IBM is available across the country to all mid and large businesses. For more information, please visit bell.ca/businesscloud

About Bell
Bell is Canada’s largest communications company, providing a comprehensive and innovative suite of broadband communication services to residential and business customers under the Bell Canada and Bell Aliant brands. Bell Media is Canada’spremier multimedia company. It has assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media, including CTV, Canada’s #1 television network, and the country’s most-watched specialty channels. To learn more, please visit BCE.ca.

The Bell Let’s Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns, like Bell Let’s Talk Day, and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

About IBM
For more information on IBM Cloud visit www.ibm.com/cloud

Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions for 2016

Buying something with your smartphone or tablet will be easier this year as mobile touch commerce emerges in 2016, this according to Deloitte’s 2016 Canadian Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions. The number of individuals who use a third party touch-based payment service to buy something on their mobile device (smartphone or tablet) is predicted to increase 150 percent to reach over a million users in Canada.

“Last year mobile payments began to go mainstream,” said Duncan Stewart, Director of TMT Research at Deloitte in Canada. “This year we’re seeing a continuation of that trend, whereby it’s getting easier and easier to use your phone to make secure transactions. The check-out process is made much simpler if all you need is your fingerprint to authenticate and authorize payment in just one or two touches. The days of filling out screen after screen of payment card details and both home and shipping addresses, we predict, are numbered.”

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Deloitte’s annual TMT Predictions identify the key trends that are likely to have a significant impact on companies in the technology, media and telecommunications industry and beyond over the next 12 to 18 months.

Deloitte also predicts that in 2016 mobile will become the leading games platform by software revenue, reaching 37 percent of total gaming sales, surpassing both console and PC games. That’s big news for Canada’s gaming industry, which is the third biggest in the world, contributing $2.3 billion to GDP and employing over 20,000 full time equivalents. Far from taking over the gaming industry, mobile is less lucrative than traditional PC or console games, with average revenue of only $40,000 per mobile game compared to $2.9-million per PC game and $4.8-million per console game.

The influence of mobile will not shake-up how trailing millennials (18-24 year olds) use personal computers either. In fact, despite being the smartphone generation, 18-24 year olds are likely to be the most pro-PC of all age groups in 2016. Their ownership, intent to purchase and use of PCs will likely be higher than any other age group and the Canadian population as a whole. Additionally, in the face of digital media, Deloitte predicts stable box-office revenues for the North American movie industry in 2016.

“What we’re seeing in terms of the bigger picture for 2016 is that mobile devices continue to be an important – even vital – part of our daily lives, capturing a significant amount of our time and money, but their influence only extends so far,” said Robert Nardi, Partner and National TMT Leader for Deloitte in Canada. “For the majority of Canadians, our smartphones and tablets complement or enhance rather than replace the traditional products we’re used to or, only slightly alter our behaviours.

 

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TMT Predictions most relevant to Canada in 2016 (all dollar amounts are USD) 

Mobile touch commerce emerges The number of people who use a third party touch-based payment service to make a purchase on their mobile devices will increase 150 percent to reach over a million users in Canada in 2016. Deloitte found that as of mid-2015, 29 percent of Canadians browse shopping websites on a weekly basis, but only 6 percent make a purchase. Touch commerce compacts the time taken between browsing to transaction on a mobile phone or tablet from minutes to mere seconds, simplifying the check-out process. The result is likely to be a decrease in ‘cart abandonment’ in 2016, when consumers start buying something on mobile, but give up before purchasing. 

Mobile games: Leading, but less lucrative Mobile will become the leading games platform by software revenue in 2016, generating 37 percent of sales, up 20 percent from 2015. This compares to 34 percent for PC games and 29 percent for console games, up just five and six percent respectively from 2015. Revenue per game by platform will vary significantly: Deloitte predicts $4.8-million per console game ($145 per console player), $2.9-million per PC game ($50 per PC games player), but just $40,000 per mobile game ($20 per mobile games player). 

