Archive for April, 2019

Neveo, A Family Album For Your Grandparents!

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 30, 2019 by itnerd

How can one share photos of everyday life with grandparents who are not on social media, who don’t have a smartphone or who live far away? To meet this need to communicate, there’s a mobile app called neveo.io.

The goal is neveo.io. is to reconnect families and their grandparents who are not comfortable with technology through a paper album that is sent to them monthly by mail.

Here’s a video on neveo.io.

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Verizon Faces First-Ever Shareholder Proposal on Child Sex Abuse Online

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 30, 2019 by itnerd

On May 2, a group of investors are presenting the first shareholder resolution to come to a vote on the growing risk of child sex exploitation online at Verizon Communications’ annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. The filers, representing faith-based and high-net-worth investors with more than $27M in shares, are calling on the largest telecom in the U.S. to increase its efforts to protect children online from sexual abuse and grooming. The investors note in the proposal that parental controls have not been enough to protect child users, and that companies like Verizon are at the intersection of a spectrum of technologies that are putting children at increased risk. The largest proxy voting advisory firm in the world, Institutional Shareholder Services, recommends support for this proposal.

Verizon’s Tumblr was proven to be sharing child sex content last November, and was kicked off of Apple’s App Store because of it. The company has also faced significant fines in 2018 related to the illegal collection and selling of child user data.

The lead filer of the proposal, CBIS, is concerned by the flood of child sex imagery and conduct occurring online. The major hotline for reporting child sex abuse in the U.S. — the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children — has reported receiving more than 45 million child sex images and videos to its Cyber Tipline in 2018.

Along with CBIS and Proxy Impact, other co-filers of the proposal include the Maryknoll Sisters, the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, and the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, New Jersey.

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that “mobile devices have fundamentally changed the way offenders can abuse children,” and “apps on these devices can be used to target, recruit or groom, and coerce children,” or to “stream video of child sexual abuse” in real-time. INTERPOL notes that only 4,000 unique child sex images were circulating in 1995. Today, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime estimates at least 50,000 new images hitting the web each year.

Day Two Of Dell Technologies World 2019 Brings More Announcements

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 30, 2019 by itnerd

Today is day two of  the Dell Technologies’annual user conference in Las Vegas. And as a follow up from day one, there’s more significant announcements:

  • Dell’s commercial LATITUDE portfolio has been completely reimagined for the evolving workforce. The new line-up are the smallest devices in their class and boast premium materials and express technologies that get workers more productive faster and keep them productive longer. They also include enterprise-class security from biometric sign-on to innovative digital privacy screens.
  • For small businesses, the new VOSTRO 13 5000 is Dell’s thinnest and lightest 13-inch notebook, designed for on-the-go small business professional who requires an attractive device and advanced video conferencing technology. The new VOSTRO 15 7000 is a 15-inch high-performance laptop, featuring Intel Coffee Lake-H processors, robust storage and graphics options and a sleek design. Images and fact sheet available, if you are interested.
  • Those needing workstation-class performance and reliability at an attainable cost, the PRECISION 3540 and 3541 WORKSTATIONS is designed and optimized to drive the performance of the leading professional software applications. We also have images and fact sheets available to share if you are interested.

Also, in case you missed it, yesterday we announced DELL TECHOLOGIES UNIFIED WORKSPACE (press release) modernizing PC deployment and management from the cloud via VMware Workspace ONE. Through an integration with Microsoft, users will benefit from Microsoft 365, Workspace ONE, and Dell Provisioning and Deployment Services seamlessly enabling world-class, modern IT deployment and end-user productivity. New Dell SafeBIOS provides a utility for off-host BIOS verification and integrations with CrowdStrike, Secureworks and VMware Workspace ONE for superior protection as on-host-only approaches are susceptible to local attack.

Rogers Now Supports eSIM On iPhones

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 30, 2019 by itnerd

In the midst of looking for something related to an inquiry that one of my clients had, I tripped over this posting on the Rogers Community Forums which led me to this related post. In short, it now appears that Rogers has finally got support for eSIMs. But there is a catch. A forum member asked this question:

Rogers1

Here’s the answer that this person got:

Rogers 2

Judging from the reaction on the Rogers Community Forums, the reaction thus far is positive. Which is a good thing if you are Rogers. This seems to be iPhone only at the moment. Specifically the XS, XS Max, or the XR. Hopefully this expands to other eSIM capable devices soon. It also appears to only be available at Rogers flagship stores at present. Hopefully this broadens out. Regardless, this is good news for Rogers customers.

