Archive for September 19, 2019

Dero Now Offers Easy Bike Storage Access via Smartphone

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 19, 2019 by itnerd

Dero is excited to offer easy bicycle storage access via smartphone for its Dero Single Locker™, Dero Double Locker™, Vertical Locker, and Two-Tier Locker. Dero has partnered with Movatic to offer Bluetooth locking capabilities to these bike lockers. Using Android or iOS smartphones, bicyclists can instantly find, rent, unlock, and pay for bike parking.

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Transit agencies, municipalities, universities, and private businesses can easily setup and manage private or public systems using Movatic’s powerful set of admin tools with access via admin, email, or password authorization. This automated system makes it so administrators can focus on offering bike parking facilities to bicyclists rather than the headache of micro-managing them. The software is intuitive and makes it simple to charge and control access.

Programs can also choose to customize in-app branding and upload logos, brand colors, and banner images. Movatic’s admin app and website are designed to easily manage programs and respond to user issues, set pricing, and track the system’s performance. Its seamless payment software lets programs set rates, issue refunds, reconcile transactions, and receive deposits automatically. Coupons and memberships are supported.

 

Martello Showcases IT Operations Analytics Technology Used by City of Ottawa in Economic Mission to the Netherlands

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 19, 2019 by itnerd

Martello Technologies Group Inc. announced today that its IT operations analytics software is helping the City of Ottawa to visualize and manage the performance of its IT infrastructure with simple service-oriented dashboards. The solution will be demonstrated today during a site visit to Martello’s Amsterdam location, as part of an economic mission to the Netherlands led by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

Running an IT infrastructure across hundreds of locations serving close to a million residents can be challenging, and Martello’s software makes IT service delivery more efficient for government organizations like the City of Ottawa. Martello provides a simple, clear overview of the performance of applications like System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), Office 365 and Azure, with service-oriented dashboards. The software also reduces alert noise and helps manage application license inventory.

Martello acquired Amsterdam-based Savision in November 2018, and the Company’s Amsterdam office is now its European sales hub. Year over year, Martello’s European  revenues have increased by 198%, and the Company counts many leading Netherlands businesses as customers, including Onepoint, Leiden University Medical Center and KPMG Netherlands.

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. In June 2019, Martello was recognized for the second consecutive year on the widely respected Branham300 listing of Canada’s top ICT (Information and Communications Technology) companies.

iOS 13 Gets Released…. And If You Upgraded You Could Get Pwned

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 19, 2019 by itnerd

iOS 13 was released today. And before the release I put up a post that said this:

One other thing before I go, Apple has announced that iOS 13.1 will be released two weeks from today. Early reports from beta testers say that it has additional features and significant bug fixes and stability improvements versus what is in iOS 13. Thus you may want to consider not upgrading to iOS 13 and instead wait for iOS 13.1 to hit the streets before you upgrade.

Well, it seems that iOS 13.1 will be out next Tuesday, and here’s why

A flaw in iOS 13, the new iPhone operating system Apple released Thursday, exposes contact details stored in iPhones without requiring a passcode or biometric identification. And Apple (AAPL) has known about the flaw since July, a person who reported the bug to Apple told CNN Business.

A hacker would need physical access to a target’s phone to complete the hack — but once it is in their possession they could bypass Apple’s standard security features like facial I.D. Once they have done so, they can access the phone’s address book and see information for contacts stored on the phone, as well as indications of the most recent contacts with whom the phone’s owner had been communicating.

This flaw, which is pretty bad, is on top of the fact that iOS 13 is as expected, buggy. And Apple didn’t fix this so the guy who found this went public.

#EpicFail

But the good news is that iOS 13.1 which is far more stable and doesn’t have this flaw is being released on Tuesday. But Apple should have fixed it in iOS 13 given that they had two months to do it. You have to wonder if Apple really takes software quality and security seriously because it seems that they don’t and haven’t taken it seriously for a while.

How You Can Prepare For The Release Of watchOS 6 Which Is Coming Today

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 19, 2019 by itnerd

So besides iOS 13 hitting the streets today, Apple is releasing watchOS 6 to the public today. It is a major release that includes new watch faces, more health apps, and a calculator which is something that has been missing in watchOS. You can get a full list of features here.

watchOS 6 will run on the following devices…. But there’s a catch which I will get to in a moment:

  • Apple Watch Series 1
  • Apple Watch Series 2
  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 5

Here’s the catch: watchOS 6 is being released today for the Series 3 and 4 Apple Watches. For Series 2 or 1 Apple Watch owners, they’ll have to wait until “later this fall” to get watchOS 6 as per the tiny text at the bottom of this Apple press release. Original Apple Watch owners need not apply and the Apple Watch Series 5 will come with watchOS 6 out of the box. 

