Archive for September 14, 2018

Darktrace 2018 Discoveries Report…. A Very Eye Opening Read

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 14, 2018 by itnerd

We’re over half way through 2018 and already we’ve seen major cyber-attacks on everything from banks to provincial infrastructures in Canada. To assess the global threat landscape, today Darktrace – the global leader in AI and machine learning cyber defense – released its 2018 Discoveries Report.

The fact is, cyber-attacks are increasingly moving at machine-speeds, encrypting or compromising machines within seconds. From an internet-connected locker at an amusement park to a third-party cloud environment, points of entry are becoming more abundant. That’s why decision makers and consumers alike need to be aware of the threats out there and how they can combat them.

The report contains case studies on industries such as:

  • Media & Entertainment
  • Financial Services
  • Medical Manufacturing
  • Food manufacturing
  • E-commerce
  • Transportation
  • Technology

I spent a lot of time reading the report and it is very eye opening how these nine real-world threat stories were detected and neutralized by the world-leading technology that Darktrace offers.

You can have a look at the report here.

ASUS Announces ROG Strix, Turbo, & Dual Versions Of GeForce RTX 2080 Ti & 2080 Gaming Graphics Cards

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 14, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS has announced the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix, ASUS Dual, and ASUS Turbo graphics cards based on the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 GPUs, which feature support for high-speed GDDR6 memory and VirtualLink for quick, single-cable connections to next-generation VR headsets.

The new NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs have reinvented graphics and set a new bar for performance. Powered by the new NVIDIA Turing GPU architecture and the revolutionary NVIDIA RTX platform, the new graphics cards bring together real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence, and programmable shading. This is not only a whole new way to experience games — this is the ultimate PC gaming experience.

ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080

The Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 keep Turing cool with brand-new Axial-tech fans that implement the latest ROG innovations, including a reduced-size fan hub to allow for longer blades and a barrier ring that increases structural integrity and downward air pressure through the Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080’s heatsink array. The new design allows Axial-tech fans to shift more air without increasing noise levels.

Auto-Extreme Technology

All Strix graphics cards are produced using Auto-Extreme Technology, an automated manufacturing process that sets new standards in the industry. Traditionally, soldering of through-hole and surface-mounted components needs to be performed in separate stages. Auto-Extreme Technology allows all soldering to be completed in a single pass, reducing thermal strain on components and avoiding the use of harsh cleaning chemicals. The end result is less environmental impact, lower manufacturing power consumption and a more reliable product.

ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080

The ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 graphics cards feature patented Wing-blade fans. This technology trickled down to Dual cards from the ROG Strix series and boasts higher air pressure, reduced noise levels and IP5X certified dust resistance. For those who love silence, the fan controllers also support a 0dB fan stop mode.

2.7-Slot design

The latest ROG Strix and Dual cards adopt a 2.7-slot footprint to accommodate a larger heatsink because bigger is better. The overall surface area of the cooling array is 20% larger for the Strix cards and more than 50% larger for the Dual cards compared to previous-generation designs. The improved heat dissipation provides more overclocking headroom for enthusiasts and an amazing plug-and-play experience by allowing lower fan speeds while gaming.

ASUS Turbo GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080

The ASUS Turbo GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 are designed from the ground up for systems with multiple GPUs or other airflow-restricting scenarios by incorporating a host of subtle design optimizations that improve airflow through the shroud and increase reliability. Upgrades include an 80mm IP5X dual-ball bearing fan and a new shroud design that allows more air to flow into the cooler, even when it’s pressed against a glass chassis panel or another graphics card.


The following models will be available for pre-order from August 20, 2018, from authorized retailers around the world. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.

Pre-order models:

  • ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2080 TI OC Edition
  • ASUS Turbo GeForce RTX 2080 TI
  • ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 OC Edition
  • ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2080 OC Edition

ASUS Announces All-New ZenBook 13, 14 and 15

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 14, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS today debuted an all-new ZenBook series, with the launch of ZenBook 13 (UX333), ZenBook 14 (UX433) and ZenBook 15 (UX533).

This fully redesigned series of premium thin and light laptops introduces the stunning new frameless NanoEdge display, which features ultraslim bezels on all four sides and an unrivaled up to 95% screen-to-body ratio for a near-borderless viewing experience. The NanoEdge display also allows a much more compact design, with the result that each of the new ZenBook models has the smallest footprint in its class.

The 13-inch and 14-inch models also optionally include the exclusive new NumberPad, an innovative productivity enhancement that provides a full-size LED-illuminated numeric keypad built into the touchpad. All models feature a special 3D IR camera that allows fast face login using Windows Hello, even in low-light environments.

The combination of performance and mobility is a defining feature of the ZenBook series, and the new models feature a full complement of high-performance components including the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7 quad-core CPU, up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q graphics, 16GB RAM, ultrafast PCIe SSDs and gigabit-class Wi-Fi.

