Archive for September 13, 2018

Mazda Canada Rolling Out Apple CarPlay And Android Auto

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2018 by itnerd

Every time I review a Mazda product, I can count on a few people emailing in and asking me about Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As in, when will Mazda jump onto that bandwagon. Well, I can give you details on that from two angles. Starting with new vehicles.

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Mazda is rolling out Apple CarPlay and Android out in new vehicles starting with the 2019 Mazda CX-9 crossover which is arriving in dealerships as you are reading this. The 2019 Mazda CX-3 and 2018 Mazda6 will get this functionality starting in September as part of rolling production change. Other Mazda models will get both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in the 2019 model year with the exception of the Mazda MX-5 which will have a separate announcement at a later day.

Now, some of you might have bought one of the above vehicles recently. Does that mean that you are out of luck? No. Mazda Canada has thought of you. You’ll be able to get this functionality for $250 CDN. That price includes the software update, and a USB port upgrade that gives you at 2.1A USB port. Just be prepared to spend about 90 minutes in the dealership. Now the above price is a special price that expires on February 28, 2019 for those who purchased the above vehicles without Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. And those owners will have exclusive access to that update. After that date, Mazda Canada will open up the availability of this upgrade to other Mazda Canada owners. So if you own one of these following cars you can upgrade:

  • 2014 Mazda3
  • 2016 Mazda6
  • 2016 Mazda MX-5
  • 2016 Mazda CX-3
  • 2016 Mazda CX-5
  • 2016 Mazda CX-9
  • 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF

That list covers about a quarter million cars in Canada which is pretty impressive. Expect to pay $445 CDN for it. One thing that I should note is that availability of the upgrade will likely be limited to start. But expect your Mazda dealership and Mazda Canada to reach out to you regarding when you can get this upgrade.

Now I got a demonstration of the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay implementation in Mazda vehicles using the same Mazda HMI Commander Switch that is part of Mazda Connect. And without giving away a whole lot, it is one of the best implementations of either technology that I have seen in a car. I will be getting a 2019 Mazda CX-9 in the next few weeks and you can expect a detailed review of not only that vehicle, but you’ll get a separate review on how Mazda has implemented Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Once you see it, you’ll see that it will be a key differentiator for Mazda Canada. Stay tuned!


Martello Ranked As Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company At No. 28 On The Growth 500

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2018 by itnerd

Martello Technologies Group (Martello), a provider of network performance management solutions for real-time communications that recently announced plans to commence trading tomorrow on the TSX Venture Exchange announced today its No. 28 ranking on the 30th annual Growth 500.

The Growth 500 is the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by Canadian Business and Maclean’s and Martello is proud to be one of the top Ottawa-based companies on the list. Produced by Canada’s premier business and current affairs media brands, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian businesses on five-year revenue growth.

Martello made the 2018 Growth 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 2,231%.  This is the second year in a row that Martello has made this prestigious list. The Company climbed 20 spots from No. 48 in 2017 which reflects the aggressive moves it has made as a key player within the growing software defined networking and Unified Communications (UC) markets. Martello offers a cost-effective SD-WAN solution built for unified communications performance.

Review: Rudy Project Zyon Sunglasses

Posted in Products with tags on September 13, 2018 by itnerd

My wife like yours truly has challenges with her eyesight. But unlike yours truly, she can’t solve those challenges using contact lenses. And her prescription is so strong that it makes the possibility to use prescription performance sunglasses from companies like Oakley a non-starter. That was until Rudy Project stepped into the picture with these:


Meet the Rudy Project Zyon sunglasses Two things to point out about them. First are the lenses. They are photochromic lenses that go from clear to black depending on the lighting conditions. The second thing that you should note are the prescription inserts which allow the wearer to have an optician put in their prescription to allow you to have performance sunglasses even if you’re optically challenged.


