Archive for December 4, 2019

Citrix Deepens Ties to Amazon Web Services

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

Hybrid environments are the reality of computing today. And Citrix Systems is making it easier than ever to manage them. The company today announced that it is deepening its relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide businesses with greater flexibility and choice in deploying Citrix® ADC in hybrid environments and a convenient and easy way to deliver a secure, reliable experience that engages users and allows them to perform at their best. The news came during AWS re:Invent 2019, which is taking place in Las Vegas this week.

A Consistent Experience

The move to the cloud is on. But not everything can go there. From regulatory and compliance requirements to latency issues and local processing needs, some apps need to stay on premises. As a newly validated AWS Outposts solution, Citrix ADC can be used to bring native AWS services, infrastructure, and operating models to on-premises facilities in a simple, cost-effective way and deliver a consistent hybrid experience.

Greater Flexibility and Choice

Companies want the flexibility to control the routing path of their traffic and ability to direct traffic through virtual appliances of their choice. But it hasn’t been easy to achieve. Until now. Leveraging new Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) ingress routing features, companies can redirect traffic flowing in and out of a VPC through Citrix ADC to ensure highly available and reliable performance. Amazon VPC Ingress Routing is a service that helps customers simplify the integration of network and security appliances within their network topology.

Simplified Deployment

Migrating apps to the cloud has never been easier. Created in collaboration with AWS, the AWS Quick Start for Citrix ADC empowers companies to speed and automate configuration and greatly reduce the time, costs and skill level involved.

A Comprehensive Approach

Citrix offers a comprehensive range of solutions that are proven to scale and integrate in the AWS environment and ensure the security, reliability and high performance that application delivery and management today demands. And it continues to extend and expand these offerings.

Reliable and Secure Enterprise Connectivity

Citrix also announced today that Citrix SD-WAN now supports AWS Transit Gateway to simplify how Amazon VPCs and on-premises networks are connected to reduce operational costs. Using the Citrix SD- WAN orchestration service, customers can quickly connect their branches and data centers to the AWS Transit Gateway and access resources across any Amazon VPC or other connected network.

These new capabilities make it easy for businesses to:

  • Deliver an optimal application experience for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops as well as other cloud and SaaS applications on AWS.
  • Quickly set up secure, high-availability connections to AWS resources.
  • Scale their networks across hybrid cloud environments and geographically distributed regions.

To learn more about Citrix networking and digital workspace solutions and the value they can deliver at re:Invent, visit booth 3807.

 

TELUS Health Becomes Largest Canadian-Owned PERS Provider

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

TELUS Health today announced plans for the national expansion of its LivingWell Companion personal emergency response service (PERS) to support more aging Canadians across the country. Through the acquisition of DirectAlert, a Quebec-based, bilingual PERS company with more than 15 years of experience providing emergency response across Canada, TELUS is now the largest Canadian-owned PERS provider, proudly giving freedom to Canadians who want to live independently at home for longer; while offering peace of mind to their family and loved ones with the assurance of safety and security.

DirectAlert will continue providing service under the new DirectAlert by TELUS Health brand into early 2020, ensuring a smooth transition for current customers so they can continue benefiting from the same consistent, uninterrupted local emergency response experience they’re used to. By early next year, all TELUS PERS customers will be backed by the LivingWell Companion brand nationally and will be supported by increased service capabilities including multi-lingual support and proactive alerting to empower aging Canadians to take control of their own health and live happier and healthier lives.

The TELUS LivingWell Companion Home service, with an optional fall detection feature, provides instant access to emergency assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week and allows users to speak live with a trained operator in the event of an emergency who can assess the situation and contact loved ones and/or alert emergency personnel to dispatch help right away. Active seniors using the LivingWell Companion Go service have the ability to access emergency support on the go with built-in GPS location tracking and automatic fall detection. Users are protected both indoors and outdoors anywhere in Canada where there’s cellular coverage.

To simplify the adoption of wearable health technology for aging Canadians, the TELUS LivingWell Companion service has no upfront equipment costs, no contract, and no installation fees. The service has a 30-day return policy, and is available starting from just $25 per month.

By the Numbers

  • Research conducted by HomeStar and the Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP) in 2017 reported that 85 per cent of seniors want to age in their homes.
  • Statistics Canada has reported that falls are the most common cause of injury among older Canadians; about 1 in 3 seniors aged 65 and older fall at least once every year. 
  • Studies have shown a high correlation between cold weather and an increase in falls among older adults; increasing significantly after age 65, and dramatically for seniors 75.
  • According to CIHI, from 2017-2018, 4 out of 5 (81 per cent) injury hospitalizations involving seniors were because of a fall;
    • Falls are also the top reason for injury among seniors seen in the emergency room (ER). Falls accounted for 60 per cent of all reported ER visits among seniors, with an estimated 20 per cent admitted to the hospital.
    • Most of the falls that prompted the reported ER visits occurred at home (28 per cent) while 14 per cent took place in residential institutions such as long-term care facilities.

