Hashtag Trending Aug.3- Brain drain moves north to Canada; North American banks leading in AI; Cult of the Dead Cow hackers develop tools to enable more user privacy

The brain drain moves north to Canada.  North American banks are leading in AI and the hackers at Cult of the Dead Cow develop some new tools to enable more user privacy.

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These are the top tech news stories on today’s Hashtag Trending.  

I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and Tech News Day in the US.

There was a time when we worried, with good reason, about the U.S. attracting the best tech people from Canada. But lately, Canada is on the winning side, luring skilled tech workers away from the United States, thanks to a new work permit program targeting U.S.-based knowledge workers, particularly those on H-1B visas. 

The Canadian government introduced the program last month, offering a three-year work permit that allows professionals to work for any employer in Canada. The program was so popular that it reached its first-year target of 10,000 applications in less than 48 hours. 

The U.S.’s complex immigration system and long wait times for permanent residence and its penalties and threats of expulsion for those who lose jobs like they did during the tech downsizing,  have made countries like Canada, which offers a path to permanent residence in as little as six months, a more attractive place for foreign tech talent. 

10,000 people sounds like a lot, but it should be kept in perspective when competing with a company of more than 350 million people. But even at these numbers the talent drain could have significant economic implications for the U.S., as H-1B workers contribute significantly to taxes, consumer spending, and job creation.

Sources include: Data Center Knowledge

And on the subject of winning, North American banks are leading the global race in transforming banking into an AI-first industry, according to a report from banking data provider Evident. 

J.P. Morgan Chase, Capital One, and Wells Fargo are among the top performers in AI research, patents, and investments. In 2022, North American banks published 80 per cent of all bank AI research and made 60 per cent of all bank AI-related investments, while filing 99 per cent of all the AI-related bank patents in 2021. 

The report highlights that banks without a centralized AI innovation strategy are falling behind. 

AI research, patents, and partnerships can help a bank differentiate itself with new products and processes. However, the challenge lies in harnessing data through AI, from sourcing computing resources to structuring data and deciding when to build and when to buy models.

Sources include: Axios

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is forecasting a strong end to the year, driven by the planned launch of its MI300 artificial-intelligence chips, which are designed to compete with Nvidia’s advanced H100 chips. The MI300 chips are in high demand and AMD plans to ramp up production in the fourth quarter. The company is also considering creating special chips for the lucrative Chinese market, similar to Nvidia’s strategy, to comply with U.S. export controls. Despite not providing a detailed full-year forecast, AMD expects its 2023 sales in its data center business, including MI300 chips, to exceed the $6 billion mark in 2022. However, for the second quarter, revenue at AMD’s data center business fell 11 per cent to $1.3 billion, while revenue at its client business slumped 54 per cent to $998 million from $2.2 billion a year ago.

Sources include: Reuters

The renowned hacktivist group, Cult of the Dead Cow (cDc), famous for developing innovative hacking tools, is now developing a system called Veilid that will enable the creation of messaging and social networking apps that don’t retain users’ personal data. The coding framework can be used by app developers who are willing to implement strong encryption and forego revenue from targeted advertising based on user data. 

The system is designed to provide a foundation for messaging, file sharing, and social networking apps without harvesting any data, all secured by end-to-end encryption. 

The challenge lies in persuading developers to design apps compatible with Veilid, as potential revenue streams are limited due to the inability to collect detailed user information for targeted ads. The project is set to be detailed at the annual Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas.

Sources include: Washington Post

The mystery of where Apple is in the world of AI continues. Recently, rumours circulated that Apple was planning to launch an AI initiative in 2024.

The latest note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo casts doubt on these speculations. 

Kuo’s analysis indicates that Apple’s progress in generative AI technology is significantly behind its competitors, and he does not expect the company to make significant strides in integrating AI edge computing and hardware products by 2024. 

While this doesn’t necessarily contradict the possibility of a major AI announcements from Apple in 2024, Kuo does not foresee next-generation AI launching in Apple’s consumer hardware next year. 

And here’s where it’s great to be Apple. The predicted impact on their stock?  None.  

Sources include: 9to5mac

Let me get this straight – you pay to hide the thing you paid for….? 

Social media platform X, the artist formerly known as Twitter, has introduced a new feature allowing paid users to hide their verification checkmarks. 

This move follows the company’s decision to offer paid verification with the relaunch of Twitter Blue, now known as XBlue. 

But even if you pay to hide the checkmark, it may still be visible in certain places.  The feature is designed to allow users to enjoy subscription benefits without displaying their verified status. 

You see there was this dispute over paid verification, and it became difficult to differentiate between traditionally verified accounts of notable individuals and users who had paid for the checkmark. 

Okay, hands up. This was what happened. But did any of you understand this? Makes it really easy to understand only one thing – why these hairbrained schemes don’t seem to be able to attract and retain paying users. 

Another one for the X-files. Again, I’m just thinking out loud.

Sources include: Tech Crunch 

Those are the top tech news stories for today.  Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a special weekend interview show we call “the Weekend Edition.”

You can get us anywhere you get audio podcasts and there is a copy of the show notes at itworldcanada.com/podcasts 

We’re also on YouTube five days a week with a video newscast only there we are called Tech News Day and we’re part of the ITWC channel. 

If you want to catch up on news more quickly, you can read these and more stories at TechNewsDay.com and at ITWorldCanada.com on the home page.

We love your comments.  I’ve continued to shorten the stories this week. Still dying to know whether people find this a better pace or a more enjoyable experience.

You be the judge. If you’ve listened this far, you’re the audience I’m trying to reach.

So please go to the article at itworldcanada.com/podcasts – you’ll find a text edition there. Click on the x or the check mark but tell me what you think. 

I’m your host, Jim Love. Have a Thrilling Thursday!

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jim Love
Jim Lovehttp://www.itworldcanada.com
I've been in IT and business for over 30 years. I worked my way up, literally from the mail room and I've done every job from mail clerk to CEO. Today I'm CIO of a great company - IT World Canada - Canada's leading ICT publisher.

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