You can see that the prescription insert mounts on the nose piece. But it doesn’t affect the adjustability of the Zyon sunglasses. The nose piece as well as the arms are extremely adjustable. My wife found that it was easy to make them fit comfortably. She used them at the Epic Tour 80K (which was actually 85K) ride in Milton Ontario and found that they did a great job of keeping wind and dust out of her eyes as well as having the right amount of tint for the lighting conditions. Gripes? It took her a bit to dial in the fit so that the Zyon sunglasses provided ample protection while not having the prescription inserts press against her face and get dirty. But once she got past that, the Zyon was a total win as far as she was concerned. And she can’t wait to use these for cross country skiing with the racing red lenses that are designed to enhance contrast. One thing that isn’t pictured are side shields which give you additional protection from dust and debris. My wife chose not to use them.

IRudy Project has many models that have a prescription insert option. Not only that, depending on your prescription, a prescription lens may be an option for you. So your best bet is to visit a Rudy Project dealer that is an optician so that you can get your prescription filled at the same time. Expect to pay $250 USD and up for a pair, plus $80 for the prescription inserts, & plus the cost of the prescription lenses if you need them. According to my wife, you won’t regret it.


Maximize Your Performance With UAG’s New iPhone Series

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2018 by itnerd

UAG has carefully designed their new iPhone Series with creators in mind. Developed alongside world renowned creators and innovators, UAG’s updated series are inspired by UAG ambassador and Water Photographer, Zak Noyle.

Whether at home shooting Pipeline or traveling the globe chasing swells for Surfer Magazine, Zak Noyle’s equipment must withstand his active lifestyle. UAG has carefully engineered their new iPhone cases to withstand the harsh environments Zak works in, as well as the constant drops, shocks, and bumps every successful individual endures on a daily basis. With six updated series, from the luxurious Monarch Series, to the slimmest Plasma Series, UAG allows content creators like Zak, to go further and capture that memorable shot.

UAG classics such as the Pathfinder, Plasma, and Plyo Series have been re-designed to offer a sleeker, more refined look while still maintaining the acclaimed protection UAG is trusted for.  Like all UAG cases, their iPhone cases meet or exceed Military Standards (MIL STD 810G-516.6) for drop and shock, providing ultimate protection without added bulk. Each case boasts an impact-resistant core, armor shell, and 360-degree protection, giving users confidence that their technology can withstand extreme activity.

With their updated series for new iPhones, UAG is encouraging you to take your iPhone further and to document the world around you. UAG will be there to protect your iPhone every step of the journey.

Pathfinder Series

Available for: iPhone Xs, Xs Max, XR
Colors: Black, White, Slate, and Carmine
MSRP: $34.95

●     Armor shell and impact-resistant soft core
●     Easy access to touchscreen and ports
●     Scratch-resistant skid pads and screen surround

Plyo Series

Available for: iPhone Xs, Xs Max, XR
Colors: Ice, Ash, Crimson, and Glacier
MSRP: $39.95

●     Slim design- a dramatically thin, friction free, lint resistant design
●     Air soft corners for cushioning impact
●     Clear translucent design

Plasma Series 

Available for: iPhone Xs, Xs Max, XR
Colors: Ice, Ash, Cobalt, and Magma
MSRP: $39.95

●     Armor shell and impact-resistant soft core
●     Easy access to touchscreen and ports
●     Scratch-resistant skid pads

Monarch Series 

Available for: iPhone Xs, Xs Max, XR
Colors: Black, Crimson, and Carbon Fiber
MSRP: $59.95

●     Premium materials and alloy metal hardware
●     Soft impact-resistant core and honeycomb traction grip
●     Five-layer protection

Metropolis Series 

Available for: iPhone Xs, Xs Max, XR
Colors: Black, Magma, and Cobalt
MSRP: $39.95

●     Water-resistant tactile grip
●     Credit card storage
●     Easy access to touchscreen and ports

Trooper Series

Available for: iPhone Xs, Xs Max, XR
Colors: Black
MSRP: $39.95

●     Holds up to 4 credit cards
●     Easy access to touchscreen and ports
●     Impact-resistant core

