The speed at which AI is advancing is incredible. Before the end of last year, most of us thought AI wouldn’t be personally useful for a few years. Then ChatGPT hit, backed by GPT-3 technology, followed quickly by GPT-4, and suddenly, we’re surrounded by artificial intelligence that can improve our productivity.

One of the most interesting is DeepBrain AI’s video synthesis AI model, which can create a functioning digital twin of a human that can rapidly perform tasks that the human it mirrors would typically do.

Let’s talk this week about the emergence of useful human digital twins. We’ll end with our Product of the Week, Lenovo’s Motorola Thinkphone, a smartphone that addresses one of the computer industry’s biggest mistakes in responding to Apple’s iPhone.

video synthesis ai model

Initially focused on news anchor talent, the DeepBrain AI is the first human digital twin I’ve seen that can perform tasks differently from how a human would have done them.

The digital twin is created by allowing it to learn from multiple news videos to build a database of knowledge on the human presenter’s behaviour, quirks, speech and movements.

The resulting digital twin can be fed a script, and from that script, it will act as a news presenter. The digital twin does not replace human talent, and the talent is typically compensated each time a news service uses this avatar, primarily for breaking news or short format teases for upcoming live programming.

Sometimes news services will note that viewers are viewing AI-generated avatars. Where this technology is already in use, it has been accepted by news audiences and talent.

The reason news talent is fine is that they are compensated when an avatar is used, and using an avatar means that the talent is required to conduct or record live short segments, updates or announcements. do not have to go to the studio which usually requires that they return to a studio.

Therefore, the avatar doesn’t hurt their income, and it complements the humans’ work by reducing their workload and associated growth, which should improve job satisfaction for all.

avatar use case

While most of the early use cases for this technology are for video news programs where avatars and newsreels are inseparable (eg in Asia), other uses include:

  • Virtual kiosks in banks where it feels like you are talking to a human but chatting with AI
  • Script powered one-way training video
  • A virtual concierge at a hotel who can assist with things like making restaurant reservations or showing tickets
  • Interactive video where, again, it’s like you’re talking to a live person

Some of these avatars were never real people; They were computer generated, highly realistic images.

The cost benefits are significant because it typically costs about $4,000 to create this short-form content with a live person, but only $100 to do the same thing with a computer-generated avatar.

The avatar required no rehearsal and would act from the written script without illness or any of the conflicts or behavioral problems usually associated with live talent.

Given that the avatar works from text, it can be controlled by other AI such as ChatGPT or IBM’s Watson, which created a level of human-like interactive content that can fool many people into thinking they are Talking to a live person.

Another use that has been explored is celebrity advocacy:

Celebrities don’t scale well because if you use them as advocates, the ability to chat with individuals is almost non-existent. However, a celebrity’s avatar may interact with fans at large in addition to the customer’s current or future customers.

As mentioned, this technology can scan both real people and artistically created characters, which could solve some of the problems for companies like McDonald’s (Ronald McDonald), Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Jack in the Box. Where everyone will exchange regularly. Actors so as not to tie the actor so tightly to the character that they cannot be changed.

With a digitally created avatar, the firm owns the virtual actor, and human-source problems disappear when you remove humans from the mix.

Humans and Virtual Digital Twins – What’s Next

DeepBrain’s current focus is for the most part on enhancing people, not changing them. However, their use of fully synthesized avatars, which bear no relation to any human, is more of a replacement than an augmentation model. While they are initially focused on short-form content, nothing stops the technology from eventually moving into long-form productions such as TV shows and movies.

The hyper-realistic nature of the avatars will improve with additional training and, as technology advances, even in longer form. Virtual actors will become indistinguishable from real people, even if they are blends of those, much like products such as Dell-E create art from a blend of images.

Given the massive cost advantage of using virtually produced content compared to live action, the potential for such technology to disrupt the media industry is significant. Looking ahead, it’s not just the cost of talent escaping. The entire cost of the studio where the talent will perform can also be waived off.

Since GPT-4 is already doing interesting work with scripts and stories, you can put this on the roadmap for fully photorealistic movies and TV shows created entirely by AI based solely on user preferences. Can

Finally, instead of watching the same TV show and movie as everyone else, this technology, combined with generative AI, could create customized videos at scale and potentially feature you and your family as the main actors. (with your permission, of course).

Granted, you can then share those videos on social media with people who are interested in seeing what others create, potentially creating massive amounts of unique content that can be analyzed and marketed to potential customers. Services will be needed to present the world.

wrapping up

Being able to have your twin do some of the work that DeepBrain AI is currently focused on is game-changing. But while we can take synthesized images and do the same thing, especially for long-form content, it will massively disrupt all forms of entertainment. For example, the pornography industry has already gone through all this. Reddit content has been doing this for a while, and most users don’t care.

