ABL-Tech Member News & Industry Trendletter * May 23, 2024
Alvaka on: DragonForce & LockBit 3.0 + Cyber Attacks on Public Sector Organizations

In DragonForce and LockBit 3.0: Emerging Threats in Cybersecurity, Alvaka discusses these two particularly menacing ransomware strains.
AND, in Ransomware Attacks in Public Sector Organizations, Alvaka explores the nature of these threats and offers actionable strategies for enhancing cybersecurity resilience. (LA)

Dave Berkus on: Company Leadership Strategies in Short Videos & Blogs

Recent short (1-2 minutes) videos from Dave include:
- Ten methods for pricing your offering in a five-minute mini-course.
- Overcome objections from prospects about high barriers to change to your product or service.
- Seven positioning niches.
AND, Dave's recent blogs include:
> No surprises! Good advice for all of us - It's good for the company when you share concerns, threats and opportunities with your superiors or your board, as soon as possible.
> Take this test to predict your success - Here in brief are ten tests for your successful vision. Try these on for size, and test yourself for attractiveness to the marketplace, to investors, and to history.
> And more at Berkonomics.com. (LA)

CuraeSoft (Mark Parinas) on: Accountability & Transparency in Remote Work

CEO Weekly recently published an article, CuraeSoft CEO, Mark Parinas, Believes That Transparency Is Key to Ensuring Accountability in the Era of Remote Work, which offers an in-depth examination of accountability and transparency in remote work.
AND, in a recent post, Mark shares five of the most effective employment retention strategies from a recent Forbes article. In summary, they are embracing remote work, flexible schedules, recognition and rewards, fostering growth, and hiring for cultural fit. (LA)

Get Visible (Jason Ciment) on: Elevating Your Email Etiquette + New Services - Look Really Busy & FollowUpWiz

In Elevate Your Email Etiquette, Get Visible looks at some common mistakes people make when they use email at work, and gives tips on how to avoid them. Topics include content mistakes, neglecting proofreading, overuse of jargon and complex language, inappropriate tone or humor, casual language and emojis, failure to personalize, lack of timely responses, and more.
MEANWHILE, Jason has announced new services:
- lookreallybusy.com, which is designed to fill up the News & Media section of your website with news, announcements, events, and milestones that make you and your business look really busy and worthy, and it gets you backlinks that juice your SEO rankings efforts.
- followupwiz.com, a 3-part system that automates prospect followup. (LA)

myKaarma (Ujj Nath) on: Product Design - Working Backwards & Iterative Teacher-Customer Feedback

In this edition of myKaarma insights - in a 1:20-minute video, CEO Ujj Nath explores one of the key reasons why his company seems to "get it" when it comes to creating Fixed Ops solutions: the art of Working Backwards.
AND, moving on to the next phase of product design, read Ujj's article, Refining Innovation: The Power of Iterative "Teacher-Customer" Feedback in Product Design.
MEANWHILE, other recent videos from myKaarma include How the wisdom of legendary hockey player Wayne Gretsky relates to myKaarma's Pickup and Delivery solution, and Even in a Group BDC, Every Customer Can Feel Valued. (OC)

Optimum Info (Arvind Verma) on: the Potential of US Infrastructure Growth & Creating Operational Efficiency in the Field

In How Construction OEMs Can Take Advantage of the US Infrastructure Growth, Optimum Info (OI) explores how construction OEMs can harness the potential of the infrastructure bill and strengthen their dealer network with a field operations management system.
AND, in Navigating the Field: A Former Field Rep Finds a Solution to Operational Efficiency, OI looks at the life of a field representative - truly a lifestyle. OI acknowledges that the days are long, but life in the field doesn't need to be as administrative and inefficient as it is. (OC)

ProProfs (Sameer Bhatia) Wins Leader Award + Writes on Market Segmentation & Webinar Marketing

ProProfs Quiz Maker has received the most prestigious accolade on SourceForge, the Spring 2024 Leader Award, placing it in the top fifth percentile of highly reviewed products, affirming its leadership in online assessments and eLearning.
MEANWHILE, read recent articles from ProProfs:
- How Qualaroo Surveys Helped GreatSchools Enhance Their Education Data Hub.
- Market Segmentation - Types, Benefits, Mistakes & Examples.
- How to Craft a Winning Webinar Marketing Strategy.
- How to Create & Host a Compelling Webinar in 2024. (LA)

