LinkedIn Launches beta program with Video for Sponsored Content

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 21, 2017 by itnerd

LinkedIn has just announced that it’s now testing video for Sponsored Content with a limited number of advertisers in a closed beta including Prudential Financial and Microsoft Canada, following the launch of native video in the LinkedIn Feed less than two months ago.

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Unlike pre- or post-roll video ads, native video ads live directly on a feed as a standalone post. While scrolling on the LinkedIn Feed, our members will see the video ad as they would any other piece of content, albeit with the “Promoted” label

Using video ads, which represent a natural extension of Sponsored Content native ads, advertisers can build brand awareness, engage the people who matter most to their business, and generate qualified demand for their products and services.

With this new capability, advertisers will be able to upload video through LinkedIn Campaign Manager, their Company Page, or their Showcase Page. They can then promote that video content as part of a Sponsored Content campaign and target an audience within LinkedIn’s professional environment.

LinkedIn video ads will feature the same targeting options as other LinkedIn advertising products. Marketers will be able to reach specific audiences based on member profile data like company size, geography, job title, and more. They will also have the ability to target their video ads using LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences suite. For now, video ads will only be served on mobile, but will expand to desktop in the near future.

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LinkedIn plans to make video for Sponsored Content available to all marketers in the first half of 2018.

 

 

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​The​ ​Lunchbox​ By​ ​MIA​ ​Sound: Plays Music​ ​AND​ Charges​ ​Wirelessly

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 21, 2017 by itnerd

The Lunchbox by MIA Sound makes music simple with its lay and play functionality. Simply start a song, set your phone on top and play music loud enough to fill any room. All without any syncing, pairing or wires.

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Music makes life more enjoyable. It connects us to those special unforgettable moments, it motivates us to go further and keeps the party going. But sometimes, those moments are lost because we struggle to connect our phones to one of the many wireless or bluetooth speakers. That’s about to change with MIA Sound (www.miasound.com). Playing music from your phone without connecting to Wifi or Bluetooth is finally an option!

Helping A Client Deal With The #Fail Of Rogers Internet

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 21, 2017 by itnerd

Yesterday I brought you a story of a very serious service outage at Rogers. To recap, if you signed up for Internet service with Rogers, or you changed modems in the last few days, you have no service. That’s due to whatever systems that they have to activate cable modems go down, which resulted in a untold number of people being left without Internet service. And there is still no ETA from Canada’s largest telco as to when this will be resolved which is simply stunning.

This was brought to my attention by a client of mine who absolutely relies on the Internet. She’s an 83 year old woman who is effectively shut in her home. Thus she relies on the Internet to do everything from order medication, order groceries, to communicate with her family in the Ukraine and the USA. The first two items are key because she has mobility issues that keep her from leaving her home. Thus she uses the Internet to order medication and food for delivery. She is affected by this outage because she had a Rogers cable modem fail and had to do a cable modem swap to get back online.

Except that she isn’t online thanks to the problems that Rogers has.

Because of her situation, having no access to the Internet isn’t a minor inconvenience. It’s a major disruption to her ability to live. So I knew that if Rogers couldn’t get her back online (because as I related to you yesterday in the story that I linked above, Rogers tech support had no ability to bring her back online), then I had to step in and help her. In her case, she had a computer and an iPad. So while I couldn’t do anything about the computer, I could get the iPad back on line. So I took one of my phones, which was the ZTE Axon that I kept around for testing purposes, and put it into mobile hotspot mode. I then connected her iPad to it. That allowed her to do everything that she needed to do from her iPad. Mission accomplished.

Meanwhile, the issues that Rogers has continues to affect who knows how many people. Many of whom took to Twitter to vent:

This whole episode shows that Rogers has serious issues that has to make their customers wonder about their choice of Internet provider. And the last Tweet that I posted above highlights why. It seems inconceivable that Canada’s largest telco doesn’t have a backup of some sort for a system that for them has to be business critical. You have to wonder if that sort of short sighted thinking exists elsewhere within Rogers. I don’t know and maybe I am looking at this wrong. But here’s what I do know. A lot of people are really, really mad at Rogers right now. And the longer that this goes on, the more likely that Bell Canada and other telcos are going to get phone calls from people who simply want to get back online. Thus, I truly hope that Rogers is putting every resource that they have to resolve this issue. Then they come out with a robust apology to their customers for the trouble that they’ve caused, paired with something to make things right for all their customers. Given how much of a mess this is for Rogers customers, it’s the least that they can do.

