Coffee Briefing July 19, 2022 – Government of Canada invests C$7.7 million in tech SMEs and green recovery; Thomson Reuters expands remote work benefits; TikTok launches "Follow Me"; and more – IT World Canada

Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada’s editorial team!
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Government of Canada invests over C$7.7 million to support new tech companies and green recovery for SMEs
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) has announced an investment of more than C$7.7 million for thriveFORWARD, an initiative by Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (NCFDC) aimed at supporting tech start-ups and a greener transition of businesses to the industrial arena.
New technology companies and Canadian businesses in the industrial sector will be eligible to receive up to C$25,000 and C$100,000.  This investment will help create and maintain 500 jobs for the 145 SMEs benefiting from it. A further C$7 million can be leveraged from the private sector as additional support.
“This is our commitment to support entrepreneurs and industrial leadership at the technological forefront of sustainable growth and digital transformation, to maximize the economic impact of their efforts so that Canada can thrive forward,” said Wendy Curtis, executive director of NCFDC.
Applications for thriveFORWARD are currently being accepted.
Thomson Reuters expands employee benefits to improve work-life balance for remote work
Thomson Reuters has announced an expansion of its Flex My Way program to further strengthen its employee’s’ work-life balance and establish new norms for hybrid working.
Initially launched on Feb. 1st, 2022 as part of its Work from Anywhere policy, the new enhanced Flex My Way benefit will allow company staff to work up to four weeks of their annual eight weeks of remote work allowance outside their country of employment.
The expanded benefit will also include a new sabbatical program. Beginning Sept. 15, employees with at least three years of service at Thomson Reuters will be able to take up to six months of unpaid leave every five years.
TikTok launches “Follow Me”  with Canadian ambassadors to educate SMBs
TikTok is launching Follow Me, a multi-channel, six-week program that seeks to educate small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) on how to achieve their business goals by leveraging the power of the platform. The initiative kicked off on July 11 and will run until August 19th.
Canadian ambassadors Tastely Box and Lala Hijabs will share their stories and resources to building a successful business using TikTok, in an Ask Me Anything type webinar.
Owners of Tastely Box, Polly and James Laneville have garnered over 1.6 million followers on TikTok and opened two stores in less than two years, while Sana Saleh, co-founder of Lala Hijabs, has over 144k followers, as she now ships hijabs worldwide.
SMBs can register for the program at this link.
Checkout in five seconds with Leav
Leav is a tech solution that seeks to provide stores with a comprehensive platform to ease checkouts through a three-step process: scan the item from your phone, pay with the preferred payment method, and leave with your purchases without having to download anything, or wait in lines for traditional checkouts.
Designed to improve in-store efficiency, Leav features unlimited and personalized checkouts, tracks store inventory in real-time, and can easily be deployed and integrated with existing loss prevention systems.  The company says that checkout with Leav takes five seconds compared to the average five minutes with traditional checkout.
CSEC implements POS at Scotiabank Saddledome and McMahon Stadium in Calgary to improve fan experience
Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) has implemented a massive Point of Sale (POS) throughout Scotiabank Saddledome and McMahon Stadium in Calgary in hopes to speed up transactions and streamline operations for CSEC staff.
Designed to enable quick, cashless payments and optimize service for customers, the POS makeover for the two stadiums is provided by Square Inc., a California-based financial services company.
“Since implementing Square’s hardware and software, we’ve been able to speed up transactions, increase revenue and significantly reduce lines, while dramatically simplifying administrative processes for our staff,” said Ziad Mehio, Vice President, Technology and Food Service at CSEC.
 
 
Log4j vulnerability has reached endemic proportions, says report
After investigating a vulnerability discovered in late 2021 in the Log4j Java Library, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cyber ​​Safety Review Board (CSRB) states in a recently published report that it will remain a threat for many years.
Study reveals dark data impeding successful DataOps strategies
Quest Software, a systems management, data protection, and security software provider, in collaboration with the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), has released the 2022 State of Data Governance and Empowerment Report, an annual report highlighting the top challenges and innovations in data governance, data management and DataOps.
CRTC orders Rogers to explain its network failure
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has ordered Rogers Communications to provide a “comprehensive explanation” of the network outage that occurred on July 8.
TCS launches Pace Port Toronto research and innovation centre
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) yesterday announced the opening of its fifth and largest global research and co-innovation centre in Toronto, which the company said is designed to help Canadian companies “bring digital innovations to life faster.”
U of G receives $1M donation to launch ethical AI training modules
TD Bank Group has announced a C$1 million donation to the University of Guelph’s Centre for Advancing Responsible and Ethical Artificial Intelligence or CARE-AI.
The journey to make a difference
Compugen’s lead Azure solutions architect Julian Galley is cycling almost 3400 km from the company’s Calgary, Alberta office to its headquarters in Richmond Hill, Ontario to raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
ISED grants advance contract to SamKnows to measure fixed wireless internet speeds in Canada
Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada has awarded an advance contract, which provides notice that the agency intends to retain a pre-selected supplier unless it receives qualifying statements of capabilities from others within fifteen days, to SamKnows, a U.K.-based network research company, to measure Canada’s fixed wireless internet speeds.
Interac outage exacerbated by poor network design, says expert
The massive Rogers network outage on July 8 took down the Interac payment system, forcing Canadian merchants to turn away customers paying with debit cards. After its services returned to normal, the financial company issued an apology along with its commitment to add another supplier to increase its service’s resilience.
Posting by Datto founder McChord sparks quick retort from Kaseya CFO
Recent comments made by Austin McChord regarding complaints from Datto employees about how the company’s new owner, managed service provider Kaseya, is treating them led to a quick response online this week from the latter’s chief financial officer.
Worried about your firm’s internet and telecom resiliency? Ask these questions
The cross-Canada internet and wireless outages caused by last week’s incident at Rogers Communications should make corporate telecom and IT decision-makers think carefully about telecom resiliency in the services they buy.
Champagne orders telcos to produce clear resiliency plan in 60 days
The national outage of telecom services that millions of Canadians experienced in the last few days is “unacceptable — full stop,” federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne said Monday following a one-hour meeting with the leaders of six Canadian telecom companies.

Social media is causing buyer’s remorse, Netflix is testing a new fee for streaming from another location, and the UK excludes gaming loot boxes from its betting laws.
 

Ransomware targets small businesses, warnings for Digium Elastix and Netwrix Auditor administrators, and more.

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