All models are torture-tested to military-grade (MIL-STD-810G) reliability standards, with demanding tests that include environmental extremes of altitude, temperature and humidity, in addition to extensive drop, shock and vibration testing.

Ultraportable, redefined

The new ZenBook series ushers in a fresh era of ultracompact, ultralight laptops that boast the smallest footprints in their class, a feat made possible by the new frameless NanoEdge design. The stunning frameless NanoEdge displays now feature ultraslim bezels on all four sides, creating an unrivaled 92% screen-to-body ratio that maximizes the screen area in the minimum physical space.

The result is simply breathtaking: the near-borderless visuals and up to 4K UHD resolution deliver a more immersive viewing experience with less visual distraction, making ZenBook the perfect choice for on-the-go creativity or entertainment.

Complementing the groundbreaking new design, the traditional ZenBook style and elegance is apparent at a glance: all models feature the iconic Zen-inspired spun-metal finish on the lid, and there’s a choice of prestigious Royal Blue or sophisticated Icicle Silver anodized finishes, both newly enhanced with a contrasting Rose Gold trim bar above the keyboard for an extra touch of luxury.

No-compromise productivity

For the ultimate on-the-go productivity, ZenBook 13 and 14 are equipped with the exclusive new ASUS NumberPad. NumberPad solves the age-old problem of the lack of a dedicated numeric keypad on compact laptops. Tapping the NumberPad icon at the top right corner of the touchpad reveals a full-size LED-illuminated numeric keypad, allowing rapid and intuitive data entry or calculations. ZenBook 15 features a traditional physical numeric keypad.

All models feature an advanced 3D infrared (IR) camera, with see-in-the-dark capabilities to ensure fast, reliable hands-free face login with Windows Hello — even in dimly-lit environments. Unlike some rivals with awkwardly placed cameras, on ZenBook the camera is located on the slim top bezel of the NanoEdge display — yet another thoughtful design detail.

Advanced voice-recognition capabilities on the new ZenBook series means users can be entertained, informed, and organized simply by speaking to Alexa or Cortana. Alexa is a cloud-based voice service that helps users with tasks, entertainment, general information, and more. Using Alexa is as simple as asking a question. Just ask to play music, read the news, control a smart home, tell a joke, and more — Alexa will respond instantly.

When working on the go, it’s vital to be able to connect with anything and everything. The new ZenBook series features the revolutionary USB Type-C (USB-C) port for any-way-up connections and superfast USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gbps data transfers, and there’s also a range of other USB ports, including USB Type-A (up to 5Gbps or 10Gbps) and/or USB 2.0. All models also include an HDMI port and a microSD or SD card reader, so it’s easy to connect to all your current and future peripherals.

With any ZenBook, comfort is one of the top design priorities. The new ZenBook series goes the extra mile with the exclusive ErgoLift hinge, an engineering masterpiece designed to automatically tilt the keyboard to the most comfortable typing position. But that’s not all: the carefully calculated tilt improves cooling and audio performance, too.

Unbounded performance

The new ZenBook series is built to deliver unbounded on-the-go performance, featuring up to the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and a range of fast graphics options, including up to NVIDIA GeForce MX150 discrete graphics on ZenBook 13 and 14. ZenBook 15 is equipped with high-performance NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q GPU.

All models are equipped with PCIe SSDs and up to 16GB of RAM, making ZenBook ideal for creating complex documents, mining data, retouching photos, editing videos, or simply taking a gaming break. The new ZenBook series lets users do more, and do it quicker.

Mobile professionals need to stay connected — at the fastest speed possible. All new ZenBook models feature gigabit-class Wi-Fi and ASUS Wi-Fi Master technology, for ultrafast downloads and smooth streaming with greater range and more stable network connections than ever before. Additionally, the latest Bluetooth 5.0 lets users access all the benefits of the latest low-power peripherals and accessories.

Designed for non-stop, on-the-go lifestyles, the new ZenBook series gives users the freedom to work all day on a single battery charge — up to an impressive 14 hours for ZenBook 13 and 14, and an incredible 16 hours for ZenBook 15.

Ultratough: Military-grade durability

The new ZenBook series meets the ultra-demanding MIL-STD-810G military standard for reliability and durability, undergoing a punishing test regime that includes extended tests for operation in harsh environments including extreme altitudes, temperatures and humidity. The series has also passed ASUS internal laptop tests that far exceed the standards set by the industry. ZenBook is the ultratough ultraportable, the perfect choice for discerning on-the-go professionals.


These new ZenBooks will be available:

  • ASUS ZenBook 13 (UX333) – TBD
  • ZenBook 14 (UX433) – late 2018
  • ZenBook 15 (UX533) – early 2019

in Canada. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.


