Digital tech experts work to bring internet to rural and remote communities

Coalition they helped create will advocate, share ideas and shape policy aimed at improving access to broadband

Digital tech experts work to bring internet to rural and remote communitiesTwo University of Alberta professors are working to improve internet services for Albertans living in rural and remote communities as members of a new coalition. The Alberta Rural Connectivity Coalition (ARCC), which U of A digital technology experts Rob McMahon and Michael McNally helped found last fall, is working with steering committee members to bring together Alberta communities to explore ways…

Working from home may revolutionize businesses

And lead to a reshaping of communities

Working from home may revolutionize businessesStay-at-home orders related to COVID-19 have changed working habits. The mandatory work-at-home advice for office jobs has created a debate about work after the health crisis. Will we continue to work at home or will we return to the office? Some have stated that people who work from home must have lower pay. The research team…

Students bring Indigenous perspectives to Wikipedia

Increasing the diversity of voices and having a few people making small and steady changes can lead to a big movement

Students bring Indigenous perspectives to WikipediaLast fall, students in a Native Studies course worked to improve representations of Indigenous peoples on one of the most popular websites in the world. The course, Colonialism and the Criminal Justice System, saw students create Wikipedia articles on issues that dealt with Indigenous peoples and Canada’s criminal legal system, filling some of the site’s…

Terrifying (and satisfying) true tales of customer service

One day, you’re an unshakable fan of a company; the next day, you’re warning complete strangers to stay away

Terrifying (and satisfying) true tales of customer serviceThe relationship between customer and company is a delicate thing. One day, you’re an unshakable fan of a company; the next day, you’re warning complete strangers to stay away. Here are three examples of customer service and how it can go so right – or so wrong. Many years ago, my Telus internet went out.…

Keep government out of the internet business

Keep government out of the internet businessManitoba’s Opposition New Democratic Party proposes the creation of a new Crown corporation to provide high-speed internet service to rural and remote communities, particularly First Nations communities, in that province. This is a bad idea for several reasons. A host of private-sector and government organizations are launching enormous flotillas of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to…

New funding could help scientists unlock the quantum internet

Will help researchers build next-gen, ultra-secure networks for quantum computers

New funding could help scientists unlock the quantum internetOn Oct. 29, 1969, researchers at UCLA, with help from a computer the size of a cement truck, sent what would become the first message over the first incarnation of the “internet” to Stanford. The first two letters of the one-word message, LOGIN, made the cross-California trip before the fledgling system crashed. “Fifty years ago…

Indigenous communities leaping the digital divide

Indigenous communities are setting up their own satellite, fibre optics and even cellular phone networks

Indigenous communities leaping the digital divideWhen Bruce Buffalo returned to Maskwacis after years away in the big city, he was appalled to discover parts of his community still had no internet service. Just an hour’s drive from Edmonton, some neighbourhoods in the Indigenous community remained cut off from the rest of the world as recently as 2016, apart from a few…

Satellite breakthroughs will change internet delivery

Exciting times in the satellite industry

Satellite breakthroughs will change internet deliveryElon Musk’s Starlink low Earth orbit (LEO) network has been awarded US$885 million over 10 years to build out rural internet access in the U.S. This was the fourth largest amount awarded under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). Testing of preliminary Starlink service recently began. This is a billion-dollar (almost) vote of confidence in…

Website provides resources, support for LGBTQ2+ cancer patients

U of A faculty educator and two collaborators saw a need and worked to create a supportive space

Website provides resources, support for LGBTQ2+ cancer patientsCancer doesn’t discriminate, but the health-care system sometimes does. There’s a marked gap in information when it comes to resources and peer-support services tailored to LGBTQ2+ people. That need in the system is what prompted a University of Alberta faculty educator and collaborators to launch a new website, called Queering Cancer, aimed at closing the…

Just the facts? Don’t count on fact-checkers

A closer look at almost every fact-checking organization shows a great deal of politics and vested interests involved

Just the facts? Don’t count on fact-checkersFact-checking takes us past the spin and straight to the truth. Or maybe not. A closer look at almost every fact-checking organization shows a great deal of politics and vested interests involved. Years ago, I went to Snopes.com whenever someone sent me an email thread I wasn’t sure about. I even recommended to others that…
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