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Tag Archives: emergency

Carbyne raises $15M for its next-gen 911 service, as Founders Fund invests in its first Israeli startup

911 and other emergency numbers have been a key route for people to contact medical, police or fire services, with some  240 million calls are made for urgent help in the US alone each year. But while calling the numbers is a breeze, sometimes passing on crucial information is far from that, with most of these services built and operating on legacy infrastructure that makes pinpointing accurate locations and getting more detail about the problem (including to determine whether the call might have been in error) is a challenge. Now a company that has developed a system to improve emergency response is announcing a round of funding in the race to update those platforms. Carbyne , a startup out of Israel that has developed a new emergency callout platform that helps providers pinpoint a callers’ exact location and enable other services to improve and speed up communication and response times — by some 65 percent on average — has raised $15 million in Series B funding. The round is significant not just because of the boost that it will give to Carbyne itself, but because of who is doing the backing. Led by Elsted Capital Partners, it also includes Founders Fund, the VC that has backed the likes of Facebook and Airbnb, but also startups that have made strong inroads into working with government and other public sector organizations on data-based services, such as Palantir, Anduril and Deep Mind (now a part of Google). Previous backers of Carbyne have included the former prime minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, who is also the company’s chairman, and the company has now raised about $24 million, with a valuation that I understand to be in the region of $100 million, although the company is not commenting on the number. Most of the emergency calling services that are in place around the world were built to be used with legacy wired phone networks. In many countries, however, not only are people doing away with their fixed lines, but they are making these calls from mobile phones — in some cases up to 80 percent of all emergency calls are coming from mobile phones. This means that not only are some inbound calls to public safety answering points (PSAPs) unable to provide the data that the legacy systems need, but — coming from smartphones — they potentially could provide a far richer set of data, if the systems were set up to receive it. On top of this, it can simply take too long, or be impossible, for a reporter of an emergency to convey crucial information through a phone conversation. (Indeed, the idea for the service was hatched after founder Amir Elichai discovered how long it took to identify his location and other details to emergency services after he was mugged.) Carbyne — originally called Reporty and rebranded earlier this year to the word for what is now considered to be the world’s strongest substance — lets emergency response providers connect with reporters through two products to fill that gap

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Drone development should focus on social good first, says UK report

A UK government backed drone innovation project that’s exploring how unmanned aerial vehicles could benefit cities — including for use-cases such as medical delivery, traffic incident response, fire response and construction and regeneration — has reported early learnings from the first phase of the project. Five city regions are being used as drone test-beds as part of Nesta’s Flying High Challenge  — namely London, the West Midlands, Southampton, Preston and Bradford. While five socially beneficial use-cases for drone technology have been analyzed as part of the project so far, including considering technical, social and economic implications of the tech. The project has been ongoing since December. Nesta, the innovation-focused charity behind the project and the report, wants the UK to become a global leader in shaping drone systems that place people’s needs first, and writes in the report that: “Cities must shape the future of drones: Drones must not shape the future of cities.” In the report it outlines some of the challenges facing urban implementations of drone technology and also makes some policy recommendations. It also says that socially beneficial use-cases have come out as an early winner over of cities to the potential of the tech — over and above “commercial or speculative” applications such as drone delivery or for carrying people in flying taxis. The five use-cases explored thus far via the project are: Medical delivery within London  — a drone delivery network for carrying urgent medical products between NHS facilities, which would routinely carry products such as pathology samples, blood products and equipment over relatively short distances between hospitals in a network Traffic incident response in the West Midlands — responding to traffic incidents in the West Midlands to support the emergency services prior to their arrival and while they are on-site, allowing them to allocate the right resources and respond more effectively Fire response in Bradford  — emergency response drones for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service. Drones would provide high-quality information to support emergency call handlers and fire ground commanders, arriving on the scene faster than is currently possible and helping staff plan an appropriate response for the seriousness of the incident Construction and regeneration in Preston  — drone services supporting construction work for urban projects. This would involve routine use of drones prior to and during construction, in order to survey sites and gather real-time information on the progress of works Medical delivery across the Solent  — linking Southampton across the Solent to the Isle of Wight using a delivery drone. Drones could carry light payloads of up to a few kilos over distances of around 20 miles, with medical deliveries of products being a key benefit Flagging up technical and regulatory challenges to scaling the use of drones beyond a few interesting experiments, Nest writes: “In complex environments, flight beyond the operator’s visual line of sight, autonomy and precision flight are key, as is the development of an unmanned traffic management (UTM) system to safely manage airspace.

