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‘Black Mirror’ Gives Power to the People

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Netflix is not making any predictions. Quite the contrary.

“In five years, 10 years, we’ll either say, ‘Wow, “Black Mirror” was a real turning point for interactive content,’ or we’ll be going, ‘That was another false start,’ ” said Yellin, the Netflix executive.

Still, he has great hopes. “We have our eyes and ears wide open to the creative community — writers, producers, directors — for more ideas that would leverage this art form,” he said. “What are the new storytelling conventions that can be invented? We’re meeting with people now.”

Netflix, which has 137 million worldwide subscribers, says “Bandersnatch” is available across “most” newer devices, including TVs, game consoles, web browsers and Android and iOS devices running the latest version of the Netflix app. It won’t work on Chromecast, Apple TV and some legacy devices.

Since “Black Mirror” is always full of tricks, it’s perhaps inevitable that “Bandersnatch” undermines the whole notion of interactivity. The viewer is asked whether a murder should be committed, and if the answer is yes, there is a further decision: Bury the body or chop it up? It’s not much of a choice, which is of course the joke.

“I’m not in control!” Stefan rages to his therapist. One path the viewer can take develops into a mocking plug for Netflix, which did not exist in 1984. This is about the fourth meta level “Bandersnatch” ascends, or descends, to.

“You think you’re choosing your ending, but are you?” said Russell McLean, a “Bandersnatch” producer. “‘Black Mirror’ is choosing your ending.”

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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