Archive for May, 2019

Martello Showcases Network Performance Solution for Mobile IoT Applications with BlackBerry QNX

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 31, 2019 by itnerd

Martello Technologies Group Inc. announced today to mark National Autonomous Vehicle Day, the demonstration of a network performance management solution for mobile applications such as autonomous vehicles. The proof of concept was developed in collaboration with BlackBerry QNX as part of the BlackBerry QNX/L-Spark Accelerator, and was showcased at the recently launched L5 Track in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 28th. Find out more in the video explaining Martello’s mobile network connectivity technology innovation.

Martello’s mobile network performance proof of concept demonstrates that it is possible to maintain reliable cellular network connectivity for bandwidth-intensive real-time services such as an autonomous moving vehicle. This offers potential for solutions such as the mobile office, autonomous trains and drones, disaster relief and emergency response, where reliable communication is critical to success and safety. Martello presented this solution recently to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police on their visit to the L5 Track in Ottawa.

Working with the BlackBerry QNX technical team over six months, Martello was able to provide connectivity to the infotainment system inside the BlackBerry QNX vehicle.

Martello’s solutions have been widely acclaimed in the industry. In September 2018, Martello received a Frost & Sullivan Leadership Award for NPM (Network Performance Management) and ranked as Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company, at No. 28 on the Growth 500 list of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies. The Company has expanded its solution portfolio with several acquisitions, and recently provided a business update on its market and channel expansion, product innovation, acquisitions and capital market activities.


Sonos Celebrates Father’s Day with a Promo

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 31, 2019 by itnerd

Father’s Day is right around the corner! Sonos is here to help you find just the right gift with a special promotion in Canada that will help you stop the dad jokes (unless he gets some new ones from Alexa, so no promises) and start the music this Father’s Day!

Starting today until June 16 you can save on a variety of Sonos speakers:

  • $30 off Sonos One (regularly $249)
  • $60 off Sonos Beam (regularly $499)
  • $150 off Sonos Sub and Playbase (regularly $899)
  • $50 off Play:5 (regularly $649)

Now all you have to do is pick which speaker is best! Here’s a guide to help steer you in the right direction:

Rock n’ Roll Dad needs a Sonos One ($219 CAD). It’s the ideal smart speaker for the music-lover, offering brilliant sound, multi room listening, and the power of voice control with Alexa and soon-to-be Google Assistant. You can get your content, your way – streaming music, podcasts and audiobooks.

The Movie Buff Dad needs a Sonos Beam ($439 CAD). Introduce Dad to the best soundbar for your TV. With features like voice control, Airplay 2, Trueplay sound-tuning, speech enhancement (for crystal clear dialogue) and night mode, Sonos Beam is sure to take family movie night to the next level. A gift for dad that the whole family can enjoy!

Visit today for more info and all the deals that are on offer.


ÜV Rheinland Certifies Dell Notebooks with Eyesafe Display for Low Blue Light Requirements

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

TÜV Rheinland, the internationally recognized leader in third-party certification body, formally announced that select models from Dell’s new lines of premium and gaming notebooks with Eyesafe® display have met its low blue light requirements. In a ceremony at Computex Taipei it was announced that Dell premium and gaming models with Eyesafe® display have met TÜV Rheinland’s low blue light certification requirements including Alienware Area 51m, Alienware m17, G7 and XPS 13 2-in-1.

This certification marks an important step in the evolution of the display industry’s recognition of the health risks associated with chronic screen time and over exposure to harmful blue light. This certification indicates that optimal technical balance between display performance and user health has been achieved.

Compared to other solutions for blue light which impact the color gamut with software, Eyesafe® Display redesigns light at the hardware level while maintaining color performance.

Dell Technologies unveiled new products from its Alienware, G-Series and XPS lines that have been integrated with Eyesafe® display earlier this week at Computex, enabling them to meet TÜV low blue light requirements – TÜV Rheinland’s Method 2 is a hardware low-blue light requirement that is seldom met in the PC industry, requiring that the ratio of high-energy visible blue light (415-455nm) to total blue light (400-500nm) is below 50%.

