Android N Now Available for ZenFone 3 Zoom

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 28, 2017 by itnerd

Asus today announced that the ZenFone 3 Zoom is getting Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS (AKA Android N).

Notable upgrades include:

  • Portrait mode as well as RAW image support – to better maximize the smartphone’s photography-related capabilities
  • Multi-Window View – Run two apps side by side
  • Quick App Switch – Switch between apps with a double tab
  • Notification Directly Reply – Reply to messages right inside the notification screen
  • 72 New Emojis – Select new emoji genders and skin tones
  • Data Saver – Limit how much data the device uses
  • Notification Controls – Choose app notification preferences
  • Display Size – Change the size of texts and icons

ZenFone 3 Zoom users can expect a notification for the software update on their phones, and also check for the update by navigating to ‘System Update’ on their ‘Settings’ screen. To learn more, including updated where to buy information, visit: https://www.asus.com/us/Phone/ZenFone-3-Zoom-ZE553KL/.

 

 

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Canadian Web Hosting Launches “Snap Spectacles Sweepstakes”

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 28, 2017 by itnerd

Canadian Web Hosting (www.canadianwebhosting.com) announced today the commencement of their new “Snap Spectacles Sweepstakes” contest.

Entrants are able to win 1 of 2 Snap Spectacles (a wearable accessory for Snapchat). To be eligible, new Canadian Web Hosting registrants can enter their names in the sweepstakes by visiting http://bit.ly/CWHSnapRegister and entering in their information. Note: Making a purchase is not a mandatory condition to enter the contest.

The Snap Spectacles allow users to share hands-free, wide angle videos on Snapchat. The exclusive Spectacles are only sold from Snapbot Spectacle vending machines in select locations in the USA and Europe and are not available in Canada.

Existing Canadian Web Hosting customers are also eligible to receive 3 months of free hosting by referring a friend to sign up for a hosting service.

This sweepstakes is in addition to a contest they are currently running to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary where four individuals will receive a very “Canadian Care Package” and one grand prize winner will receive the “Care Package” and 150 days of free hosting.

The contest begins on June 26, 2017 at 12:00:01am PDT and concludes at 11:59:59 pm PDT on August 1, 2017. It is open to legal residents of Canada, except the province of Quebec, who have reached the age of majority in the province or territory of residence. Other restrictions apply; see http://bit.ly/CWHsnapspectacles for details.

To learn more about Canadian Web Hosting or the Snap Spectacles Sweepstakes, contact Canadian Web Hosting today by calling 1-888-821-7888 or by emailing sales@canadianwebhosting.com.

Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses The Latest Ransomware Attack & Steps to Protect Your System

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 28, 2017 by itnerd

Another round of ransomware assault has just hit over 2,000 global targets, including Danish shipping company Maersk, US pharmaceutical company Merck, and many private and public institutions in Ukraine.

Unlike WannaCry attack that hit seven weeks ago, the latest attack seems to be more solid, without the previous design flaws. Security companies are confident the Petya ransomware uses the same software exploit in Microsoft products that WannaCry was able to exploit. Symantec says it has confirmed the ransomware is using the EternalBlue vulnerability that is believed to have been developed by the NSA.

Originally called Petya, the current ransomware emerged in 2016, and no re-appeared with upgrades, such as better encryption. Some call the new iteration “NotPetya” or “GoldenEye.”

“The latest ransomware assault seems to be particularly dangerous,” said Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN, “One of the best protection mechanisms are patches, but they might not always work with this new version of Petya. Another way to protect yourself is to disrupt a system before it boots, as the ransomware runs on boot. After the device gets infected with a ransomware, it will wait for about an hour until reboot. Reboot is required for a malware to encrypt the system, so in certain cases, if the device gets terminated in the encryption process, it gets disrupted and information can be saved.”

“Generally, system administrators are still not well-prepared to protect their networks, and these attacks will only keep getting worse,” he added.

