Coding Dojo: A Prominent Analytics and Data Science Institute for Tech Enthusiasts
The importance of Data Science brings together the domain expertise from programming, mathematics, and statistics to create insights and make sense of data. When we think about why data science is increasingly becoming important, the answer lies in the fact that the value of data is soaring. Data Science is revolutionizing almost every industry and gaining popularity day by day. Data Science dominates its emerging job ranking with a whopping 37% hiring growth over the past three years.
Coding Dojo is a leading technology education institute that oﬀers a three-full-stack programming Bootcamp, as well as part-time courses on in-demand emerging technologies, such as Data Science, Web Development, and Cybersecurity. Since 2013, this company has been the only 14-week Bootcamp program available that can successfully train developers in three full stacks.
Encouraging Programming Literacy Among Non-Tech Individuals
Coding Dojo is a global educational institution that is transforming lives through programming literacy. Through accelerated training programs, a proprietary Learning Management System, and dedicated career services, people with no technical background can reskill to meet the needs of the 21st-century economy and pursue more lucrative careers in tech.
Innovative Courses that Motivate Learning
Coding Dojo’s innovative curriculum and proprietary learning management system are designed to train students to become self-sufficient developers and data scientists, regardless of their technical background or lack thereof. Programs at Coding Dojo retrain workers to address the growing workforce skills gap and empower individuals to pursue meaningful careers in the thriving digital economy. Coding Dojo has invested seven years and millions of dollars into its proprietary learning management system, which offers educational experiences for learners of all backgrounds and includes hundreds of hours of videos, assignments, lessons, and projects for its B2C students and corporate partners.
Specifically, its part-time Data Science Bootcamp is a deep dive into the fundamentals of data science and machine learning in Python. Throughout the 12-week and part-time course, students gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire data science process from end-to-end, including data preprocessing, data analysis, and visualization, as well as how to properly apply machine learning algorithms to various situations or tasks. Graduates also walk away with a portfolio of projects to showcase their data science acumen to prospective employers.
This course is beginner and advanced-friendly, implying that students who have no prior experience can enroll, along with more seasoned developers who want to be introduced to the data science space.
A Visionary’s Determination to Contribute to the Industry
The CEO and Co-founder of Coding Dojo, Richard Wang, is involved in driving the institute’s product strategy and course offerings. As the institute specializes in technical training programs, the meteoric rise of data science throughout the last decade could not be ignored, said the CEO. Keeping in mind the solid job growth numbers and even more promising outlook for job growth in the future, nearly two years ago the data science program was created by the institute.
Initially, Richard engaged with the Chief Data Scientist for Army AI Task Force to create the institute’s first data science curriculum, which was a five-week program that offered a much higher-level introduction to the industry. Since then, multiple data scientists and educators have been hired to build upon the foundational curriculum and have made countless iterations to the content to keep it up to date on the industry trends. The end result is a polished, relevant, and valuable course that equips students with the skills and knowledge required to land a great job in data science.
Providing Agile Programs for Data Science Enthusiasts Coding Dojo’s data science program covers the most marketable skills in data science in a convenient part-time schedule. The institute opted to launch a part-time program to cater to workers who do not want to leave their current job, which has been relevant especially throughout the pandemic. It is great for people that need to work or have other commitments outside the program, helping them learn in such a short amount of time.
The program is designed for people of all backgrounds and experience levels. There are no barriers to entry in the data science field. Additionally, Coding Dojo’s curriculum can be adjusted much quicker than other programs (such as the university programs), and this enables the institute to be agile and also ensures that the newest and most in-demand skills are taught.
Getting Future Ready with Practical Exposure
The curriculum of the institute uses real data, and it is easy for the students to get comfortable with the ambiguity or “messiness” of real-world data. For instance, students can choose any data set they want for the course’s capstone project. This creates an opportunity for the students who are currently employed to work with their company’s data, or partnering with a startup to work with their data, or volunteering for a nonprofit organization to donate data science work.
The entire 12-week course has a heavy focus on applied data science. The end result is graduates who are ready and knowledgeable enough to make an immediate impact on their current organization or to hit the ground running in their new careers.
Transforming Analytics and Big Data Education
Coding Dojo has set out to be an eminent source of technical training around the world. There is a massive demand for data scientists and analysts in every industry in the digital economy, and Coding Dojo will be a major supplier of that talent and provide economic opportunity for workers globally, as a result.