Eyesafe® intelligently manages in-display high-energy visible blue light while maintaining color performance. The Eyesafe® display was developed with a world-class team of eye doctors, engineers and scientists with decades of experience in electronics, display materials, and light management. Eyesafe® display was designed to meet the most exacting industry requirements for safety and color performance.

As daily screen time from phones, tablets, computers and virtual reality is increasing, so is consumption of high-energy visible blue light. With extended use of devices — many in increasingly close proximity to eyes — the negative heath consequences are becoming evident. A growing body of research connects the impacts of blue light exposure to natural sleep cycles and suggests an array of potential related health issues.

About Healthe:

Healthe is a worldwide supplier of Eyesafe® technology, Eyesafe® display, and Eyesafe® standards, a suite of pioneering products and services that are shaping the consumer electronics industry’s understanding of device usage, screen time, and the impacts of blue light-emitting devices. Eyesafe® technology and the associated intellectual property portfolio was developed by a world-class team of eye doctors, engineers and scientists with decades of experience in electronics, display materials, and light management. ZAGG, the world’s largest screen protection manufacturer, has been offering Eyesafe® within its accessory product lines since 2018. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Healthe works to develop technologies and standards in conjunction with leaders in healthcare. To learn more about Healthe and Eyesafe® technology, please visit

About TÜV Rheinland

TÜV Rheinland is a global leader in independent inspection services, founded nearly 150 years ago.  The group maintains a worldwide presence of more than 20,000 people in 500 service locations worldwide.  Its independent experts stand for quality and safety for people, technology, and the environment in nearly all aspects of life. TÜV Rheinland inspects technical equipment, products, and services, oversees projects, and helps to shape processes and information security for companies. Its experts train people in a wide range of careers and industries. Since 2006, TÜV Rheinland has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact to promote sustainability and combat corruption.

Urban Armor Gear Announces Case For The OnePlus 7 Pro

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

Urban Armor Gear creators of rugged, lightweight mobile device cases, announced their renowned Plasma Series for the all new OnePlus 7 Pro. Created to withstand shocks and impact, UAG’s MIL-SPEC case protects the OnePlus 7 Pro from the inevitable drops we all face.

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The Plasma Series offers full compatibility with the OnePlus 7 Pro’s in-display optical fingerprint scanner, front pop-up camera, and NFC Payment systems. A ruggedized grip will minimize any slips, but if an accident strikes– the case features scratch resistant skid pads and a feather-light construction with an impact resistant core.

Plasma Series – OnePlus 7 Pro Colors: Ice and Ash

Price: $39.95

•      Feather-light composite construction

•      Armor shell and impact resistant soft core

•      Non-slip ruggedized grip

•      Easy access to touchscreen and ports

•      Scratch resistant skid pads and screen surround

•      Meets military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6)

ASUS Announces Exclusive ZenFone 6 Edition 30

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

ASUS today announced ZenFone 6 Edition 30, a limited-edition version of the powerful and innovative ZenFone 6 smartphone built to celebrate the 30th anniversary of ASUS. Featuring upgraded performance, an exclusive design and the unique Flip Camera, it is a truly luxurious edition of the extraordinary ZenFone 6.


ZenFone 6 Edition 30 is based on ZenFone 6 — the first notchless ZenFone with the innovative Flip Camera — and has an exclusive design featuring the iconic Zen-inspired concentric-circle patterning on the rear, finished in understated Matte Black with an embossed Edition 30 logo.ZenFone 6 Edition 30 has been specially upgraded with 12GB RAM and 512GB of internal storage for an even faster and smoother experience, offering owners the finest integration of art and technology. It’s powered by the flagship Qualcomm®Snapdragon855 Mobile Platform and incorporates a monster 5000mAh battery that provides up to two days of nonstop use.

