Archive for September 4, 2019

Facebook Fails At User Security Again…. Reinforces The Need To #DeleteFacebook

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 4, 2019 by itnerd

Facebook has failed again to protect its users data. This time over 400 million user records have leaked out from a server that wasn’t protected with a password. And each record that was leaked contained a user’s Facebook ID and the phone number linked to their account.


TechCrunch has the details:

TechCrunch verified a number of records in the database by matching a known Facebook user’s phone number against their listed Facebook ID. We also checked other records by matching phone numbers against Facebook’s own password reset feature, which can be used to partially reveal a user’s phone number linked to their account.

That’s not good at all. Clearly Facebook doesn’t have or doesn’t care to have the wherewithal to protect user data. But according to the company, there’s nothing to see here. Here’s how the company spun this latest security gong show:

This dataset is old and appears to have information obtained before we made changes last year to remove people’s ability to find others using their phone numbers,” the spokesperson said. “The dataset has been taken down and we have seen no evidence that Facebook accounts were compromised.”

Yeah. Right. Sure. Like I believe anything that Facebook has to say. They’ve proven to be completely untrustworthy. and quite honestly they need to be exterminated from the face of the Earth. Take it from me. It’s time to #DeleteFacebook. Do it now. You’ll be better off for it.

Canadian Millennials Want Smart Technology To Free Them Of Outdoor Chores: Husqvarna

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 4, 2019 by itnerd

To better understand the adoption of smart home technology, Husqvarna Canada released a survey to learn Canadians’ attitudes towards using smart technology to get rid of chores. The survey found that 55 per cent of Canadians plan to integrate smart home technology into their daily routines to reduce chores and improve their lives. Outdoor chores are not favoured by Canadians with 39 per cent wishing they could never mow the lawn again, and 59 per cent who would like to skip weed removal entirely.

Most Canadians agree that smart home technology will continue to play an important role in our lives (78 per cent), which is especially relevant with Millennials (71 per cent). While this is no surprise for this tech-forward generation, Generation X and Baby Boomers, the two generations who could really use smart technology to aid with various health and safety issues they often face, are less likely to tap into smart home technology to eliminate chores and improve their lives (56 per cent and 46 per cent respectively).

For those looking for a solution, Using a robotic mower with smart technology, like the Husqvarna Automower, eliminates lawn maintenance chores like mowing and removing weeds. This gives Canadians more time to enjoy their backyard and less time spent on lawn maintenance. According to the survey, at least 64 per cent of Canadians are already spending up to 2 hours per week on their lawn maintenance routine.

Key findings from the Smart Tech Adoption survey include:

  • 46 per cent of Canadians currently use some form of smart technology
  • 52 per cent currently don’t use home technology, by 26 per cent would like to start
  • 75 per cent of Canadians often spend time in their own backyard
  • 59 per cent of younger Canadians spending 3+ hours per week maintaining their lawn interested in smart technology for their lawn maintenance chores
  • The majority of Canadians say having the perfect lawn is important to them (64 per cent).
  • 47 per cent of Canadians are willing to spend up to $1,000 on smart technology for their lawn

OnX Canada Levels Up With Cisco SD-WAN Addition

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 4, 2019 by itnerd

OnX Canada, a leading cloud and application solution provider that serves businesses, healthcare organizations, and government agencies across Canada, is pleased to offer Cisco SD-WAN as a Service.

SD-WAN is a core part of the OnX Communications Practice and its mission to deliver clients futureproof business solutions not constrained by borders.

Cisco SD-WAN is a powerful solution for enterprises looking for a predictable user experience, simplicity, and security of enterprise assets while optimizing connectivity to multi-cloud or SaaS applications. The solution helps provide a seamless multi-cloud architecture, all with a hugely simplified operational experience and rich analytics.

OnX, and its parent company CBTS, leverage SD-WAN technology to support more than 600 customers and 4,000 networks that stretch over eight countries. They also carry more than 560 Cisco certifications, and maintain all of Cisco’s premier partner designations:

  • Cisco Gold Partner
  • Master Collaboration
  • Master Data Center and Hybrid Cloud
  • Cloud and Managed Services Master
  • Master Security Partner

In addition, they are the first Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Provider Master partner to hold designations for five strategic Cisco Powered services. The designations follow a rigorous third-party audit to ensure that well-defined, enterprise-class standards are achieved when designing, delivering, implementing, and supporting the following strategic Cisco Powered services to clients:

  • Cloud Managed SD-WAN
  • Webex Service Provider
  • Cloud Calling
  • Cloud Managed Access
  • Cloud Managed Security

OnX Canada is a leading data center infrastructure and application provider that serves businesses, healthcare organizations, and government agencies across Canada. From unified communications to cloud services and beyond, OnX combines deep technical expertise with a full suite of flexible technology solutions that drive business outcomes, improve operational efficiency, mitigate risk, and reduce costs for its clients. For more information, please visit

