[Locusview in Utility Magazine] How to enhance your network safety using improved GIS data

Locusview’s easy-to-use digital construction mobile application (Locusview Mobile) enables field crews to create high accuracy paperless as-constructed records, whilst also providing improved compliance, visibility and traceability. This not only removes manual drawing and data entry but also validates that the data is complete and accurate. Importantly, Locusview’s philosophy of “field crews first” promotes positive take up and improved use in the field.

Read more here.

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RepTrak partners with Onclusive to combine reputation and PR data

RepTrak and Onclusive are announcing a partnership that Onclusive CEO Dan Beltramo said will combine corporate reputation tracking and PR analytics for the first time.

RepTrak, founded in 2004, helps businesses measure their reputations (and their competitors’ reputations) through a database of more than 1 million company ratings collected every year. Meanwhile, Onclusive (formerly known as AirPR) offers a variety of tools to analyze the impact of PR and earned media coverage on a company’s bottom line.

Those two areas might not sound dramatically different, but Beltramo said that for PR professionals, they represent two separate goals — and that RepTrak’s reputation data helps to fill in some of the areas that Onclusive was missing.

“We made our name in PR analytics, [measuring] what I would call bottom of the funnel,” he said. “It’s an important objective for PR: Are you driving sales? Are you driving downloads?”

By combining Onclusive’s data with RepTrak’s, Beltramo said they’re giving PR people “a good measure to shoot for at the top of the funnel” — and for some, improving reputation may be more important than driving sales: “At bigger companies with longer cycles and bigger issues, reputation is where the PR person’s psyche was focused.”

Conversely, he said that for a chief communications officer who’d previously paid more attention to high-level reputation, Onclusive’s provides more real-time data and tactical tools.

Beltramo added that there will be multiple stages to the partnership. First, the companies are working to present Onclusive’s media analytics in the RepTrak system. Eventually, information will be flowing in the opposite direction too, with Onclusive’s team figuring out how to incorporate RepTrak as well.

“I am pleased that our partnership with Onclusive will give our clients an even more proactive way to activate their reputation management efforts by using the RepTrak Platform to prioritize and diagnose opportunities and threats, then drill into the details of their media presence to take action,” said RepTrak CEO Kylie Wright-Ford in a statement. “The media and cultural environments are very dynamic right now, so companies need to have a complete set of accurate data to make the right decisions.”

Startups – TechCrunch

Mine raises $9.5M to help people take control of their personal data

TechCrunch readers probably know that privacy regulations like Europe’s GDPR and California’s CCPA give them additional rights around personal data — like the ability to request that companies delete data. But how many of you have actually exercised that right?

An Israeli startup called Mine is working to make that process much simpler, and it announced this morning that it has raised $ 9.5 million in Series A funding.

The startup was founded by CEO Gal Ringel, CTO Gal Golan and CPO Kobi Nissan . Ringel and Golan are both veterans of Unit 8200, the cybersecurity unit of the Israeli Defense Forces.

Ringel explained that Mine scans users’ inboxes to help them understand who has access to their personal data.

“Every time that you do an online interaction, such as you sign up for a service or purchase a flight ticket, those companies, those services leave some clues or traces within your inbox,” he said.

Mine

Image Credits: Mine

Mine then cross-references that information with the data collection and privacy policies of the relevant companies, determining what data they’re likely to possess. It calculates a risk score for each company — and if the user decides they want a company to delete their data, Mine can send an automated email request from the user’s own account.

Ringel argued that this is a very different approach to data privacy and data ownership. Instead of building “fences” around your data, Mine makes you more comfortable sharing that data, knowing that you can take control when necessary.

“The product gives [consumers] the freedom to use the internet feeling more secure, because they know they can exercise their right to be forgotten,” he said.

Ringel noted that the average Mine user has a personal data footprint across 350 companies — and the number is more like 550 in the United States. I ran a Mine audit for myself and, within a few minutes, found that I’m pretty close to the U.S. average. (Ringel said the number doesn’t include email newsletters.)

Mine launched in Europe earlier this year and says it has already been used by more than 100,000 people to send 1.3 million data deletion requests.

The legal force behind those requests will differ depending on where you live and which company you are emailing, but Ringel said that most companies will comply even when they’re not legally required to do so, because it’s part of creating a better privacy experience that helps them “earn trust and credibility from consumers.” Plus, “Most of them understand that if you want to go, they’ve already lost you.”

The startup’s core service is available for free. Ringel said the company will make money with premium consumer offerings, like the ability to offload the entire conversation with a company when you want your data deleted. It will also work with businesses to create a standard interface around privacy and data deletion.

As for whether giving Mine access to your inbox creates new privacy risks, Ringel said that the startup collects the “bare minimum” of data — usually just your email address and your full name. Otherwise, it knows “the type of data, but not the actual data” that other companies have obtained.