Everything from in-game non-player characters (NPCs) that exist like real people, to being able to build entire virtual sports teams with accurate representations of real, fictional, or even dead players All are potentially on the table. Which suggests a level of disruption we’re only just starting to see.

In short, it is already difficult to tell what is real and what is not, and this difficulty will only increase. This can be a good thing when it comes to entertainment, but it can have very problematic effects when it comes to our ability to see the truth. We are nowhere near ready for this.

tech product of the week

Lenovo Thinkphone by Motorola

One of the biggest mistakes the computer industry made was to focus solely on the iPhone. The irony was that the industry initially didn’t believe in consumer-centric smartphones. Then, instead of fighting that trend on its own merits, it attempted to pivot on the iPhone to transform Apple from late follower to market leader overnight.

This was not the first time. A few decades ago, IBM attempted to pivot to client/server computing and almost abandoned mainframes, taking it from the clear market leader to nearly out-of-business in just a few years.

Today, there is an underserved market for business-oriented smartphones. I once spoke with the then CEO of Bank of America who didn’t want his people to use consumer phones. He wanted something as secure and business-oriented as the Blackberry, but he was disappointed that no one had made such a device.

Well, Lenovo fixed that with its iconic Thinkphone.

Lenovo Thinkphone by Motorola

Lenovo Thinkphone by Motorola (Image Credit: Lenovo)

Building off of the heavily business-focused brand of ThinkPad that originated with IBM, the ThinkPhone has similar dimensions to the iPhone, but is wrapped with a number of unique business-focused features.

These features include:

  • Instant Connect: Phone and PC automatically discover when nearby and connected to Wi-Fi.
  • Integrated Clipboard: Easily transfer copied text or recent photos, scanned documents and videos between devices by pasting into any app on the destination device.
  • Integrated Notifications: Phone notifications appear immediately on the Windows Action Center. Clicking on the notification automatically launches the corresponding Phone app on the PC screen.
  • File Drop: Easily drag and drop files between ThinkPhone and PC.
  • App Streaming: Open any Android application directly on PC.
  • Advanced Webcam: Take advantage of the powerful ThinkPhone cameras and AI capabilities, using it as your webcam for all your video calls. Why buy a separate webcam when your smartphone already has a better camera?
  • Instant Hotspot: Connect to the Internet directly from a PC with a single click to take advantage of ThinkPhone’s 5G connectivity. This is huge and potentially reduces the need and cost of WAN capability in your PC.

Like the ThinkPad, the ThinkPhone is wrapped with protection and tested to Military Standard 810H (MIL-STD-810H), as it uses aramid fiber (used in bullet-proof vests), aircraft-quality aluminum, and Victus has been used – the strongest solution by Gorilla Glass.

The Thinkphone is waterproof up to a depth of 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. It also has a red button to launch an important application. I generally choose the camera because it’s the one I often need to access quickly. Others may use it to re-implement push-to-talk for police, security, and other uses where instant communication is important (this is supported in the Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie app).

Designed to embrace remote management, ThinkPhone can be centrally configured and managed to ensure device security and that it is not used improperly, business-oriented computing device There is a specific requirement for Thinkphone has a unique processor called Moto Secure that separates PINs, passwords and cryptographic keys, keeping them in a tamper-resistant environment so bad actors can’t access them.

The ThinkPhone comes with a unique and very small 68W universal charger that will charge the phone in minutes and is also strong enough to power most business-oriented laptops or other USB-C devices – even gaming machines or workstations No.

Lastly, the phone has a high-quality 50MP camera, which should cover most photo needs, whether capturing a personal event or for an insurance investigator or anyone else who needs to make high-quality records. be necessary

The ThinkPhone fills the void in business phones that has existed since BlackBerry and Palm exited the market, and it’s my product of the week.

A robust credentialing solution promising cost savings for enterprises and improved privacy for users was announced Monday by Israeli identity verification and management company AU10TIX.

The firm said it is working with Microsoft on Reusable ID, a technology that uses verifiable credentials to enable enterprises to simplify and speed up ongoing ID verification, reducing customer onboarding costs. reduce costs, automate workflows, and enhance the security of sensitive data.

Furthermore, it enables users to store their information locally in a tamper-proof digital wallet that gives them control over what information is passed on to third parties.

AU10TIX explained that verifiable credentials are reusable, immutable digital credentials that authenticate the identity of an individual or entity and allow the secure sharing of personal documents and biometric credentials.

The verifiable credential architecture also gives users the self-sovereignty to share the right information on demand for tasks such as opening accounts, applying to college, and paying taxes.

“The creation of immutable digital credentials is important because it enables secure and tamper-proof identity verification,” said Mark Brady, AU10TIX’s vice president for emerging products.

“Digital credentials can be easily changed or forged, which poses a significant risk to identity verification processes,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“Immutable digital credentials ensure that an individual’s identity is accurately and securely verified,” he continued, “which is especially important in sectors such as financial services, healthcare, and government.”

up-leveling verification

Karen Walsh, principal at Allegro Solutions, a cybersecurity consulting company in West Hartford, Conn., explained that digital credentials go beyond a simple username and password by linking a person’s physical self to their digital representation.

“A digital credential can link personal documents, such as a Social Security card or passport, and biometrics, such as Face ID or fingerprints,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“However, reusable IDs will give companies a way to incorporate HR documents with these biometrics, ultimately up-leveling verification,” she said.

“With Unique Authentication, you are ensuring that a user is who they say they are, but trust them to identify themselves honestly,” he continued. “With Reusable ID, Microsoft is going to be able to verify the initial ‘who they say they are’ with government documents.”

Microsoft senior product manager Deepak Marda explained in a statement that the reusable IDs will be used in his company’s third-party onboarding flows to prevent fraudulent activity and ensure regulatory compliance at critical stages of user identity verification. Bar verification can be streamlined.

“Decentralized ID verification is a critical imperative in the digital world, and the AU10TIX solution will increase security while reducing friction in the online ID verification process,” he said.

unfulfilled promise?

Roger Grimes, a defense evangelist at KnowBe4, a security awareness training provider in Clearwater, Fla., noted that decentralized ID is an attempt to turn tangible control of a digital ID over to the user who uses it.

“The real challenge with digital IDs is whether they can actually be decentralized or what percentage of them can actually be decentralized,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Like the promise of crypto and decentralized finance, he continued, true decentralization never happened. “For a myriad of reasons,” he said, “it turns out that most purportedly decentralized DeFi had more centralized control than the traditional things they were replacing.”

“True decentralization of anything is hard, and IDs are no different,” he said. “Most people don’t want the hassle of maintaining and securing their ID. They just want to use them and make them work.

He stressed that digital ID standards proposed by the World Wide Web Consortium could lead to true decentralized IDs, but he questioned whether the standards would have any staying power.

“Will they be adopted by any meaningful percentage of users, or will they only be used by a very small percentage of privacy enthusiasts and nobody else?” He asked.

“We don’t know yet,” he said, “but if history is any lesson, the promise of digital IDs is bigger than the number of people who will use them. I hope I’m wrong.”

age old damage

Brady notes that in the past cost has been a barrier to the widespread adoption of secure verification methods such as using tokens. “Additionally, there may be resistance from users who are not familiar with the use of hardware tokens and prefer the convenience of traditional forms of identity verification,” he said.

David McNealy, CTO of Delinia, a global privileged access management provider, pointed out that digital credentials have existed for years in the form of PKI certificates and FIDO authentication mechanisms.

“However, we need a better way for users to create and verify their identity, as well as enable better ways for users to control the information they submit during the account creation process,” he added. told TechNewsWorld.

“There are many advantages, but there are also some chronic disadvantages that will accompany us as we move toward digital identity,” said James E. Lee, chief operating officer of the Identity Theft Resource Center, a nonprofit organization devoted to digital identity management. To reduce the risk and reduce the impact of identity compromise and crime in San Diego, California.

“Digital identities are more secure and more privacy-focused, but there is no such thing as immutable identity credentials,” he told TechNewsWorld. “There’s always a way around it.”

enhancing cyber security

Lee praised the AU10TIX/Microsoft venture. “It’s a step in the direction we’ve been looking at for some time with FIDO, with passkeys instead of passwords,” he said.

“If you move to a secure transaction based identity using tokens,” he continued, “it is going to be a more secure process and result in more reliable results than handing over driver’s licenses. “

“One of the things we’re seeing is a tremendous increase in driver’s license data targeted in cyberattacks,” he said. “We are seeing data breaches being committed specifically to obtain driver’s license information. This will not happen with digital credentials.

Brady said better credential management can enhance cyber security by reducing the risk of identity theft and fraud.

“By using more secure and tamper-proof digital credentials, organizations can ensure that only authorized users can access their sensitive data and systems,” he said. “This reduces the likelihood of security breaches and helps protect against cyber threats.”

“Improved credential management also simplifies identity verification processes, making it easier for organizations to manage access to their resources and reduce the risk of unauthorized access,” he said.

The new year is up and running, set to bring solutions and challenges affecting all industries. As the faltering economy continues to revolve around the ravages of broken supply chains and deteriorating cyber security, businesses and analysts alike are turning their attention to what’s next.

