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Wilful Blindness Book Relaunch: How a network of narcos, tycoons and Chinese Communist Party agents infiltrated the West

MLI | Charles Burton | Jun 9, 2022

Wilful Blindness MLI Charles Burton - Wilful Blindness Book Relaunch: How a network of narcos, tycoons and Chinese Communist Party agents infiltrated the West

On June 7, 2022, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute was pleased to host a book re-launch of Sam Cooper’s Wilful Blindness: How a network of narcos, tycoons and Chinese Communist Party agents infiltrated the West.

Opening remarks were delivered by MLI Senior Fellow Charles Burton; Dean Baxendale, Publisher at Optimum Publishing International; and Adam Chambers, Member of Parliament.

See:  NCFA Response to FINTRAC’s ‘Knee Jerk’ Regulations Requiring Donation Crowdfunding Platforms to Register and Comply with AML/ATF Legislation

A panel discussion followed, focusing on money laundering, transnational organized crime, and national security. The discussion, moderated by Senior Fellow Charles Burton, featured Sam Cooper, author of Wilful Blindness; Jessica Davis, President at Insight Threat Intelligence; and James Cohen, Executive Director at Transparency International Canada.

Members of the panel touched on the malign yet sophisticated influence of the Chinese government and its agents in Canada, and how the Canadian government has chosen to address those concerns. They also debated Canada’s approach to the problem of money laundering and whether or not enough has been done to counteract it.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Wilful Blindness Book Relaunch: How a network of narcos, tycoons and Chinese Communist Party agents infiltrated the WestThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Meta to Start Testing NFTs on Instagram (Facebook and Other Apps To Follow)

Go Banking Rates | May 9, 2022

Meta rolls out NFTs to instagram - Meta to Start Testing NFTs on Instagram (Facebook and Other Apps To Follow)Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, tweeted that the company [Meta] will begin to test digital collectibles this week “with a handful of U.S. creators and collectors who will be able to share NFTs on Instagram.” He added that “there will be no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on IG.”

NFTs on Instagram will have a unique “shimmer” effect to differentiate them from traditional images and photos, and will be attributed to both the collector and the original creator, according to Decrypt. In addition, Instagram will add support for NFTs on blockchains including Ethereum, Solana, Flow and Polygon.

See:  CB Insights: Metaverse stack and companies making it a reality

Some experts, however, voiced their dissatisfaction with Meta’s foray into NFTs. Hugo Feiler, CEO and co-founder at blockchain network Minima, told GOBankingRates:

While NFTs are decentralized and have the associated benefits of being tamper-proof and accessible, it seems that this approach by Meta to integrate NFTs on various platforms is another sign of them not truly understanding the purpose of the underlying technology.  Blockchain wasn’t meant to be leveraged by a few powerful parties to increase stickiness of their platforms and therefore ad revenue. It’s a technology that, when used right, empowers individuals, from artists to art lovers and anything in-between.

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Mark Zuckerberg | May 9, 2022

[Zuckerberg] enjoyed talking to Tom Bilyeu about NFTs, web3 and the metaverse. This week we're starting to test digital collectibles on Instagram so creators and collectors can display their NFTs on their profile. Similar functionality is coming to Facebook soon, along with augmented reality NFTs on Instagram Stories via Spark AR so you can place digital art into physical spaces.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Meta to Start Testing NFTs on Instagram (Facebook and Other Apps To Follow)The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Facebook-like metaverse potential disaster says Second Life creator Philip Rosedale

Nikkei Asia | | Mar 18, 2022

Second l ife - Facebook-like metaverse potential disaster says Second Life creator Philip Rosedale

Philip Rosedale says technology is not yet ready for 3D immersive VR

TOKYO -- "Metaverse" has become a buzzword in tech, business and beyond since Mark Zuckerberg changed the name of his company from Facebook to Meta Platforms last October, signaling a new focus on creating a virtual world where people can "live" in the form of avatars.

But what is effectively a kind of metaverse has actually been available to consumers for nearly two decades -- ever since Linden Lab of San Francisco launched its Second Life platform in 2003.

Philip Rosedale, the inventor of Second Life and founder of Linden Lab, has a vision for the metaverse that contrasts sharply with Zuckerberg's plans. Now an adviser to Linden, he shared his views with Nikkei in a recent interview. Edited excerpts follow.

