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February 08, 2023

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This week in tech: totally unsolicited opinion edition

You can’t go far on the internet without finding someone willing to give their own completely unsolicited opinion on everything from the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp fiasco to what flavour of ice cream is best.  Popular opinion:  chocolate.

Most of these opinions aren’t welcome, others are boring and uninformed.  I’m going to try to do neither of those things here.

Let’s get started.

LeoNovus to add multilanguage features to Torozo

LeoNovus (LTV.V) were awarded offers from the government of Canada for its secure file sharing, file transfer and file storage software as a service (SaaS) platform called Torozo. The company launched Torozo back in late April. It’s a hypersecure file sharing, file transfer and file storage service.

Now all that’s left for LTV is the marketing, and they’re on that straight off, pushing it out to 100 government departments or agencies, which may want to adopt it.

The first department to get in touch was the Department of Justice (DoJ). The first phase of the call-up process includes the approval standing offer vendors providing proof-of-concept, after which the second phase selects one vendor for final testing and security validation and the final phase is production.

The DOJ’s opinion was to take a pass. They did not select the company for phase two, but other departments are inquiring about the secure file sharing option, and LeoNovus is one of the few vendors that supplies this option.

“We are delighted to see our first customers, from the USA and Canada, using the platform. Legal and finance are two of the key target markets for Torozo. Both markets require a simple way to share, transfer and store data where users need something safer than secure email. The Standing Offer award from the GoC is a huge achievement and validation of our technology,” said Michael Gaffney, CEO Leonovus Inc.

Recent meetings with Shared Services Canada (SSC) had the company agreeing to provide two additional product enhancements, which LeoNovus will address over the next few months. One of these involves multilanguage features.

This is an interesting market and not one you’d normally think of, but the initial targets for the company here are legal firms and financial users. The global enterprise file sychronization adn sharing market was valued at $5.29-billion (U.S.) in 2020 and is expected to reach $21.27-billion (U.S.) by 2026 and grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 26.3 per cent over the forecast period (2021 to 2026).

Departure Lounge is preparing for takeoff

AMPD Ventures (AMPD.C) had a big week.

They’ve been busy building out their Departure Lounge subsidiary with agreements and strategic partnerships to prepare for a big launch and entry into the metaverse as full fledged infrastructure AND pilot play for this particular craft.

First, their reseller agreement with Move.ai, a United Kingdom based motion capture platform, and will enhance the metaverse experience through advanced motion capture.

Check the highlights:

  • The Move.ai platform is the future of motion capture — extracting natural human motion from video using advanced AI (artificial intelligence), computer vision, biomechanics and physics, automatically retargeting data to character rigs using standard cameras and mobile devices.
  • Departure Lounge will act as a Move.ai representative and reseller in North America, using Move’s platform for its own motion capture requirements at its studio in Vancouver, offering Move-based motion capture services to customers across the territory, and hosting, selling and supporting the Move platform in the territory.
  • Departure Lounge will be featuring the Move.ai technology on its booth at the forthcoming Augmented World Expo 2022 conference, from June 1 to June 3, 2022, at the Santa Clara Convention Centre in Santa Clara, Calif.

The second development for Departure Lounge involves a strategic partnership agreement with Orderinbox.

Orderinbox has been around since March 2020, created by Vancouver tech industry types named Mehmet and Dogu Taskiran. It’s a multi-chain, multilingual, NFT marketplace and its being adopted as a platform for creators and brands looking to get into the metaverse while avoiding the barriers, jargon or learning curve that comes along with such.

“NFTs are poised to completely transform pretty much every industry in the coming years and Orderinbox plans to be at the forefront of this growth,” said Orderinbox CEO Dogu Taskiran. “By partnering with Departure Lounge, we can now offer our creators and brands an enhanced range of services, extending NFTs into 3D worlds with Departure Lounge’s creative services team, alongside campaign design and implementation for larger brands via its Web3 services group.”

Here creators can network and collaborate with fans, potential fans, and other companies.

In my opinion this is definitely one to watch.

Unsolicited opinion time: the answer to school shootings isn’t banning all guns – it’s better tech

From up here in our lofty perch, it’s easy to holding a negative opinion on the United States for their lax gun control, their high gun-related crime rate, and the lengthy list of school shootings that crop up almost as a response.

Trudeau even announced further gun restrictions earlier this week because of something that didn’t even happen here. This adds onto the banning of about 1,500 guns, including the AR-15, from two years ago, following a massacre in Nova Scotia. I don’t remember anyone raising a stink about assault weapons being banned in Canada, and I don’t think it’s an unreasonable opinion to suggest that suggest these weapons aren’t exactly used for hunting anything but other humans.

Here’s a short take on what our laws look like nowadays:

  • Canadians must be over 18 and pass a firearms safety course to hold a license, which is renewed every five years.
  • Children aged 12-17 can get a minor’s license, allowing them to borrow non-restricted firearms like most rifles or shotguns for hunting or shooting competitions, and buy ammunition.
  • Exceptions may be made for under-12s, including indigenous children, who need to hunt to sustain themselves and their families.

Reasonable.

Now they’re introducing legislation that would implement a national freeze on the sale and purchase of handguns. It also limits magazine capacities and bans some toys that look like guns. All in the wake of something that happened in Texas, which is the state of the union that most folks in the United States think is a little out there in terms of their gun fanaticism.

