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Coffee Briefing Feb. 27 – Apple introduces post quantum cryptography in iMessage; Seneca Polytechnic and Microsoft partner; New CRTC vice chairperson; and more

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! 

Missed the last Coffee Briefing? We’ve got you covered.

Apple introduces quantum-secure cryptography in iMessage

Apple has introduced PQ3, a post-quantum cryptographic protocol, in its messaging system, iMessage.

PQ3 is said to be the first messaging protocol to reach what Apple refers to as Level 3 security, providing protocol protections that surpass those in all widely deployed messaging apps, and that seeks to provide defenses against future sophisticated quantum computing attacks.

Messaging apps have traditionally used classical public cryptography, such as RSA, Elliptic Curve signatures, and Diffie-Hellman key exchange, but these protocols have been increasingly threatened with the rise of quantum computing, which is capable of rapidly solving the complex mathematical problems the protocols are based on.

Apple says that those kinds of quantum attacks are not currently possible, as quantum computers to carry them out do not exist yet, but bad actors can stockpile encrypted data until they later get their hands on a quantum computer that can decrypt the data.

Support for PQ3, Apple said, will start to roll out with the public releases of iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, macOS 14.4, and watchOS 10.4, and is already in the corresponding developer preview and beta releases.

Seneca Polytechnic partners with Microsoft to bring AI technology to students

Seneca Polytechnic has announced that it is bringing Microsoft Azure AI technology to students and employees through the following initiatives:

  1. New AI tutor to help students understand course material or help with homework
  2. Participation in simulated, personalized job postings with Microsoft AI technology and Seneca’s InStage platform
  3. Access to Microsoft Copilot to do a range of tasks like summarizing information, getting explanations for math solutions, improving writing skills, finding answers with links to queries and more

“AI innovation is transforming today’s classrooms, unlocking new possibilities for student success, creativity and learning,” said Marc Seaman, vice president, education sector, Microsoft Canada. “Seneca’s AI tutor integrates Microsoft Azure OpenAI to enable deeper understanding of course material inside the classroom and at home, for a learning experience that is personalized, inclusive and relevant in today’s digital economy.  Students will gain skills, guided by personalized AI experiences, ensuring they graduate not just job-ready, but future-ready.”

Heritage minister announces new CRTC vice chairperson

Minister of Canadian Heritage Pascale St-Onge has announced the appointment of Nathalie Théberge as vice chairperson of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Her term of office will last five years, starting in April this year.

“In a world where technology is constantly redefining the way we communicate, create and enjoy culture, the CRTC’s role is more relevant than ever,” said St-Onge. “Having Nathalie Théberge on the CRTC’s management team will strengthen the organization’s ability to navigate today’s complex digital landscape, while protecting the interests of Canadians and our creative professionals.”

Prior to this appointment, Théberge served as vice chair and chief executive officer of the Copyright Board of Canada, and has held a number of executive positions at the department of Canadian Heritage, positioning her to lead cultural and copyright measures in a number of international trade negotiations.

Théberge is replacing Alicia Barin, who stepped down in January after serving the CRTC since 2019.

QueerTech acquires Toronto non profit accelerator for 2SLGBTQ+ startup founders

A Montreal-based non-profit advocacy group for the queer community in the tech sector, QueerTech, has announced the strategic acquisition of Gradient Spaces, a Toronto-based non-profit accelerator for 2SLGBTQ+ startup founders in Canada.

“Since its inception, the organization has developed a strong framework for producing new leadership and deepening the pools of knowledge in the venture space for innovative queer business leaders,” said Naoufel Testaouni, co-founder and chief executive officer of QueerTech.

Gradient Spaces’ flagship program Founder Program, for example, is a three-month, equity-free incubator that supports entrepreneurs through expert-led sessions and mentorship opportunities, culminating in a final pitch day where founders meet investors and funders.

“Gradient Spaces is thrilled to pass the Founder Program baton to an organization that we’ve admired and worked closely with for years. Our missions are closely aligned, and it has been clear from the beginning that our teams both centre shared values in our work every day,” said Alexandra Baccellieri, director of Gradient Spaces. 

Further details about the acquisition will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

HPE and Telus partner to deliver Canada’s first 5G open RAN network

HPE logo

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced a partnership with Telus to build Canada’s first 5G open radio access network (Open RAN) in which it will provide infrastructure across 3,000 sites. 

“Open RAN technology enables HPE’s telco customers the interoperability to design and manage their network with the equipment and software they desire,” said Phil Cutrone, senior vice president and general manager of service providers, original equipment manufacture and telco at HPE. “This is one example of why we are the infrastructure of choice for telco carriers worldwide. HPE enables success by providing the most energy efficient, open, and flexible solutions at the edge.”

Specifically, HPE ProLiant DL110 Gen11 servers will provide an open, flexible and virtualized foundation for a Distributed Unit, which is responsible for preparing data for transmission across the 5G network. Providing a DU that frees Telus from historical reliance on proprietary appliances, HPE said, enables the carrier to smoothly and flexibly integrate with other Open RAN 5G infrastructure components.

The servers also use AI to distinguish between periods of high and low utilization, putting under-utilized infrastructure into an idle state without compromising latency or RAN network availability. That also helps with infrastructure power savings.

More to explore

As Broadcom sells its EUC Division, frustration mounts for many

The  dismantling of VMware by Broadcom continued today when the company announced it was selling its End-User Computing (EUC) Division to Menlo Park, Calif.-based KKR, a global investment firm, in a deal estimated to be worth US$4 billion.

Proposed Canadian law puts burden on large internet providers to police child porn, hate

Designated social media providers, live-streaming services and adult sites that allow users to upload content will have to scrutinize and delete objectionable messages, images, and videos if the Liberal government’s proposed Online Harms Act, which includes the creation of a Digital Safety Commission to hear complaints, is passed.

Cyber attack on Hamilton knocks out municipal phone, email

One of Ontario’s biggest cities is in the second day of dealing with a cyber attack.

LockBit claims it’s back, blames failure to patch vulnerability for police attack

The LockBit ransomware gang says it’s back in business, with a person posting a message admitting his “personal negligence and irresponsibility” for not updating an application was likely used by law enforcement last week to dismantle much of the operation’s IT infrastructure.

Sidebar: The powerful Digital Safety Commission

The Online Harm Act’s proposed Digital Safety Commission — whose members would be full-time government employees with renewable terms of up to five years — would have extensive powers.

Making AI explainable to bridge trust gaps: Forrester weighs in

Artificial intelligence has invaded industries and companies of all sizes, but the backstory of what makes these tools powerful and erratic alike remains somewhat obscure.

Channel Bytes February 23, 2024 – SailPoint launches MSP program; Sophos adds Partner Care to its global program; Salesforce users warned of flaws in customized instances; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Listen to the latest episode of Cybersecurity Today

Cyber Security Today, Feb. 26, 2024 – Canadian online harms legislation to be revealed today, and more

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Hashtag Trending Feb.27- Will AI enable a four-day week?; SpaceX under scrutiny for allegedly blocking satellite internet services in Taiwan; How much does it cost to make the Apple Vision Pro?

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