Coffee Briefing Jan. 25, 2022 – Chrome API for interest-based ads.; SAS Hackathon 2022 Kickoff; G Suite legacy free edition ending soon; 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!

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What’s new this week

Google announces new Privacy Sandbox API proposal for interest-based advertising

Source: Google

Google today announced Topics, a new Privacy Sandbox proposal for interest-based advertising. The company says Topics was informed by its learning and widespread community feedback from its earlier Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) trials, and replaces its FLoC proposal.

With the Topics API, a user’s browser determines a handful of topics that represents their top interests for that week based on their browsing history. Topics are kept for only three weeks and old topics are deleted. Topics are selected entirely on the device, without involving any external servers, including Google servers. When a user visits a participating site, Topics picks just three topics, one topic from each of the past three weeks, to share with the site and its advertising partners. Topics enables browsers to give users transparency and control over this data, and in Chrome, the company explains, it is building user controls into Chrome that will let them see the topics, remove any they don’t like, or disable the feature completely.

Google says it will soon launch a developer trial of Topics in Chrome that includes user controls and enables website developers and the advertising industry to try it out. The final design of the user controls and the other various technical aspects of how Topics works will be decided based on their feedback and what the company learns in the trial. Launched by Chrome in 2019, the Privacy Sandbox is a collaborative, open source effort to develop a set of new technologies in the form of web standards.

SAS Hackathon 2022 Kickoff live event to take place tomorrow, Jan. 26

Source: SAS

Taking place on YouTube and LinkedIn tomorrow, Jan. 26, the SAS Hackathon Kickoff event will showcase the hackathon and answer questions about registering for it. It will include an interview with SAS senior vice-president of Technology Gavin Day, details on the Hackathon from its Program Leads, and a conversation with last year’s winner, War on Cancer’s chief executive officer Sebastian Hermelin, among other featured segments. To join the Kickoff and to view information about it, including times by region, see the SAS Hackathon Kickoff site. The event will also be available on-demand via the SAS YouTube and LinkedIn channels.

From now through Feb. 15, teams and individual data scientists, technology enthusiasts and business visionaries can sign up on the SAS Hackathon website. Those not signing up with a team will be matched with other like-minded, curious individuals. Teams will tackle issues across 10 industries and areas: AgTech, Banking, Energy, Health care and life sciences, Insurance, IoT, Manufacturing, Public sector, Retail, and Telecom, SAS explained on the website. During a hackathon, teams of participants collaborate and compete to find the best solutions to a business or humanitarian challenge using technology.

GSoft launches employee onboarding software to support hybrid work culture

Source: GSoft

Montreal-based software company GSoft yesterday announced the release of its new platform, Softstart, which allows human resource and employee experience professionals to build onboarding processes that are consistent with the new reality of hybrid work. The software uses embedded video, centralized documentation, and automatic tracking of onboarding progress to connect new employees to their colleagues, company processes, knowledge, and culture, regardless of their location.

Cloudli launches cloud-based business phone system for SMBs in Canada

Source: Cloudli

Montreal-based provider of voice, data, and messaging solutions Cloudli has launched Cloudli Connect, a new cloud-based business phone system that equips small businesses (SMBs) with unified voice and texting capabilities. The company says its service-based pricing model allows SMBs to get enhanced business voice and texting for less, as well as access to features like contact centre, virtual receptionist and integrations with Microsoft Teams. With Cloudli Connect, business communication service is priced based on the services selected, rather than on a flat rate, per-user basis. This allows costs to be shared across users and enables SMBs to achieve economies of scale based on their specific usage and requirements.

G Suite legacy free edition to end soon

Source: Google

Google has announced that users with the G Suite legacy free edition will need to upgrade to a paid Google Workspace subscription to be able to continue to use their services. The G Suite legacy free edition will no longer be available starting July 1, 2022. 

Users need to upgrade to Google Workspace by May 1, 2022, or the company says it will begin upgrading subscriptions automatically on that day. 