The 6.4-inch ZenFone 6 Edition 30 features a notchless NanoEdge all-screen display covered with Corning®Gorilla®Glass 6, along with the groundbreaking Flip Camera with a 48MP Sony®IMX586 main camera and a 13MP 125° ultrawide secondary camera. This camera delivers photos of unprecedented quality, with identical quality whether it’s used as a rear or front camera. The Flip Camera in ZenFone 6 Edition 30 is identical to the camera used in the standard ZenFone 6, which achieved a remarkable DxOMark Selfie benchmark score of 98, the highest ever recorded.

This exclusive model is limited to just 3000 units and comes with exclusive VIP benefits including a 30-month warranty. ZenFone 6 Edition 30 truly defies ordinary, combining extreme performance and flexible, high-quality photography in a compact design with instantly recognizable styling.

Exclusive colour and design

Echoing the ASUS spirit, the back of the phone features the iconic Zen-inspired concentric-circle patterning in understated Matte Black, covered with ergonomic 3D-curved Corning Gorilla Glass. A distinctive embossed Edition 30 logo adorns the rear of the phone to identify this exclusive edition. As well as unique and exquisite styling, ZenFone 6 Edition 30 is presented in premium-quality packaging, and includes an exclusive VIP card and 30-month warranty.

Extreme performance, upgraded storage, long-lasting battery

ZenFone 6 Edition 30 is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon855 Mobile Platform, a 7nm 2.8GHz octa‑core processor. This flagship processor provides ZenFone 6 with ultrafast and supersmooth performance, enabling it to run even the most demanding apps and games with ease. Snapdragon 855 delivers up to a 45% uplift in CPU performance and up to 20% faster graphic rendering compared to the previous generation. A monster high‑capacity 5000mAh battery provides up to two days of battery life.

As befits a special edition, ZenFone 6 Edition 30 hasbeen specially upgraded with 12GB RAM and 512GB of internal storage for a faster and smoother experience.

Unique Flip Camera

ZenFone 6 Edition 30 comes with the groundbreaking Flip Camera, a motorized flip-up dual-camera module that serves as both front and rear cameras. This innovative solution means that there is no need for a camera notch to mar the display, and also means that Flip Camera offers the same high-resolution photos and shooting capabilities whether it’s used as a front camera or a rear one.

As an indication of its unrivaled selfie capabilities, the Flip Camera in ZenFone 6 — which is identical to the Flip Camera in ZenFone 6 Edition 30 — achieved a total score of 98 in the DxOMark Selfie benchmark. This is currently the highest overall score recorded, with a selfie photo score of 101 and a selfie video score of 93. The DxOMark test report commented that selfie photos taken with Flip Camera deliver fine details with efficient noise reduction, pleasant colour and skin tone rendering, accurate autofocus, and accurate target exposure in photo. Selfie videos were noted to show great detail, good control of the noise on the face and in the background, both in indoor and outdoor conditions, with great colours and efficient stabilization.

The main camera of ZenFone 6 Edition 30 boasts the latest Sony IMX586 48MP sensor with an f/1.79 wide aperture lens and Quad Bayer technology for incredible day and night photography. The 2×1 OCL PDAF autofocus system provides the best focus and anti‑shake performance, and the 13MP 125° ultrawide secondary camera lets users fit more friends and scenery in the shot, with real-time distortion correction.

The Flip Camera module is made of liquid metal (amorphous alloy), a highly advanced material that’s 20% lighter than stainless steel, but with four times the strength. For added protection, a G‑sensor in the module detects the rate of acceleration, allowing Flip Camera to automatically return the module to a safe position if the phone is dropped.

A custom precision stepper motor smoothly rotates the camera module by up to a full 180° between front and rear camera positions. In the unique Free Angle mode, Flip Camera can be positioned at any angle, giving users the freedom to frame their subjects from high or low angles without having to contort themselves into awkward or uncomfortable shooting positions. There are several other unique shooting modes available, including Auto Panorama for assisted panoramic shots, and Motion Tracking for automatic subject-tracking when recording videos. The new HDR+ Enhanced and Super Night modes provide the best day and night photography experience.


