Archive for August 29, 2017

Google Maps Now Tells You How Difficult It Will Be To Park At Your Destination

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 29, 2017 by itnerd

Google has announced its “parking difficulty” indicator in Google Maps for iOS and Android will now appear in 25 additional cities around the world. Those cities are:

  • Alicante
  • Amsterdam
  • Copenhagen
  • Barcelona
  • Cologne
  • Darmstadt
  • Düsseldorf
  • London
  • Madrid
  • Málaga
  • Manchester
  • Milan
  • Montréal
  • Moscow
  • Munich
  • Paris
  • Prague
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Rome
  • São Paulo
  • Stockholm
  • Stuttgart
  • Toronto
  • Valencia
  • Vancouver

What this feature does is shows a “P” icon with a difficulty level such as “moderate” or “limited,” based on how easy it will be to find parking at the destination entered. The feature is based on historical parking data and machine learning. That way you can figure out where to park your car long before you arrive at your destination and save time.

You can download this Google Maps update today from Google Play and the App Store.

 

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List Of Pwnable IoT Devices Floating In The Wild

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 29, 2017 by itnerd

A list of IoT devices and associated telnet credentials has gone viral in the last few days. The list has the IP addresses of over 33,000 IoT devices and associated logins via Telnet which are things like the username and password being root or admin. This would make it trivially easy to create a botnet of IoT devices like the Mirai botnet that hit several sites recently. The list has existed since June, but has become viral when it was Tweeted out in the last few days. Now according to this article on Threat Post, there is an all out effort to stop the exploitation of this list by tracking down the owners of these IoT devices so that they can take remedial action which could include updating firmware, changing passwords, or taking the devices offline among other possibles.

Now, this sort of thing is precisely the reason why I have said for a long time that people who make IoT devices have to seriously step up their game when it comes to securing them. And if they are unable or unwilling to do so, governments should be prepared to force them to. By not making these devices as secure as possible,  an event that would be catastrophic in nature is possible. And by then, it would be way too late.

 

VMware Makes More Announcements At VMworld 2017

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 29, 2017 by itnerd

Today at VMworld® 2017, VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) unveiled innovations that make VMware Workspace ONE powered by AirWatch the industry’s first unified end user experience, management and security solution for all endpoint platforms. Customers will now have the ability to use Workspace ONE as a single solution to enable unified endpoint management (UEM) and unify the end user experience across all endpoint platforms including Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, iOS, and Android. In addition, Workspace ONE will now uniquely integrate application programming interfaces (APIs) from major endpoint platform providers to stay in lock-step with the latest innovations in devices and applications.

Workspace ONE is the industry’s first digital workspace platform that uniquely integrates AirWatch endpoint management technology with end-user identity to deliver a consumer-simple experience with enterprise-class security. Workspace ONE will also extend the same experience and security to traditional Windows environments with VMware Horizon virtual application and desktop technology.

Bringing Market-Leading Mobile Experience, Management, and Security to Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS Platforms

Legacy methods of PC lifecycle management struggle to keep pace with the mobile workforce. Workspace ONE brings a modern approach and delivers a secure, full self-service experience to end users from onboarding to ongoing productivity, similar to a mobile experience. Employees can now receive a new laptop and be up and running in minutes with out-of-the-box enrollment and self-service applications. This new approach eliminates a complex, expensive, and error prone desktop management model, and security is strengthened with the ability to quarantine and update any device in real-time using the cloud. This same experience and security model is also available for Windows 10 and macOS with Workspace ONE.

Workspace ONE will also offer cloud-based peer-to-peer (P2P) software distribution technology to install large applications to distributed PCs at scale. This capability eliminates the need for costly branch office servers that requires silo-ed infrastructure management.

In addition, Workspace ONE is the first solution to manage Chrome devices making it the industry’s only digital workspace platform for iOS, Android, Windows 10, macOS, and Chrome OS. Partners like HP further validate the solution by powering the HP device as a service (DaaS) offering using Workspace ONE.

Transforming Traditional Windows Using a Modern Service Delivery Architecture

The only way to deliver traditional Windows applications as part of a modern digital workspace is to transform them using a service delivery architecture that has invisible infrastructure and fully-automated management.

