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Administration Readies Order to Keep China Out of Wireless Networks

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Blocking only Huawei, according to government officials, would simply result in capital, personnel and know-how shifting to another Chinese company.

In commercial terms, the effect of the executive order on Huawei and ZTE is likely to be small. Large American cellular operators, such as AT&T and Verizon, have been effectively banned from buying from the Chinese vendors since a 2012 congressional report said that they could not be trusted to be free of interference from Beijing. That has left Huawei and ZTE with small, regional wireless operators as the only customers for their network equipment in the United States, despite being a large presence in Europe, Asia and elsewhere.

But the executive order has symbolic value amid the Trump administration’s broad and aggressive campaign to stymie the Chinese telecom equipment makers.

A Huawei spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Addressing reports of the executive order, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, said in December, “Despite not having any evidence, certain countries have politicized the normal exchanges and cooperation in science and technology.”

Ms. Hua added, “This actually amounts to shutting their own door to openness, progress and fairness.”

American officials had mulled a broader ban that would also prevent the export of American technology to Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies.

Such a ban could have set back Huawei’s ability to compete for 5G contracts at a critical time. In the next six months, many allies and partners will be deciding what technology to use in their next-generation networks, American officials said.

But the White House rejected the export ban, officials said, believing that it would hurt American companies who depend on sales to Chinese companies, threaten high-paying jobs and simply force Huawei and other companies to make their own competing components on a faster timetable.

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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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