Archive for October 1, 2018

University Of Waterloo To Have First Virtual Reality Optometry Lab In Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 1, 2018 by itnerd

A new virtual reality (VR) training lab at the University of Waterloo’s School of  Optometry and Vision Science, will help Canada’s next generation of optometrists learn how to diagnose vision problems and eye diseases more quickly and accurately.

The new lab, funded through an $800,000 investment by national eye care provider FYidoctors, will accelerate the development of essential clinical skills for optometrists.  The authentic experience simulates a patient’s eye and provides students with an opportunity to use virtual reality to practice on many cases that range from wellness through to diseases such as macular degeneration and diabetes.

At a total cost of $1.5 million, the FYidoctors Simulation Lab is the first of its kind in Canada and will ensure the School remains at the forefront in optometric education in North America.

The simulation equipment will supplement real-life training, which is limited.  It will also provide hundreds of real patient cases to practice binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy (BIO), which will help students to recognize, identify and diagnose eye and systemic disease more quickly and confidently.  FYidoctors leadership support represents the most significant sponsorship every received by the Schools optometry program.

The University of Waterloo is one of two optometry schools in Canada, making the University of Waterloo a national resource for training vision care professionals and vision science researchers.

The Equipment:
The lab will initially include 5 Eyesi Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscopes (BIO) are state of the art augmented reality simulator for training of retinal examinations and provides a highly realistic and dynamic 3D simulation of the anatomical structures of the eye and ophthalmoscope optics.

Phase two of the lab, to be unveiled at a later date, will include the addition of the Eyesi® Slit Lamp simulators.  This technology will allow students to practice basic handling of the device and skills required to conduct a corneal exam, retinal exam and Gonioscopy & Tonometry. Through multi-tiered training provided by the Slit Lamp simulation technology, it will promote pattern recognition for retinal pathologies and provide competency-based assessments.

With Eyesi BIO and Slit Lamp technology, students can examine a wide range of clinically relevant cases before they meet their first real patient. The simulated cases are based on real patient histories and were developed in cooperation with universities and eye specialists.

Simulation technology provides an authentic experience that offers the look and feels for the diagnostic skills of BIO and slit lamp examination.  Students can practice as much as they need to reach certain milestones in a modular system that progresses in difficulty and complexity.  The process begins with mastering the technical skills to image the fundus, and later incorporates real cases and images for examination and diagnosis.  The goal is to use precious laboratory time with faculty to transition students from good foundational skills to great diagnostic skills.

The conditions and diseases it will train students to diagnose:
Conditions and diseases that can be assessed and diagnosed through the simulation technology range from wellness through diseases.  The simulation technology focuses on looking in the back of the eye to identify a wide variety of eye and health-related problems.

Examples include: 
• Reviewing and assessing healthy eyes
• Trauma – concussion
• Foreign bodies
• Amblyopia – lazy eye, a vision development disorder
• Uveitis – inflammation of the middle layer of the eye
• Keratoconus (curving of the lens)
• Detached retina

Diseases include:
• Macular degeneration
• Diabetes
• Hypertension
• Cancer
• Glaucoma


UAG Launches Product PNK Case for Breast Cancer Awareness

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 1, 2018 by itnerd

Leading designers of rugged, lightweight mobile accessories, UAG, is joining the fight against breast cancer this October with their newest Product PNK.

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For every Product PNK case sold during the month of October, UAG will donate 100% of the profits to charities that support breast cancer awareness. Product PNK was designed to support a mission that saves lives and invests in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer. Meeting Military Standards (MIL STD 810G-516.6) for drop and shock, each iPhone case is as strong as the cause it represents.

Do good and look good this October with UAG’s Product PNK Series.

