Archive for October 11, 2017

OpenTable Reveals The 100 Best Italian Restaurants in Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 11, 2017 by itnerd

In honour of National Pasta Month, OpenTable today announced the 100 Best Italian Restaurants in Canada for 2017. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 515,000 restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 2,000 restaurants in Canada.

From trattorias serving classic Italian comfort food to enotecas with outstanding wine offerings, this list highlights the diversity of Italian cuisine across the country such as Villa Rosa Ristorante in Penticton, British Columbia, and Italian by Night in Saint John, New Brunswick. Including establishments with multiple locations2, Ontario has the greatest number of restaurants included with 50, followed by Alberta with 21, British Columbia with 15 and Québec with eight. Manitoba and Nova Scotia each have two restaurants recognized while New Brunswick and Saskatchewan are also represented on this list.

The 100 Best Italian Restaurants in Canada list is generated solely from more than 515,000 restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017. All Italian, Modern Italian and Pizza (as a primary cuisine) restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. The restaurants were then sorted according to verified diner reviews.

Based on this methodology, the 100 Best Italian Restaurants in Canada according to OpenTable diners are as follows (in alphabetical order):

100 Best Italian Restaurants in Canada for 2017

ARDO Restaurant – Toronto, Ontario
Aria Ristorante – Toronto, Ontario
Ascari Enoteca – Toronto, Ontario
Atomica Pizza & Wine Bar – Kingston, Ontario
Bar Centrale – Toronto, Ontario
Bar Mercurio – Toronto, Ontario
BiBo Pizzeria con Cucina – Vancouver, British Columbia
Bistecca Italian Steakhouse & Wine Bar – Edmonton, Alberta
Blu Ristorante – Toronto, Ontario
Blue Martini Jazz Cafe – Vancouver, British Columbia
Bonterra Trattoria – Calgary, Alberta
Buca – Toronto, Ontario (Multiple Locations)
Cafe Chianti – Halifax, Nova Scotia
Campagnolo Toronto –  Toronto, Ontario
Carino Riserva – Calgary, Alberta
Carisma – Toronto, Ontario
Carne Italian Chophouse – Winnipeg, Manitoba
Carpaccio Restaurant & Wine Bar – Niagara Falls, Ontario
Casalinga Ristorante – Mississauga, Ontario
Cibo – Calgary, Alberta
Cibo Bistro – Edmonton, Alberta
Cibo Wine Bar – Toronto, Ontario (Multiple Locations)
Cinara – Vancouver, British Columbia
CinCin Ristorante + Bar – Vancouver, British Columbia
Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill – Vancouver, British Columbia
Conti Caffe – Québec City, Québec
Cucci Ristorante – Oakville, Ontario
Cucina Market Bistro – Calgary, Alberta
da Maurizio – Halifax, Nova Scotia
Da Vinci Ristorante – Montréal, Québec
Dels Enoteca Pizzeria – Kitchener, Ontario
