Archive for February 23, 2017

BREAKING: Rogers Rollout Of DOCSIS 3.1 Seems To Be Back On The Rails

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 23, 2017 by itnerd

I’ve been tracking the rollout by Rogers of DOCSIS 3.1 which when completed will give Rogers the ability to offer faster than Gigabit speeds. It started with them exchanging their customer’s modems. But that quickly hit a snag as the modems had problems when they actually started flipping the switches for DOCIS 3.1 to go live. In fact, I was one of those customers who had problems as I noted:

I am noticing lag when I play online games that was not present before DOCSIS 3.1 was enabled. Clearly Rogers still has issues that it has to get sorted. But according to my sources inside Rogers, I am doing better than some people who have had severe speed drops when Rogers enabled DOCSIS 3.1.

Since writing that story, I did some additional digging and noted this when I logged into the modem/router that Rogers supplied me:

Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 10.35.56 PM.png

Now let me explain what you are looking at. I want to focus your attention on the downstream overview section which is what’s coming into my condo. More specifically, I want you to focus on the Port ID column. You’ll note that I have ports numbered 1 – 16 and 27-32. That’s a problem as I should have ports numbered 1-32 with none missing. My theory was that this was somehow responsible for my lag issues in whole or in part.

That changed today when Rogers posted this notice to their community forum informing users that they were pushing a firmware update that would address the issues that users of this modem/router were having. As an added bonus, they would also be enabling IPv6 as well. All users had to do is reboot the modem/router and the new firmware would download and install. Then the modem/router would reboot again to complete the installation. So I did a reboot and within a few minutes I got the new firmware. I logged into the modem/router and saw this:

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 10.57.12 PM.png

For the first time, I have all 32 ports. Plus the lag issues so far do not appear to be present. I will be monitoring this for the next few days, but this does look promising. I also enabled IPv6 on my router and got an IPv6 address on Rogers network. So that part works as well. I would be interested to find out what results other people who have the CODA-4582 modem/router from Rogers are getting as I’d like to get a sense of how well this fix addresses the issues that have been reported by users. Please leave whatever feedback you can in the comments below.

UPDATE: The Lag that I spoke of is still present. Though it has been reduced. While it seems that Rogers has made significant efforts to make things better for users of Ignite Gigabit Internet, it clearly has work to do.


Samsung Plans To Sell Refurb Galaxy Note 7’s In “Emerging Markets”?

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 23, 2017 by itnerd

From the “what could possibly go wrong” file comes news that Samsung is planning on selling their prone to explode Galaxy Note 7 in emerging markets according to according to Hankyung [Google Translate]. Here’s the one change that will be made to deal with that exploding thing:

According to Samsung, Samsung Electronics will release Galaxy Note 7 with a low-capacity battery as early as June this year.

So they’re going to put a smaller battery in it. Apparently it is not only physically smaller, but it will have less capacity. Hopefully the combination of the two will keep these phones from exploding.

Good luck with that.

They’re allegedly selling these phones into Vietnam and India in hopes of recouping some of the 7 trillion won (or roughly $6 billion USD) that they lost because of this exploding phone fiasco. Assuming that this is true of course because Samsung claims that it’s not true… Sort of:

In a statement to Gadgets 360, a Samsung India spokesperson said, “The report on Samsung planning to sell refurbished Galaxy Note 7 smartphone[s] in India is incorrect.”

Hmmm…. There’s no mention of selling the phones in Vietnam which is what the original report mentions. Thus this still is well within the realm of plausibility.

My two cents goes something like this: If this is true, I really have a problem with Samsung taking these phones and selling them in emerging markets. It’s as if “emerging markets” are less worthy then places like Canada or the US. Thus the optics of this suck and so do the ethics of this. Assuming this is all true of course. So watch this space to find out if this is true or not. And what the fall out might be.


macOS Malware Is Now A Very Real Threat… You Need To Protect Yourself

Posted in Tips with tags on February 23, 2017 by itnerd

I’ve been saying for a few years that Mac users shouldn’t feel smug about their perceived level of security. Anything on any platform can be hacked. In the case of macOS, there have been very few real threats to speak of, and most required some level of user interaction which meant that unlike those who use Windows, macOS users had nothing to worry about.

Those days are over.

We’ve seen in the last couple of weeks some scary malware that is brought to you by the same guys who hacked the US election. Plus just yesterday, we’ve seen the appearance of ransomware on the macOS platform. Crude yes, but it is still very concerning. It’s a sign that attacks on the macOS platform are on the rise and getting more sophisticated. In fact I predict that 2017 will be the year of macOS malware and Mac users will experience what Windows users experienced in the early 2000’s when malware exploded on the Widnows platform. That’s bad news for anyone who runs a Mac. But you can protect yourself and do so easily.

First, you need to run an antivirus app. Yes. Seriously. If you don’t have an antivirus app on your Mac, you will get pwned sooner or later. I’m currently running Sophos on my fleet of Macs, but there’s other options from BitdefenderESET Cyber Security and AVG among others for you to consider. Whatever you choose, choose something to protect yourself.

Next are the things that I file under the category called common sense:

  • Only install apps from trusted sources such as the Apple app store or from well known developers. In other words, running pirated software is not an option. For bonus points, make sure that under your “Security and Privacy” settings, ensure that “Allow apps downloaded from App Store” is checked. That way it provides and extra layer of protection.
  • Never type your password into dialog boxes that randomly pop up (unless you are installing an app that you trust of course) as that can be the sign of malware trying to set up shop on your system.
  • Some types of malware are distributed via social engineering attacks like “Spear Phishing” which is a social engineering attack targeted at a specific individual. This article from CSO can help you mitigate these specific kinds of attacks. But for a more general view on how to stop social engineering attacks, this article can help with that.

Finally, I would advise against using Oracle Java and Adobe Flash on your Mac (or your PC for that matter) as they are common attack vectors for malware creators. Realistically, you likely won’t miss anything by not having them and you will make your Mac a whole lot more secure.

Do you have any other tips that I didn’t cover here? If so, please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.