Q: How do you view Zuckerberg's version of the metaverse?

A: I have two observations. One is that we are not technologically ready yet for the 3D metaverse for virtual reality headsets. [The] technology does not yet exist. The second thing I would say, more specifically about Meta, is that the business model Facebook has historically used, based on a very sophisticated kind of advertising involving behavioral targeting with a lot of surveillance and personal data, is not a safe model to apply to the metaverse.

If you imagine putting people as avatars into a virtual world with that kind of surveillance and behavior modification going on, it would be extremely dangerous for everyone. In my opinion it simply cannot be allowed to happen.

See:  7 Ways the Metaverse is Changing Enterprises

Second Life is proof, at least for a certain size of audience, that you do not have to rely on that kind of business model and that you can create a virtual world where people have privacy.

Second Life's business model is based on fees. There are two kinds of fees. One is, if you choose to own a piece of land in Second Life, which is about the size of Los Angeles, you have to pay a monthly fee of about $20 per acre. The second type of fee is charged, when you sell some virtual merchandise to other people, on listing and transactions. It is like a single-digit percentage of the value traded. Not as large as Apple's App Store.

And you know what? Second Life is making more annual revenue per active user than Facebook or YouTube does. That shows a metaverse does not require the Facebook-like business model. But if Meta chooses to apply the Facebook model to its metaverses, that would be a terrible thing, even an existential threat.

Q: What do you mean when you say that technology is not ready yet?

A: One thing that sets a metaverse apart from the conventional internet is that it always has other people there. When you go to a conventional website to do shopping or to read news, there is nobody else there with you. You cannot look to your left or right and see other people. In a metaverse, experiences that we would like to realize there, like a college classroom or a live music event, require us to enable hundreds or even thousands of people to be there near each other with sight and sound of each other. And that is very difficult technology.

See:  Meta reveals it’s built one of the world’s fastest supercomputers to power the metaverse

We at High Fidelity have worked on spatial audio for the last 10 years and today we can enable a couple of hundred people, or a little more than that, to share the same space with sound. But having a bunch of people visibly standing around at an event, looking interesting enough that you would want to walk up and talk to them, it is not technologically possible yet. There have to be advances in cloud computing, rendering and a number of other things to make that possible. I think it will happen in the next five years.

And VR headsets, they are more like 10 years away. Those are in a very early stage. Today they are very uncomfortable. Actually we do not have the scientific approach to fix the dizziness we feel when we wear the headsets. The problem is that any time you move in VR but your head or actual body is not moving, eventually it makes you sick. And it tends to make women somewhat sicker than men and that is a terrible problem if you are trying to create a social experience.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Facebook-like metaverse potential disaster says Second Life creator Philip RosedaleThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Pitchbook ranks Waterloo top Canadian university for founders

University of Waterloo | Melanie Scott | Dec 2, 2021

Uniersity of waterloo - Pitchbook ranks Waterloo top Canadian university for founders

Waterloo maintains its position in the 2021 PitchBook rankings and is the top Canadian university on the list

The University of Waterloo is ranked 22nd in the world for universities that produce the most successful entrepreneurs, according to the 2021 PitchBook rankings of top 50 colleges for founders.

PitchBook is a financial data and software company whose annual rankings uncover which colleges and universities produce the most successful entrepreneurs. The global rankings are based on undergraduate and MBA programs that have venture capital-backed founders among their alumni. The 2021 rankings take into account companies that have received a first round of venture funding between January 1, 2006 and October 31, 2021.

See:  Gen Z VCs are entrepreneurial, digitally native, values-focused

President and Vice-Chancellor Vivek Goel says the University of Waterloo is proud to hold this position among so many esteemed colleges and universities around the world. “At Waterloo, entrepreneurship is in our DNA. We are focused on nurturing talent by creating an environment that removes barriers and allows imagination and impact to lead the way,” Goel says. “With our unmatched programs for entrepreneurs, our role in supporting the Toronto-Waterloo Tech Corridor and our focus on nurturing the next generation of talent, Waterloo will continue to be a university that positions founders for success.”

Waterloo is the highest ranked Canadian university on the PitchBook undergraduate list. Its startup incubators and entrepreneurial support programs include Velocity, Concept and GreenHouse, at Waterloo’s St. Paul’s University College. Waterloo alumni have gone on to become leading entrepreneurs and have founded unicorn companies like FaireApplyBord and Clearco. Velocity, Waterloo’s flagship incubator, has played a key role for influential companies like VidyardEmbark and Brink Bionics.

