From MIT Tech Review: Want consumer privacy? Try China

Forget the idea that China doesn’t care about privacy—its citizens will soon have much greater consumer privacy protections than Americans.

The narrative in the US that the Chinese don’t care about data privacy is simply misguided. It’s true that the Chinese government has built a sophisticated surveillance apparatus (with the help of Western companies), and continues to spy on its citizenry. 

But when it comes to what companies can do with people’s information, China is rapidly moving toward a data privacy regime that, in aligning with the European Union’s GDPR, is far more stringent than any federal law on the books in the US.  full story / podcast here

50 Top Private Software Companies of 2020

Guild – Partners with Fortune 1000 companies and nonprofit universities to offer education benefits to their employees.

Inc. – dedicated to the coverage of owners and managers of private companies – recently released the Inc 5000 2020. This list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America is grouped by industry, including engineering, manufacturing, transportation, and others. The software category was particularly impressive with its median growth of 197%, total revenues of $13.4 billion, and contributions of over 46,000 jobs, according to Inc. 

These award-winning companies represent the fastest-growing software application-based service vendors. Most are focused on popular online markets such as insurance, mortgages, wealth creation, job hunting, health care selection, product (often cannabis and art supplies) distribution, resellers, and other goods and services. Regardless of the market that they cover, software engineers will find the innovative techniques of interest, from user interface design and methods to accessing fairly dispersed database or HTML indexes to new online business models and the use of the latest software tech.

Inc.’s annual ranking of the leading privately-held American software companies provides insights and surprises. Software engineers will find the innovative techniques of interest, from user interface design and methods to accessing fairly dispersed database or HTML indexes to new online business models and the use of the latest software tech. See companies here

City of Glendale’s Tech – July 21, 2020 at 4PM – Zoom Webinar

Glendale Tech on Tap

The City of Glendale’s Tech on Tap event, “Virtually Meet & Greet our New Tech Accelerators,”  is July 21. This is the City’s fourth virtual Tech on Tap event and will feature speakers from Glendale’s two new Tech Accelerator Operators — Omkar Kulkarni from KidsX Health Accelerator and Hambarzum Kaghketsyan from HeroHouse Glendale Gateway Program, for a *virtual* afternoon Meet & Greet! The Meet & Greet will be followed by a Q&A session, where all participants are encouraged to participate to learn more about these two operators.

Register here

How ArtificiaI Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Augmented Reality (AR) Will Change the Face of Design

The combination of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and augmented reality (AR) will change the face of design in the not-so-distant future.

I truly believe that the combination of AI and AR is going to change the way in which we interface with our systems, the world, and each other. . . . we are still in the very early days of AI and AR. When Charles Babbage (1791–1871) commenced work on his Analytical Steam Engine in the 1830s, he thought of this machine only in the context of performing mathematical calculations, which he very much disliked doing by hand. It’s fascinating to me that Babbage’s assistant, Augusta Ada Lovelace (1815–1852), mused on something akin to AI. In fact, Ada wrote about the possibility of computers using numbers as symbols to represent things like musical notes, and she went so far as to speculate of machines one day “having the ability to compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.” . . . . let’s consider the AI project I’m working on at the moment. This is going to be mounted on my vacuum cleaner. It’s going to employ a 3-axis accelerometer to monitor the vibrations, and it will use green and red LEDs to tell me if the container is OK or if it needs to be emptied. Just for giggles and grins, I want to equip it with Wi-Fi. Thus, on the remote chance my son decides to hoover the house while I’m at work, my gizmo can send a message to my smartphone saying “The bag needs changing” so I can call my son and pass on the good news. . . . . full story here

The Future of Single-Use Packaging in a Post-Pandemic World

We were throwing out our plastic bags – until suddenly the supermarkets don’t want our reusable bags brought into their stores any more.  Even the most vocal anti-plastic critics are now relying on a soap or sanitizer pumped or poured from a plastic container. . . .

Rather than all out bans on plastic, are there ways to make them less harmful to the environment, more sustainable?