ASUS Announces New Apps for ScreenPad

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 14, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS has announced a wave of new and updated apps for the revolutionary ScreenPad, the intelligent touchpad available exclusively on the latest ZenBook Pro series of professional laptops.

The new apps — ScreenPad for Spotify, Adobe Sign and Handwriting — add new functionality and features to ScreenPad. The updated ASUS Sync app makes it easier than ever to integrate a smartphone with ZenBook Pro, while the improved Extender Mode turns ScreenPad into a secondary Windows display for dual-screen productivity.

Launched to worldwide acclaim at Computex in June, 2018, ScreenPad cleverly combines a touchpad with a high-resolution, full-colour touchscreen to offer novel ways of interacting intelligently with both Windows apps and dedicated programs called ScreenPad Apps. Adaptive functions with context-sensitive tools enhance workflow and productivity, and ScreenPad is fully customizable to allow users to personalize their experience.

The new apps and updates are available to download via the ScreenPad settings menu. An online tutorial highlighting the features and capabilities of ScreenPad is available at

ScreenPad for Spotify

ScreenPad for Spotify brings support for the popular music-streaming platform to ScreenPad, giving users seamless control of Spotify via intuitive playback and volume controls on ScreenPad. 

Efficient input: Adobe Sign and Handwriting

ScreenPad’s handwriting recognition capabilities opens up a world of new productivity-enhancing possibilities. Adobe Sign allows users to sign the PDF documents without having to scan in a written signature. The Handwriting app is an intuitive way to input written words and characters in any supported language[i]. 


ASUS Sync provides integration with smartphones running the free ASUS Sync app. It can allow you to mirror the screen of smartphone either on ScreenPad or main screen. So, you can use the laptop keyboard to response messages efficiently. Also, you can use the larger screen to touch and interact with your game or app with more fun. ScreenPad also keeps all the message notification and provides a seamless integration with phone to receive new call and call back.

Extender Mode

In Extender Mode, ScreenPad works just like an external monitor, providing a secondary Windows display. This updated feature now has optimized Windows screen settings to make it even easier to use, and there’s a new function that allows users to easily switch between the main screen and ScreenPad. Users can also now choose to interact with content on ScreenPad with a cursor, or use touchscreen controls.                          


ASUS ScreenPad is currently available exclusively on the new ZenBook Pro 15 (UX580). Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.


ASUS Announces Zen AiO 27 (Z272)

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 14, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS has announced Zen AiO 27 (Z272), an elegant and sophisticated all-in-one PC designed to deliver the ultimate all-in-one PC computing experience.

Designed for content creators and graphics professionals, Zen AiO 27 has a new design that houses all the system components in the base, rather than behind the display: this approach improves cooling, allows easier upgrades and enables a slimmer display housing. The powerful specification includes an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, as well as dual-storage options with both a HDD and an PCIe SSD. The base can be easily opened to provide access to the storage and memory modules for hassle-free upgrades. Zen AiO 27 also features Qi wireless charging built into its base to fast charge mobile devices.

Zen AiO 27 features a 27-inch 4K UHD NanoEdge PANTONE Validated display with a 100% sRGB colour gamut and a Delta-E colour accuracy of less than 3.0 for incredibly detailed and lifelike visuals; while a Harman Kardon-certified audio system features powerful 16W speakers provides clear, full-range sound.

New design features

Zen AiO 27 features built-in 7.5W Qi wireless charging in its base, allowing users to fast-charge a Qi-compatible mobile device by simply placing it on the base. In another new design feature, ASUS engineers have incorporated the internal components into an ergonomically-designed stand and base. The stand features tilt, swivel, and height adjustment to ensure the perfect viewing position, every time; while the base provides improved cooling for its high-performance components and can be easily opened to provide access to the storage and memory modules for hassle-free upgrades.

Ultimate performance

Users can expect desktop-levels of performance courtesy of an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor; and with up to 32GB memory, Zen AiO 27 makes multitasking effortless. Gaming-grade NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics makes light work of photo and video editing, and even 3D graphics rendering

A dual-storage configuration with up to a 2TB HDD and a 1TB PCIe®SSD ensure there’s ample storage for large photo and movie files, and editing programs run smoothly. HDD-only models feature support for up to 16GB Intel Optanememory to launch apps faster and improve multitasking performance.

Visuals that pop

Zen AiO 27 is the ideal tool for graphics professionals thanks to its 27-inch 4K UHD NanoEdge display with a 100% sRGB colour gamut. It delivers pin-sharp detail and bright, vivid colours for more lifelike images. In addition, the display is PANTONE validated and has a Delta-E value of less than 3.0, providing outstanding colour accuracy for exceptional colours.

Harman Kardon-certified audio

Zen AiO 27 delivers fully immersive sound certified by audio specialists Harman Kardon. A high-quality 300cc, 16W quad-speaker system with an advanced bass-reflex design — typically found in high-end speaker systems — delivers smooth, power bass and clear, full-range sound that has to be heard to be believed.

