Archive for September 6, 2018

Review: Shishuo Ultra HD Driving Recorder

Posted in Products with tags on September 6, 2018 by itnerd

Whether it’s to act as a extra set of eyes in case you get into an accident, or if someone hits your car and drives away, or you just want to capture the stupidity of other drivers for posting on YouTube, you have to have a dash cam for your car. My wife and I have discussed getting one for the car for some time. Which made an email from a company called Shishuo handy as they were offering up the Shishuo Ultra HD Driving Recorder which you can get from Amazon in the UK, Canada and the US.

For starters this dash cam is a two channel dash cam. That means it records everything in the front and rear. Let’s walk through the hardware that this comes with.

IMG_2271.jpeg

There is a front camera that has a huge glass lens on it which also….

IMG_2291.jpeg

…. Has a 4″ IPS LCD screen on the back of it. It is bright and readable in most lighting conditions.

IMG_2294.jpeg

There is also a rear camera that you put in your back window as high as possible. As you can see, mine is located under the brake light.

Both cameras are connected together by a set of cables that are easily hidden within the trim pieces or weatherstripping within your car. To make things easier, there’s a tool that comes with the dash cam that allows you to get the cables into those places. It’s all powered by a cable that runs from your 12V outlet to a mini USB connection on the front camera. The fact that Shishuo decided to go with a mini USB connection could be a problem as micro USB is pretty much the standard these days and finding a mini USB cable to allow you to download video could be a bit problem should you not have the one that comes with the dash cam handy.

The way that the dash cam works is that it continually records everything from the front and back with audio in 1080P resolution (1920 x 1080P @ 30 fps) with a very wide angle of vision (170° for the front and 120° for the rear). It comes with a 16GB MicroSD card (it will accept anything up to 32GB) which records the front and the back video in separate 1 to 5 minute files. The oldest files are automatically erased unless you press the menu button at the bottom right side of the front camera. That will lock the current clip that is being recorded. You can also tap the OK button which will snap a still picture.

The dash cam also has a couple of extra features that you should turn on. One is a shock sensor which will turn on the camera if it is off and start recording video which is handy for dealing with people who hit cars and drive away, or it will automatically lock a video recording should you be hit by another car while the camera is on and you are driving. The second feature is a motion sensor which turns on if the front camera detects motion within roughly 3 meters of the camera. Now to help with recording videos in either of those use cases is the fact that the dash cam has a built in battery. But the catch is that this battery isn’t intended for extended use. Thus you need to ensure that it is fully charged by going for a long drive which will charge the battery as strangely I couldn’t get the camera to charge any other way. Should you need to get video off the dash cam, you can pop out the micro SD card or plug the entire camera into your computer using a micro USB cable and have the camera go into mass storage or PC Camera mode. I’d suggest using the cable method because the micro SD slot on the unit that I got had a couple of gaps in it that allowed the micro SD card to not go in properly and get stuck. Thus I had to get a replacement unit. Shishuo told me that this is being addressed by improving the design of the slot, so it is likely that this will be a non-issue for you. But regardless you should be careful when inserting the micro SD card.

So, here’s the big question. What’s the quality of the video that’s recorded? It’s shockingly great assuming that you turn on HDR (HDR=High Dynamic Range which is best described a technique to heighten a picture’s dynamic range – the contrast between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks) which I strongly suggest that you do. To test this out, I drove in a variety of lighting conditions and all the videos were very clear, bright and sharp. At this point, I’d like to show you a video that I captured just before dawn which shows a close call between a pickup truck and a transport truck westbound on Highway 401 in Mississauga near Pearson Airport. This is an area that is notorious for accidents and it is not surprising to me that this near miss happened.

Here’s what the rear camera saw:

The back cam isn’t as sharp as the front cam. But I suspect that has to do with the fact that it has a much smaller lens to work with. But the quality is still very good. You also hear the radio playing inside the car. And if you listen carefully, you can hear me say that I have to grab that video when I saw the close call happen in front of me. That alone highlights why you need a dash cam.

Gripes? Other than the mini USB port and the need to be careful while inserting the MicroSD card into the slot, there’s really nothing to speak of other than the fact that the instructions could be a bit better written. But I won’t let that take away from the fact that it’s a well sorted piece of kit. And given that in Canada you can get this camera from Amazon for $56.99, it becomes a very compelling value proposition. If you’re looking for a dash cam for your car, the Shishuo Ultra HD Driving Recorder is worth a good hard look.

