Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka Unveils First Indigenously-Built Driverless Vehicle



The Unlikely STEMinist: Software Engineer turned Social Entrepreneur to Raise Computational Thinkers

In Africa, we say it takes a village. In America, we call it, Social Capital. Even though my parents grew up with scarce educational resources, which limited their exposure and access to opportunities to further their schooling, they worked tirelessly so that I could advance mine. They championed, encouraged, and supported me to stand on their strong shoulders, so I could see farther and reach higher, for us all. I went on to build the first United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) website and earn my Masters of Science degree in Software Engineering from North Dakota State University (NDSU). I strongly believe in the proverb, “education is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” A lot of people helped me acquire this treasure. Now, it is time to give back.

Simon Fraser University and Siemens Canada partner on mechatronics certification program and major Siemens PLM …

Simon Fraser University Instructor Amr Marzouk shows new state-of-the-art industrial training assembly line equipment to SFU mechatronics students Anahita Mahmoodi and Mouataz Kaddoura. Both are enrolled in the …

  • Collaboration allows students and professionals to benefit from best-in-class instruction and real-world tools from the manufacturing industry

SURREY, BC, July 11, 2017 /CNW/ – Simon Fraser University (SFU) and Siemens Canada have announced a new academic partnership that will provide advanced learning and certification opportunities for engineering students and professionals. Announced at an industry engagement day hosted by SFU in partnership with Siemens and the City of Surrey, the collaboration involves both the introduction of the Siemens Mechatronics Systems Certification Program (SMSCP) at the university’s Surrey campus, and an in-kind grant of sophisticated Siemens PLM software.

Beginning in August 2017, SFU will offer the globally recognized program to qualified students (from all post-secondary institutions) and professionals interested in advancing their skills in automation and manufacturing. Upon completion of the program, participants will obtain mechatronics systems certification directly from Siemens. Mechatronics is the combination of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering integrated to build complex systems ranging from home appliances to automated manufacturing systems. This holistic, hands-on approach to engineering can improve efficiency, productivity and quality and ultimately decrease time to market. Industries that benefit greatly from mechatronics systems include aerospace, materials processing, machine building, automotive, transportation, building technologies and mining.

SFU will also receive an in-kind grant of Siemens PLM software, enabling students in the Faculty of Applied Sciences to use the same software technology in their classrooms that 77,000 customers around the world utilize to design some of today’s most sophisticated products. The grant includes NX™ software, a leading integrated solution for computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering, from Siemens’ PLM Software business. 

“As Canada’s engaged university, SFU is proud to partner with Siemens, a world leader in high-technology manufacturing,” says Joanne Curry, Vice President External Relations, SFU. “This certification will give program participants a clear advantage as they pursue careers in automation and manufacturing, and will equip them with skills and knowledge to meet the changing needs of industry. We are excited to provide such opportunities for SFU and other B.C. students and professionals.”

SFU is one of only seven Canadian schools to offer the SMSCP courses which will be taught by SFU instructors who are certified professional engineers and have trained at the Siemens Technik Academy in Berlin, Germany. Siemens is the only global industrial company to offer the internationally recognized mechatronics certification program, which in Canada is offered through the Siemens Canada Engineering Technology Academy based in Oakville, ON.

“The skills needed for the future of manufacturing are very different from what is currently required, and that means students need to train today for the jobs of tomorrow,” says Bo Ouyang, Executive Vice President and CFO, Siemens Canada, “We have a great academic partner in Simon Fraser University who believes this as well and together we will help provide students with the technology and training to become leaders of this digital future.”

