Archive for May 2, 2019

The IT Nerd Mothers Day Gift Guide For 2019

Posted in Commentary on May 2, 2019 by itnerd

It’s that time of year again. People are turning their attention to gifts for Mother’s Day as they try to find the perfect gift for Mom. Let me share some of the top gifting recommendations for consideration for Mother’s Day.

Roku Streaming Stick + – $89.99

Powerful and portable, the Roku Streaming Stick gives the gift of entertainment on-the-go all in a powerful stick. With thousands of channels there will be something to watch for every mom whether it’s Movies & TV shows, Reality TV or Lifestyle programming. Let Mom choose her favourite program with the included point-anywhere remote, or just use the Roku app on her smartphone to control the action. Check out the review here.

Roku Express – $44.99

The new Roku Express is five times more powerful than its predecessor, and offers easy HD streaming at an affordable price. A great Mother’s Day gift, the Express comes with a remote control that makes finding something to watch a snap. With over 150,000 movies and TV shows available (including tons of free content), you’ll be sure to find something Mom likes. Check out the review here.

TCL 4K Ultra HD Smart LED Television, 65″ – $900

TCL’s 6-Series combines stunning 4K HDR picture performance and the award-winning Roku TV smart platform in a bold, brushed metal design for a superior TV experience. Dolby Vision delivers greater brightness and contrast, as well as a fuller palette of rich colors. TCL’s Contrast Control Zone technology individually optimizes the image across up to 120 zones to yield striking contrast between light and dark areas. The 6-Series models’ iPQ Engine™ provides precise colour replication while HDR Pro Gamma significantly improves HDR performance in any setting.

Safe by HUB6– $299 

Moms are usually concerned about the safety of the family and protecting the home while being away is something they worry about. Today though, home security systems charge ridiculous monthly fees for services that provide questionable protection. Safe by Hub6 uses the security system hardware you already have and frees you from long-term contracts and monthly fees. It redirects any alerts triggered by your system to your phone, friend, or HUB6’s Professional Monitoring when you need a back-up.

MSI PS42 -($1,280-$1,592) Slim. Elegant. Prestige.

For the first time, MSi is offering laptops aimed at non-gamers. The PS42 is light weighing only 1.19 kg and ultra-thin at 15.9 mm. Powered by an 8th Generation Intel® CoreTM i7 processor the PS 42 is fast and competitively priced with many of the performance features you’d expect from MSi. Crafted with hair-brushed aluminum and combined with white keyboard illumination, the PS42 is made portable and durable wherever you go! Check out the review here.

P65 Creator-($2,140-$3,500) We are creators!!

With the popularity of creative software, more and more creators need a laptop that suits them. The MSi P65 can serve the needs of 3D Animators, Video Editors and 2D Designers. Sporting the Nvidia GeForce® the P65 squeezes incredible performance into the world’s fastest, quietest, and thinnest laptops. MSi’s exclusive True Colour technology offers near perfect colour presentation and powered by an 8th generation Intel®, the P65 can keep up with any content creator.

Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System-($280-$350)

Eliminate weak Wi-Fi signal areas once and for all! The Deco M4 three-pack delivers Wi-Fi to an area of up to 4,000 square feet by forming a unified network. Devices automatically switch between the Deco pods as you move through your home for the fastest possible speeds. Lag-free connections for up to 100 devices and parental controls all controlled by the easy-to-use Deco app.

 

 

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Verizon Shareholders Show Strong Support For Increased Efforts To Protect Children From Sexual Exploitation Online

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 2, 2019 by itnerd

The first-ever shareholder vote on child sexual exploitation online received a 34-percent vote at Verizon’s annual meeting today, estimated at representing more than $50 billion in stock.

Speaking at today’s annual meeting, the proposal’s lead filer Tracey Rembert, director of Catholic Responsible Investments at CBIS, had this to say about today’s vote:

“The innovations and technologies our company is rightly proud of, have also had the unintended consequence of making it easier to commit sexual crimes against children. Email accounts, digital advertising exchanges, wireless data, cloud storage, online user content — they all help facilitate child sexexploitation. And Verizon depends upon all of them for revenues.

“Child sex abuse material is a societal problem, but it is almost entirely manifesting and growing in the ICT sector. We believe that Verizon needs to demonstrate to investors that it is properly assessing the risk to children and itself from this growing threat.”

Michael Passoff, CEO of Proxy Impact and resolution co-filer, had this to say about today’s vote:

“As technology speeds up, our kid’s safety slows down. The digital playground is not always a safe place for kids. This is an exceptional vote for a first-year resolution, it’s clear that shareholders want Verizon to be a leader in making the world safer for our children.”

The resolution was filed by CBIS, Proxy Impact, the Maryknoll Sisters, the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, and the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, New Jersey.