Vodafone Found Hidden Backdoors in Huawei Equipment… And The US Won’t Play Nice With Those Who Use Huawei Gear

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 30, 2019 by itnerd

From the “this won’t help your public image” department comes this Bloomberg story that Vodafone which is one of Europe’s largest telcos found vulnerabilities going back years with equipment supplied by Shenzhen-based Huawei for the telco’s Italian business:

While Vodafone says the issues were resolved, the revelation may further damage the reputation of a major symbol of China’s global technology prowess. Europe’s biggest phone company identified hidden backdoors in the software that could have given Huawei unauthorized access to the carrier’s fixed-line network in Italy, a system that provides internet service to millions of homes and businesses, according to Vodafone’s security briefing documents from 2009 and 2011 seen by Bloomberg, as well as people involved in the situation.

Okay. So this is from a while ago. I will give you that. But it is instructive as it shows that there is some evidence that at least some of the accusations that the US and others have made about Huawei have some merit.

Speaking of the US, the folks in Washington does not see any distinction between core and non-core parts of 5G networks and will reassess sharing information with any allies which use equipment made Huawei, a U.S. cybersecurity official said on Monday:

“It is the United States’ position that putting Huawei or any other untrustworthy vendor in any part of the 5G telecommunications network is a risk,” said Robert Strayer, deputy assistant secretary for cyber, international communications and information policy at the State Department. “If other countries insert and allow untrusted vendors to build out and become the vendors for their 5G networks we will have to reassess the ability for us to share information and be connected with them in the ways that we are today,” he said.

Clearly this is meant to pressure countries into not using Huawei gear. I guess this is being served up because of reports that the UK his given Huawei the go-ahead to supply equipment for the UK 5G data network as long as it’s in “non-core” parts such as antennas. It will be interesting to see if that decision gets reversed now that this edict is out. And now that the discovery of backdoors is more than just theory.

UPDATE: Vodafone is now denying the report… The plot thickens.

Review: Patriot 32GB Supersonic Boost XT Series USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Posted in Products with tags on April 30, 2019 by itnerd

Here’s an interesting USB drive that I came across recently. According to Patriot, the company who makes the drive in question, it’s designed to survive anything and keep your data safe. And it’s called the Patriot 32GB Supersonic Boost XT Series USB 3.0 Flash Drive:

IMG_0754

This is a USB drive that has a rubberized housing which provides a durable and rugged exterior that safeguards the drives from the elements. It is protected from any shock and physical damage as well as water resistant offering protection from various elements. Here’s a closer look at the cap that comes with the drive: 

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My only gripe about the cap is that if you lose this, you lose the ability for this drive to survive anything. Having said that, it feels solid enough when you have it on the drive that I don’t think that it will slide off on its own.

I’ve dropped this, submerged it in water for five minutes, thrown this against walls, and even stepped on it. And it’s survived. Clearly Patriot has that part nailed. But there’s more to a drive like this than how rugged it is. Speed is a factor. I ran some tests and came up with the following results:

  • Sequential write speeds between 40-60MB/s
  • Sequential read speeds of 15-215MB/s
  • Random write speeds of 0.8-20MB/s
  • Random read speeds of 4.56-85MB/s.

These are some of the fastest speeds that I have seen in a USB drive. Clearly Patriot has that part nailed as well.

Gripes? Well, this isn’t really a gripe. It’s more of a question. Besides what I mentioned about the cap, there is a hook that you can use to put this on your keychain. It was solid enough to hold the weight of my keys. But I do wonder if it will survive a year in my pocket and all the sorts of things that a pocket can do? If anything happens on that front, I will update this review.

The best part about the Patriot 32GB Supersonic Boost XT Series USB 3.0 Flash Drive is that it is $12.99 CDN on Amazon. It also comes in a 64GB variant for $18.99 and a 16GB variant for $11.99. It’s worth a look if you need a USB drive that can survive anything.

 

FamClub: An App That Promotes & Rewards Family Togetherness

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 29, 2019 by itnerd

The world is incredibly fast paced.  Technology, work, meetings, kids appointments, a million commitments.  It’s endless. Spending time with family seems to have totally disappeared.

Enter FamClub, www.myfamclub.com a new interactive app that promotes and rewards family togetherness.  It is available on Android and IOS devices for the whole family.

Unlike traditional calendars and scheduling programs, FamClub monitors your whole family’s goal progress in real time and is designed to support participation from every family member!  Families can even leave one another notes and tie goals to a monetary amount to manage allowances. 

Every month, families set goals for each other and update their progress within the app.  At the end of the month, if they’ve signed up for a premium membership, they will automatically receive a monthly reward box with prizes for each member of the family. Each box is unique, and each month brings a new theme like outdoor play, health and fitness, family kitchen time and more. 

FamClub was conceived by South Florida resident, and father of two, Jason Bailey.  As CEO of several successful companies with a very full schedule, Bailey knew how important family time is and wanted to help those as busy as himself make time to be together.

FamClub is the only family subscription box for more than one person arriving monthly with items for each member of the family, kids, parents and something for all.  It reimagines family productivity, has custom goal tracking technology and provides a great way to bring families together to spend quality time with one another.