Month: July 2022

Construction Industry

South Africa Construction Market Report 2022: Future

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “South Africa Construction Market Report” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

South Africa has the third-largest economy in Africa. Additionally, it is Africa’s most industrialized, technologically advanced, and diversified economy.

The country’s relative macroeconomic stability, stable democratic government, and well-developed infrastructure have given rise to a dynamic investment environment and established its position as a strategic gateway to other markets in the Southern African region and the rest of the African continent. Infrastructure investment is a central pillar of the South African government’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery plans.

The 2022 budget allocated R812.5 billion (circa US$51.7 billion) over the next three years for infrastructure investment. The government’s massive spending on major infrastructure projects is expected to drive a construction boom in the country. This report provides an overview of the South African construction market.

Summary

The country’s construction industry was also one of the hardest hits by the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions in terms of employment, losing 259,118 jobs at the end of Q3 2020.

As part of efforts to revive the economy following the devastations of the COVID crisis, the South African government is implementing an economic reconstruction and recovery plan underpinned by massive investment in infrastructure – with a construction project pipeline worth R340 billion in industries such as energy, water, transport and telecommunications.

The government is also implementing a National Infrastructure Plan 2050 (NIP 2050). It aims to achieve an investment/GDP ratio of 30% to meet the infrastructure finance gap for public infrastructure, which is estimated at R2.15 trillion (circa US$140 billion) up to the year 2040. The NIP 2050 emphasises blended project finance and public-private cooperation to finance the delivery of public infrastructure.

The 2022 budget presented on 23 February 2022 allocated an amount of R812.5 billion (circa US$45.3 billion) to public-sector infrastructure

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Software

Hackers Target Ukrainian Software Company Using GoMet

A large software development company whose software is used by different state entities in Ukraine was at the receiving end of an “uncommon” piece of malware, new research has found.

The malware, first observed on the morning of May 19, 2022, is a custom variant of the open source backdoor known as GoMet and is designed for maintaining persistent access to the network.

“This access could be leveraged in a variety of ways including deeper access or to launch additional attacks, including the potential for software supply chain compromise,” Cisco Talos said in a report shared with The Hacker News.

CyberSecurity

Although there are no concrete indicators linking the attack to a single actor or group, the cybersecurity firm’s assessment points to Russian nation-state activity.

Public reporting into the use of GoMet in real-world attacks has so far uncovered only two documented cases to date: one in 2020, coinciding with the disclosure of CVE-2020-5902, a critical remote code execution flaw in F5’s BIG-IP networking devices.

The second instance entailed the successful exploitation of CVE-2022-1040, a remote code execution vulnerability in Sophos Firewall, by an unnamed advanced persistent threat (APT) group earlier this year.

“We haven’t seen GoMet deployed across the other organizations we’ve been working closely with and monitoring so that implies it is targeted in some manner but could be in use against additional targets we don’t have visibility into,” Nick Biasini, head of outreach for Cisco Talos, told The Hacker News.

“We have also conducted relatively rigorous historic analysis and see very little use of GoMet historically which further indicates that it is being used in very targeted ways.”

GoMet, as the name implies, is written in Go and comes with features that allow the attacker to remotely commandeer the compromised system, including uploading and downloading files, running arbitrary

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Technology Business

Apple surpasses expectations as tech companies struggle in

Apple reported higher-than-expected profit and sales as demand for iPhones holds steady even amid inflation and the challenges of an economic slowdown.

Sales and profit for the quarter were $83bn and $1.20 a share, according to Apple, surpassing Wall Street expectations. The report is a positive sign for the company, which earlier this year lost its status as the most valuable company in the world to the oil giant Saudi Aramco. The company’s shares rose by 2.6% after hours in response to the news.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, described the quarter as a reflection of the company’s “resilience and optimism” and said it managed to achieve better than expected results despite supply constraints and the effects of the company suspending sales in Russia.

There has been no slowdown in demand for iPhones, Apple’s CFO, Luca Maestri, told Reuters. Apple reported iPhone sales were $40.7bn, up about 3% from a year earlier and well ahead of the overall global smartphone market. The company’s loyal and affluent customer base has in the past allowed it to weather economic dips better than some other companies.

But the slowing economy is hurting sales of advertising, accessories and home products, Maestri said.

“Fortunately, we have a very broad portfolio, so we know we’re going to be able to navigate that,” he said.

Parts shortages will continue to limit Mac and iPad sales, Maestri said, though the impact has been easing.

“As a largely hardware company, Apple is arguably more directly exposed to supply chain issues than the other tech giants reporting earnings this week, but it also has a growing services business that is an important part of its diversification strategy, so it has flex in its model,” Tom Johnson, the global chief digital officer at Mindshare Worldwide, said of Apple’s quarterly earnings.