Understanding Shareholder Votes:

Shareholder resolutions are non-binding and consequently do not “win” or “lose” regardless of the vote. They do have to meet U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s vote thresholds to be eligible to be resubmitted the next year. These thresholds (based on total For vs. Against votes) are 3% support the first year, 6% the second year and 10% the third and following years. Shareholder resolutions were designed to be a formal communication channel with management and are best assessed as how they influence management. In this sense, even modest votes can have a significant impact based on their ability to educate management and other investors to the potential risk and opportunities related to the issue being raised.

What’s On The Roku Channel in Canada In May

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 2, 2019 by itnerd

Seeking free movies and TV shows to watch on your Roku device? Look no further than The Roku Channel, your hub for free entertainment. No subscriptions, fees or logins required!

FEATURED TITLES AVAILABLE IN MAY:

Grace of Monaco
Set in 1962, six years after her celebrated Wedding of the Century, “Grace of Monaco” is an intimate snapshot of a year in the life of the twentieth century’s most iconic Princess – Grace Kelly – as she strived to reconcile her past and her present, a yearning for a return to the big screen with her newfound role as a mother of two, monarch of a European principality and wife to Prince Ranier III.

Harry and Meghan: A Windsor Wedding
Join us as we celebrate the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Featuring the complete first ever public interview of the couple together on 27th November 2017, it also features testimonials and interviews from the people who know them the best. Discover what it will take for Meghan Markle to join the British royal family.

The Jane Austen Book Club
As five women and one enigmatic man meet to discuss the works of Jane Austen, they find their love lives playing out in a 21st century version of her novels. Sylvia, is shocked when her husband Daniel, leaves her after 20 plus years and three children. Jocelyn, her unmarried best friend, distracts herself from her unacknowledged loneliness by breeding dogs. Prudie is a young French teacher, in possession of a worthy husband yet distracted by persistent fantasies about sex with another man. The many times married Bernadette develops a yearning for one more chance at happiness. Beautiful, risk-taking Allegra, Sylvia and Daniel’s lesbian daughter, has quit talking to her lover. And Grigg, a young science fiction fan and computer whiz, seems horribly both out of place and obliviously at ease as the only man to be invited into the book circle.

Before Midnight
Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) first met in their twenties in Before Sunrise; reunited in their thirties in Before Sunset; and, now, in director Richard Linklater’s amazing Before Midnight, they face the past, present and future; family, romance and love. Now on a writer’s retreat in Greece, the couple looks for a night of passion, but instead their idyllic night turns into a test of their relationship and a discussion of what the future holds for them.

This Beautiful Fantastic
A contemporary fairy tale revolving around the unlikely of friendship between a reclusive young woman with dreams of being a children’s book author and a cantankerous widower, set against the backdrop of a beautiful garden in the heart of London. Bella Brown (Jessica Brown Findlay) is a beautifully quirky young woman who dreams of writing and illustrating a successful children’s book. When she is forced by her landlord to deal with her neglected garden or face eviction, she meets her nemesis, match and mentor in Alfie Stephenson (Tom Wilkinson), a grumpy, loveless, rich old man who lives next door and happens to be an amazing horticulturalist.

I Saw The Light
I Saw The Light is the story of the legendary country western singer Hank Williams (Tom Hiddleston), who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his meteoric rise to fame and its ultimately tragic effect on his health and personal life. Also starring Elizabeth Olsen, Cherry Jones, Bradley Whitford, Maddie Hasson and Wrenn Schmidt.

Emperor
A gripping tale of love and honor forged between fierce enemies of war, inspired by true events and starring Matthew Fox and Academy Award®-winner Tommy Lee Jones as General Douglas MacArthur. Immediately after Emperor Hirohito’s World War II surrender, General MacArthur (Jones) suddenly finds himself the de facto ruler of a foreign nation. He challenges his expert on Japanese culture – General Fellers (Fox) – to provide evidence in 10 short days to decide if the Japanese Emperor, worshipped as a god by his people but accused of war crimes, should be punished or saved. The fate of a nation awaits…

Whiplash
A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential.

Searching for Sugar Man
Searching for Sugar Man tells the incredible true story of Rodriguez, the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was. After being discovered in a Detroit bar, Rodriguez’s sound struck 2 renowned producers and they signed a recording deal. But when the album bombed, the singer disappeared into obscurity. A bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and over the next two decades, he became a phenomenon. The film follows the story of two South African fans who set out to find out what really happened to their hero.

21 Jump Street – The cases of an undercover police unit composed of young looking officers specializing in youth crime.

The Commish – A no non-sense police commissioner revered by his officers and community for his unorthodox style and compassionate nature.

