Issues With Apple Watch Activation Mount For Those On Rogers

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 22, 2018 by itnerd

Things really aren’t really going well with those who want to activate an Apple Watch on the Rogers network. On top of corporate customers being shut out entirely at this point, those who should be able to activate an Apple Watch on the Rogers network are sometimes running into issues. Based on the angry emails that I am getting, here’s a list of error codes that people seem to be getting:

  • “Your Rogers account is not eligible to enable cellular on your Apple Watch. Contact Rogers for more information.”
  • Error codes WS300, WS201 and WS501

On top of that, people are also reporting that when they enter 911 info, the activation process kicks them back to the start of the process. That sounded familiar as my wife and I experienced that several years ago when trying to set up WiFi calling on Rogers. The only recourse that seems to exist at present is to phone Rogers. I’ve been told by various customers who have called in that this can be very painful as the front line reps seem to be only able to open a support ticket and beyond that they can’t do much for you. I’ve also heard that in some cases it may take days for Rogers to get back to you. That’s highly frustrating to customers. Some of whom have asked me what my experience has been like on Telus. Rather than answer them individually, I’ll do a write up about my experience with Telus in the coming days.

Rogers really needs to get a handle on this and quickly. They have already taken a PR hit by being a year late to the Apple Watch party unlike Telus and Bell. Then when they show up their corporate customers can’t join the party. Again, this is unlike Telus and Bell. Now this. If Rogers can’t get their act together, they will find it difficult to convince customers that their Apple Watch business should go to them rather than to Telus or Bell. After all, Apple fans are an intensely loyal and highly vocal group. And getting them mad enough to defect from Rogers is a really bad idea if you’re Rogers.

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Review: Apple Watch Series 4 GPS + Cellular

Posted in Products with tags on September 22, 2018 by itnerd

Frequent readers of this blog will know that I am a big fan of the Apple Watch. I’ve had the Series 2, the Series 3 with GPS, the Series 3 with GPS + Cellular and today I’m bringing you the latest Apple Watch which is the Series 4 with GPS + Cellular:

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The model that you see below is the 44mm model in space grey Aluminum (a stainless steel model is also available along with a Nike+ model and so is an insanely priced Hermes model that is basically a stainless steel model with a really expensive watch band, a sport band, unique packaging, and a unique watch face). And that’s the first big change to the Apple Watch. They have new sizing which are 40mm and 44mm. But that doesn’t mean that they are bigger because they are not. The 40mm watch is the same physical size as the 38mm from the Series 3 or below. And the 44mm is the same physical size as the 42mm from the Series 3 or below. However each watch is a tad bit thinner than the Series 3 and below which means it looks a bit more sleek on the wrist. So, what does the new sizing mean? It’s a reference to the new display which depending on the model you get is going to be at least 30% bigger. Not to mention they seem brighter and sharper to me. And that is something that you will notice and appreciate right out of the gate. The new screens make the watch far easier to read. And things like notifications simply look better. Plus it allows you to use some unique watch faces to put way more info in front of you. One watch face allows nine complications for example. Thus I fully expect app developers to leverage that. It also means that you don’t necessarily need to get the biggest watch to see the screen. In my case, if I didn’t had an investment in 42mm watch bands (which fit the 44mm watch by the way just fine… 38mm watch bands fit the 40mm watch as well), I might have gone for the 40mm version.

There’s some other changes as well.

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The speaker is twice as large as last year and you can hear the difference. Especially if you are on a phone call.

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The huge red dot that let everyone on planet Earth know that you have a cellular Apple Watch is gone and replaced by a smaller more discreet ring. The crown has another hidden feature in the form of haptic feedback. That makes scrolling through stuff feel a lot more natural. The crown also acts as an electrode for an all new ECG feature. More on that in a second. The microphone which is the dot to the right of the crown is there to reduce echo during a phone call.

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The back is made entirely of black ceramic and sapphire. That’s to make it easier for the watch to connect to cellular and WiFi. The heart rate sensor is a brand new design. The rings around the heart rate sensor are the new electrical heart rate sensors, which will be use to perform ECGs once that feature rolls out later this fall in the US. Who knows when it will show up elsewhere as Apple isn’t saying.