Mobile ad-blockers: Saved by the app? Mobile ad-blockers will place less than $100-million of revenue at risk in 2016, or just 0.1 percent of the $70-billion global mobile advertising market. Deloitte expects 0.3 percent of Canadian mobile owners will use an ad-blocker in 2016. Only about 40 percent of Canadian mobile devices are likely to have native ad-blocking capability built-in, and the majority of time spent on mobile devices is app-based and ad-blockers only filter out browser-based content. This means that ad-blocking is only applicable to a minority of devices, for a minority amount of time. 

Trailing Millennials are the pro-PC, not the post-PC generation Canadian trailing millennials (18–24 years old) will not abandon personal computers in 2016. While they may be the smartphone generation, their ownership, intent to purchase and use of PCs will likely be higher than any other age group and the Canadian population as a whole. In a 2015 Deloitte survey, 25 percent of Canadians 18-24 hope to get a new laptop in the next 12 months, and Canada was one of the only countries surveyed where trailing millennials were more likely to have access to a laptop than a smartphone: 93 percent vs 91 percent! Trailing millennials consider smartphones and PCs complements, not substitutes. 

Virtual reality: A billion dollar niche Virtual reality headsets will move from the lab to the store for consumer purchase in 2016 with hardware and software sales totaling $1-billion globally, and less than $30-million in Canada. Despite the hype around VR, this is still very much a niche market.

Women in IT jobs: Worse than you thought and not getter better Deloitte predicts only 22 percent of information technology (IT) jobs in Canada will be held by women, lagging the US which is at 24 percent. This is likely to be almost unchanged from 2015. With gender parity the goal the solution will be complex and take time, decades even. To get there, we need improvements to the education pipeline (only 25 percent of those studying computer science in Canada are women, down from 2009 levels of 27 percent); the recruiting and hiring process; retention rates; pay and the path to promotion are all required.    

The award for stable box office revenues in the fact of digital media goes to … The value of movie theatre admissions in the U.S. and Canada will fall by about three percent in 2016 to about $10.6-billion, with about 1.3 billion tickets sold. Box office success is largely dependent on the slate of movies released, but since 2002 it has never gone down more than six percent or up more than 10 percent. In 2016, Deloitte predicts average annual growth of one percent (plus or minus 10 percent) and the number of tickets sold to decline about one percent. 

US TV: Erosion, not implosion The U.S. traditional television market, a bellwether for the Canadian market, and the world’s largest at about $170-billion in 2016, will see erosion on six fronts: the number of pay TV subscribers; pay TV penetration as a percent of total population; average pay TV monthly bill; consumers switching to antennas for watching TV; and live and time shifted viewing by the overall population, especially millennials 18-24 years old. Despite concern of traditional TV collapsing, Deloitte predicts the decline will be gradual over time. Virtually all of these US trends are also being seen in Canada, although Canadians watch about 240 minutes of live and time shifted TV daily, compared to 320 minutes in the US. 

Cognitive technologies enhance enterprise software By the end of 2016 more than 80 of the world’s 100 largest enterprise software companies (by revenues) will have integrated cognitive technologies in their products, signaling a true coming of age for AI (Artificial Intelligence). This is a 25 percent increase on the year prior. By 2020, Deloitte expects that about 95 percent of the top 100 companies will have incorporated one or more cognitive technologies. Machine learning, natural language processing and speech recognition will be the most important cognitive technologies in the enterprise software market in the year ahead. 

Gigabit/s to the home makes its case The number of gigabit per second (Gbit/s) Internet connections available to Canadians will surge to over four million by the end of 2016. It’s hard to say how many will subscribe in that first year, but we expect at least 100,000 homes by year end, in line with global adoption. Rising demand will be fueled by increasing availability and falling prices. Those 100,000 subscribers; however, represent less than three percent of Canadian customers on networks capable of Gbit/s connections as of the end of the year.

 

 

About Deloitte’s TMT Predictions

Deloitte’s TMT Predictions are based on worldwide research supported by in-depth interviews with clients, industry analysts, global leaders and more than 8,000 Deloitte member firm TMT practitioners. Over the last five years, Deloitte was more than 80 percent accurate with its TMT predictions.

For more information about TMT events happening across Canada contact: TMTpredictions@deloitte.ca

 

About Deloitte
Deloitte, one of Canada’s leading professional services firms, provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services. Deloitte LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. 

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private companies limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

IBM Extends Power of Cognitive Computing to a Connected World

Last week, IBM announced the opening of its global headquarters for Watson Internet of Things (IoT), launching a series of new offerings, capabilities and ecosystem partners designed to extend the power of cognitive computing to the billions of connected devices, sensors and systems that comprise the IoT. These new offerings will be available through the IBM Watson IoT Cloud, the company’s global platform for IoT business and developers.

As part of today’s launch, the company announced that Munich, Germany will serve as the global headquarters for its new Watson IoT unit, as well as its first European Watson innovation center. The campus environment will bring together 1000 IBM developers, consultants, researchers and designers to drive deeper engagement with clients and partners, and will also serve as an innovation lab for data scientists, engineers and programmers building a new class of connected solutions at the intersection of cognitive computing and the IoT. The center will drive collaborative innovation with clients, partners and IBM researchers and data scientists to create new opportunities for growth in IoT. It represents IBM’s largest investment in Europe in more than two decades.

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IBM also will deliver Watson APIs and services on the Watson IoT Cloud Platform to accelerate the development of cognitive IoT solutions and services, helping clients and partners make sense of the growing volume and variety of data in a physical world that is rapidly becoming digitized.

With these moves, clients, start-ups, academia and a robust ecosystem of IoT partners –from silicon and device manufacturers to industry-oriented solution providers –will have direct access to IBM’s open, cloud-based IoT platform to test, develop and create the next generation cognitive IoT apps, services and solutions. Leading automotive, electronics, healthcare, insurance and industrial manufacturers that are at the forefront of the region’s Industry 4.0 efforts are among those most expected to benefit.

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“The Internet of Things will soon be the largest single source of data on the planet, yet almost 90 percent of that data is never acted upon,” said Harriet Green, general manager, Watson IoT and Education. “With its unique abilities to sense, reason and learn, Watson opens the door for enterprises, governments and individuals to finally harness this real-time data, compare it with historical data sets and deep reservoirs of accumulated knowledge, and then find unexpected correlations that generate new insights to benefit business and society alike.”

The company also announced that it has opened eight new Watson IoT Client Experience Centers across Asia, Europe and the Americas. Locations include Beijing, China; Boeblingen, Germany; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Seoul, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; and Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Texas in United States. These centers provide clients and partners access to technology, tools and talent needed to develop and create new products and services using cognitive intelligence delivered through the Watson IoT Cloud Platform.

Siemens Building Technologies, the market leader in safe, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly buildings and infrastructures, announced that it is teaming with IBM to bring innovation to the digitalization of buildings. Siemens is working to bring advanced analytics capabilities together with IBM’s IoT solutions to advance their Navigator platform for energy management and sustainability.

“By bringing asset management and analytics together with a deep technical understanding of how buildings perform, Siemens will make customers’ building operations more reliable, cost-optimized and sustainable,” said Matthias Rebellius, CEO of Siemens Building Technologies. “We are excited to stretch the envelope of what is possible in optimizing building performance by combining the asset management and database technologies from IBM’s Watson IoT business unit with our market leading building automation domain know-how.”

New Watson IoT Services Accelerate Cognitive IoT

IBM is bringing the power of cognitive analytics to the IoT by making four families of Watson API services available as part of a new IBM Watson IoT Analytics offering. As the physical world of devices and systems are becoming highly digitized, these capabilities will allow clients, partners and developers to make greater sense of this data through machine learning and correlation with unstructured data.

The four new API services include:

The Natural Language Processing (NLP) API Family enables users to interact with systems and devices using simple, human language. Natural Language Processing helps solutions understand the intent of human language by correlating it with other sources of data to put it into context in specific situations. For example, a technician working on a machine might notice an unusual vibration. He can ask the system “What is causing that vibration?” Using NLP and other sensor data, the system will automatically link words to meaning and intent, determine the machine he is referencing, and correlate recent maintenance to identify the most likely source of the vibration and then recommend an action to reduce it.

The Machine Learning Watson API Family automates data processing and continuously monitors new data and user interactions to rank data and results based on learned priorities. Machine Learning can be applied to any data coming from devices and sensors to automatically understand the current conditions, what’s normal, expected trends, properties to monitor, and suggested actions when an issue arises. For example, the platform can monitor incoming data from fleet equipment to learn both normal and abnormal conditions, including environment and production processes, which are often unique to each piece of equipment. Machine Learning helps understand these differences and configures the system to monitor the unique conditions of each asset.

The Video and Image Analytics API Family enables monitoring of unstructured data from video feeds and image snapshots to identify scenes and patterns. This knowledge can be combined with machine data to gain a greater understanding of past events and emerging situations. For example, video analytics monitoring security cameras might note the presence of a forklift infringing on a restricted area, creating a minor alert in the system; three days later, an asset in that area begins to exhibit decreased performance. The two incidents can be correlated to identify a collision between the forklift and asset that might not have been readily apparent from the video or the data from the machine.

The Text Analytics API Family enables mining of unstructured textual data including transcripts from customer call centers, maintenance technician logs, blog comments, and tweets to find correlations and patterns in these vast amounts of data. For example, phrases reported through unstructured channels — such as “my brakes make a noise”, ”my car seems to slow to stop,” and “the pedal feels mushy” — can be linked and correlated to identify potential field issues in a particular make and model of car.

The Intersection of Cognitive and Internet of Things

Cognitive computing represents a new class of systems that learn at scale, reason with purpose and interact with humans naturally. Rather than being explicitly programmed, they learn and reason from their interactions with us and from their experiences with their environment, enabling them to keep pace with the volume, complexity, and unpredictability of information generated by the IoT. Cognitive systems can make sense of the 80 percent of the world’s data that computer scientists call “unstructured,” which means they can illuminate aspects of the world that were previously invisible, allowing users to gain greater insight and to make more informed decisions.

IBM Watson IoT

There are more than 9 billion connected devices operating in the world today, generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data daily. Making sense of data embedded in intelligent devices is creating a significant market opportunity that is expected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2020. Yet without a proper infrastructure in place to analyze all of this data in real-time, its value is minimal.

Cognitive systems help overcome this challenge –learning at scale, reasoning with purpose, and interacting with humans naturally. In March 2015, IBM announced that it intended to invest more than $3 billion to address the needs of clients that are looking to capitalize on the increasing instrumentation and interconnectedness of the world driven by the Internet of Things.

Building on the investment, in October the company revealed plans to acquire the B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties of The Weather Channel. Upon completion, the combination of advanced cloud, analytics and security technologies and deep industry expertise is expected to serve as the foundation for the Watson IoT Cloud Platform as well as new services and offerings.

IBM’s pioneering work in Smarter Planet drove practical applications of IoT in the enterprise. With more than 4,000 IoT client engagements in 170 countries, 1,400 partners in its growing ecosystem, and more than 750 IoT patents, IBM leads in enterprise IoT implementations that securely combine and analyze data from a wide variety of sources. IBM is working with a broad range of global clients on IoT, including Continental; Cummins; Pratt & Whitney; SilverHook Powerboats; University of South Carolina; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Montpellier, France; Carnegie Mellon University; the U.S. General Services Administration; Rochester, Minnesota Police Department; Dublin, Ireland; Yarra Trams; and the Southern Ontario Water Consortium.