Applications are currently being accepted for the Level 1 SMSCP courses that will begin in mid-August. The course framework allows students and professionals to continue working or studying full-time while enrolled in the program. More details about SFU’s SMSCP course schedule and application deadlines can be found at

About Siemens Canada
Siemens Canada is a leading technology partner that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality and reliability for more than 100 years. Siemens’ expertise in the fields of electrification, automation and digitalization helps make real what matters to Canada, delivering solutions for sustainable energy, intelligent infrastructure, healthcare and the future of manufacturing. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a foremost supplier of power generation and power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment and laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. The company has approximately 5,000 employees, 44 offices and 15 production facilities from coast-to-coast. Sales for Siemens Canada in fiscal 2016 (ended September 30), were $3.1 billion CAD. Further information is available at

About Simon Fraser University
As Canada’s engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded more than 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada’s leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 145,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world. Learn more at

Note:  Siemens and the Siemens logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Siemens AG. NX is a trademark or registered trademark of Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries. All other trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks belong to their respective holders.

SOURCE Siemens Canada Limited

For further information: Contacts for journalists: Siemens Canada, Ann Adair, VP, Corporate Communications, Phone: 416.567.7831, Email:, Twitter: @siemenscanada; Simon Fraser University, Suraaj Aulakh, Communications Officer, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Phone: 778.782.7029, Email:, Twitter: @fas_sfu


If we could just get a word in Edgewise… New kid says it can do data …

Edgewise Networks launched on Wednesday with a project to reengineer the firewall and make it suitable for cloud-based environments by moving beyond traditional address-centric controls.

The US startup’s so-called Trusted Application Networking technology is designed to block the spread of network-borne threats by allowing only legit applications to communicate over approved network paths. This defense mechanism – which is aimed at data centers and cloud environments rather than enterprise LANs and WANs – looks beyond network addresses, instead validating the identity of applications, users, and hosts.

The name of the game is to safeguard critical cloud and data center apps rather worry about controlling the flow of network traffic by port and destination, the traditional role of the firewall. Edgewise Network claims it uses machine learning to model application communication patterns and generate protection policies for a business.

Chief exec Peter Smith told El Reg: “Edgewise Networks does not do deep packet inspection. We’re looking past the packet to identify software and connections.”

It’s hoped this will stop software nasties, such as the SMBv1-exploiting NotPetya, from spreading across networks. The technology is delivered as a cloud-based service, with a software agent running on end points.

Chief technology officer Harry Sverdlove said that while traditional firewalls can be compared to a phone switchboard that blocks calls depending on the caller ID, and that app-aware firewalls are like telephone equipment that can identifying a voice call is in progress and its language, Edgewise’s system validates the person or party making the phone call. In data centers, these parties will be various enterprise software applications chatting among themselves.

Other vendors are grappling with next-generation firewall defenses in data centers. Other notable initiatives along these lines include an alliance to integrate Fortinet’s intrusion prevention and management capabilities into Microsoft Azure Security Center to better protect cloud workloads against malware and miscreants. That deal is more about intrusion detection – aka high-tech burglar alarms – than reimagining the firewall, as such.

Edgewise’s technology competes with micro-segmentation products from the likes of vArmour, but goes beyond them in its capabilities, the startup told El Reg.

Segmentation, micro-segmentation, and VLANs are based on addresses, ports, and protocols, and in some cases on pulling open the packets and looking at the content of the traffic. But these constructs are fundamentally limiting, especially in dynamic environments like cloud and data centers. Edgewise policies are based on the actual applications or services communicating, the actual users running those applications, and the hosts or containers on which they are running.

They are not dependent on the network addresses or the content of their conversation, making it far more secure (harder for a malicious actor to spoof valid communication or hijack user sessions) and far more agile, so the policies work regardless of where they are deployed (e.g. private network, hybrid cloud, public cloud).

Edgewise’s tech is pitched at, among others, retailers, financial service firms, and cloud providers. One infosec pundit described the protections as a “properly implemented default deny.”

Clive Longbottom, the founder of analyst house Quocirca, agreed that standard firewalls are unsuited to operation in cloud environments while suggesting that Edgewise will have challenges of its own to contend with.

Longbottom told El Reg: “The big problem is that these days there are no defined edges to a network. Therefore, you have to create them.