Here is NordVPN’s advice about protecting a network from latest ransomware attack:

  1. Power down when unusual messages pop out. If you encounter a “Check Disk” message, quickly power down to avoid having the files encrypted by the ransomware.
  2. Know which file to block. Stop the spread within a network from the Windows Management Instrumentation by blocking the file C:\Windows\perfc.dat from running. If such a file doesn’t exist yet, create it yourself and make it read-only.
  3. Protect local credentials. Use Microsoft’s Local Administrator Password Solution to protect credentials that grant network privileges.
  4. Always install latest security updates. Security updates often contain patches for latest vulnerabilities, which hackers are looking to exploit.
  5. Don’t open anything suspicious you get through email. Delete dubious emails from your bank, ISP, credit card company, etc. Never click on any links or attachments in emails you’re not expecting. Never give your personal details if asked via email.
  6. Backup all data. Backup your data in an alternate device and keep it unplugged and stored away. Backing up data regularly is the best way to protect yourself from ransomware because only unique information is valuable.
  7. Use a VPN for additional safety. Using a VPN when browsing can protect you against malware that targets online access points. That’s especially relevant when using a public hotspot. However, keep in mind that while a VPN can protect malware from spreading while it’s connected, it cannot protect you from downloading the malware. While a VPN encrypts your activity online, you should be careful when downloading and opening certain files or links.
  8. Close pop-up windows safely. Ransomware developers often use pop-up windows that warn you of some kind of malware. Don’t click on the window – instead, close it with a keyboard command or by clicking on your taskbar.
  9. Use anti-virus programs. Make sure you have installed one of the latest reputable anti-virus programs to make sure you are fully protected.

 

Guest Post: Printer’s Remorse: Five signs your company isn’t doing enough to join the digital age

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 28, 2017 by itnerd

By: Mohan Mailvaganam – Director of Digital Process Automation at Xerox Canada

As the work world around us speeds into the digital age, more of us are beginning to feel printer’s remorse.

We get the email with a document attached from a colleague or a client. We open it and read it on our computer screen. And then — for a variety of reasons that usually can’t be justified — we hit print.

As the printer hums to life and spits out pages, the feelings of regret and doubt begin to sink in. Did I really need to make a hard copy of this? Did I just waste my time and my company’s resources? Chances are the answer is staring you right in the face from the recycling bin filled with pages that other colleagues have already read and discarded.

Even without seeing the hard numbers that prove how digitizing work processes and reducing our reliance on paper can save significant time and money, we get an inkling in our guts — all that paper shuffling from hand to hand must be lethal to efficiency and productivity.

But still, companies of all sizes — from small- and medium-sized businesses to large corporations — forge ahead and hit the print button far more than they should.

The recent findings from Xerox’s Digitization at Work report reveal that less than 50 percent of IT decision-makers currently use processes that are mostly or fully digitized.

With that in mind, here are five signs you aren’t doing enough to realize the benefits of going digital:

1) You have no idea how much paper you use on a daily basis, let alone why.

Without the right data in hand on print habits, it’s difficult to uncover the hidden opportunities for digitization. You’re stuck guessing on what might work, which is never as reliable as well-analyzed data. Armed with solid print analytics, company executives can then make informed decisions about optimizing or automating key processes.

2) You don’t understand the difference between bad and good paper.

“Good” paper refers to documents that have a valid reason to be in hard-copy form, such as documents that originate on paper, like customers’ handwritten letters or documents that require a “wet ink” signature.

“Bad” paper refers to documents that are in paper format, but without any compelling reason to be so. These could include documents that were printed from digital originals or documents that get shared, stored or transported using physical systems.

Understanding the distinction between them helps identify where you really need to use paper, and where you can get rid of it.

3) Your leadership and your workforce aren’t on the same page.

Going digital involves changing the way people work and how they think. People fear the unknown so communicating the reasons and benefits of change is crucial. By far, the greatest barrier to change is institutional culture. There has to be company-wide buy-in to effect real change.

4) You’re storing reams of documents because you ‘have to’.

Many organizations are required to retain a variety of documents for regulatory reasons. In the past, that used to mean banker’s boxes and multiple copies of the same paperwork. In many cases, government agencies and regulatory bodies now accept digital versions and electronic signatures.

5) Your company isn’t as competitive as you think it should be.

The weight of paper-based processes is holding many Canadian firms back from keeping up with competitors who have already made the digital transformation. Unnecessary paper use wastes resources, undermines productivity, bogs down workflow and prevents them from realizing advantages derived from becoming digital enterprises.

Keep an eye out for these tell-tale signs your ties to paper are too strong. Just recognizing you may have a problem is a good start that you need to get your digital house in order. And it’ll help you avoid those bad feelings you get waiting by the machine for those papers you never needed to print.

Waze Serves Up Some Canada Day Driving Data

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 28, 2017 by itnerd

Waze has some interesting driver data for Canada Day. Now Canada Day will be celebrated on Saturday, July 1st this year but was celebrated on Friday in 2016 which creates the baseline average. For this reason, Thursday – Monday was selected to be studied as the holiday weekend. Whether or not the national holiday is observed on an additional week-day this year (Friday June 30th or Monday July 3rd) is unclear and therefore it might be hard to scope out traffic surges for these days.

TRAFFIC ALERT CHANGES BY METRO

Ottawa
ACCIDENT

  • increased by 150 % on Thu
  • decreased by -48.3 % on Fri

JAM

  • increased by 71.4 % on Thu
  • decreased by -78.4 % on Fri

ROAD CLOSED

  • decreased by -81.8 % on Thu
  • decreased by -54.5 % on Fri
  • decreased by -71.4 % on Sat

POLICEMAN

  • increased by 56.7 % on Sat
  • increased by 61.7 % on Sun

HAZARD

  • increased by 28.2 % on Thu
  • increased by 27.5 % on Sun

Montreal

ACCIDENT

  • increased by 62.3 % on Thu
  • decreased by -38.9 % on Fri
  • increased by 47.4 % on Mon

JAM

  • increased by 53.5 % on Thu
  • decreased by -67.1 % on Fri
  • increased by 78.7 % on Sun
  • increased by 36.9 % on Mon

POLICEMAN

  • increased by 15.4 % on Thu
  • increased by 32.6 % on Sun

HAZARD

  • increased by 17.4 % on Thu
  • decreased by -33.6 % on Fri
  • increased by 24.3 % on Sun

Vancouver

ACCIDENT

  • decreased by -55.6 % on Sat
  • decreased by -43.8 % on Sun

JAM

  • increased by 57.8 % on Thu
  • decreased by -45.7 % on Fri
  • decreased by -55.4 % on Sat

ROAD CLOSED

  • decreased by -47.1 % on Thu
  • increased by 66.7 % on Sat

POLICEMAN

  • increased by 33.3 % on Sat

HAZARD

  • increased by 54.7 % on Thu

Toronto

ACCIDENT

  • increased by 34.1 % on Thu
  • decreased by -30.6 % on Fri

JAM

  • increased by 26.3 % on Thu
  • decreased by -61.1 % on Fri
  • decreased by -37 % on Sat

ROAD CLOSED

  • decreased by -42.3 % on Fri
  • decreased by -41.9 % on Sat

POLICEMAN

  • increased by 32.2 % on Sat
  • increased by 13.7 % on Mon

HAZARD

  • decreased by -45.1 % on Fri

WORST TIMES TO DRIVE BY METRO (compared to baseline average for each day)

Ottawa

  • On Thu the worst time to drive is between 8pm and 10pm
  • On Fri the worst time to drive is between 9pm and 11pm
  • On Sat the worst time to drive is between 10am and 12pm
  • On Sun the worst time to drive is between 2pm and 4pm
  • On Mon the worst time to drive is between 1pm and 3pm

Montreal

  • On Thu the worst time to drive is between 6pm and 8pm
  • On Sun the worst time to drive is between 4pm and 6pm
  • On Mon the worst time to drive is between 3pm and 5pm

Vancouver

  • On Thu the worst time to drive is between 1pm and 3pm

Toronto

  • On Thu the worst time to drive is between 1pm and 3pm

 

WORST TIMES TO DRIVE BY METRO (amount of drivers on the road)

“Largest number” = worst time to drive

Ottawa

  • On Thu the largest number drivers are on the road between 3pm and 5pm
  • On Fri the largest number drivers are on the road between 12pm and 2pm
  • On Sat the largest number drivers are on the road between 10am and 12pm
  • On Sun the largest number drivers are on the road between 1pm and 3pm
  • On Mon the largest number drivers are on the road between 3pm and 5pm

Montreal

  • On Thu the largest number drivers are on the road between 3pm and 5pm
  • On Fri the largest number drivers are on the road between 11am and 1pm
  • On Sat the largest number drivers are on the road between 1pm and 3pm
  • On Sun the largest number drivers are on the road between 2pm and 4pm
  • On Mon the largest number drivers are on the road between 3pm and 5pm

