Facial recognition implementations have been appearing at more and more airports in recent years, with seventeen US airports now sporting the tech. This approach to security promises faster airport procedures, greater security, and no need to carry (or lose) a passport. At this time, the system consists of a face matching procedure at departure gates, but there are plans to expand it to check-in, security, and at the gate, where your facial scan is checked against your registered passport photo in a cloud database to confirm your identity. It's quite possible you could make it from the curb to your seat on the plane without taking to anyone. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) aim to have the system scan 97% of outbound international travelers by 2021.
However, security experts aren't impressed. They worry that turning one's face into travel documents creates a privacy nightmare. Research into facial recognition software has shown that it's not 100% accurate and that it doesn't work consistently for all races - leading to the possibility of mistaken identities and secondary security measures. They also worry about travelers' movements being tracked indefinitely, as well as what the data is used for once a trip is over. In fact, other government agencies have expressed interest in the data. However, US citizens can opt out and travel with paper documents.
For the time being, the system exists in a bit of a legal gray area. Public comment was not requested before the seventeen US airports installed their systems, and there's currently no specific laws saying that CBP can't gather the data. However, the ACLU, Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other organizations point out that there's no laws saying that they can. But, there's been legal efforts to gather biometric traveler data on the books since at least 1996, though facial recognition wasn't as advanced then.
Facial recognition measures do serve to help to ensure safety and security, though at what cost remains to be seen.
This article was based on a March 21, 2019 CNet article by Laura Hautala
Ask any American about their last trip to a government office and it's nearly guaranteed that you'd hear about long waits, inefficient processes, slow computers, and unpleasant staff. These issues are so prevalent that they're often satirized in our media. While some individual states have made strides by investing in better training and moving some services online, the problem is far from solved. Now, California senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris wants to improve government tech system-wide with her new Digital Service Act bill. This bill is aimed to provide funding for state and local governments to hire the necessary talent to overhaul and improve their systems.
"Americans deserve a government that works for them and that just plain works," Harris, a Democrat from California, said in a release. "We must do more to empower our state and local governments to tap into the power of technology to provide seamless, cost-effective services for the 21st century. The Digital Service Act will help harness top talent for the government, save taxpayer dollars and put the power of technology to work on behalf of the American people."
Specifically, this bill would provide $50m a year for these efforts, plus an additional $15m would fund grants for government agencies to upgrade systems by September 2022. Agencies would be required to report on their progress at that time, and that data would be compiled into a report to be presented to Congress. The grants come with the caveat that at least half of the funds be used to hire talent, not purchase products.
Perhaps with the improvements this bill could bring about your next trip to the DMV might not be so bad after all.
This article was based on a March 14, 2019 CNet article by Marrian Zhou
PaperFree partner OpenText recently announced their 2019 Enterprise World Europe, a conference focused on bringing business leaders across Europe together to learn and discuss matters of intelligent and connected enterprises. This event, the first of its kind, will be held in Vienna, Austria March 12-14, 2019 and will feature keynote speakers, breakout events, and plenty of networking opportunities.
“All industries are transforming through digital, AI and extreme connectivity,” said Mark J. Barrenechea, OpenText CEO and CTO. “OpenText Enterprise World Europe will bring together top companies and experts in Enterprise Information Management discussing how to leverage technology and disruptive techniques to compete and win in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
According to OpenText the event will feature:
Registration is now open for this event.
This article was based on a February 28, 2019 OpenText press release.
PaperFree partner M-Files recently shared the exciting result of a recent TrustRadius user survey on ECM product satisfaction - M-Files was ranked the highest of 10 competitors, and achieved an overall score of 9.1 out of 10. M-Files beat out notable competitors such as SharePoint, Box, Alfresco, and more. This is the result of years of hard work to perfect their system and make it as intelligent and user friendly as possible. Contributing to these customer-favorite attributes are notable M-Files features:
This article was based on a February 8, 2019 M-Files blog post.
Adding to its years of Captiva experience, PaperFree is pleased to offer the newest release of the OpenText Captiva capture solution - Captiva 16.5. This newest version offers the same class-leading capabilities of its predecessors, but with updated methods and internals to deliver top-notch performance. PaperFree remains committed to the Captiva line and offers end-to-end services for enterprises wishing to reduce their paper processing workload. Whether it be developing a custom workflow, backfile conversion, or any other capture need, PaperFree has the experience and toolkit necessary for a streamlined and effective Captiva 16.5 integration and ongoing support and training for your enterprise.
Have you heard of Refrigerdating? It's like Tinder, only instead of using your favorite selfie as a profile picture you use a picture of what's going on in your fridge (a "fridgefie"?) for potential matches to swipe through. The app comes by way of Samsung, best known for phones and TVs, but they're also in the kitchen appliance game and their Family Hub Refrigerator sports a camera that checks fridge inventory for you. To promote this camera feature Samsung crafted the dating app that automatically loads a picture of your fridge contents to your profile.
But not to fear, if you don't have the $4,000 refrigerator with a camera you can simply upload a fridge picture on your own.
While a bit of an obscure concept, Samsung asserts that a lot can be understood about a person via their fridge. Are they into health foods? Are they organized? Is stuff molding in the back? Perhaps they have the same kind of juice as you and that's your ice breaker. A view of a person's fridge offers a more "authentic" view of that person, especially since fridges aren't typically on display in one's life. And, with food being such a huge part of a person's daily life and people connecting over it in restaurants, it might not be too far a stretch to take that concept into the home too.