The Distillery Bar + Kitchen – Vancouver, British Columbia
Dolcetto – London, Ontario
EVOO – Toronto, Ontario
F’Amelia Ristorante – Toronto, Ontario
Federico’s Supper Club – Vancouver, British Columbia
Figo – Toronto, Ontario
Francobollo – Toronto, Ontario
Graziella Restaurant – Montréal, Québec
Hostaria – Montréal, Québec
Hot House Restaurant & Bar – Toronto, Ontario
Il Buco – Barrie, Ontario
Il Ponte – Toronto, Ontario
Il Postino – Unionville, Ontario
Involtini Ristorante – Calgary, Alberta
Italian by Night – Saint John, New Brunswick
Italian Farmhouse Restaurant & Bar – Bragg Creek, Alberta
Kitchen76 at Two Sisters Vineyards – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
L’Antipasto – Vancouver, British Columbia
L’Unità Enoteca – Toronto, Ontario
La Bettola di Terroni – Toronto, Ontario
La Brezza Ristorante – Calgary, Alberta
La Terrazza – Vancouver, British Columbia
La Vecchia Ristorante – Toronto, Ontario
La Verità – Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Québec
Le Serpent – Montréal, Québec
Little Anthony’s Italian Ristorante – Toronto, Ontario
Little Grouse on the Prairie – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Local Kitchen & Wine Bar – Toronto, Ontario
Lupo Restaurant & Vinoteca – Vancouver, British Columbia
Mangia E Bevi – West Vancouver, British Columbia
Mangiafoco – Montréal, Québec
Mettawas Station Mediterranean Restaurant – Kingsville, Ontario
Mistura – Toronto, Ontario
Modus Ristorante – Toronto, Ontario
Niko’s Bistro – Calgary, Alberta
Noce Restaurant – Toronto, Ontario
North and Navy – Ottawa, Ontario
Osteria Savio Volpe – Vancouver, British Columbia
Ovest Cucina e Vineria – Toronto, Ontario
Paese Ristorante – Toronto, Ontario
Pasquales on MacLeod – Calgary, Alberta
Piano Piano – Toronto, Ontario
Pizzeria Gusto – Winnipeg, Manitoba
Pulcinella – Calgary, Alberta
PZA Parlour – Calgary, Alberta
Restaurant Balsam – Montréal, Québec
SASSI Kitchen & Bar – Calgary, Alberta
Sauce Italian Kitchen & Market – Calgary, Alberta
Scaramouche Pasta Bar – Toronto, Ontario
Scopa Neighbourhood Italian – Calgary, Alberta
Sorrentino’s – Edmonton, Alberta (Multiple Locations)
Tavola – Vancouver, British Columbia
Teatro Restaurant – Calgary, Alberta
Terroni – Toronto, Ontario (Multiple Locations)
TOCA – Ritz Carlton – Toronto, Ontario
Trattoria Gusto – Port Hope, Ontario
Trattoria Taverniti – Toronto, Ontario
Trattoria Timone – Oakville, Ontario
Trio Ristorante & Pizzeria – Toronto, Ontario
Tutti Matti – Toronto, Ontario
Tutto Pronto – Toronto, Ontario
Uncle Tony’s – Toronto, Ontario
Vero Bistro Moderne – Calgary, Alberta
Vibo Restaurant – Toronto, Ontario
Villa Firenze – Calgary, Alberta
Villa Rosa Ristorante – Penticton, British Columbia
vivo ristorante – Westend – Edmonton, Alberta
Zambri’s – Victoria, British Columbia
Zucca Trattoria – Toronto, Ontario

