LinkedIn Top Startups 2023: 15 Canadian companies on the rise

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 27, 2023 by itnerd

Today, LinkedIn released the 2023 Canadian Top Startups List, featuring the 15 emerging companies attracting attention and top talent in 2023.  

Grounded in unique LinkedIn data, Top Startups is an annual ranking of the young, emerging companies attracting professionals who want to work there. The list reveals the companies that are forward-thinking and innovative around the future of work. These growing startups are successfully navigating through the current world of work at a time where there is economic uncertainty.  

LinkedIn’s methodology is based on growth and demand. The data to rank startups on the list is based on four pillars that are synonymous with successful startups:  

  • Employment growth
  • Engagement
  • Job interest and attraction of top talent

This year, LinkedIn adjusted their eligibility requirements, lowering the age criteria to five years or younger in order to feature more companies in their earlier, venture stages of growth. 

2023 Top Startups Canada List  

  1. Neo Financial  
  2. Float  
  3. Cohere 
  4. Fable 
  5. ODAIA  
  6. Felix  
  7. AltaML 
  8. PurposeMed 
  9. Novisto  
  10. Vessi  
  11. Conquest Planning  
  12. Summit Nanotech  
  13. Sanctuary AI  
  14. Makeship  
  15. nesto 


LinkedIn measures startups based on four pillars: employment growth, engagement, job interest and attraction of top talent. Employment growth is measured as percentage headcount increase over methodology time frame, which must be a minimum of 10%. Engagement looks at non-employee views and follows of the company’s LinkedIn page, as well as how many non-employees are viewing employees at that startup. Job interest counts rate at which people are viewing and applying to jobs at the company, including both paid and unpaid postings. Attraction of top talent measures how many employees the startup has recruited away from any global LinkedIn Top Company, as a percentage of the startup’s total workforce. Data is normalized across all eligible startups. The methodology time frame is July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.  

To be eligible, companies must be fully independent, privately held, have 50 or more full-time employees, be 5 years old or younger and be headquartered in the country on whose list they appear. We exclude all staffing firms, think tanks, venture capital firms, law firms, management and IT consulting firms, nonprofits and philanthropy, accelerators and government-owned entities. Startups who have laid off 20% or more of their workforce based on corporate announcements or public, reliable sources between July 1, 2022 and the list launch, are not eligible. These decisions are made by the LinkedIn News team based on company statements and/or reputable news outlets. 

Guest Post: Oppenheimer and Indian films lead August internet trends

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 27, 2023 by itnerd

The internet continues to evolve, and new trends emerge each month. In August 2023, Wikipedia pageview data provided insight into some of the hottest online trends.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN, the Oppenheimer film, an Indian movie “Gadar 2”, and Cleopatra were the most visited Wikipedia pages in August. Besides these, YouTube and Barbie’s film were also some of the most viewed pages. Throughout August, Wikipedia pages were visited nearly 7.8 billion times.

The biopic about J. Robert Oppenheimer starring Cillian Murphy generated nearly 7 million views on its Wikipedia page. In addition, the page about Oppenheimer, the person, ranked fifth on this list with 5.3 million views.

August was a hot month for Indian films. A highly visited page, with 6.6 million views, was the Indian action film “Gadar 2” released on August 11. It is the seventh highest-grossing Hindi film of all time. One more Indian film, “Jailer,” ranked seventh with 4.6 million views on Wikipedia.

Cleopatra ranks third on the most visited page list with 6.1 million views. YouTube’s Wikipedia page was visited 6 million times. Barbie’s live-action film drove nearly 5 million views to the Wikipedia page. U.S. presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, though lesser known, drew significant attention with 4.4 million clicks on his Wikipedia page.

Now one of the more funny entries on this list is the 2017 film “XXX: Return of Xander Cage” with 4.1 million views. Though there recently were some speculations about a fourth movie in the series, we believe that this interest comes from people searching for adult movies, but coming across the film’s Wikipedia page.