“Waterloo’s support for undergraduate and graduate students interested in entrepreneurship and innovation has a multiplier effect on the Canadian economy.  Many alumni directly cite Waterloo and Velocity’s programs as critical steps to their entrepreneurial success,” says John Dick, director of Velocity on-campus programs, including Concept, the Problem Lab and Zero Experience.

See: 

Dick says Waterloo equips students with the tools and confidence to make an impact in the world through a variety of extracurricular programs and incubators as well as courses in entrepreneurship. “Waterloo produces the largest share of venture-backed startup founders in Canada,” Dick says. “Many alumni use what they have learned to drive meaningful change as business owners and help transform industries by bringing innovative mindsets to established companies.”

In 2021, Velocity saw alumni and residents collectively surpass $2.4 billion USD in funding, a 40 per cent increase from the end of 2020. Waterloo companies, many who got their start at Velocity, have helped fuel the Toronto-Waterloo startup ecosystem, which was listed as one of the fastest growing ecosystems in the world in the 2021 Global Startup Ecosystem Report. Eight companies founded by Waterloo alumni were recently ranked in the Deloitte 2021 top 50 fastest growing tech companies and Waterloo was ranked most innovative University in Canada in the Macleans 2022 ranking.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Pitchbook ranks Waterloo top Canadian university for founders The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Freedom Fighters: Introducing the TekSavvy comic book: story of a captured regulator and band of heroes

TekSavvy | Nov 30, 2021

TekSavvy comic book - Freedom Fighters:  Introducing the TekSavvy comic book: story of a captured regulator and band of heroes[TechSavvy] proud to present the first issue of “The Intrepid Savvies,” which was created and distributed to shine a light on the state of the telecommunications sector in Canada.

This is the story of a captured regulator and an all-powerful telecommunications industry, and a small but mighty band of heroes who fight to make things better.

While the story may be exaggerated, it reflects a real and significant shift over the past few years in the Canadian telecommunications industry toward fewer companies increasing their market power, often with the encouragement of decision-makers such as the CRTC and the Competition Bureau.

If this trend continues, there will be no space left for smaller independent competitors and Canadians will lose.

Every Canadian deserves internet access at an affordable price, yet we continue to pay some of the highest prices for telecommunications services in the world.

You can read our latest blog post on the backstory behind why we felt the need to create and share this story.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Freedom Fighters:  Introducing the TekSavvy comic book: story of a captured regulator and band of heroes The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Tamara Kiteley: Liquid Avatar’s 17-Year-Old Comic Book Art Sensation

New York Weekly Times | Nov 15, 2021

Tamara Kiteley - Tamara Kiteley: Liquid Avatar’s 17-Year-Old Comic Book Art SensationInterview with Comic book art prodigy Tamar Kiteley

Tamara Kiteley is quickly making her mark in the industry working with Liquid Avatar Technologies and debuting her work at Los Angeles Comic Con at the Los Angeles Convention Center December 3–5. Already working on comic book covers, the 17-year-old Canadian artist hopes to eventually have a career in animation.

Tamara has already dazzled Liquid Avatar with her creations, and she is working on their collaborative project, “The Outer Space Men,” where she is designing a collection of digital icons for their biometrically verified Self Sovereign Identity platform. She will be debuting her cover for “Colossus Rex” at The Outer Space Men Kickstarter on November 15.

See:  Liquid Avatar Technologies and Dynamics Inc. Tap Payment Infrastructure for Verification of Digital Credentials

Tamara does what makes her soul shine. Her artwork is filled with inspiring symphonic textures and colors. Mesmerized by her own passion she is like an alchemist transforming art into a narrative of truth.

You are an amazing artist. How old were you when you realized that you could draw?

When I was old enough to hold a pencil. I’ve been drawing since I could. I think I was in grade school when I really realized that I could draw, so I was probably around 9 years old. I really started getting into art and creating, sketching, painting, using markers, etc. From there I just developed this passion for art, and I have loved it ever since.

How did you get into comic book art?

My dad was a huge fan of comic books. He had a lot of old comic books in the basement. He showed them to me when I was little and of course I love Marvel Comics, I love the Marvel Universe, and so I’ve always been fascinated by the style and the detail and color. So, I tried to replicate that through my sketches. That got me noticed. People started to look at and enjoy my art and they wanted me to create for them. That’s how I got where I am today.