Under the hood is a new 64 bit S4 processor which makes it almost twice as fast as the Series 3. You do notice it, but it wasn’t the dramatic jump that I observed when I went from the Series 2 to the Series 3. Still it’s a welcome jump as even the Series 3 could occasionally bog down. Nothing like that exists here. watchOS 5 which you can read about here is preinstalled and really leverages this platform. Along for the ride is the ability to detect falls. For some people like seniors, that’s a game changer as it will detect a fall, ask you if you’re okay or if you didn’t fall, and if you don’t respond quick enough phone emergency services and a contact or contacts that you define. However, when I tested it, I set it off by doing jumping jacks. And I suspect if I fall while cross country skiing which tend to be (mostly) painless falls, I may do the same thing. Thus if you have a more active lifestyle, you may want to think about whether you want to turn it on or not as it is off by default. In my case it is off but I am considering turning it back on. Finally, all Apple Watch models now

I picked this up from my local Telus store and set it up an hour later. As always, setting up an Apple Watch on the Telus network was dead easy and the total process to do that and move over everything from my previous Apple Watch was less than 45 minutes. Using this Apple Watch for the last few days has been interesting. Beyond the screen which is far easier for me to see, the only time I took a phone call on the Apple Watch the person on the other end of the phone noted that my voice was clear and easy to understand. One other thing I noted was that cellular performance was better with this Apple Watch as I was able to get notifications in my condo’s underground parking lot where getting any cellular connectivity wasn’t possible previously. Battery life is about the same as my previous Apple Watch which I have to admit is a bit of a let down as I hoped that Apple would have at least tried to move the needle on that that front.

So here’s the question that you want answered: Should you get an Apple Watch Series 4? Well, that depends on who you are:

  • If you own an original Apple Watch or a Series 0 – 2 Apple Watch, run to your local Apple Store and buy one. Do it now. You will thank me.
  • If you have a Series 3 Apple Watch, the screen is going to be the only reason why you upgrade. For those who fit in that category, they may have to think about it before they pull the trigger on the Series 4.
  • If you don’t have an Apple Watch and have been thinking of getting one, this is a no brainer as this is the Apple Watch that you have been waiting for.

Here in Canada the Apple Watch Series 4 with GPS starts at $519 CDN. The model that you see above which is GPS and Cellular starts at $649 and in either case they go up from there. Minus the lack of increase to the battery life, Apple has a winner with this version of the Apple Watch as they’ve managed to come out with a package that is well thought through and a coherent package.

HP and Go 4-D modernize the process used to create custom orthotics

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 21, 2018 by itnerd

HP Inc. today announced a strategic alliance with Go 4-D, a 3-D printed medical orthotics industry visionary, to modernize the process used to create custom orthotics.

As part of the alliance, Go 4-D will distribute FitStation powered by HP throughout the North American medical market. HP’s FitStation platform combines 3D foot scanning with dynamic gait analysis to enable both orthotic recommendations and 3D printed custom orthotics, prescribed from each person’s unique biomechanics. This will enable Go 4-D to manufacture comfortable, precise, and cost-effective custom orthotics using cutting-edge HP Jet Fusion 3D printing systems.

The North American foot orthotic insoles market is expected to grow to more than 1.7 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, according to a Statista report.

Despite advances in technology and innovative manufacturing methods, custom orthotic manufacturing has not changed much since the 1950’s. The preferred method still in use today by the majority of North American Podiatrists, Pedorthists and Chiropodists is vacuum-forming plastic over a positive of the foot. This decades-old subjective manufacturing method, still taught in colleges, takes no dynamic measurements into the design of the device and the materials used through subtractive manufacturing limit the functional capabilities.

The FitStation platform utilizes specialized hardware and software components to capture an individual’s unique 3D foot scan, dynamic gait and pressure data. This data is automatically analyzed to provide manufacturing instructions for 3D printed custom foot orthotics.

Go 4-D Leads the Custom Orthotic Industry into the Future

The Go 4-D leadership team has decades of experience in the custom orthotic industry and understands the pitfalls of manual, subjective, error-prone manufacturing that has dominated the industry for more than five decades. Go 4-D has eliminated these errors by combining the 3D and dynamic quantitative data from FitStation, along with the practitioner’s clinical expertise. The practitioner can now design a more precise orthotic that is 3D printed with the utmost accuracy, specificity and design features that has never been possible under traditional manufacturing methods.