So what do you need to do to prepare for watchOS 6? Well, there’s not a whole lot that you need to do. For example when it comes to backing up which is what I normally suggest that you do before doing an operating system upgrade, this is largely taken care of for you according to this Apple Support article which states that every time your iPhone is backed up to iCloud or iTunes, the Apple Watch data gets backed up too. So since I recommended in my previous article that you back up your iPhone before iOS 13, and you absolutely need iOS 13 to be installed before watchOS 6 shows up in the Apple Watch app, then you are covered for the most part. The only other thing I would suggest is that you should ensure that the apps on the iOS 13 iDevice are up to date as that will update the associated Apple Watch app. That way you can ensure that everything works fine post upgrade. Finally, as for the upgrade itself, it is important that you closely follow these directions from Apple as updating an Apple Watch is currently not a trivial process which if done wrong has the potential of bricking your Apple Watch. The good news is that as part of watchOS 6, the ability to update independently of your iPhone is going to be available which should reduce the risk level significantly going forward.

How You Can Prepare For The Release Of iOS 13 Which Is Coming Today

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 19, 2019 by itnerd

At 1PM EST, Apple will release iOS 13. As long as you have a supported device, it will bring you new features and improvements to your iDevice experience including the long awaited dark mode. If you want to see a full feature set, click here.

Speaking of supported devices, here’s what iOS 13 will run on

  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPod touch (7th generation)

If your phone isn’t on this list, then it’s not supported. And the following phones will come with iOS 13 out of the box:

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max

If you are wondering why there are no iPads on the list, that’s because Apple has spun off the iPads into a separate OS called iPadOS which is due out in a couple of weeks.

Now, since this is a major upgrade there is always a chance, no matter how remote that something can go sideways. To make sure that you’re not caught out by something unexpected, here’s what you can do:

1. Update your Apps: Make sure that all your apps are up to date before upgrading by opening the App Store app and seeing if any updates are required. This is important because it is possible that the changes that Apple has made on areas like privacy and performance could break an app that you rely on. Thus I find that it is always a good idea to check for updates and install them before a new version of iOS hits the streets.

2. Dump any uneeded photos, videos or apps: iOS updates tend to need a fair amount of free space to allow for a successful installation. Thus if you have anything less than 5GB of free space, consider deleting unused apps or photos/videos. In terms of the photos and videos you want to keep, you can move them to the cloud or a computer so that they’re safely stored without taking up space on your iPhone. I personally use iCloud myself, but Google Photos is another option.

3. Backup your iDevice: If you value the data on your iDevice, backing it up is a must. You have two options for backing up your iDevice: iCloud or iTunes. Follow this guide to backing up your iPhone using iCloud or iTunes.

At this point you should be good to go to upgrade to iOS 13. Key word being SHOULD. Upgrading an operating system isn’t a trivial process. But if you take these steps beforehand, you should reduce the risk of any issues that you might encounter.

One other thing before I go, Apple has announced that iOS 13.1 will be released two weeks from today. Early reports from beta testers say that it has additional features and significant bug fixes and stability improvements versus what is in iOS 13. Thus you may want to consider not upgrading to iOS 13 and instead wait for iOS 13.1 to hit the streets before you upgrade.

Roku Announces New Streaming Player Line-up for Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 19, 2019 by itnerd

Roku, Inc. today unveiled its 2019 streaming player lineup for Canada, consisting of three models. Roku® launched a redesigned Roku Express, offering easy HD streaming in a sleek new form factor. Brand new to the Canadian line-up is the Roku Premiere which delivers 4K streaming with HDR, starting from CAD 49.99. The existing Roku Streaming Stick+ will remain in the 2019 line-up, offering powerful portability, exceptional wireless performance and vibrant 4K HDR picture quality. Roku also announced that it is adding free live linear channels to The Roku Channel in Canada, with the first linear channels expected to arrive before the end of the month.

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Roku Express

The Roku Express is 10% smaller than its predecessor, is sleek and designed to blend in and disappear when connected to a TV. It can be fully powered by most TVs to reduce clutter around the TV. With the Roku Express consumers can enjoy easy and smooth HD streaming. In the box a simple remote control is included with popular streaming channel shortcut buttons, a High Speed HDMI® cable and a power cord.