The complete list may also be viewed at Diners can read more about the 100 Best Italian Restaurants in Canada by visiting the OpenTable blog.


ArthritisHack Is Happening This Weekend

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 11, 2017 by itnerd

In recognition of World Arthritis Day, the Arthritis Society and Hacking Health Toronto, with the support of Eli Lilly Canada, will bring together some of Canada’s brightest minds to participate in ArthritisHack, a weekend-long hackathon, to collaborate, design and produce solutions to empower people living with arthritis in all aspects of care and life.

ArthritisHack will challenge its participants – programmers, designers, policy analysts, entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, and people living with arthritis – to develop solutions to address one or more of the needs of people living with arthritis such as facilitating improved communication, fostering emotional health and wellbeing, or adapting at work. Over the three-day event, hacking participants will form teams, develop their solutions and then present them to an esteemed judging panel composed of medical, tech and health policy experts – as well as people living with arthritis.

Winners will receive a range of awards and prizing worth upwards of $10,000 to jump-start their idea and get it closer to implementation in the real world. They will also have the opportunity to work with the Arthritis Society to explore how to develop their solution for the arthritis community.

ArthritisHack  will be held at the Auditorium inMaRS Discovery District, 101 College St, Toronto.The sequence of events will be:

  • Kick-off – Friday, October 13, 7pm – 8pm (Doors open at 6pm)
  • Full-Day Hackathon – Saturday, October 14, 8:00am – 11:00pm
  • Prototype Demonstration/Judging – Sunday, October 15th starts at 3pm

Check out this MeetUp page for more info.

#PSA: Microsoft Drops Support For Office 2011 For Mac TODAY

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 11, 2017 by itnerd

If you’re still using Microsoft Office For Mac 2011 you may want to note that as of today, support for Office For Mac 2011 has been dropped by Microsoft. That means on software updates or security updates for you. The latter should be a concern as it opens the door for you being pwned by something. Also, if you run macOS High Sierra, the company won’t guarantee that it will work on that OS as they didn’t bother testing it on that OS. Though, from my tests it works just fine on that OS.

Now, Microsoft would like you to update to Office For Mac 2016. But your other option is to use the iWork suite of apps from Apple. The fact that they’re free and for the most part will work fine for most people is a huge incentive to go that route.

Israeli Spies Pwned Kaspersky & Caught Russian Spies Using AV Tool To Pwn Others

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 11, 2017 by itnerd

This isn’t going to be good news for Kaspersky who has been battling accusations that their anti-virus software is used by Russian spies to spy on the west. According to the New York Times, Israel pwned Kaspersky. In the process of doing that, they discovered that Russian spies were using the anti-virus software as a gateway to pwn others:

The Russian operation, described by multiple people who have been briefed on the matter, is known to have stolen classified documents from a National Security Agency employee who had improperly stored them on his home computer, on which Kaspersky’s antivirus software was installed. What additional American secrets the Russian hackers may have gleaned from multiple agencies, by turning the Kaspersky software into a sort of Google search for sensitive information, is not yet publicly known.

How do we know that it was Israel? Well, there’s this:

Kaspersky Lab did not discover the Israeli intrusion into its systems until mid-2015, when a Kaspersky engineer testing a new detection tool noticed unusual activity in the company’s network. The company investigated and detailed its findings in June 2015 in a public report.

The report did not name Israel as the intruder but noted that the breach bore striking similarities to a previous attack, known as “Duqu,” which researchers had attributed to the same nation states responsible for the infamous Stuxnet cyberweapon. Stuxnet was a joint American-Israeli operation that successfully infiltrated Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility, and used malicious code to destroy a fifth of Iran’s uranium centrifuges in 2010.

Kaspersky reported that its attackers had used the same algorithm and some of the same code as Duqu, but noted that in many ways it was even more sophisticated. So the company researchers named the new attack Duqu 2.0, noting that other victims of the attack were prime Israeli targets.

Among the targets Kaspersky uncovered were hotels and conference venues used for closed-door meetings by members of the United Nations Security Council to negotiate the terms of the Iran nuclear deal — negotiations from which Israel was excluded. Several targets were in the United States, which suggested that the operation was Israel’s alone, not a joint American-Israeli operation like Stuxnet.

If this report is accurate, then Kaspersky is done like dinner in most places on planet Earth. There’s no way that anyone will install their software. Though I will say that the employee who got pwned by Russian spies needs a kick in the you know where for allowing this to happen.

There’s also one other thing. Since a nation state or anyone else pwning anti-virus software so that they can use it as a bride to pwn a network has gone from being theory to fact, anti-virus vendors are going to let a lot less people look at their code. Symantec was the first to do this with its CEO Greg Clark telling Reuters this week it will no longer let governments inspect its source code. That will help, but seeing as the Russians and Israelis were in the Kaspersky network for up to 2 years, it cannot be the only line of defense.

Meanwhile, let us watch the fall of Kaspersky as I cannot see a scenario at this point where they survive this.

Facebook & Instagram Are Down…. World Freaks

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 11, 2017 by itnerd

Facebook appears to be down at the moment. So is Instagram which is owned by Facebook. Multiple services, like Down Detector and Outage Report, have high numbers of users reporting the issues. It is also trending on Twitter. So if you’ve been trying to update your status, this is why you can’t. Now you need to find something to do until this gets resolved.

