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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Payments Canada announces second release of high-value payment system Lynx

National banking association Payments Canada announced the second release of Canada’s high-value payment system, Lynx, introducing the ISO 20022 financial messaging standard which allows more data to travel with each payment.

Additional data such as purchase order details and invoice reference numbers traveling with each payment allow for increased automation of manual and paper-based processes currently required to support payment reconciliation and exception handling.

This release follows the launch in August 2021 of Lynx, which replaced the Large Value Transfer System, the legacy electronic wire system that allowed the transfer of large payments for over 20 years.

Payments Canada said that the adoption of ISO 20022 will also help align Canadian financial institutions with Swift’s global implementation of ISO 20222. As other countries also adopt the standard, cross-border payments will also be simplified.

“The introduction of ISO 20022 messaging on the Lynx payment system represents a massive collaborative effort between Payments Canada, our member participants, the Bank of Canada and our technology partners IBM and Nexi,” said Tracey Black, president and chief executive officer (CEO) at Payments Canada. “Payments Canada is proud to bring the benefits of ISO 20022 to Canadians through Lynx at the same time as the global payment community. ISO 20022 is an integral part of our broader payment modernization initiative and provides a foundation for continued payment innovation in Canada.”

CRTC launches consultation to improve its Broadband Fund

The Canadian Radio Television Commission (CRTC) launched a consultation to improve its Broadband Fund, in an attempt to connect more rural, remote and Indigenous communities to the internet.

The Broadband Fund is the CRTC’s commitment to provide up to C$750 million over five years to improve high-speed internet and mobile services projects across Canada. To date, the CRTC has awarded up to C$226.5 million.

The CRTC is proposing to make the application process faster and easier. It also wants to create a new funding stream for Indigenous communities and to fund projects that would increase the reliability of rural and remote networks.

The CRTC is accepting comments until July 21, 2023. Comments can be submitted by:

filling out the online form,
writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, or
sending a fax to (819) 994-0218.

All comments received will form part of the public record and will inform the CRTC’s decision.

Talk with the AI version of your favorite idols with WordUp’s new Fantasy Chat

WordUp, an AI-based English learning app has introduced Fantasy Chat, allowing users to talk about any topic with an AI version of their idols, celebrities, or politicians.

The company says this new feature is an entertaining way to practice English and expand one’s vocabulary.

Over 10,000 famous people are available on the platform for users to chat with.

This innovative AI use case is an example of how Generative AI is redefining education, WordUp said in its release.

The company says that the new feature also addresses the challenge of users learning a passive, rather than active vocabulary, meaning they could understand the words when facing them but could not recall and use them in real-time conversations. 

TD Bank launches new accessibility tool

TD Bank Group has announced the launch of TD Adapted Accessibility, an accessibility tool to enable more inclusive and accessible online banking user experiences. 

Created by the TD Lab, a division dedicated to researching and building innovative solutions, the new tool is designed as a browser plug-in that gives accommodation controls back to the user, enabling them to personalize their online experience without using overlays that can impact usability.

Some of the accessibility preferences include reading guides, adjustable font size, dark mode, a dyslexia-friendly font, bionic reading, and monochrome mode.

“When we think about accessibility, it’s often with respect to meeting accessibility requirements, but I think we can do better than that,” said Samantha Estoesta, product manager – social innovation specialization at TD and product owner of the TD Adapted Accessibility tool. “For real inclusion, we should be looking at making experiences – experiences that some of us take for granted – seamless for everyone.”

The tool will be piloted in the U.S. with over 6,000 front-line retail colleagues of TD Bank, using a modernized retail platform available to all users regardless of whether they have self-identified their requirements and preferences. The pilot participation is expected to increase to nearly 10,000 U.S. TD colleagues by the end of 2023.

Netcrawler expands its coverage across almost all of Ontario

Markham-based independent internet service provider (ISP), Netcrawler has announced that it has expanded its coverage to more than 87 per cent of Ontario residents.

The company says it expects to triple its customer base within the next 12 months before further expanding across the rest of Ontario and then Western Canada. 

Netcrawler has also committed to extending its services to remote communities.

“This expansion represents an important milestone for our company,” said Rajinthan Rajalingam, president and CEO of Netcrawler. “With the recent buying spree by major players in the telecom industry, the last few months have been a challenging time for all independent service providers. We are fortunate that we were able to grow beyond our projections during this period.”

Customers in Ontario will also benefit from Netcrawler’s newly adopted technologies to improve their network performance, increase bandwidth, all while maintaining low internet prices, the company says.

More to explore

Will ChatGPT eliminate jobs? Two Gartner analysts predict it will not

Numbers frequently tell a story, which is why the following is of such importance: It took two years for Twitter to get to one million users, roughly 10 months for Facebook, upwards of two and-a-half months for Spotify, a month for Instagram, and for OpenAI’s ChatGPT, all of five days following its launch in late November.

SAP endorses Coveo’s AI Search and Recommendations Platform for SAP Commerce Cloud

Coveo Solutions Inc., a Montreal-based artificial intelligence (AI) company set on transforming digital experiences, has announced that its AI-powered search and recommendation platform for SAP Commerce Cloud – Coveo AI Search and Recommendations – is now officially endorsed by SAP and available in the SAP Store.

Intel launches vPro platform with 13th gen Intel Core

With a focus on security, this week Intel launched its new vPro platform powered by the 13th Gen Intel Core (“Alder Lake”) processors.

ABC Life Literacy Canada announces new digital literacy resources to combat online fraud

ABC Life Literacy Canada is releasing new resources which aim to educate Canadians on online fraud.

Accenture to slash 19,000 jobs, lowers forecasts

Leading consultancy group Accenture announced in a SEC filing that it will cut 19,000 jobs in the next 18 months, in a bid to reduce costs amid economic uncertainty.

Shopify and Google Cloud AI Integration offers advanced ecommerce capabilities to retailers

Today, Shopify Inc and Google Cloud have announced an integration that allows retailers using Commerce Components such as Shopify’s enterprise retail solution to leverage Google-quality search capabilities and artificial intelligence (AI) innovations.

TrueFort’s partner program to include PWC Canada, potentially KPMG

TrueFort, a Zero Trust-based security company founded by former IT executives from Bank America and Goldman Sachs, is engaging with global system integrators to address the Canadian market, and is in active trials with PwC’s Canadian Zero Trust lab and in discussions with KPMG Canada, says Jay Dosanjh, the firm’s vice president of channels and alliances.

Twitter source code leaked, demands GitHub reveal who posted it there

Parts of Twitter’s source code have been leaked online, possibly by a disgruntled employee.

Channel Bytes March 24, 2023 – Commvault appoints Americas sales VP; Nutanix releases Enterprise Cloud Index; Microsoft to block traffic from unpatched Exchange servers; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Hashtag Trending Mar. 28 – Twitter source code appears on GitHub, Google says it’s not using private Gmail accounts to train its AI, Microsoft claims its AI bot has early signs of AGI

Listen to the latest episode of Cybersecurity Today

Cyber Security Today, March 27, 2023 – Crooks are using email scams to steal computer hardware, a WooComerce warning, and more

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances

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

The post Coffee briefing Mar. 28 – CRTC launches consultation for Broadband Fund; second release of Lynx; WordUp’s new AI Fantasy chat; and more first appeared on IT World Canada.

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