Not reasonable. Primarily because of the old standard arguments levied by the NRA. We have sufficient gun control and banning more takes the guns out of the hands of people who would use them for protection, and keep them in the hands of those who would use them to cause harm.

So what’s the answer? How do we keep ourselves safe in the interim while we do the deeper work to ensure that the events in Uvalde, Texas, and Portapique, Nova Scotia, don’t happen?

The answer is better technology.

KWESST Micro Systems (KWE.V) has something called a Critical Incident Management System (CIMS), which is an adaption for the public safety market of the company’s digitization system for the defense market. It informs operators of what’s going on from any source—by voice, data or video—in real time.

“Kwesst recently announced our entry into the public safety field of critical incident management. Within weeks of this announcement, we along with the world were horrified by the active shooter attack in Uvalde, Tex., where 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary were viciously attacked and killed. As public safety partners we cannot sit idle and hope for better days. We recognize that now is the time for action with technology that provides real-time tactical awareness and situational control to our police. Misinformation or lack of actionable knowledge must be left to the past. We are proud to announce that this work for us has already started as we are in discussions with two major cities in America for Kwesst’s Critical Incident Management System (CIMS),” said Daniel V. Garcia, former chief of police of the Phoenix Police Department.

Soldiers and police how important it is to be informed and take coordinated action for their own safety and effectiveness. Strong communications and situational awareness of requirements for survival and effectiveness, and while there’s definitely wider conversations to be had about the need to extend this to teachers and school staff, the long list of school shootings suggest it should be extended here as well.

CurrencyWorks’ MusicFX introduces integrated NFT music

I’m decently sure that I’m not alone in the opinion that most companies that have jumped on the NFT bandwagon have the foggiest idea of what they’re doing with them. But at least for right now they’re hot, and therefore making money and whatever it is they’re doing—be it selling replica images of classic cars to making weird art collages and airdropping them—they’re going to keep doing it.

You don’t get off the gravy train while the going’s good if you know what’s good for you.

Now Currencyworks (CWRK.C) is the company I’m talking about when I talk about the replica images of classic cars. Admittedly, I don’t get the appeal. It’s not that I’m not a car-guy, either. I can certainly appreciate actual classic cars when they’re in front of me, but holding a digital token that points to a place on the blockchain where your image is stored (and shared with others) makes less than zero sense to me. Maybe that’s an unpopular opinion. I have them. Lots of them.

But CWRK latest use of NFT’s is a different story altogether.

Their MusicFX platform launched their first integrated NFT music player. The player will give artists the ability to release new, exclusive or back catalog songs through NFTs for the MusicFX community. Yes. You need to be a member. The NFT can then be played through the platform using the integrated player.

Why is this a good idea?

Because releasing music through NFTs gives artists and bands a certain type of security that their music can’t be illegally copied or downloaded. It gives them full control over how many NFTs can be published, thereby controlling whether or not the release goes out wide, or narrow as appropriate to their fanbase.

This is an appropriate use of NFTs.

“NFT music player functionality is an important milestone in the scaling up of the MusicFX platform,” said Cameron Chell, Chairman of CurrencyWorks. “NFT music is growing rapidly, so the ability to facilitate this need within the platform has been a priority for the partnership, and I’m thrilled we can now showcase this technology to prospective artists looking to use NFTs to distribute their content.”

The first track published on the platform was from an indy country artist named HAYL, along with release – “You Can Say It All” – which was minted to raise funds for HEAL, a Florida nonprofit that provides community awareness for folks with autism.

Riot Blockchain’s numbers are in but where’s the environmental update?

My opinion on Riot Blockchain’s (RIOT.Q) Texas operations is decently well documented in these pages. They’re leaning on the antiquated ERCOT system fairly heavily, which itself derives the majority of its power base from fossil fuels. That’s bad news. It’s early June right now and decently sweltering in my home-office, and I’m really not looking forward to the next few months, and it’s only going to get worse as the years go by. Climate change isn’t

Regardless, they’re expanding.

“During May, we continued to make progress on the ongoing expansion of our Whinstone Facility in Rockdale, TX. We’re proud to report that our first immersion building, Building F, is filled with approximately 23,000 S19 series miners. Approximately 7,000 of those miners are staged in the immersion-cooling tanks and are anticipated to be deployed pending installation of the final requisite components. Once these miners and other staged miners are fully deployed, our hash rate capacity is expected to increase to 5.4 EH/s,” said Jason Les, CEO of Riot.

The immersion cooled antminers are a nice touch, and a fairly smart way to cut down on operational expenditures.

Bitcoin Production and Operations Updates

  • In May 2022, Riot produced 466 BTC, an increase of approximately 104%, as compared to May 2021 production of 228 BTC.
  • As of May 31, 2022, Riot held approximately 6,536 BTC, all produced by the Company’s self-mining operations.
  • In May 2022, Riot sold 250 Bitcoin generating net proceeds of approximately $7.5 million.
  • Riot currently has a deployed fleet of approximately 43,458 miners, with a hash rate capacity of 4.6 exahash per second (“EH/s”).

They’re also going to be refurbishing their S17-ProAntminers to improve their hashrate and efficiency, which means they’ll be mining more coins. The enhancements are coming at the behest of their immersion cooling tech. They’re going to be putting 4000 antminers out of service while they do the commissioning, and losing 225 PH/s (Petahash per second) of hashrate temporarily.

What’s your opinion?  We’ve got a comment’s section.  Let’s hear it.

—Joseph Morton

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