To learn more about Watson IoT, visit www.ibm.com/IoT

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Blog: “Cognitive IoT: Making the Internet of Things Deliver for All of Us”  http://ibm.co/1McTTfY

Vancouver Gadgets visits the Dun & Bradstreet Cloud Innovation Center

dunandbradstreet

Bursting at the seams, dnblogo-newthe Dun & Bradstreet Cloud Innovation Center is a prime example of the growing tech industry in Vancouver. The team has expanded by 327% since April 2014, out-growing their current space in Vancouver’s traditional financial district and reaching the point where they need to expand, in this case to a 2-floor state of the art office space right in downtown’s new innovation hub.

We’ll visit behind the scenes of the global tech innovation centre to preview their brand new workspace.

Reminiscent of the Uber head office in San Francisco, the new office has been designed with its location in the city in mind and a distinct connection to the musical heritage of the Granville Street Entertainment District. The space features musically themed murals, collaborative and ‘phone box’ meeting spaces, West Coast-inspired hickory panelling throughout the office, handfuls of locally designed lighting fixtures throughout, a dedicated fitness room, music room, wrap around deck and meeting rooms each named after a different local event space including Imperial, Vogue and Commodore. Rounding out some of the stand out features is an open social space to host tech events and meet ups.

 

Plentyoffish Media Inc. charged with alleged CASL violation

POF

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced this week that Plentyoffish Media Inc. has paid $48,000 as part of an undertaking for an alleged violation of Canada’s anti-spam legislation.

Acting on complaints submitted by Canadians, the CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer launched an investigation. Plentyoffish Media had allegedly sent commercial emails to registered users of the Plenty of Fish online dating service with an unsubscribe mechanism that was not clearly and prominently set out, and which could not be readily performed, as required by the legislation. The emails sent by Plentyoffish Media notified users of services available through their registration to the dating site. The alleged violation occurred between July 1, 2014 and October 8, 2014.

Once made aware of the investigation by the CRTC, Plentyoffish Media updated its unsubscribe mechanism to comply with the legislation.

As part of the undertaking, Plentyoffish Media will develop and implement a compliance program to ensure that its activities are compliant with Canada’s anti-spam legislation. The compliance program will include training and education for staff and corporate policies and procedures.

The CRTC is assessing all complaints submitted to the Spam Reporting Centre that are under its mandate and a number of investigations are currently underway. The CRTC is working with its partners, both within Canada and internationally, to protect Canadians from online threats and contribute to a more secure online environment.

The CRTC can discuss corrective actions with individuals, firms or organizations, which may lead to an undertaking that includes an amount to be paid and other corrective measures.  As part of its powers, the CRTC can also issue warning letters, preservation demands, notices to produce, restraining orders and notices of violation.

Canadians are encouraged to report spam to the Spam Reporting Centre. The information sent to the Centre is used by the CRTC, the Competition Bureau, and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to enforce Canada’s anti-spam law.

CRTC encourages innovative use of digital media

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruled in favour of innovation by dismissing a complaint which stated that Rogers Media was granting undue preference to its subscribers by providing them with exclusive content through its online service GamePlus.

To encourage creative ways of presenting content and the creation of compelling content for digital media, including Internet and mobile video services, the CRTC allows companies to offer exclusive content to their subscribers, as long as it is not created mainly for traditional television.

The CRTC considers that the programming available on GamePlus is essentially produced for distribution on digital media. As such, it can be offered exclusively and does not constitute an undue preference in favour of Rogers subscribers. In the CRTC’s view, Rogers is in compliance with the established rules.Rogers GamePlus

GameCentre Live is a service operated by Rogers to which all Canadians can subscribe to to access National Hockey League games online. GamePlus is a complementary service to GameCentre Live, available online only, and offered exclusively to Rogers subscribers. GamePlus provides access to bonus content, such as replays not available on the traditional television broadcast, exclusive analysis and interviews, and different camera angles.

The CRTC recently issued several decisions related to the Let’s Talk TV conversation, and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. The new regulatory framework taking shape is focused on the future, and fosters the creation of content for digital media platforms.