Roku Premiere Box With Product

Roku Premiere

The Roku Premiere is a simple way to start streaming in HD, 4K Ultra HD or 4K HDR. It features a powerful quad-core processor and comes in a low-profile form factor. In the box a Premium High Speed HDMI® cable is included plus remote control with popular streaming channel shortcut buttons and a power cord.

All Roku streaming devices in Canada provide access to thousands of free and paid streaming services, including: Netflix, Prime Video, The Roku Channel, DAZN, Global TV, CBS All Access, Acorn TV, hayu, Britbox, VMedia and many more. Additionally, Roku players and Roku TVs can be used with the free Roku mobile app for iOS and Android, to enjoy private listening, voice search and more.

 

New on The Roku Channel: Live Linear

The Roku Channel launched in Canada in 2018 and has quickly gained popularity. No subscriptions, fees or logins are required to access hundreds of free movies, TV shows and documentaries, with a selection of box office hits and TV shows featured every month.

Next to on-demand entertainment, Roku users in Canada will soon be able to access 14 live linear channel on The Roku Channel, from various publishers:

  • Law & Crime ‒ Watch the courtroom drama unfold live and get in depth legal analysis on the day’s biggest crime and legal stories.
  • Now This Now This is the most watched mobile news brand in the world, providing the latest in video news, investigative reports, interviews and original series.
  • AllTime  AllTime aims to bring you the most informative, fascinating and engaging top 10 videos.
  • TMZ Get your daily dose of pop culture from the TMZ channel featuring programs such as TMZ Sports, The Hollywood Beatdown, TMZ TV, TMZ Chatter and more.
  • AFV America’s Funniest Home Videos (AFV) shines the spotlight on hilarious videos to bring you America’s ‘real-life’ funny moments captured on video.
  • Fail Army ‒ FailArmy is the world’s number one source for epic fail videos and hilarious compilations.
  • Pet Collective ‒ The Pet Collective is home to the top trending clips, most entertaining memes, and funniest animal videos.
  • People Are Awesome ‒ People Are Awesome is the number one destination for amazing, original videos and compilations of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
  • Adventure Sports Network  Adventure Sports Network (ASN) is the worldwide leader in adventure sports, outdoor, lifestyle and travel.
  • Food52  Come on by the Food52 test kitchen. Our award-winning editors and kitchen experts—like Genius Recipes‘s Kristen Miglore and Dear Test Kitchen‘s Josh Cohen -are here to help with dinner tonight, weekend meal prep, cookie emergencies, you name it.
  • Tastemade  Planning your next adventure abroad or at home? Tastemade shows you how it’s done. Whether expanding your palate or your itinerary, Tastemade presents even more of the things you love. Hundreds of hours of original shows, streaming straight to you.
  • FilmRise Free Movies  Catch film stars like Owen Wilson, Emma Stone, Morgan Freeman and more in our massive selection of free blockbusters.
  • FilmRise Crime  The best Crime TV to satisfy the sleuths among us.
  • FilmRise Classic TV  Catch primetime smash hits like 21 Jump Street and Hunter all day long.

Availability and Pricing

The 2019 Roku streaming player line-up in Canada will be available beginning early October from Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, Staples, The Source, London Drugs and other fine retailers:

  • Roku Express: MSRP CAD 39.99
  • Roku Premiere: MSRP CAD 49.99
  • Roku Streaming Stick+: MSRP CAD 69.99

 

Review: 2019 Mazda CX-5D Signature – Part 4

Posted in Products with tags on September 19, 2019 by itnerd

If you’re looking for technology in the Mazda CX-5D Signature, there’s a lot of it. Some of it which is really different. But there are two things missing. Before I get to that, let’s start with the safety technology:

