Archive for April 5, 2018

Review: Sudio Vasa Bla Wireless Headsets

Posted in Products with tags on April 5, 2018 by itnerd

Maybe it’s because I am old school, but I haven’t been a fan of wireless headsets. My thought process has been that the best audio quality comes from headsets with a cable. Unfortunately Apple made using headsets with a cable more difficult when they dumped the headphone jack in that now infamous act of “courage.”  In my case, I’ve been living the “dongle life” with my iPhone 7 Plus via a Lighting to 3.5 mm adapter to try and use my existing headsets. But the net result was lesser sound quality.

That changed when I got my hands on the Suido Vasa Bla wireless headsets.

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I got mine in black with rose gold accents. But you can get them in four other colors. They look stylish and the cable that connects the earbuds is flat and has a rubber feel.

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There’s a three button control and microphone on the right side.

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While the left side has the battery. Inside the box, which for the record was one of the better unboxing experiences that I have had lately as the packaging is very classy and clever, is a micro USB cable for charging, a rose gold clip for the cable, a high quality leather case, and replacement silicone tips.

From a technical standpoint, it uses Bluetooth 4.1 to give you a range of 10 meters. The battery life is 9 hours (I got just over 8 in testing) with a standby time of 10 days. You can quick charge it in 10 minutes, but a full charge takes 120 minutes. That’s handy as I tend to take flights lasting 14 to 15 hours at a shot. Thus the ability to recharge quickly is more than welcome. It has a driver composed of a 10.2 mm dynamic speaker with a frequency response of 18 Hz – 23 kHz which is pretty decent from a numbers perspective.

The real question is, how do they sound? Once I found the right sized silicone tips so that they fit my ears and stayed in place, they were exceptionally good. Speaking of staying in place, I tried them during a workout and I had no issues on that front and it felt comfortable to wear. I subjected them to my current audio torture playlist made up of Austra, The Pet Shop Boys, Lana Del Rey, Bruce Cockburn and Phantogram and it all sounded great. Everything sounded crisp and assuming you pick the right sized silicone tips, the bass wasn’t overwhelming. Sound isolation is great once I figured out what size of silicone tips to use and I can’t wait to try them on my next flight. The take home message is that you need to invest some time to pick the right sized silicone tips to get the best out of these headsets.

So, let’s get to brass tacks. The Sudio Vasa Bla Wireless Headsets go for $99 CAD direct from the Sudio website. But if you use the promo code “TheITNerd15″ (minus the quotes), you can get 15% off. If you’re sick of living the dongle life like I am, but you still want great audio at a good price, take a look at the Sudio Vasa Bla Wireless Headsets. They sound great, they look good, and the price it right. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed if you pick up a pair.

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Canadians Can Now Go Behind The Scenes Of Silicon Valley

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 5, 2018 by itnerd

Canadians can now travel to Silicon Valley in a curated tour to meet with the Valley’s best and brightest tech minds, including senior employees from Google, Apple, Uber, Tesla and AirBnB, to name a few.

Offering a five-day innovation boot camp (June 10th – June 15th 2018), Silicon Valley Unlocked is an Australian business with an office in California that targets founders, c-level executives and board members for an opportunity to gain unprecedented access to the masterminds that are quickly changing the landscape of how business is done, one mouse click at a time.

Jayson Frazer is the brainchild of Silicon Valley Unlocked who has over 25 years’ experience assisting businesses achieve greater results, including working with a wide range of clients such as Siemens, Samsung, BMW, Mini, Nissan, Bosch, Bostik and Virgin. Working in corporate travel management, Jayson quickly saw the need in tech learning programs so he decided to start reaching out, through his business networks, in solidifying relationships with industry experts that he felt the American business community could learn and be inspired from.

For more information about the 5 day Innovation Boot Camp visit: www.siliconvalleyunlocked.com

Bell Lights Up All-Fibre Broadband Network In Toronto

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 5, 2018 by itnerd

Bell has laid down the gauntlet in terms of wanting to have the fastest Internet access around by launching an all-fibre broadband network in Toronto. What that means is as follows:

  • Bell now offers fibre to the premises (FTTP) service with speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second with symmetrical upload and downloads. Meaning you get those speeds on both directions rather than a fast download speed, but a substantially slower upload speed.
  • Bell claims that they will increase these speeds to at least 5 Gbps next year and ultimately to 40 Gbps and beyond in future.
  • Fully symmetrical speeds are available at all Internet speed tiers.

Having symmetrical speeds is something that in the past was only found in business class Internet. The fact that Bell is bringing it to consumers is a big deal. And the fact that they’re the only ones thus far to do so has Rogers on the back foot as Rogers doesn’t offer fibre to the premises nor do they offer symmetrical speeds. It will be interesting to see how Rogers responds to this because if Bell can deliver all of this at a decent price without the sort of shenanigans that they’ve been caught doing recently, they will eat Rogers alive.

Here’s a tip for Bell, just serve up your best price and not the “introductory price” games that you play. That will get you a ton of customers in a hurry.

#Fail: DriveHer App Exposed Personal Info

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 5, 2018 by itnerd

In Toronto there’s a brand new ride sharing app that launched a month ago called DriveHer which offers up women drivers to provide rides for women. That’s laudable. But there’s a problem. The app that drives this service exposed personal info according to The Toronto Star:

The Star learned earlier this week that DriveHer’s software left women who signed up for it vulnerable to having personal information exposed like their names, home addresses, drivers’ licences and insurance slips.

On Wednesday, DriveHer posted on its social media pages that it was undergoing a “maintenance check,” and had suspended its services indefinitely. Its website has a message that said the company is “fixing things up.”

That’s a #fail. In this day and age of epic pwnage, you need to make sure that the security of customer data is on point prior to launching. Otherwise you get someone telling you that your security sucks. As was the case here:

Darryl Burke, an IT consultant from Newmarket, found the vulnerabilities in the software and informed DriveHer in a 12-page report reviewed by the Star.

“Your current mobile applications and server implementation has serious flaws,” he wrote in the report.

He explained that data provided by users was not encrypted when it entered DriveHer’s server, and that “insecure use” of their storage drive exposed content including driver validation documents.

When someone else tells you that you’ve got serious security problems, you’ve really dropped the ball as you should be on top of that stuff.

Clearly in the rush to get this new ride sharing app on the street, this company didn’t do their due diligence. I predict that they’ll get this fixed and be relaunching this service shortly. However, the fact that their security was this bad, and that info likely leaked is something that they will not recover from. Not to mention that the bad press will likely commit DriveHer to the dustbin of history. Which is where companies who don’t take the security of customer information seriously belong.