Ultimate Wheels – Classic cars get a fresh spin in this reality TV series. The show’s car-loving gurus take some of history’s most iconic vehicles and give them a custom spin.

Click here to add The Roku Channel to your Roku player or Roku TV.

Happy Streaming!

Consumers Welcome The Use Of Biometrics: Visa

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 2, 2019 by itnerd

On World Password Day, it’s timely to acknowledge the computer password is more than 50 years old. Despite some advancements since then, traditional authentication methods continue to frustrate even the most patient consumers when the info is forgotten, stolen or has to be typed onto tiny keyboards.

Advancements in authentication and anti-fraud tech are making legacy cardholder verification methods – such as signature and PINs – optional for most merchants and issuers (in October 2018, signatures became optional for EMV® Chip-enabled merchants on the Visa payment network due to the security capabilities of the chip).

As the ecosystem evolves to be more secure, Visa envisions a future where we can reduce or eliminate the use of legacy verification methods by leveraging AI and biometrics. These authentication methods fit the modern payment system – a system shifting in transaction volume from in-person to digital transactions.

A survey commissioned by Visa in 2017 showed consumers welcome the use of biometrics as faster, easier, and more secure alternatives to passwords. Eighty six percent of consumers were interested in using biometrics to verify identity or to make payments.. It’s been roughly 6 years since fingerprint sensors appeared on smartphones, and in this short amount of time, consumers have grown increasingly comfortable with the approach. The need for quick and easy authentication will only increase with the growth of digital products and services.

The survey is still very timely, thus making it worth a read.

Sonos Survey Illustrates How Listening Will Make You a Better (and Better Looking) Human

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 2, 2019 by itnerd

Today, Sonos released the findings of a worldwide survey and US-based field study that demonstrate the positive impact audio has on our health, well-being, creativity, and more.

A global survey of 12,000 people across 12 countries found listening, particularly to music, is the key to reducing stress, improving productivity, feeling more connected to one another, and being healthier. Globally, people who listen to music three or more hours a day say it is more essential than coffee, sex, or TV.

  • Listening makes us feel more connected to one another. 76% percent of people feel an instant connection when they know someone likes the same music and 70% say good taste in music makes someone more attractive. Listening can intensify our intimate moments, 59% percent of people say the right music can make sex much better and 56% percent felt the right music can make them more adventurous in the bedroom. 27% percent of listeners have turned up their music so others wouldn’t hear them having sex and 22% percent pick music based on the type of sex they want to have.
  • Listening elevates our emotions and reduces our stress. 54% percent of people say music has made them either laugh or cry unexpectedly. Listening can reach us on deep emotional levels, 68% say listening to music improves their mood and 74% percent feel less stressed when listening to a favorite song.
  • Listening makes us more productive and creative. Music helped people get more done than drinking coffee and put listeners in a positive mood at work. Survey respondents say productivity increased by 50% percent or more and half say they wouldn’t be as successful as they’ve been without music.
  • Listening helps us realize our health goals, 75% percent of people who exercise regularly say music has made a bigger impact on their fitness than any supplement. Meanwhile, 81% say listening to great music inspires them to achieve greatness in their fitness and 77% say if they’re thinking about skipping a workout, music can help get them started.

To learn more about the influence listening and sound quality has on fitness specifically, Sonos conducted a three-day field study at PROJECT By Equinox in Manhattan. The study ー designed by lecturer in sport and exercise physiology Dr. Tom Brownlee ー included 35 participants and measured the impact of sound quality on performance during High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. The experiment recorded three listening environments: no sound, low-quality sound, and high-quality sound.

  • In high-quality sound conditions, participants increased their output by over 2% more than low-quality (the same performance increase as the now infamous LZR Speedo) and 4% over no sound
  • The average heart rate for the session was at its greatest during the high-quality sound intervals: almost 3.5% higher than during low-quality sound
  • In high-quality sound, participants were able to push themselves harder without feeling like they were working harder
  • When compared to low-quality sound, participants felt a 34% increase in feelings of connection to workout partners during the high-quality sound session

Additional Insights (US Specific)
While what we listen to connects and empowers us universally, the impact of listening manifests itself differently across countries and reflects the cultural values of each region around the world. In America, music plays a vital role in our romantic connections with others compared to any other country. More than half of Americans prefer a compliment on their taste in music over their choice of fashion. And if considering a tattoo, there’s a statistical reason to think less permanently and discover a new band instead. 72% of Americans say taste in music says more about a person than their tattoos (28%), and 79% agree that they feel an instant connection when they know someone likes the same music. It doesn’t hurt that 63% of Americans agree that the right music can make sex much better, yet only 27% have a playlist specifically for sex.

