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St. Vincent De Paul Disaster Services Launches Kokua, a Platform for Disaster Relief Disbursements Built on the Algorand Blockchain, to Bring Game-Changing Efficiency and Transparency to Relief Funding for People Impacted by Natural Disasters



For the first time, families affected by deadly natural disasters will receive aid through a survivor wallet, integrated with Amazon and developed in partnership with AID:Tech and the Algorand Foundation, with aid funding from the American Red Cross

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — St. Vincent de Paul Disaster Services, a leading U.S. aid organization that helps people in situational poverty brought about by natural and man-made disasters, today announced the launch of the Kokua survivor wallet in partnership with AID:Tech, a provider of Web3 Onchain Reputation & Rewards infrastructure, and The Algorand Foundation. Kokua–which leverages the open, public Algorand blockchain–is a disbursement platform that simplifies the connection of natural disaster survivors to the relief that will aid their recovery. Survivors are able to validate their identity, receive digital aid funding via Algorand’s blockchain, and redeem them for critical items like furniture and other household goods, with orders fulfilled by Amazon–all within the Kokua survivor wallet.

The initial launch of Kokua will serve 100 Tennessee families who were affected by the deadly 2021 winter tornados. Survivors, identified by St. Vincent de Paul Disaster Services and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, will receive relief funded by the American Red Cross. Traditional aid distribution is fraught with lengthy identification and verification processes that impedes survivors from stabilizing quickly. Kokua bypasses logistical blockades that are the status quo by connecting to those in need directly via mobile app.

To launch Kokua, St. Vincent de Paul chose to partner with best-in-class technology providers. By leveraging the Algorand blockchain, which is carbon-negative, permissionless, and efficient–capable of processing 6,000 transactions per second with full finality–aid recipients can be sure their redemption transactions are secure, confirmed, and doing no harm to the environment. The novel identity process developed by AID:Tech enables survivors to verify who they are via decentralized identifiers (DIDs). Which are designed to be implemented without the control or inefficiencies of a centralized registry, identity provider, or certificate authority.

“As natural disasters continue to grow in intensity and frequency, blockchain technology is a practical solution to keeping up with the increasing need for aid,” said Elizabeth Disco-Shearer, CEO of St. Vincent de Paul Disaster Services. “Through Kokua, aid will reach the people who need it most with greater speed, enable more autonomy for disaster victims, and bring greater accountability to the aid space more broadly.”

Taken together, the technology and partners behind Kokua will bring efficiency and transparency to critical disaster relief processes like never before, and serve as a new model for how aid distribution can work in the digital age.

“Oftentimes it is not aggregating resources that impedes disaster relief, it is the distribution,” said Matt Keller, Director of Impact and Inclusion at the Algorand Foundation. “This Algorand-backed survivor wallet uniquely leverages blockchain technology to ensure aid is securely and efficiently distributed to those who need it with unprecedented transparency, as all distributions are publicly traceable on chain.”

“Using Algorand blockchain, we are giving control back to survivors by allowing them to own, control and manage their digital identity,” added Joseph Thompson, CEO of AID:Tech. “Once survivors are verified using our proprietary method, they can use Kokua seamlessly without the hassle of proving their identity to multiple entities.”

Kokua will be accessible to those receiving aid relief on both iOS and Android devices.

About St. Vincent de Paul Disaster Services

St. Vincent de Paul Disaster Services is a second-responder and a Catholic lay organization that provides person-to-person recovery services to families impacted by man-made and natural disasters across the United States. In addition, local Vincentians (members) dedicate thousands of volunteer hours to help families impacted by natural disasters. The program will continue to focus the Society’s efforts on the long-term case management needs of affected people after all of the first-responder agencies have departed.

About Algorand Foundation

The Algorand blockchain — designed by MIT professor and Turing Award winning cryptographer Silvio Micali — is uniquely capable of delivering on the promise of a borderless global economy. It achieves transaction throughputs at the speed of traditional finance, but with immediate finality, near zero transaction costs, and on a 24/7 basis. Its carbon-neutral platform and unique pure proof-of-stake consensus mechanism solves for the “blockchain trilemma” by achieving both security and scalability on a decentralized protocol, and without a second of downtime since it went live in 2019.

