Girls Who Game Launches Across North America to Encourage and Mentor Girls in STEM

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 11, 2019 by itnerd

Women graduate with university degrees at a higher rate than men do, however only 20% of women who attended a post-secondary program opted for a STEM degree, whereas over 40% of post-secondary men did the same Because of this, it’s essential that young girls are presented the right opportunities and education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). This starts by giving girls access to technology and getting them excited about using it, allowing them to thrive in today’s interconnected and diverse society.

To achieve just that, Dell Technologies and Microsoft have partnered to launch Girls Who Game; a program focused on increasing young girls’ access to technology to prepare them for success in a digital world. The extracurricular gaming program provides female students the opportunity to learn through play with a focus on building global competencies and computational thinking through Minecraft: Education Edition. The program establishes a girl-centric ecosystem that empowers young girls to learn from one another and build confidence in a secure and positive space.

The Girls Who Game program aims to achieve three goals:

  • Provide authentic application and engage female students (grades 4-8) in learner-driven experiences that broaden their knowledge, skills and dispositions within STEM-related fields.
  • Develop mentorship by fostering the pursuit of academic and career aspirations of young women.
  • Build a community of learners by using gaming to build relationships, amplify success, and promote reflection for continued growth and ongoing feedback.

Dell and Microsoft will be providing Dell Latitude 3190 laptops, equipped with Minecraft: Education Edition. Dell and Microsoft Learning Design Specialists will also provide ongoing professional development for coaches and for the girls in order to build knowledge, confidence, and advocacy in STEM disciplines. The program is rolling out in schools across Canada and the US.

Real-World Challenge

Dell’s and Microsoft’s collaboration supports game-based learning using Minecraft: Education Edition to provide experiences for students to develop and practice their collaboration, creativity and critical thinking and problem-solving skills.  The girls in participating schools use design thinking to solve a real-world challenge and then create a solution using Minecraft: Education Edition. The focus is not on technical skills, but rather how the tool can amplify their global competencies.

Mentorship Program

It’s critical for young women to have mentors in STEM, whether that’s a teacher, a parent, or someone in the workforce. According to study by Microsoft, girls who are encouraged by their parents are twice as likely to stay in STEM. The mentorship program tied to Girls Who Game provides girls access to mentors from Dell and Microsoft to foster the advancement of young women. Mentors will virtually facilitate opportunities to inspire, educate and equip girls from the program with authentic application of necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions to be successful professionals. Serving as positive role models, these mentors will strive to motivate these young girls, building self-respect and self-esteem by helping them set goals and work toward accomplishing them.


OVH Rebrands To OVHcloud

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 10, 2019 by itnerd

For its 7th Summit, OVHcloud is bringing together its whole community for the annual meetup at Porte de Versailles, Paris. For the opening keynote, presented by OVHcloud’s Founder and Chairman Octave Klaba and CEO Michel Paulin, nearly 10,000 people are expected to follow the event, either by going to the Paris Expo, or via video stream around the world.

The company’s ambition is to offer a European alternative in the cloud market and its 20th anniversary marks a new milestone in its growth. OVHcloud is demonstrating its capacity for international growth, support and innovation. It is resolutely focused on the cloud and intends to contribute to an emerging ecosystem of trusted solutions in Europe.

A new name for a new era

OVH’s 20th anniversary is an opportunity to remind everyone of the company’s positioning, with more than 70 per cent of its revenue focused on cloud solutions. By adopting the name OVHcloud, the group is aligning its identity with its business development strategy in order to support its international growth.

Keeping up the SMART strategy

In spite of the name change, OVHcloud’s DNA is firmly retaining its core values: openness, to usher in the emergence of an ecosystem based on respect for data. OVHcloud continues to defend its vision of a SMART cloud: simple to implement, multi-local, accessible and predictable, reversible and open and finally, transparent. Faced with the challenges posed by the Cloud Act, OVHcloud offers solutions that are trustworthy and respectful of European values. It promotes an open and truly reversible cloud, where all customers are free to choose a way of managing their data that suits their business challenges.

Constant innovation for a SMARTer cloud

Through its four universes, OVHcloud is following its development and innovation axes, to offer its customers solutions and products that are adapted to suit their needs and resource usage.

Supporting IT decision-makers in their digital transition with Enterprise

With Enterprise products and solutions, IT decision-makers have the opportunity to secure their digital transition projects based on a transparent, reversible, predictive and multi-local cloud. This year, the Bare Metal portfolio will be enriched with dedicated server clusters, based on a private network with guaranteed performance, through standard APIs for better automation. The company will soon update its line of premium customisable HG dedicated servers with the latest-generation Intel® Cascade Lake™ and AMD EPYC™ 2nd generation CPUs, to offer users even more performance and reliability. Finally, the group is pursuing its global certification strategy, and is undergoing the SecNumCloud qualification process.