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Chinese police shut down a gambling platform that had 330K users and $1.5B in transaction volume in various cryptocurrencies over the past eight…

Muyao Shen / CoinDesk : Chinese police shut down a gambling platform that had 330K users and $1.5B in transaction volume in various cryptocurrencies over the past eight months   —  Local police officials in China seized more than $1.5 million worth of cryptocurrencies as part of a crackdown on gambling during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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Stolen certificates from D-Link used to sign password-stealing malware

Enlarge (credit: Eset ) Criminals recently stole code-signing certificates from router and camera maker D-Link and another Taiwanese company and used them to pass off malware that steals passwords and backdoors PCs, a researcher said Monday. The certificates were used to cryptographically verify that legitimate software was issued by D-Link and Changing Information Technology. Microsoft Windows, Apple’s macOS, and most other operating systems rely on the cryptographic signatures produced by such certificates to help users ensure that executable files attached to emails or downloaded on websites were developed by trusted companies rather than malicious actors masquerading as those trusted companies. Somehow, members of an advanced persistent-threat hacking group known as BlackTech obtained the certificates belonging to D-Link and Changing Information Technology, the researcher with antivirus provider Eset said in a blog post . The attackers then used the certificates to sign two pieces of malware, one a remotely controlled backdoor and the other a related password stealer. Both pieces of malware are referred to as Plead and are used in espionage campaigns against targets located in East Asia. The Japan Computer Emergency Response team recently documented the Plead malware here . AV provider Trend Micro recently wrote about BlackTech here . Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Stolen certificates from D-Link used to sign password-stealing malware

Enlarge (credit: Eset ) Criminals recently stole code-signing certificates from router and camera maker D-Link and another Taiwanese company and used them to pass off malware that steals passwords and backdoors PCs, a researcher said Monday. The certificates were used to cryptographically verify that legitimate software was issued by D-Link and Changing Information Technology. Microsoft Windows, Apple’s macOS, and most other operating systems rely on the cryptographic signatures produced by such certificates to help users ensure that executable files attached to emails or downloaded on websites were developed by trusted companies rather than malicious actors masquerading as those trusted companies. Somehow, members of an advanced persistent-threat hacking group known as BlackTech obtained the certificates belonging to D-Link and Changing Information Technology, the researcher with antivirus provider Eset said in a blog post . The attackers then used the certificates to sign two pieces of malware, one a remotely controlled backdoor and the other a related password stealer. Both pieces of malware are referred to as Plead and are used in espionage campaigns against targets located in East Asia. The Japan Computer Emergency Response team recently documented the Plead malware here . AV provider Trend Micro recently wrote about BlackTech here . Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Women’s Safety XPRIZE $1M winner is a smart, simple panic button

Devices like smartphones ought to help people feel safer, but if you’re in real danger the last thing you want to do is pull out your phone, go to your recent contacts and type out a message asking a friend for help. The Women’s Safety XPRIZE just awarded its $1 million prize to one of dozens of companies attempting to make a safety wearable that’s simple and affordable. The official challenge was to create a device costing less than $40 that can “ autonomously and inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert while transmitting information to a network of community responders, all within 90 seconds.” Anu and Naveen Jain, the entrepreneurs who funded the competition, emphasized the international and very present danger of sexual assault in particular. “Women’s safety is not just a third world problem; we face it every day in our own country and on our college campuses,” said Naveen Jain in the press release announcing the winner. “It’s not a red state problem or a blue state problem but a national problem.” “Safety is a fundamental human right and shouldn’t be considered a luxury for women. It is the foundation in achieving gender equality,” added Anu Jain. Out of dozens of teams that entered, five finalists were chosen in April: Artemis, Leaf Wearables, Nimb & SafeTrek, Saffron and Soterra. All had some variation on a device that either detected or was manually activated during an attack or stressful situation, alerting friends to one’s location. The winner was Leaf, which had the advantage of having already shipped a product along these lines, the Safer pendant. Like any other Bluetooth accessory, it keeps in touch with your smartphone wirelessly and when you press the button twice your emergency contacts are alerted to your location and need for help. It also records audio, possibly providing evidence later or a deterrent to harassers who might fear being identified. It’s not that it’s an original idea — we’ve had various versions of this for some time, and even covered one of the other finalists last year . But they haven’t been quantitatively evaluated or given a platform like this. “These devices were tested in many conditions by the judges to ensure that they will work in real-life cases where women face dangers today

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Apple Watch Might Have Saved This Teen’s Life – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Apple Watch Might Have Saved This Teen's Life Ubergizmo We have heard many stories in the past about how the Apple Watch has helped saved the life of its wearer, thanks to its built-in heart rate sensor. Now it looks like Apple can chalk up yet another victory because in a report from ABC Action News (via ... and more »

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Square says that in December 7M customers used the Cash app and that Cash customers spent more than $90M using virtual and physical Cash cards (Jason…

Jason Del Rey / Recode : Square says that in December 7M customers used the Cash app and that Cash customers spent more than $90M using virtual and physical Cash cards   —  That's... pretty big?  —  Since Square's founding in 2009, CEO Jack Dorsey has been determined to build a consumer hit that complements the company's core payment-processing business.

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Cloudflare says it’s spotted massive DDoS amplification attacks that abuse Memcached servers and the UDP protocol, has mitigated attacks of up to…

Marek Majkowski / Cloudflare Blog : Cloudflare says it's spotted massive DDoS amplification attacks that abuse Memcached servers and the UDP protocol, has mitigated attacks of up to 260Gbps   —  Over last couple of days we've seen a big increase in an obscure amplification attack vector - using the memcached protocol, coming from UDP port 11211.

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