Archive for February 1, 2019

Vector Institute Offering Scholarships to Candidates Applying to AI Master’s Programs in Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 1, 2019 by itnerd

The Vector Institute will award up to 115 scholarships to meritorious students who pursue a full-time AI-related master’s degree in the 2019-20 academic year in the province of Ontario, Canada. Scholarships will be awarded to students in both core technical programs and complementary fields such as business and health care. Graduates are highly sought after to work in leading startups and enterprises to help harness the full potential of AI to benefit the economy and our lives.

Canada, the birthplace of deep learning, has been at the forefront of AI advancements for decades thanks to pioneering researchers like Geoffrey Hinton, Yoshua Bengio, and Richard Sutton. The new Vector Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence aims to attract top students to learn from some of the world’s best faculty based in Toronto, Ontario and across Canada.

To be considered for the 2019-20 Vector Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence students must:

  1. Apply and be accepted for full-time study in:
  1. an AI-related master’s program recognized by the Vector Institute or;
  2. a master’s program in Ontario, Canada in an AI-related discipline that offers individualized study paths that are demonstrably AI-focused;
  1. Submit a personal statement explaining their AI-related experience and aspirations;
  2. Acquire two references; and
  3. Have a GPA equivalent to first class standing.

Scholarships are valued at $17,500 CAD for one full year. All scholarship winners and students enrolled in Vector-recognized master’s programs become part of the Vector Institute’s network of students, faculty, and employers who share a passion for collaborating to advance AI research and applications.

There has never been a better time to pursue an AI-related education and career in Canada. Having launched the world’s first national AI strategy, Canada is committed to training and seeding an AI workforce that has already incented major corporations like Amazon, DeepMind, Google Brain, Microsoft Research, NVIDIA, Samsung Research, and Uber ATG to set up Canadian labs. Between 2012-2017, more tech jobs were created in Toronto than in San Francisco, Seattle and Washington combined.

Canadian cities rank among the top when it comes to quality of life including safety, healthcare and quality of education. Canada embraces diversity and welcomes economic immigrants and international students who can become permanent residents and citizens. Toronto, Ontario’s capital, is the most multicultural city in the world with over 50% of its population born outside of Canada.


Candidates interested in pursuing a Vector Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence can find eligibility and application details online at



Tecsys Continues European Expansion with Acquisition of PCSYS A/S

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 1, 2019 by itnerd

Tecsys Inc. a Montreal-based supply chain management software company, today announced its acquisition of PCSYS A/S, a Danish technology company. Founded in 1990, PCSYS is a leader in Europe when it comes to software and hardware solutions for warehouse management, transportation management, and labelling systems. The organization supports more than 1,000 companies on their journey to achieve supply chain excellence by using robust technology to manage ever-changing requirements and introduce new productivity and cost-saving strategies.

Tecsys has been building global momentum in new markets and industries in recent years, notably with the November 2018 acquisition of OrderDynamics. In addition to acquiring this leader in retail distributed order management software, Tecsys also launched a new brand identity and purpose in January 2019.

Tecsys purchased 100% of the shares of PCSYS for an aggregate purchase price of DKK (Danish Krone) 67.0 million (approximately C$13.7 million), subject to adjustments. Tecsys funded the purchase price with a bank term loan of C$12.0 million and existing cash. PCSYS had revenue and operating profit for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2018 of DKK 75.3 million (approximately C$15.4 million) and DKK 9.0 million (approximately C$1.8 million), respectively. Tecsys expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to operating profit, based on PCSYS’ historical financial results.

TekSavvy TV Launching in Chatham, Ontario

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 1, 2019 by itnerd

TekSavvy and its affiliate cable company Hastings Cable Vision announced today the launch of a new IPTV service, TekSavvy TV, in the Chatham-Kent region of Ontario. TekSavvy TV will offer customers access to over 100 HD channels of sports, movies, series and kids programming including video on demand content from selected TV channels.

Customers in Chatham-Kent who wish to order can sign-up through TekSavvy’s MyAccount portal at TekSavvy TV is currently available as an app for Apple TV, Android TV, and Amazon Fire Stick. Customers can start with TekSavvy TV Basic at $20.00 per month and then add additional theme packages ranging in price from $6.00 to $20.00 per month to get more channels of live sports, premium series, and blockbuster movies. TekSavvy TV requires a TekSavvy residential Internet subscription with a minimum download speed of 15 Mbps.

TekSavvy has been proudly serving Canadians with reliable telecom services for more than 20 years and has won numerous awards for the quality of its service and for its commitment to fighting for consumers’ rights online. With offices in Chatham, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec TekSavvy is Canada’s largest independent telecom service company with over 300,000 customers from coast to coast.

