Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. These briefings drop on Tuesday mornings. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada reporter Pragya Sehgal, with files from staff writer Samira Balsara. Missed last week’s Coffee Briefing? We got you covered.
Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending
It’s all the biz/tech news that’s trending right now. Amazon users experience website outages, China’s crypto crackdown may solve the GPU shortage and emails a thing of the past?
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This podcast reports on a non-profit’s data theft, an insurance giant is notifying victims of a ransomware attack and some subscribers to U.S. wireless carrier Mint Mobile had their phones ported to another carrier.
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In case you missed it
Recent tech news that we maybe didn’t get to yet, or it’s news we’ve reported on and feel is worth resurfacing.
Visa partners with Global Payments and Desjardins to roll out Visa Installments in Canada
Today, Visa announced that it is partnering with payments technology and software solutions provider Global Payments, and North American financial cooperative group Desjardins to bring Visa Installments to participating Canadian merchants and eligible credit cardholders.
Launched by Visa Canada last month, Visa Installments is a new option to convert qualifying purchases made using an eligible credit card into smaller, equal payments made over a defined period of time.
Visa says Global Payments is enabling its merchant customers to offer Visa Installment options to eligible consumers with a single integration, without having to sign up for a new service. Eligible credit cardholders can choose whether to use the service at the point of purchase, with their existing credit card. In addition, issuers enabled for Visa Installments will be able to offer their credit cardholders installment options at participating Global Payments merchants.
In collaboration with Visa and Global Payments, Desjardins will be among the first to enable Visa Installments, and to offer the service to eligible cardholders at participating merchants.
Until last month, Scotiabank and CIBC were the only two Canadian issuers to have announced they will use Visa’s Installments capability to offer their Visa credit card. While Scotiabank announced that it will be rolling out the Visa Installment service for its customers in August 2021, CIBC said it plans to launch the service for CIBC cardholders in early 2022.
A recent Visa Canada study revealed that nearly the majority of Canadians (47 per cent) think flexible payment options are now more important than ever. Installments represent a growing portion of the payments market, accounting for over $1.7 trillion CAD of global payment volume. This momentum has been reflected in the Canadian market with the adoption of installments increasing 30 per cent in the last year alone, with the in-country payment opportunity expected to be about $50 billion annually. With the introduction of Visa Installments, Visa Canada says it is “equipping merchants to cater to this growing customer demand”.
Ontario-based firm among the recipients of Australian government’s Blockchain Pilot Grant
Toronto, ON.-based global consulting and technology company Convergence.Tech is one of two recipients of the Government of Australia’s Blockchain Pilot Grants, Australia’s Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter announced on July 12.
These grants aim to investigate the capability of blockchain to enhance the productivity of Australia’s critical minerals and food and beverage sectors, and would help to accelerate Australia’s adoption of blockchain technology and assist businesses in solving real-world problems, according to the minister.
Blockchain is a digital ledger system that records transactions such as the movement of goods through a supply chain in a way that is difficult to change or “hack” because the information is duplicated across a network of computers.
The Government of Australia is investing over AU$5.6 million through the Blockchain Pilot Grants program; Convergence.Tech has received AU$2.66 million to use blockchain technology to help automate key reporting processes under the Excise system, a commodity-based tax on goods including beer and spirits. The Australian government says this will help companies in the sector to reduce compliance costs associated with the creation, storage and transportation of their products.
These grants are funded under the Australian Government’s Digital Business package, which was announced in the Federal Budget 2020-21, and directly align with the Government’s National Blockchain Roadmap, which was released in February 2020. [Full announcement here]
Pinterest bans all weight loss ads in new policy
Body image has become a huge issue facing people of all ages around the world as social media tends to create unrealistic body expectations.
Pinterest, an app often used for photo and lifestyle inspiration, is taking action on this issue and updating all its app policies to prohibit ads with weight loss imagery and language, a move that makes it the only social media platform to prohibit weight loss ads.
Beginning in July, Pinterest’s updated policy, developed with advice and guidance from the National Eating Disorders Association, an American non-profit organization devoted to preventing eating disorders, providing treatment referrals, and increasing the education and understanding of eating disorders, weight, and body image, prohibits:
- Weight loss imagery and language
- Testimonials regarding weight loss products
- Imagery and language that idealizes a certain body type
- Any references to Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Any products that promote weight loss and “claim weight loss through something worn or applied to the skin.”
This is an expansion of already banned ad content which includes before and after weight loss photos, unrealistic cosmetic result claims, weight loss procedures and any body shaming language or imagery. [Full announcement here]
IBM to acquire third cloud services company in a year
Last week, IBM announced plans to acquire BoxBoat Technologies, a DevOps consultancy and enterprise Kubernetes certified service provider that helps commercial and public sector enterprises achieve digital transformation by delivering software faster.
With this acquisition, IBM says it aims to extend its container strategy and implementation services portfolio to further advance its hybrid cloud strategy and accelerate Red Hat OpenShift adoption globally.
BoxBoat will join the hybrid cloud services business of IBM’s business consulting arm Global Business Services, which deals with software services and IT consultancy. This news comes on the heels of IBM’s acquisition of cloud services firms – Nordcloud and Taos – which closed in the first quarter of 2021. [Full news release here]
Kaseya has successfully deployed security patches to the cloud and on-premises versions of its VSA remote IT monitoring platform to fight a ransomware attack, with no reports of serious issues.
Ceridian has announced the Canadian launch of Dayforce Wallet, a pay solution that gives employees on-demand access to their earned wages without any fee for either employer or employee.
Internet analytics company Ookla has expanded its Speedtest internet performance tool to include video quality for Android devices.
Beanfield Metroconnect has partnered with Cisco to launch Hosted Voice with WebEx, a cloud-based all-in-one collaboration experience, to provide a geo-redundant, carrier-class BroadWorks backend along with WebEx’s cloud collaboration infrastructure.
On-demand onsite technical support service TickTockTech has formed a partnership with CyberGood Security to become the exclusive provider and installer for HackSweep, a cyber alarm system and monitoring service that provides live 24/7 protection from different types of cyber threats.
Ingram Micro Cloud, a global division of U.S.-based IT firm Ingram Micro, has partnered with the digital transformation consulting company SyncOrg to launch a customized Partner Transformation Program (PTP) to help resellers and service providers maximize their Amazon Web Services (AWS) practices.
Cisco has released new role requirements for the Integrator and Provider roles in its partner program and provided updates on the progress of the developer and advisor roles.
Kyndryl, the independent company emerging following the separation of IBM’s managed infrastructure services business, announced the global leadership that’s going to steer the spin-off company into the future.