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Group backed by John Risley, Jim Balsillie to buy Canadarm maker MDA in $1-billion deal - The Globe and Mail
SEAN SILCOFFTECHNOLOGY REPORTER
DAVID MILSTEADINSTITUTIONAL INVESTMENT REPORTER
OTTAWA AND DENVER
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 30, 2019
UPDATED 15 MINUTES AGO
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Two wealthy entrepreneurs are teaming up as part of an investor group to buy the maker of the Canadarm from its U.S. parent for $1-billion and repatriate the company’s headquarters to Canada.

John Risley’s Northern Private Capital is leading a group of equity investors that includes Jim Balsillie, the former chairman and co-CEO of BlackBerry Ltd., and Montreal investment company Senvest Capital to buy MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Inc., Canada’s largest developer and manufacturer of space technology. The deal will see them acquire all of MDA’s operations in Canada and Britain from their owner, Colorado-based Maxar Technologies Inc., if regulators approve.

The move would represent a return to Canadian ownership of one of the country’s enduring high-technology companies. For the investors, it is also a calculated bet that MDA will play a critical part in supplying players in what has been called a new space race, one that has seen some of the world’s largest tech com
geospatial  imagery  investors  Jim_Balsillie  satellites 
8 weeks ago by jerryking
In ‘Stony the Road,’ Henry Louis Gates Jr. Captures the History and Images of the Fraught Years After the Civil War
April 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By Nell Irvin Painter.

STONY THE ROAD
Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow
By Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Illustrated. 296 pp. Penguin Press. $30.

Vergangenheitsbewältigung = coming to terms with the past — and it carries connotations of a painful history that citizens would rather not confront but that must be confronted in order not to be repeated.
20th_century  African-Americans  bigotry  books  book_reviews  disenfranchisement  Henry_Louis_Gates  historians  history  Jim_Crow  John_Hope_Franklin  KKK  lynchings  memorabilia  racial_politics  Reconstruction  stereotypes  torture  white_nationalism  white_supremacy  imagery  Vergangenheitsbewältigung  W.E.B._Du_Bois  iconic 
april 2019 by jerryking
‘Businesses Will Not Be Able to Hide’: Spy Satellites May Give Edge From Above
Jan. 24, 2019 | The New York Times | By Cade Metz.

In October, the Chinese province of Guangdong — the manufacturing center on the southern coast that drives 12 percent of the country’s economy — stopped publishing a monthly report on the health of its local factories.

For five consecutive months, this key economic index had shown a drop in factory production as the United States applied billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese exports. Then, amid an increasingly bitter trade war between the United States and China, the government authorities in Beijing shut the index down.

A small start-up in San Francisco began rebuilding the index, lifting information from photos and infrared images of Guangdong’s factories captured by satellites orbiting overhead. The company, SpaceKnow, is now selling this information to hedge funds, banks and other market traders looking for an edge.

High-altitude surveillance was once the domain of global superpowers. Now, a growing number of start-ups are turning it into a business, aiming to sell insights gleaned from cameras and other sensors installed on small and inexpensive “cube satellites.”..... satellite analysis will ultimately lead to more efficient markets and a better understanding of the global economy.....as well...as a check on the world’s companies and governments....use satellite imagery to track everything from illegal mining and logging operations to large-scale home demolitions. .....All of this is being driven by a drop in the cost of building, launching and operating satellites. Today, a $3 million satellite that weighs less than 10 pounds can capture significantly sharper images than a $300 million, 900-pound satellite built in the late 1990s. That allows companies to put up dozens of devices, each of which can focus on a particular area of the globe or on a particular kind of data collection. As a result, more companies are sending more satellites into orbit, and these satellites are generating more data.

And recent advances in artificial intelligence allow machines to analyze this data with greater speed and accuracy. “The future is automation, with humans only looking at the very interesting stuff,” ......The start-ups buy their data from a growing number of satellite operators, and they build the automated systems that analyze the data, pinpointing objects like cars, buildings, mines and oil tankers in high-resolution photos and other images........What began with satellite cameras is rapidly expanding to infrared sensors that detect heat; “hyperspectral” sensors that identify minerals, vegetation and other materials; and radar scanners that can build three-dimensional images of the landscape below.....
artificial_intelligence  automation  competitive_advantage  indices  imagery  informational_advantages  infrared  insights  reconnaissance  satellites  sensors  slight_edge  surveillance  trade_wars 
january 2019 by jerryking
Computer vision: how Israel’s secret soldiers drive its tech success
November 20, 2018 | Financial Times | Mehul Srivastava in Tel Aviv.
.... those experiences that have helped such a tiny country become a leader in one of the most promising frontiers in the technology world: computer vision. Despite the unwieldy name it is an area that has come of age in the past few years, covering applications across dozens of industries that have one thing in common: the need for computers to figure out what their cameras are seeing, and for those computers to tell them what to do next.........Computer vision has become the connecting thread between some of Israel’s most valuable and promising tech companies. And unlike Israel’s traditional strengths— cyber security and mapping — computer vision slides into a broad range of different civilian industries, spawning companies in agriculture, medicine, sports, self-driving cars, the diamond industry and even shopping. 

