Providence Technology Group

Why you’re likely to keep hearing about utilities and blockchain in 2020

Utilities continue to test promising uses for the digital ledger software despite caution and lack of widespread knowledge. Blockchain has been a rising concept in the energy space in recent years, as more utilities announce pilots and partnerships with tech companies. Several new projects were announced in 2019, and that number will likely grow in 2020. Utilities throughout the country are trying to figure out how the software can help them secure their operations as new customer-owned generation resources come on the grid, and in the future, blockchain could play an important role in enabling energy exchanges between customers in “transactive energy” marketplaces. Keep reading this article at Energy News Network

California is rewriting the rules of the internet. Businesses are scrambling to keep up

A sweeping new law that aims to rewrite the rules of the internet in California is set to go into effect on Jan. 1. Most businesses with a website and customers in California — which is to say most large businesses in the nation — must follow the new rules, which are supposed to make online life more transparent and less creepy for users. The only problem: Nobody’s sure how the new rules work. The California Consumer Privacy Act started from a simple premise: People should be able to know if companies sell their personal information, see what information companies have already collected on them, and have the option of quitting the whole system. Keep reading this article at LATimes.com

Sacramento County fire department adopts virtual reality for fire training

The Cosumnes Fire Department is taking a modern approach to training its cadets on how to battle the ever-changing landscape of firefighting. Its latest addition: virtual reality. Kirk McKinzie, a technology specialist with the department, said that with a full set of firefighting gear on, a person can only last seconds in a room consumed by fire at a temperature of 1,800 degrees. With the department’s recent addition of virtual reality goggles, new cadets can experience what those dangers are like without getting in harm’s way. McKinzie said the concept of using technology is still very new to the firefighting world. Keep reading this article at MSN.com

California Mobility Center

Greater Sacramento is situated at the epicenter of global air quality policy, as home to the California Air Resources Board, and within the largest US market for electric vehicles, California. With the California Mobility Center set to launch in 2020 and an already growing sector of research and development, both by private companies and educational institutions, the region is primed to become a world leader in future mobility. California Mobility Center: A center of excellence Based on the PEM Motion model in Aachen, Germany, the California Mobility Center will support, fund and commercialize new future mobility technologies and develop and promote new business and policy models for adoption on the international stage. This international hub of innovation will be driven by a sustainable w...[Read More]

What is the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018?

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 is a bill intended to enhance online privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California, United States. But the bill has national and global implications. Here’s how to prepare your organization for compliance and protect your customers. It was only a matter of time before US created their own version of the EU’S General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, unlike the EU who addresses digital privacy protection on a national level, the US is handling online privacy on the state level. California has led the charge with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that was passed into law in 2018. 3 main takeaways from the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 CCPA is designed with consumers in mind and gives California resi...[Read More]

California Utility Creates New Tech to Stop Wildfires

PG&E is under severe criticism about its power outages and wildfire-sparking equipment. The utility is now testing a proactive technology that would “identify potential equipment failures” and avoid starting fires. (TNS) — California utilities are experimenting with a new technology that proponents say could help prevent both electricity shutoffs and equipment failure-related wildfires. The technology comes as the Pacific Gas & Electric faces intense criticism over its Public Safety Power Shutoff program, which has led to hundreds of thousands of Californians being left without power, often for days at a time, in an effort to prevent failing equipment from starting wildfires. Distribution Fault Anticipation, as the technology is called, uses a predictive algorithm to assess electri...[Read More]

California State Government and IBM Launch the State’s First of its Kind Collaboration to Create Technology Apprenticeships

Today, the California Department of Industrial Relations, the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS), the Department of Technology (CDT), SEIU Local 1000 (Local 1000), and various state agencies along with IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced the state’s first-ever public-private partnership focused on creating a technology apprenticeship program. This program will adopt IBM’s proven apprenticeship model to address a statewide skills shortage in three critical fields: Mainframe System Administration (MSA), Software Engineering (SWE), and Application Development (AD). Sponsors of the zSystems Apprenticeship Pilot Program are the California Government Operations Agency, Employment Development Department, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, California Department...[Read More]

Tech boom spurs growth in Sacramento region

A tech boom is generating new jobs in the Greater Sacramento area, and the River City looks to become a rival to Silicon Valley when it comes to highly trained tech workers. “We have folks moving in from the Bay Area, Salt Lake City to Sacramento, just because there is so much buzz here,” said Manvir Sandhu, chief executive officer of Zennify. Sandhu’s firm offered a Champagne toast to innovation Wednesday at its new headquarters in Sacramento’s Natomas neighborhood. Zennify, a startup company, just announced big plans to grow in Sacramento by tripling its workforce numbers. “We went from three to 40 (employees) in two years,” Sandhu said. “And I see us getting to about 120 here in two years from today.” Keep reading this article at MSN.com

California DMV data breach exposes thousands of drivers’ Social Security information

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Already besieged by problems including long wait times, the California Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday said it suffered a data breach in which federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, had improper access to the Social Security information of 3,200 people issued driver’s licenses. Notices of the data breach went out to those whose Social Security information — including whether or not a license holder had a Social Security number — was accessed during the last four years by seven agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration, and district attorneys in San Diego and Santa Clara counties. Some of the data were accessed as part of investigations into criminal activity or compliance with tax laws, of...[Read More]

PowerSchool to Acquire Schoology, Pairing Major K-12 LMS and SIS Providers

PowerSchool has reached an agreement to acquire Schoology, a provider of learning management systems with a sizable footprint among K-12 schools and districts. If approved, the pending acquisition would mark the latest puzzle piece that PowerSchool has purchased this decade. Founded in 1997, Powerschool was first bought by Apple in 2001, and then by Pearson in 2006. The publisher sold the PowerSchool to private equity firm Vista Equity Partners in June 2015. Onex, another private equity firm, invested in PowerSchool in 2018 and shares equal equity ownership with Vista. Since 2015, PowerSchool has acquired eight companies. Through these deals, the company has expanded its product suite beyond its original K-12 student information system offering to assessment, enrollment, special education ...[Read More]

Modern Stadium Experiences Are Here, and They’re Cool as Hell

Imagine sitting far back in the bleachers of a basketball game but being able to see the action on the court, via a hologram, as clearly as if you were sitting in the front row. Or imagine getting up at half-time to grab a snack from the concession stand and checking an app on your phone to find the line with the shortest wait time. These are only a few of the ways that technology—powered by 5G—has started to revolutionize the way we watch sports, both on the court and at home. In a new study commissioned by Amdocs, a software and services provider, researchers found that consumers under the age of 35 preferred watching sports programs through streaming video—and that they were willing to pay more for an immersive, high-quality streaming experience. For this reason, service providers are n...[Read More]

All Systems Go for First Statewide Testing of ShakeAlert in the United States

Today, the U.S. Geological Survey and the State of California pressed the “go” button to allow the first-ever statewide public testing of the California Early Earthquake Warning System, which is powered by USGS’s earthquake early warning alerts, called ShakeAlerts. Alerts will be delivered by two independent methods, first over the federal Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system and second through the University of California Berkeley’s MyShake smartphone app. “Today we commemorate the 30th anniversary of one of our nation’s most destructive earthquakes, the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta quake. That event also marked the first deployment of an early forerunner of the ShakeAlert system, which was used to warn rescue workers about potentially dangerous aftershocks,” said USGS Director Jim Re...[Read More]