UPDATE: My client called me to say that she just got an automated call from Rogers to say that the ticket that she opened related to this outage was not resolved and that they had no ETA when it would be. She’s asked me to come over to her house on Monday to look at other options as she thinks that Rogers inability to get their Internet offering working is ridiculous.

UPDATE #2: It seems Rogers problems are bigger than just their Internet offerings as per this Tweet from Rogers:

 

So this issue also affects home phone and cable TV customers too. That makes this issue an #EpicFail as that’s most of their business portfolio with the only exception being their cell phone operation. What’s an even bigger #EpicFail is that Rogers is still doing installs and upgrades despite knowing that they have a problem of this scale. I really can’t see how that makes sense as it creates a really bad impression of Rogers as per the the Tweets above. Not to mention that they are simply making the problem worse as they are adding to the queue of hardware waiting to be activated. Rogers clearly didn’t think that through.

UPDATE #3: Readers of this blog have tipped me off that Bell Canada is aggressively going after frustrated Rogers customers on Twitter to steal them from Rogers. Take this for example:

Rogers problems have just gotten worse. I would not want to be them right about now.

#Fail: Rogers Unable To Activate Cable Modems For Internet Customers

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 20, 2017 by itnerd

From the “you’ve got to be kidding me” department comes the this from Rogers. It seems that since yesterday, customers who sign up for their Internet offering or need to swap modems for whatever reason, cannot get service. The core issue revolves around the fact that whatever infrastructure that they have that activates their cable modems the first time they appear on their network is not working. Thus it is keeping new and existing customers who have had them modems swapped offline. Now to be clear, if you don’t fit either one of these use cases, this is a non-issue for you. But if you do fit one of these use cases, you’re likely not a happy camper as evidenced by this:

Now I became aware of this because of a client who called me in desperation as Rogers couldn’t get her modem online due to the fact that she had to swap a failed modem for a new one. When I spoke to their tech support last evening, they had no ETA for resolution. Nor can tech support do anything to assist customers. Seeing as this outage is going into the second day, it must be costing them lots of money, the goodwill of their customers,  as well as tying up their phone lines with angry customers calling in to complain. As I type this, the client who called me is still without service, and is considering moving to Bell if for no other reason than to spite Rogers. Hopefully for their sake, this issue gets resolved today and that does not happen. But given the RogersApple Watch Series 3 debacle, another customer’s issues with Rogers, and my own personal issues with Rogers, it really seems that all is not well with Canada’s largest telco at the moment.

UPDATE: A reader pointed me towards Canadian Outages which has complaints piling up. And judging from what I am reading, Rogers isn’t making many friends when it comes to their ability to provide their customers with Internet service.

UPDATE #2: I have a follow up to this story here.

Mujjio Brings Forth A Bold Olive For iPhone X

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 19, 2017 by itnerd

With a natural and serene color, Mujjio’s new cases for iPhone X add a dash of personality, without compromising the iPhone’s immaculate appearance.

Mujjio has gone through an intensive process developing the perfect shade of Olive to complement their current selection of black, tan and gray leather finishes. Based on their innovative iPhone X cases, the Olive collection showcases their most premium design elements.

  • Fully leather wrapped – We’ve fully wrapped the cases with leather to reinforce their durability and closely follow the contours of the device, resulting in a very streamlined silhouette. The premium quality of our full-grain vegetable-tanned leather provides a soft feel and ages beautifully. Over time, the leather will acquire a patina: the color will become deeper adding character – a gradual refinement that will give your case a truly personal character.
  • Every detail considered – The buttons are fully covered in leather, which adds to the sleekness of the overall design. The optimised button profile is specifically designed and tested for responsiveness and ease of use – the result of a production process that they’ve refined meticulously.
  • Protective and effortless – The leather rises 1mm above the edge of the glass, creating a raised bezel that keeps abrasive surfaces away from your screen. The camera opening and mute button feature a leather chamfer which makes using the mute button effortless.
  • Satin-like microfiber-lined – The case interiors are lined with the finest Japanese microfiber with a satin-like finish, providing soft padding for your iPhone X.

Full-leather-wallet-case-for-iphone-x-Olive-02.jpgAvailable as a wallet – a Mujjo original praised for its functionality and form. The leather wallet case for iPhone X features a leather card pocket that fits two or three bank, ID or commuter cards conveniently in one sleek package.

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If you don’t want to use your iPhone X as a wallet, they’ve still got you covered with the Full Leather Cases for iPhone X.

Compatible with iPhone X, the cases start at US$44.90, ranging up to US$49.90 and EUR €44.90 ranging up to EUR €49,90 (incl. VAT for European customers). Available for order on mujjo.com (ships worldwide).

Cryptojacking: The New Threat That You Don’t Know Anything About But Should

Posted in Commentary on October 19, 2017 by itnerd

I remember the good old days…. As in six months ago where I would be called by clients to investigate and remove browser add ons that just magically appeared, or adware that got installed via a browser that visited an infected website. That still does happen, but I am getting a new call from my clients to address a new threat called cryptojacking.

Now you’ve likely never heard of cryptojacking, so here’s a rundown on what it is. A website can have a JavaScript installed on it that uses the browser of a website visitor to get at the CPU of that computer to mine cryptocurrency. Specifically Monero coins which are harder to trace than Bitcoin. So in short, this is a money making scheme that uses the CPU power of your computer to do it. Typically, the website that has the JavaScript has been pwned by hackers and this code is installed. But some unscrupulous site owners have installed these scripts themselves to make a few extra bucks. JavaScript isn’t the only attack vector as it’s also been seen on self hosted WordPress sites (as opposed to WordPress.com hosted sites like this one) via plug-ins. Plus there are other means to do this that don’t rely on JavaScript or WordPress that are starting to appear.

So, how do you know if you’ve been hit by one of these cryptojackers? Simple. You visit a website with a cryptojacker installed on it and you’ll notice almost immediately that your computer will slow down. If you were to open Task Manager on Windows or Activity Monitor on Mac, you’ll notice that the browser that you’re using at the time is consuming up to 100% of the CPU power. Terminating the browser usually brings things back to normal. And typically, nothing gets left behind on your computer.

Now this issue started to appear last month. But in the last couple of weeks it’s really become pervasive. Websites all over the world that are owned by major corporations to someone who hosts cat videos have been affected. And it’s growing by the day. Thus you have to protect yourself. I would suggest a two part strategy to protect yourself:

  1. Disabling JavaScript in your browser settings is the first step as many of these cryptojackers are JavaScript base. Thus simply disabling JavaScript in your browser makes a lot of these cryptojackers non issues. This is a good article that tells you how to disable JavaScript in the browser of your choice.
  2. Using a script-blocking addon or installing an extension specifically designed to prevent coin mining in the browser, like MinerBlock or No Coin is your next step as those will protect you from the non-JavaScript cryptojackers.
  3. Always have a good anti-virus program installed as you never know when these cryptojackers will evolve to the point where they install something onto your computer to do their evil work.

Seeing as this is an evolving threat, you’re going to hear more about cryptojackers soon enough. And the means to defend yourself will start to shrink. Thus the real way to stop this is for governments to go after the people who do this. Wishful thinking I know. But outside of that, there’s no real incentive for the people behind cryptojacking to stop their activities. And that’s not good for anyone.

 

Domino’s Pizza In Australia Pwned….. Email Addresses Swiped

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 19, 2017 by itnerd

It seems that Pizza Hut isn’t the only pizza joint to get pwned by hackers. Domino’s Australian outfit has fessed up to being pwned by hackers as well. The company has called in the Australian information commissioner to find out how a list of customer emails managed to find their way into the hands of creepy spammers. Though Domino’s is blaming a supplier for the issue:

The pizza seller has called in the Australian information commissioner to investigate the breach but insists its systems haven’t been compromised. Instead, it blames a “former supplier’s systems” for leaking customer email addresses, names and store suburb.

“Domino’s acted quickly to contain the information when it became aware of the issue and has commenced a detailed review process,” an undated statement posted on the company’s website reads.

The company did not say when it first became aware of the issue and insists no financial information has been accessed.

The thing is, that Domino’s customers are now getting spammed. And the spam is apparently not too cool. While this isn’t as bad as having financial data out there in the wild, it’s still not good as it shows that there were gaps in how customer information was handled. The other part of this story is that this is another company that took a while to disclose that this happened. That has not gone over well as many people vow not to do business with the pizza joint again. Hopefully that serves as a warning to other companies who think that not disclosing data breaches is a good idea.