Horizon 7 integrated with VMware Cloud Foundation™ and Dell EMC VDI Complete with Horizon Apps makes infrastructure elastic, integrating compute, storage, networking, and infrastructure management together. This eliminates the need for deep planning and operational visibility for infrastructure components. Together with Horizon Cloud, customers will now have options for elastic infrastructure for on-premises or cloud. Furthermore, management of Windows desktops and applications can be automated with the VMware Just in Time Management Platform (JMP) and a technology preview that integrates JMP platform technologies (Instant Clone, VMware App Volumes™, and User Environment Manager) into a single console, that will further simplify management.

Quickly Embrace Office 365 with Better Experience and Security

Customers want to adopt Office 365 quickly but are challenged with complicated provisioning and delivering secure experiences across all endpoint platforms. Workspace ONE will now give customers the ability to enforce and manage security policies and data loss prevention (DLP) alongside all of their applications and devices.

Workspace ONE Intelligence — Delivering Smart and Actionable Insights

Modern mobile workstyles create a massive challenge for IT trying to gain insight into usage patterns of applications and devices for informed decision-making. VMware Workspace ONE Intelligence is a new add-on service to Workspace ONE that will deliver comprehensive insights and automated actions to help accelerate planning, enhance security, and improve end user experience. Insight into application deployments, usage, device security, and end-user experience will help IT understand the performance and security of their digital workspace environments. In addition, a built-in rules engine will empower customers with automated actions that enable real-time security and performance optimization unavailable in legacy models.

Availability and Pricing

Updates to Workspace ONE in addition to Horizon 7 with Cloud Foundation and Dell EMC VDI Complete with Horizon Apps are expected to be generally available in Q3 FY18.

General availability for Workspace ONE Intelligence is expected in Q4 FY18.

Additional Resources

Follow VMware Horizon on Facebook and Twitter

Tech Companies Team Up On Android Botnet Takedown

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 29, 2017 by itnerd

In an unprecedented move, a half dozen tech companies have teamed up to take down the “WireX” botnet which may have had tens of thousands of compromised Android devices as part of it. Noted security expert Brian Krebs has the details:

News of WireX’s emergence first surfaced August 2, 2017, when a modest collection of hacked Android devices was first spotted conducting some fairly small online attacks. Less than two weeks later, however, the number of infected Android devices enslaved by WireX had ballooned to the tens of thousands.

More worrisome was that those in control of the botnet were now wielding it to take down several large websites in the hospitality industry — pelting the targeted sites with so much junk traffic that the sites were no longer able to accommodate legitimate visitors.

Experts tracking the attacks soon zeroed in on the malware that powers WireX: Approximately 300 different mobile apps scattered across Google‘s Play store that were mimicking seemingly innocuous programs, including video players, ringtones or simple tools such as file managers.

That’s right, apps from the Google Play Store were central to the existence of this botnet. Proving once again that Google has a bit of a problem when it comes to what is available to download and install onto Android devices. But I digress. Several hundred apps that had the code to power this botnet have been removed from the Google Play Store. But this case illustrates the fact that the botnet is now at a whole new level that requires companies who aren’t friendly towards each other to team up to take down these botnets. It will be interesting to see if this sort of co-operation is the new normal, or just a one time event.

The Great Canadian Road Trip: Part 11 – Sydney To Moncton

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 29, 2017 by itnerd

Today we left our hotel in Sydney NS and headed to Moncton. In another example of #FirstWorldProblems, my wife and I decided to go to Starbucks for coffee. This was the same Starbucks that we went to prior to boarding the ferry to Newfoundland and is the only Starbucks location for kilometers. Too bad their point of sale system was down. They were only accepting cash. They weren’t accepting:

  • Debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • Starbucks cards
  • Starbucks Rewards

For my wife and I, this is a big deal because we both use the Starbucks apps and we have been hoarding our Starbucks Rewards (in my case, I started this trip with 28 rewards which give me access to a free food or drink per reward. I currently have 19 after using a few on breakfast before the ferry crossing. My wife started this trip 7 rewards after starting with 8) specifically for this trip so that we can consume all the Starbucks coffee and food that we need to keep us fueled. Today, to get our fix we had to pay cash and we couldn’t collect stars to earn additional rewards on top of that. It was so frustrating, my wife wrote an e-mail to Starbucks expressing her point of view on this. She would have used the app to complain, but apparently the Starbucks app for iOS does not have that ability.

