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Apple faces resistance from publishers over subscription news service

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  • Apple is facing pushback from publishers over its planned subscription service, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • The phone giant plans to keep half the subscription revenue it makes from the so-called “Netflix for news” service, which will cost about $10 a month.
  • Some publishers also are concerned that Apple won’t share customer data with them.

Apple is trying to line up big publishers to participate in its planned subscription service, but it’s facing pushback from outlets that are balking at the terms, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The phone giant reportedly plans to keep half the subscription revenue it makes from the so-called “Netflix for news” service, which could cost about $10 a month, and share the rest of the revenue with publishers.

Apple sees the service as a way to help shore up sales of its iPhones.

The report lists The New York Times and Washington Post as major outlets that haven’t agreed to be part of the service, while talks between Apple and The Journal are ongoing.

Those publications all get substantial revenue from selling subscriptions directly to consumers, and risk giving up revenue and a direct relationship with readers by being part of a subscription bundle. On the other hand, the subscription service represents a potentially huge audience of Apple device owners to be put in front of subscription publishers.

The strained relationship speaks to an ongoing tension between tech giants and publishers that depend on these tech companies for distribution but are wary of their control of the revenue, data, and publishers’ brand.

After being burned by Facebook, which has cut the amount of traffic it’s sending publishers, many publishers have found a welcome traffic source in Apple News, the news aggregation app that’s baked into Apple’s mobile products.

Apple News also represents a safe, hand-picked environment for quality news publishers. 

Publishers also have groused that despite helping send readers to their stories, Apple News doesn’t do much to help them sell advertising on those pageviews because of Apple’s historic anti-advertising stance.

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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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