Advertisements

Recently Outed Windows Exploit Now Actively Being Used By Evil Doers

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 6, 2018 by itnerd

Frequent readers will recall that a pretty bad vulnerability in Windows was disclosed on Twitter last week that had the potential to be really bad if the bad guys stated to exploit that if Microsoft didn’t come up with a quick fix.

Guess what, the forces of evil have started to exploit it.

ESET’s Matthieu Faou has disclosed on Wednesday that a group of hackers called PowerPool is actively exploiting the bug to move from hijacked user accounts to full system administrator-level control of already infiltrated Windows boxes. Which of course is very, very, very bad. Because chances are if these guys are leveraging tis bug, there are others who are leveraging this bug as well. Thus Microsoft now more than ever needs to step up and address this before this becomes extraordinarily bad.

LinkedIn Unveils The First Edition Of Canada’s Top Startups Of 2018

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 6, 2018 by itnerd

LinkedIn today has released the first Canadian edition of the 2018 Top Startups list, featuring the most sought-after startups where professionals want to work and stay. The top five startups in Canada are Wealthsimple, Coinsquare, Element AI, League Inc. and Kira Systems.

From cutting-edge artificial intelligence research to art-inspired beer, the results are based on the actions of LinkedIn’s more than 575 million professionals (over 14 million in Canada alone) and looks at four main pillars: employment growth, engagement, job interest and attraction of top talent.

In the race for talent, an ever-evolving fundraising landscape and industry rife with unprecedented innovation, startups are cutting through the noise with inventive benefits and perks, visionary leadership and their own unique spin on what it means to be a top startup.

These are the most sought-after startups on LinkedIn right now by professionals:

  1. Wealthsimple: Since its 2014 launch, the company has grown to manage over $2 billion for more than 75,000 clients in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Wealthsimple was named one of the top 5 “narwhals,” a group of 40 Canadian tech companies that are most likely to become Unicorns, according to University of Toronto’s Impact Center.
  2. Coinsquare: The startup also launched a wealth management business so individuals can ride the cryptocurrency wave via curated investment products, including two new securities indices — one focused solely on blockchain. Four-year-old Coinsquare is the fastest-growing company on this list, expanding its employee base by over 92% in the 12 months through June.
  3. Element AI: The startup is going head-to-head with bigger (and better financed) players like Google and IBM but is hoping to win over clients with A.I. researchers from top universities. The 2-year-old startup has more than 70 Ph.Ds among its employees and boasts the largest privately-owned A.I. R&D lab in Canada.
  4. League Inc.: The digital platform allows employees to curate their healthcare options beyond traditional insurance, including reimbursement for everything from gym memberships to art therapy. The 4-year-old startup raised $62 million in July to help fund its U.S. expansion as well as its 2019 launch in the U.K. and EU.
  5. Kira Systems: Meet the company helping law firms and corporations like Deloitte analyze contracts more efficiently using machine-learning technology. The bootstrapped company grew its revenue by 700% in the three years through 2017 — and provided tangible value for clients. Law firm Fenwick & West said its M&A licensing team cut its document review time in half, on average, thanks to Kira’s technology.

Methodology:

The Top Startups list is a part of the LinkedIn List franchise, an ongoing editorial series that celebrates professionals and companies making an impact in the professional world. LinkedIn evaluated key factors for eligibility including interest in the company, engagement with employees, job interest and retention. The list includes rankings for the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, India, Australia, Canada, and Brazil. LinkedIn Lists are fueled by a combination of exclusive LinkedIn data mapping the professional landscape and an editorial lens from LinkedIn’s global editorial team. The lists deliver insightful introductions to the people and companies who are impacting the professional landscape.

*For fairness, Linkedin has removed LinkedIn and Microsoft from consideration for the LinkedIn Top Startups list.

2018 LinkedIn Top Startups: Canada’s most sought-after startups

  1. Wealthsimple
  2. Coinsquare
  3. Element AI
  4. League Inc.
  5. Kira Systems
  6. TribalScale
  7. Ample Organics
  8. Ritual
  9. Loopio
  10. Flow
  11. Planswell
  12. StackAdapt
  13. Thalmic Labs
  14. Prodigy Game
  15. Dialogue
  16. Collective Arts Brewing
  17. Rangle
  18. Tulip Retail
  19. Deciem
  20. TouchBistro
  21. Behaviour
  22. GroupBy Inc.
  23. AlayaCare
  24. TrackTik
  25. Connected