PNK Series for iPhone

Available Starting October 1st

MSRP: $39.95

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

Roku Adds Amazon Prime Video In Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 1, 2018 by itnerd

Roku today announced that Amazon Prime Video is now available on the Roku® streaming platform in Canada. Prime Video offers Roku customers easy access to a popular collection of movies, TV episodes and Prime Original series available exclusively on Prime Video to instantly stream at no additional cost to a Prime or Prime Video membership.

With access to Prime Video’s extensive collection of popular and award-winning Prime Original series, movies and TV shows Roku customers will be able to instantly stream popular titles available in HD and 4K HDR such as the recently released Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan starring John Krasinski, Emmy and Golden Globe winner The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, American Gods and new seasons of popular favorites like The Grand Tour, The Man in the High Castle and Goliath, starring Golden Globe winner Billy Bob Thornton. Customers can also look forward to upcoming series like the highly anticipated Prime Original series Homecoming, starring Julia Roberts, directed by Sam Esmail (creator of Mr. Robot) and coming to Prime Video on November 2.

Roku users will be able to access Prime Video by selecting it from the Roku Channel store found on their TV home screen. Prime Video is available for Roku 2 (except for models 2720x and 27020EU), Roku 3 (except for model 4230x), Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Streaming Stick (except for models 3400x, 3500x and 3500EU), Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+ and Roku Ultra as well as Roku TVs. New customers can sign-up on device or at

Paysafe Group Hosts First global Hackathon

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 1, 2018 by itnerd

Paysafe Group, a leading global payments provider, will host its first global hackathon across five of its key developer locations: Sofia (Bulgaria), Vienna (Austria), Hyderabad (India), Montreal and Calgary (Canada); to identify new ideas, talent and innovation that align to its bold technology ambitions.

The global hackathon is open to all forward-thinking IT engineers with a passion for technology and coding who are looking for an opportunity to showcase their exceptional skills. Along with the opportunity to win large cash prizes, the successful hackers will have the opportunity to discuss rewarding career opportunities at Paysafe, a sought-after employer in payments with multiple employer awards and a Glassdoor rating of 4.2 globally.

Interested participants are required to pre-register here:

Paysafe’s global hackathon will consist of two parts involving challenges focused on Graph Theory and Dynamic Programming:

Online challenge from October 8th to October 20th:

The top three winners of the online challenge will receive a cash prize; 1st place wins $3,000, 2nd place wins $2,000 and 3rd place wins $1,000. The top 50 participants in each location will be contacted directly and invited to the on-site event.

On-site events on October 27th:

The on-site events will take place at venues across the five countries.

Individuals will be required to present their work in front of a jury once everyone has completed the challenge. The location winner will be awarded a $5,000 prize and the overall global champion, who will be chosen from the five local winners, will win an additional grand prize of $20,000.

For more information about Paysafe’s global hackathon such as the challenges, rules, locations and how to register, visit

Apple Mum When It Comes To Reports Of iPhones Not Charging…. #ChargeGate

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 1, 2018 by itnerd

It seems that there’s a new issue for Apple to deal with. Dubbed “#ChargeGate” there are a growing number of iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max owners in the Apple Support Communities complaining that the devices fail to start charging when a Lightning cable is plugged in while the screen is turned off. Though there are also reports of some users who are experiencing the same issue on older iPhones and iPads as well. That kind of implies a software issue. But that’s far from certain at this point.

Lewis Hilsenteger AKA the YouTuber known as “Unbox Therapy” posted a video the problem:

Apple as usual has nothing to say about this. But given that there is apparently no known workaround and only some suggestions that may or may not work for you, Apple needs to at least say something. If not address the issue quickly.



Smartphone Users Might Want To Take Note Of These Legal Related News Items

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 1, 2018 by itnerd

There’s a pair of legal related news items that relates to smartphone users that piqued my interest, and it should pique your interest as well. Let’s start with one aimed at Apple iPhone X users. In what may be a first, the FBI has “forced” a suspect to unlock his iPhone X using Face ID:

Agents in Columbus, Ohio entered the home of 28-year-old Grant Michalski, who was suspected of child abuse, according to court documents spotted by Forbes. With a search warrant in hand, they forced him to put his face on front of the device to unlock it. They were then able to freely search for his photos, chats and any other potential evidence. The FBI started investigating Michalski after discovering his ad on Craigslist titled “taboo.” Later, they discovered emails in which he discussed incest and sex with minors with another defendant, William Weekly.