Providing an open, standard environment for DevOps who need to develop scalable cloud-based applications with the Public Cloud

With the Public Cloud product line, developers can start their activity instantly, with the flexibility of on-demand resources that allow them to adjust their resource usage to suit their needs, simply and quickly. The company also remains true to its commitments by using open and interoperable standards: Public Cloud Storage is now available with support for S3 APIs, and the alignment of Public Cloud with RefStack tools will soon be complete.

Meeting the needs of infrastructure, hardware and network enthusiasts looking to build a cloud platform with server solutions

System administrators can use server solutions to build their infrastructure for the best price and performance available on the market. This year, OVHcloud has completely redesigned its range of dedicated servers, aiming to simplify the range and make it more versatile. To meet the scalability and performance requirements of medium-sized enterprises, government agencies and universities, OVHcloud recently launched its new range of Infrastructure dedicated servers. You can use them to build server architectures in clusters and manage large databases. All servers in the Infrastructure range are equipped with the latest technology, OVHcloud Link Aggregation (OLA), which allows users to aggregate the network interfaces of each server to increase its availability, while isolating it from the public network and possible threats. Some servers in the Infrastructure range also provide advanced security features via Intel® Software Guard Extensions (SGX) technology, which fully isolates code that is being run, and data that is being processed.

OVHcloud will also be launching in early 2020 its brand-new Virtual Private Server offer. Simple and easy to scale, from STARTER to ELITE. It will deliver great options such as Automated Backup with a 99.9%  SLA.

Finally, as a pure player for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), OVHcloud relies on a rich network of partners, with all of the skills required to deploy and maintain services for its own customers. To invest in this, the company has redesigned the OVHcloud Partner Program, to better support companies’ digital transformations. This is also another way in which the company is focusing on its internationalisation. The program is open and compliant with OVHcloud’s DNA, and its first members already include companies such as Thales, Capgemini and Deloitte.

To save Canada’s democracy, we must disrupt it: Adastra

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 9, 2019 by itnerd

As Canada gets set to vote in the October Federal Election, a new poll released today probes Canadians on issues of governance, accountability, security and digital democracy and shows 54 per cent of Canadians feel the country’s political system needs disruption.

Additionally, the survey shows half of Canadians feel the current voting and governance system leaves them behind. Of note, younger Canadians (18-34) are much more likely to feel this way, versus those 55-plus (61 per cent to 43 per cent).

The survey, titled Digital Democracy in Canada, an Angus Reid survey of 1,500 Canadians was commissioned by Adastra Corporation, a global leader in data management and analytics.

The poll found broad consensus on a couple of salient points across the country. Specifically, more than nine-in-10 Canadians (94 per cent) wish it were easier to hold politicians accountable and an identical number feel there needs to be a way to make the parties care about more than their stump issues. In terms of which issues matter, three quarters of Canadians (74 per cent) would welcome new ways to allow issues to be more personalized to them through digital means.

“There are many challenges facing elections and democracy, some of which are in the news, and others which are long-term, structural issues,” said Marcos Da Silva, Director, Analytics Products and Strategy at Adastra, based in the GTA.

“We conducted this survey to get a benchmark on how Canadians feel about those challenges and discuss how digital transformation can be used to solve problems, breathe new life into democracy and engage citizens.”

Digital democracy was defined in the survey as “the use of modern digital technology and strategies in the political and governance processes”. In Canada, and globally, all industries are undergoing Digital Transformation, including healthcare, an area with as much at stake for citizens as democracy.

Where Canadians stand on digital democracy

Respondents were probed regarding several issues of digital democracy. Four-in-five Canadians (82 per cent) fear that a more digital democracy is a threat in terms of election fraud or hacking, while three-in-five feel it is a threat to privacy (63 per cent).

But unpacking the findings a bit further, it becomes clear there is attraction for digital democracy:

  • 75 per cent of Canadians agree that a more digital democracy is an opportunity to breathe new life into democracy and engage younger citizens.
  • 69 per cent feel that all of society is undergoing a digital transformation, and elections/voting needs to get on board.
  • 65 per cent feel a more digital democracy is an opportunity to hold politicians more accountable.

In terms of which issues matter, three quarters of Canadians would welcome new ways to allow issues to be more personalized to them through digital means.

Adastra has worked diligently at the forefront of technology for two decades – transforming and disrupting norms and ideas in ways never thought possible. Companies can learn more about how Adastra can unlock the secrets behind their data and kick off their Digital Transformation at


From September 26 to October 1, 2019, an online survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1500 Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The precision of Angus Reid Forum online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians been polled.