Alvaka (Oli Thordarson) Earns CompTIA Cybersecurity Trustmark

Alvaka posted that it has been assessed by a third party against the safeguards measured by the CompTIA Cybersecurity Trustmark and recommended for accreditation. This assessment includes the governance, skills, and technical controls in place to address security safeguards rooted in security, privacy, and data handling unique to IT solution providers found in globally recognized frameworks. (LA)

California Lightworks (George Mekhtarian) Unveils MegaFlip

California Lightworks has introduced a new product, MegaFlip. Using the same power, MegaFlip runs two flower rooms instead of only one, flipping each 12 hours between two rooms - no additional power capacity, supplies, electrical wiring, nor additional controllers required. (LA)

Clovers (Adam Miller, JD) Partners with FIF Collective

Clovers announced that it's partnering with FIF Collective, a global collective which advances the careers and visibility of high-profile females in finance. Together, the companies will deliver cost-effective, efficient, and insightful solutions that address the challenges women often face in hiring.
ALSO, Adam's company Instil published an article, What The FEP 2023 Fundraising Data Tells Us About The Importance of Major Donor Stewardship, which reviews a recent report from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project. (LA)

John Tanner's NuSci to Present In-Person Event on June 18

On the evening of June 18, NuSci Nutrition Science Foundation will present a Nutrition Science Workshop, in which John Tanner will share his nutrition journey after suffering a near-fatal cardiac arrest in 2009. John will relay the scientific information the attendees need to avoid heart disease and other leading killers, discuss strategies for change, and field questions. The evening, to be held at Tanner Research, in Duarte, will include dinner and a gift book. (LA)

Toast (Ken Neeld) Launches Digital Storefront and Marketing Suites

Toast (NYSE: TOST) recently announced details of its new solutions. Its Digital Storefront Suite offers robust website and online ordering capabilities. Its Marketing Suite marries marketing tools with automation technology. Together, the suites create a seamless digital hospitality experience for restaurants, integrating across the Toast platform, allowing restaurants to gather guest data from online and point-of-sale transactions. This data powers automated, targeted campaigns and custom-tailored guest experiences, fostering an engaging online environment that attracts guests and encourages return restaurant visits and repeat orders. (OC)

CGI Biomed Investments' George Carpenter Discusses Evolving Landscape of Entrepreneurship & Investing

In this 37-second video posted by Pegasus Angel Accelerator, George Carpenter shares how it's never been easier to launch a company, but questions if traditional startup investing will remain the norm in 5-10 years. With coding increasingly automated, he envisions a future where a smaller workforce drives a larger number of ventures. George's perspectives underscore the rapid pace of change and how investors may need to adapt by backing intellectual property, code, DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations), and other emerging vehicles beyond the traditional startup model. (OC)

Eitan Medical (Roger Massengale) Teams with Master Medical Equipment

Master Medical Equipment is now the premier distributor of Eitan Medical's Sapphire Infusion Pump for the Pre-Acute EMS market. Approved for air and ground transport, Sapphire's small, lightweight and durable design and 2.5% flow accuracy delivers, even under very demanding conditions. (OC)

Nelson Hardiman (Harry Nelson, JD) Addresses Nation-States, Cyber Attacks & Healthcare Law

In Hacking and Healing: Nation-States, Cyber Attacks, and Healthcare Law, Nelson Hardiman (NH) acknowledges that modern warfare is no longer restricted to physical battlefields and professional military. Some countries have few qualms about using cyberspace to reach well beyond their physical borders to target private enterprise and the civil infrastructure of adversaries. In recent years, one of the most alarming aspects of cyber warfare is the targeted hacking of healthcare platforms, electronic medical records, and genomic databases. Healthcare systems are repositories of vast amounts of sensitive personal data, making them prime targets for nation-state actors who aim to gather intelligence, disrupt infrastructure, or steal trade secrets and new technologies. (LA)

Providence (Marcee Chmait) Spins Out Praia Health with $20M in Oversubscribed Series A Funding

Praia Health, a newly formed digital health company, recently announced the closing of a $20 million oversubscribed Series A financing led by Frist Cressey Ventures and backed by Providence Ventures, SignalFire, and Epsilon Health Investors. The funding will bolster the platform's ability to revolutionize the delivery of individualized health solutions at scale, enabling digitally-driven health system transformation. (LA)