Once you get past the creep factor, let’s just consider this. This really isn’t any different than cops “forcing” (I put the quotes in as the FBI got a warrant to do this) someone to unlock their phone via a fingerprint. Thus one could argue that there is nothing new here. But it is worth noting if you have Apple’s coolest phone in your possession when the cops pay you a visit.

The next piece of legal news come from New Zealand where travelers who refuse to hand over their phone or laptop passwords to Customs officials can now be slapped with a $5000 fine:

The Customs and Excise Act 2018 — which comes into effect today — sets guidelines around how Customs can carry out “digital strip-searches.” Previously, Customs could stop anyone at the border and demand to see their electronic devices. However, the law did not specify that people had to also provide a password. The updated law makes clear that travelers must provide access — whether that be a password, pin-code or fingerprint — but officials would need to have a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. “It is a file-by-file [search] on your phone. We’re not going into ‘the cloud.’ We’ll examine your phone while it’s on flight mode,” Customs spokesperson Terry Brown said. If people refused to comply, they could be fined up to $5000 and their device would be seized and forensically searched. Mr Brown said the law struck the “delicate balance” between a person’s right to privacy and Customs’ law enforcement responsibilities. “I personally have an e-device and it maintains all my records — banking data, et cetera, et cetera — so we understand the importance and significance of it.”

Now I’ve written about New Zealand before on a similar topic. Thus this doesn’t shock me. And realistically customs in any can demand to poke around your suitcase, frisk you or whatever as long as they have reasonable grounds….. Assuming of course you’re going to someplace where that applies. If you’re going to some repressive backwater where due process doesn’t exist then it sucks to be you. But I digress. Assuming that due process is being followed, then this isn’t a big deal as they searched roughly 540 electronic devices at New Zealand airports in 2017. You have to imagine that there are millions of travellers that go to that country which makes that number a drop in the bucket. However, if New Zealand uses this to go “hog wild” to search anything and everything they can get their hands on, that’s a problem. Hopefully someone is keeping an eye on this to see what happens next.


Loblaws Rolling Out Two Step Verification To (Hopefully) Put An End To Their Pwnage Problem With PC Optimum Rewards

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 1, 2018 by itnerd

I’ve written numerous times about the #EpicFail that is the PC Optimum rewards program which has been pwned repeatedly by hackers and as a result costs their customers their rewards points. And in turn it negatively affects the reputation of Loblaws who owns this rewards program. But it finally seems that Loblaws is doing something about it. A recent app update tipped me off to their plans:


Well I tested this out by enabling it on my phone. It then sent a code to my email which I then promptly typed into my phone and I was allowed to log in. I then tried to log in via my computer and after initially popping up a message saying “our apologies an unknown error has occurred”, I tried again and it sent a code to my email which I then promptly typed into my computer and I was allowed to log in. Of interest, it had the option to make my computer a “trusted device”. I didn’t choose that option as I want the security that this feature offers. Oddly enough, my phone did not offer this same option. I can only assume that a phone is a “trusted device” by default which from a computer security standpoint has risks as if you leave yourself logged into the PC Optimum app, anyone with physical access to the phone can drain your points. The flip side to that is that this is likely a connivence thing to speed up access to the app on your phone.

Given the fact that up until now Loblaws hasn’t been able to adequately protect their customers from being pwned by hackers, this is big improvement. So I applaud them for doing something, even if it took way too long to actually do something. You can find out how to enable this new security feature here and I strongly suggest that you do so ASAP.