Like I said, this is a #FirstWorldProblem.

Once we got over this, we started making our way to Moncton. We traversed the same roads that a week ago were kind of sketchy and even caused an accident that we stumbled upon. Today they were scenic but still sketchy. I’ll show you the former with these pics from the Nikon COOLPIX W300 camera:

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Along the way we went across Nova Scotia and came across sections of The Blue Route which is a network of cycling routes that is in the process of being built that will offer routes on secondary highways with paved shoulders, low traffic volume roads, hard surfaced trails, and city streets. These will eventually connect the entire province. My wife and I agreed that our next trip with our bikes should be here.

We took a couple of detours along the way. First, I needed to grab some cash from an ATM, so we made a stop in Springhill New Brunswick where we stumbled upon this:

DSCN0460.jpg

This is the Anne Murray Center which showcases the life and times of internationally acclaimed songstress Anne Murray who was born in the town and still has roots there. To my surprise, a tour bus rolled up while we were there and dozens of people walked off the bus into this building. Since opening its doors in July of 1989, the Anne Murray Centre has welcomed more than 400,000 visitors from around the world. Mindblowing.

The next detour was to Port Elgin New Brunswick to visit an uncle of an associate of mine who was offering up some east coast clam chowder. These were all fished personally by the uncle in question. The reason we went an hour out of our way for this is that my wife had some of this a month ago and it was amazing according to her. Thus we managed to score four more mason jars of the stuff.

We then finally made it to Moncton in the late afternoon and checked into the Chateau Moncton which was a very nice place the last time we were there. It was still a nice place this time. Plus unlike the place that we stayed at yesterday, the WiFi was speedy and I was able to get all the photos that had been queued up onto iCloud and shared with my wife in short order. We ended up going to Catch 22 which was busy enough to require reservations. But it was worth it as this is what my wife ended up having:

DSCN0461.JPG

That’s a 1.5 pound lobster and she polished it off with ease. I stuck with fish n’ chips and I had this east coast beer: DSCN0001.JPG

It tasted a lot like English ales that I was used to. I almost had a second because it was that good, but I had to save myself for a B-52 specialty coffee paired with a homemade lava cake that would make anyone who isn’t diabetic suddenly get the disease. But if you did, it would be well worth it.

Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day. We are making two last minute detours on our way to Quebec City. One is tourism related. One is car related. We’ll fill you in on the details at this time tomorrow.

 

Jupyter Notebooks Add Hands-On Coding To Live Online Courses

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 29, 2017 by itnerd

O’Reilly Media announced that the company’s popular live online training courses now offer an even more immersive, hands-on learning experience. Select courses now feature Jupyter Notebooks, which let students do live coding and data analysis right in their browser, alongside their instructor’s course materials. O’Reilly CTO Andrew Odewahn demoed a “Powered by Jupyter” course in his keynote at the inaugural JupyterCon conference in New York on August 25.

O’Reilly is launching with six “Powered by Jupyter” courses on popular data science topics including TensorFlow, natural language processing, and statistics. Presented live and in real time via the company’s Safari platform, each course will be offered multiple times this Fall. Additional courses on a broad range of programming topics are in the works.

“Powered by Jupyter” courses are the newest of the Safari platform’s rich mix of learning formats, including Live Online Training, video Learning Paths, complete video of all O’Reilly conferences, and deep corpus of ebooks and training videos on business and technology topics from more than 200 publishers. Safari is designed to work for today’s learners, whether they are experienced practitioners who need “just in time” information, business leaders who need “just enough” to make smart decisions, or skill-builders who need to learn something new, from the beginning.