Cybersecurity writer at Atlas VPN, Vilius Kardelis, shares his thoughts on internet trends:

“In a media landscape where attention spans are short, the August 2023 Wikipedia data provides a snapshot into what held the internet’s focus, even for just a brief moment. For now, these pages offer a window into the culture and curiosities that defined the internet experience last month.”

To read the full article, head over to:


Nikon Canada announces the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 27, 2023 by itnerd

Today Nikon Canada Inc. announced the release of the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena, an impressively unique lens for Nikon Z series mirrorless cameras. This new mid-telephoto prime lens bestows astonishingly high resolution, edge-to-edge brightness, incredible sharpness and spectacularly dramatic bokeh, all while elevating the threshold of what’s possible with optical technology. 

The name “Plena” is derived from the Latin term plenum, which denotes the state of a space being completely full. This name was chosen to reflect the lens’s ability to fulfill the user’s creative vision with superior light gathering capability, beautiful, well-rounded bokeh and outstanding sharpness and clarity throughout the frame. Following in the footsteps of the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, this distinctively brilliant portrait prime is only the second Nikon lens to be granted a dedicated name, with the hope that it will be highly regarded by users for many years to come.

This truly special optic is engineered with a focus on superior peripheral illumination, which is the ability to deliver the maximum amount of light to the far edges of the frame. The result is abundant brightness from edge-to-edge, with clear, bright subject distinction throughout. The combination of brightness, bokeh quality and extreme sharpness makes for vibrant images with a mystical pop of three dimensionality. The NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena is part of the S-Line1and takes advantage of the Z mount system’s large-diameter mount, which unlocks further possibilities of lens design, as well as the potential for light gathering. 

In addition to enhanced brightness, the optical formula and larger rear element helps to realize beautiful, well-rounded bokeh throughout the entire frame, even from maximum aperture. The NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena also affords users outstanding sharpness and clarity, regardless of the shooting distance with a close minimum focusing distance of only 0.82 m/2.69 ft. This enables a fantastic dreamlike expression that combines delicate textures and beautiful bokeh in portraits, landscapes and more. 

The lens’s luxurious exterior design is intended to match its superior optical performance. Along with the adoption of metal components, the lens features an engraved “Plena” logo similar to the cursive font and yellow colour of the Noct logo. Additional features include a fully weather-sealed body for durability and the addition of two L-Fn buttons for customization. 

Primary Features of the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena

  • Beautiful, well-rounded bokeh is achieved throughout the entire frame, while supporting a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture. 
  • Eleven-blade diaphragm and larger rear element contribute to exceptionally circular bokeh for dreamlike expression that accentuates the three-dimensionality of the subject with smooth gradation. 
  • The large amount of peripheral light at the f/1.8 maximum aperture ensures a consistently bright image all the way to the extreme corners of the frame for a sense of transparency and brilliance in images.
  • The outstanding sharpness and clarity, characteristic of S-Line lenses, enables rendering of the finest textures in hair and skin tones, while excellent point-light reproduction capabilities achieve brilliant night and urban landscape imagery. 
  • A multi-focusing system uses stepping motors (STMs) for fast, accurate and quiet autofocus drive for still images and video.
  • In addition to Meso Amorphous Coat, the most effective anti-reflection coating in Nikon history that prevents reflections regardless of the direction from which light enters the lens, Nikon’s original ARNEO Coat is also used to effectively reduce instances of ghosting and flaring.
  • Optical construction consists of 16 elements in 14 groups, with four ED elements, one aspherical element and one SR lens element. 
  • A design that takes video recording into consideration with quiet operation and stable exposure.
  • The lens body features two lens Fn buttons, to which a wide variety of functions can be assigned. One is positioned on the top of the lens enabling smooth adjustment of settings even when shooting in vertical orientation.
  • The versatile 82mm filter attachment size enables the use of various lens filters designed to satisfy users’ creative intent.
  • Designed to achieve superior dust and drip-resistant performance2
  • Well balanced with a dimension of 3.9″x 5.5″, and a weight of 2.2 lbs /995 g. 