In Israel, this lucrative field has benefited from a large pool of engineers and entrepreneurs trained for that very task in an elite, little-known group in the military — Unit 9900 — where they fine-tuned computer algorithms to digest millions of surveillance photos and sift out actionable intelligence. .........The full name for Unit 9900 — the Terrain Analysis, Accurate Mapping, Visual Collection and Interpretation Agency — hints at how it has created a critical mass of engineers indispensable for the future of this industry. The secretive unit has only recently allowed limited discussion of its work. But with an estimated 25,000 graduates, it has created a deep pool of talent that the tech sector has snapped up. 

Soldiers in Unit 9900 are assigned to strip out nuggets of intelligence from the images provided by Israel’s drones and satellites — from surveilling the crowded, chaotic streets of the Gaza Strip to the unending swaths of desert in Syria and the Sinai. 

With so much data to pour over, Unit 9900 came up with solutions, including recruiting Israelis on the autistic spectrum for their analytical and visual skills. In recent years, says Shir Agassi, who served in Unit 9900 for more than seven years, it learned to automate much of the process, teaching algorithms to spot nuances, slight variations in landscapes and how their targets moved and behaved.....“We had to take all these photos, all this film, all this geospatial evidence and break it down: how do you know what you’re seeing, what’s behind it, how will it impact your intelligence decisions?” .....“You’re asking yourself — if you were the enemy, where would you hide? Where are the tall buildings, where’s the element of surprise? Can you drive there, what will be the impact of weather on all this analysis?”

Computer vision was essential to this task....Teaching computers to look for variations allowed the unit to quickly scan thousands of kilometres of background to find actionable intelligence. “You have to find ways not just to make yourself more efficient, but also to find things that the regular eye can’t,” she says. “You need computer vision to answer these questions.”.....The development of massive databases — from close-ups of farm insects to medical scans to traffic data — has given Israeli companies a valuable headstart over rivals. And in an industry where every new image teaches the algorithm something useful, that has made catching up difficult.......“Computer vision is absolutely the thread that ties us to other Israeli companies,” he says. “I need people with the same unique DNA — smart PhDs in mathematics, neural network analysis — to tell a player in the NBA how to improve his jump shot.”
Israel  cyber_security  hackers  cyber_warfare  dual-use  Israeli  security_&_intelligence  IDF  computer_vision  machine_learning  Unit_9900  start_ups  gene_pool  imagery  algorithms  actionable_information  geospatial  mapping  internal_systems  PhDs  drones  satellites  surveillance  autism 
november 2018 by jerryking
The End of Typing: The Next Billion Mobile Users Will Rely on Video and Voice - WSJ
By Eric Bellman | Photographs by Karan Deep Singh/The Wall Street Journal
Aug. 7, 2017

Instead of typing searches and emails, a wave of newcomers—“the next billion,” the tech industry calls them—is avoiding text, using voice activation and communicating with images. They are a swath of the world’s less-educated, online for the first time thanks to low-end smartphones, cheap data plans and intuitive apps that let them navigate despite poor literacy.

Incumbent tech companies are finding they must rethink their products for these newcomers and face local competitors that have been quicker to figure them out. “We are seeing a new kind of internet user,” said Ceasar Sengupta, who heads a group at Alphabet Inc.’s Google trying to adapt to the new wave. “The new users are very different from the first billion.”
Google  India  video  voice_interfaces  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  visual_culture  imagery 
august 2017 by jerryking
Snap Makes a Bet on the Cultural Supremacy of the Camera - The New York Times
Farhad Manjoo
STATE OF THE ART MARCH 8, 2017

The rising dependence on cameras & picture-based communications system is changing the way we communicate and could alter society in big ways. ...Snap’s success or failure isn’t going to be determined this week or even this year. This is a company that’s betting on a long-term trend: the rise and eventual global dominance of visual culture.Snap calls itself a camera company. That’s a bit cute, considering that it only just released an actual camera, the Spectacles sunglasses, late last year. Snap will probably build other kinds of cameras, including potentially a drone.

But it’s best to take Snap’s camera company claim seriously, not literally. Snap does not necessarily mean that its primary business will be selling a bunch of camera hardware. It’s not going to turn into Nikon, Polaroid or GoPro. Instead it’s hit on something deeper and more important. Through both its hardware and software, Snap wants to enable the cultural supremacy of the camera, to make it at least as important to our daily lives as the keyboard.....the rising dependence on cameras is changing our language. Other than in face-to-face communication, we used to talk primarily in words. Now, more and more, from GIFs to emoji, selfies to image-macro memes and live video, we talk in pictures.
Farhad_Manjoo  Snap  Snapchat  visual_culture  cameras  big_bets  Communicating_&_Connecting  IPOs  Ikea  trends  Instagram  imagery  Polaroid 
march 2017 by jerryking
All hail the hashtag: How retailers are drawing you in, one Facebook post at a time - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2015

Welcome to Retail 3.0, in which retailers use social media in a bid to draw young shoppers such as Campos back to bricks-and-mortar outlets.