In April,

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Branding

Custom Logo Stickers for Better Branding

An instantly recognisable logo is one of the few things all highly successful businesses have in common.  At a glance, their logo (or even just the colours it contains) tells you exactly which business you are looking at.

As part of a broader branding strategy, coming up with a great business logo is essential. Those who become loyal to your brand will instinctively associate your logo with your company’s main points of appeal.

Of course, coming up with a distinctive and appropriate logo for a business of any kind is easier said than done. It is also something of an ongoing process of refinement and optimisation.

Take a look at any major brand’s logo over the course of the decades and you will note any number of minor (and in some cases major) changes. What resonates with a particular audience today could be considered mundane and outdated in the future.

This is why it is essential to regularly revisit all aspects of your branding strategy, in order to ensure they are in line with the expectations and preferences of your target audience. Once you are happy with your brand logo, it simply makes sense to display it as prominently and prolifically as possible.

Precisely where custom logo stickers can help, but what makes a good logo sticker from a 2022 perspective?

How to Get More Out of Your Custom Logo Stickers

Engaging and influencing today’s sophisticated consumers isn’t easy. They are naturally sceptical (if not slightly cynical) about the branding and marketing efforts of the businesses they encounter.

Even so, research suggests that the purchase decisions of almost 75% of consumers are influenced by the appearance of a product’s packaging. A figure that emphasises the importance of quality labelling, and an attractive brand logo that is instantly recognisable.

Make no

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Construction Industry

Holcim stock surges after cement maker raises sales outlook

The new logo of Swiss cement maker Holcim is seen in a block of concrete during the Holcim Capital Markets Day event in Basel, Switzerland, November 18, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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  • CEO sees no slowdown caused by higher interest rates
  • Company has fully compensated for higher input costs
  • Q2 sales, earnings beat forecasts
  • CEO sees strong growth in the United States
  • Shares gain 5.25% in early trading

ZURICH, July 27 (Reuters) – Holcim (HOLN.S) was the biggest gainer among European construction stocks on Wednesday after the world’s biggest cement maker beat earnings forecasts and raised its full year sales outlook.

The Swiss group successfully offset higher energy costs which have been a worry for other companies, adding it expected demand from the construction industry to be unaffected by rising interest rates.

Chief Executive Jan Jenisch said the company had seen “super growth momentum” which he expected would continue in the second half of the year.

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“We had even better growth in the second quarter than in the first, and if you look where the growth comes from, it’s our Holcim business with cement, aggregates and concrete,” Chief Executive Jan Jenisch told reporters.

“The other half of the growth comes from our newly acquired companies, especially in roofing systems. We don’t see a slowdown in our markets, especially the U.S. where we have record numbers and double-digit sales growth organically.”

Holcim now expects its full-year sales to grow 10% this year on a like-for-like basis which excludes the impact of currencies and portfolio changes. Its previous forecast was 8%.

The brighter outlook and strong performance in the second quarter sent the company’s shares 5.25% higher in early trading, making Holcim the top gainer in

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Software

Apple CarPlay could be a trojan horse into the automotive

Apple is using the iPhone’s popularity to push itself into the auto industry. Automakers are a little unsure how they feel about this.

Apple announced the next generation of its car software CarPlay in June. It takes over the user interface on all interior screens, replacing gas gauges and speed dials with a digital version powered by the driver’s iPhone. It suggested CarPlay helps automakers sell vehicles.

Apple engineering manager Emily Schubert said 98% of new cars in the U.S. come with CarPlay installed. She delivered a shocking stat: 79% of U.S. buyers would only buy a car if it supported CarPlay.

“It’s a must-have feature when shopping for a new vehicle,” Schubert said during a presentation of the new features.

The auto industry faces an unappealing choice: Offer CarPlay and give up potential revenue and the chance to ride a major industry shift, or spend heavily to develop their own infotainment software and cater to an potentially shrinking audience of car buyers who will purchase a new vehicle without CarPlay.

Apple wants a seat at the table

Carmakers sell additional services and features to vehicle owners on a regular, recurring basis as cars connect to the internet, gain self-driving features, and move from being powered by gasoline to powered by electricity and batteries.

The car software market will grow 9% per year through 2030, faster than the overall auto industry, according to a McKinsey report. Car software could account for $50 billion in sales by 2030, McKinsey analysts predict.

Apple wants a piece of the pie.

GM, which wasn’t listed on Apple’s slide, already gets revenue of $2 billion per year from in-car subscriptions and expects it to grow to $25 billion per year by 2030. Tesla, which doesn’t support CarPlay, recently shifted into selling its “FSD” driver-assistance features,

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Technology Business

Why these workers left jobs like Google

Sandy Anuras, the chief technology officer of Sunrun.