ASUS Announces The CG32UQ Console-Gaming Monitor

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 4, 2019 by itnerd

ASUS today announced CG32UQ, a 31.5-inch 4K (3840 x 2160) console-gaming monitor that pairs perfectly with Xbox One™ X, PS4™ Pro and Nintendo Switch™. The first ASUS display designed especially for console gamers, it features high dynamic range (HDR) technology with a 95% DCI-P3 professional colour gamut and DisplayHDR™ 600 certification, delivering exceptional contrast and colour performance that makes games look their best. AMD Radeon™ FreeSync™ ensures super-smooth gaming visuals and GameFast Input technology minimizes input lag and provides much faster motion delivery from consoles and other devices connected to the monitor through HDMI.


ASUS CG32UQ provides a new standard for console gaming with console-friendly features, including a remote control for adjusting brightness, changing the input and controlling other functions from a distance, and a base with a built-in USB hub for easier controller charging. Additionally, Halo Sync provides ambient lighting that matches on-screen colours for a stunning effect that enhances gaming immersion.

Bring console games to life

ASUS CG32UQ delivers superior picture quality with 4K resolution, HDR10 support and VESA DisplayHDR™ 600 certification. It features 10-bit colour and covers 95% of the cinema-grade DCI-P3 gamut, which has a much wider range of colours than sRGB. Zone-based dimming enables a vast dynamic range with deep blacks and bright whites that push up to 600 cd/m² of localized luminance.

While competing TVs typically take 27–50 milliseconds to catch up with game-controller input, CG32UQ with GameFast Input technology cuts the delay to just 13 milliseconds. Reducing the latency between input and result can make players feel more connected to the game and even provide a competitive advantage over opponents with slower screens.

AMD Radeon FreeSync technology matches the refresh rate of the monitor with the frame rate of compatible graphics cards and consoles, eliminating visual tearing that cuts across the screen. It also minimizes stuttering when performance drops below the maximum refresh rate, a frequent occurrence when gaming at 4K on all but the most powerful desktops and Xbox One X.

More Immersive with Halo Sync

With 66 addressable RGB LEDs embedded into the back of the monitor frame, Halo Sync lighting projects a colourful ambiance across on the wall behind CG32UQ. When playing a game, watching a movie, or even using the computer for everyday tasks, Halo Sync matches the LED colours with what’s happening along the borders of the screen for a synchronized glow that extends immersion into the user’s room for their own private light show.

Console-friendly features

With ASUS Audio Wizard, ASUS CG32UQ provides four custom game-audio profile settings that let users enjoy the best audio performance for a variety of game genres, including first-person shooters (FPS), racing and combat titles. It also includes a dedicated mode for watching movies.

ASUS CG32UQ also functions as a peripheral and charging hub with two USB 3.0 ports on its base. The ports are reserved for charging, so users can keep their gamepads charged and ready or plug in their phone if it’s running low on battery.

To give users the same easy control while sitting across the room on the couch, CG32UQ comes with a convenient remote control that lets users adjust the brightness, change inputs, and perform other on-screen display functions quickly and easily. It also comes with an innovative dynamic graphic on-screen display (OSD) provides an intuitive overview of all key settings. And, with animations triggered by adjusting settings, dialing in the right look and feel of the monitor feels almost like playing a game.


The ASUS CG32UQ monitor will be available in Canada in Q4. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.


LinkedIn Unveils Canada’s Top Startups Of 2019

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 4, 2019 by itnerd

Today LinkedIn released the Canadian edition of the 2019 Top Startups list, featuring the most sought-after startups where professionals want to work and stay. The top five startups in Canada are Element AI, Wealthsimple, Clearbanc, Cannabis Compliance Inc. and League.

This year’s list is comprised of companies operating in a diverse range of industries such as financial services, healthcare and cannabis, to name a few. In the race for talent, an ever-evolving fundraising landscape and industry rife with unprecedented innovation, these startups are cutting through the noise.

The three trends for this year’s list are democratizing access to health practitioners for patients, honing-in on niche audiences to cater to their financial needs and servicing cannabis users in Canada.

These are the top five most sought-after startups on LinkedIn right now by professionals:

  1. Element AI builds artificial intelligence-powered software for enterprises, including its first publicly available product that helps automate document reading and processing for businesses.
  2. Wealthsimple aims to make investing simple and accessible to everyone by combining human financial advisors along with a low-fee, diverse portfolio that minimizes risks.
  3. Clearbanc, which aims to invest $1 billion across 2,000 companies this year, provides anywhere from $10,000 to $10 million to help young companies expand their marketing efforts and, ultimately, revenue.
  4. Cannabis Compliance Inc. is one of Canada’s first consulting firms to advise on regulatory issues around cannabis. The startup not only helps companies gain government approvals and stay compliant, they also offer training for professionals who want to break into the industry.
  5. League has built a one-stop app for employees to access their lifestyle and health care benefits, streamlining everything from insurance details to unique company perks in an easy-to-use hub.