I’ll update this page with information as I get it.

UPDATE: It seems that a massive distributed denial of service attack is underway. That might be related to this outage. I’m going to monitor this and research what is being attacked.
UPDATE #2: The DDOS attack has nothing to do with this based on this status page from Facebook. That seems to be backed up via reports of services tied to Facebook APIs, like SocialFlow reporting issues.
UPDATE #3: Things appear to be returning to normal.

New iOS Phishing Attack Could Trick You Into Giving Away Your Apple ID Password

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 11, 2017 by itnerd

Here’s something that all iOS users need to pay attention to. A new blog post from developer Felix Krause explains how the popup which iOS users are familiar with to enter their password could be used to easily trick someone into handing over their Apple ID and password. It’s apparently easy to emulate and while he hasn’t published code that allows one to do this, it is likely going to be in the wild in short order. Now he’s filed a bug report with Apple, but here’s what you should do to protect yourself. From his post:

  • Hit the home button, and see if the app quits:
    • If it closes the app, and with it the dialog, then this was a phishing attack
    • If the dialog and the app are still visible, then it’s a system dialog. The reason for that is that the system dialogs run on a different process, and not as part of any iOS app.
  • Don’t enter your credentials into a popup, instead, dismiss it, and open the Settings app manually. This is the same concept, like you should never click on links on emails, but instead open the website manually
  • If you hit the Cancel button on a dialog, the app still gets access to the content of the password field. Even after entering the first characters, the app probably already has your password.

I recommend reading Krause’s full explanation of this phishing method on his blog. Hopefully Apple reads it too and does something about this in short order.

Review: Zus Smart Tire Safety Monitor [NOT RECOMMENDED]

Posted in Products with tags on October 11, 2017 by itnerd

Back in June, I became aware of a IndieGoGo campaign to bring a new tire pressure monitoring system to market. The company behind it was Nonda and I had previously reviewed a their Super Duty USB-A to Lightning Cable as well as the ZUS USB Charger And Car Finder. So I took a chance on funding the campaign on the first day with the promise that it would ship in August along with a free USB cable. Long story short, it took until October to arrive. But at least I got it and I now get the chance to review the ZUS Smart Tire Safety Monitor.

Now, before I get to the review, here’s why this product is different from most tire pressure monitoring systems. Most tire pressure monitoring systems, including ones that come as standard equipment on cars which only tell you when a tire is significantly down on air pressure. They have no way of telling you that you might have a slow leak which can allow you to address a potential tire issue much earlier. That’s important because a tire that is down on air pressure can become a safety hazard as tires in that state can blow out besides the fact that they will deflate over time. The ZUS Smart Tire Safety Monitor addresses this by monitoring tire pressure in real time as well as from an historical perspective to let you know if you have a tire related issue long before you’re stuck on the side of the road because you didn’t address it in time. Or worse. It also takes temperature into account as well to add to it’s ability to do its job accurately. All of this is driven by the ZUS app that is available for iOS and Android. One plus about using this app is that the one app will be used to drive Nonda’s growing connected car platform. Thus I can run the ZUS USB Car Charger And Car Finder and the Smart Tire Safety Monitor from the same app. And when other devices appear from the company, they’ll be supported in the same app.

Besides the above, there’s one additional reason why I wanted one of these. I don’t have a tire pressure monitoring system in my 2016 Hyundai Tucson. That’s because unlike the United States, there is no legal requirement in Canada to have such systems in cars. Thus I’ve wanted a system like this on that vehicle for peace of mind reasons.