TechNewsWorld spoke with IT executives to gather predictions for what will happen in 2023. He offered insightful writing on the wall about what to expect going forward.

One of the most important areas is the need for more effective security to protect cyber infrastructure. Politics aside, Executive Order 14028 issued in May 2021 clarified the priorities. President Biden’s order requires agencies to improve their security to secure the integrity of the software supply chain.

“Software vendors can no longer hide from their shortcomings, and software users can no longer hide from their responsibilities,” said John Geter, chief product and technology officer at RKVST, a SaaS platform for tracking supply chain issues. Technewsworld.

With still a way to go, he sees the digital supply chain finally being recognized as just as important as the physical one. Gator also sees a critical need for suppliers to provide quality and for consumers to control their own risk.

He offered, “Companies and governments around the world are waking up to the fact that the software they use to run their enterprise operations and the hardware and software solutions they use and deliver to customers are represent a significant risk.”

Core Technologies Top Priority

Geter said the current political and macroeconomic conditions are worse than most people predicted, and this is having a chilling effect on innovation.

People will focus more on cost cutting and efficiency. However, this should not diminish the importance of the key technologies being developed.

“But it changes the emphasis from new use cases like proactive cyber defense to improvements in existing use cases like more efficient audits,” he said.

Geter suggested that most supply chain problems come from mistakes or oversights that originate in the supply chain itself, and that leave targets open to traditional cyber attacks.

“It is a subtle distinction but an important one. I believe the bulk of the discoveries arising from improvements in supply chain visibility [in 2023] Will highlight that most threats arise from mistake, not malice,” said Geter.

Year of AI and ML

The new year will bring a renewed focus on machine learning operations (MLOps), predicted Moses Gutman, CEO and co-founder of ClearML, an MLOps platform. It is important to take stock of how machine learning has evolved as a discipline, technology and industry.

He expects artificial intelligence and machine learning spending to continue to grow as companies look for ways to optimize increased investment and ensure value, especially in a challenging macroeconomic environment.

“We’ve seen a lot of top technology companies announce layoffs in late 2022. It’s likely that none of these companies are laying off their most talented machine learning personnel,” Gutman suggested to TechNewsWorld.

However, to make up for the shortfall of fewer people in deep technical teams, companies will need to lean even further into automation to maintain productivity and ensure projects get completed. He also expects to see companies that use ML technology put in place more systems to monitor and conduct performance and make more data-driven decisions on how to manage ML or data science teams.

“With clearly defined goals, these technical teams will need to be more key performance indicator-focused, so leadership can have a more in-depth understanding of machine learning’s ROI. Gone are the days of vague benchmarks for ML,” Gutman said. .

end of talent hoarding

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have become common in the last decade. Those working with ML are likely the most recent employees, as opposed to employees who have been working with AI for a long time.

Many big tech companies started hiring these types of workers because they could handle the financial cost and keep them away from competitors — not necessarily because they were needed, Gutman said.

“From this perspective, it is not surprising to see so many ML workers being laid off given the surplus within large companies. However, with the era of ML talent hoarding coming to an end, it could usher in a new wave of innovation and opportunity for startups,” he observed.

With so much talent now looking for work, he expects to see many displaced workers move out of big tech and into small and medium-sized businesses or startups.

Cloud Predictions

Drew Firmant, vice president of enterprise strategies at Pluralsight, believes that fundamental cloud computing skills will continue to be the most relevant and in-demand worker needs for 2023. This is despite ML and AI getting the most attention.

According to Pluralsight’s State of the Cloud report, 75% of tech leaders are building all new products and features in the cloud. Yet he noted that only 8% of technologists have significant cloud-related skills and experience.

Ironically, lower-level cloud infrastructure skills will continue to be in high demand because using those technologies successfully requires more people than higher-level services, said Mattias Andersen, Pluralsight’s lead developer advocate.

“For example, many organizations now want to own and manage their own Kubernetes clusters, allowing them to hire for Kubernetes administration skills while they offload to a cloud provider,” Anderson told TechNewsWorld. “

tech talent shift

Firmant said an expected shift from consumers of talent to creators of talent will be a key differentiator for cloud leaders in 2023. Gartner reports that 50% of enterprise cloud migrations will be delayed by two years or more due to cloud skills shortages – directly impacting the ability of enterprises to achieve cloud maturity and achieve a return on their technology investment.

“To address the challenges of cloud adoption, enterprises must invest in migrating their talent to the cloud as much as they are investing in migrating their applications,” Firmant told TechNewsWorld. “Lift-and-shift migration strategies limit the benefits of cloud platforms, and the approach doesn’t work well for workforce transformation.”

