Coffee Briefing Jan. 4, 2022 – accessibility maps; airlines request 5G delay; 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

Microsoft collaborates with OpenSidewalks to chart more accessible sidewalk paths for people with mobility issues

In a Twitter post on Jan. 3, 2021, Microsoft announced a collaboration with the OpenSidewalks project to enhance the navigation experience for people with disabilities.

Microsoft explained in the video post that hills and curbs can be obstructions to people who operate wheelchairs. To counter this problem, the company, along with the inclusive technology initiative G3ict and the Taskar Centre for Accessible Technology at the University of Washington, started to use AI to gather and analyze sidewalk data from Bing Maps imagery along with other data sources in February 2021, with the goal to create more accessible mobility datasets in cities globally.

Through the initiative, they released a tool that provides the user with additional accessibility options, including the ability to select hill steepness and avoid paths with raised curbs. The user is then able to select from various routes that are ranked for accessibility.

The tool is currently available in three Washington state cities, but Microsoft hopes to bring it to Los Angeles, as well as cities in Brazil, Chile and Ecuador. The company is also working with city leaders, experts, and local residents to crowdsource data and to standardize open data sets.

Samsung to announce the Exynos 2200 SoC after CES

Samsung is set to announce the next-gen of its in-house Exynos 2200 system-on-chip (SoC) for mobile devices on Jan. 11 with a special feature: it will use AMD’s RDNA graphics. It’s so special, in fact, that the company is saving its announcement until after CES 2022, which Samsung is one of the few companies physically attending the event held in Las Vegas on Jan 5.

The two companies first announced their collaboration in June 2021. AMD CEO Lisa Su promised that AMD’s RDNA graphics will enable Samsung’s next-gen flagship SoC to feature advanced graphics technologies like ray tracing and variable rate shading.

AMD’s RDNA graphics is already inside many desktop and laptop processors, but this is the first time it will debut inside a smartphone SoC. In addition to performance, its power consumption will also be a key topic of interest.

Samsung’s Exynos chips are considered the equivalent of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoCs. They’re typically used in smartphones sold outside of North America.

Airlines ask FCC to delay 5G rollout

Drone shot of a cell tower at sunset overlooking a suburban area
shaunl via getty

Several U.S. airlines are asking the Federal Communications Commission to delay 5G network rollouts near airports scheduled for next week.
The Airlines for America, a trade group for U.S. passenger aircraft and cargo carriers, warned the FCC that it didn’t properly evaluate the interference 5G mobile network could cause to aircrafts. The group asked for more time to resolve potential safety issues related to the danger 5G poses to communication equipment pilots use to help navigate the planes.

In a letter to AT&T and Verizon last Friday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Stephen proposed a delay of 5G network rollout to AT&T and Verizon. They wrote that the activation of the 5G networks near airports “will result in widespread and unacceptable disruption as airplanes divert to other cities or flights are cancelled.”

AT&T and Verizon initially rejected the plea, but reversed course on Sunday and agreed to a two-week delay.

More to explore

2021 year in review – IT under attack | IT World Canada News

Had Charles Dickens been alive today, his famous work might have started with “It was the worst of times, and some other stuff was just disappointing.”

That’s what it seemed like as we did our classic editorial end-of-year recap for 2021.

Supply chain and nation-state attacks will highlight 2022, says vendor | IT World Canada News

Supply chain attacks and nation-state cyber warfare will continue to cause anguish for CISOs in 2022, says Check Point Software in its annual predictions blog. Supply chain attacks will become more common, the security company said, which will lead to governments beginning to establish regulations to address these attacks and protect networks.

Montreal tourism agency confirms cyber attack | IT World Canada News

Montreal’s tourism agency has acknowledged it was hit by a cyber attack early last month, one of a number of recent Canadian and American victim organizations claimed by the Karakurt hacking group.

Microsoft rushes fix for Exchange ‘year 2022’ bug that blocks email | Channel Daily News

Some Microsoft Exchange admins coming to work today may be facing their first challenge of the new year: Installing a patch to fix jammed messages that started at midnight on January 1st.

The bug in on-premises versions of Exchange Server 2016 and Exchange Server 2019 causes messages to be stuck in transport queues, Microsoft said. It’s described as a latent date issue in a signature file used by the malware scanning engine within Exchange Server.

Will agile take off in 2022? Five ways we’ll know for sure – IT World Canada

Is agile software development delivering enough value, or is agile simply an exaggerated buzzword that conveniently obscures all attempts at performance measurement of software development teams?

MFA is the key to maintaining cyber insurance coverage in Canada

In Canada, ransomware attacks are on the rise; Canadians have lost $4.9 billion to ransomware attacks in the last year. Attacks are up 158 per cent in North America and 62 per cent globally since 2019 and yet not many want to talk about it. Potential victims are everywhere, including individuals and businesses – essentially anyone or any organization with an online presence.

ITWC Podcasts

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

The German government wants to stop data retention without reason, China’s freeze on game licenses shutters 140,000 gaming-related companies, and BlackBerry’s legacy finally comes to an end.
Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

This edition offers resolutions individuals and IT leaders should make to improve their cybersecurity for the coming year

If you live in Quebec or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected]

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