Vancouver

  • On Thu the largest number drivers are on the road between 3pm and 5pm
  • On Fri the largest number drivers are on the road between 3pm and 5pm
  • On Sat the largest number drivers are on the road between 11am and 1pm
  • On Sun the largest number drivers are on the road between 2pm and 4pm
  • On Mon the largest number drivers are on the road between 3pm and 5pm

Toronto

  • On Thu the largest number drivers are on the road between 3pm and 5pm
  • On Fri the largest number drivers are on the road between 12pm and 2pm
  • On Sat the largest number drivers are on the road between 12pm and 2pm
  • On Sun the largest number drivers are on the road between 2pm and 4pm
  • On Mon the largest number drivers are on the road between 4pm and 6pm

 

New Book on C# Shows How to Build and Automate Security Tools

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 28, 2017 by itnerd

The latest addition to No Starch Press’s robust lineup of security books, Gray Hat C# ($39.95, 304 pp., June 2017) aims to help computer security professionals streamline their workday and bulk up their security toolkit. This practical guide to C#’s powerful set of core libraries shows readers how to build tools to automate security tasks, like writing offensive exploits, automating scans for infrastructure vulnerabilities, reading offline registry hives, and creating custom cross-platform payloads.

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Many computer security professionals rely on automation to get the job done but can feel limited by the tools available on any given system. With some help from Gray Hat C# and Mono, an open source project that allows for cross-platform development, infosec professionals will have the power to write their own tools to run on Windows, OS X, and Linux.

Following a crash course in C# and some of its advanced features, readers learn to:

  • Write fuzzers that use the HTTP and XML libraries to scan for vulnerabilities like SQL and XSS injection
  • Generate shellcode in Metasploit to create cross-platform payloads
  • Automate commonly used pentesting tools like Nessus, Cuckoo Sandbox, and sqlmap to scan for vulnerabilities and exploit SQL injections
  • Parse and read offline registry hives to dump system information
  • Write a .NET decompiler for OS X and Linux

Gray Hat C# arrives in bookstores everywhere this month.

StaffConnect Announces Strong Customer Momentum

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 27, 2017 by itnerd
StaffConnect Group has announced record results with continued exponential customer adoption across Europe, North America, APAC and the Middle East, adding global brands in virtually every industry vertical – including manufacturing, healthcare, travel and telco.  The StaffConnect Platform together with its management console and unique AppSuccess program continued to be met with overwhelming market acclaim, leading to a 55% customer acquisition growth over the same period last year.
Research has proven time-and-again that employee satisfaction is critical for businesses to reach their full potential, with employee engagement serving as a critical component in overall satisfaction levels. Yet, according to Gallup, only 13 percent of employees worldwide are actually feeling engaged at work. The situation is only slightly better in the U.S. – with about one-third (32 percent) of American workers reporting feeling involved and enthusiastic about their job.  And, research by Temkin Group shows that as company size increases, engagement decreases.  With these statistics in mind, it makes sense that C-level executives in forward looking companies are recognizing the strategic importance of building a business case for employee engagement, realizing how the employee experience of company culture links to end customer satisfaction, and bottom-line corporate profits.
 
The StaffConnect Platform transforms how employers reach, communicate and engage with employees, and how employees engage with each other – regardless of what they do, or where they are located.  The StaffConnect platform features an interactive app, an intuitive console and an inspiring success program:
  • StaffConnect App – unites the entire workforce from the field to the boardroom – enabling all employees to engage with company communications and connect with and be inspired by corporate goals. Employees are empowered to express views and share knowledge across business-lines, titles and geographies; thereby increasing employee job satisfaction, loyalty and retention. The StaffConnect app is designed specifically to deliver a better employee experience, which ultimately leads to better served customers, greater customer loyalty and increased revenues. Discover the app: http://www.staffconnectapp.com/staffconnect-app/
  • Management Console – provides authorized administrators a powerful yet simple tool to manage all aspects of the StaffConnect Platform. Reports and dashboards offer invaluable insight into employee engagement levels, in order to analyze and understand each individual, as well as the overall organizational, employee experience.  See the Management Console: http://www.staffconnectapp.com/staffconnect-admin-console/
  • AppSuccess Program – consists of customized consultations with a domain expert(s) to define a winning internal communications strategy, ensure a successful program and app launch, accelerate user adoption, and provide a pathway for feedback in order to continuously maximize app and program performance.  Learn about AppSuccess: http://www.staffconnectapp.com/appsuccess/

For further information, please visit: www.StaffConnectApp.com.