Providence Technology Group

California colleges are going online. How ready are they?

Thanks to the coronavirus, California is about to embark on an enormous unplanned experiment in remote learning — and no one knows how long it will last. The first challenge is simple: making sure everyone can log on. As math instructor Alyssa Wong drove to a recent meeting to discuss the College of San Mateo’s transition to online classes — spurred by the coronavirus outbreak — she was full of questions. “When you close a place like Harvard and send everybody home, they assume if you can afford $50,000 a year, you have a computer,” she said. “That’s different at a community college because we service a lot of people, everyone from high school students to people who are older. Even some of the teachers who are older, they don’t have any internet access at home.” Wong said she knew of at le...[Read More]

New rideshare service with only Teslas comes to Sacramento

The goal of Go360 is to provide first- and last-mile pooling services for daily commuters. The rideshare only serves downtown and midtown Sacramento, aiming to help users make that short connection between home and public transportation. The company promises wait times of less than 5 minutes, and they’re doing it in Teslas. “The Tesla APIs allow us to control the climate and music, so we are integrating those services into our ride-hailing app,” said Sravan Puttagunta, with Go360. Go360 operates on a subscription basis. You get four rides a day, which you can share with others. Rides work out to $2.50 each. “We have a rider base that has a much higher daily active usage compared to a normal person who uses Uber or Lyft,” Puttagunta said. Go360 is also collecting a massive amount of d...[Read More]

AI-Powered Closed Captioning Improves Functions for CA Active Adult Community

With an estimated 50 million adults over the age of 65 in the United States, the boomer generation continues to have an outsize impact on American society. According to Pew Research, 10,000 people retire every day. This population increasingly looks to live out their golden years in places that provide a wide range of community activities, events, services, and even governance. These residential developments often face higher demands for effective communications geared toward those who are hard of hearing. The Sun City Lincoln Hills active adult community has embraced high tech solutions to support residents in this capacity. Sun City Lincoln Hills is a 55-plus population of approximately 11,500 northeast of Sacramento, CA. As a premier location for weddings in the region, the grounds incl...[Read More]

California releases interactive, public Geoportal database

Dive Brief: California has adopted a massive, interactive online database of location-based government data that includes over 1,200 publicly-available data sets from 25 state entities. The California State Geoportal collects geospatial data from government agencies including housing, water, transportation and health information. The data is compatible with geolocation software and is designed to be shared, layered onto maps and analyzed. The portal was designed with California-based location intelligence firm Esri as part of an open data initiative by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Keep reading this article at SMARTCITIESDIVE.COM

Calif. PD deploys new indoor micro-drones

The Sacramento Police Department is the first department in the country to use micro-drones indoors in an effort to reduce risks during conflicts. The small drones, which are outfitted with cameras, are designed to give officers a real-time view of crime scenes. They also allow police to avoid physical confrontations with suspects. Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn told ABC10 the drones have already saved at least one suspect’s life. “It’s a big deal. That’s why we are good with putting information out about it,” said Hahn. “I think it’s important for this community to know that this technology is now soon going to be out in our patrol force to help us keep them safe and our officers safe. … When we’re in close proximity, and I think you’re...[Read More]

With Great Data Comes Great Responsibility, Experts Say

If governments are going to collect data on citizens, they need to understand the responsibilities that lie therein. That was the overarching message during a data privacy discussion at the 2020 Public Sector CIO Academy Thursday in Sacramento, Calif. Panelists from a range of backgrounds shared their experiences of how and when data should be stored or shared. Michael Wilkening, special adviser on innovation and digital services to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, said that IT leaders should view the data collected from various services as their duty to protect, and in the case of sensitive data, something to be shared only when justifiable. “As we’re starting to use that data, what are the implications there? Are you gathering information for enrollment purposes or administrative purposes?”...[Read More]

California parents sharpen their computer science skills alongside students

Parents are playing a more hands-on role in California’s ongoing quest to grow the number of students who pursue technology professions — and tech-savvy workers in all kinds of fields. At schools around the state, parents are learning how to code alongside their young children as a way to increase interest in computer science as a potential career path. Called Family Code Night, these events are designed to help address the need to expand the pipeline in order to meet the demand of one of the state’s fastest growing job sectors. “I didn’t have this when I was in school, and it’s so cool to see him do it,” said Manuel Majinmontijo, an electrician who sat next to his 3rd-grade son Markus during a recent Family Code Night at Bagby Elementary School, part of the Cambrian School District in San...[Read More]

What Is Deepfake Technology? Here Is How to Spot a Deepfake

Using technology to alter an actor’s appearance in a movie is entertaining (and generally done with the actor’s consent), but similar techniques are being used to fabricate versions of real politicians saying and doing things that never happened. There’s serious concern that false or misleading information based on such video deepfakes will influence the 2020 elections, and experts in government and academia are working to find ways to detect them. Simple manipulated videos and photos have already been seen in the 2020 campaign. Selective editing with basic software can readily alter or obscure a politician’s meaning; changing or adding something new to a still image is as easy as firing up a photo editing program. Deepfakes go a step further, using deep machine learning to enhance the acc...[Read More]

Former California Utility Official Unworried by Cyberthreats

(TNS) — The electrical grid may likely represent a prime target after Iran has vowed “crushing revenge” on the United States following a drone strike that killed its top general, Qassem Soleimani. But the former director of the organization that oversees the power system for the bulk of California says he’s not overly worried about a major disruption. “We spend a lot of time, money and energy to harden the system so this doesn’t happen,” said Jim McIntosh, who was director of grid operations from 2000 to 2009 at the California Independent System Operator. “And the system is broken up into a lot of pieces. We can isolate areas very readily and keep control of the system. So it’s a very difficult task to take the grid down — very difficult.R...[Read More]

Prime’s 8MW data centre facility in Sacramento California goes live

The data centre is the first of several approved facilities on the 38-acre Prime campus. The facility has a 50MVA sub-station on-site, and the ability to add another 100MVA. Prime offers complete solutions for colocation powered shell, and a joint venture structure enabling the customer to own the real estate they occupy. The company revealed that it chose Sacramento because it is a smart alternative for San Francisco Bay Area companies. “Sacramento is the perfect location for backup and Disaster Recovery replication with minimal transmission-induced latency.  Unlike locations along major fault lines in Oregon and Nevada, Sacramento sits in a seismically inert region,” said the company in a written statement. The company added that the partnership with the Sacramento Municipal Utilities Di...[Read More]

A toast to the Greater Sacramento region

Every December the Greater Sacramento Economic Council hosts its Annual Dinner to celebrate the successes of the year. We give out four awards recognizing the exceptional individuals, organizations, projects and communities that have helped move our region towards greater prosperity and inclusion. 2019 was a game-changing year for the Greater Sacramento region. With the Major League Soccer announcement, new incentive programs, growing startups, and companies breaking ground; there was certainly a lot to raise a glass to and many achievements to award. Keep reading this article at The Greater Sacramento Economic Council

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