Boundless viewing experience

For a truly immersive near-borderless viewing experience, ZenFone 6 Edition 30 is equipped with a 6.4‑inch all‑screen NanoEdge slim-bezel display that has an incredible 92% screen‑to‑body ratio. The notchless design — made possible by the unique Flip Camera — makes any visual task more enjoyable, whether it’s browsing the web, messaging friends or watching movies. A cinema-grade 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut ensures rich, lifelike colours and up to 600nits brightness makes it easy to read what’s onscreen, even when outdoors. The display is covered by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 6 for unmatched scratch resistance and drop protection. Gorilla Glass 6 is tested to withstand multiple drops from a meter in height, ensuring ZenFone 6 Edition 30 can easily survive accidental knocks and drops.


Availability for the ASUS ZenFone 6 Edition 30 (ZS630KL) will be announced at a later date.Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.


Huawei Kicked Out Of IEEE…. Sort Of

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

Huawei has been banned from the IEEE or The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Huawei employees can no longer submit papers to it or participate in peer-reviewing. And here’s what they said about that: 

IEEE complies with US government regulations which restrict the ability of the listed Huawei companies and their employees to participate in certain activities that are not generally open to the public. This includes certain aspects of the publication peer review and editorial process,

But it’s not a total ban:

However, all IEEE members, including those employed by Huawei, can continue to participate in individual membership, corporate membership and voting rights; subscribe to and access IEEE’s digital library and other publication products; submit technical papers for publication; participate in and present at IEEE-sponsored meetings and conferences, and may sponsor and accept an IEEE award,

So this may not affect the troubled Chinese tech company all that much. Maybe. We’ll have to see how much of an effect this does, or does not have.

Apple Sued Over Alleged iTunes Data Harvesting

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

Apple has been hit with a class-action lawsuit in the US accusing them of playing fast and loose with the privacy of its customers. The lawsuit [Warning: PDF], filed this month in a northern California federal district court, claims that Apple gathers data from iTunes such as purchase history and personal information, and sells it to third parties. The lawsuit goes on to claim that the data Apple sells is then combined by the marketers with information purchased from other sources to create detailed profiles on individuals that allow for extremely targeted advertising. Finally, the lawsuit alleges the Music APIs Apple includes in its developer kit can allow third-party devs to harvest similarly detailed logs of user activity for their own use, further violating the privacy of iTunes customers.

Now if any of that is true, that makes Apple’s privacy claims very hollow. Which is likely why Apple hasn’t commented on this as far as I can tell. But they really should as earlier this week, it was found that iOS apps were phoning home so to speak and transmitting your personal information. Both of these dropped out of the sky only a week before their yearly developer lovefest known as the World Wide Developer Conference which doesn’t make for good optics. Not to mention the fact that Apple has clearly bet the farm on privacy. Which means they need to make sure that they demonstrate 100% of the time that what they say on the privacy front is actually true. Thus the stakes are going to be high when it comes to this lawsuit.

NordVPN Is Introducing NordLocker – Tool For Securing Files Stored On Computer Or In Cloud

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

NordVPN is creating a new cybersecurity tool NordLocker. NordLocker will secure files stored on a user’s computer or in cloud with end-to-end encryption.

NordLocker will be a file encryption app for macOS and Windows. It will encrypt files stored on a computer or in cloud. NordLocker is created using the two most secure encryption algorithms known today – Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256) and 4096-bit RSA. Additionally, the new tool will have NordVPN’s own zero-knowledge encryption process to ensure ultimate security. Users will be able not only to encrypt their files, but to share them securely by managing access permissions.