VMware Helps Enterprises Succeed in the Multi-Cloud Era

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 29, 2017 by itnerd

Yesterday at VMworld 2017, VMware,  unveiled an expanded set of products and services as part of VMware Cloud that are available through VMware and partners. New and updated offerings announced today include:

  • VMware Cloud on AWS is now initially available in AWS U.S. West (Oregon) region
  • New VMware Cloud Services that enable end-to-end visibility into cloud usage, costs, and networks, with consistent networking and security across public clouds and on-premises environments
  • New VMware Cloud Provider services and partner offerings based on VMware Cloud Foundation
  • Expanded VMware NSX support of networking and security for clouds and cloud-native apps
  • New VMware Cloud Provider innovations including VMware vCloud Director® 9.0

As enterprises begin to experience the benefits of their unique digital transformations, VMware is helping customers through their journey with cloud, mobile and security software and services that let them build exactly what they need, the way they need it, for today and tomorrow.

VMware Cloud on AWS Now Available

Yesterday, VMware announces VMware Cloud on AWS initial availability in the AWS U.S. West (Oregon) region. VMware Cloud on AWS brings VMware’s enterprise class software-defined data centre software to the AWS Cloud, and enables customers to run applications across VMware vSphere-based private, public and hybrid cloud environments, with optimized access to AWS services. Delivered, sold and supported by VMware as an on-demand service, IT teams manage their cloud-based resources with familiar VMware tools. VMware Cloud on AWS is powered by VMware Cloud Foundation to deliver a complete set of software-defined services for compute, storage, networking and security in a single integrated stack, running on elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure. Read the VMware Cloud on AWS news release here.

VMware Cloud Services: Manage, Secure, Monitor, and Automate Cloud Infrastructure and Applications

VMware Cloud Services provide a unified approach to gain end-to-end visibility into cloud usage, costs, network traffic, metrics monitoring, and analytics, and deliver consistent security across public clouds and on-premises environments. By enabling IT organizations to manage and secure across clouds, VMware is helping IT organizations balance agility and flexibility with control and governance, across multiple clouds. Today, VMware is announcing its initial set of cloud services:

  • VMware AppDefense: a data centre endpoint security solution that protects applications by embedding application control, and threat detection and response capabilities into the VMware vSphere-based environments on which applications and data live. By leveraging vSphere, AppDefense gains a deep understanding of the intended state and behaviour of the applications running on virtual machines and can detect and respond to unauthorized changes. With AppDefense, VMware is helping IT transform security by building on a virtualization foundation and moving to a new security architecture that’s intent-based and application focused. Read the AppDefense news release here.
  • VMware Cost Insight: a cost monitoring and optimization service for public and private clouds that helps IT analyze cloud spend, find savings opportunities, and communicate the cost of services to the business. With Cost Insight, users can understand aggregated cloud costs and identify key cost drivers. Cost Insight provides granular visibility into public and private cloud costs so that IT leaders can map investments to strategic business priorities and ensure cost transparency. Read more about Cost Insight in this blog.
  • VMware Discovery: an automated inventory service that improves cloud visibility and tames shadow IT by bringing together inventory information and cloud accounts from multiple clouds, making it easy for IT to search for and identify workloads deployed from their enterprise. Using native cloud tags and properties that have been identified, customers can group cloud resources even if they span across multiple clouds. With better organization of cloud resources, Discovery allows organization of cloud resources in ways that mirror business needs. Read more about Discovery in this blog.
  • VMware Network Insight: a network and security analysis service offering purpose-built for public clouds and software-defined data centres. Network Insight provides comprehensive network visibility and granular understanding of traffic flows to enable cloud security planning and network troubleshooting. Best practices checks, an intuitive UI and search simplify VMware NSX administration, making it easier for cloud administrators to manage and troubleshoot NSX deployments at scale. Read more about Network Insight in this blog.
  • VMware NSX Cloud: a service that provides consistent networking and security for applications running in multiple private and public clouds, via a single management console and common API. Micro-segmentation security policy is defined once and applied to application workloads running anywhere — in cloud virtual networks, regions, availability zones — and across multiple clouds. Overlay networking enables more precise control over topologies, traffic flows, IP addressing, and protocols used in public clouds. The consistency and control delivered by NSX Cloud enables IT to simplify and scale operations, improve standardization and compliance, and lower OPEX for applications running in public clouds. Read more about NSX Cloud in this blog.
  • Wavefront by VMware: a metrics monitoring and analytics platform that handles the high-scale requirements of modern cloud-native applications. Wavefront by VMware’s speed, scale, and flexibility empowers DevOps, and developer teams with instant insight into the performance of highly-distributed cloud-native services. Wavefront by VMware’s analytics, query-driven alerts, interactive visualizations, open API, and integrations, all powered by a scalable time-series database, deliver “first pane of glass” visibility to help DevOps teams detect performance anomalies while enabling high availability of key cloud services. Developers can self-serve and adapt Wavefront by VMware analytics to the unique needs of their code while gaining visibility into its production behaviour. Read more about Wavefront in this blog.