“We would never share or sell your data,” he added.

The Series A was led by Google’s AI-focused venture fund Gradient Ventures, with participation from e.ventures, MassMutual Ventures, as well as existing investors Battery Ventures and Saban Ventures. Among other things, Ringel said the money will fund Mine’s launch in the United States.

Startups – TechCrunch

Global Enterprise Data Cloud Storage Software Market 2020 Manufacturer Landscape, Revenue and Volume Analysis and Segment Information upto 2025 – re:Jerusalem

Global Enterprise Data Cloud Storage Software Market 2020 Manufacturer Landscape, Revenue and Volume Analysis and Segment Information upto 2025  re:Jerusalem
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Synthetaic raises $3.5M to train AI with synthetic data

Synthetaic is a startup working to create data — specifically images — that can be used to train artificial intelligence.

Founder and CEO Corey Jaskolski’s past experience includes work with both National Geographic (where he was recently named Explorer of the Year) and a 3D media startup. In fact, he told me that his time with National Geographic made him aware of the need for more data sets in conservation.

Sound like an odd match? Well, Jaskolski said that he was working on a project that could automatically identify poachers and endangered animals from camera footage, and one of the major obstacles was the fact that there simply aren’t enough existing images of either poachers (who don’t generally appreciate being photographed) or certain endangered animals in the wild to train AI to detect them.

He added that other companies are trying to create synthetic AI training data through 3D worldbuilding (in other words, “building a replica of the world that you want to have an AI learn in”), but in many cases, this approach is prohibitively expensive.

In contrast, the Synthetaic (pronounced “synthetic”) approach combines the work of 3D artists and modelers with technology based on generative adversarial networks, making it far more affordable and scalable, according to Jaskolski.

Synthetaic elephants

Image Credits: Synthetaic

To illustrate the “interplay” between the two halves of Synthetaic’s model, he returned to the example of identifying poachers — the startup’s 3D team could create photorealistic models of an AK 47 (and other weapons), then use adversarial networks to generate hundreds of thousands of images or more showing that model against different backgrounds.

The startup also validates its results after an AI has been trained on Synthetaic’s synthesized images, by testing that AI on real data.

For Synthetaic’s initial projects, Jaskolski said he wanted to partner with organizations doing work that makes the world a better place, including Save the Elephants (which is using the technology to track animal populations) and the University of Michigan (which is developing an AI that can identify different types of brain tumors).

Jaskolski added that Synthetaic customers don’t need any AI expertise of their own, because the company provides an “end-to-end” solution.

The startup announced today that it has raised $ 3.5 million in seed funding led by Lupa Systems, with participation from Betaworks Ventures and TitletownTech (a partnership between Microsoft and the Green Bay Packers). The startup, which has now raised a total of $ 4.5 million, is also part of Lupa and Betaworks’ Betalab program of startups doing work that could help “fix the internet.”

Startups – TechCrunch

This British startup secures €1.5M for AI-based video security and visual data privacy

AI Image recognition

In the last decade, significant technological changes have shaped the security industry. The rise of deep learning technology (a subset of AI) has tremendously benefitted the field of video surveillance with several stand-out applications such as face recognition, person, and object detection with 99.99% accuracy. 

Previously, video surveillance technology was used only for crime prevention, but now it is enabling business intelligence solutions by resolving end-customer issues. 

Deep learning services for video and data privacy applications

Based out of London, Pimloc provides deep learning services for video security and data privacy applications. Recently, the SaaS security developer for video solutions raised €1.5M in funding led by Amadeus Capital Partners, with participation from Speedinvest, and existing shareholders. With this funding, Pimloc plans to expand its operations to an even wider market. 

Founded in 2016 by Simon Randall and James Leigh, the UK company provides AI software tools to find, retrieve, and process images and video content in large collections and streams. 

Aims to protect sensitive visual data

Simon Randall, the CEO, says, “Video is being captured more often, by more devices and in more locations than ever before. Historically much of this footage has resided with security officers, but now other business functions want to extract valuable data from this content. How this data is managed and shared is raising critical legal and ethical questions for data privacy. The protection of personal data needs to be designed into visual security and analytics systems by default to protect individuals from the misuse of face recognition and other technologies.”

The visual privacy and security company helps the organisation to manage security footage and protect sensitive visual data compliant with GDPR and Data Privacy legislation. 

The company’s products includes:

Pholio: A system for identifying specialist visual content in large collections and streams. It can be run in the cloud, remotely, or stand-alone. According to the company claims, the platform can automatically search for content that matches a built-in catalogue of over 20,000 well-known objects and scenes. 

Secure Redact: A system for anonymising sensitive content in large scale video. It uses machine learning technology to provide fast and accurate redaction of security, survey, and events footage. Notably, it can be run as a managed service, on-premise or in the cloud (if data volumes allow for efficient upload/download).