Price and Availability

The new NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena will be available in late October for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $3,399.95. For more information about the latest Nikon products, including the vast collection of NIKKOR Z lenses and the entire line of Z series cameras, please visit

CISA Releases Supply Chain Risk Management Hardware Bill of Materials 

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 27, 2023 by itnerd

The CISA has released a Hardware Bill of Materials Framework (HBOM) for Supply Chain Risk Management. The Framework was developed by the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) Task Force.  

“The HBOM Framework offers a consistent and repeatable way for vendors and purchasers to communicate about hardware components, enabling effective risk assessment and mitigation in the supply chain. With standardized naming, comprehensive information, and clear guidance, organizations can safeguard against economic and security risks, enhancing overall resilience,” said CISA National Risk Management Center Assistant Director and ICT SCRM Task Force Co-Chair Mona Harrington.

Key components:  

  • Provides a range of potential use cases that purchasers may have for HBOMs, based on the nature of the risk the purchaser seeks to evaluate.
  • Sets forth a format that can be used to ensure consistency across HBOMs and to increase the ease with which HBOMs can be produced and used.
  • Provides a taxonomy of component/input attributes that, depending on the use for which the purchaser intends to use an HBOM

“This methodology gives organizations a useful tool to evaluate supply chain risks with a consistent and predictable structure for a variety of use cases” said John Miller, Senior Vice President of Policy and General Counsel at Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) and ICT SCRM Task Force Co-Chair.

Stephen Gates, Principal Security SME, had this to say:

   Like the SBOM initiative mentioned in the May 2021 Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, the HBOM initiative makes a great deal of sense. Knowing what hardware and software components are inside of a product should help improve security in the supply chains we all rely upon. However, another movement that seems to be gaining steam is in the area of continuous security assessments for those who supply software, hardware, parts, and components that upstream entities rely upon – especially in terms of critical infrastructure.

   “For example, software and/or hardware manufacturers who are part of a supply chain and sell components to upstream entities will soon be asked to provide proof of continuous security assessments used as an indicator of just how secure their operations really are. Meaning, if you want to sell hardware and/or software to upstream buyers, you will soon be asked to prove your levels of security, and the only way to economically do that is to perform continuous security self-assessments.

   “The yearly checkbox penetration test so many have grown accustom too won’t cut the mustard any longer. They are only a snapshot in time, they often don’t tell the whole story, and they are cost prohibitive. Organizations who supply components upstream must find affordable ways of continuously assessing themselves and providing assessment reports to their buyers. Buyers must ensure they can mitigate any risk that could be transferred to them, hence the reason for wanting proof of supplier security levels.

   “The best way to continuously assess the security of a suppliers’ operations is to employ autonomous penetration testing technologies that can continuously assess and report on the security of the suppliers’ operations at any given moment in time. This will likely become the norm and not the acceptation moving forward.”

Like the SBOM this is a good move by the CISA. Because everything that we can all do to identify threats, be they hardware or software, is worth it to reduce an organization’s attack surface. This is one initiative that I can get behind.

Rogers Has Had A Multi-Day Outage In East Toronto…. But It’s Not Their Fault

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 26, 2023 by itnerd

If you live in any of these areas in Toronto:

  • Thorncliffe
  • Upper Beaches
  • Don Mills 

Then you’re into day 2 of a Rogers outage. That means that all of these Rogers services are not working for you:

  • TV
  • Internet
  • Home Phone
  • Rogers Ignite Internet
  • Rogers Ignite TV

According to this document, someone other than Rogers cut a cable that took out all the services for all of the people in the above areas. Which sucks for those people. But to Roger’s credit, they are offering a three day credit to those affected. But that isn’t stopping people from blaming Rogers based on browsing the Internet and social media.

News flash: Even though Rogers isn’t known for its stability since the epic outage, this isn’t their fault. So they deserve a free pass this time around. Key words: This time around.

Twitter Is The Biggest Source Of Disinformation According To The EU

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 26, 2023 by itnerd

It will come to the surprise to nobody that the EU has called out Twitter (I refuse to call it “X”) for being the biggest source of disinformation:

A top European Union official said Tuesday that the social network X, formerly known as Twitter, is the biggest source of fake news and urged owner Elon Musk to comply with the bloc’s laws aimed at combating disinformation. 