Notable Awards and Achievements
The institute has been recognized for its excellence in education with several awards some of which include:
• Best Platform for Adult Learning, Finalist, SIIA Codie Awards 2021
• Best Professional Development Learning Solution, Finalist, EdTech Digest Cool Tools 2021
• Best Learning Management System, Finalist, Tech Edvocate Awards 2020
• Best Online Bootcamps 2021, Switch Up
• Best Bootcamps 2020-2021, Course Report
• Top 10 Best Online Bootcamps, Best Colleges
• MIT Inclusive Innovation Award, Winner 2016
Barriers Faced by Coding Dojo at the Forefront of Analytics
Richard believes the data science industry is extremely fast-paced and is growing rapidly, which means the core technologies and tools involved are ever-changing. For example, many of the cutting-edge NLP models were only created in the past 2-3 years. Even many programs that created their curricula in 2017 or 2018 are also going to be out of date. To address these challenges, there is a modular curriculum that can be updated as new technologies or other industry trends emerge.
Future Growth Projection of Analytics Education.
The importance of data literacy is rapidly increasing as the world is dominated and driven by data. “To stay relevant, or even informed about things that are used every day, it is needed to know how to work with data. So, the importance of analytics education is increasing and not just for analysts, data scientists, etc. but for everyone who works in tech,” said Richard.
This trend will only accelerate in the coming years as the field will see 11.5 million new jobs created by 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Amazon fined $886m for data law breach
Amazon has been fined $886.6m (£636m) by Luxembourg’s National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD), it states the ecommerce giant’s data processing did not comply with European Union laws.
The commission issued the fine to Amazon on 16 July according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.
Amazon says in a statement: “We believe the CNPD’s decision to be without merit and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.”
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR ) framework demand companies gain user consent before using personal data, or risk massive fines.
The Wall Street Journal reported in June, Amazon could be fined more than $425m for violation GDPR rules.
Technology companies have seen increased scrutiny from regulators as concerns on privacy and misinformation rise. Complaints have also risen from some businesses on technology giants abusing their market power.
Zoom to pay $86m for US class-action lawsuit
Video conferencing brand Zoom has stated it will pay $86m (£61m) to settle a class-action privacy lawsuit in the US.
The lawsuit accuses Zoom of invading the privacy of millions of users by sharing personal data with Facebook Google and LinkedIn.
It also says Zoom misstated that it offers end to end encryption and has failed to prevent hackers from “zoombombing” sessions.
Zoom has denied any wrongdoings but agrees to bolster security practices.
The preliminary settlement is still subject to approval by a US district judge. A provision in the settlement also states the company must provide staff specialised training in data handling and privacy.
A Zoom spokesperson says: “The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take seriously the trust our users place in us.
“We are proud of the advancements we have made to our platform and look forward to continuing to innovate with privacy and security at the forefront.”
The lawsuit was filed by Zoom Meetings paid subscribers in March 2020 and is one of several legal complaints against the video conferencing company.
Patagonia rallies creative volunteers for environmental action
Patagonia is calling for the creative and digital communities to offer their skills to hard-hit environmental non-profits to tackle the climate crisis.
Professional recruitment for creatives is “out of reach for non-profits” says Patagonia, which has been exacerbated by the reduction in donations over the pandemic.
To connect volunteers the clothing brand launched its digital platform Patagonia Action Works in 2018, to connect 1,000 grassroots environmental groups in the UK and globally.
Skilled volunteering opportunities can range from one hour of lunch break consultancy to a major collaboration, in fields such as translations, graphic design, web development, audience research, copywriting and social media.
So far, the platform has matched more than 2,600 volunteers with environmental non-profits yielding 55,000 hours of worked time.
In the UK alone, volunteers have given over 1,000 hours of their time to help environmental NGOs such as Protect Our Winters, London Waterkeeper, Inside Scottish Salmon Feedlots, Power for People and The Irish Wildlife Trust.
Volunteering has saved UK groups nearly £185,000 in consultancy fees.
Patagonia EMEA environmental action and initiatives director Beth Thoren says: “The past 16 months have been extremely challenging for everyone, in a multitude of ways. Environmental NGOs are struggling with reduced funding, whilst seeing the planet shift further and faster into crisis.