Sheppard Mullin (Linda Igarashi) Discusses FTC Vote to Ban Noncompete Agreements

Read Sheppard Mullin's article - FTC Votes to Ban Noncompete Agreements, which reports that the Final Rule defines a "noncompete" as any term or condition of employment that "prohibits a worker from, penalizes a worker for, or functions to prevent a worker from (1) seeking or accepting work in the U.S. with a different person where such work would begin after the conclusion of the employment that includes the term or condition; or (2) operating a business in the U.S. after the conclusion of employment that includes the term or condition." (OC)

Wipfli (JJ Johnson) Examines How Data is Revolutionizing RCM in Rural Health

In How data is revolutionizing RCM in rural health, Wipfli reports that the healthcare industry's digital revolution has unlocked the vast potential of data analytics, which can play an indispensable role in helping craft a revenue cycle management (RCM) strategy that will keep rural healthcare providers ahead of the curve. Wipfli suggests how providers can leverage their data in improving rural healthcare RCM, so that they can reach new heights in patient care and financial performance.
ALSO, Wipfli has published its Mid-market technology trends report. (BA)

Five Trends Shaping Workforce & Learning

HR professionals are sharpening their focus on skills-based hiring and job candidates' digital fluency, according to a new report released by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the IT industry and workforce. The majority of U.S. companies expect to hire workers to support growth initiatives in the year ahead (66%). For technology workers specifically, 72% of companies expect to increase hiring. Expectations of adding workers are offset to a degree by the potential of layoffs (cited by 24% of firms), separations due to skills gaps (22%), and hiring freezes (19%). CompTIA's annual Workforce and Learning Trends report divides data and insight into five key focus areas:
- Skills-first approaches sharpen focus on outcomes
- Adaptive learning elevates competency-based education
- Digital fluency grows in scope and career value
- HR tech alignment with people and process takes center stage
- Navigating the promise and limitations of generative AI in the workplace (https://www.comptia.org/newsroom/press-releases/skills-first-approach-to-hiring-digital-fluency-seen-by-hr-professionals-as-critical-to-addressing-talent-needs-today-and-for-the-future-comptia-research-reveals )

Employers Should Include Workers in AI Plans, Dept of Labor Says

Employers should implement artificial intelligence technologies transparently and with the "genuine input" of workers and their representatives, the U.S. Department of Labor said in a recently published guidance document. DOL included these items in a set of eight "AI Principles for Developers and Employers." The agency said the guidance would create a road map for balancing AI's potential benefits for businesses and workers while protecting workers from potential harm. The guidance document is a direct follow-up to President Biden's 2023 executive order directing federal agencies to develop AI "principles and best practices" specifically targeted at mitigating potential harm and maximizing benefits for workers. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/employers-workers-ai-plans-labor-department/716479/)

66% of Leaders Wouldn't Hire Someone Without AI Skills, Report Finds

Microsoft recently released its annual Work Trend Index in partnership with LinkedIn, surveying 31,000 people across 31 countries to provide an in-depth look at the impact of AI on employment. The results show an overwhelming prioritization of AI at work from both employers and employees. The rapid growth of generative AI and its implementation across businesses has significantly increased the demand for technical AI talent, with hiring up 323% in the last eight years, according to the report. However, the research shows business leaders are now set on recruiting non-technical talent with AI aptitude. These employees have the skills to use generative AI tools to the maximum advantage. AI skills are so much of a priority that the report suggests 66% of business leaders wouldn't hire someone without AI skills, and 71% of leaders would prefer to hire a less experienced candidate with AI skills than a more experienced candidate without them.
       Employees are conscious of the shift in demand and the importance of upskilling, with 76% of professionals saying they need AI skills to remain competitive in the job market, 69% suggesting AI can help them get promoted faster, and 79% sharing AI skills can broaden job opportunities. (https://www.zdnet.com/article/66-of-leaders-wouldnt-hire-someone-without-ai-skills-report-finds/)