Ahead of upcoming elections, Google, TikTok, Microsoft and Meta also have more to do to tackle disinformation, much of it coming from Russia, which is using social media to wage a “war of ideas” against democracy, European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova said. 

Moscow’s disinformation operation “is a multimillion-euro weapon of mass manipulation aimed both internally at the Russians as well as at Europeans and the rest of the world,” she said at a press briefing in Brussels. 

With elections scheduled in Slovakia and Poland in the coming weeks and a bloc-wide vote next year, big online platforms must address the risk of online meddling, she said. 

The Kremlin and other malicious actors “will try to use the design features of the platforms to manipulate,” Jourova said.

She was providing an update on the 27-nation EU’s 2022 Code of Practice on Disinformation. Google, TikTok, Microsoft and Facebook and Instagram parent Meta signed up to the voluntary code last year, but Twitter dropped out after Musk bought the platform. 

X is “the platform with the largest ratio of mis- or disinformation posts,” Jourova said. 

An email to the company’s press team seeking comment resulted in an automatically generated reply that said, “Busy now, please check back later.”

At this point, it’s pretty clear that Elon doesn’t care about playing things straight up. And it highlights the fact that Twitter isn’t a place that you should spend any time if you want your social media experience to be free of hate and disinformation. But the real question is how long will it take before the EU or someone else smacks Elon silly? He really needs to be held accountable for this. Sooner rather than later.

Appdome Releases New Defenses to Combat Accessibility Malware

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 26, 2023 by itnerd

Appdome today announced new mobile anti-malware protections that detect Android Accessibility Service Malware such as Xenomorph, Brasdex, Octo, Sharkbot, Flubot, TeaBot, PixPirate, Sova, Spynote, Joker and more. These malware are used to carry out large scale, distributed attacks on mobile banking apps, crypto wallets, and other financial services apps.

Accessibility Service is the Android framework designed to allow mobile applications for individuals who are disabled to interact with all applications on an Android device. Unfortunately, Accessibility Service is now the target of abuse by fraudsters and others, who use malware to connect through Accessibility Service into banking and other mCommerce applications. Once the Accessibility Malware is on a user’s device, it can listen, collect, intercept and manipulate Android Accessibility Service events to perform harmful actions on behalf of users without their knowledge, often mimicking human actions within the mobile app, such as harvesting login credentials and completing transactions. Two of the most advanced variants focus on Android banking apps – BrasDex in Latin America and Xenomorph in the U.S. and Europe use Automated Transfer Systems (ATS) malware. ATS malware can complete end-to-end transactions – without a user being involved.

Appdome’s new Prevent Accessibility Malware feature includes:

  • Detection of ATS Malware using dozens of methods.
  • Detection of ATS Malware methods, such as Overlay and Keylogging in the context of Accessibility Service
  • Set Trusted Accessibility Services, so brands can identify the Accessibility Service applications recommended to their users.
  • To supplement Trusted Accessibility Services, Appdome has included an Accessibility Service Consent that allows mobile end users to accept specific Accessibility Services applications to be used with their applications.

Appdome’s Cyber Defense Automation platform for mobile apps empowers developers and cyber teams to seamlessly build protections against Accessibility Service Malware directly into any mobile app, all from within the DevOps CI/CD pipeline with no code or coding required.

For more information about Appdome’s Accessibility Malware prevention, visit:

Google Canada Economic Impact Report explores how AI could boost the Canadian economy by $210 billion

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 26, 2023 by itnerd

Today, an Economic Impact Report was released, revealing that Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, Google Cloud and Google Advertising tools delivered over $45 billion of economic activity for Canadian businesses, non-profits, publishers, creators and developers in 2022.

The report, published by Public First, also offers a future-looking perspective on how AI-powered technologies are set to provide the country with an economic boost, whether that’s helping people to work more efficiently, making careers more accessible or unlocking new ways of learning digital skills. Some of the report’s key findings include:

  • Generative AI has the potential to increase Canada’s economy by $210 billion –  that’s the equivalent of 8% of Gross Value Added (GVA)
  • Generative AI could save the average Canadian worker over 100 hours a year
  • It’s estimated that Google Cloud is saving 120 million business hours for the Canadian economy each year – that’s equivalent to at least $7.5 billion a year in business time savings for the Canadian economy.