At the moment, NordLocker is going through internal stress-tests. It is expected that the first beta version will be released this summer. Signup for early access is now available on NordLocker’s official website:


ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces Glacier Blue Laptop Colour

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

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the availability of a new Glacier Blue colour from Q3 of this year, reimagining the look and feel of gaming laptops for a widening audience of gamers, streamers, and creative professionals. ROG helped define the dark aesthetic that has become synonymous with PC gaming hardware. That Original Black styling has strong appeal for hardcore gamers and blends well in professional environments, but as the gaming audience grows and changes, the colour palette must evolve as well.

Three of the latest ROG laptops are being refreshed with a new colour option named Glacier Blue, inspired by this season’s focus on Intelligent Cooling. The frosty shade looks and feels lighter, bringing new energy to gaming laptops. Glacier Blue will be available on Zephyrus S GX502, Zephyrus M GU502, and Strix G G531 and G731 later this year. Some Glacier Blue gaming laptop models will be on display at Computex 2019 from May 28 to June 1 in Taipei, Taiwan.

Changing the playing field

Coming up with a new laptop colour is always daunting. Each shade is scrutinized in multiple environments and times of day to accurately judge its appeal. ROG designers gravitated toward lighter tones early in the process, wanting something radically different from the usual approach. Black dominated the landscape when gaming laptops were bigger and less suited for serious work like content creation, but they have since become more portable and useful for a wider range of tasks, audiences, and locales.

The ROG preoccupation with cooling can be seen throughout the new lineup, from the innovative Active Aerodynamic System in Zephyrus S laptops to the heavily ventilated 3D Flow Zone in the new Strix series. As such, ROG designers narrowed in on shades of blue that evoked a cooler feeling at first sight.

Lighter blue tones presented several design challenges; paler palettes lack the stark contrast that black provides for customizable Aura Sync RGB lighting, for example. Gaming laptops are also formidable machines whose power should be reflected by their appearance. To retain a sense of boldness and hint at the hardware within, sleepier shades were bypassed in favor of high-energy blues inspired by science fiction.

Glacier Blue unifies these concepts with a wintery look at first glance that becomes surprisingly saturated upon closer inspection. This specific shade has a silvery sheen in the light, making it appear paler and more polished from a distance. The brighter appearance helps mask fingerprints and blemishes while also blending in with more mainstream and professional laptops. Bolder blue tones jump out when up close or in darker environments, providing a shot of colour along with more contrast for RGB lighting. 

Creating cool

After finalizing the shade, ROG designers had to solve the puzzle of making it look uniform across the entire laptop. Some parts use different materials and surface treatments that can make colours appear different. Even painting requires more than mixing the right ingredients; minor shifts in texture or temperature can cause paints to look different once they’re dry. It takes careful consideration to ensure that Glacier Blue looks its best on each machine.

The contrast between Original Black and Glacier Blue comes into strategically sharp relief in the Strix G G531 and G731 laptops. A two-tone design is used in this implementation, putting a lighter colour on top and black on the bottom to create a virtual shadow effect that makes the Strix G look slimmer and more streamlined. The display is also framed in black to minimize the appearance of bezels and draw more attention to the screen.

While some parts of the chassis are simple enough to be covered by two coats of Glacier Blue paint, the Strix G’s sculpted surface is made from a special blend of resilient blue plastic. This bright blue base is further coloured and coated with an IMR film to fully realize pigment’s potential.

In the ultraslim Zephyrus S GX502 and Zephyrus M GU502 laptops, Glacier Blue is used all over. Already incredibly thin from body to bezel, they don’t reap additional benefits from pairing with black. Instead, the wintery blue underscores the lightness of the overall design.

Blue skies ahead

The Glacier Blue laptops offer the same hardcore performance and useful features as their blacked-out counterparts, this time dressed in a brighter colour to help bring the Republic of Gamers to a wider audience. There are cool configurations available whether gamers are looking for an everyday gaming machine like the Strix G, or portable powerhouses with professional aspirations like the Zephyrus M and Zephyrus S.