Photo courtesy Sandy Anuras, the chief technology officer of Sunrun

Tech workers are walking away from high-paying jobs with great perks to help fight what they believe is the greatest existential problem of our lifetimes: climate change.

In some cases, that has meant taking a pay cut. But Sandy Anuras, who recently joined home solar provider Sunrun as its chief technology officer, says a big paycheck sometimes comes with a price.

“The tech giants have had these huge compensation packages. And it’s hard to say no to a huge compensation package,” Anuras told CNBC. “You just realize there’s a little bit more to life than maxing out your comp package. And I think people are realizing that now — and especially with some of the decisions that their companies have made to prioritize profits over democracy, for example.”

Before starting at Sunrun in March, Anuras worked at Expedia for almost three years. She believes traveling is good for society, as people who travel often experience an expanded perspective and greater compassion toward strangers. But helping people book travel efficiently did not give Anuras the internal satisfaction she had when she worked at Blokable, a startup working to make affordable housing readily available.

There’s a little bit more to life than maxing out your comp package. And I think people are realizing that now.

Sandy Anuras

Chief Technology Officer, Sunrun

When Anuras started looking for new jobs, she wrote an “intention document” expressing her desire to work at a mission-first company.

“What bigger problem is there to solve for our generation than climate change?” Anuras found herself thinking. Not only is climate change an existential-level threat to humanity, it is especially dangerous for the poorest communities around the world. “Spending my time in

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Computer Forensics

Deleted bookmark led to child pornography site depicting

Accused Dutchman Aydin Coban has pleaded not guilty to extortion, harassment, communication with a young person to commit a sexual offence and possessing child pornography

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A hard drive seized from the home of the Dutch man accused of harassing British Columbia teenager Amanda Todd contained a deleted bookmark to child pornography depicting her, a Crown attorney told B.C. Supreme Court on Friday.

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Louise Kenworthy told the jury trial of Aydin Coban that previous expert testimony showed Todd’s name and several of the online aliases used to harass her were also found on a second hard drive seized when Dutch police arrested Coban in 2014.

Coban has pleaded not guilty to extortion, harassment, communication with a young person to commit a sexual offence and possessing child pornography.

Kenworthy said she expects to finish the Crown’s closing arguments on Tuesday, when she said she would talk about an online account that was active on a computer just five minutes before police arrested Coban at his home and then seized the device.

She said evidence has shown the account was operated by the same person behind another account, under the guise of a young woman, that harassed Todd.

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There was no witness to say, “I saw Aydin Coban typing messages on his computer to Amanda Todd”

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Branding

Florida Gators QB Anthony Richardson distancing from ‘AR-15’

Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson said in a statement Sunday that he will no longer use the nickname “AR-15” as part of his personal brand because he doesn’t want to be associated with the semi-automatic rifle by the same name, which has been used in mass shootings.

An AR-15 style rifle was used in the shooting deaths of 19 children and two adults at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school in May.

“While a nickname is only a nickname and ‘AR-15’ was simply a representation of my initials combined with my jersey number, it is important to me that my name and brand are no longer associated with the semi-automatic rifle that has been used in mass shootings, which I do not condone in any way or form,” Richardson said in a post to his official website. “My representatives and I are currently working on rebranding, which includes the creation of a new logo and transitioning to simply using ‘AR’ and my name, Anthony Richardson.”

Taking advantage of college athletes’ newfound ability to generate money from name, image and likeness deals, Richardson started an apparel line last year that included jerseys, long-sleeve shirts, wristbands and temporary tattoos.

Richardson said he will also discontinue use of the scope reticle logo.

Richardson emerged as a fan favorite and gifted playmaker as a freshman at Florida last season.

Despite backing up starting quarterback Emory Jones for most of the season and dealing with a knee injury that kept him off the field late in the year, Richardson managed nine total touchdowns — six passing and three rushing.

Jones transferred to Arizona State in the spring, clearing the way for Richardson to become the front-runner to start for the Gators this season under new coach Billy Napier.

Richardson, with only one career start, debuted at No.

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Construction Industry

Entrepreneurs in the construction industry deserve

An optimistic small-business owner in New York, Henry Kaiser’s life changed when he asked his girlfriend’s father for permission to marry her. Kaiser’s future father-in-law said he’d permit no wedding until Kaiser had saved enough money and built a house for his bride. He left Kaiser with one piece of advice: Move west. Kaiser did just that. His company built roads in the Pacific Northwest, created dams in California, and played a key role in the construction of the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge. Construction is a hard business, but to Henry Kaiser, problems were “only opportunities in work clothes.”

Entrepreneurs continue to play a key role in building America today. General contractors deal directly with the government to build schools, highways and other public works. But general contractors don’t do it all. Instead, they delegate portions of each assignment to subcontractors who have honed their area of specialization — paving, fencing, trucking, or some other niche. 