The Algorand Foundation is dedicated to helping fulfill the global promise of the Algorand blockchain by taking responsibility for its sound monetary supply economics, decentralized governance, and healthy and prosperous open-source ecosystem. For more information, visit

About AID:Tech

AID:Tech is merging digital identity with payments and building an identity onramp from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0. AID:Tech focuses on real world use cases like disaster relief disbursements to bring the benefits of decentralisation and self-sovereign identity to non-crypto natives. AID:Tech’s Onchain Reputation & Rewards infrastructure enables people to build a reputation score and get rewarded for their time, effort and energy when contributing to society both physically and virtually. Learn more at

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Calloquy CEO David Carter Named Finalist for Legalweek’s 2023 Innovator of the Year




Prestigious award honors “innovation in the legal technology sector and for working on precedent-setting, game-changing projects and initiatives.”

ATLANTA, Feb. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — David Carter, founder and CEO of Calloquy, PBC, the first remote litigation platform designed for litigators, has been named a finalist for Innovator of the Year as part of Legalweek’s Leaders in Tech Law Awards. The winner of the award will be announced during an in-person awards ceremony at 2023’s Legalweek to be held in March in New York, one of the most respected events for legal professionals to examine the changing legal landscape and seek solutions that empower leaders to reimagine today’s law firms and legal departments.

Carter is dedicated to innovation in the legal profession. As a partner at an AmLaw100 law firm leading litigation teams through early days of the pandemic, it became clear to him that mass-market videoconference platforms had serious shortcomings when it came to protecting the attorney-client privilege and offering a secure environment to conduct litigation. “Each day, litigators across the country place their client’s most sensitive discovery data at risk when they participate in depositions on platforms that are not built for litigation. Calloquy’s mission is to fix that. We have created a platform that makes remote litigation teams more efficient in their work at every step of the case, while providing a more secure environment for conducting remote depositions, arbitrations, and mediations.” Building a company from the ground up with a perpetual focus on securing client information and protecting work product and attorney-client privileges means that security and compliance have been cornerstones of the platform’s framework since inception.

A sizable component of that framework is the precautions Calloquy takes to ensure its court reporters operate in a secure environment. Calloquy’s fulltime court reporters conduct depositions and arbitrations from the company’s secure facility, leveraging their state-of-the-art technology, secure network, and redundant internet connectivity to ensure a high-quality and secure experience. Employing their own court reporters means Calloquy can provide more accurate transcripts and provide them more expeditiously.

This innovative approach to making remote litigation is evident throughout the platform. Bill Koch, Chief Knowledge & Innovation Officer at Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP, heralds Calloquy’s one-of-kind melding of standard tenets of litigation with new sophisticated concepts. “It’s been very apparent throughout our beta testing process that Calloquy has looked to the future and met head-on important challenges facing today’s litigators. Calloquy has left the one-size-fits-all norm behind and has created a purposeful, focused platform for online legal proceedings that intelligently combines traditional style with high-tech, innovative concepts – all immediately recognizable and usable by litigators.”

While Carter is eager to push the boundaries of the ever-shifting legal landscape, he is just as focused on ensuring that the company makes a positive impact. Calloquy is a Public Benefit Corporation. As top law firms begin to use Calloquy, the company is able to provide free platform access to legal service organizations and pro bono cases. Diversity is also a central theme for Carter’s professional experience. He was honored to serve as lead counsel representing thousands of police officers, fighters and paramedics across the country in amicus briefing before the federal appellate courts in favor of marriage equality.  His career as a telecommunications lawyer focused on making systems and technology more accessible for rural and underserved areas. While an equity partner, Carter served on his firm’s Mansfield Rules Taskforce, which helps to implement practices that lead to more diverse applicant pools for hiring and leadership positions throughout the firm. 

Calloquy is an Atlanta-based public benefit company (PBC) with 60+ employees. Calloquy is headquartered in Atlanta with offices in Dallas, Texas and Tustin, California.   


Calloquy is the first virtual legal proceedings platform intentionally built for the way litigation is practiced now. Its technology and court reporting services empower attorneys to conduct and manage legal proceedings more effectively and securely, while increasing productivity and reducing costs. The company provides remote court reporting services from its secure facilities, helping to ensure that the process is more secure from start to finish. The company is helping to shape The Next Era of Litigation™ by combining legal industry-specific videoconferencing technology, world-class security, highly professional court reporting services, and an access-to-justice social mission. Calloquy is a Public Benefit Corporation, and its commercial litigation clients fuel that mission by enabling the company to provide free platform access to legal service organizations and pro bono cases. For more information, please visit 

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Lee Allum 

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Canon Announces EOS R8 Full-Frame, Portable EOS R50 Mirrorless Cameras, and RF-S 55-210mm Telephoto, RF 24-50mm Wide Lenses; YouTube First Look and More Info at B&H




Canon EOS R8 Lightest Full-Frame Camera and EOS R50 Compact, travel-friendly for streamers and families camera.

