How Digital Identity Technology Can Help Prepare Us For More ‘Unprecedented Times’

Stephen Ritter is Chief Technology Officer at Mitek, a global leader in mobile deposit and digital identity verification solutions.

If future civilizations wanted to study 2020, surely one “historical artifact” they would examine would be the viral supercut of Covid-19 commercials. As most of us have heard repeated ad nauseam, the phrase “these unprecedented times” highlights just how unpredictable the events of 2020 have been.

Among the many unforeseen challenges was the need to provide urgent, widescale access to services via digital channels. Millions faced a dire and immediate need for government assistance and the ability to quickly open new bank accounts or to find new employment virtually. At the same time, companies and municipalities were often delayed in providing for those needs due to a lack of quick onboarding solutions.

As we look back on the year, we must prepare for the next unprecedented moment in history,

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Lab develops unprecedented long-term wildfire prediction model

Argonne develops unprecedented long-term wildfire prediction model
Wildfires burn across the West, affecting California, Oregon and Washington. Credit: Shutterstock / My Photo Buddy

Wildfire indices and high-resolution climate models combine to produce a detailed historical analysis of wildfire events across the U.S. and suggest the potential for more severe and frequent fires in the latter half of the century.


The list is long, some of the names familiar: Sunflower, Paradise, Whitewater-Baldy, Apple, Pinecreek. Names that invoke images of pastoral respites away from the busy world.

Now those names are synonymous with wildfires.

The number and severity of wildfires are making headlines across the globe, from the Western United States to Brazil, from Siberia to Australia. Wildfires devastate the environment, decimating huge swaths of land and wildlife populations—it is estimated, for example, that a half billion animals perished in the megafires that recently swept Australia. Beyond their impact on nature, wildfires also take a toll on air quality,

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Tech investment surges to unprecedented levels due to COVID-19

Global companies spent around $15 billion extra a week on technology during the pandemic’s first wave, Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO survey finds.

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Image: Harvey Mudd/KPMG

Global IT leaders spent around $15 billion extra a week on technology to enable safe and secure home working during COVID-19, according to the 2020 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey. This was one of the biggest surges in technology investment in history— with the world’s IT leaders spending an additional 5% more of their IT budget to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, the survey said.

The technology leadership survey of over 4,200 IT leaders analyzed responses from organizations with a combined technology spend of over $250 billion. It also found that despite this huge surge of spending and security and privacy being the top investment during COVID-19, four in 10 IT leaders report that their company has experienced more cyberattacks.

Over three-quarters of these attacks were from

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Nvidia Further Explains Botched RTX 3080 Launch, Citing “Unprecedented Demand”

The pre-order launch of Nvidia’s much-anticipated RTX 3080 was an unmitigated disaster, and many would-be customers have yet to get their hands on a confirmed order. Yesterday, Nvidia posted a more detailed explanation on its website, citing a heretofore unseen level of traffic and answering a few of the questions that frustrated fans have been asking on sites like Reddit.

In the statement, Nvidia generally blames the “truly unprecedented” level of demand for the RTX 30-series as the source of the trouble, saying that it and its partners underestimated it. The manufacturer notes that the traffic to retailers exceeded Black Friday numbers, illustrating just how many people wanted to buy the card. Nvidia notes that it began shipping GPUs to retailers in August, and that such shortages are relatively common when it comes to the launch of high-end graphics cards.

Later in the statement, Nvidia blames a wave of “malicious

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