These subcontractors often face racial discrimination when competing for jobs. Government policies (federal, state and local) today require general contractors to devote a percentage of their subcontracts, commonly called “set-asides,” to companies owned by racial minorities. They create an unconstitutional barrier to opportunity.

These set-aside requirements force general contractors to discriminate against subcontractors who are not certified as minority-owned. This can lead non-minority-owned subcontractors in some specialties to be shut out of public jobs altogether. For example, Alameda County has a pair of programs that call for 15 percent of each project to go to minority-owned businesses. A general contractor may do some work and divvy the rest among various subcontractors. Suppose that general contractor routinely employs the same minority-owned subcontractor in trucking to meet a portion of the goal. In that case, non-minority-owned subcontractors in the same field will be prevented from working

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Software

SCDC Inmates receive software development training

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – Seven female inmates of the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) received full-stack certification in software development on Friday.

The training was provided by Persevere Now, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit built on carrying inmates from prison to prosperity.

Training began in January of 2020 and was originally set to be a 12-month program. But after three prison lockdowns due to COVID-19, the course was extended to 14 nonconsecutive months.

“Even during quarantine, [Persevere Now] would bring out books to us so we could study. It was very challenging, but it taught us to be humble,” said a graduate.

This inmate was incarcerated in 2005 and is set to be released this December. She reportedly starts an apprenticeship in January of 2023.

“Before this program, I was very passive. But it taught me the difference between aggressive and assertive. Now, I choose to be assertive. A leader, not a follower,” continued the graduate.

While the program started with 100 inmates, over 90 percent either dropped out or were released from prison before completion.

Six inmates received their certificate of completion from Preserve Now during a commencement ceremony in the Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution. Four former inmates celebrated remotely.

“They’re starting their careers here in prison. Which is amazing considering they ended up here for breaking the law. It’s hopeful for me, hopeful for the department and hopeful for the state,” said SCDC Director Bryan Stirling after the ceremony.

According to SCDC, South Carolinian has a 19.2% recidivism rate which is the lowest in the country.

All but one of the incarcerated graduates will be released from prison and working a computer programming job within the next eight months.

Copyright 2022 WIS. All rights reserved.

Notice a spelling or grammar error in this article? Click or tap here

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Technology Business

So Much Tech. So Few Winners.

We know that in the 15 years since the iPhone went on sale, technology has seeped into every crevice of our lives. Tech has reshaped politics, industries, leisure time, culture and people’s relationships to one another — for better and for worse.

The march of technology has also come with this puzzling reality: Hardly any technologies of the iPhone era have been an unqualified success.

I would argue that just one smartphone-age consumer internet company has emerged as a no-doubt winner in popularity and financial vitality: Meta, with its Facebook and Instagram apps.

(The company was founded in 2004, but I’m classifying it as iPhone age because Facebook really took off when smartphones did.)

Every other consumer internet company of the iPhone epoch gets an incomplete grade because of relatively small numbers of users, questionable finances, uncertain growth prospects, the risk of dying or all of the above. And even Meta is worried that it might not stay healthy, as my colleague Mike Isaac wrote on Tuesday. Also, uh, Meta has contributed to some serious problems in our world.

I know this sounds ridiculous. In the past 15 years tech won everything. How can there be so few tech companies that we can be relatively confident will stick around to middle age?

I’m going to spend the rest of this newsletter making my case. Feel free to agree with me or shout (respectfully!) at [email protected]

First, I’m making a big leap to exclude from my assessment Google web search, e-commerce sites like Amazon and Alibaba, and Netflix streaming video. They are probably long-lasting tech winners, but they belong to the internet’s first generation. I’m also not counting technology used mostly by businesses. I’m looking only at consumer companies that were toddlers or weren’t born yet when smartphones first hit our

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Branding

What is the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Successful branding is one of the keys to attracting customers and consistently growing a business. Most marketers would say that their brand strategy is at the core of their marketing strategy.

But are they referring to their corporate branding strategy or personal branding efforts? How will these answers affect the company’s overall strategy? Here are the answers.

Corporate vs. personal branding

Traditionally, the term branding is associated with large companies like Coca-Cola, Apple and Marlboro. These companies are arguably some of the United States’ most recognizable corporate brands. Their brand represents the identity of the company.

In the words of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a brand is much more than a logo. It is “the set of physical attributes of a product or service, together with the beliefs and expectations surrounding it.” Put simply, successful corporate branding evokes an idea in the audience’s mind that reaches beyond the corporate identity and includes the values and propositions the company stands for.

A personal brand might incorporate the same elements but it stretches to include the person, their skills, their qualifications and the beliefs and expectations their audiences attach to them.

