Archive for August 2, 2019

ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q Is Available Now

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

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced Strix XG438Q, the world’s biggest and fastest 4K UHD FreeSync 2 HDR gaming monitor, offering the perfect balance of smooth visuals and high contrast HDR performance for incredibly immersive gameplay. The new display features a 43-inch 4K UHD panel with an astonishing 120Hz refresh rate, high-dynamic-range (HDR) technology with 90% DCI-P3 professional colour gamut coverage and exceptional contrast for DisplayHDR™ 600 certification, plus support for AMD Radeon™ FreeSync™ 2 HDR technology.

Strix XG438Q also includes GameFast Input technology for responsive, lag-free control that heightens gameplay experiences and gives games a vital edge over their opponents.

Big-screen, no-distraction gaming and entertainment in full 4K HDR glory

The standout feature of Strix XG438Q is its vast 43-inch panel, which delivers big-screen gaming and entertainment experience without sacrificing the high- and variable-refresh-rate technologies usually found only in smaller panels.

Strix XG438Q also has a special anti-glare coating to deliver a consistent viewing experience across the display under all types of indoor lighting conditions, enabling the enjoyment of on-screen content without distraction – making the display perfect for everything from fast-action gaming to kicking back to watch a movie.

Ultra-fluid performance for super-smooth gameplay, and superb colour accuracy

Strix XG438Q is loaded with technology to deliver world-leading gaming experiences and superior visual fidelity on a 43-inch display. The ultrafast 120Hz refresh rate, ensures that even the fastest-paced games played at the highest visual settings remain buttery-smooth and completely lag-free. The display also features Radeon™ FreeSync™ 2 HDR technology to render buttery-smooth visuals with low latency and improved brightness and contrast. In particular, FreeSync 2 stipulates low-latency processing for both standard and HDR content, reducing the input lag typically associated with HDR content. ASUS-exclusive GameFast Input technology further reduces input lag, by providing faster motion delivery so gamers are always up to speed with the action – affording them precious extra milliseconds to respond.

Brilliant brightness, contrast and colour accuracy are also cornerstones of Strix XG438Q. The display supports HDR technology across a range of luminance up to 700cd/m2 to deliver a wider colour range and higher contrast than traditional monitors – so the brightest whites and the darkest blacks bring out details like never before. Strix XG438Q also delivers DCI-P3 90% colour gamut and contrast performance that meets the requirement for DisplayHDR™ 600 certification, making it ideal for professional design endeavors.

Ready for kick-back entertainment, with included remote control and integrated speakers

Strix XG438Q’s expansive 4K UHD panel lends itself to enjoyment of all kinds of entertainment, from gaming to television and movies. The included remote control makes it easy to manage the monitor’s output, enabling at-a-distance control of the on-screen display (OSD) to make quick adjustments to brightness, contrast, input source and other settings. The remote zapper also includes volume-control buttons – perfect for fine-tuning the output of Strix XG438Q’s integrated 10W stereo speakers.


ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q will be available in Canada in Q3. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.


Apple Stops Siri Listening Program While Google Told By Germans To Stop Their Listening Program

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

According to a new report from TechCrunch, Apple is putting a worldwide stop to a Siri audio grading program that made the news recently. Now I’ve written that the program isn’t unusual, and users agreed to that if they use Siri, and they told users about it. But I guess the blowback was too much for Apple to ignore. Thus they took this action and they will let users opt out of the program when it returns….. Whenever that is.

But what’s interesting about this development is that Google has had German regulators halt their version of this program. This suspension will last three months while the Germans have some fun with Google.

So that leaves Amazon being the odd people out when it comes to this topic. You have to wonder if they will proactively do something like Apple has done, or wait for someone to tell them to stop as is the case with Google.


Guest Post: Combating the Silent Evolution of Ransomware

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

By: Myla Pilao, Director for Technology Marketing, Trend Micro

In today’s ever-connected world, data breaches and cyberattacks have become increasingly common.  While ransomware attacks, specifically, may not be making headlines as often they should be, these attacks continue to be a persistent threat in the global cyber landscape indicating evolving approaches and brewing underground activity– known the silent evolution.

Dating back to 2007, when ransomware was just introduced, cybercriminals began with targeting end users. Over the years, however, as their techniques have become more sophisticated, there has been a transition towards highly targeted attacks with the most significantly impacted victims being enterprise and critical infrastructure industries. These include transportation, healthcare, oil and gas, high-tech manufacturing and organizations that demand high digital connectivity.

Beyond leveraging more sophisticated techniques, cybercriminals have developed the confidence to execute deep-surface campaigns. Instead of individual targets, attackers are now aiming at the main controller of network systems, including access to servers, exchange, active directory and so on, to create a bigger and deeper impact. This results in access to commands across the network. Recent examples such as LockerGoga, Ryuk, MegaCortex and Clop, show that as opposed to targeting one or two key areas, cybercriminals are now targeting the entire system. Recent examples have also significantly affected local governments in the United States, highlighting the impact of ransomware on smaller organizations that may lack the resources for proper IT hygiene practices.

As Canada continues to improve its systems and IT hygiene, it is creating a more equipped nation to tackle cyber crime. Although Canada stacks up well compared to other countries globally and is seeing a trend of decreasing ransomware infections, it has a large presence of critical infrastructure and therefore remains susceptible to threats.

In order for businesses to combat the silent evolution of ransomware, below are five best practices:

  • Back up business data and company files regularly.To ensure the most efficient protection, back up files and data following the 3-2-1 rule, that is 3 different copies stored in 3 different places, in 2 different formats, with at least 1 copy stored offsite. In addition, businesses must test and verify these backups to ensure that they are intact and can be restored from in a reasonable amount of time, should they be needed.
  • Update software and operating systems.Operating the latest versions can help prevent cybercriminals from abusing vulnerabilities in older software to spread ransomware.
    • The most noteworthy example is WannaCry, which made headlines in May 2017 after impacting a number of companies across the globe. Although the actual exploits that WannaCry abused were patched in March 2017, its widespread impact showed that many businesses were either unable to apply the patch on time or were using unsupported operating systems (which MS later patched).
  • Implement network segmentation. Protecting the network against ransomware is very important, since infected networks are used to communicate with the cybercriminal’s servers and also used to spread ransomware within the network itself. Network segmentation can improve security by allocating user-specific resources which minimizes the ways that attackers can move within the network.
  • Use multilayered security. Businesses now have workloads that spread across multiple environments ranging from physical servers to hybrid cloud and beyond), so using multilayered security should be a priority for companies that want to “cover all the bases.”
  • Build a culture of security within the workplace. Organizations need to foster security awareness within their workforce. This goes beyond just regulatory compliance and should extend to employee education and remediation strategies.
    • For example, spam and phishing are two of the most common methods used to spread ransomware, making it important for businesses to teach their employees how to spot social engineering techniques.