How are you associated with Liquid Avatar, and what exactly do you do with them?

One of my mother’s very close friends, Lynn, saw my art and the things that I created, and she thought I might have the potential to create some projects for Liquid Avatar. She connected me to a lovely man, Mariano Nicieza, who worked for Marvel Comics and now runs Apex Comics Group.

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From there I ended up connecting with Liquid Avatar and re-creating The Outer Space Men figures originally created by Mel Birnkrant in the 1960s. That was my first project for Liquid Avatar. From there they gave me a comic book cover to work on as well.

Where do you hope to be in five years with your already fabulous art career?

Currently, I’m looking at colleges and universities. I have four big ones in mind. My number one would be the animation program at Sheridan in Ontario, Canada. I’m hoping to create cartoon animation, sticking with the cartoon comic book style. My dream is to work for the Cartoon Network. I want to produce cartoons for them, kids’ cartoons, adult cartoons, etc. I just want to get into animation. That’s my number one dream and goal.

Do you have Comic Cons in Ontario?

Yes, we do, however, I’ve never been to a convention before. The first convention that I’m going to, L.A. Comic Con, my art is going to be featured. That’s pretty crazy for me.

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Congratulations on that! Do people know your art?

I’ve only done work for Liquid Avatar and Apex Comics Group but soon my work is going to be featured at the Indiegogo Crowdfunder for Phazer Universe. That’s going to be for my cover which is a Blackray variant and on November 15 at the Outer Space Men Kickstarter with Liquid Avatar, which is for my Colossus Rex cover. I’m hoping that that will get me some exposure along with L.A. Comic Con. That should get some different people noticing me.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Tamara Kiteley: Liquid Avatar’s 17-Year-Old Comic Book Art Sensation The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Podcast: Whistleblower testifies about Facebook’s amplification algorithm and misleading the public

USA Today | Claire Thornton | Oct 11, 2021

Mark Zuckerberg - Podcast:  Whistleblower testifies about Facebook's amplification algorithm and misleading the publicOn today's episode of 5 Things: Armed with tens of thousands of documents, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before Congress this week, warning lawmakers that the company has repeatedly misled the public about how its platforms drive division and harm users, especially children.

Earlier in the week, Facebook saw one of its worst outages ever. Facebook's platforms were down for six hours and over three billion people were affected worldwide.

Facebook went down for a bit on Thursday, October 8, 2021 as well.

We've known for a long time that Facebook and Instagram have harmful effects and we've known we're probably a bit too dependent on the platforms.

See:  U.S. and States Say Facebook Illegally Crushed Competition

So why does this moment feel different?

Breaking news reporter Gabriela Miranda, tech reporter Mike Snider and politics reporter Matthew Brown sit down with host Claire Thornton to dissect Frances Haugen's Congressional testimony, explain what we know about Facebook's 'amplification' algorithm and discuss how everyday people had their lives upended by Facebook's massive outage last Monday.

Extract from the podcast discussion including Facebook's Amplification algorithm

Matt Brown:

This algorithm is causing extremism in communities, this algorithm is causing people to be angrier, but it's also causing them to be more engaged. And when researchers at Facebook brought this information to the top executives, they consistently said, these are the effects and if we want to make them better, we have solutions that would potentially make a lot of the issues that are going rampant on this platform better, but they would probably decrease engagement on some level.

Claire Thornton:

And they didn't do anything about it.

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Matt Brown:

And consistently Facebook's executives said, we are going to choose keeping people engaged, increasing the scale of our platforms, instead of saying, we're going to scale this down and maybe not grow as quickly and not increase profits as quickly. So the fact that we know from inside the company now, how definitively this went is what really makes this situation so much more of a game changer. Haugen actually compared Facebook's behavior on this issue to the tobacco companies before regulation came for them and to the automakers actually even before we were required to have seatbelts in our cars. So she's really taking this as a historic moment that needs regulation. She kept urging that this is something that Facebook is not going to correct on its own, that its executives have consistently shown that they are not interested in correcting this on their own, even though they know what they need to do. And that's why she's now turning to Congress and saying that someone from outside the company needs to act.

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Podcast:  Whistleblower testifies about Facebook's amplification algorithm and misleading the public The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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