Special Edition Camo 

Available for: iPhone Xs, Xs Max, XR
Colors: Midnight and Arctic
MSRP: $49.95

●     Armor shell and impact-resistant soft core
●     Easy access to touchscreen and ports
●     Scratch-resistant skid pads and screen surround

Linksys Announces New Gigabit POE+ Switches

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2018 by itnerd

Linksys has unveiled new custom-designed business-class smart switches to meet the growing power demands of networked devices in the modern workplace. The company’s latest offerings include an 8-Port Business Smart Gigabit PoE+ Switch – 130W (LGS308MP) and a 26-Port Business Smart Gigabit PoE+ Switch – 384W (LGS326MP) which features 24 PoE+ gigabit Ethernet ports +2 gigabit SFP/RJ45 combo ports. These new Linksys Smart Gigabit PoE+ Switches are designed to offer business-class management, security, speed and quality of service (QoS).

Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology allows network switches to transmit both power and data through a twisted pair Cat5e Ethernet cable. PoE affords IT personnel greater flexibility when designing network architecture, simplifying device deployment by reducing the need for AC power outlets and wiring. This enables technicians to install wireless access points and other IP-based equipment, in otherwise hard to reach areas.

PoE+ equipment operates according to a newer Institute of Electrical and Electronics (IEEE) standard, 802.3at. PoE+ switches deliver more power to each port, up to 30 Watts, compared to legacy PoE networking equipment, which accommodates a power draw of 15.4 Watts per port. Smart switches designed to the PoE+ standard, are built to support a higher power draw required by next-generation devices that companies add to computer networks: pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) and other IP surveillance products, IP connected conference solutions, digital displays, AV equipment, wireless access point and VOIP phones.

Some examples of the power required by these devices are:

  • 13W:  IP Cameras, VoIP Phones, Wireless Access Points, Networked Audio
  • 30W: IP Telephones, WiMAX Access Points, PTZ Cameras, Remote Computer Terminals
  • 60W: Door Access Systems, Video Phones, Thin Clients
  • 100W: Digital Signage Displays, Point of Sale Systems, LCD TVs, Computer Monitors
  • 200W: Larger TVs, Larger Displays, Larger Monitors, Laptops

Gigabit PoE+ Smart Switches: Key Features

  • Integrated Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+)
  • Easy configuration and management
  • Proven performance and reliability
  • Meets EEE (Energy Efficient Ethernet) 802.3az standard
  • Advanced Network security
  • IP telephony support
  • IPv6 support

Key Benefits

Quality of Service (QoS): Several QoS features ensure that traffic is prioritized to deliver the best possible user experience for real-time voice and video applications, and bandwidth-intensive graphics and video file transfers. Specifically, IGMP snooping directs IP multicast traffic only to specific ports associated with the multicast group, thus enabling the rest of the network to operate at peak efficiency.

Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+): Linksys smart switches support the latest 802.3at (PoE+) standards and provides twice the power budget for each Gigabit Ethernet port while remaining backward- compatible with the 802.3af (PoE) standard. This makes PoE+ equipment ideal for powering networked devices like point-tilt-zoom surveillance cameras, display kiosks, digital signage, and 802.11ac wireless access points.

Network Security: Unauthorized access to the network and mission-critical data is a constant concern for businesses. Linksys smart switches help secure networks with features like port authentication and MAC-based port security, requiring clients to authenticate themselves before any data is passed. Advanced DHCP snooping and IP-MAC binding functions ensure network integrity and help prevent network attacks.

Network Expansion: Linksys smart switches include features for quickly expanding and growing your network. Multiple high-bandwidth trunks between switches enhance availability and redundancy. Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) and Storm Control features help control planned or inadvertent cable loops and facilitates cost-efficient scalability.

Pricing and Availability

The new Linksys high powered Smart Gigabit POE+ switches are immediately available in the Americas through their authorized distributors.

  • 8-Port Business Smart Gigabit PoE+ Switch – 130W (LGS308MP) $249.99 MSRP
  • 26-Port Business Smart Gigabit PoE+ Switch – 384W (LGS326MP) $529.99 MSRP