Big Data Can Help Save Our Planet #pollution #cities

Big Data Can Help Save Our Planet

Big data analytics company and ETH Zurich spin-off Teralytics, Telefónica NEXT and sustainability solution provider South Pole Group conducted a study in Nuremberg, Germany that reveals the analysis of mobile network data as an effective way to estimate CO2 and NOX emissions in urban areas at very low cost. To achieve this, Teralytics examined aggregated and anonymised data, which is generated when mobile devices communicate with Telefónica’s mobile communication cells while users make calls, send texts or browse the internet. Teralytics was able to refine this raw data into human mobility patterns to understand how the different modes of transport, for instance trains or cars, are frequented. Combining this information with data on the emissions of the different transport modes, the three entities were able to estimate air pollution and GHG emissions in the city.

New study leverages mobile network data to estimate levels of carbon emissions and air pollution in cities, an approach that could substantially reduce the cost of implementing the Paris Agreement.

As each form of transportation produces a unique amount of CO2 and NOX emissions, understanding urban mobility patterns is vital to understand the source of emissions. The study in Nuremberg used this information to estimate with up to 77 per cent accuracy the concentration of air pollutants in the city. These findings encourage further exploration of how big data can be used to understand and ultimately solve environmental issues such as air pollution in cities across the world. This is particularly interesting with regards to the lower cost of analysing and interpreting data compared to the higher cost of production and maintenance of elaborate measuring stations. The novel approach could thus allow an ongoing analysis on a nationwide scale.

“While our contemporary urban lifestyles result in the generation of harmful greenhouse gasses, it also generates large amounts of behavioural data. Our mission at Teralytics is to use this data for the benefit of society,” says Georg Polzer, CEO of Teralytics. “Our findings from Nuremberg showed that this data can be used to give city planners insights into how human mobility contributes to pollution. This is a vital part to efficiently design and implement clean air and low carbon strategies. We are looking forward to further exploring this opportunity.”

Using a three-level process, the fully anonymised and aggregated data was first transformed into movement flows by the data scientists at Teralytics, identifying over 1.2 million transportation routes during the analysed time period, as depicted in Figure 2. The sustainability solution expert South Pole Group then used an atmospheric model to estimate air pollution levels caused by the usage of the different modes of transportation, taking into account meteorological data and information on the respective traffic carriers’ emission levels from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB). In the third step, the accuracy of the method was examined by comparing the findings with existing data from air pollution measuring stations. The values measured at these stations were found to correlate up to 77 per cent with those from the Teralytics’ calculations (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Correlation between measured NOx concentrations and NOx concentration calculated by Teralytics. This approach shows high correlations between values, in some cases up to 77 per cent.

The results of this pilot study in Nuremberg constitute a sound basis to further develop the methodology. Following its success, the consortium was able to secure financial support from Climate KIC’s Low Carbon City Lab (LoCaL), an initiative that brings together cities, business, academia and NGO’s to deliver high environmental and societal impact. With this backing, the research partnership will expand and improve the methodology, focusing on short travel routes and taking into account local emission factors like airports, large-scale events, and types of vehicles on the road (i.e. electric cars and SUVs). Moreover, the influence of factors such as traffic jams and red lights will be taken into account in order to make even more accurate estimations of the air pollution levels in a city.

“The results from this pilot study exceed our expectations,” says Maximilian Groth, responsible for Business Development & Partnerships at Teralytics. “We are confident that we will soon be able to scale this product to cities worldwide to support urban planners in making our air cleaner and achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement at the lowest possible cost.”

This research follows other successful studies on usage of mobile network data, including a smart data analysis for transport in Stuttgart by Teralytics, Telefónica Germany, and Fraunhofer IAO.

Additional comments on the topic:

“Approximately 70 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are generated in cities, meaning that they play a key role in climate protection. We see great potential in the use of continuously generated data, such as mobile network data, to measure and reduce pollution levels in cities.” States Renat Heuberger, CEO of South Pole Group.