He urged that in order to achieve a sustainable transformation towards cloud adoption and maturity, enterprises need to invest strategically in skill development programs designed to achieve cloud adoption at critical mass.

Multi-Cloud Adoption

Avoiding vendor lock-in is an important target for 2023. According to Anderson, this is the strategy that is now prevalent across the industry landscape. More enterprises are adopting multi-cloud, either by design or by accident.

“The increase in multi-cloud adoption will accelerate demand for the tools needed to manage the increased complexity as enterprises struggle to reduce their implementation timelines. The trifecta of multi-cloud challenges and solutions in 2023 will include security, cost and operations,” said Anderson.

This, he said, would force another need on multi-cloud strategies. Technologists must become multilingual between two or more cloud providers.

He predicted, “With the current shortage of cloud talent, the multi-cloud strategy trend is expected to add further stress to the existing skills gap.”

open-source role

The focus on ML operations, management and governance will force MLOPS teams to do more with less. According to Gutman, businesses will adopt more off-the-shelf solutions because they are less expensive to produce, require less research time, and can be customized to meet most needs.

“MLOps teams will need to consider open-source infrastructure rather than being locked into long-term contracts with cloud providers. While organizations doing ML at hyper-scale can certainly benefit from integration with their cloud providers, it forces these companies to work the way the provider wants them to work,” he added. Explained.

This means users may not be able to do what they want the way you want, he warned. This also puts users at the mercy of the cloud provider for cost escalations and upgrades.

On the other hand, open source provides flexible customization, cost savings, and efficiency. Users can even modify the open-source code to make sure it works exactly as they want.

Gutman concluded, “especially with teams shrinking in technology, it’s becoming a more viable option.”

A loophole in the rules governing the advertising of stimulant drugs must be closed, according to a report released on Monday by an international think tank.

Many telehealth companies aggressively market stimulant drugs to users on social media without the typical disclosures found in pharmaceutical ads, according to a 39-page report from the Center for Data Innovation, which data , studies the intersection of technology and technology. public policy.

It clarified that telehealth companies can post advertisements for prescription drugs without including any warnings or information about side effects due to technicalities in drug advertising laws and regulations.

Many ads on social media for stimulant medication target audiences concerned with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. The Center for Data Innovation report referenced this November 2021 tweet from Clarity ADHD:

Klarity ADHD Tweet Ad Gets Adderall Prescribed Online for ADHD

Image Source: Clarity ADHD Twitter Feed

“The majority of medical providers who offer treatment for ADHD act in the best interests of their patients and prescribe stimulant medications when medically necessary,” said Morgan Stevens, author of the report.

“But some newer telehealth companies, such as Cerebral and Done, have abused the advertising loophole to market stimulant drugs,” she told TechNewsWorld.

Cerebral declined to comment for this story. Kiya did not respond to a request for comment.

bullets in front of people

The report notes that the consumption of stimulant drugs has increased over the past few decades, following a pattern similar to the opioid epidemic.

Stimulant drug consumption continued to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some telehealth companies taking advantage of lax regulations to offer prescriptions for stimulants with little medical supervision or appropriate care.

However, despite the increased consumption and availability of stimulant drugs, stimulant abuse, and more prescriptions, face less scrutiny than other Schedule II controlled substances, such as opioids, it added.

The report noted that several regulatory changes designed to promote the use of telehealth during the pandemic allowed more remote services to be delivered than ever before, including prescribing stimulant drugs.

In pursuit of rapid growth, it continued, some telehealth companies prioritize customer retention and satisfaction over ensuring that patients receive appropriate, high-quality care.

The report notes that some companies operating in the telehealth space do not meet the standards for in-person psychiatric care.

The diagnostic process for ADHD usually involves a lengthy evaluation in which a medical provider will review the patient’s clinical history, discuss reported symptoms, and ask for information from the patient’s friends and family. Could Instead, some companies evaluate patients during 30-minute appointments before reaching a diagnosis and prescribing stimulant medications.

‘Assisted Ads’

Companies advertising ADHD drugs were able to avoid more stringent regulations by not mentioning specific drugs by name.

Unlike ads that name specific drugs, the report noted that these ads—classified by the FDA as “help-seeking ads”—discuss a condition or disease but do not refer to a specific medical treatment for it. Let’s give

Instead, these ads would list the symptoms caused by ADHD and encourage viewers to seek treatment from a medical professional if they experience symptoms.

Google Ads search result for Buy Adderall online from ADHD treatment provider turned up

December 5, 2022 — A Google search for “buy Adderall online” brings up the first result which is an ad for Done.

However, the report notes that many of the symptoms listed in the ads are general to the human condition and may not indicate that a person has ADHD.