The complete Canadian Top Startups list can be found in the following blog post.


LinkedIn measures startups based on four pillars: employment growth, engagement, job interest and attraction of top talent. Employment growth is measured as percentage headcount increase over one year, which must be a minimum of 15%. Engagement looks at non-employee views and follows of the company’s LinkedIn page, as well as how many non-employees are viewing employees at that startup. Job interest counts rate at which people are viewing and applying to jobs at the company, including both paid and unpaid postings. Attraction of top talent measures how many employees the startup has recruited away from LinkedIn Top Companies, as a percentage of the startup’s total workforce. Data is normalized across all eligible startups. The methodology time frame is July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019.

*For fairness, we have removed LinkedIn and Microsoft from consideration for the LinkedIn Top Startups list as we do with all other lists in the editorial franchise.


Martello Partner 4Sight Communications Improves Remote Fix Rate With Mitel Performance Analytics

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 4, 2019 by itnerd

Martello Technologies Group Inc., announced today that 4Sight Communications, a Mitel Gold Solutions Partner in the United Kingdom says it has improved its remote fix rate to 98% after standardizing on Mitel Performance Analytics (MPA). MPA is the software developed by Martello and offered by Mitel to its partners and customers, which monitors the performance of Mitel unified communications (UC) systems and provides troubleshooting and reporting to address problems, from a single dashboard.

After being the first channel partner to introduce the Martello solution in the UK market, 4Sight was recognized in 2018 as Mitel’s Top Services Partner of the Year (International Markets), due to the proactive approach it has taken to delivering support and services to its customers using MPA.  4Sight has a keen understanding of the importance of reliable UC performance.

4Sight is a leading provider of business telecommunications and managed services for mid to large public sector organisations and private businesses across the UK and internationally. These range across all verticals such as professional services, 5-star boutique hotels, International transport hubs and local government to name a few, all of whom trust 4Sight to proactively monitor their telecommunication estates.

4Sight began working with Martello in 2013, recognizing the importance of proactively monitoring and managing Mitel communications platforms, and today more than 800 devices are under management by Mitel Performance Analytics, which is available as part of Mitel’s Premium Software Assurance subscription. 4Sight monitors a range of device types using MPA, including MiVoice Business, MiCollab, MiContact Center, as well as servers, switches and routers.

Learn more about Mitel Performance Analytics

Read the Case Study: Firmdale Hotels

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. Martello is focused on global growth both organically and through acquisitions. The Company recently announced key partnerships and sales wins with Paessler PRTG, Onepoint and Suria Business Solutions.

Dell EMC Powers AI to Understand Disease Outbreaks at Simon Fraser University

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 4, 2019 by itnerd

In April 2017, Simon Fraser University launched Canada’s most powerful academic supercomputer, the HPC system, named “Cedar,” after British Columbia’s official tree. The system, which debuted at number 86 on the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, enables thousands of researchers across Canada to run a wide variety of scientific workloads, including those related to AI, machine learning, deep learning, personalized medicine and green energy technology.

SFU bioinformatics and genomics professor Fiona Brinkman, who leads the university’s Integrated Rapid Infectious Disease Analysis Project, uses the sophisticated and secure compute power of an HPC system from Dell EMC to understand disease outbreaks.

Here’s a video that shows more on HPC:

With the ability to churn through billions of data points in real time, HPC systems provide the power for machine learning and deep learning algorithms to identify trends and patterns in data that might otherwise be all but impossible to detect.

You can learn more about SFU’s work powered by Dell in this case study as well as hear from those who operate Simon Fraser University’s super computer, Cedar, here.

New ServiceNow Release Brings Mobile Apps To The Enterprise

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 4, 2019 by itnerd

ServiceNow today announces the launch of native mobile experiences for everyday work across the enterprise with the general availability of its Now Platform New York release (‑platform/latest‑release.html). For the first time, consumer‑like mobile experiences that can make almost any everyday work task easy to do have arrived, making our work lives as simple, easy and mobile‑friendly as our real lives.

Powered by the Now Platform, the leading platform in managing complex enterprise workflows across functions, departments and systems, ServiceNow’s new Now Mobile app makes diverse everyday work tasks simple and easy. Whether it’s fixing an IT issue, ordering a computer, finding a conference room, getting help from human resources, approving purchase orders, travel requests and legal documents, or finding quick answers to questions, the Now Mobile app makes it easy to take care of business on the go.