Florian Marquart, Managing Director of Telefónica NEXT for Advanced Data Analytics: “The pilot project in Nuremberg has clearly shown the specific added value of anonymised mobile network data for the environment. This is data from people for people. We see great potential in the results and will start the next phase of our research. The goal is to develop a product that German cities, German states and the German federal government can use to better face the challenges of emissions pollution”.

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About Teralytics: Teralytics is the trusted data analytics partner for some of the largest telecom operators in North America, Europe and Asia. Using technology built for operators by data scientists, we have perfected the ingestion, modelling and transformation of raw signals from subscriber actions and movements on operator networks to deliver meaningful and actionable insights, that delivers new value to our mobile operator partners. By unlocking and processing a massive scale of device movement and consumer intelligence data from location and behavioural signals, we can analyse people, places and things and offer actual insights to help city planners, venue owners, retailers, NGOs and media companies make informed decisions, optimize operations and maximize ROI. Headquartered in Zurich, Teralytics has offices in New York, and Singapore.

South Pole Group is a leading provider of global sustainability solutions and services. The company has delivered climate-proven solutions to a wide range of public, private and civil society organisations for over a decade. The Group’s expertise covers key areas of corporate climate action, investment climate risks, sustainable supply chains, green finance, as well as renewable energy and energy efficiency. A pioneer in emission reduction and renewable energy projects, South Pole Group has been consistently rated by Environmental Finance’s Voluntary Carbon Market Survey as one of the most successful carbon market service providers in the world. www.thesouthpolegroup.com

Within Telefónica Germany NEXT GmbH based in Berlin, Telefónica Deutschland has bundled its digital growth areas “Advanced Data Analytics” and “Internet of Things”. The new company acts as an independent entrepreneur on the market and develops digital products and services under CEO Nicolaus Gollwitzer. As a partner to other industries, Telefónica NEXT enables companies to make better use of the growth opportunities provided by digitalisation. With “Advanced Data Analytics”, Telefónica NEXT focuses on the social and economic advantage that can be obtained from analysing large volumes of data. In addition, Telefónica NEXT is working on solutions for the Internet of Things. The new software platform geeny.io helps companies to offer connected solutions for end users. Telefónica NEXT imposes strict data protection standards on all products and applications, and often goes even further, because people should be able to retain control over their data and shape their digital lives as they choose.

Climate-KIC is the largest European innovation initiative for climate-friendly technologies. Launched as EU program 2010, Climate-KIC supports with offices in 15 European countries innovation projects, start-ups and young innovators. Numerous partners from industry and commerce, science, public sector and civil society work in Climate-KIC on ground-breaking, scalable innovations to fight climate changes.

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Ricky Sutton: ricky@abcd.agency

CVR 2017, Canada’s Biggest Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Conference is Coming to Vancouver from May 5th-7th

CVR is the premier event to experience groundbreaking new virtual and augmented reality technology
The Virtual and Augmented Reality community will descend on Vancouver during the month of May as today Archiact announced CVR 2017. The three-day event, which goes from May 5-7, will showcase a world-class selection of top industry experts, the latest technologies, and hands-on demonstrations of the latest products.  The event will be open to industry professionals on Friday and the general public for two days over the weekend.
“We are excited to bring back CVR to Vancouver for another fantastic virtual reality show,” said Anne-Marie Enns, Executive Producer of CVR. “This really is a collection of the best and the brightest products in virtual, augmented and mixed reality – all under one roof. CVR is the biggest AR/VR conference in the Pacific Northwest and it will allow the general public to try out the newest, cutting-edge products right here in Vancouver.”
CVR 2017 is sponsored by BCLC, Creative BC, VEC, Microsoft, YDeams and Cloudhead Games among others, and will feature speakers from some of the biggest companies in the world including NASA, Ford, Delta Airlines and Super Ventures. Representatives from these companies will speak about topics such as solving problems in outer space with VR, designing the future of Virtual Humans, and featuring the latest evolution in entertainment.
“I’m very excited to be presenting at the CVR 2017, the Canadian’s premier VR/AR/MR conference,” said Evelyn Miralles, Lead VR Innovator, NASA, “VR’s a technology that has been with us at NASA for several decades used for astronaut space training. But the technology has now come of age and it’ll be changing the way we interact with people and the environment around us.”
In addition to the VR/AR companies participating, the industry event will be kicked off by welcome remarks from Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson.
CVR 2017 will be held May 5-7th, 2017 in West Exhibition Hall A of the Vancouver Convention Centre.  The show hours are as follows:
Friday, May 5 (Industry Only): 9:00am-6:00pm
Saturday, May 6 (Expo Days): 10:00am-6:00pm
Sunday, May 7 (Expo Days): 10:00am-4:00pm
 