Related: Six Reasons Branding Is More Important Than Ever Before

Connecting personal and corporate branding

Just a few decades ago, very few CEOs of leading brands were widely known to the public. There are only a handful of notable exceptions like Apple founder Steve Jobs, whose personal brand has been inextricably linked to the Apple brand.

The advent of social media and digital marketing has changed the playing field for corporate and personal branding. Traditional company leaders who used to live in relative obscurity have become far more visible to a wider audience. Unintentionally, they developed a personal brand by default, which

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Construction Industry

Company collapses continue in Australia’s “construction

The crisis engulfing Australia’s construction sector has deepened over the past six weeks. A plethora of building companies have been placed into administration and liquidation, owing millions of dollars to owners of unfinished homes, subcontractors, suppliers and workers in entitlements.

This month, Victorian-based building firm Snowdon Developments was ordered by the Supreme Court to go into liquidation on the grounds of insolvency, owing just under $18 million to 250 creditors.

The Snowdon collapse follows similar failures throughout June, including prominent home builders such as Victorian-based Waterford Homes, which went into liquidation with debts so far amounting to $600,000.

House under construction in Manly, Queensland [Photo by Orderinchaos via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0]

Specialist small home builder Affordable Modular Homes collapsed under a mountain of debt, owing $121,000 to creditors, while Statement Builders failed, owing $200,000 in taxes. Other home builders that went to the wall last month included Langford Jones Homes, Pivotal Homes, Solido Builders, Wulfrun Construction and Westernport Constructions.

These failures are part of what media commentary terms “a construction sector bloodbath.” More than 16 building companies had already collapsed since the closing months of 2021. They include well-known names in home building, such as Hotondo Homes, Dyldam Developments, BA Murphy, Home Innovation, ABG Group, New Sensation Homes, Pindan and ABD Group.

This year also saw the collapse of major companies, such as Probuild and Condev, that had projects underway or on the books worth billions of dollars. The fate of Australia’s largest home builder Metricon, which had around 4,000 homes under construction last month, remains uncertain despite a $30 million cash injection into the company by its shareholders and promises of government support.

It is widely acknowledged across the industry that these failures are only the tip of the iceberg. Industry market researcher IBISWorld recently projected

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Software

Dell gives hardware, networking and software boost to

Dell EMC is updating its mid-range unified file and block PowerStore array with new and faster hardware and software.

PowerStore was launched in 2020 and Dell says that 12,000 systems have been deployed with multiple exabytes of effective capacity. It competes primarily with NetApp’s ONTAP arrays in the unified file+block market and also with HPE, Hitachi Vantara, IBM (FlashSystem), and Pure Storage (FlashArray) in the block market.

As at April last year the PowerStore hardware consists of the 500 entry-level system, mid-range 1000, 3000, 5000, 7000 models and 9000 high-end array. Now the five models, appliances in Dell EMC-speak, above the 500 are succeeded by the 1200, 3200, 5200, and 9200 products; the 7000 has effectively been replaced.

A PowerStore 3.0 video has Midrange Storage Consultant Marketing Manager Phil Treide presenting the hardware updates in some detail:

The new models have Cascade Lake era Xeon processors and the hardware plus software refresh delivers up to 50 percent more IOPS for mixed workloads, up to 70 percent faster writes, and an up to a 10x improvement in copy operations.

Treide says: “Each PowerStore model offers more cores, larger memory or both relative to the model it replaces.” Here is a table listing the controller changes:

In the video Triede says there is more on the hardware front as “new 100GbitE IO modules expand the scope and performance of PowerStore’s Ethernet-based storage capabilities.” This 100GbitE capability improves NVMe/TCP performance by up to 73 percent at 50 percent lower cost per port.  

PowerStore also takes advantage of silicon root-of-trust features in Intel’s Cascade Lake systems. With this, Treide says: “PowerStore OS is able to verify the identity of system hardware components to prevent malicious activity.”

A third hardware advance is a 24-bay by 2-rack unit NVMe expansion chassis. With this and 15.26TB SSDs

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Computer Forensics

FIU helps local high school teachers build cybersecurity

FIU experts are training local high school teachers to develop cybersecurity lesson plans for their students.

The Cybernet Miami Academy is an FIU-led virtual, interactive program about digital forensics, which is the process of interpreting and uncovering electronic data. 

In the first phase of the academy this summer, high school teachers met with FIU electrical and computer engineering faculty and cybersecurity professionals to learn skills, gather resources and build lesson plans. They learned how to extract hidden information from hard drives, accumulated free cybersecurity tools and planned activities for their information technology and career-learning classrooms. 

The teachers are now preparing for the second phase of the program: implementing their lessons. 

“Teachers are leaving with at least one lesson plan that they have customized to best fit their students,” says Alexander Pons, principal investigator of Cybernet Miami Academy and a professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing. 