 Google’s blog post has more information about today’s announcement and you can read the full report here

Apple’s Switch To FineWoven Material Is A Disaster

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 26, 2023 by itnerd

The new iPhones hit the streets last Friday. But what people are talking about are the FineWoven cases that hit the streets at the same time. FineWoven was Apple’s attempt to dump leather for environmental reasons. But I am wondering if they’re rethinking that as early reviews of the FineWoven cases show that nobody likes them. Let me illustrate this. The Verge said this:

Folks, what you’ve heard so far is true. Apple’s new FineWoven iPhone cases and accessories are bad. Like, really bad. I’ve been puzzling over them for the past week, looking at them from different angles. Picking them up, setting them down, petting them. Seven days later, I still can’t make sense of them and have no other choice but to say it out loud: FineWoven is very bad.

AppleInsider said this:

We hoped with the introduction of Apple’s FineWoven, we’d see a new premium alternative that would be even more durable while looking and feeling just as nice. We didn’t get it.

What we got was a cheap plastic case with an ultra-thin layer of the Apple-custom FineWoven material — which isn’t great — on the back to try to elevate it.

It’s hard to picture this case in a suitable state after six months of use. Maybe we’ll be surprised, but given what we’re seeing so far, we doubt it.

That’s not good. And this picture from Parker Ortolani seems to back up AppleInsider’s thoughts:

Not good. And it shows that Apple has made a huge swing and a miss here. If Apple was going to replace leather with something else, it needed to be demonstrably the same quality or better quality than leather. The early reviews indicate that it isn’t even close to being the same or better than leather. It’s in fact worse. And what makes things worse, they’re priced the same as the now discontinued leather case from Apple.

Talk about a slap in the face.

Apple’s attempt to take the moral high ground by saying that leather is bad and it has the answer to that problem has failed miserably because FineWoven is not the answer to that problem. Apple really needs to kill FineWoven as it is a dumpster fire that has opened up accessory sales to companies like Nomad or Mujjo who still sell leather cases. Which is an unforced error on their part. That is on top of the fact that this is also a PR disaster. Now it is possible that Apple may decide to have a “courage” moment and try to ride this out. But I honestly think that this would be a mistake. Apple needs to cut its losses and move on. And the sooner the better.

Next DLP Extends Visibility and Adaptive Controls for Leading Generative AI Tools 

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 26, 2023 by itnerd

Next DLP a leader in insider risk and data protection, today announced the extension of the company’s generative AI (“GenAI”) policy templates from ChatGPT to include Hugging FaceBardClaudeDall.ECopy.AiRytrTome and Lumen 5, within the company’s Reveal platform. This extension of visibility and control enables customers to stop data exfiltration, expose risky behavior and educate employees around the usage of GenAI tools. 

CISOs around the world are grappling with the proliferation of GenAI tools including text, image, video and code generators. They worry about how to manage and control their uses within the enterprise and the corresponding risk of sensitive data loss through GenAI prompts. Researchers at Next investigated activity from hundreds of companies during July 2023 to expose that:

  • 97% of companies had at least one user access ChatGPT
  • 8% of all users accessed ChatGPT
  • ChatGPT navigation events account for <0.01% of traffic. For comparison, Google navigation events consistently account for 5-10% of traffic.

With these new policies, customers gain enhanced monitoring and protection of employees using the most popular GenAI tools on the market. From educating employees on the potential risks associated with using these services, to triggering when an employee visits the GenAI tool websites, security teams can remind and reinforce corporate data usage protocols. 

In addition, customers can set up a policy to detect the use of sensitive information such as internal project names, credit card numbers, or social security numbers in GenAI conversations, enabling organizations to take preventive measures against unauthorized data sharing. These policies are just two of many possible configurations that protect organizations whose employees are using GenAI tools. 

For more information on the Reveal Platform and how to protect intellectual property visit: