Another Reason For Rogers To Be Scared…. TELUS Launches PureFibre X With Canada’s Fastest Internet Speeds

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 24, 2021 by itnerd

I’ve written previously about why Rogers is on the back foot when it comes to being an Internet provider versus Bell Canada. Now there’s one more reason why Rogers will stay on the back foot. TELUS announced today that it is rolling out what they call PureFibre X. The rollout will start in Calgary, and then continue to other communities in Alberta and BC in “the months ahead.” But here’s the reason why Rogers should be scared. PureFibre X offers download and upload speeds of 2.5 Gbps which makes it the top of the food chain when it comes to Internet speeds in Canada. And in the process destroying anything that Rogers offers. Here’s some more key facts from the press release:

A 100 per cent FTTH network means that every part of the TELUS PureFibre network is built with state-of-the-art fibre optics, right up to the connection point at the home or business, ensuring customers have the fastest most capable network available. With the only true all fibre network in Western Canada, TELUS delivers the best network performance available anywhere in the world, including the fastest upload and download speeds. This infrastructure is critical for enabling TELUS PureFibre X – the next phase of world-leading network performance – which now allows Calgary residents on the PureFibre network access to the fastest Internet speeds in Canada. In another technological advancement, PureFibre X Internet plans include the latest Wi-Fi 6, enabling better quality connectivity and connections throughout the home. By leveraging Wi-Fi 6 technology with TELUS’ new PureFibre X, we can provide households with nearly limitless connectivity enabling simultaneous 4K streaming, video conferencing, web surfing, gaming, smart home automation, and smart home security.

So the way I see things, this will force Bell to up their game as their fastest Internet offering is 1.5 Gbps. But that should be doable as like TELUS, they are an end to end fibre solution. Rogers on the other hand isn’t, which means the disparity between their Internet offerings and those of Bell and TELUS just got worse. Sure this isn’t offered in Ontario, but Rogers wants to buy Shaw to be more of a player in Western Canada which is where these services will be offered. And this announcement makes them an also ran even before that deal gets closed.

Here’s a promo video from TELUS:

If the folks at TELUS are reading this, a tip of the metaphorical hat to you and please bring this service to Ontario (along with the rest of the services that you don’t offer here in Ontario) so that people in this province can have another option when it comes to their telco needs.

Microsoft Officially Announces Windows 11

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 24, 2021 by itnerd

After being leaked, Microsoft has officially announced Windows 11. Which will be the next version of Microsoft’s desktop operating system:

We’ve simplified the design and user experience to empower your productivity and inspire your creativity. It’s modern, fresh, clean and beautiful. From the new Start button and taskbar to each sound, font and icon, everything was done intentionally to put you in control and bring a sense of calm and ease. We put Start at the center and made it easier to quickly find what you need. Start utilizes the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show you your recent files no matter what platform or device you were viewing them on earlier, even if it was on an Android or iOS device.

Here’s something else that caught my eye:

Since day one of developing Windows 11, we have been working closely with our hardware and silicon partners for seamless integration across software and hardware. That co-engineering begins with innovation in the silicon. From AMD and the incredible graphics depth brought by the Ryzen processors to the incredible performance of Intel’s 11th gen and Evo Processors, to Qualcomm’s AI prowess, 5G and Arm support, the innovation of our silicon partners brings together the best of Windows 11 with the largest hardware ecosystem in the world.

The fact that they have ARM processor support gives them options in case they want to dump Intel like Apple has.

Microsoft plans to release Windows 11 to the general public by the holidays, so we can probably expect it sometime around late November. Before that, we’ll likely see a slew of public betas. It’s apparently going to be a free upgrade. Here’s a video that speaks to all the new features:

Digital Main Street ShopHERE Helps more than 25,000 Canadian SMBs transition to online during pandemic

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 24, 2021 by itnerd

Through ShopHERE powered by Google, Digital Main Street has been supporting more than 25,000 SMBs during the pandemic, providing them with critical digital tools and skills needed to stay afloat and reach customers online while their bricks and mortar business was closed.

ShopHERE made a difference for businesses disproportionately impacted by the pandemic with 64% of participants identifying as women and 33% identifying as BIPOC. Along with SMB support, ShopHERE has also created new employment opportunities for 780 university and college students to help develop a new workforce of young Canadians with expertise in web development, ecommerce and digital marketing.

Check out this blog post link for more information about ShopHERE, along with some additional details below on how ShopHERE is supporting Canadian SMBs and students.

How Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE program impacted small businesses:

  • 70% of businesses that participated in ShopHERE agree their business is doing better because they participated in the program
  • 46% of businesses that participated in ShopHERE agree they would not have been able to sell online without the program
  • 68% of businesses that participated in ShopHERE say the program was important to surviving the pandemic

How Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE program impacted Canadian students:

  • 96% of students that participated in ShopHERE agree the program gave them skills and experience that better prepared them for future employment opportunities
  • 66% of ShopHERE student alumni were able to secure employment after participating in the program

You can find some other examples at this blog post link

Infragistics Launches $50M Innovation Fund and Lab To Fuel Experimentation For New Market Expansion

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 24, 2021 by itnerd

Infragistics, the software company responsible for the user experience and interface (UX/UI) solutions behind the world’s largest enterprise applications, today announces the launch of its $50M Innovation Fund and Lab. The fund will create freedom for internal inventors to experiment with innovations beyond the company’s core UI/UX products, without an immediate need to generate revenue. The fund’s Innovation Lab arm was introduced by Infragistics founder and CEO Dean Guida, and will be led by Tobias Komischke, PhD, an expert in the field of Usability Engineering and head of data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning at Infragistics.

The new fund is part of Infragistics’ larger commitment to nurturing a culture of innovation and cultivating the same entrepreneurial spirit responsible for its longevity in the technology arena. After years of funding innovation products informally, the fund introduces a formal delineation between Infragistics’ revenue-generating products and its pre-market growth products. 

All Infragistics employees are encouraged to pitch ideas that leverage their collective expertise in artificial intelligence, analytics and digital product design. Projects can make use of any programming frameworks and require the most advanced technologies available, including data science and machine learning (DSML), AI-informed design and collaboration work streams. 

Under Komischke’s guidance, the Innovation Lab team has developed a proprietary and structured innovation process to prototype, test and thoroughly assess new ideas for market viability. Projects that make it past internal and external reviews will be provided experimental capital to take the innovation from concept and prototype all the way to market.

The decision to formalize the Fund and introduce a dedicated lab comes as Infragistics embarks on its fourth decade in business. Founder Dean Guida bootstrapped Infragistics 31 years ago and has since grown it to a multi-million dollar company without accepting outside funding. The company now has 250 employees and offices in the U.S., Japan, Uruguay, Bulgaria, UK and India. Its client roster boasts 100% of the S&P 500, including Intuit, Exxon and Morgan Stanley, and its enterprise-ready UX and UI toolkits are in use by more than two million developers worldwide.

The Innovation Lab is located in the company’s 74,000 square-foot New Jersey headquarters. The Lab is part of Infragistics’ $22M investment in converting a vacant, two-story warehouse into an open work environment. 

The Innovation Lab leadership team is currently responsible for two new in-market products, Indigo.Design and Reveal, and one pre-market product, Slingshot, which will be released in Q4 of 2021.

Indigo.Design is a complete design-to-code system that has allowed Infragistics to move outside of the enterprise and work directly with UX designers across industries  and company sizes. Through Indigo, Infragistics was one of the first companies to enter the emerging low-code space in 2018. The platform generates production-ready code for Angular, with React, Web Components and Blazor coming soon. Infragistics UX Principal George Abraham leads the Innovation Lab’s Indigo.Design team.

Reveal is an analytics and data visualization software platform that can take the world’s most complex data sets and transform them into actionable insights. Organizations that thrive on precision and continuous intelligence, such as the Japanese Railway Group and Baker Hughes, now rely on Reveal to organize, understand and act on their business intelligence. Seventeen-year Infragistics veteran and SVP of Developer Tools, Jason Beres, leads the Innovation Lab’s Reveal team.

Soon-to-launch Slingshot is a digital workplace that boosts team results, no matter where they are, by giving them the ability to make better, quicker decisions with data analytics, as well as improving their workflow. Slingshot eliminates disruption caused by constant app-switching, and introduces a structured approach to project organization, task prioritization and communication in context. Slingshot is a culmination of on-the-ground best practices culled by Infragistics over its three decades working with hundreds of companies. Guida and Innovation Lab Director Dr. Tobias Komischke, are currently leading Slingshots’ pilot tests. 

Dr. Komischke, Director of the new Innovation Lab, spent seven years working at Infragistics before accepting a role as Global Director of User Experience at Honeywell in 2015. In 2020, he returned to Infragistics to lead the new Innovation Lab.

As part of his work with the Innovation Lab, Dr. Komischke also developed an Innovation Fellowship with Rutgers University, which contributes a regular stream of insights that help the company shape its ongoing innovation.

For more information about the Infragistics Innovation Fund and Lab, please visit: https://www.infragistics.com/about-us/innovation   

TekSavvy Provides Liberal Government With Clear Evidence Of CRTC Chair’s bias

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 24, 2021 by itnerd

TekSavvy today filed additional evidence with the Liberal Government in support of its May 28 Petition to the Governor in Council regarding the CRTC’s recent wholesale rates decision (Decision 2021-181). That decision stunned observers by completely reversing the CRTC’s own 2019 Final Rates Order, which had already been upheld on appeal by the Federal Court of Appeal, and which the Federal Cabinet and the Supreme Court of Canada declined to review. TekSavvy’s Petition asks Cabinet to overrule the CRTC’s arbitrary Decision 2021-181, to reinstate its evidence-based 2019 Final Rates Order and to remove Chair Ian Scott for bias. 

Today, TekSavvy submitted further evidence to Cabinet regarding Mr. Scott’s bias.  TekSavvy noted that Mr. Scott held numerous ex parte meetings with litigants with open CRTC files, apparently unaccompanied, according to lobbying records. In particular, Mr. Scott held at least 11 reported solo meetings with Bell, Rogers or Shaw during the course of the CRTC’s open and active file, which resulted in Decision 2021-181  and that completely reversed its own evidence-based, years-in-the-making 2019 Final Rates Order. The decision also directly undermined Cabinet’s mandate and direction to the CRTC to promote affordable pricing and competition.

Remarkably, at least one of Mr. Scott’s ex parte meetings took place in a social setting, alone, with the CEO of one of the primary litigants in the open file. Mr. Scott met one-on-one with Mirko Bibic, then chief operating officer of Bell (and now CEO) at D’Arcy McGee’s, an Ottawa bar on December 19, 2019. The meeting occurred just one week after the CRTC opened an active file to hear Bell’s application to reverse the 2019 Final Rates Order, which the regulator arbitrarily approved in Decision 2021-181.

This meeting, in the middle of a contentious proceeding with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, is described in recent media reports by former Commissioners, as offside the CRTC’s internal norms, policies and practices. One former Chair noted that he “would include a third party, typically the CRTC’s general counsel, in lobbying meetings with industry.” Another former Commissioner and vice-chair of telecom said the CRTC’s recommended practice was to meet with lobbyists in the office and to have a third person present, such that an ex-parte meeting at a bar “would fall into the category of high-risk behaviour.” 

Other media reports describe the harmful impact of Mr. Scott’s private meetings on the CRTC’s integrity and reputation. One article underscores that it is impossible for anyone to know what was discussed, noting with respect to Mr. Scott and Mr. Bibic, “De quoi ont-ils discuté ? Impossible de le savoir.” Another article notes that this conduct has caused a crisis at the CRTC that will undermine public confidence, “[U]n manque de confiance qui pourrait faire mal.”

TekSavvy submitted that Mr. Scott’s ex parte meeting with Mr. Bibic is also clearly offside the standards of conduct required by the Governor in Council for its appointees to the CRTC, as confirmed by Cabinet’s termination of one Commissioner’s appointment for far less egregious conduct in 2017. In fact, both the Federal Court and Cabinet have explicitly recognized the concern of bias raised by ex parte meetings between Commissioners and stakeholders with open files before the CRTC, as the Federal Court described such conduct as “very troubling.”

TekSavvy respectfully reiterated its request that Cabinet quickly take the steps outlined in its Petition and in particular, to overturn the CRTC’s arbitrary Decision 2021-181 and reinstate its evidence-based, pro-consumer 2019 Rates Order and to remove Mr. Scott as chair. 

Commvault Named 2021 HPE GreenLake Momentum Partner Of The Year

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 24, 2021 by itnerd

Commvault today announced it has won the 2021 Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) GreenLake Momentum Partner of the Year Award at HPE Discover 2021.

According to HPE, the 2021 Partner of the Year Awards recognize partners from across the HPE ecosystem for their incredible commitment to customer excellence, continued strong performance, focus on growth, and dedication to mutual achievements. Winners were selected based on financial performance, innovative solutions, and ability to drive transformative business outcomes for shared customers. 

Commvault’s Intelligent Data Services Platform leverages all parts of Commvault’s existing portfolio via a broad set of delivery models that vary from software subscription, an integrated appliance, partner-managed, to increasingly SaaS—a critical differentiator in the market. This platform includes the following set of services: Data Management & Protection, Data Security, Data Compliance & Governance, Data Transformation, and Data Insights. The new Intelligent Data Services provide comprehensive, end-to-end storage and workload support regardless of where they reside.

The innovations developed through Commvault’s growing partnership with HPE to deliver BaaS with GreenLake gives customers proven, award-winning data protection with the flexibility to scale as they grow while maintaining the enterprise class protection they need.

To learn more about Commvault’s recently-enhanced Partner Advantage program, including newly refined and tailored support for MSP and Aggregator partners, please visit the Commvault website. More information on the 2021 HPE Partner of the Year Awards can be found on the HPE website.

#RIP John McAfee

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 23, 2021 by itnerd

Eccentric software mogul John McAfee has apparently died today in a Spanish prison. He was best known for a suite of antivirus programs that bore his name. According to McAfee’s lawyer, who confirmed details of his death to Reuters, the British-born technology trailblazer hanged himself in his Barcelona prison cell. This was just after he was approved to be extradited to the USA to face trial for tax evasion and fraud. Now if you want a history of what he did, and why he got into trouble, this Wikipedia article can help with that.

Rest in peace.

Guest Post: Atlas VPN Says That Over 60% Of fraudsters Request Gift Cards In Business Emails Scams; eBay, Google Play Cards Most Popular

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 23, 2021 by itnerd

According to data presented by the Atlas VPN team, gift cards were the preferred payment method for 64% of fraudsters who used attacks to compromise business emails in the second half of 2020. 

eBay gift cards were the most popular, with nearly a quarter (24%) of cybercriminals requesting eBay gift vouchers as a form of payment. 

Google Play gift cards ranked second on the list. They were the gift card of choice of 15.5% of hackers involved in BEC attacks in the second half of last year. 

Google Play is followed by its competitor iTunes. Apple’s iTune gift cards were sought after by close to 12% of cybercriminals in H2 2020. 

On average, hackers demanded about $1,270 worth of gift cards per BEC attack. However, 22% of cybercriminals preferred wire transfers over gift cards as a payment method in BEC attacks. In the meantime, 10% of hackers preferred payroll diversion.  

Ruth Cizynski, the cybersecurity researcher and author at Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on why gift cards are so popular with BEC attackers: 

“Gift cards make for a perfect payment method to scammers and hackers. Unlike, for example, wire transfers, payments in gift cards can not be easily tracked back to criminals.”

Gmail is the most popular domain among BEC scammers 

Frequently, scammers choose free email domains to carry out their attacks. It appears that the most popular webmail account Gmail was also the most favored among cybercriminals for BEC attacks in the second half of 2020. Overall, 61% of BEC hackers choose Gmail to conduct attacks. 

Other popular email domains for BEC attacks include Cox (6%), Naver (5%), Seznam.cz(4.5%), Earthlink (3%), Virgin Media (2%), Optimum.net (2%), Mail.ru (2%), and Roadrunner (1%). 

To read the full article, head over to: https://atlasvpn.com/blog/over-60-of-fraudsters-request-gift-cards-in-business-emails-scams-ebay-google-play-cards-most-popular

ELEVATE Chooses Procore for Construction Management Software

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 23, 2021 by itnerd

Procore Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of construction management software, today announced that ELEVATE Build has chosen Procore as its construction management platform.

ELEVATE was founded in 2019 and specializes in creating high-end commercial spaces, including Alchemy, a Toronto retailer recently featured in Interior Design Magazine. The company delivers projects across Canada and the U.S. 

After trialing other solutions, ELEVATE chose the Procore platform for its complete feature set, flexibility and fast onboarding. Paul Bélanger, ELEVATE’s principal and project director, estimates that Procore will save the company about $45,000 (CAD) each year by streamlining administrative work. With Procore, ELEVATE is able to provide clients with frequent updates about project finances, confident that no details have been missed.

While ELEVATE initially implemented Procore to leverage financial and project management tools, the company continues to discover new ways to use the platform to innovate and improve day-to-day operations.

Procore is a leading provider of construction management software. Over 1 million projects and more than $1 trillion USD in construction volume have run on Procore’s platform. Procore’s platform connects key project stakeholders to solutions Procore has built specifically for the construction industry—for the owner, the general contractor, and the specialty contractor. Procore’s Marketplace has a multitude of partner solutions that integrate seamlessly with Procore’s platform, giving construction professionals the freedom to connect with what works best for them. Headquartered in Carpinteria, California, Procore has offices in the United States, Canada and around the globe. Learn more at Procore.com.

AWS & Salesforce Announce Expansive Partnership To Unify Developer Experiences & Launch New Intelligent Applications

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 23, 2021 by itnerd

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) and Salesforce today announced a significant expansion of their global strategic partnership that will make it easy for customers to use the full set of Salesforce and AWS capabilities together to quickly build and deploy powerful new business applications that accelerate digital transformation.

The partnership will drive customer value through new and enhanced unification between AWS and Salesforce products. Developers will now be able to build and launch custom applications that extend the power of both platforms by connecting Salesforce data and workflows natively into their solutions running on AWS, and make it easy for Salesforce developers to integrate AWS data and workflows into their Salesforce applications. Salesforce will also embed AWS services for voice, video, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) directly in new applications for sales, service, and industry vertical use cases. With these new offerings, customers can purchase out-of-the-box solutions directly from Salesforce and then consume the integrated AWS services on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Organizations from around the world rely on Salesforce to manage their customer relationships and build new applications leveraging the Salesforce platform, while using AWS for their compute, storage, and database needs along with AWS technologies like Amazon Connect (an omnichannel cloud contact center), Amazon Redshift (a fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud), and AWS Lambda (a serverless compute service that enables customers to run code without provisioning or managing servers). Previously, significant custom integration code was often required for customers that wanted to combine AWS and Salesforce capabilities for their applications. These new offerings will enable customers to use AWS and Salesforce services together seamlessly through new, unified platforms. The companies have also collaborated on new low-code tools to help customers innovate and build applications that connect data in real-time between Salesforce applications and AWS services.

Unifying the Developer Experience

  • Create custom business applications faster and easier: New low-code and click-to-launch development tools will accelerate the creation of custom applications, built on top of Salesforce and AWS services. Salesforce’s point-and-click development tools will operate directly on data from AWS services like Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) or Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), as if the data were native in Salesforce.
  • Unleash the power of customer data with real-time events: By natively connecting AWS’s services with the Salesforce platform, real-time data will securely move between the two providers, allowing customers to more easily automate workflow and maintain a single view of the end customer.
  • Simplify security, identity and access management: A new guided setup experience will make it easier for customers to bring Salesforce products and AWS services together. Sign into AWS from Salesforce Setup or into Salesforce from the AWS Management Console to simplify service authorization, user identity, security, permissions, and data management and governance between Salesforce and AWS.

New Intelligent Applications

  • Sell, service, and engage smarter from anywhere: Customers will be able to innovate quickly with pre-built out-of-the-box applications and add-ons that leverage AWS services for voice, video, and productivity with AI/ML functionality. For example, customers can activate virtual call centers and empower high-velocity sales teams with Amazon Connect and AWS AI/ML services, pre-integrated into both Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.
  • Launch industry-specific customer solutions: Customers will be able to deliver new digital experiences and services to remain ahead of industry disruption by leveraging AWS technologies like Amazon Chime SDK (embedded real-time communication capabilities), Amazon Textract (intelligent data extraction from scanned documents), Amazon Comprehend (natural language processing to uncover information in text), and others directly within Salesforce Industry Clouds. Starting with a telehealth solution, Healthcare customers can deploy an intelligent virtual care platform to deliver personalized patient experiences.