The teachers earned $1,000 to complete FIU’s 80-hour training course. They will receive another $1,000 after conducting their lesson plans. The program is funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant and delegated to FIU via Luminary Labs. 

FIU customized the program to be effective for high school classrooms. In the first phase, one speaker was a cybersecurity education expert who discussed how teachers might best tailor their lessons for teenagers. Another speaker from the National Initiative for Cyber Education explained the career opportunities in cybersecurity. According to Cyber Seek, there were 714,548 cybersecurity-related job listings in the U.S. from May 2021 through April 2022. 

The academy also provided insights into digital forensics techniques. FIU personnel covered computer programming, security issues and information storage. An expert from the Global Forensic and Justice Center at FIU gave teachers an inside look at the industry.

“Since we spent

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Branding

OnePlus 10T will ditch the alert slider and Hasselblad

New reports confirm that the OnePlus 10T will come without an alert slider and Hasselblad branding. Here is why that will be the case with the upcoming smartphone scheduled to launch on August 3.

The OnePlus 10T could feature a design language similar to the OnePlus 10 Pro, but with two key omissions. (Image credit: OnePlus)

Ahead of the OnePlus 10T’s launch on August 3, the company has revealed details about the design and camera of the upcoming phone. The design language makes the phone look very similar to the flagship OnePlus 10 Pro launched earlier this year but with two key omissions: there is no alert slider and the cameras aren’t Hasselblad co-branded. Here is why OnePlus has made these changes.

The alert slider has been a constant feature on OnePlus phones for years and offers users the convenience of easily putting their phone on silent or vibrate mode without having to fiddle with on-screen menus. OnePlus chief designer Hope Liu told The Verge that the company is omitting the slider from the OnePlus 10T to have enough internal space for other components that are essential for “high wattage charging, a large battery capacity, and better antenna signal.”

Liu told The Verge

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Software

Top Software Trends for Financial Advisors

The annual T3/Inside Information Technology Survey by industry experts Joel Bruckenstein and Bob Veres is likely the industry’s most comprehensive view of advisors’ use of software. This year’s software survey included responses by almost 4,500 advisors, representing small and large firms; fee-only, brokerage, and hybrid firms; advisors with various years of experience; and group-affiliated (FPA, NAPFA, XY Planning Network, AICPA, and so on) and nonaffiliated firms. In all, the software survey seemed to cover a good cross-section of advisors.

As opposed to focusing on the most popular software or the highest-ranked solutions, I appreciate this survey for the insights it provides on technology trends and opportunities. For example, I’m more interested in the growing adoption of particular types of software than what is the most widely used. I’m also more drawn to software that has higher satisfaction ratings even if it has a smaller market share. For an advisor, technology decisions must be made based on the needs of the firm, considering industry best practices (especially in areas easily observed by clients). So, with this perspective, let’s take at look at the 2022 survey!

CRM Software Is Number 1 for Advisors

The number-one type of software used, by almost 97% of respondents, is client relationship management, or CRM. This is up from about 92% in 2021. When used optimally, CRM can be the hub of an advisor’s business. More than just a database of clients, CRM holds documents, provides workflows and reminders, facilitates communications, documents meetings, and other key functionalities. Clearly, advisors understand the importance of CRM software. If you are an advisor among the 3% not using CRM, it’s time to get on board!

Surprisingly, the second-most-adopted software is not portfolio-management software. It is financial-planning software, used by more than 82% of advisors (up from about 79% in 2021).

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Technology Business

Liberty Global Selects CommScope as DOCSIS 4.0 Technology

HICKORY, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jul 19, 2022–

CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) announced today that it was selected by Liberty Global to develop and deploy a Remote MACPHY Device (RMD) Node platform for DOCSIS 4.0 (D4.0), accelerating Liberty Global’s progress towards 10G capabilities.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220719005204/en/

Liberty Global Selects CommScope as DOCSIS 4.0 Technology Partner (Photo: Business Wire)

This project marks the industry’s first D4.0 initiative in Europe and leverages CommScope’s DOCSIS leadership and end-to-end portfolio of solutions to deliver a new custom node and RMD platform specifically for Liberty Global. The RMD Node platform for D4.0 will simplify Liberty Global’s hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network transformation to deliver multi-gigabit services—in turn providing its subscribers with seamless access to new high-bandwidth, low-latency services and enabling Liberty Global to ultimately achieve 10G capabilities on the HFC network cost-effectively.

“Our groundbreaking D4.0 project is an important step forward in our 10G vision for the future,” stated Colin Buechner, Managing Director and Chief Network Officer, Liberty Global. “We selected CommScope to extend the capabilities of our HFC network into the next decade, because of their proven leadership and expertise in DOCSIS and next-generation networks. Together, we are laying the path to tomorrow’s multi-gigabit services and providing our subscribers across Europe with the world’s most advanced and reliable services.”

“We are excited to partner with Liberty Global once again as we demonstrate our worldwide leadership in DOCSIS,” said Guy Sucharczuk, SVP and President, Access Network Solutions, CommScope. “Our long-standing partnership with Liberty Global uniquely positions us to deliver end-to-end D4.0 solutions specific to its HFC network. This is a showcase for the global transformation of HFC into tomorrow’s 10G networks, and we’re excited to deploy this technology in Europe and beyond.”

All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of

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Computer Forensics

Veterans gain cybersecurity skills through FIU program

A Florida International University initiative is training hundreds of veterans in cybersecurity skills to boost their careers.

The Veterans and First Responders Training Initiative, supported by a grant from the National Security Agency, is a year-long cybersecurity curriculum taught by the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy, the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC)and the Global Forensic and Justice Center (GFJC) at FIU. Any veterans and first responders, even those with no technical experience, are welcome to apply.

“As long as you know how to turn on a computer, you can begin taking this program,” said Randy Pestana, assistant director of research and strategic initiatives at the Gordon Institute at the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs and the initiative’s principal investigator.

There were more than 700,000 online job listings for cybersecurity-related positions in the U.S. from May 2021 through April 2022, according to Cyber Seek — a project supported by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity.

“At the end of the day, we want to put them into jobs,” said Alexander Perez-Pons, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at CEC who teaches the program’s network forensics course.

FIU’s initiative is training veterans specifically in digital forensics, an increasingly important area of cybersecurity. Matthew Ruddell, who spent 15 years working for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s crime laboratory and is now an adjunct professor at CEC and a member of GFJC, compares the work of digital forensics to that of a crime scene analyst.

“Everyone understands what crime scene analysts do. They arrive at a scene, document it, take lots of photographs and search for artifacts. Digital forensics is kind of the same thing in the digital world,” Ruddell said. “Our job is to take digital evidence, rope it off so we

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Branding

New York Giants legacy branding will be nostalgia heaven for

The New York Giants revealed earlier this week that the team’s legacy uniforms would make a return in 2022. They will be worn against the Chicago Bears in Week 4 and the Washington Commanders in Week 13.

But the Giants didn’t stop there. In addition to the legacy uniforms, the team will also feature unique endzones and stadium branding during those games. That includes graphics and even the music that is to be played.

“We’re going to try to take you back in time,” chief commercial officer Pete Guelli told “The Giants Huddle” podcast. “Everything that’s done around those games is going to be thematically tied to that history. So, when you walk in the building and you see the end zones [painted like the ones in Super Bowl XXI], you’ll remember them. When you walk in and you see the graphics on the walls, you’ll understand what we’re doing. When you hear the music that’s being played, the video graphics that go up, and you see how we integrate alumni and the merchandise that we tie in and the giveaway that we’re doing at the games, which is a retro pennant, all that stuff is connected to that part of our history. If you’re a longtime Giants fan and you have fond memories of that window and those two Super Bowls, you’re going to want to be here.”

The path to this point began two long years ago. The Giants were methodical in their planning and approach, making sure that no detail — however minor — was left out.

One such detail will be the navy helmets with “GIANTS” logo and white facemask. And thanks to the NFL’s new two helmet rule, the Giants will even be able to use a modernized version of the old shell.

“They were

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Construction Industry

Megaprojects could sustain Canadian construction sector

Canadian construction economists and other stakeholders are hedging when asked whether the next 18 to 24 months will see continued growth in the sector, with the potential for a recession and rising interest rates seen as top threats to sectoral expansion.

ConstructConnect chief economist Alex Carrick believes fears of a recession in the next year are “overblown” while Altus Group’s vice-president of data operations Ray Wong has cautious optimism heading into next year.

Meanwhile John Mollenhauer, president and CEO of the Toronto Construction Association, thinks a recession is possible but with Toronto’s construction sector currently on fire, that would only mean a modest reduction in activity.

Nationally, the construction sector is experiencing circumstances unlike anything she has seen in her 30-year-plus career, said Sandra Skivsky, chair with the National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada. With supply chain disruptions affecting multiple projects, trade contractors sometimes find themselves sitting at home – not because of lack of work, but because the supplier before them on a job has failed to deliver.

“One of our members has this phrase, we’re busy and we’re breaking all at the same time,” said Skivsky. “We have so many different elements at play here that have never been in play before.”

 

Bank projects minimal growth in 2023

In its July 13 Monetary Policy Report, the Bank of Canada stated it expects Canada’s economy to grow by 3.5 per cent in 2022, 1.75 per cent in 2023 and 2.5 per cent in 2024.

The bank believes inflation will remain around eight per cent in the next few months but it’s projected to decline to about three per cent by the end of 2023.

Carrick believes the top future threat to Canada’s construction industry is not the supply chain, spikes in the cost of materials, rising labour costs and

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Software

Opinion | TikTok proves why we need privacy and foreign

TikTok, one of Generation Z’s favorite social media apps, is once again in hot water. The most recent controversy started in mid-June, when BuzzFeed News reported that China-based employees of ByteDance, the video platform’s parent company, “have repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about US TikTok users” as recently as January. BuzzFeed’s story shows TikTok deserves continued scrutiny. But singular focus on TikTok’s data practices should not obscure concerns about the Chinese government influencing TikTok’s content or overshadow the urgent need for comprehensive national policies on data privacy and foreign software.

TikTok has been working to strengthen its data security, particularly after the Trump administration tried to bar it from U.S. app stores and with continued review by the Biden administration. Most notably, TikTok has undertaken an effort called Project Texas that aims to route all U.S. user traffic through data centers owned by Oracle, an American cloud services provider. BuzzFeed’s reporting, based on leaked internal meetings concerning Project Texas, underscores the challenges TikTok faces as it tries to fulfill its promises to the U.S. government. In response to calls from mostly Republican politicians for an investigation into its operations, TikTok seems to be asking skeptics to cut it some slack. In a June 30 letter to lawmakers, TikTok argued BuzzFeed’s story shows the company is making progress on Project Texas, while not denying that U.S. user data is still accessible in China. TikTok frequently pleads for public trust, something that can come only after it fully cuts off Chinese access to U.S. user data.

There are other concerns beyond data security. For one, it’s unclear to what extent TikTok’s powerful algorithm is or could be influenced by Chinese government interests. When asked at the beginning of July about the algorithm and its potential to influence U.S. politics, TikTok executive Michael Beckerman

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Technology Business

NFTs and blockchain tech are now banned from Minecraft

Microsoft-owned Mojang is banning the use of blockchain technology and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) inside the Minecraft client and any affiliated server applications. It’s a hard stance against the technology that will prevent third-party operators from creating Minecraft NFTs or profiting off of tokens that can grant access to exclusive servers.

In a blog post, the company stated that the use of NFTs violates the spirit of the Minecraft usage guidelines. Since said guidelines do permit server owners to charge for access, it had to clarify why using blockchain-linked tokens as access were not permitted. “We have these rules to ensure that Minecraft remains a community where everyone has access to the same content,” the company wrote.

“NFTs…can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our Guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft.”

So not only is blockchain token implementation banned, but any other Minecraft NFTs used for world files or skin packs are banned as well. The company has also banned the practice of allowing players to earn NFTs through activities performed on a server, or earning Minecraft NFTs for activity outside of the game.

“Each of these uses of NFTs and other blockchain technologies creates digital ownership based on scarcity and exclusion, which does not align with Minecraft values of creative inclusion and playing together,” the company explained. It added that the use of the technology “creates a scenario of the haves and the have-nots.” 

It directly acknowledged the speculative pricing and investment mentality that have either dogged the technology since

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Branding

Crumbl sues rival cookie shop for ‘confusingly similar’

TEMPE, Ariz. (KTVK/KPHO/Gray News) – An all-out “cookie war” is heating up in the metro-Phoenix area.

Crumbl Cookies has filed a lawsuit against Dirty Dough, a rival cookie maker with a store in Tempe and two in Utah.

The lawsuit claims Dirty Dough’s cookies, decor, packaging and presentation are confusingly similar to Crumbl’s brand.

It’s an allegation Dirty Dough owner Bennett Maxwell thinks is ridiculous.

“Our colors are completely different,” Maxwell said. “Our logo’s completely different, the messaging is completely different. Yes, we serve a cookie, but go find two cookies that look more different.”

Arizona’s Family looked at the two companies and noticed some similarities between Crumbl and Dirty Dough’s websites. Both have an assortment of flavors and serve the cookies in rectangular boxes.

“A pizza is a pizza, so send me a picture of a thousand pizza boxes,” Maxwell said. “What about fast food? What does everybody serve fast food in? A brown paper bag. Are you going to tell me they are suing each other? Yeah, they are close, but we are in the same business.”

Crumbl, which is based in Utah, has also filed a lawsuit against another small cookie company called Crave, alleging similar trademark infringement.

Crumbl released this statement:

“As a franchisor of 30,000+ Crumbl Crew members, 1,000+ Franchise Partners, and hundreds of Crumbl HQ employees, we will always take seriously our role in building and protecting the company and its trademarks that we’ve all worked so hard to create together.”

Dirty Dough is planning to open 96 new franchise locations in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Idaho within the next two years. Maxwell said he has no plans of backing down from the lawsuit and is ready to fight in court.

“The general public can see the Dirty Dough brand and the Crumbl

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