In disseminating information about ADHD symptoms without providing additional context, these ads run the risk of misleading viewers into thinking they have ADHD and should take medications to treat the condition without understanding the risks.

It states that viewers may identify with one or more of the common symptoms presented in the ad and seek medical treatment for the condition. This may result in some viewers receiving a misdiagnosis and medically unnecessary treatment.

Law enforcement audits of telehealth platforms

Although some telehealth providers offering mental health services may have played a role in a sharp increase in stimulant drug prescriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the report urged policymakers to focus on improving oversight of those providers. is — and rather than punishing those who violate the law — seeking retribution for the telehealth industry as a whole.

Among the actions recommended in the report are policy makers having law enforcement agencies regularly audit telehealth platforms to identify bad or negligent actors responsible for unnecessary prescriptions.

However, Dr. Jeffrey Singer, a surgeon and senior fellow at the Washington, DC think tank Keto Institute, sees some problems with law enforcement playing a role in regulating the medical profession.

“I don’t know many law enforcement people who have medical or pharmacological degrees, but they decide what is excessive and what is not,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“Whether doctors are overprescribing, underprescribing or prescribing inappropriately is a medical decision, not a decision for the criminal legal system,” he said.

In a white paper published in November, Singer and Cato Research Fellow Trevor Burruss argued that medical mismanagement of pain, which causes harm to patients, is best addressed through the civil tort system.

,[S]States establish professional licensing boards specifically to enforce the ‘standard of care’ provided by those professionals,” he wrote. “Law enforcement has no medical expertise and no knowledge of narcotics and psychoactive They should have no role in classifying substances.”

doctor crossing the state line

Stevens countered that the Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, and state law enforcement agencies are already investigating physicians and organizations in the health care industry, in addition to the regular audits the DEA conducts for controlled substances.

“The DEA, HHS and states have the ability to expand these operations to ensure compliance with more controlled substances,” he added.

The report also recommended that doctors be allowed to treat patients across state lines. She suggested that policy makers increase the number of providers patients can see to receive mental health services. With telehealth, patients can receive remote medical care from providers in various locations.

It states that state policymakers should join licensing compacts that enable medical providers to practice across state lines.

In testimony before Congress, Singer suggested lawmakers go even further. He told the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Media and Broadband, “Congress should define ‘place of care’ as the state in which the practitioner is located as opposed to the state in which the consumer of the service resides.”

“This change will increase access to care and allow patients to access expertise that may exist in areas of the country that are otherwise beyond their reach,” he explained. “It would also remove protections from out-of-state competitors that health care providers otherwise enjoy. The increased competition would again be to the benefit of patients.”

Keep a Watchful Eye on Telehealth Providers

The report states that the telehealth startup economy grew due to regulatory changes from the COVID-19 pandemic. These new companies enabled patients to receive medical care from the comfort of their homes and provided medical benefits that would otherwise be unavailable. Still, some telehealth providers have taken advantage of these changes to the detriment of patients.

Given the benefits of telehealth and the ease of access, it continued, policymakers should continue to drive regulatory changes that have helped the companies flourish. However, they must work to ensure that remote patients receive the same level of care as they would during an in-person appointment.

If you are looking for the best digital quality of life in the world, Denmark seems to be the place to go.

Hamlet’s homeland ranked first among 110 countries based on five “pillars” of measurement: Internet affordability, Internet quality, infrastructure, security and government, according to a study released Monday by VPN provider Surfshark.

Within the pillars are 14 “indicators” that further refine the quality of life measurement. For example, there are two indicators within the infrastructure column: the number of people using the Internet and the readiness of the network.

Countries were classified based on index points with the best possible value equal to one. Denmark had the top score with 0.83, followed by South Korea (0.76), Finland (0.76), Israel (0.74), USA (0.74) and Singapore (0.72).

2021 Digital Quality of Life Index (Source: Surfshark)

“The methodology of the study seems pretty solid,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, a technology advisory firm in Hayward, Calif.

“Since its launch in 2019 Surfshark has improved the study, both the areas examined and the number of countries and regions covered,” he told TechNewsWorld.

early internet adapter

Roslyn Layton, senior vice president of Strand Consult, a technology consultancy in Copenhagen, Denmark, said the findings of the Surfshark study are similar to reports from the International Telecommunication Union. “Denmark consistently scores at the top,” she told TechNewsWorld.

“Denmark was an early internet adopter, and it quickly put all its government online,” explained Layton, a naturalized Danish citizen. “It created tools that allow individuals and businesses to interact with the government.”

“In the United States, there is a lot of paperwork involved when dealing with the government,” she continued. “Denmark immediately digitized it. It was a way to encourage universal adoption of the Internet.”