For more information on CVR 2017, such as ticket or specific show programming information, please visit: www.cvr2017.com.
About Archiact
Archiact is a premium virtual and augmented reality studio headquartered in Vancouver, Canada with an additional office located in Shanghai, China. Archiact specializes in virtual reality game development, publishing, and custom business solutions. As the host of CVR, North America’s first consumer-facing VR/AR/MR conference and expo, Archiact actively powers the growth of the virtual reality industry for both businesses and customers alike. Founded in 2013, Archiact is now one of the world’s largest dedicated immersive reality studios.

The Future of Virtual and Augmented Reality

VR developer coder

The virtual reality (VR) industry is now expected to boom in the coming years, with projections noting a market potential exceeding $30 billion by 2020, along with 500 million VR headsets sold by 2025. A major cause of the reignited excitement over VR comes from industry experts having discovered the assistance that VR can provide a number of professions, including journalism, education and healthcare.

As demand for VR and AR products increases, employment growth in specific fields is expected to grow as well. Designers, developers, modelers, animators, project managers and videographers alike can apply their skills in this exciting new field. Enthusiasts should take advantage of educational resources as a way to gain a competitive edge in the job market.


Context

Keep your data safe in Canada with AWS and Cologix #cloud #enterprise #it #tech

Keep your data in Canada with AWS and Cologix

Creating hybrid cloud deployments with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud just got more compelling for customers interested in connecting to AWS’s new Canada (Central) Region. Cologix, a network neutral interconnection and data centre company, announced today the immediate availability of AWS Direct Connect cloud service in its Montreal data centres. As an AWS Direct Connect Partner, Cologix can offer customers secure and private connections to the AWS Cloud to improve performance and reduce costs compared to onramps via the public Internet.

 

This deployment with Cologix represents one of the first AWS Direct Connect locations in Montreal and will reside at Cologix’s flagship interconnection hub data centre at 1250 Rene Levesque, where more than 90 network service providers are available in the Meet-Me-Room. In addition to customers at 1250 Rene Leveque, customers across Cologix’s six other Montreal data centres will have access to the Direct Connect service via Cologix’s Metro Connect solution. Cologix also offers its New Jersey and Dallas data center customers network connectivity to AWS Direct Connect locations in the US East (Virginia) Region.

 

“The AWS Direct Connect node in Montreal represents a huge win for Canadian cloud customers interested in data sovereignty,,” notes Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO, Cologix. “We look forward to delivering in-market, low latency, highly secure connections to AWS that are easy to deploy.”

 

In an environment where choice offers the ability to evolve with dynamic market forces, Cologix’s Cloud Connect Platform provides more on-ramp solutions to public clouds, more physical connections to best-in-breed cloud service providers and access to more independent Internet exchanges than any other provider across its footprint.

Introduction to the Microsoft Bot Framework #cognitive #office365 #sms #sdk

Build and connect intelligent bots to interact with your users naturally wherever they are, from text/sms to Skype, Slack, Office 365 mail and other popular services.