Single-use packaging can evolve towards lightweight cartridges used in conjunction with durable soap and sanitizer dispensers. The lighter package, which may not have ideal aesthetics, could be hidden inside a shroud or housing so that it is not visually jarring. The design of the dispenser itself can be optimized for minimal human contact, or even touchless, to help improve hygiene and sanitation. . . . what else? more

IBM will no longer offer, develop, or research facial recognition technology – for law enforcement

IBM’s CEO says we should reevaluate selling the technology to law enforcement

facial recognition image: Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

IBM will no longer offer general purpose facial recognition or analysis software, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a letter to Congress today. The company will also no longer develop or research the technology, IBM tells The Verge. Krishna addressed the letter to Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).

“IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any [facial recognition] technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency,” Krishna said in the letter. “We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.” 

Facial recognition software has improved greatly over the last decade thanks to advances in artificial intelligence. At the same time, the technology — because it is often provided by private companies with little regulation or federal oversight — has been shown to suffer from bias along lines of age, race, and ethnicity, which can make the tools unreliable for law enforcement and security and ripe for potential civil rights abuses. full article at The Verge

Apple’s Famed Annual Developer Conference Moves Online for First Time – Jan. 22, 2020

Apple’s Annual Worldwide Developer Conference ( WWDC) like never before, with a jam-packed, all-online experience coming to you from Apple Park.

Special Event Keynote and Platforms State of the Union: Jan. 22, at 10am. The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off with exciting reveals, inspiration, and new opportunities to continue creating the most innovative apps in the world. Join the worldwide developer community for an in-depth look at the future of Apple platforms, directly from Apple Park.

  1. 100+ Engineering Sessions Developer Forums
  2. Developer Forums
  3. 1-on-1 Developer Labs (by appointment)
  4. Apple Design Awards

    Click here for more information and to download the conference app.

How Cobots Can be Leveraged in the Covid-19 Age

Join a 60-minute webinar, “How How Cobots Can be Leveraged in the Covid-19 Age” with live Q&A on Tuesday, June 30 at 11:00 AM EDT / 8:00 AM PDT.

In just a short three months, COVID-19 has driven global manufacturing into a temporary halt. Now, as manufacturers look to restart operations, leaders struggle to create the “new normal.”  Industry experts cite automation and technology as two key factors in helping companies succeed. Leading the automation pack are collaborative robots or “cobots” – robots that are safe, easy to program and cost-effective.

Those attending this webinar will learn:

  1. Basics of collaborative robots
  2. Ongoing labor issues after COVID-19
  3. Real-world examples of how cobots are helping deliver social distancing on the factory floor
  4. Reshoring – how cobots can help with incremental automation
  5. The role cobots can play in round-the-clock shiftwork to meet tighter delivery schedules

Click to register at this link.

LAEDC Future Forum, June 16, 2020

Amidst the current pandemic, sub-sectors across the industry are exploring new strategies to meet consumer demands to continue the upward trend in economic growth. During these unprecedented times, the future can seem intimidating, and the sports industry brings promise and a glimmer of light, as we look ahead.

The economic impact of sports increased $2.1 billion between 2012 and 2019 in Los Angeles County. With 12 major league professional teams and several large sporting events like the Long Beach Grand Prix and the LA Marathon, the regional sports scene helped to expand economic development and increase job creation. Slated to host the Super Bowl, the US Open Golf Tournament, FIFA World Cup, Summer Olympics, and other national and international sporting competitions, Los Angeles County seems to offer a reinvigoration into the industry.

Amidst the current pandemic, sub-sectors across the industry are exploring new strategies to meet consumer demands to continue the upward trend in economic growth. During these unprecedented times, the future can seem intimidating, and the sports industry brings promise and a glimmer of light, as we look ahead.

Join the conversation on June 16, 2020, as the LAEDC focuses on timely research to provide updated regional insights that will inform the sporting ecosystem’s decision-makers about the state of the industry and where the opportunities are; as well, how recovering from the current pandemic will affect future growth. Register here . . . .