VMware Cloud Foundation: Fastest Path To Private Cloud, On Premises or As A Service

VMware Cloud Foundation is the industry’s most advanced cloud infrastructure platform. It can be flexibly deployed on-premises or consumed as a service in the cloud, and used to run traditional and cloud-native containerized applications. VMware Cloud Foundation accelerates IT’s time-to-market by providing an integrated cloud infrastructure stack that includes a complete set of software-defined services for compute, storage, networking, and security. With new built-in lifecycle management automation, customers can eliminate the overhead of infrastructure-level Day 0 to Day 2 operations. VMware Cloud Foundation provides customers choice among a growing ecosystem of compatible public cloud services, turnkey integrated systems and certified server options:

  • New cloud services — VMware partners delivering services based on Cloud Foundation now include CenturyLink (announcement), Rackspace (announcement), and Fujitsu.
  • New Integrated systems — VMware partners announcing new solutions include the newly updated version of Dell EMC VxRack SDDC and the new releases of HDS UCP-RS, Fujitsu PRIMEFLEX and QCT QxStack.
  • New certified servers — VMware is announcing an expanded list of Cloud Foundation certified server options from Cisco, HDS, Fujitsu, and Lenovo.

VMware NSX Momentum: Networking and Security for Clouds and Cloud-Native Apps

With more than 2,600 customers, VMware NSX is the network virtualization and security platform that is helping customers make the transition to the digital era. As developers increasingly use containers, and the percentage of workloads running in public clouds increases, VMware NSX is expanding to offer a full range of networking and security services, natively, in these environments. VMware NSX is the de facto network for the software-defined data centre, and a key component of VMware Cloud Foundation, VMware Cloud on AWS and multiple VMware Cloud Services. VMware Cloud Provider partners are adopting NSX to deliver services that unlock new revenue streams. Open and secure by design, scalable across different environments and delivered as code, NSX gives developers and partners the best environment to innovate on top of — while adhering to the needs and policies set in place by their business.

Building and Enabling The World’s Most Successful Network of Cloud Providers

Previously known as the vCloud Air Network, more than 4,300 VMware Cloud Providers operating under the VMware Cloud Provider Program provide tailored cloud solutions and services in more than 110 countries. VMware is delivering continued innovation for cloud providers including VMware vCloud Director, VMware NSX, VMware vCloud® Availability for cloud-based DR as a Service, and VMware Certified Reference Designs to enable delivery services to drive revenue and improve differentiation. The newest release of VMware vCloud Director 9.0 will enable easy and intuitive cloud consumption for VMware customers, and will provide simple and secure migrations of vSphere workloads to the VMware Cloud Provider environments. New VMware Certified Reference Designs for Cloud Providers help lower OPEX and improve time-to-revenue. Read this VMware vCloud Director customer success story.

Availability

  • VMware Cloud on AWS is initially available in AWS US West (Oregon) region
  • VMware Cloud Services including VMware Discovery, VMware Cost Insight, VMware Network Insight, VMware NSX Cloud, Wavefront by VMware and VMware AppDefense are initially available in the U.S. Visit http://cloud.vmware.com
  • VMware vCloud Director 9.0 will be generally available in Q3 FY2018

Additional Resources