#FlexGate Is Another Sign That Apple Isn’t What It Used To Be

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 1, 2019 by itnerd

I’ve been saying for a while now that Apple is really not what it is used to be and as a result it’s in deep trouble. The latest example of this is what has become known as #FlexGate.

Yes. We have yet another Apple “gate” style controversy on our hands.

If you have a touch bar MacBook Pro, the flex cable that connects the display to the logic board can fail. This first creates a “stage light” effect on the screen. Then the display can fail outright. And the really bad part is that this happens under normal usage by simply opening and closing the screen.


Now if you don’t have AppleCare, replacing this cable which likely costs under $10 requires you to replace the entire display which is $800 or more here in Canada. And despite the fact that this is a pretty obvious design flaw, Apple at present insists on forcing you to pay for their mistake.


Whats worse is that it appears that Apple is trying to cover this up. There are multiple people who claim to have started threads on Apple’s support site only to have them deleted. That’s pretty shifty on Apple’s part.

Now there’s a petition that is urging Apple to do the right thing. But the fact that they even have to urged to do the right thing is disconcerting to say the least. Here in Canada a fully maxed out MacBook Pro is $10,000. A decently loaded on goes for about half that. You’d think that for that sort of money, the quality would not only be better, but Apple would stand behind their product. But clearly that’s no longer the case. It’s another sign that Apple isn’t what it used to be and as a result is in decline. And #FlexGate combined with #KeyboardGate is the reason why I’m not springing for a new Apple laptop anytime soon.

Apple Says That Fix For FaceTime Bug Delayed Until Next Week… And Thanks The Family Who Discovered The Issue

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 1, 2019 by itnerd

This morning I was musing on Twitter about whether Apple would meet their self imposed deadline of “later this week” to fix that epic FaceTime bug:

Well, it looks like Apple has answered at least one of the above questions. MacRumors just posted a statement from Apple. It says the following:

We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple’s servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week. We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug. We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this process. 

We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and began work on the fix. We are committed to improving the process by which we receive and escalate these reports, in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible. We take the security of our products extremely seriously and we are committed to continuing to earn the trust Apple customers place in us.

So this statement sort of addresses one of the main criticisms of Apple since this debacle began. Which is that they appeared to not respond in any way, shape or form when the bug was first discovered. Something that I pointed out via Twitter:

At least they appear to want to make changes. That I guess they believe will blunt the investigation launched by New York State into their response to this issue. But it won’t help their cause in terms of the two separate lawsuits that have been filed over this issue.

As for the fix being delayed, I guess that they want to make sure that it is bulletproof so that this issue goes away once and for all. Though with two lawsuits and perhaps more likely to come, it won’t go away anytime soon. And it doesn’t help with their reputation when it comes to privacy as that’s a bit of a mess at the moment.

Having said all of that, when the update finally comes out “next week”, I’ll be installing it and trying to replicate the issue as well as look for any other changes. Stay tuned for that.

2.2 billion Unique Account Details Dumped On Torrent Sites Which Makes The Biggest Breach EVER Even Bigger

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 1, 2019 by itnerd

Remember when there was that massive breach happened a little while ago where 773 million records were exposed? Though it later turned out that this breach was out there for a while, it was still huge. It just got bigger as Wired is reporting that even more records are now out there. 2.2 Billion unique records to be precise:

“This is the biggest collection of breaches we’ve ever seen,” says Chris Rouland, a cybersecurity researcher and founder of the IoT security firm, who pulled Collections #1–5 in recent days from torrented files.

Much of the stolen information stems from prior breaches of Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Dropbox. But it has just now surfaced with these massive dumps. That’s very very scary. And you need to ensure that you’re not part of that. There are two places that you need to go to ensure that you’re safe:

Happy Friday!

Google Has Access To Apple’s Enterprise Certificates Again

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 1, 2019 by itnerd

It appears that Google much like Facebook before it has left the “sin bin” as Apple has restored the company’s access to enterprise certificates. The ones that got them into so much trouble when they were caught using them to sideload applications outside the app store. This was confirmed by Tech Crunch and by this tweet:

I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall of that conversation as one has to wonder what was said and what Google had to do to make nice with Apple. In any case, like the tweet says, all is well with the world. Except that it isn’t as I fully expect other companies to be “sin binned” by Apple as it’s a safe bet that Apple is taking a very deep look at their enterprise certificate program to find anyone more companies who are flouting the rules.