  • Blind Spot Monitoring: This system keeps an eye out for cars in your blind spots so that you don’t hit them when changing lanes. It works well as the area of detection was large enough to keep me safe, but not so large that it created false positives.
  • Lane Departure Warning With Lane Keep Assist: If you cross over into another lane, this system will buzz you on either the right or the left side. The buzz really gets your attention I must say. You can also set it to vibrate the steering wheel.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert: If you back out of a parking space in a busy shopping mall and you have limited visibility to your left and right, you’ll love this system as you will be warned of any cars that cross into your path.
  • Adaptive Front Lighting System and High Beam Control: I wrote about this previously and I have to admit that on some of the back roads that I drive at night, this feature comes in handy. I was always able to see what was in front of me clearly. One thing that I really appreciated was the fact that the LED headlights were very bright.
  • Radar Based Cruise Control: I really liked this feature as you can set the speed you want and the distance that you want to have between yourself and the car in front of you, and you can pretty much let it slow down and speed up depending on the conditions. It’s very handy on long highway drives.
  • Smart City Brake Support: Let’s say that you you do not react in time to a car that panic stops in front of you. This Mazda is capable of coming to a stop on it’s own, or slowing down to make the impact less severe. You can get more details on this system here.
  • Rear Backup Camera: The camera is a fisheye camera that has an impressive degree of clarity. You can see anything and everything that is behind you when you’re backing up. One thing to note is that the camera is exposed which means dirt could make using it an issue.
  • You get anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and electronic brake force distribution. Plus you get hill launch assist which keeps you from rolling backwards when you’re on a hill.
  • Finally, you get dual front air bags, dual front side air bags and dual side air curtains.

The next piece of technology that stood out was this:

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The Mazda Active Driving Display is a heads up display that places everything from speed and blind spot monitoring info, to navigation and warning for the lane monitoring, and how close you are to the car in front of you. On top of that, the car is capable of reading speed limit and stop signs so that it can display them on this heads up display in color. It works very well with the only thing that I should mention is that polarized driving sunglasses will filter the display out. Thus choose your sunglasses carefully.

The best piece of technology that is in the Mazda CX-5 Signature is the inclusion of Mazda Connect. The combination of the 8″ touchscreen and the HMI (Human Machine Interface) Commander Switch gives the driver a easy to learn, easy to use infotainment system. I wrote about it in detail here. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included. And it’s the best implementation of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto I have seen. I wrote an in depth report on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in Mazda vehicles here. But I highly suggest that you include trying out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto when you test drive a Mazda vehicle. The only thing that I will point out is that this is an earlier implementation of Mazda Connect versus the new and even easier to use version that comes in the new Mazda3. But I am pretty sure you will not complain given how easy to use it is.

One other thing that I should mention about Mazda Connect is the enhancements to SiriusXM which include the following:

  • More room for song/artist/genre metadata.
  • Album art display.
  • Channel logos on Now Playing and Station List screens.
  • New SiriusXM features: TuneStart, TuneScan, and TuneMix.

On top of that, SiriusXM Traffic Plus is now onboard and it includes the following features:

  • Live Traffic: View traffic flow and incident information directly on the Mazda Navigation map. This feature is available in 20 different Canadian communities. It ties into the on board navigation system to allow it to better route you.
  • Weather: View Forecasts, Radar Maps, and Severe Weather Alerts.
  • Fuel Prices: Find the lowest fuel prices or the closest fuel stations and see the available fuel types.
  • Parking Information: Find parking locations, pricing, and hours of operation.
  • Sports: Follow your favorite teams sports with play-by-play details and game/event schedules.

SiriusXM Traffic Plus is free for five years. This is separate from the three month trial SiriusXM audio subscription.

A 10 speaker Bose audio system is on board as well that sounds insanely great regardless of what music I threw at it. The track “No Mans Land” from the Wonder Woman movie soundtrack sounded incredible. As if you right there amongst the orchestra when it was being recorded.

So what’s missing? Besides the newest version of Mazda Connect, the Mazda6 Signature and CX-9 Signature have a 360 degree camera and front and rear sensors that keep you from hitting objects. They aren’t present on the CX-5D Signature. If Mazda included all of that in the CX-5D it would take the CX-5D Signature from being a great compact crossover to being perfect.

Finally, there’s actually driving the Mazda CX-5D Signature. You get a proximity key with push button start. Thus all you have to do is press a button on the driver’s door handle. Press it and the car will unlock. Get in, hit the start/stop button and drive away. One nice touch is that the start/stop button will light up with a green light if you press the brake pedal to start. That’s a nice touch to remind you to press the brake pedal to start the car. When you’ve reached your destination, press the start/stop button to turn off the car. Then get out of the car, close the door and walk away. You’ll hear two beeps. One after you close the door and one about 10 seconds later. When you hear both, the car is locked. You never need to pull out the key fob to do any of this. But the key fob does have the ability to lock and unlock the doors and it has the ever useful panic button. As an added bonus, it has a backup key inside the key fob should you need it.

The final part of this review will tie up some loose ends and I’ll give you my final verdict. Watch for it on Friday.