Generative AI Interest Now Shapes Talent Strategy, Employers Say

Three-quarters of leaders said they're looking to change their talent strategies in the next two years due to generative AI, particularly with a focus on work processes and upskilling or reskilling employees, according to a recent report from Deloitte's AI Institute - based on a survey of nearly 2,000 Director to C-suite leaders who are directly involved in piloting or implementing AI at their organizations. Only 37% of respondents said their organizations were slightly or not at all prepared to address talent concerns related to generative AI adoption. In addition, 39% said they plan to increase head count during the next 12 months due to generative AI initiatives. Leaders pointed to efficiency and productivity as the most anticipated benefits of generative AI adoption, and although many are reporting benefits, most aren't realizing the full extent so far. At the same time, lack of trust continues to be a top barrier to large-scale adoption. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/generative-AI-talent-strategies/715451/)

White House Wants to Hold Software Sector Accountable for Security

The Biden administration plans to pursue a liability framework to hold the software industry accountable for insecure software, according to administration officials and documents recently released by the Office of the National Cyber Director. Federal officials said they have taken steps toward a long-stated goal of shifting the security burden away from technology users and onto the industry. The administration wants to pursue a plan to create incentives that will help enable long-term investment in cybersecurity and resilience, Nick Leiserson, assistant national cyber director for cyber policy and programs, said. Leiserson cautioned the objective was not to create a liability framework for the purposes of opening up the software industry to lawsuits. "The point is to secure investments in secure software development," Leiserson said. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/white-house-software-accountable-security/715963/)

Bipartisan Group of Senators Unveil Plan to Control AI, While Investing Billions

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with a bipartisan trio of senators, recently announced a sprawling blueprint to shape how congressional committees tackle artificial intelligence in forthcoming bills. The 31-page roadmap calls for billions of dollars in government spending to accelerate AI R&D, reflecting earlier commitments by Schumer and the so-called "AI gang" to prioritize US innovation in a highly competitive field. It also instructs multiple Senate committees to raise guardrails on AI to address some of its biggest risks, such as AI-enabled discrimination, job displacement, and election interference.
        Some of the document's proposals reflect longstanding congressional goals, such as the creation of a national data privacy law that gives consumers more control over their personal information, which could help regulate AI companies' use of such data. Others appear modeled after legislation adopted by the European Union, such as a proposed ban on the use of AI for social scoring systems akin to those implemented by the Chinese government. And it urges congressional committees to develop coherent policies for when and how to impose export controls on "powerful AI systems" - or for designating certain AI models as classified for national security purposes. The roadmap endorses a recommendation to allocate at least $32 billion a year, or at least 1% of US GDP, on AI R&D, a proposal issued in a 2021 report by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. (https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/15/tech/schumer-ai-framework/index.html)

AI-Generated Digital Twins Could Participate in Clinical Trials

Artificial intelligence is making it possible for companies to replace humans with Digital Twins who can participate in clinical trials. AI systems can take in data on a person's individual characteristics - such as their health profile - then predict how they would be affected by a disease. This AI content, sometimes referred to as a person's digital twin, is already being used for a variety of tasks. For instance, Unlearn is using AI to generate digital twins of people based on their health data to predict how disease might progress over time for those individuals - aiming to make clinical trials more efficient and effective. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-ai-generated-population-is-here-and-theyre-ready-to-work-16f8c764?mod=hp_minor_pos4)

Waymo Robotaxis Now Completing 50,000 Paid Trips a Week

In Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Phoenix, Waymo robotaxis are now completing more than 50,000 paid trips a week, according to a post on social media by the Alphabet-owned company. Waymo has for several years had permission to operate its robotaxis without anyone behind the steering wheel, paving the way for paying passengers to enjoy their ride with no one else inside the autonomous car. (https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/waymo-robotaxis-now-completing-50000-paid-trips-a-week/)

The Quest to "Feel" Textures on Your Phone

Imagine if you could touch your phone screen to feel the texture of that shirt you might buy, the roughness of a sand dune, or the striations of a block of wood. That's the promise of surface haptics, a branch of mechanical engineering that aims to improve the displays in our automobiles, on kitchen appliances, and on cellphones and iPads. Improved surface haptics on our vehicle displays could prevent accidents by helping us keep our eyes on the road while we fumble around for the music or climate controls. The tech could also help doctors deliver better telemedicine, enhance VR experiences, and improve "hands-on" education and training. Northwestern University engineers have built touchscreens that enable us to feel a variety of sensations - such as sticky, rough and fuzzy. (https://www.axios.com/2024/05/13/phone-screen-texture-surface-haptics-tech)

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