The company says it can anonymise the footage instantly through machine learning in case of repurposing the video for training or other matters. 

Besides Pholio and Secure Redact, the company also developed solutions for brand tracking in video, remote image processing, human activity tracking, and auto-publishing. They’re currently used in a range of sectors including mobility, insurance, entertainment, broadcasting, and law enforcement.

Alex van Someren, Managing Partner, Amadeus Capital Partners, comments, “There is a critical need for privacy by design and large-scale solutions, as video grows as a data source for mobility, insurance, commerce and smart cities, while our reliance on video for remote working increases.”

Main image credits: Zapp2Photo/Shutterstock

Startups – Silicon Canals

Zurich-based confidential data platform Decentriq raises €3.2 million

Swiss startup Decentriq, an enterprise data security expert, today announces an approx. €3.2 million seed round, led by btov Partners, with significant participation from Paladin Capital Group and existing investor Atlantic Labs. The investment is intended to drive international growth and to widen its client base. Founded in 2018, Decentriq minimizes the time and cost…

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EU-Startups

EU to set up pan-European alliance for cloud technology; plans to invest €10B in cloud & data

EU

The EU’s initiative to keep data and data centres out of the reach of international tech giants are well underway. At present, most of the European companies are announcing deals with the US tech player for cloud services such as Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Alibaba Cloud. The benefits of the cloud remain largely untapped by EU businesses and the public sector.

Sitting on a humongous pile of data, the EU is solicitous about the dominance of the US in cloud tech and losing its influence in the digital sphere. Therefore, the Commission has started taking necessary precautions by means of a massive digital transformation, with AI and cloud technologies playing an essential role in the upcoming years.

European Alliance on Industrial Data and Cloud

The EU plans to spend €10B over the next seven years to develop a cloud computing sector that could rival Silicon Valley tech giants. Recently, around 25 countries signed a joint declaration to establish the “European Alliance on Industrial Data and Cloud” and agreeing to work together towards deploying resilient and competitive cloud infrastructure and services across Europe.

According to the joint declaration, “The public cloud infrastructure market is converging globally around four large non-European players. This raises concerns over cloud users’ ability to maintain control over strategic and sensitive personal and non-personal data. Also, commercial practices and a lack of interoperability between cloud providers create risks of vendor lock-in, undermining users’ trust and cloud uptake,”

“Europe is facing a great investment gap for cloud, estimated at €11B annually, and needs to boost the development of a truly competitive EU cloud supply. A joint European effort is needed to reverse this trend, by mobilising both users and suppliers,” it further notes.

Funding

As announced in the EU Data Strategy, Member States and industry are invited to co-invest with the Commission in the European cloud federation and common data spaces/ The Commission aims at financing €2B in this area over 2021-2027, drawing upon different spending programmes – Digital Europe, InvestEU, and Connecting Europe Facility. The rest of the money will come through industrial concerns and EU member states. The national governments will be allocating 20% of the funds from the EU’s COVID-19 pandemic recovery plan.

In particular, as agreed in the Declaration, the Member States’ joint actions will focus on:

  1. Combining private, national, and EU investment in deploying competitive, green, and secure cloud infrastructures and services. This will mean pursuing the next steps together with industry and experts to shape the European Alliance on Industrial Data and Cloud.
  2. Defining a common European approach on federating cloud capacities, by working towards one set of joint technical solutions and policy norms in order to foster pan-European interoperable EU cloud services.
  3. Driving the take-up of more secure, interoperable, and energy-efficient data centres and cloud services in particular for small and medium enterprises, start-ups, and the public sector.

25 countries signed a joint declaration agreement

A European Alliance on Industrial Data and Cloud will be launched by the end of the year. Various countries including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden have signed the joint declaration agreement. Notably, Denmark and Cyprus didn’t sign the declaration due to technical reasons.

“The declaration is a foundation stone for the establishment of European cloud technology, which will be very high performing,” says Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton. “Contrary to the prejudices, we are not late on cloud development. We are the first to get involved in the industrial cloud,” he adds.

Gaia-X

Last year, Germany and France came together to establish a cloud computing ecosystem in a bid to reduce Europe’s dependence on Silicon Valley giants. Dubbed as Gaia-X, the project intends to serve as a bridge between several different cloud services by providing a joint standard to share data.

Image credits: artjazz/Shutterstock

Startups – Silicon Canals

British AI-video intelligence startup Pimloc raises €1.5 million to protect visual data

London-based startup Pimloc, a visual privacy and security company, has closed a seed funding round of approx. €1.5 million, led by Amadeus Capital Partners with participation from Speedinvest and existing shareholders. Founded in 2016, Pimloc specialises in deep learning systems for security video and diverse image collections. Pimloc’s technology powers products that enable private businesses…

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