Archive for May 24, 2018

VOTI Detection Awarded 5 Year Contract With Canada Border Services Agency

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 24, 2018 by itnerd

VOTI Detection, a leading technology detection company utilizing breakthrough 3D perspective to deliver enhanced threat detection, today announced that Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has selected VOTI’s latest Postal – Small Scale Imaging X-Ray Systems, a five-year supply contract, for use at CBSA International Mail centres.

By providing a 3D Perspective to operators, VOTI scanners deliver remarkably sharp and more revealing images than traditional x-ray screening technology as well as threat alert, material classification, dual energy imaging, the ability to manipulate and enhance images and more.

Initial deployments will be in Mississauga ON, Richmond BC and Montreal QC, in Canada. The contract includes provision of equipment, training, and initial warranty, as well as options for additional systems and ongoing maintenance service.

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Microsoft Fixes Windows 10 SSD Issue…. Many More Issues Still To Go

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 24, 2018 by itnerd

Windows 10 April 2018 Update has been a mess with multiple issues affecting users. One of which was an issue with users of Intel’s SSDs which was bad enough that Microsoft stopped allowing PCs with those SSDs to upgrade to the April 2018 Update.

Well apparently that’s been fixed. KB4100403, was released by Microsoft yesterday and in the notes is the mention of a fix concerning power regression on systems with NVMe devices from “certain vendors”. Which later on this release notes specifically mentions Intel and Toshiba.

But there’s a catch.

Users of the Intel SSDs are encouraged to wait until May 25th if they haven’t upgraded to the April 2018 Update to do said update. Users of Toshiba SSDs are encouraged to wait until June. And in both cases, only upgrade when the upgrade is offered to you. Just make sure you have a backup and all that good stuff first.

Review: 2018 Mazda6 Signature – Part 4

Posted in Products with tags on May 24, 2018 by itnerd

Even though the 2018 Mazda6 has a whole lot of technology in it. Here’s what it comes with starting with the safety technology:

  • Blind Spot Monitoring: This system keeps an eye out for cars in your blind spots so that you don’t hit them when changing lanes. It also detects cars that are rapidly closing in on you from a distance.
  • Smart City Brake Support: Let’s say that you you do not react in time to a car that panic stops in front of you. This Mazda is capable of coming to a stop at low speeds, or slowing down to make the impact less severe. You can get more details on this system here. I should note that as of the 2018 model year, this is a standard feature which means that getting such a key safety feature won’t require you to go to the top of the food chain.
  • Lane Departure Warning System: If you cross over into another lane, this system will buzz you on either the right or the left side. The buzz really gets your attention I must say. For bonus points the Mazda6 will also perform minor steering corrections to help guide it back to the centre of the lane.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert: If you back out of a parking space in a busy shopping mall and you have limited visibility to your left and right, you’ll love this system as you will be warned of any cars that cross into your path.
  • Radar based cruise control is included to make long drives easier as it will allow the Mazda6 to slow down or speed up relative to traffic conditions.
  • Adaptive Front Lighting System and High Beam Control: This trim level comes with LED headlights with LED daytime running lights that look cool. The lighting can be set to automatic so that you never have to worry about turning the lights on and off. I found that the levels where the lights might turn on to be better than most cars that I’ve driven as on a dark overcast day, the lights would come on. That’s something that would not happen in a lot of cars in similar systems. The high beam control is a handy feature to have as it adds to your visibility on dark country roads. So is the fact that as you steer, the headlights allow you to “see” around corners.
  • You get anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and electronic brake force distribution. Plus you get hill holding technology which keeps you from rolling backwards when you’re on a hill.
  • You get dual front air bags, dual front side air bags and dual side air curtains and knee airbags.

Two things really stand out though. Let’s start with the 360 degree camera, which is made up of four cameras. There’s the backup camera, along with:

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A front mounted camera:

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And a camera mounted on each side mirror. Those cameras combined with some software give you this view:

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There are sensors all around the car that work with the 360 camera system to ensure that you don’t hit anything. For example, I was navigating a tight drive through and the camera came on automatically when the sensors thought I was getting too close to an object. That allowed me to have the visibility to properly navigate the drive through without hitting anything. The sensors also play a role when parking as well which is very handy as I could ensure that I was not only in the parking spot, but I could also make sure I didn’t hit anything. I have to admit that this was my favorite piece of technology during the week that I had the Mazda6.

The second piece of technology that stood out was this:

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The Mazda Active Driving Display is a heads up display that places everything from speed and blind spot monitoring info, to navigation and warning for the lane monitoring, and how close you are to the car in front of you. On top of that, the car is capable of reading speed limit and stop signs so that it can display them on this heads up display in color. It works very well with the only thing that I should mention is that my Oakely Prizim Road driving sunglasses filters the display out. Thus choose your sunglasses carefully.

Now how about actually driving the Mazda6 Signature? You get a proximity key with push button start. Thus all you have to do is press a button on the driver’s door handle. Press it and the car will unlock. Get in, hit the start/stop button and drive away. One nice touch is that the start/stop button will light up with a green light if you press the brake pedal to start. That’s a nice touch to remind you to press the brake pedal to start the car. When you’ve reached your destination, press the start/stop button to turn off the car. Then get out of the car, close the door and walk away. You’ll hear two beeps. One after you close the door and one about 10 seconds later. When you hear both, the car is locked. You never need to pull out the key fob to do any of this. But the key fob does have the ability to lock and unlock the doors and it has the ever useful panic button. As an added bonus, it has a backup key inside the key fob should you need it.

Mazda Connect is on board with the combination of the 8″ touchscreen and the HMI (Human Machine Interface) Commander Switch. It gives the driver a easy to learn, easy to use infotainment system. I wrote about it in detail here if you want to see what it has to offer. And before anyone asks, the Mazda6 doesn’t come with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. But that’s coming later this year. An 11 speaker Bose audio system is on board as well that sounds insanely great regardless of what music I threw at it. Which was the contents of my current audio torture playlist made up of Austra, Ruelle, TV On The Radio, Chemical Brothers, Electronic, Lana Del Rey and Black Coast among others. In fact, here’s a free tip for Mazda dealers to show off how good this audio system is. Play the Lucian Remix Black Coast’s Trndsttr. This song really shows off what this audio system is capable of at all ends of the audio spectrum and it will totally impress buyers.

The final part of this review will tie up some loose ends and I’ll give you my final verdict. Watch for it on Friday.

Another Windows 10 April 2018 Update Problem Hoses Users

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 24, 2018 by itnerd

The Windows 10 April 2018 Update seems to be riddled with issues. The latest issue has users reporting that the entire desktop is disappearing randomly.  And then they get this warning:

C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop is unavailable

That’s helpful. Not.

There’s a bunch of random fixes that are being mentioned online. Including some mentions of Avast anti-virus being the cause (and removing it being the fix). But at this point given how unstable this update is, the best thing to do is to roll back to the Fall Creators Update. If you haven’t updated yet. Don’t.

Maybe Microsoft should have left this update until May, as opposed to pushing it out on the last day of April?