“The use of defined paths means that those edges – in reality, contact points – can be created and any traffic to do with a task routed through these specific paths. Rules can then be applied; deep packet inspection can be carried out on a per path or stream basis. Standard firewalls cannot operate this way easily.”

Kurt Seifried, a senior software engineer at Red Hat product security and a contributor to the Cloud Security Alliance, added: “We’ve known we need smarter network controls for a while now.”

Edgewise Networks was founded by Smith, a cybersecurity entrepreneur, and Sverdlove, former CTO of Carbon Black (formerly Bit9). The biz has banked $7m from early investors including New England venture capital firm .406 Ventures and tech chief execs from the Boston area including Patrick Morley of Carbon Black, Omar Hussain of Imprivata, and Bob Brennan of Veracode. ®

New law would force Facebook and Google to give police access to encrypted messages

The Australian government has proposed a new cybersecurity law to force global technology companies such as Facebook and Google to give law enforcement agencies access to encrypted messages sent by suspected extremists and criminals.

Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday the law would be modelled on Britain’s Investigatory Powers Act, passed in November, which gave intelligence agencies some of the most extensive surveillance powers in the western world.

Under the law, internet companies would have the same obligations as telephone companies to help law enforcement agencies. Police would need warrants to access the communications. Turnbull said the legislation was necessary to keep pace with advances in technology that could facilitate crime.

“We need to ensure that the internet is not used as a dark place for bad people to hide their criminal activities from the law,” he said.

Asked by reporters how legislation would prevent users simply moving to encryption software not controlled by tech companies, Turnbull said Australian law overrode the laws of mathematics.

“The laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only laws that applies in Australia is the law of Australia.”

Turnbull denied the government’s plans involved the use of a “back door” into programs to allow access to encrypted messages on platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram.

“A back door is typically a flaw in a software program that perhaps the developer of the software program is not aware of, and that somebody who knows about it can exploit,” Turnbull said. “If there are flaws in software programs, obviously, that’s why you get updates on your phone and your computer all the time. So we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about lawful access.”

Pressed on whether the government’s plans meant it would ask companies such as Facebook and Apple to keep a copy of encryption keys used by customers, Turnbull said:

“I’m not a cryptographer, but what we are seeking to do is to secure their assistance. They have to face up to their responsibility. They can’t just wash their hands of it and say it’s got nothing to do with them.”

The attorney general, George Brandis, said the legislation would “impose an obligation upon device manufacturers and service providers to provide appropriate assistance to intelligence and law enforcement on a warranted basis”. It could be used to tackle terrorism, or serious organised crime such as paedophile networks.

“It is vitally important that the development of technology does not leave the law behind,” Brandis said.

Brandis said the bill that would allow courts to order tech companies to quickly unlock communications would be introduced to parliament by November.

Australian Federal Police deputy commissioner Mike Phelan said “the vast majority” of investigations now involved some sort of encryption.

“Whether that’s encryption of phones, whether it’s encryption of computers that we seize or whether … it’s traffic that goes between conversations over the internet, then that’s the sort of thing that we need to get behind. At the end of the day, what has happened here is legislation has not yet kept pace with technology.”

Independent security researcher Troy Hunt told the ABC there were dangers for all users in undermining encryption systems.

“As soon as you start to build in weaknesses into the design of encryption, you put it at risk for everyone,” he said.

Turnbull himself has long advocated the use of encryption for journalists and others with a legitimate reason for keeping messages confidential. Defending the introduction of data retention laws in 2015, he recommended the use of platforms such as WhatsApp, Wickr, Signal and Telegram to ensure that the government’s collection of metadata did not mean the content of messages was exposed.

Asked at the time whether that meant terrorists and child sex offenders would also be able to get around the laws, Turnbull said: “There are always ways for people to get around things, but of course a lot of people don’t, and that’s why I’ve always said the data retention laws, the use of metadata, is not a silver bullet.”