Here’s what you get in the box:


You get four tire pressure sensors that replace the valve caps on your car and they read the pressure in real time. On the right is the receiver which has Bluetooth connectivity so that it can communicate with the sensors and with your phone. Inside the Installation Kit, you get this:


You get five bolts (one is a spare) to lock the sensors in place so that they don’t get stolen along with a wrench to tighten said bolts. You also get Velcro to secure the receiver in place in your car. There’s also a replacement cap for the sensor along with a gasket to ensure that water stays out of the sensor.

I used the Velcro to mount the receiver in an out of the way spot in my car in the center console:


You’ll notice the green lights. There are four of them on the receiver that indicate that the tire is fine. If a tire has an issue, they’ll not only change color but the receiver will sound an audible alert. That way you don’t have to rely on the ZUS app to let you know what the status is of your tires while you’re driving. You’ll also note the three white lights on the receiver which indicates that it is connected via Bluetooth. Finally, you’ll notice the USB port which allows you to charge your device. Thus you’re not giving anything up by using the Smart Tire Safety Monitor.

Now the sensors (which water and dust resistant and are IP67 rated by the way) come pre-labeled and the entire system is pre-configured at the factory. Thus setup is insanely easy:

  1. Get the ZUS app on your phone.
  2. Turn on your car.
  3. Plug the receiver into a USB port.
  4. Open the ZUS app, click add a device and follow the instructions to pair the receiver to the phone. Then make sure you keep the app open to enter the correct tire pressure for your car into the app.
  5. Remove the stock valve covers from the valve stems on the tires.
  6. Install the locking nuts on the valve stem and then the sensors. All the sensors are labeled as to which wheel they go on, so you need to pay attention to that. You have to screw the sensors in tight enough so that you can hear the sound of air coming out of the tire and then hearing it stop.
  7. Done. Declare victory and have a beer.

The company promises that this will take ten minutes and it took me about that long to get all of the above done. In case you’re wondering what the sensor looks like on the wheel, here’s a picture:


It really doesn’t attract any attention in my case. Though I can see that a different rim design might have it sticking out, which in turn might attract some attention. Thus, your mileage may vary on this front. The sensors have a lithium battery that is user replaceable, and is rated to last a year.

Next up was to set the tire pressure. For the Hyundai Tucson that I drive, the cold tire pressure is 35 PSI. Now cold tire pressure is defined as the vehicle having been parked for three hours or more, or if the vehicle has been driven less than a mile (1.6 km) at a moderate speed. Now, when you fill your tires at a gas station, the air that you pump into them might be “hot”. Also the pressure reading that you get first thing in the morning when the air temperature is cooler may increase in the middle of the day when it is warmer or if you’ve driven a fair bit. Thus, what I do is I usually set my tire pressure to 37 PSI (or 2 PSI over what is recommended) which means that when the temperature drops, it should drop to 35 PSI. So, using a tire gauge that I trust, I did that and then I went out for a short drive. This is what the Tire Safety Monitor saw:


That’s pretty accurate. You can drill down on any tire to see the history of temperature and pressure changes:


You can also drill down further to see the “AccurateTemp” trend which keeps track of temperature changes to the tire. High temperatures could mean that the tire is about to fail:


I did have one oddity with the receiver. My original plan was plug it into the only USB port that the Tucson has and then plug my phone into the USB port. That turned out to be a problem as doing that caused all sorts or weird issues with the car’s infotainment system where it would randomly do things such as switch audio sources. Thus I ended up plugging it into the ZUS USB Car Charger And Car Finder to make that problem go away. Other than that, I had no issues during my testing.

The ZUS Smart Tire Safety Monitor will be generally available in October and goes for $129 USD and has a 12 month warranty. I would get this if your car doesn’t come with tire pressure monitoring, or you want tire pressure monitoring that is far more accurate and useful than what came with your car. Whatever your use case is, it’s easy to install and works well.

UPDATE: I have pulled my recommendation of this product due to the fact that this product was not designed to resist galvanic corrosion. As a result, two of the sensors became stuck on the valve stems which required me to have them cut off and replaced. More details here.