Archive for August 7, 2018

Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses Google’s Censored Version In China

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 7, 2018 by itnerd

Google has been absent in China for eight years – and now it’s planning an unexpected comeback.

According to the latest news leaked by The Intercept, Google is planning to launch a censored version of its search engine in China. The Chinese version will come with numerous websites blocked, including Wikipedia, BBC News, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter,  and will only allow search terms that comply with China’s harsh Internet regulations. “Sensitive queries” will be blacklisted and other websites will be filtered – for example, such keywords as “anti-communism,” “human rights,” “democracy,” “oppression,” “dictatorship” and others are currently blacklisted in China to avoid government criticism. Therefore, words like “human rights,” “democracy,” “religion” and “peaceful protests” will be censored in the Chinese Google as well.

The Google’s China project is called “Dragonfly,” and it includes two Android apps. The apps are pending the Chinese government approval, and one of them might be launched at the end of this year.

Google’s images search, spell check and suggested search features will also have embedded censorship.

The Google employees who leaked the information expressed having moral and ethical concerns about the project.

“What the tech community and human rights activists are concerned about is that other oppressive governments could copy the new Chinese Google model. This would make Internet into a tool of censorship, not the place of free expression and communication,” said Ruby Gonzalez, Communications Director at NordVPN. “NordVPN is happy to be offering a service that will allow people in China to connect to the original Google and bypass its censored version. At present, NordVPN works in China, helping Internet users connect to Facebook, Google and other sites. Our goal is to provide free Internet in every corner of the world and to make sure free speech is accessible to everyone.”

A VPN encrypts a user’s Internet connection and re-routes it into a secure tunnel. People can safely connect to servers in other countries and use the Internet as if they were in the US, UK or elsewhere.



Bell To Bring 1.5 Gigabit Speeds To Ontario This Month…. Sucks To Be Rogers

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 7, 2018 by itnerd

As I have previously mentioned, Bell has a distinct advantage over Rogers when it comes to their Internet offering. Now they are really starting to make life miserable for the guys in red. If you scan Bell’s quarterly earnings report, you’ll see this:

Bell today announced that Bell Fibe Internet speeds of 1.5 Gigabit per second (Gbps), the fastest available to the home in Canada, will launch this month in Ontario, followed by Québec, Atlantic Canada and Manitoba. Bell has already taken the top spot in PCMag’s The Fastest ISPs of 2018: Canada, delivering the highest overall Internet speed index ever recorded in Canada by the magazine and scoring more than 30% higher than our nearest competitor. Atlantic Canada’s Bell Aliant took second place while Manitoba’s Bell MTS moved into the top 10 for the first time. Bell’s fibre to the premises (FTTP) network is now available to more than 4.2 million homes and businesses in 7 provinces and continues to expand with the announcement of new all-fibre deployments in the communities of OshawaClaringtonOrilliaChatham-Kent and Winkler.

Well, that’s going to freak VPs and C level execs over at Rogers as they have absolutely nothing that can compete against that, and from where I sit they have no real path forward to catch up. And keep in mind that Bell promises 5 Gbps speeds by next year, and 40 Gbps speeds in the future. Which means that if you’re Rogers, you should prepare your retentions department for an influx of calls as people ditch them for Bell and their faster speeds.

It sucks to be Rogers right now.


Android Pie Is Now Shipping….. Though You May Never Actually Get It On Your Device

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 7, 2018 by itnerd

Google’s latest Android operating system update, Android 9 Pie, has been officially released to customers. Here’s a video that shows you what this new version of Android brings to the table:

Here’s a quick list of notable features:

  • A new gesture-based system interface that’s similar to the interface of the iPhone X
  • There’s a new Android Dashboard, designed to tell you how much time you’re spending on your device. Which sounds like Apple’s Screen Time feature that’s coming in iOS 12.
  • A new Do Not Disturb option called “Shush” which silences Android devices when placed facedown
  • A Wind Down option lets Android users select a specific bedtime to turn the interface gray to discourage smartphone usage at night.
  • An Adaptive Battery feature that maximizes battery power by prioritizing the apps you’re most likely to use next,
  • App Actions for predicting what you’ll want to do next. Which to me sounds a lot like Siri Suggestions,
  • There’s a future feature Slices which is a feature that brings up information from your favorite apps right in search.

Android Pie is available to Pixel phones today. For everyone else, you may get an update if your device is recent enough. But as typical for Android devices, your ability to get a major update to Android largely depends on who makes your phone, what carrier it is on, and how old it is as many devices use customized versions of the Android OS. Which means that both device manufacturers and/or carriers have the ultimate say as to what updates users get. Thus it is entirely possible that you may never get this update on your phone, and you may need to get a new phone to get Android Pie.