Availability in Canada to be announced in Q3. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces Aura Creator

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

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced Aura Creator, RGB-effect-editing software that enables users to create and customize brand-new lighting effects. Its streamlined user interface was designed to be easy to learn for beginners, while offering a multi-layered and expansive level of control for more experienced creators and modders.

Aura Creator is the latest evolution of Aura RGB, realizing a long-held ROG goal of giving PC enthusiasts greater power to personalize and perfect their gaming experience. With this new software, users have the freedom to build lighting effects tailored precisely to their tastes, from harmonizing simple colours across their battlestation to constructing multi-layered RGB masterpieces from scratch.

Seeing RGB in a new light

RGB lighting started as a simple suite of cosmetic customizations, enabling players to change colours and effects for select PC components. ROG pushed for more, incorporating reactive functionality like linking lighting to music and CPU temperatures. Aura Sync expanded those options across compatible internal components and external peripherals from ASUS and partners, allowing for effect synchronization across entire systems.

Further development led to Aura Ready, which unlocked system lighting for developers for use in their software. The Aura SDK has spurred on additional collaboration with major publishers, enhancing immersion in games like Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4, Anthem®, Pathfinder®: Kingmaker™, and Tropico® 6 by changing system lighting based on specific in-game events.

Now, Aura Creator allows for deep control of lighting from the ground-up, giving modders, gamers, and other RGB enthusiasts a clean slate to customize, combine, and conceive of new visual effects.

Create an RGB masterpiece

The Aura Creator user interface takes inspiration from popular video-editing software designs. The primary workspace displays a visualization of the user’s gaming setup, located above a timeline where effects are layered and modified.

Aura Creator automatically detects compatible devices and displays them within the workspace. For custom PC and desktop builds, Aura components are arranged in 2D form for easier editing. With laptop setups, users can drag and drop to rearrange devices and match their spatial position with their real-world positioning. From there, creators can simply click and drag to select the part of their rig they’d like to customize. Set the selected area as a layer, and it appears in the effect timeline below.

Each layer offers an impressive degree of customization. Multiple effects can be added to a single layer, and the duration of each one can be lengthened or shortened along the timeline. Stacking multiple layers on top of each other adds depth and complexity, allowing users to place reactive effects over static effects, or any number of combinations therein.

Preloaded effects such as breathing and wave can be modified further within contextual menus. Wave effects, for example, can be adjusted by direction, gradient, speed, and spin. Each effect has its own customization settings, which radically increases the possibilities of what can be created.

A wide selection of keyboard shortcuts, familiar from popular photo- and video-editing programs, speeds up work within Aura Creator. The key combos allow users to quickly duplicate layers, add effects, and more. Users can create lighting displays up to 6 minutes long, which simplifies the UI and ensures minimal load on the CPU. Once the unique effect is finished, it can be saved as a profile within the editor.

A bright future

Laptops supported initially will include the ROG Strix Scar III G531/G731, ROG Strix Hero III G531/G731, ROG Zephyrus S GX502, and ROG Zephyrus M GU502. Other PC components and peripherals compatible with the new software will include the ROG Strix Flare and ROG Strix Scope keyboards, the ROG Gladius II Origin and ROG Gladius II Wireless mice, the ROG Delta headset, and the ROG Balteus Qi mousepad.

Support for more devices is expected as soon as Q3, and will include the ROG Gladius II and ROG Gladius II Origin PNK LTD gaming mice, the ROG Strix Flare PNK LTD and ROG Strix Flare Call of Duty keyboards, as well as ROG and ROG Strix X570 series motherboards. Support for XG248Q and XG438Q gaming displays, as well as ASUS RTX 2060, 2070, and 2080 graphics cards, is expected to follow. More devices will be added to the Aura Creator arsenal over time.

Whether users want to create simple, clean lighting or reactive RGB visions, Aura Creator offers them unprecedented freedom to realize their RGB vision.


Aura Creator is scheduled to be available for download online during June 2019.