Just a few years ago trendy shops lured consumers with an in-store coffee bar or barber shop. But today a hot brew or hair trim isn’t enough: Retailers increasingly feel the pressure to attract cyber-savvy shoppers to their physical outlets with eye-catching social media experiences that can be shared multiple times.

The social-media initiatives range from fitting rooms in Kate Spade stores that provide a backdrop for selfies with “like?” in a speech bubble to luxury parka purveyor Nobis installing photo booths at its store launch parties; and department store Nordstrom, whose roots are in shoes, encouraging shoppers to “shoefie” (take a selfie of their footwear) next to the store’s name. The images, uploaded on social media, put a spotlight on the brands.....social-media posts can pump up sales during an event as much as 20 per cent. About 60 per cent of Canadian consumers say they’ve come into contact with different products and brands through social media and, of those, 46 per cent say the interactions resulted in them making more purchases, up from 32 per cent in 2014, according to a survey this year by consultancy PwC.
digital_influencers  event-driven  social_media  Retail_3.0  imagery  Marina_Strauss  product_launches  selfies  retailers  millennials  Instagram  Facebook  e-commerce  bricks-and-mortar  in-store  footwear 
october 2015 by jerryking
Black faces in art history begin with the Pharaohs - FT.com
March 13, 2015| FT | Martin Peretz.

Sir, In a standfirst to the review by Ariella Budick of the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibit of Kehinde Wiley’s paintings, the FT makes a horrendous mistake by asserting that “Black faces have long been excluded from art history” (“Old Masters remixed”, Life & Arts. Of course, if one were to do a count of black faces among the countless general chronicles in the field, that would be true. But the past quarter century has changed all that. More to the point, the founder of the Houston-based Menil Collection, Dominique de Menil, underwrote a vast project that has culminated in a five-volume, illustrated and gorgeous study of The Image of the Black in Western Art, (http://www.imageoftheblack.com/) edited by David Blackman and Henry Lewis Gates Jr.

It begins with the pharaohs and ends only yesterday.
letters_to_the_editor  art  Africans  books  Henry_Louis_Gates  museums  imagery  portraiture  exclusion  art_history 
march 2015 by jerryking
U.S. Scurries to Shore Up Spying on Russia - WSJ
By ADAM ENTOUS, JULIAN E. BARNES and SIOBHAN GORMAN CONNECT
Updated March 24, 2014

There were no Americans on the ground in Crimea to check reports of Russian military movements, U.S. officials say. The U.S. also didn't have drones overhead to gather real-time intelligence, officials say. That increased the U.S.'s reliance on satellite imagery and information gleaned from an analysis of social media, which was muddled by Russian disinformation. State Department officials declined to discuss any technical-intelligence activities.

If Mr. Putin decided to launch a takeover, many U.S. intelligence analysts thought he would use troops participating in the military exercises. Officials now say they underestimated the quality of Russian forces inside Crimea....U.S. military officials also made urgent calls to their counterparts in Russia. Not surprisingly, Russian military officials offered little information. Some of them claimed to be surprised. "It was classic maskirovka," says a senior U.S. official, using the Russian word for camouflage. Spies use the word to describe Moscow's tradition of sophisticated deception tactics.
espionage  surveillance  sigint  Russia  Crimea  imagery  satellites  security_&_intelligence  warning_signs  Vladimir_Putin  disinformation  camouflage  deception  intelligence_analysts 
november 2014 by jerryking
Traders Seek an Edge With High-Tech Snooping - WSJ.com
Dec. 18, 2013 | WSJ | By Michael Rothfeld and Scott Patterson.

A growing industry uses surveillance and data-crunching technology to supply traders with nonpublic information.

Genscape's clients include banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG, hedge funds including Citadel LLC and large energy-trading outfits such as Trafigura Beheer BV. Surveillance and analysis of the oil, electricity and natural-gas sectors can run Genscape clients more than $300,000 a year.
surveillance  data_driven  slight_edge  traders  hedge_funds  sleuthing  Genscape  sensors  commodities  corporate_espionage  competitive_intelligence  scuttlebutt  due_diligence  market_research  exclusivity  investment_research  research_methods  LBMA  nonpublic  primary_field_research  banks  Citadel  oil_industry  natural_gas  snooping  alternative_data  informational_advantages  imagery  satellites  infrared  electric_power 
december 2013 by jerryking
Searching for Clients From Above - WSJ.com
JULY 31, 2007 pg. B1 WSJ article by KEVIN J. DELANEY. More
Small Businesspeople Use Aerial Mapping Services To Scout Potential
Customers
small_business  Google  mapping  aerial  imagery  KEVIN_J._DELANEY 
march 2009 by jerryking

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