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Baidu launches OpenEdge, an open source platform for edge computing

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Baidu has just announced China’s first open source edge computing platform – reflecting the country’s growing open source community.

Baidu, a cloud company and search giant sometimes known as the “Google of China,” unveiled OpenEdge at the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday.

“Edge computing is becoming more commonplace due to the rise of IoT devices,” Zun Wang, a Baidu spokesperson, told Business Insider. “It brings different kinds of compute power, especially for AI processing, to the edges of your network, allowing close proximity of your data source with the cloud.”

Edge computing means that the processing power is shifted away from the cloud and towards the “edge” — which is to say closer to the users who are using it. For example, edge devices might be gadgets people use each day, such as PCs, smartphones and tablets, or Internet of Things gadgetry like wearables and smart home appliances.

With OpenEdge, developers can build their own edge computing systems and deploy them on various devices and hardware. This platform include features that allow users program devices to collect data, send messages to each other, and generally “learn” from user behavior.

Previously, Baidu has led other open source projects like Apollo, its autonomous driving platform, and PaddlePaddle, an artificial intelligence framework. It also offers cloud services that are based on open source software created by other companies.

However, this is Baidu’s first open source initiative in edge computing, and the first coming out of China. Baidu hopes open sourcing this will improve the development of edge computing globally. It’s generally believed in the industry that developments in artificial intelligence, coupled with the rising demand for smart gadgets, self-driving cars, and industrial robotics, mean that edge computing will be the next big thing after cloud computing.

Read more:One of the biggest trends in tech over the last decade has been the shift to cloud computing — and we’re seeing the first signs of what might be next

“The explosive growth of IoT devices and rapid adoption of AI is fueling great demand for edge computing,” Watson Yin, Baidu Vice President and GM of Baidu Cloud, said in a statement. “And by providing an open source platform, we have also greatly simplified the process for developers to create their own edge computing applications.”

More recently, Baidu has been focusing on artificial intelligence and cloud computing. OpenEdge was originally designed as a part of Baidu Intelligent Edge, a commercial software product that works with Baidu Cloud, and will include functions to manage different edge computing applications.

“We wanted to let developers build their own edge computing system as well as contribute functions and edge apps to the existing platform,” said Wang, the Baidu spokesperson.

McFly, an agriculture technology company, has used Baidu’s software in drones to collect data about crops that helps it lower pesticide use. This is just one possible application of edge computing.

Similarly, Microsoft Azure also has an open source edge computing project, and offers edge computing services to developers. Amazon Web Services also offers edge computing services, but the underlying software is not available as open source.

Currently, China is seeing its slowest growth in decades, but despite the economic slowdown, analysts predict Baidu’s annual revenue increased by 20% in 2018.

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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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