“As a result, government systems are very useful, integrated, seamless and secure,” she said. “That’s what’s been happening for the last 20 years.”

However, in the Surfshark study, the United States ranked first in the electronic government category, while Denmark ranked sixth.

Most and least developed countries in the e-government category

Least and least developed countries in the e-government category (Image credit: Surfshark)

Joe Kane, director of spectrum and broadband policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, said, “This may warrant relative to other countries, but our research has found that the US still has much to do in improving the delivery of electronic government services.” There is space.” ITIF), a science and technology think tank in Washington, DC

need more competition

Kane stressed that Denmark has some other advantages over the United States when it comes to cultivating a digital life there.

“Denmark is a rich, dense country,” he told TechNewsWorld. “This makes it relatively easy to connect entire counties at affordable prices and provide high quality government services.”

Countries with the Most and Least Affordable Internet

Denmark ranks first among the countries with the most affordable internet. At the other end of the spectrum, the five least affordable internet countries are all in the continent of Africa. (image credit: surfshark)

Layton said Denmark also has a program in place to keep the cost of network deployment down. “The permissions to create the network are streamlined,” she explained. “Providers are encouraged to compete and invest.”

This is in stark contrast to the competitive scene in the United States. “There’s no competition in a lot of places in the US, so there’s not a lot of incentive for providers to upgrade,” said Jack E. Gould, founder and principal analyst at IT consulting firm J.Gold Associates. Northborough, Mass.

“This is changing and changing quickly,” he told TechNewsWorld, “due to 5G and fixed wireless access in many regions.”

However, he said the United States could be more competitive with other countries if it had a comprehensive broadband policy. “Many European countries are making policies that say, ‘You will do this, and we will fund it.’ It benefits some countries,” he explained. “In America, it’s all about private enterprise.”

doing well despite the challenges

King said that while the US is a leading market in both technology development and products, the federal government’s business-friendly approach has resulted in wide disparities in the quality, availability and cost of the Internet. “The ‘digital divide’ continues to be widespread, especially in rural and small communities,” he said.

“There are people in the United States without digital skills,” Layton said. “They lack education. Not many people have an interest in being online, although that has certainly changed with Covid – and because the United States is a huge country, you have the cost of getting the network into rural areas. ,

“America has done well given its challenges,” she continued, “but it is still an issue with the people not trusting the government.”

When comparing the United States to other countries in the Surfshark study, it is important to note how much the US ranks above it in the rankings, said Bruce Leachman, president, principal and analyst with Leachman Research Group in Durham, NH. Maintained.

The US has about 125 million households, compared to 2.7 million in Denmark, 21.5 million in South Korea, 1.5 million in Finland and 2.1 million in Israel. “So, one could say that given the size of the US, it is performing particularly well,” he told TechNewsWorld.

subjective subject

Although South Korea ranked second in the overall ranking, it took the top spot in both internet quality and broadband and mobile speed growth.

“One of the reasons there is a lot of bandwidth in South Korea is that gaming is so popular there,” Gold explained. He said that the government has made a policy to provide high-speed broadband to all in the next few years.

Best and worst countries for internet quality

Best and worst countries for internet quality (Image credit: Surfshark)

“South Korea has long been proactive in supporting the development and deployment of leading Internet-based services and solutions,” King said. “Add in major tech companies including Samsung, SK and LG, and South Korea’s ranking is no surprise.”

Much of South Korea’s digital infrastructure is relatively new, unlike the United States. “A lot of the infrastructure we have in the US is 30, 40 years old and hasn’t been upgraded,” Gold said. “A lot of new, high-growth countries have been adding new things or upgrading over the years. It makes a big difference.”

While Surfshark’s study may surprise some, Gould warns that digital quality of life can be a very subjective thing. “What you need and what I need may be very different from what our children need,” he said.

Furthermore, Surfshark’s findings may be more interesting than those from outside the countries involved in the study. “Users in every country are generally happy with what they have, whether they have it better or worse than other countries,” said technology analyst Jeff Kagan.

“While some countries are faster than others, users don’t know or care,” he told TechNewsWorld. “So, while it’s always fun to think about and talk about these studies, I don’t think they make any difference to users’ satisfaction.”

Digital devices and home networks of corporate executives, board members and high-value employees with access to financial, confidential and proprietary information are ripe targets for malicious actors, according to a study released Tuesday by a cybersecurity services firm.

Connected homes are a prime target for cybercriminals, but few officials or security teams realize the prominence of this emerging threat, analyzing data from more than 1,000 C-suite, board members and more than 55 high-profile US officials. Based on that mentioned in the study. -based Fortune 1000 companies that are using BlackClock’s executive security platform.

“BlackClock’s study is exceptional,” said Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, a password management and online storage company.

