Archive for May 6, 2021

Procore Acquires Construction Artificial Intelligence Company, INDUS.AI

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 6, 2021 by itnerd

Procore Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of construction management software, today announced it has acquired INDUS.AI, makers of an artificial intelligence-powered analytics platform for the construction industry. This acquisition adds computer vision capabilities to the Procore platform, helping owners, general contractors, and specialty contractors realize greater efficiencies, safety, and profitability. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.   

The construction industry is undergoing a digital transformation. While this transformation is producing mountains of previously inaccessible data, up to 96 per cent of construction data goes unused. INDUS.AI’s AI engine learns from project management platforms, cameras, sensors, drawings, building information models, schedules, and more — and creates observations, recommendations, and alerts that help project teams make data-driven decisions. INDUS.AI’s solutions are used to track and review construction progress, ensure safety and compliance, gain real-time project visibility, view labor deployment, minimize equipment idle time, and resolve claim disputes. 

Every day, INDUS.AI monitors over 100 million square feet of construction sites with its AI engine detecting anomalies and progress. It has been trained with millions of images and videos specific to construction, and is able to identify more than 70 metadata labels per image. The INDUS.AI acquisition builds on Procore’s acquisition of Avata Intelligence in 2020, which brought world-class AI talent to Procore and is delivering smart automation solutions and predictive insights to Procore customers. Procore plans to integrate INDUS.AI’s capabilities into the Procore platform. In the interim, INDUS AI’s solutions will not be commercially available to new customers. 

Procore is a leading provider of construction management software. Over 1 million projects and more than $1 trillion USD in construction volume have run on Procore’s platform. Our platform connects every project stakeholder to solutions we’ve built specifically for the construction industry—for the owner, the general contractor, and the specialty contractor. Procore’s Marketplace has a multitude of partner solutions that integrate seamlessly with our platform, giving construction professionals the freedom to connect with what works best for them. Headquartered in Carpinteria, California, Procore has offices in Canada and around the globe. Learn more at Procore.com.

INDUS.AI’s construction intelligence solution enables real estate investors, owners, developers, and general contractors to have real-time visibility and actionable insights into all activities, productivity, and risks at their construction sites. A Procore App Marketplace partner since 2018, INDUS.AI seeks to make construction sites and projects safer, more efficient and completely transparent. Learn more at www.indus.ai

TELUS Investing $54 Billion In Infrastructure & Operations Through 2024

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 6, 2021 by itnerd

TELUS announced today it is investing an additional $54 billion in infrastructure and operations across the country through 2024 to further support Canadians through the Covid-19 pandemic and the country’s economic recovery. These investments will create important and tangible social outcomes for Canadians by enabling us all to work, learn, access healthcare, and socialize from home during these unprecedented times. To help us achieve these remarkable outcomes, TELUS will expand their next-generation 5G network to an additional 529 new urban and rural communities by the end of the year and bring our gigabit PureFibre Internet network to more than one million additional homes and businesses, exceeding a total of 3.5 million Canadian premises by the end of 2021. Together, our expanded and enhanced wireless and wireline technologies will enable improved health and educational outcomes for Canadians, support environmental sustainability, foster entrepreneurship, unleash human productivity, bridge the socio-economic divide, and drive economic growth, which is crucial to Canada’s fiscal recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to the 38,000 job opportunities TELUS will create for Canadians in the next four years across their vast partner ecosystem, the deployment of 5G will create 250,000 jobs and contribute $150 billion to Canada’s economy over the next 20 years.

By the end of the year, TELUS’ 5G network will cover 70% of the Canadian population utilizing their current spectrum holdings. Below is the breakdown of new communities being upgraded to 5G by province:

  • British Columbia: 187 communities
  • Quebec: 161 communities
  • Alberta: 136 communities
  • Manitoba: 12 communities
  • Ontario: 24 communities

See TELUS’ current coverage map here.

In addition to unleashing human productivity and supporting Canada’s economic recovery, TELUS’ networks will further bridge digital divides and socio-economic inequality by ensuring that safe and quality healthcare is accessible for all Canadians through the use of TELUS Health’s digital solutions. In the near future, 5G will improve health experiences for Canadians with faster, more secure connections for video health consultations and remote health monitoring. Eventually, remote surgeries will be made possible as innovation is enabled by their robust networks. 

To support students, faculty, and researchers working to advance the technologies of tomorrow, TELUS is partnering with the University of Windsor and St. Clair College in Ontario to make each institution a 5G Connected Campus. Fully funded by TELUS, each institution will receive a TELUS-designed, 5G-enabled wireless network. TELUS will operate these networks at no cost to the institutions, provide complementary connectivity to students, faculty, and researchers, and collaborate on research projects to further understanding and use cases of 5G technologies. These partnerships will bring some of the most cutting-edge telecommunications technology available to students that will advance higher education and science, and unlock new ways for technology to improve Canadians’ lives.

These investments build upon TELUS’ continued commitment to bring world-leading connectivity to communities across the country, providing the technological backbone for our economic recovery and strength well into the future. Since 2000, TELUS has invested nearly $240 billion nationally in network infrastructure, operations, and spectrum to enhance the coverage, speed, and reliability of their networks. 

Hit Game, My Time At Portia, Is Coming Soon To Mobile

Posted in Commentary on May 6, 2021 by itnerd

After selling over two million copies worldwide on PC and console, Pathea Games and Pixmain today announced the hit game, My Time at Portia, is coming to mobile. Fans of the original will now be able to explore and craft their way through the Town of Portia in a seamless mobile experience for iOS and Android devices.

My Time at Portia became a blockbuster title through its PC launch in 2019. Receiving praises from players and reviewers globally, the Town of Portia has since become the top destination for farming and crafting. Once stepping upon the land of Portia, one will be tasked with restoring a neglected workshop and fulfilling the destiny of becoming the number one builder in town! Besides setting up shop and fulfilling workshop commissions, one will also experience other aspects of farm life such as exploring beautiful landscapes and ruins, taking down monsters through combat, and charming one’s way through new friendships that could turn into more!

All the ingredients that made the success of the original release and what players came to love will be present in the mobile launch! Portia’s post-apocalyptic farming and town life sceneries, 3D crafting and farming, relationship systems will all become available on mobile. The mobile version benefits from a few necessary and welcome upgrades, such as full touchscreen, UI redesign and new manual and auto-save functions to ensure a smooth portable gaming experience.

My Time at Portia mobile will be released on iOS and Android this summer. 

To keep up to date with the mobile release of My Time at Portia please visit them on Facebook and Discord.

TikTok Partners With Canadian Startups To Offer Creators More Tools

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 6, 2021 by itnerd

TikTok is always looking for new ways to enable self-expression, creativity, and connection among their communities. The TikTok for Developers program was launched to create innovative tools for third-party apps to integrate with TikTok and provide users more features to create and share amazing content.

Today, they’re excited to introduce the new Sound and Login Kits for TikTok, which will help third-party apps create more frictionless sharing and authentication experiences for their users – including two Canadian startups:

  • LANDR: Montreal-based audio platform integrating with the Sound Kit that will empower artists with a suite of music creation, collaboration, and distribution tools.
  • Snack: Vancouver-based dating app integrating with the Login Kit that will help you find new connections by recording the real you and scrolling through your feed instead of swiping.

In addition to these Canadian partners, the Sound and Login kits include integrations with 16 other third party apps to make it even easier for the TikTok community to express themselves and share their creativity with others. Check out this blog post for full details.

My EDC (Every Day Carry) For 2021 – Revisited

Posted in Commentary on May 6, 2021 by itnerd

Earlier this year, I posted my Every Day Carry which comprises the things that I take with me on a daily basis. Thanks to the advice of avid readers of this blog, and some research on my own, I’ve revised my every day carry. Let’s start with my phone which hasn’t changed:

My current phone is the iPhone 12 Pro. It covers my needs for a fast phone with great cameras, lots of storage, and an amazing screen. I always keep my phones in a case, and the case that I use on a daily basis is the Spigen Tough Armor which has a kickstand for watching media hands free. But more importantly promises twice the military standard for drop protection. Seeing that this phone is insanely expensive, protecting it is top of mind. To add to that protection, I have added a FloLab NanoArmour Anti-Microbial Screen Protector screen protector on it so that scratches on the screen are a non-issue and it gives the screen some extra resilience. The anti-microbial features are really just a bonus.

I also go out with my Apple Watch Series 6 with cellular as that’s a great way to stay in touch without carrying my phone if I choose to do that as I can stay in touch minus my phone. It also keeps track of all my health metrics as that’s important to me these days as I am working very hard to get into better shape and lose weight. Before the world started ending, I used to change my watch bands to match my mood or to match an event that I am going to. These days I generally leave on a Nike Sport Band that I got as a gift from a client. But if you want to see my current collection of Apple Watch bands, you can have a look at them here.

My keys are the next things that I grab. My keys are in a KeyPort Pivot 2.0 key holder which includes a flashlight on the outside and a pen on the inside. One thing that I appreciate about this setup is that keys don’t dig into my thighs and they don’t jingle. Besides having actual keys and a key fob for my condo, I also have the Apple AirTag on them to find them when I misplace them. Since you can’t directly mount an AirTag to anything, I use the Belkin Secure Holder with this as it’s secure and cheap relative to the cost of what Apple wants you to pay for their products. I also have a hook on them that allows me to add these when I need them:

  • In case I need to do something with a client that requires storage, I have a Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB USB drive which is a recent addition to my EDC that will come in handy when the world stops ending.
  • In case I need a USB-C or Lightning cable on the go, I have this Lever Gear CableKit which ensures that I am not caught out.

On my car keys I have Apple AirTags on them for the same reason why I have them on my house keys. The cool thing about the AirTrags is that it is IP67 water resistant and has a replaceable battery. So I can get some long term use from them.

Even in the era of paying for things with your phone or watch, you need to have a wallet. That’s why my wallet of choice is the Bryker Hyde 2 ID Window wallet. It’s feels really upscale via the quality leather that the wallet uses, and has more than enough space for all my cards and ID. It does have RFID blocking capabilities. But one has to question if that’s really required as evidenced by this article. But having said that, it allows me to do this with it.

I have an Apple AirTag in my wallet so I can keep track of this wallet as I have a habit of misplacing it in my condo. It’s loud enough when it comes to yours truly playing a sound to find it, and it may even come in handy to track it should I be pick pocketed as Apple has over a billion devices out there who can help you to find the things that you might lose. It does create a bit of a bulge in my wallet which is still acceptable as it doesn’t feel any different in my hand or in my pocket when folded.

I’ve been carrying this Victorinox CyberTool M for years. And if you look at the picture, it shows as you can see that it does have some light scratches on it. Despite that it still looks great and works just fine. That’s a testament to the quality that Victorinox builds into I use it to do everything from open up computers and to open up Amazon boxes as it has 32 different tools on it that are useful for almost any situation.

While I drive, I use these Rudy Project Deewhy sunglasses with Polar3FX Grey lenses. These are polarized lenses that filter harmful UV rays and eliminates glare by selectively filtering non harmful wavelengths through the lens. It’s designed to filter glare from car headlights, sun rays and the refracted light on wet or shiny surfaces like water and snow. All of which means that my eyes don’t take a beating when I drive

Seeing as the world is still ending because of COVID-19, a mask is a necessity when you are outside your home. My wife and I use these Devon+Lange 3 layer face masks that are made from silver infused premium modal, and they have a filter pocket to hold the included PM2.5 filters. There’s also a removable and replaceable nose pieces to ensure that they fit properly. These masks are comfortable to wear, I can breathe in them and I can wear them for long periods of time.

That’s my EDC or every day carry. What do you think? What do you think I should add to it? Drop a comment and share your thoughts.

Guest Post: World Password Day & The Importance Of Good Password Hygiene

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 6, 2021 by itnerd

By Don Boxley, CEO and Co-Founder, DH2i (www.dh2i.com)

The importance of good hygiene was a familiar discussion point over the past year and is likely to remain so into the foreseeable future. With World Password Day coming up on May 6, we are reminded that good password hygiene is an essential way for businesses and individual users to protect the health of their data; especially in light of the FBI estimated 4,000 ransomware attacks being carried out on a daily basis. With the approaching World Password Day in mind, Don Boxley, CEO and Co-Founder of DH2i, would like to offer the following thoughts: 

“While few would argue the necessity of choosing a strong password, many continue to ignore (or perhaps are unaware) how best to do so and instead choose the types of easy-to-guess, predictable passwords that have plagued data security since the beginning of digital login credentials. However, the truth is that when it comes to data security, even the most complicated, random and continuously changing password is rarely enough.

IT professionals know this and have worked to fortify their organization’s network and data security with additional enhancements. While VPNs have historically been the data access and security solution of choice, more recently they have proven to be less than reliable. In fact, research conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unfathomable increase in ransomware and other bad actors showed that of those already utilizing VPNs, 62% cited inadequate security as their number one VPN pain point. And, almost 40% of those responsible for keeping ransomware and other malware from penetrating their network, believed that in fact, it already had.

This is why so many in the industry are now turning to software defined perimeter (SDP) solutions to replace their outdated VPNs. With SDPs, users are able to construct lightweight, discreet, scalable, and highly available “secure-by-app” connections between edge devices, on-premises, remote, and/or cloud environments. Contrary to VPN design, SDP solutions were engineered specifically for the way we work and live today — which when combined with effective passwords, will provide virtually impenetrable protection now and into the future.”

Don Boxley Jr is a DH2i co-founder and CEO. Prior to DH2i, Don held senior marketing roles at Hewlett-Packard where he was instrumental in sales and marketing strategies that resulted in significant revenue growth in the scale-out NAS business. Don spent more than 20 years in management positions for leading technology companies, including Hewlett-Packard, CoCreate Software, Iomega, TapeWorks Data Storage Systems and Colorado Memory Systems. Don earned his MBA from the Johnson School of Management, Cornell University.