Precise diagnostic customization is crucial to correct fitting orthotics. With biometric scanning, the foot specialist obtains exact information about the pressure and timing of each area of the foot and an exact 3D representation of the foot. This information allows for complete customization directly into the lattice shell of each orthotic. The custom 3D printed orthotic can provide segmental and directional stiffness and incorporate various additions and modifications directly into the printed product optimizing their ability to work and reduce a patient’s discomfort.

The new 3D printed custom orthotics that will be manufactured using 3D software from the Materialise Software Backbone and HP Jet Fusion 3D printing systems at Flowbuilt Manufacturing are based on the thousands of data points that precisely capture the shape and movement of each foot. The unique biomechanical lattice-design of the Go 4-D 3D printed custom orthotic allows the foot specialist to design with more precision than ever before. With 3D printing, custom orthotics offer flexibility and segmental control, exactly where the patient needs it.

 

Bragi files action against OnePlus for infringement

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 21, 2018 by itnerd

Nikolaj Hviid, CEO of Bragi GmbH, today announced that the Company has filed a complaint in the European Union alleging intentional infringement of Bragi registered trademarks, in addition to the ongoing litigation in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The American action alleges that Chinese phone and wireless earphone manufacturer OnePlus infringes Bragi’s THE DASH trademark.  The World’s First Hearable, incorporates the innovative Dash Charger to act as both a charger and battery supply.  The worldwide acceptance of the amazing technoogy of The Dash has been amplified by Bragi’s The Dash Pro and The Dash Pro tailored by Starkey Hearing Technologies. The complaint alleges that OnePlus’ Dash Charge infringes Bragi’s THE DASH trademark.

Both the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office have denied OnePlus’ attempts to register their own Dash Charge trademark, finding that its use would cause confusion among consumers in view of Bragi’s THE DASH trademark.  Mr. Hviid is adamant:

“This action is part of our continuing efforts to protect the Company’s valuable intellectual property.  We previously warned OnePlus to stop infringing our trademark, and regret that we have to bring this action to enforce our intellectual property rights. Their intentional infringement of our trademarks cannot and will not be tolerated. These actions by OnePlus threaten all companies who legitimately develop and obtain intellectual property”.

HEX Announces New Cases For iPhone XS & XS Max

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 21, 2018 by itnerd

HEX has announced that its new cases and wallets for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are available for Pre-Order staring today at hexbrand.com.  The products are expected to ship in two weeks’ time.  Each product within the collection is engineered to protect the new iPhones with HEX’s signature design blending classic touches with street style.

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There are 2 different models:  The IconWallet and The Shield Wallet.  Both models are made in genuine leather and come in the following 5 different fabrications: Black, Tan, Camo/Burnt Orange, Stingray, and Wicker.

The Icon Wallet case ($49.95 – $64.99) includes 3-5 RFID blocking card slots features a cash pocket behind the card storage, as well as a camera cut out for photography, and an elastic strap closure – all housed in a slim and stylish profile.

The Shield Wallet case ($44.95 – $54.99) is a new design that provides users with a camera cut-out and two RFID blocking card slots all in a super-slim profile design.

The new lineup of HEX iPhone XS and XS Max compatible wallets and cases join an already extensive and award-winning line of stylish accessories that complement the creativity of the modern lifestyle. To view the entire collection of HEX products, visit their website, or follow them on Instagram,Facebook, and Twitter.

Safe by HUB6 Launches

Posted in Commentary on September 21, 2018 by itnerd

Smart home security with no contracts or monthly fees has arrived in North America with the launch of Safe by HUB6 an innovative, consumer-focused home security system that leverages existing hardware and frees users of unnecessary expenses.

Safe by HUB6 is a self-monitoring system that transforms existing home security systems into smarter systems for an affordable, one-time price of CAD $299. It redirects any alerts triggered by the existing system to a user’s phone or tablet as well as trusted neighbors and family.

Safe by HUB6 is sold directly to consumers at SafebyHUB6.comand is compatible with most home security systems and works with other smart home products.  Safe by HUB6  is expected in retail in the coming months.