“It helps to uncover the broader issues and vulnerabilities that cause millions of businesses to transact with distributed, remote work as well as corporate websites, applications and systems from unsecured home networks,” he told TechNewsWorld. are.”

Blackcloak researchers found that nearly a quarter of executives (23%) have open ports on their home networks, which is highly unusual.

BlackCloak CISO Daniel Floyd attributed some of those open ports to third-party installers. “They don’t want to send a truck out because they’re an audio-visual or IT company, when things break down, they’ll install port-forwarding on the firewall,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“It allows them to connect remotely to the network to solve problems,” he continued. “Unfortunately, they are being installed improperly with default credentials or vulnerabilities that haven’t been patched for four or five years.”

exposed security cameras

An open port resembles an open door, Taylor Ellis, a customer threat analyst with Horizon 3 AI, told an automated penetration test as a service company in San Francisco. “You wouldn’t leave your door open 24/7 in this day and age, and it’s like on a home network with an open port,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“For a business leader,” he continued, “when you have an open port that provides access to sensitive data, the risk of breaches and penetration increases.”

“A port acts like a communication gateway for a specific service hosted on a network,” he said. “An attacker can easily open backdoors into one of these services and manipulate them to do their bidding.”

The report noted that of the open ports on Corporate Brass’ home network, 20% were linked to open security cameras, which could pose a risk to an executive or even a board member.

Bud Broomhead said, “Security cameras are often used by threat actors to spot and distribute malware, but perhaps more important is to provide surveillance on patterns and habits – and if resolution is sufficient, passwords and Other credentials are being entered.” , CEO of Viaku, a developer of cyber and physical security software solutions in Mountain View, Calif.

He told TechNewsWorld, “Many IP cameras have default passwords and outdated firmware, making them ideal targets for breaches and once breached, for threat actors to later migrate to home networks.” It gets easier.”

data leak

Blackcloak researchers also discovered that corporate brass’s personal devices were equally, if not more, vulnerable than their home networks. More than a quarter of execs (27%) had malware on their devices, and more than three-quarters of their devices (76%) were leaking data.

One way data leaks from smartphones is through applications. “A lot of apps will ask for sensitive permissions they don’t need,” Floyd explained. “People will open the app for the first time and click through settings, not realizing they are giving the app access to their location data. The app will then sell that location data to a third party.”

“It’s not just officers and their personal tools, it’s everyone’s personal tools,” said Chris Hills, chief security strategist at BeyondTrust, a maker of privileged account management and vulnerability management solutions in Carlsbad, Calif.

“The amount of data, PII, even PHI, in a common smartphone these days is astonishing,” he told TechNewsWorld. “We don’t know how vulnerable we can be when we don’t think about security as it pertains to our smartphones.”

Personal device security doesn’t seem to be top of mind for many executives. The study found that nine out of 10 of them (87%) have no protection installed on their devices.

lack of mobile OS security

“Many devices ship without security software, and even if they do, it may not be enough,” Broomhead said. “For example, Samsung Android devices ship with Knox security, which has previously been found to have security holes.”

“The device manufacturer may try to make a tradeoff between security and usability which may favor usability,” he said.

Hills said most people are comfortable and satisfied with the idea that their smartphone’s built-in operating system has the necessary security measures in place to keep the bad guys out.

“For the layman, that’s probably enough,” he said. “For the business executive who is more than likely to lose his or her role in a business or company, the security blanket of the underlying operating system simply isn’t enough.”

“Unfortunately, in most cases,” he continued, “we focus so much on trying to protect as individuals, sometimes some of the most common are overlooked, such as our smartphones.”

lack of privacy protection

Another finding by Blackcloak researchers was that most personal accounts of executives, such as email, e-commerce, and applications, lack basic privacy protections.

In addition, they discovered the authorities’ security credentials – such as bank and social media passwords – are readily available on the dark web, making them susceptible to social engineering attacks, identity theft and fraud.

The researchers noted that the passwords of nine out of 10 executives (87%) are currently leaked on the dark web, and more than half (53%) are not using a secure password manager. Meanwhile, only 8% have enabled active multifactor authentication across most applications and devices.

Melissa Bishopping, endpoint security research specialist, said, “While measures such as multifactor authentication are not perfect, these basic best practices are essential, especially for boards/c-suites, which are often left out of necessity in terms of convenience. ” Tanium, creator of the endpoint management and security platform in Kirkland, Wash., told TechNewsWorld.

“Invading personal digital lives may be a new risk for enterprises to consider,” wrote the researchers, “but it is a risk that needs immediate attention. Opponents have determined that officials at home are the path of least resistance, and they will compromise this attack vector as long as it is safe, seamless and attractive to them.