NEW YORK, Feb. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — B&H is pleased to announce Canon’s latest mirrorless offerings, the full-frame EOS R8 Camera and the entry-level EOS R50.


The Canon releases include the EOS R8 and EOS R50 camera bodies in black and the EOS R50 in white, the new RF-S 55-210mm telephoto zoom lens, the ET-60B Lens Hood, the RF 24-50mm wide-to-normal zoom lens for full-frame cameras, an EOS R50 kit featuring an 18-45mm zoom lens in both black and white, an EOS R50 kit featuring both the 18-45mm and the 55-210mm zoom lenses, and an EOS R8 kit featuring the RF 24-50mm zoom lens.

Canon has designed the EOS R50 to be the streamer and content creator’s first choice for upgrading. Lightweight and compact, the EOS R50 can be used as a web camera, streaming live video in full HD at 30 fps, and can record podcasts and vlogs for longer than 30 minutes at a time. The camera also renders uncropped, 4K video at up to 30 fps oversampled from 6K and full HD video at up to 120 fps, and features a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC X Image Processor, powering its automatic capabilities. For streamers, the Movie for Close-Up Demos Mode ensures that objects presented close to the lens, such as in unboxing videos or makeup tutorials, are properly in focus. The Advanced A+ Assist simplifies auto mode in settings with difficult lighting, and the Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus II covers the entire sensor area with 651 autofocus zones capable of detecting and tracking people, animals, and vehicles. Pair that with continuous shooting, up to 15 fps with the electronic shutter, and you’ll hard-pressed to miss the shot.

Canon EOS R50 Mirrorless Camera

Product Highlights:

24.2MP APS-C CMOS SensorDIGIC X Image ProcessorUHD 4K 30p Video RecordingDual Pixel CMOS AF II with 651 Zones2.36m-Dot Electronic Viewfinder3.0″ 1.62m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen15 fps Electronic ShutterMovie for Close-Up Demos ModeVertical Movie ModeMulti-Function Shoe, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth

The Canon R8 EOS Camera is the full-frame upgrade for those already embedded in the Canon mirrorless ecosystem. It also has a 24.2MP, full-frame CMOS sensor with the DIGIC X Image Processor, capable of achieving high image quality and wide dynamic range in stills, and features the Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus II with 1,053 autofocus zones and automatic subject detection and tracking. The R8 is available as a webcam and for livestreaming and can record uncropped 4K at 60 fps oversampled from 6K and full HD at up to 180 fps. At 29.97 fps, it can record video for up to two hours for podcasts, vlogs, or other long-form video content. The five-axis Movie Digital IS image stabilization reduces camera-shake vibrations when using an RF lens with optical image stabilization.

Canon EOS R8 Mirrorless Camera

Product Highlights:

24.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor4K60p 10-Bit Internal Video, Canon Log 32.36m-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder3.0″ 1.62m-Dot Vari-Angle TouchscreenDual Pixel CMOS AF II40 fps Electronic ShutterMovie Digital ISVertical Movie ModeMicrophone Input, Headphone OutputMulti-Function Shoe, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth

To further entice streamers, both cameras feature a Vertical Movie Mode, which allows videos to be played in vertical composition when viewing on a smartphone, and an Aspect Markers function, which indicates the various social media aspect ratio for simplified compositions. Additionally, both cameras support wired and wireless connection to your smartphone via its USB-C port and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology.

The Canon RF 24-50mm wide-to-normal zoom lens is a lightweight standard zoom alternative for full-frame cameras, featuring an f/4.5-6.3 maximum aperture with optical image stabilization. The lens has two aspheric elements and Canon Super Spectra Coating to minimize ghosting and flare. The stepping motor focus drive is well suited for smooth, quiet autofocus when taking video. On APS-C size image sensors, the lens has an approximate equivalent coverage of 38-80mm.