“We know that skilled volunteering is of huge value to environmental organisations and it is also extremely enriching to individuals looking for meaningful work, or a step up towards a career in the NGO sector. If you have digital, creative or social media skills, I urge you to visit Patagonia Action Works and find out how to get involved.”
Hyundai drives sustainability message through BBC Future Planet
Hyundai will be the exclusive sponsor of climate change publication BBC Future Planet, in a bid to reach a wider audience.
BBC Future Plante is the first major online publication with a sole focus on climate change. By sponsoring, the carmaker is aiming to reach global audiences looking to create a more sustainable world.
As part of the sponsorship the commercial content studio of BBC Global News, BBC StoryWorks, has created a documentary-style film highlighting Hyundai’s partnership with the ocean conservation organisation, Healthy Seas, to combat ocean pollution, nurture sustainable marine ecosystems, and support a circular economy.
The film shows a story of how an abandoned fish farm on the coast of Greek island Ithaca, was developed to become the solution to Hyundai’s sustainable car interiors.
Production for the film was conducted sustainably, by driving electrified vehicles from London to Greece instead of flying, the crew choosing to eat vegan meals and using solar power to charge equipment.
The film also explores the devastating effect of a storm on the fish farm, which in its wake left the sea littered with industrial waste, ropes, pipes and fishing nets.
BBC Global News EVP of international ad sales Sean O’Hara says: “Sustainable brands looking to communicate their green practices have long been commercial partners of BBC Global News due to our relevant and engaging content, our global and affluent audience, and our own commitment to being carbon neutral.”
Hyundai Motor Europe President and CEO Michael Cole adds: “Beyond providing zero-emission mobility solutions on land, we also care about protecting fragile ecosystems at sea. That is why we partnered with Healthy Seas throughout this project. With the BBC we were able to win an important partner to tell our story. Together, we have successfully overcome the tremendous logistical challenges to make this vision become a reality!”
Ladbrokes drums up anticipation for football kick-off
Ladbrokes is launching its latest campaign in preparation for the new football season and build on its ‘Drummers’ campaign from the Euro 2020 tournament.
The latest campaign is split into two parts across the week to reflect the build-up of anticipation as the week progresses.
Each week Ladbrokes will start by running an ad across TV, OOH and digital. The ad shows drummers slowly raising drumsticks anticipating the sound of commentary which builds tension and excitement for the weekend kick-off.
The second phase of the campaign will show in the ad drummers crashing sticks into their drum kits to showcase their passion and support for their clubs.
The campaign will show one set of fans this month and then refreshed with a new cast in October to show more clubs and fans.
On its advertising strategy, Ladbrokes will push a nationwide digital OOH campaign throughout the season which will deliver contextual localised messaging and tap into the big football topics of the week.
On the opening match of the season, Ladbrokes will target fans of all 92 league clubs in England with specific messages welcoming them back for the new season through a combination of OOH and digital advertising.
The ad was shot by Rogue Films, with work done by agency Neverland and media campaign planning from the7Stars.
Ladbrokes head of brand marketing Stewart Townsend says: “Our latest campaign brilliantly captures the excitement of football and helps to establish Ladbrokes as an entertainment brand. The drummers are back and we are using them to express the tension and anticipation that fans feel in the days and hours leading up to a weekend kick-off.”
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Microsoft Replaces Xamarin Toolkits with New .NET MAUI Alternatives
As Xamarin.Forms morphs into the new .NET MAUI offering, Microsoft is replacing Xamarin toolkits with .NET MAUI alternatives.
The open source NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI) is a cross-platform framework for creating native mobile and desktop apps with C# and XAML, described by Microsoft as the evolution of Xamarin.Forms. Key to that evolution is the addition of desktop development support in addition to support for traditional iOS and Android mobile apps.
The company is unifying the entire .NET ecosystem into one offering with .NET 6, due to debut in November. In preparation for that, it’s providing alternative .NET MAUI toolkit replacements for traditional Xamarin toolkits. The latter include Xamarin.Essentials, which provides developers with cross-platform APIs for mobile apps, and Xamarin Community Toolkit, which includes commonly found behaviors, converters, effects, MVVM utilities and controls including the CameraView, AvatarView and TabView.