One of the key problems in human-computer interactions is the ability of the computer to understand what a person wants, and to find the pieces of information that are relevant to their intent. For example, in a news-browsing app, you might say “Get news about virtual reality companies,” in which case there is the intention to FindNews, and “virtual reality companies” is the topic. LUIS is designed to enable you to very quickly deploy an http endpoint that will take the sentences you send it, and interpret them in terms of the intention they convey, and the key entities like “virtual reality companies” that are present. LUIS lets you custom design the set of intentions and entities that are relevant to the application, and then guides you through the process of building a language understanding system. According to Microsoft documentation for their Bot Framework,

“Microsoft’s Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) offers a fast and effective way of adding language understanding to applications. With LUIS, you can use pre-existing, world-class, pre-built models from Bing and Cortana whenever they suit your purposes – and when you need specialized models, LUIS guides you through the process of quickly building them.

Bot Builder lets you use LUIS to add natural language understanding to your bot via the LuisDialog class. You can add an instance of a LuisDialog that references your published language model and then add intent handlers to take actions in response to users utterances. To see LUIS in action watch the 10 minute tutorial.”

The Bot Builder SDK Chat Reference Library is here.

The Bot Framework FAQ is here.

Cognitive Services APIs are here.

Harden your #network against attackers with #Microsoft script Net Cease #security

Net Cease - Hardening Net Session Enumeration

Microsoft has released a PowerShell script called Net Cease that will harden machines against reconnaissance which is a key stage within the Advanced Attackers kill chain. According to details of the release on Microsoft TechNet, “once attackers have breached a single end-point, they need to discover their next targets within the victim’s corporate network, most notably privileged users.” Typically administrators will target Domain Controllers (DCs) to run the script.

“The NetCease script hardens the access to the NetSessionEnum method by removing the execute permission for Authenticated Users group and adding permissions for interactive, service and batch logon sessions. This will allow any administrator, system operator and power user to remotely call this method, and any interactive/service/batch logon session to call it locally.”

By default, NetSessionEnum method can be executed by any authenticated user, including network connected users, which effectively means that any domain user is able to execute it remotely.

Mirai IoT #malware from massive DDoS attack goes open source #security

Mirai “internet of things” malware from Krebs DDoS attack goes open source

A bulletin released by US-CERT explains an issue where IoT (also known as Internet of Things) devices  have recently been used to create large scale botnet attacks.

“On September 20, 2016, Brian Krebs’ security blog (krebsonsecurity.com) was targeted by a massive DDoS attack, one of the largest on record, exceeding 620 gigabits per second (Gbps). An IoT botnet powered by Mirai malware created the DDoS attack. The Mirai malware continuously scans the Internet for vulnerable IoT devices, which are then infected and used in botnet attacks. The Mirai bot uses a short list of 62 common default usernames and passwords to scan for vulnerable devices. Because many IoT devices are unsecured or weakly secured, this short dictionary allows the bot to access hundreds of thousands of devices. The purported Mirai author claimed that over 380,000 IoT devices were enslaved by the Mirai malware in the attack on Krebs’ website.”

In order to prevent malware on IoT devices, US-CERT recommends that users, “ensure all default passwords are changed to strong passwords. Default usernames and passwords for most devices can easily be found on the Internet, making devices with default passwords extremely vulnerable.”

Now that the Mirai source code has been released on the Internet you can expect the number of attacks to increase. According to US-CERT, “such botnet attacks could severely disrupt an organization’s communications or cause significant financial harm.”  Cyber-security professionals should harden networks against the possibility of a DDoS attack.

#Microsoft announces System Center 2016 and #Windows Server 2016 #business #tech #msignite #cloud

Microsoft System Center 2016

Microsoft has announced the general availability of System Center 2016. Of note the new platform provides more focus on the cloud, “greater heterogeneity and cloud management with broader support for LAMP stack and VMware, including monitoring resources and services in Azure and Amazon Web Services.” Here’s more from the announcement,

“For a full listing of the new capabilities in this latest release of our core management platform, you can visit the System Center 2016 site and read the What’s New in System Center 2016whitepaper. You can also download the System Center 2016 evaluation and see it in action for yourself. Check out the updates to System Center Configuration Manager (version 1606) also released today.”

