Al Franken Just Gave the Speech Big Tech Has Been Dreading

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By Nitasha Tiku, Wired

“Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) delivered some of the sharpest criticism yet about the dangers of tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon during a speech on Wednesday, encouraging regulators, as well as lawmakers in both parties, to better police the market power of dominant online platforms.”

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MnDOT Will Start Tapping Into Drivers Mobile Device Data

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Via News Release

StreetLight Data, Inc., the mobility analytics company that brings real-world travel patterns to light, today announced the company has been selected by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for a pilot subscription. MnDOT will utilize a Regional Subscription to the StreetLight InSight® platform to transform Big Data into useful mobility Metrics to tackle transportation, event and development projects statewide, including major events like the Minnesota State Fair, the Renaissance Festival and Super Bowl LII.”

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St. Paul Startup ‘Vitals’ Recruits Former Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau

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By Esme Murphy, CBS Minnesota

“MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A St. Paul Company [Vitals / VariAware] whose app helps police interact with those with emotional and intellectual disorders is experiencing rapid growth.

Vitals just hired former Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau to make sure its technology best serves police officers. The app allows users to create profiles on a smartphone that describes the nature of their disability.”

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Tech Giant IBM Is Suing Minnesota For Denying $33m In Tax Credits

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Brian Bakst, MPR

“IBM is seeking more than $33 million from the state of Minnesota over research tax credits the company says it was due.  In a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Minnesota Department of Revenue, the New York-based technology giant contends that it qualified for more research tax credits than it was granted for a span of a few years.”

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Upcoming CodeSwitch Hackathon Seeks Social Impact

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CodeSwitch is happening again in Minnesota on September 23-24 at the historic Union Depot in downtown St Paul.

“CodeSwitch harnesses inclusion, data, and technology, empowering people to solve problems for their own communities in new ways. Creative minds come together at CodeSwitch to create smart, simple, sustainable solutions with positive social impact,” explains Casey Helbling of Software For Good, an event organizer.

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IoT Startup Veriaware Partners With St. Paul Police Department On Vitals App

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Via News Release

“The St. Paul Police Department has scheduled a Thursday afternoon news conference to kick off a new partnership with Vitals – a cutting edge resource created to help law enforcement officers and first responders save lives.

Vitals is a new technology, a platform with two apps, designed to create safer interactions between law enforcement and people with behavioral, mental health and developmental disorders. A first of its kind, the Vitals first responder App, is a non-intrusive, real-time resource developed as a way to enhance policing, give families of vulnerable individuals more peace of mind and improve the quality of life for people living with “invisible” disabilities.”

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Minnesota’s CyberSecurity Operation Struggles To Keep Up

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By Briana Bierschbach, MinnPost

“On the third floor of an office building in St. Paul, a conference room has been turned into a makeshift command center, with cubicles and computer monitors looking toward a giant pull-down screen.

On a recent Tuesday, the room is dark except for the glow of computer monitors lighting a half dozen faces, all glued to their screens. One of the employees, Dave, who always wears a bowtie on Tuesdays, is sitting by his blue lava lamp and a unopened Obi Wan Kenobi figurine and trying to find any traces of “Petya.”

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Hacktivist Breaks Into Minnesota Government Databases to Protest Philando Castile Verdict

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By Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Motherboard

“On Friday, a jury found that the cop who shot and killed a black man in the summer of 2016 in Minnesota during a seemingly routine traffic stop was not guilty of manslaughter. The verdict prompted thousands of people to protest in the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota.

A hacker calling himself Vigilance decided to seek justice in his own way, by hacking a database belonging to the Minnesota state government, and stealing email addresses and passwords. The hacker contacted Motherboard on Sunday, claiming the hack and providing a sample of stolen data to back up his claims.”

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