“.NET MAUI is the future of Xamarin.Forms and .NET MAUI Essentials is the future of Xamarin.Essentials,” Microsoft said in a recent blog post. “.NET MAUI Essentials is part of the .NET MAUI GitHub repo and has been under active development to seamlessly transition to .NET MAUI.”
With the recent release of .NET MAUI Preview 6 (part of .NET 6 Preview 6) the Essentials bits were directly integrated into .NET MAUI.
“When you create a new .NET MAUI application, it will use the new .NET MAUI workload and you will see
<UseMaui>true</UseMaui> in the .csproj,” Microsoft said. “With this enabled all of .NET MAUI Essentials comes into your project! All you need to do is add
using Microsoft.Maui.Essentials; and all of the APIs you know and love are at your fingertips.
“We know that there are developers today that will be updating their existing Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android apps to .NET 6 without .NET MAUI and still want to leverage all of the APIs in Xamarin.Essentials. We have you covered as well as you can add
<UsingMauiEssentials>true</UsingMauiEssentials> to your .NET 6 iOS and Android apps to bring in all of the latest APIs.”
With the sunsetting of Xamarin.Essentials, it will continue to be serviced through November 2022, but new features and APIs will only be added to .NET MAUI Essentials going forward. Under the new plan, Microsoft last week announced Xamarin.Essentials 1.7, focusing on critical bug fixes but also enhancing the Web Authenticator API, which adds authentication to apps and integrates with many providers using a server backend powered by ASP.NET Core. Specifically, the v1.7 release notes say, the team “Added ability to clear login information on iOS with
PrefersEphemeralWebBrowserSession on the new
Also getting sunsetted is the Xamarin Community Toolkit, Microsoft announced earlier this month, being replaced by a .NET MAUI Community Toolkit that is backwards compatible and comes in two NuGet packages,
CommunityToolkit.Maui.Markup, that are scheduled for previews next month.
“Like the Xamarin Community Toolkit, the .NET MAUI Community Toolkit is fully open source and community supported!” Microsoft said. “We are currently working on porting the features from Xamarin Community Toolkit to the .NET MAUI Community Toolkit, and encourage you to continue helping us out.” Developers can do so by going to the respective CommunityToolkit.Maui and CommunityToolkit.Maui.Markup GitHub repos.
More guidance on Microsoft’s plans for .NET MAUI can be found in the roadmap.
ASHLAND, Ky. — Registration for Workforce Solutions classes that help students learn about website development are now open.
Among those are “Designing Effective Websites,” “Managing Web Design Projects” and “Creating WordPress Websites.”
Price and length for classes vary, with options for instructor-led and self-paced instruction. Classes open Aug. 18.
Students complete these interactive courses entirely over the Internet. All courses are led by expert instructors, many of whom are nationally known authors. These courses are affordable, fun, fast and convenient.
To search for the classes listed above or to see the entire catalog of classes, visit https://www.ed2go.com/actc to find course descriptions, instructor information and user-friendly instructions.
For more information, contact Robin Harris, Director of Workforce Solutions, at [email protected]
Amazon Web Services has stolen a march on Microsoft’s cloud desktop plans by adding browser access to its WorkSpaces desktop-as-a-service offering.
Browser access will only work for WorkSpaces running Windows. Linux users are out in the cold and AWS hasn’t said when or if penguin-powered desktops will get to play. The service uses Amazon’s WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol (WSP), which doesn’t allow use of graphics-intensive instance types. AWS customers that run WorkSpaces from the Asia Pacific (Mumbai) and GovCloud (US-West) Regions also need not apply.
For the rest of us, the service means browsers are now approved clients for an AWS WorkSpace – but not without complications. WorkSpaces set up to stream over the PCoIP protocol will work in Chrome or Firefox. WSP WorkSpaces can use any Chromium-based browser.
AWS’s rationale for the new access offering is that it “allows users to remain productive when connecting from computers where a web browser experience may be optimal, for example on personally-owned or locked-down devices where installing and maintaining a client application can be challenging.”
Which sounds reasonable given there’s been quite an increase in working remotely lately for … certain reasons about which The Register assumes readers don’t need to be reminded.
AWS’s documentation for the option doesn’t suggest it costs any more than the current option to access WorkSpaces with a client app.