Microsoft also announced the general availability of Windows Server 2016 with a focus on hybrid cloud management.

“This release is just one of many reflecting our deep commitment to hybrid cloud. In our long-held view, hybrid cloud is the reality for all enterprise customers, even those with the most ambitious cloud plans. Some applications should and will move quickly to public cloud, while others face technological and regulatory obstacles. Regardless of where these applications run today or will run in the future, Windows Server 2016 provides a rich and secure platform.”

Microsoft has enabled portability to Azure Cloud Services with this latest release of Server 2016. “Windows Server 2016 also offers seamless portability across data center, private and public cloud environments via virtual machine and new container formats that can be reliably deployed wherever the business requires.”

Check to see if your applications are compatible with Windows Server 2016.

Watch Microsoft Ignite video sessions.

 

Focus your #business on #cloud technologies with #Microsoft AppSource

Download apps for business at Microsoft AppSource

Microsoft AppSource is the place to get your new business up and running quickly. It’s also the place to get your existing business focused on cloud based technology. Microsoft AppSource launched in July 2016 and as Ron Huddleston explains that,

“as the responsibility for technology investments moves away from IT and into business units, [Microsoft is] seeing an explosion in the market for SaaS apps. Quick, powerful and cost-effective, SaaS apps allow companies to dial in exactly the functionality they need, without heavy investments in infrastructure or lengthy implementation cycles.”

AppSource is a great place for businesses of all sizes to download and trial new technologies enabling them to compete in the new global economy. It sounds like IT applications management could become less relevant in the coming years with Microsoft’s recent focus. My question is when these independent business units begin to encounter difficulties with these SaaS apps, who are they going to call? Ghostbusters? Nope – you guessed it – IT.

Artificial Intelligence will double annual economic growth rates by 2035 #ai #business

AI: Economic Boom But Jobs Bust

A news release from Accenture has some very good things to say about the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI). By pairing man and machine together, Accenture Research predicts that annual economic growth rates will double by 2035.

“Artificial intelligence heralds dramatic potential for growth for both the economy and for humans,” said Mark Purdy, managing director – Economic Research, Accenture Institute for High Performance. “Our research strongly shows that AI can unleash remarkable benefits across countries, countering slow economic growth and lagging productivity. To fulfill the promise of AI, relevant stakeholders must be thoroughly prepared – intellectually, technologically, politically, ethically and socially – to address the benefits and challenges that can arise as artificial intelligence becomes more integrated in our daily lives.”

Accenture states that this man / machine pairing will give people more time to focus on the creative side of business which includes innovation.

Yahoo! involved in unprecedented privacy violation #security

Yahoo let the NSA read your email before you even opened it.

Website, Fight for the Future is directing people to delete their Yahoo! accounts after it was found that the company had been redirecting all personal emails to the NSA for analysis. “This is an absolutely unprecedented privacy violation. Surveillance experts and former government officials are saying they have never seen such a broad demand for real-time digital surveillance, never mind one that calls for the creation of a new computer program. This program, essentially a wire-tap on the web, is beyond the scope of any of the already overreaching surveillance laws currently on the books.”

The original story broke via Reuters, which stated that, “[Yahoo!] complied with a classified U.S. government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said three former employees and a fourth person apprised of the events.”

Personally this makes me a little suspicious of any email web service or social media site now. If Yahoo! complied perhaps Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft have also complied with the NSA.

 

Deploying Windows through Microsoft SCCM #it #management #deployment

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2

Niall C. Brady has a great site called windows-noob.com with tons of great Microsoft deployment tutorials. Now don’t let the name windows-noob.com fool you as there’s some very complex topics covered. Here’s some I’ve been referring to lately.

How to deploy Windows 10 Enterprise using System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager. Niall discusses creating and deploying Windows 10 task sequences to workstations.

Niall has published a ton of System Center tutorials that cover a range of topics including:

  • Deploying SCCM
  • Deploying monthly updates
  • Deploying applications

You can also find Niall on Twitter.