The idea for the app originated in Sweden, which has a high number of single households. So far, it's doing well in that market but it is available worldwide. Online dating isn't a new concept, but the proliferation of special-interest dating apps in recent years offer a fun and interesting take on the practice. And by all means, the contents of one's fridge aren't the strangest things that people can meet and connect over, either.
This article was based on a February 5, 2019 CNet article by Erin Carson
As we've reported recently, Google is researching ways to make navigating the internet less URL-heavy. Their reasoning for this is simple - URLs can be messy, confusing, and are easily abused by phishers who can hide their scheme within those characters. Google does claim, however, that URLs are necessary and will stay - their goal is mainly to reduce the user's reliance on them. Now, Google is putting their plans into motion.
The first task for the Google Chrome team is to figure out a way to automatically detect URLs that seem to be posing as something else. When this function triggers users can be warned, much like how Chrome will warn users now when it feels that a site is insecure. However, the difficulty here is in triggering the warning on nefarious sites and sparing the good ones. One way Google plans to go about this is by checking URLs to see if they're using alphanumeric characters to pose as other characters, say G00gle versus Google.
Secondly, the Chrome team is working up new ways to display a site's URL to the user, and if there's any way to build safety features into that. It may focus on displaying important parts of the URL (such as the domain) and removing the rest, or by expanding truncated URLs.
Third, Google is throwing its weight around a bit, like it has to get as many domains onto https web encryption by penalizing those who aren't. Its methods to revise the use of URLs are likely to become mainstream. However, the worry is that they'll develop tactics that work well for Chrome, but not for the web as a whole.
There is still much to research and discover about how to move away from URLs, but the hope is that Google will discover the solution that makes the internet a safer place.
This article was based on a January 29, 2019 Wired article by Lily Hay Newman.
"Eighty-two percent of employees report poor information management is damaging productivity in the workplace" - according to PaperFree partner M-Files. In their study, the 2019 Global Intelligent Information Management Benchmark Report, M-Files found that a leading hinderance to productivity was workers knowing what system contained needed information, how to use it, and knowing if the file was the most current. The study surveyed 1,500 office workers around the world.
Their study also revealed the following:
- 42 percent cited challenges with improper or incorrect labelling of documents
- 41 percent reported that information was frequently stored in the incorrect folder or system -- with 29 percent asserting information was misplaced or lost
- 26 percent cited challenges determining which system or repository to search, while 26 percent were unsure whether they found the current version of a document
It's easy to see how this is happening - organizations are still using file tree structures to organize their corporate information manually. Documents can be misfiled, revisions aren't consolidated, and even multiple servers could be involved.
“These findings clearly show the need for change in information management practices across all organizations – both large and small – wherever they are in their transition to a digital workplace,” said Greg Milliken, senior vice president of marketing at M-Files. “With the exponential proliferation of information in today’s business environment, many companies are failing to give their employees quick and easy access to the information they need, severely reducing productivity. To combat this, enterprises will need to adopt intelligent information management solutions that dramatically change the way they manage and process information, enabling workers to focus on adding more value to the organization.”
Not surprisingly, 91% of workers surveyed reported that their job would be easier if they could quickly and easily access a needed document without having to know where it was stored. That's where M-Files comes it - its content management database dynamically links information together, manages versions, and enables easy access of documents spread across the enterprise. To learn more about how M-Files can help your business manage its documents more effectively, please give us a call.
This article was based on a January 16, 2019 M-Files press release.
This year at CES 2019, Segway announced its new Loomo Delivery product, a robot developed to handle deliveries in buildings and malls. Fully autonomous, Loomo Delivery can navigate around obstacles and through crowds and handle tasks such as mail delivery (straight from the mail carrier) and moving documents through an office environment. It could even bring you a snack. They're smart enough to figure out where deliveries need to go, and feature interactive screens, and can even work an elevator. Its cloud or 4G connectivity also handles dispatch, updates, scheduling, and monitoring.
The Loomo Delivery product serves to fill a niche in busy mailrooms, where getting items the "last mile" can be a time consuming and laborious process for workers. Plus, it also is a time saver for other staff by serving as a go between for documents and other needs.
The Loomo Delivery robots have swappable storage 70 liter containers for a variety of items, and can carry about 110lbs. Plus, they'll find their way to a charging station after a day's work.
This article was based on a January 3, 2019 DesignBoom.com article by Tim Spears
In a humorous twist, this week it's the robots that have lost their jobs to humans. The Henn-na Hotel in Japan was opened with bright hopes of a fully robotic operation, but was recently forced to shelve half of its 243 robots.
Among the layoffs:
Many of these robots had been in service for years and were outdated - their jobs have since been reassigned to humans. Their decommissioning comes as no surprise given the speed at which technology advances. Plus, with very little economies of scale the cost of upkeep and upgrades for bespoke robots can be prohibitive for businesses. Fortunately, humans are a bit more flexible in that regard.
While a fully robotic business is a shiny, exciting venture, perhaps we're not quite ready for it.
This article was based on a January 15, 2019 The Verge article by Shannon Liao.