The free app allows users to check the status of their home, control the alarm system, and get instant alerts when the system is armed or disarmed. The included, no-fee, 3G SIM card allows users to stay connected to their home, even if the power or internet is down.

Safe by Hub6 also offers on demand monitoring at $10 per 30 days so consumers can have an added share of security if they are away.  There is no contract required for this service and it can be started and cancelled as desire.

For more information please visit  https://www.safebyhub6.com/.

 

Linksys Cloud Manager Launches

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 20, 2018 by itnerd

Linksys today announced Linksys Cloud Manager, a cloud-hosted WiFi Management Platform purpose-built for small business environments that reduces costs and increases operational efficiencies. The solution offers centralized visibility, management and control of a wireless network without the cost and complexity of traditional hardware controllers, overlay software, or annual hosting costs.

Linksys Cloud Manager enables IT administrators and other authorized users to remotely monitor, manage and troubleshoot single or distributed wireless networks in real time via a single dashboard and sign-on. This plug-n-play platform helps provide secure remote access to Linksys Business Wireless-AC Access Points, which are built with enterprise-grade, high-performance hardware, and is competitively priced with no licensing or maintenance fees for five years*. The included cloud license fits any budget and provides a complete solution for IT solutions providers and their SMB customers. 

Simplifying SMB Network Management

The Linksys cloud architecture provides a feature set designed to streamline administration and improve productivity, giving users more control over network uptime and the ability to ensure QoS in real time.

  • Comprehensive Centralized Management via a Global Map – Manage multiple, unlimited client WiFi networks around the corner or around the world from one centralized dashboard with a single login. Visibility of all accounts, sites, access points, and devices.
  • Remote Monitoring and Network Insights – Provides alerts and real-time statistics so network administrators can anticipate potential network issues without the need for on-site monitoring and troubleshooting.  View through a web browser, historical and real-time traffic on the network, at-a-glance analytics about top clients and devices, including uptime, signal strength, connection duration, etc.  Built-in troubleshooting tools to identify problems using features such as a Ping Test, Blink LED, RF Environment Scan, and Rogue Access Point Detection.
  • Tremendous Scalability Scales seamlessly from single sites to unlimited networks worldwide; suitability for distributed networks (e.g., retail/branch offices).
  • Rapid Deployment with Zero-touch Provisioning – Configure APs even before unboxing them enabling a quick and simple installation process. After deployment, Linksys APs automatically connect to the cloud over SSL and can be configured remotely, whether they are offline or online. Users can provision the network in minutes with a few clicks.
  • Over-the-air Upgrades – Firmware is automatically updated.
  • Email and Text Push Notifications – Message alerts and warnings on network and device connectivity and network health re: power loss, downtime, or configuration changes.
  • Extremely Easy to Use Management Portal – An intuitive, browser-based dashboard and responsive user interface enables IT administrators to provision networks on the go from a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone, with no additional app to download.
  • Flexibility – With no vendor lock in, customers can use a local interface to manage Linksys APs if cloud is no longer required.
  • Multi-role Platform – Multi-management level accounts give users the ability to set roles (owner, admin, viewer) and provide key users access to specific networks.
  • Exceptional Warranty Terms and Technical Support – Linksys goes beyond the forum and email only support and offers 24X7 live customer support.

Unlocking Profitability for IT Solutions Providers

Limited resources, constrained spending budgets, and the proliferation of devices and IoT are further complicating wireless networks, and as a result, driving SMBs to move toward network managed services where an IT partner is responsible for the network on an ongoing basis.  The migration to cloud-based applications and everything-as-a-service presents a big growth opportunity in the SMB space for IT channel providers.

Linksys Cloud Manager is an ideal solution for resellers and IT solutions providers looking to develop a managed service model and generate recurring revenue. For those who already are, it’s a compelling alternative to pricier cloud solutions and will help round out their product portfolio to address customers with smaller IT budgets.

Availability
Linksys Cloud Manager is pre-installed on select Linksys Business Wireless-AC Access Points, on the LAPAC1200C.

  • LAPAC1200C: MSRP $199.99  Linksys Cloud Manager included at no extra cost. (Available in late October in Canada)