The service is not a flick-a-switch affair. Would-be users will need to enable web access for their workspaces, tickle some network settings, and then reboot the virtual PC.
AWS’s addition of web access for WorkSpaces comes hot on the heels of Microsoft’s announcement of cloudy PCs under the Windows 365 moniker. Microsoft’s forthcoming services will also include web access.
Microsoft styles Windows 365 as SaaS – a contrast with the PaaS approach of its Azure Virtual desktop. AWS WorkSpaces are in the latter camp, so adding web access is nice but won’t really make the service a direct challenge to Windows 365. ®
Wanna use your Nvidia GPU for acceleration but put off by CUDA? OpenAI has a Python-based alternative • The Register
In brief If you’ve always wanted to program your Nvidia GPU to accelerate machine learning, image processing, and other workloads, but find Nv’s CUDA too daunting or too much of a faff to learn, you’re in luck.
OpenAI late last month released Triton, a Python-based environment that tries to help developers write and compile code to run on your Nvidia GPU much more easily without having to grapple with CUDA.
The San Francisco upstart has been using Triton to optimize their software so that their machine-learning algorithms run more efficiently on specialized hardware. Building state-of-the-art models is costly, developers have to be able to train and tweak their performance quickly, which requires writing custom GPU kernels.
“We’re releasing Triton 1.0, an open-source Python-like programming language which enables researchers with no CUDA experience to write highly efficient GPU code—most of the time on par with what an expert would be able to produce,” OpenAI said. “Triton makes it possible to reach peak hardware performance with relatively little effort; for example, it can be used to write FP16 matrix multiplication kernels that match the performance of cuBLAS — something that many GPU programmers can’t do—in under 25 lines of code.”
You can read more about Triton and its documentation here. Support for other GPUs, such as AMD’s, is said to be coming.
Evidence of computer-detected gunshot withdrawn from trial
Prosecutors in America have withdrawn from a murder trial evidence of what was said to be a gunshot detected by classification algorithms.
One evening in May last year, Safarain Herring, 25, was shot in the head, and died two days later in hospital. Michael Williams, 64, was charged with his slaying, and denies any wrongdoing: he said Herring was killed by someone else in a drive-by shooting. Williams was said to have brought Herring to St Bernard Hospital in Chicago.
Cities in the United States have a system built by ShotSpotter dotted around their streets; this consists of microphones attached to computer systems programmed to identify the sound of gunfire and automatically alert the cops to the location.
One of the pieces of evidence against Williams claims ShotSpotter’s sensors in Chicago identified gunfire where surveillance cameras had seen Williams stop his car by a south-side Chicago block, right when and where the cops said Herring was shot.
However, Williams’ lawyer submitted paperwork [PDF] claiming ShotSpotter actually detected a firework a mile away from that location, and that ShotSpotter later reclassified the bang as a gunshot and the location as being where Williams was seen on camera, Vice first reported.
Williams’ lawyer demanded the court hold an inquiry into the ShotSpotter evidence, and the prosecutors simply withdrew it.
ShotSpotter responded by denying at length it improperly altered any data or evidence, and hit back at any suggestion it had done so to help the police make a case. It said its software generates real-time alerts automatically, and staff later analyze the microphone readings to submit forensic reports for the courts, and these final reports can therefore differ from the initial alerts.
“The idea that ShotSpotter ‘alters’ or ‘fabricates’ evidence in any way is an outrageous lie and would be a criminal offense,” it said in a statement. “We follow the facts and data for our forensic analysis. Period.”
Apple Watch data problematic for health study
Algorithms used to monitor things like heart rate and sleep patterns running on Apple Watches may not be useful in academic research.
JP Onnela, an associate professor of biostatistics at the public health school arm of Harvard University, discovered this the hard way when he asked his collaborator Hassan Dawood, a research fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, to upload his heart rate data recorded by his Apple Watch.
To his surprise, when they exported data twice from the same samples taken over the same time period they discovered a big discrepancy between the recordings. The same heart rate reading exported once on September 5, 2020 and, again, on April 15, 2021 should be the same but they were different.
Onnela reckons Apple’s code could be to blame. “These algorithms are what we would call black boxes — they’re not transparent. So it’s impossible to know what’s in them,” he told The Verge. The lack of transparency means Apple may have tweaked its software, making it difficult for the researchers to trust the data collected by the iGiant’s devices.