More information can be found at

RCMP Arrests Two In Connection With The Bell Data Breach

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 9, 2019 by itnerd

You might remember that Bell got pwned in 2018 and 2017. The first time about 100K customers were affected with names and email addresses being accessed. The second one had over 20,000 Bell small business customers affected with data including credit card details put online.

Now it seems that as a result of the 2018 incident that the RCMP got involved and today a press release went up announcing the arrest of two persons connected to that incident.  The two individuals will appear in court in relation to fraud over $5,000 CAD, conspiracy to commit fraud, unauthorized use of a computer, identity theft, laundering proceeds of crime and identity fraud. In other words, the Mounties got their men. It isn’t clear which incident that these arrests are connected to.

It will be interesting to see what details come out in this trial. As it stands, all we know beyond the arrests is that the pair then fraudulently purchased goods online through the accounts. But I would love to know if they were behind both incidents or not and how they got in for starters.

DLink Won’t Fix Routers That Are Open To Remote Pwnage

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 9, 2019 by itnerd

If you have any of the following DLink routers, you may want to replace them with something else:

  • DIR-655
  • DIR-866L
  • DIR-652
  • DHP-1565

The reason being is that according to Threatpost, these routers have a vulnerability in their latest firmware that leaves them wide open to being pwned remotely. And then there’s this:

 D-Link last week told Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs, which first discovered the issue in September, that all four of them are end-of-life and no longer sold or supported by the vendor (however, the models are still available as new via third-party sellers). The root cause of the vulnerability, according to Fortinet, is a lack of a sanity check for arbitrary commands that are executed by the native command-execution function. Fortinet describes this as a “typical security pitfall suffered by many firmware manufacturers.” With no patch available, affected users should upgrade their devices as soon as possible.

While I get that it’s not DLink’s fault that a vendor was sitting on some gear in a warehouse someplace for a long time and is selling months or years after it was discontinued, it doesn’t take away the fact that DLink needs to step up here. The fact is they are not fixing this issue because they don’t feel that they have any responsibility to. Clearly the fact that they got slapped by the FTC and are under 20 years of oversight means nothing to them.

In the absence of the FTC exercising their oversight powers, there’s one way to send a message to DLink that this behavior is not acceptable. Don’t buy their products. EVER. If they see their sales drop, maybe they will change their tune and act in a responsible manner.

A Follow Up To My Story On Optimized Battery Charging

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 9, 2019 by itnerd

When I last wrote about optimized battery charging in iOS 13, I explained how the feature works in theory and my observations about the feature. At the time, I noted the behavior that I was seeing and the fact that the feature had not turned on for me yet. A couple of days ago, I noted this:


If you look at the charge pattern, it charged to 80% between 10PM and midnight. It stayed that way until about 3AM when it started charging to 100% which ended at just around 5AM roughly. So at that point, the phone was ready to go for when I woke up at 6AM. I also noted that it doesn’t always do this. For example, today I woke up to find that it did normal charging and not optimized charging. So I am assuming that this is still a work in progress.

Another data point is that I have been observing my wife’s iPhone XR to see if I see similar behaviors to my iPhone XS. As I type this, even though the feature is turned on, it has made no attempt since iOS 13 has been installed to do any sort of optimized charging. That’s weird. It would be nice if Apple provided better documentation on how this feature worked so that there’s way less guesswork on my part. But all Apple provides is this document on the feature which really doesn’t help to explain the behaviors that I am seeing.

I will continue to monitor this and provide my observations on this feature.

Trend Micro and Snyk Enter Strategic Partnership Focused Around DevOps

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 8, 2019 by itnerd

Trend Micro Incorporated today announced a strategic partnership with Snyk, the leader in developer-first open source security. The partnership will focus on solving the unrelenting challenge that open source vulnerabilities create for developers, stemming from code-reuse, public repositories and open source.

Together, Trend Micro and Snyk will help businesses manage the risk of vulnerabilities without interrupting the software delivery process. The combination of open source vulnerability intelligence from Snyk and Trend Micro will result in the most comprehensive ability to detect vulnerabilities for teams operating in a DevOps environment. Once vulnerabilities in containers are identified, Trend Micro is the shield and Snyk is the fix that combine for streamlined remediation and risk mitigation.

One of the key challenges for enterprise customers today is the need for speed in developing applications. Speed and efficiency is gained by leveraging open source code. Gartner reports,1 “Open-source software is used within mission-critical IT workloads by over 95% of the IT organizations worldwide, whether they are aware of it or not.” Research from Snyk also found that those vulnerabilities in open source libraries are growing rapidly, nearly doubling in two years.2

[1] Gartner, Inc.; What Innovation Leaders Must Know About Open-Source Software; 26 August 2019 | G00441577

[2] Snyk, Inc.; 2019 State of Open Source Security

Additional terms of the ongoing partnership and product integration will be announced in November, 2019. For more information on the current partnership, please visit: