Archive for May 1, 2017

Canadian Web Hosting Successfully Completes Annual SOC 2 and SOC 3 Audits

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 1, 2017 by itnerd

Canadian Web Hosting has announced that it has once again successfully completed its annual independent audit for Service Organization Control (SOC) 2, in accordance to AT 101, making this its seventh consecutive year of completion.

The SOC 2 audit was conducted between February 2016 and January 2017, and examined all of Canadian Web Hosting’s services, including dedicated server hosting, cloud hosting, Canadian colocation and web hosting services. The audit process scanned Canadian Web Hosting’s compliance to industry best practices, covering controls, processes and procedures. Upon completion, it was determined that its control activities were compliant and the company displayed the ability to effectively operate throughout the reporting period.

In addition to the annual SOC 2 audit, Canadian Web Hosting also completed the SOC 3 audit, which adheres to the Trust Service Principles and focuses on the design of e-commerce systems. The SOC 3 report is available for download, while the SOC 2 report can be obtained by customers, members of the media, or other interested individuals upon request.

One of Canadian Web Hosting’s core missions is to help businesses meet their certification requirements in accordance with AT 101 (formerly SAS70 and CSAE 3416 Type II), which meets the new international service organizations standards for Type I and Type II reporting. As a result, its web hosting customers with services including dedicated servers, VPS, cloud servers, cloud computing, cloud storage and/or shared hosting can feel confident that they are in a secure, reliable and effective environment equipped with the proper controls for internet operations and highly available IT services.

Here’s a link to Download Canadian Web Hosting’s SOC 3 report.

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HP’s Sprocket Photo Printer Now Available

Posted in Commentary, Tips with tags on May 1, 2017 by itnerd

Small in size, but mighty in printing – the HP Sprocket Photo Printer allows instant high quality pocket size photos straight from your smart device, or tablet. If you’re looking for professional quality photos to capture each summer party, festival, night out or candid travel moment then the sprocket has got you covered!

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Product Details:

  • Light weight and compact Sprocket Photo Printer is about the size of a cellphone, and weighs 6 ounces (170 grams)
  • Sprocket easily load included 10-sheet pack and print instant photos or stickers (5 x 7.6 cm)
  • Print through the HP Sprocket App with Bluetooth technology

Using ZINK technology, printing is a breeze – no ink is required! The Sprocket Photo Printer can tag along with you all summer long for moments. With seamless Bluetooth connectivity, you and all your friends can connect and print.

The Sprocket Printer is available in White/Rose Gold and Black/Silver colors, and is priced at $159.99 at HP.com

Belkin Announces Snap Shield

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 1, 2017 by itnerd

Belkin has unveiled Snap Shield, a fast and simple way to protect MacBook and Chromebook computers in the classroom. The two-part, slim-fit case offers scratch protection for devices and works seamlessly with convertible or touchscreen models. The Snap Shield’s customized fit for both devices ensures installation is easy and requires little setup and maintenance after application – offering a convenient and reliable way to protect devices being used in busy classroom environments.

In honour of Teacher Appreciation Week and to celebrate educators, Belkin is offering a 10 per cent discount on every purchase made on belkin.comfor registered educators. To learn more about the discount visit the website. The full suite of Belkin classroom accessories and protection lineupincludes products ranging from flexible neopro sleeves to the military-grade and shock-absorbing AirShield™ Protective Case for Chromebook.

Key features of the Snap Shield:

  • Easy application minimizes setup and support time/costs
  • Customized fit for specific devices
  • Preserves investment in classroom devices
  • Retains the look and feel of the host device
  • Full access to tag through case
  • Full access to ports and speakers
  • Adjustable keyboard angle for easier typing

The Snap Shield is manufactured from impact-resistant polycarbonate. This durable material provides an added layer of resilience to valuable devices, while preserving access to all ports, buttons and speakers, eliminating the need to remove the case for charging. The retractable feet on the bottom of the case provide adjustable keyboard angles for effortless typing.

Belkin Education solutions are designed to enrich student and educator experiences with technology in the modern classroom. Belkin Education recently partnered with the California State PORTS (Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students) distance-learning program to leverage Belkin’s technology to offer students, especially in lower-income schools, virtual field trip experiences in their classrooms. State park indoor studios and ranger vehicles, such as the PORTS’ EduGator, are equipped with Belkin’s Tablet Stage, an adjustable platform that turns any tablet into an interactive presentation tool.

Review: Rivolta

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 1, 2017 by itnerd

Rivolta is a 20 minute documentary film about Michael Calce who is also the well known Canadian hacker ‘MafiaBoy’ who launched one of the biggest distributed denial of service attacks that took down sites like Yahoo and eBay at age 15. The documentary is extremely well paced and walks through the life of Calce with him as narrator. He stars from how he got into computers to how he executed this epic hack and along the way he is able to convey to viewers complex topics such as social engineering with ease. On top of that the music that’s used in the documentary is top notch and adds to the overall vibe of the movie. The net result is that viewers will see that the Internet wasn’t a safe place when he pulled off this hack in the early 2000’s, and he illustrates that it’s not a safe place now as what he did to pull off these hacks hasn’t changed all that much.

Directed by Academy Award nominated director Huber Davis, Rivolta made its world premiere at the Hot Docs Film festival in Toronto. If you’re in Toronto, there will be one more showing of the film on Sunday May 7th at 6PM. If you have 20 minutes to spare, I’d recommend that you watch this film.

Tinder Irate As Researcher Scoops Up Profile Photos For Research

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 1, 2017 by itnerd

Images of Tinder users have apparently been swept up in a massive grab of some 40,000 photos from the dating app by a dataset collector who plans to use the selfies in artificial intelligence training. Here’s the details via TechCrunch:

A user of Kaggle, a platform for machine learning and data science competitions which was recently acquired by Google, has uploaded a facial data set he says was created by exploiting Tinder’s API to scrape 40,000 profile photos from Bay Area users of the dating app — 20,000 apiece from profiles of each gender.

The data set, called People of Tinder, consists of six downloadable zip files, with four containing around 10,000 profile photos each and two files with sample sets of around 500 images per gender.

Some users have had multiple photos scraped from their profiles, so there is likely a lot fewer than 40,000 Tinder users represented here.

The creator of the data set, Stuart Colianni, has released it under a CC0: Public Domain License and also uploaded his scraper script to GitHub.

He describes it as a “simple script to scrape Tinder profile photos for the purpose of creating a facial dataset,” saying his inspiration for creating the scraper was disappointment working with other facial data sets. He also describes Tinder as offering “near unlimited access to create a facial data set” and says scraping the app offers “an extremely efficient way to collect such data.”

“I have often been disappointed,” he writes of other facial data sets. “The datasets tend to be extremely strict in their structure, and are usually too small. Tinder gives you access to thousands of people within miles of you. Why not leverage Tinder to build a better, larger facial dataset?”

Tinder as you would expect isn’t happy about this:

We take the security and privacy of our users seriously and have tools and systems in place to uphold the integrity of our platform. It’s important to note that Tinder is free and used in more than 190 countries, and the images that we serve are profile images, which are available to anyone swiping on the app. We are always working to improve the Tinder experience and continue to implement measures against the automated use of our API, which includes steps to deter and prevent scraping.

This person has violated our terms of service (Sec. 11) and we are taking appropriate action and investigating further.

But here’s the thing. Tinder has a ton of application programming interfaces (API) that have been leveraged to do all sorts of things. Not all of them good:

Developers have done all sorts of weird, wacky and creepy things playing around with Tinder’s (ostensibly) private API over the years, including hacking it to automatically like every potential date to save on thumb-swipes; offering a paid look-up service for people to check up on whether a person they know is using Tinder; and even building a catfishing system to snare horny bros and make them unwittingly flirt with each other.

Thus I can make this argument. Because of Tinder not locking their APIs down, Tinder users should expect that this sort of thing will happen frequently unless Tinder decides to do something about it. Which in my opinion they should… As in right now. And if you as a Tinder user aren’t okay with the current state of affairs, you likely need to go find some other dating app to use. At the same time, this looks to violate the terms of service for Tinder. Thus the person who did this swipe of photos should be sued out of existence. Though I have to wonder how far this will get in court. Assuming it even gets that far. This might be worth keeping an eye on if it heads in the direction of a courtroom.

Hacker Leaks ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Episodes… Threatens More Leaks

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 1, 2017 by itnerd

A hacker, or perhaps a hacker group as it isn’t clear at this point who are calling themselves The Dark Overlord has leaked the first ten episodes of season 5 of the “Orange Is The New Black” show after two failed blackmail attempts, against Larson Studios and Netflix. Here’s the details from BleepingComputer.

Last night, at around 22:00 UTC (17:00 ET), your reporter noticed the hacker posting links on his Twitter profile that linked to a Pastebin page, GitHub profile, and a Pirate Bay torrent sharing episode 1 of season 5 of Netflix’s “Orange Is The New Black” show.

We didn’t manage to get ahold of the Pastebin and GitHub links because they went down 20 minutes after they were posted, but we presume the links contained ransom demands. On the other hand, the Pirate Bay torrent file remained online, and users have downloaded and shared its content.

Twelve hours later, TDO posted a new set of links on Twitter. These included a statement posted on Pastebin and a second torrent file, also hosted on The Pirate Bay, containing episodes 2 through 10 of the same season 5 of “Orange Is The New Black.”

I have not been able to verify if these are real or not, but if it is, it’s kind of scary if you’re a studio. And the scare level increases because of this:

The release of these episodes is TDO’s shot across the bow. The hacker claims to hold other unreleased shows and movies from several other studios.

“Who is next on the list? FOX, IFC, NAT GEO, and ABC. Oh, what fun we’re all going to have. We’re not playing any games anymore,” the hacker wrote on Twitter.

This will be a story worth watching as you can bet that anyone on this list is going to do all they can to make sure that their stuff doesn’t end up online Plus they’re going to expend a lot of effort to catch the person or people behind this.

Review: Harvest

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 1, 2017 by itnerd

When you first start watching Harvest, you’re going to wonder what exactly the plot is. That’s the experience that my wife and I had when we viewed it. I’ll get to that in a bit and I will try not to give away too much of the plot of this 11 minute documentary. But let me tell you what you will see. You’ll follow a woman named Jenni, he two children, and her husband as she goes through life doing the things that normal families do. Go to work, go to school. Everything is well shot and well paced. But you’ll notice two things as you watch. The first is that from time to time you’ll see longitude and latitude co-ordinates printed on the screen. The second is the prominence of a device that most of us carry. The smart phone. Both of those will conspire by the end of the movie to make you think about how you use the latter and who gets to know that information. This is one of those movies that starts out slow, and hits you at the end with an inescapable conclusion that you cannot ignore. In this case that strategy works because it is only 11 minutes long.

Harvest is directed by Kevin Byrnes and is showing at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto on Sunday May 7th at 6PM. This documentary is going to make you think, and because of that I recommend that you set aside time to see it.