Apple, however, said there wasn’t an issue with its algorithms and that the issue probably lies in the exportation process. Either way, the errors show that it’s probably not a trustworthy source of data that should be used for academic purposes.
You can read more about the experiment here. ®
Following the launch of the Zoom web app, Google has announced a new standalone web app for Google Meet also known as Progressive Web Application (PWA). All the features of Google Meet are available on this web app but it’s strictly for the web. The new development has eased the complications of joining the meeting by typing the URL or via Gmail and now it can be done by downloading the app on a laptop, computer, or MacBook.
Difference between Google Meet and Google Meet web app
There is no significant functional difference between the Google Meet web app and Google meet. The web app is just a website version of Google Meet which can simply be downloaded to join a meeting.
Speaking on the web app, Google said, “We’ve launched a new Google Meet standalone web app. This Progressive Web Application (PWA) has all the same features as Google Meet on the web, but as a standalone app it’s easier to find and use, and it streamlines your workflow by eliminating the need to switch between tabs.”
How to download Google Meet Web App?
Visit Chrome browser to download and install the web app. It will only be available when installed on a user’s device. Google page will also show pop-ups to download the app, one can either click on the installation button to download or close the window ifone already has one.
Google has informed that the app would be rolled out gradually and the users will be available to download it within 15 days. The web app would be available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers and users with personal Google Accounts.
The Google Meet web app is handy to Chromebook users and it runs on devices with Google Chrome browser version 73 and up irrespective of the operating system. This means that the Google Meet can run on Windows, MacOS, Chrome OS, and Linux devices.
Zoom web app
Zoom’s brand new Progressive Web App is available on the Google Play store from June 29 as an improvement over Zoom’s current Chrome and Chrome OS app. It has all the features of Zoom’s desktop version and a few additional ones like enabling or disabling video receiving, requesting remote control, and even launching polls or Q&A sessions.
(Image credit: Unsplash)
Singapore’s Quantum Engineering Programme teams up with Amazon Web Services to boost development of quantum technologies
The National University of Singapore (NUS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for a collaboration to boost the development of quantum communication and computing technologies, and explore potential industry applications of quantum capabilities.
Quantum computing has the potential to solve computational problems that are beyond the reach of classical computers by harnessing the laws of quantum mechanics to build more powerful tools for processing information. Developing quantum algorithms and designing useful quantum applications require new skills and potentially radically different approaches. Quantum communication offers encryption resistant to computational hacks and new possibilities in networking.
The collaboration is led by the Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP), a national initiative launched in 2018 by the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF), which aims to leverage quantum technologies to solve real-world problems. The programme is hosted by NUS.
Under the MoU, AWS will support QEP in the development of quantum computing research and projects, and connect to the National Quantum-Safe Network for quantum communications. Both areas include the identification of use cases and development of applications that could support future commercialisation of Singapore-designed quantum computing and communication technologies, and the joint organisation of academic, scientific, and public outreach activities like seminars, workshops, festivals, and conferences.
Professor Chen Tsuhan, NUS Deputy President (Research & Technology), said, “Singapore’s journey to becoming a knowledge-based economy requires a right mix of world-class talent, cutting-edge infrastructure, and a well-established knowledge transfer ecosystem. A cornerstone of this vision is the QEP hosted at NUS, which brings together expertise in quantum science and engineering, and aims to translate radical innovations into commercialisable solutions. This collaboration between QEP and AWS is a crucial enabler for the nation’s full digital transformation and opens the door to a quantum-ready future.”
Quantum technologies have been identified as a key technology area under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 Plan, which NRF manages. The collaboration between QEP and AWS will accelerate the development of innovations and solutions in this field.
Mr Ling Keok Tong, Director (Smart Nation and Digital Economy) at NRF, said, “Through our early and steady investments over the last 20 years, Singapore has developed world-class capabilities in quantum technologies. We intend to collaborate with AWS to bring these technologies to fruition through actual products and services, and continue to spur our local research ecosystem to push the envelope in developing capabilities and technologies that are of interest to the industry.”
“Singapore has built its quantum technology expertise over many years. AWS is delighted to collaborate with QEP to accelerate the quantum innovation in Singapore working directly with researchers, developers, governments, and organisations,” said Ms Tan Lee Chew, ASEAN Managing Director, Worldwide Public Sector, AWS. “We are committed to making quantum technology accessible to any customer to experiment and explore the technology’s potential to develop industry-focused solutions that solve meaningful customer challenges.”
QEP and AWS forged the collaboration on a common goal of growing capabilities in the quantum community.
Since its establishment, QEP has supported eight major research projects to further the development of quantum technologies. New projects include exploring more powerful hardware and software solutions for quantum computers (which could eventually outperform today’s supercomputers) for commercial tasks like optimising delivery routes for goods, simulating chemicals to help design drugs, or making manufacturing more efficient. These solutions could become a reality when larger, more advanced quantum computers become available. Meanwhile, the National Quantum-Safe Network will see the integration of highly secure quantum communication systems into local fibre networks.
QEP also nurtures opportunities that involve local and international companies in Singapore’s vibrant innovation ecosystem.
AWS supports democratised access to quantum computing through Amazon Braket, a fully managed quantum computing service that helps researchers and developers get started with the technology to accelerate research and discovery. Amazon Braket provides access to three types of quantum hardware, including quantum annealers and gate-based systems built on superconducting qubits and on trapped ions, as well as tools to run hybrid quantum and classical algorithms. Amazon Braket’s cross-platform developer tools provide a consistent experience so users do not need to learn multiple development environments, making it easy to explore which quantum computing technology is the best fit for an application.
“QEP is preparing Singapore to be a hub for innovation in quantum devices and services, and making this a success will require combining efforts with industry”, said Associate Professor Alexander Ling, Director of the QEP. “We are delighted that AWS is bringing its breadth and depth of cloud technologies to support this shared vision. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of this collaboration,” added Assoc Prof Ling, who is also from the NUS Department of Physics, and is a Principal Investigator at the Centre for Quantum Technologies.
Jack Dorsey’s side hustle – payments outfit Square – acquires buy now pay later darling Afterpay for $29bn • The Register
Square, the credit card processing company run by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, has announced plans to acquire Australian buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) outfit Afterpay for $29 billion.
Afterpay offers shoppers the chance to acquire goods and services with four fortnightly payments. Merchants pay a commission for each Afterpay sale, often at higher rates than those charged by credit card companies. But consumers can use Afterpay free of charge if they pay on time. Even if punters miss a payment, the initial $10 late fee can be less than credit card interest on the same purchase.
Also known as Clearpay in Europe, Afterpay is an Australian company and launched in 2015. A trading update [PDF] issued today reports it has 16.2 million active customers, 98,200 merchant members, revenue of A$925 million (US$679M) and facilitated $21.1 billion of sales in FY 2021.
Square, which offers credit card processing facilities for merchants without the need to sign up with a bank, says it will use the acquisition to offer merchants more payment options.
“Square and Afterpay have a shared purpose. We built our business to make the financial system more fair, accessible, and inclusive, and Afterpay has built a trusted brand aligned with those principles,” said Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Square, in a canned statement .
While Afterpay has enjoyed extraordinary growth, it has challenges.
One is that its BNPL product has been widely imitated. PayPal, for example, rushed to create its own “Pay in 4” offering. A rival named “Klarna” has attracted investment from China’s Alibaba Group. Chinese web giants Baidu and Tencent have added BNPL features to their e-commerce offerings. Banks and credit card companies have also started to flex their muscles to head off the threat BNPL poses to their rich streams of commission revenue and interest payments.
Another challenge is regulatory. BNPL doesn’t meet conventional definitions of consumer debt, which means people in financial stress can find it easy to access and borrow beyond their means. Regulators around the world are alive to the risks that situation poses, and several have started to consider how to ensure BNPL does not evade consumer credit laws.
Square’s statement outlines plans to integrate Afterpay into its existing Seller and Cash App business units, to enable even the smallest of merchants to offer BNPL at checkout, give Afterpay consumers the ability to manage their instalment payments directly in Cash App, and give Cash App customers the ability to discover merchants and BNPL offers directly within the app.”
Cash App is a peer-to-peer payment tool with over 70 million users, so Afterpay’s reach will expand markedly once the deal is done.
The transaction is expected to be conducted in Square stock and to conclude in the first quarter of calendar year 2022. ®