The New York release also features a new ServiceNow Onboarding app, which makes starting a new job a cinch by combining all of the multi‑departmental tasks involved in getting up and running as a new employee into a single, intuitive mobile experience. Together, Now Mobile and Mobile Onboarding set a new mobile standard for the enterprise, moving beyond single solution apps into workflow mobile experiences that better match how people really want to get work done.

ServiceNow is committed to harnessing the power of its Now Platform in managing complex enterprise workflows with the native mobile capabilities coded into the platform to become the global leader in delivering native mobile‑friendly workflow experiences to enterprise customers at scale. Combined with ServiceNow’s release earlier this year of ServiceNow Agent, the new Now Mobile and Mobile Onboarding apps offer enterprises an unmatched suite of native mobile apps that offer leading features, capabilities and user experiences.

Reducing complexity for employees with Now Mobile and Virtual Agent

The latest platform release from ServiceNow comes at a time when enterprises are looking deliver better efficiencies and experiences. The intelligent, intuitive Now Platform helps streamline IT, employee and customer workflows, connecting separate systems and processes on a single platform.

Now Mobile and Mobile Onboarding are just two of more than 650 innovations in the New York release.

The New York release also includes innovations in natural language understanding (NLU), which is integrated into ServiceNow Virtual Agent. With NLU, employees can interact with Virtual Agent by using simple human terms to quickly find answers, order items or get help for common problems — all without having to contact the service desk.

These innovations in the Now Platform, coupled with the machine learning capability of ServiceNow Predictive Intelligence, help organizations provide a comprehensive service delivery experience that makes it easy for employees to get the help they need.

PayPal, a global technology platform and digital payments leader with over 20,000 employees, adopted the Now Platform as it began its journey of providing its engineers with the technology backbone needed to connect operations, create a centralized hub for resources and give access to self‑service tools. “Like any enterprise company, PayPal’s engineers use various applications to help manage its infrastructure. With ServiceNow, we now have a single platform that lets us connect digital workflows and have a common engagement layer across our systems of record and apps to provide our engineers with a more efficient and productive work experience. Using the Now Platform, our engineers are freed up to work on more strategic work and focus on our goal of providing customers and employees with an experience that’s as easy, simple and intuitive as the PayPal mobile experience,” said Dan Torunian, PayPal’s Vice President of Employee Technology & Experiences and Data Centers.


ServiceNow’s Now Platform New York release is generally available today. The ServiceNow Now Mobile and ServiceNow Onboarding apps are available to download on the Apple iOS store and Google Play store. For more information, visit‑platform/latest‑release.html.

More Trouble For Google As US States Team Up To Investigate It Over Possible Antitrust Violations

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 4, 2019 by itnerd

It seems that more than half the states in the USA are about to team up to launch an antitrust investigation. At least that’s what the Washington Post is reporting:

More than half of the nation’s state attorneys general are readying an investigation into Google for potential antitrust violations, scheduled to be announced next week, marking a major escalation in U.S. regulators’ efforts to probe Silicon Valley’s largest companies.

A smaller group of these state officials, representing the broader coalition, is expected to unveil the investigation at a Monday news conference in Washington, according to three people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss a law enforcement proceeding on the record, cautioning the plans could change.

It is unclear whether some or all of the attorneys general also plan to open or announce additional probes into other tech giants, including Amazon and Facebook, which have faced similar U.S. antitrust scrutiny. The states’ effort is expected to be bipartisan and could include more than 30 attorneys general, one of the people said.

This is big trouble for Google as if they are deemed to be doing bad things on the antitrust front, things will get ugly. Just ask Microsoft when they ran into issues on the antitrust front. You have bet that there’s a bunch of execs at Google who are sweating buckets right now as this is far from a trivial development for the company.

Google Gets A Slap On The Wrist For Collecting Children’s Data On YouTube And Making Money By Doing So

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 4, 2019 by itnerd

US regulators need to learn that the only way to alter the behavior of billion dollar companies is to serve up fines that hurt. A case in point is this report from the New York Times that has Google cutting a $170 million cheque to the FTC because it was caught collecting children’s data on YouTube and making money off that data:

Google on Wednesday agreed to pay a record $170 million fine and to make changes to protect children’s privacy on YouTube, as regulators said the video site had knowingly and illegally harvested personal information from youngsters and used that data to profit by targeting them with ads.

The measures were part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and New York’s attorney general. They said YouTube had violated a federal children’s privacy law known as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA.

The fact is $170 million is a rounding error to a company that had revenues of almost $40 billion dollars last quarter. Meaning that this will do nothing to send a message that such behavior is unacceptable.  If the FTC and others really want to send that message, I would say fines have to be in the same range as the GDPR which really hurt companies who run afoul of it.