Listening to music also has the ability to make Americans work harder (not just during exercise) while feeling less stressed. Unsurprisingly, only 5% of people say they are free of stress in life but the easiest way to combat stress, is to turn it up. 80% of respondents say they feel less stressed when listening to a favorite song, while 39% feel no stress at all. And when stress is no longer an issue but productivity is, 73% of respondents say listening to music helps them get more done than drinking coffee.

As a culture motivated by getting more done, Sonos has discovered that by simply listening ー and listening better ー our society can be more productive, get more out of the work we’re doing, feel less stressed, and perhaps have a little more fun along the way.

To learn more about the Brilliant Sound Survey, visit: https://blog.sonos.com/en/ .

About the Brilliant Sound Survey
Between March 15 – April 5, 2019, an online survey captured insights from over 12,000 people in 12 countries around the world. The survey includes a total of 12,010 members of the online population between the ages 21-50 in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, China and Australia. Data within countries is balanced across gender (approximately 50% male and 50% female) and age (approximately) 33% ages 21-30, 33%, ages 31-40, 33% ages 41-50). Countries with higher internet penetration are more representative of their general populations.

About the Brilliant Sound Experiment
This study was conducted over three consecutive days at PROJECT by Equinox, 267 Mulberry St, SoHo, New York. 35 participants (9 male, 26 female, age 33 ± 15 years, weight 65.2 ± 35 kg) were asked to attend one day of testing lasting for 2.5 hours. Participants were split into three groups. All participants had a history of recreational exercise and activity, were active and injury free and provided full written consent to participate. The exercise intervention consisted of a 5-minute warm up followed by three 10-minute High Intensity Interval Training sessions. The aim was to complete as many repetitions as possible within the time limit. The sessions consisted of six repeating exercises. Each session was followed by a 5-minute rest period.

ASUS Celebrates 30 Years With A Contest With Cool Prizes

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 2, 2019 by itnerd

ASUS has announced 30 Years Together, a global campaign to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary with fans worldwide. Over the past three decades, user feedback has inspired ASUS to develop products that raise the bar for innovation and performance. During this anniversary celebration, ASUS is taking the opportunity to express a heartfelt “thank you” to loyal fans for their continued support and is also asking users to share some of their product experiences.

The campaign encourages fans to share a product story and/or to take a fun PC DIY quiz for a chance to win one of many exciting prizes. ASUS will be awarding prizes to 30 winners, including a modded, high-end rig, limited-edition motherboards with Intel® Core™ i9-9980XE processors, ROG Maximus XI Formula motherboards with Intel Core i9-9900K processors, ROG Strix GeForce RTX™ 2080 Ti OC Edition graphics cards, an ROG Swift PG27UQ monitor and more. The campaign runs from April 29–June 10, 2019. Enter now for a chance to win!

EnGenius Now Shipping Their Consumer Wi-Fi Mesh Solution

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 2, 2019 by itnerd

EnGenius Technologies Inc., has announced the long-awaited Wi-Fi mesh network system called MESHdot Kit. The bundle includes an elegant wireless mesh router called ESR530, and MESHdot (EMD11), one of the smallest AC1300 mesh nodes in the world. Both products included in the MESHdot Kit bundle are built on the Qualcomm Mesh Networking platform. The new Wi-Fi mesh network system is easy to set up and is a direct solution for budget-conscious families wanting to enjoy spotless single-network Wi-Fi signal across the entire house and backyard without breaking the bank.

Engenius

It only takes a few minutes to create a robust Wi-Fi network and experience superior home Wi-Fi connectivity. Through the EnMesh app consumers can quickly and easily set-up their MESHdot Kit to provide their whole home with seamless Wi-Fi.  The EnMesh app provides robust parental control features as well as the ability to remotely monitor and manage the homes network and connected devices.

The ESR530 comes with built-in 360° high-performance antenna, and the plug-and-play compact MESHdot gives consumers flexibility to cover spotty Wi-Fi areas making sure the home network covers every corner of the entire house. Designed to please the eye and combined with a power plug, EnGenius MESHdot provides high-speed performance perfect for smooth streaming of 4K Ultra HD videos, online gaming with support for latest generation consoles, and stable connection powered by EnMesh™ wireless link technology.

The ESR530 within the MESHdot Kit allows users to create private cloud networks from their home network. With the EnGenius EnFile app, users can use smart devices to play music and videos, back up photos and transfer other data through an attached USB hard drive on their ESR530 when they are away from home. Using EnFile also allows consumers to manage not only files on a remote USB hard drive but also the ones located on their smartphone. Pictures, music, videos, and documents can easily be managed and organized within the app on any mobile device.

The new MESHdot Kit ($99 MSRP) is now shipping. To learn more about EnGenius’ latest products, visit https://www.engeniustech.com/enmesh-wifi/meshdot-kit-home-wifi-system-promotion/