Extensive connectivity options for unmatched versatility

Zen AiO 27 features a full complement of I/O ports including Thunderbolt3 for versatile, ultrafast connections. It can be used to charge devices, and can support two external 4K UHD displays or an external graphic card. There’s a total of three USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports on the rear of the base, with a USB 2.0 port and audio combo jack conveniently situated on the right side of the base, within easy reach. HDMI output lets users connect to a big-screen TV or external monitor for supersized entertainment; while HDMI input allows Zen AiO 27 to be used as an external display.

Your face is your password

The advanced infrared (IR) camera on Zen AiO 27 ensures quick, secure and convenient hands-free face login with Windows Hello.There’s no need to remember and type in complicated passwords, and certainly no need to worry about them being stolen. A quick scan is all it takes to log in.

Use your voice to control your day

Alexa is a cloud-based voice service that helps with tasks, entertainment, general information, and more. Using Alexa is as simple as asking a question. Just ask to play music, read the news, control smart home devices and functions, tell a joke, and more — Alexa will respond instantly.


ASUS Zen AiO 27 (Z272) will be available in September in Canada. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.

ASUS Republic Of Gamers Announces PC Partnership With Activision For Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 14, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) has announced a partnership with Activision, for the upcoming release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on PC. From September 10th to October 12th, ROG will be the first digital PC game bundling provider of Call of Duty: Back Ops 4. Consumers can gain access to the game by purchasing an eligible ROG product during the promotion period. With a strong dedication to PC gamers, the Call of Duty team and ROG have worked closely on a unique collaboration with their AURA Sync technology across multiple product lines.

Dominate the Battle with AURA Sync integration into Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for an enhanced gaming experience

ROG worked with Activision to incorporate customized AURA Sync capabilities and effects within Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for PC to AURA Sync capable devices. AURA Sync coordinates colours and effects with compatible RGB-lit products like desktops, headsets, keyboards, motherboards, notebooks, and mice, among others, making it easy for users to personalize their entire gaming set upto a consistent look and feel that reflects their gaming persona or the feel of the game being played. With the AURA Sync integration within Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, actions within the game trigger the RGB light effects to enhance gameplay, reflecting the intensity of the game through the user’s PCs and components, creating a more immersive experience.

ROG and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Bundle

Consumers who purchase an eligible product during the limited promotion period, beginning September 10th, will receive access to the Digital Standard Edition of the game. For up to date information, including the list of products eligible for the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 bundle, where to buy links, and redemption information, please visit:


Martello Ranked as Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company at No. 28 on the Growth 500 List

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 14, 2018 by itnerd

Martello Technologies Group (Martello) announced 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.

This accolade underscores Martello’s commitment to delivering cost effective and innovative SD-WAN products that allow its global clients in more than 150 countries, to stay connected 24/7, while detecting and resolving UC performance issues such as poor voice quality, before the user’s experience is impacted.

This is the latest recognition for Martello in 2018, with the company receiving the INTERNET TELEPHONY SD-WAN Product of the Year Award in August and debuting on the Branham300 listing of Canada’s top ICT (Information and Communications Technology) companies in June.

Martello went public with a TSXV listing on September 12th, following the closure of an oversubscribed $7.5 million private placement. The company’s ambitious growth plans include future merger and acquisition activity, an area in which the company has a positive track record. In December 2017, Martello merged with SD-WAN player Elfiq Networks.

Salesforce Launches New Low-Code Tools On The Lightning Platform

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 14, 2018 by itnerd

Salesforce has announced its next generation of low-code tools for companies to build apps faster. Customers and employees today expect apps with the design and performance of consumer brands. But with developers in short supply, companies are turning to the Salesforce Lightning Platform and AppExchange for low-code tools that empower IT and business users to create intelligent, connected experiences without building from scratch.

According to a recent IDC study, organizations building on the Salesforce Lightning Platform saw a return on investment of 545 percent over five years. Furthermore, IDC found business users gained productivity and revenue benefits totaling $8.82 million per organization surveyed – including 63 percent faster lifecycles for app development.

In addition to new low-code tools, new updates to AppExchange will now offer an even smarter experience for customers including Smarter Recommendations and Lightning Flow Actions that flow seamlessly with the new Lightning updates. With 88 percent of Salesforce customer orgs using AppExchange solutions and almost 6 million installs, more Trailblazers than ever are tapping into the power of the world’s leading enterprise cloud ecosystem.

This year at Dreamforce, the Platform and AppExchange keynotes will showcase leading brands that have transformed their businesses by building on Lightning. Lightning Object Creator and Lightning Flow Builder are now available in pilot. Further pricing information will be announced at general availability in the rst half of 2019.