“We will upgrade your organization to a new Google Workspace subscription based on the features you currently use,” Google noted on its website. “To complete the upgrade, set up Google Workspace billing before July 1, 2022. If you don’t provide your payment information, your Google Workspace subscription will be suspended until you set up billing. After 60 days in suspension, you will no longer have access to Google Workspace core services, such as Gmail, Calendar, and Meet. You may still retain access to additional Google services, such as YouTube and Google Photos,” it added. 

New Clik2pay developer portal allows customers to integrate Clik2pay payment solutions into their own products

Source: Clik2pay

Canadian payment service provider Clik2pay has launched a new developer portal on the company’s website, which houses a collection of tools that can be used to integrate its payment solutions into retailers’ own products.

Clik2pay’s online payments service facilitates payments directly from customer bank accounts, initiated from an e-commerce website or mobile app, by text message or e-mail or QR code. The company’s features for larger businesses include APIs, end-to-end payment tracking, real-time notifications, status updates, and a complete settlement file.  

Click2pay says it aims to extend its market reach and increase its user base with the launch of this developer portal. Interested developers can contact Clik2pay at [email protected] to learn more about how to access the portal. 

More to explore

Cities are increasing citizen engagement by “Amazonifying” their services

From tax payments in bitcoin to bus schedules on Alexa, cities are taking their cues from Amazon to make their services more user-friendly.

Gaining a Competitive Edge in a Cookieless World – CMO Talks with Ingrid Burton

A software engineer with several decades of experience leading global marketing teams to build brands and create demand, Ingrid Burton, chief marketing officer at Quantcast, joined ITWC CMO Fawn Annan in December 2021 for an episode of CMO Talks, to discuss the impact of global AdTech and prospects for a cookieless future.

Austrian data regulator decision on Google Analytics raises questions

An interim decision by Austria’s data regulator against Google Analytics may affect the ability of the search engine’s tool to be used in European countries that follow the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Public sector leaders look forward to rebuilding culture in the new workplace

Municipal leaders say they’re making plans to strengthen the culture in their organizations once the health rules allow employees to return to the office.

Channel Bytes January 21, 2022 – an acquisition; a sale; two partnerships; 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.

Cities have a unique opportunity to transform the lives of their citizens

The pandemic has forced a fundamental shift in the way that cities like Toronto interact with their residents, according to its deputy city manager.

Canada’s broadband internet speed increased by 27% in 2021, finds Ookla report

Canada’s fixed broadband speeds jumped by 27 per cent in 2021, and mobile network download speeds increased by 15 per cent since July, says Ookla’s Canada Mobile and Fixed Broadband Internet Speeds report for Q4 2021.

Telus Business to provide free virtual healthcare service for small businesses 

Telus has announced that starting today, Telus customers with small business smartphone plans will be given access to physical and mental health support through Telus Health Virtual Care (THVC) at no extra cost.

1Password closes US$620 million funding round, now valued at US$6.8 billion

1Password, the Canadian company known for its 1Password password manager, has raised US$620 million in its Series C funding round, boosting its valuation to US$6.8 billion.

ITWC Podcasts

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Bitcoin drops, Meta and Snap face new lawsuits related to the mental health issues they cause, and the first-ever GIF turns 35 this year.

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

This episode reports on WordPress plugin backdoors, multifactor authentication, and cyber insurance.

















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Pragya Sehgal
Pragya Sehgal
Her characters are bold and smart, but in real life, Pragya is afraid of going upstairs when it is dark behind her. Born and raised in the capital city of India - Delhi - bounded by the Yamuna River on the west, Pragya has climbed the Himalayas, and survived medical professional stream in high school without becoming a patient or a doctor. Pragya now makes her home in Canada with her husband - a digital/online marketing professional who also prepares beautiful, healthy and delicious meals for her. When she isn’t working or writing around tech, she’s probably watching art films on Netflix, or wondering whether she should cut her hair short or not.

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