Canon RF-S 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM Lens

The RF-S 55-210mm telephoto zoom lens for full-frame and APS-C cameras featuring an f/5-7.1 maximum aperture with optical image stabilization. The lens coverage on APS-C size sensors is roughly 88-336mm. The image quality comes from two ultra-low dispersion glass elements, one aspheric element, and Canon Super Spectra Coating to minimize ghosting and flare. The stepping motor focus drive provides smooth, quiet autofocus when taking video. The lens is also compatible with the optional ET-60B Lens Hood to block sunlight, prevent glare and lens flare, and protect the lens from debris and abrasions.

Canon EOS R8 and EOS R50 YouTube First Look Video

Learn and read more about the Canon EOS R8 and Canon EOS R50 Mirrorless Cameras at B&H Explora

About B&H Photo Video

As the world’s largest source of photography, video, and audio equipment, as well as computers, drones, and home and portable entertainment, B&H is known worldwide for its attentive, knowledgeable sales force and excellent customer service, including fast, reliable shipping. B&H has been satisfying customers worldwide for over 45 years. 

Visitors to the website can access a variety of educational videos and enlightening articles. The B&H YouTube Channel has an unmatched wealth of educational content. Our entertaining and informative videos feature product overviews from our in-house specialists. You can view the B&H Event Space presentations from many of the world’s foremost experts and interviews with some of technology’s most dynamic personalities. Tap into this exciting resource by subscribing to the B&H YouTube Channel here. In addition to videos, the B&H Explora blog presents new product announcements, gear reviews, helpful guides, and tech news written by product experts and industry professionals, as well as our award-winning podcasts.

When you’re in Manhattan, take a tour of the B&H Photo SuperStore, located at 420 Ninth Avenue. The techno-carousel spins all year round at the counters and kiosks at B&H. With hundreds of products on display, the B&H Photo SuperStore is the place to test-drive and compare all the latest gear.

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Henry Posner

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Leading Pharmacy Tech Firms Partner to Improve Operational Efficiency for Hospital-based Pharmaceutical Operations




Pharmacy Stars and Sonicu ink a partnership agreement focused on blending two compliance-focused technologies

ATLANTA, Feb. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Pharmaceutical leaders working in compounding pharmacies searching for a simple affordable compliance solution can deploy a powerful new tool thanks to a partnership between two of the leaders in pharmacy compliance technology.


This integration allows customers to access their temperature and environmental data from the Compounding360 platform.

Pharmacy Stars and Sonicu today announced a partnership at AHR Expo aimed at making compliance even easier.

“Our software integration will allow Pharmacy Stars customers to complete more of their compliance requirements in less time while also enjoying the benefits of Sonicu’s alarming,” said Joe Mundell, Chief Revenue Officer, Sonicu.

The technology integration will be focused on temperature and environmental monitoring as well as competency and trending reports for Board of Pharmacy audits.

“Certainty of environmental parameters is critical to the quality of compounded sterile preparations. We are thrilled to partner with Sonicu to provide certainty, without the workload, by connecting our technologies and eliminating the manual process of data reading and recording by pharmacy technicians,” Said Keith Streckenbach, CEO, Pharmacy Stars.

“Autologging and trending the EM data alongside the quality control activity makes it much easier for pharmacy managers to identify ways to improve quality continuously.”

The integration is simple in delivery and powerful in the result.

It will allow customers who leverage both solutions to access their Sonicu temperature and environmental data from the Compounding360 platform.

Environmental data can include

Ambient temperature and humidityAir pressure differentialThe temperature of Refrigeration and FreezersAlmost any other condition via a third-party, 420 mA sensor

The Pharmacy Stars solution includes:

Instant retrieval of all Board of Pharmacy requested USP 797 and USP 800 compounding compliance dataRetrieve quality reports – environmental data, competency assessments, trending reports, and more


Built on the AWS Cloud with multiple layers of redundancy to protect against power and network outages, Sonicu is trusted by hundreds of organizations across North America to protect a diverse array of temperature-sensitive assets, including food and vaccines to research and sperm.


Pharmacy Stars, based in Green Bay Wisconsin, serves more than 800 US and Canadian hospitals and infusion centers and 30,000 pharmacy staff in their effort to provide quality, sterile compounded preparations for millions of patients. Pharmacy Stars offers the #1 enterprise pharmacy quality management system in North America. For more information visit

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