To learn more about the suite of TELUS LivingWell Companion services please visit: telus.com/livingwell. For more information on DirectAlert by TELUS Health please visit: DirectAlert.ca/telus.

Apple Needs To Lose The #KeyboardGate So That They Can Learn A Valuable Lesson

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

On Monday it was revealed that Apple would have to face a class action lawsuit in regards to that problematic butterfly keyboard which eventually became known as #KeyboardGate. And if you ask me, Apple needs to lose this lawsuit to teach them a lesson. Why do I say that? Before I describe why I feel that way, a quick history lesson.

The only reason that the butterfly keyboard even existed is that Apple wanted to create a keyboard that was thinner and sleeker than its competitors. Which in turn would allow them to create thinner and sleeker laptops. So they ditched the tried, true, and more importantly reliable scissor switch keyboards with the butterfly keyboard. It first appeared on the entry level MacBook and it was problematic then. It then spread to the entire MacBook and MacBook Pro lineup and the complaints really started to roll in en mass.

Now Apple didn’t help themselves on several fronts from that point forward. First they didn’t help themselves by saying that the problems with these keyboards were not widespread, when in fact it was common knowledge that these keyboards were problematic. And they redesigned these keyboards a number of times to try and address these problems that they claimed weren’t widespread. But that didn’t work. So Apple then created a repair program which covered users who had keyboard issues beyond the normal warranty period. The idea being that they would have your back in case your keyboard had an issue. That would have been a good thing if the keyboards that they were using as replacements weren’t just as problematic as the defective ones. I for example know people who had as many as four keyboards replaced. And it didn’t help from an optics perspective that brand new models that Apple announced got covered by this repair program from day one.

That’s hardly a ringing endorsement in terms of the quality of their products.

They only way Apple truly could put an end to this was to bring back the tried, true, and more importantly reliable scissor switch keyboard in the 16″ MacBook Pro. And you can fully expect a version of that keyboard to appear in every MacBook or MacBook Pro that Apple releases going forward.

But the damage is done and here were are talking about it.

The thing is that this class action lawsuit is about Apple’s failure to provide a remedy to this problem. And based on the above, they haven’t. Sure they tried to redesign the keyboards a bunch of times, and sure they have a repair program to try and address #KeyboardGate issues. But neither of those actions actually fixes the issue. Which is the keyboards are flawed. So that combined with their absolutely shambolic response to this issue is why Apple deserves to lose this lawsuit. Apple has to learn how to deal with problems outside the “reality distortion field” which means that instead of dismissing issues by saying that issues aren’t widespread, or they just affect a few people, they need to own up to them at the earliest opportunity. And then they come up with a fix for those issues in a way that they stay fixed. If they can’t figure out how to execute those things on their own, the then legal system will  have to “encourage” them to do the right thing. Which is to provide a remedy for #KeyboardGate that is actually a remedy.

Review: 2020 Hyundai Palisade Luxury – Part 3

Posted in Products with tags on December 4, 2019 by itnerd

The 2020 Hyundai Palisade Luxury has a very impressive interior, though there are a couple of things that I will criticize. One of them is personal preference, one is a bit of a observation that I typical don’t make about cars these days. But let’s start with the driver’s seat.

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The driver’s seat is heated, ventilated, and extremely comfortable as you can adjust every aspect that matters including thigh length to give you a comfortable and perfect driving position.

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The trim is impressive. There’s a mix of soft touch material, leather, and the best fake wood I have ever seen in a car. It was so convincing that I had to email Hyundai Canada to confirm that it was fake as I along with many others who saw it were not sure. Hyundai Canada confirmed that it was and it was engineered to be consistent and convincing. I’d say mission accomplished on that front as nobody who was in this vehicle could tell it was fake and everyone who was in this vehicle said it looked good.

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The footwell is a comfortable place for your feet to be as it has a large dead pedal. To the left of the steering wheel are the buttons for the various electronic overseers as well as the electronic parking brake.

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The steering wheel is leather wrapped, heated, and feels good in your hands. It has all the controls for the infotainment system and cruise control on the left and right sides.

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Behind the steering wheel are a pair of paddle shifters.

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You have a pair of easy to read analog gauges as well as a high resolution TFT display in the center. Everything was easy to read in all lighting conditions.

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To the left of the steering wheel is an 10.25″ almost HD resolution infotainment screen that was very sharp and easy to read. It also integrates well with the rest of the dash which is covered in a soft touch material.

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You get hard buttons for all the infotainment system. And below that are the controls for the three zone (first and second rows) HVAC system. Below that are all the controls for the transmission, drive modes, and other driving activities. Below that are the controls for the vented and heated front seats. I have to admit that I am not sold on the push button transmission as I learned to drive a manual transmission, and if you get into a dangerous situation, you could pop the transmission into neutral by hitting the shift lever toward the center. The same is true for automatic transmissions as well. That’s something that you can’t do here. Thus my natural reaction to this setup is to look at it warily. But many people think I am showing my age and that this is a non issue. And besides, many other vehicles have a system like this. Thus maybe I should introduce myself to 2020 and embrace this transmission setup as it really allows the center console to have a coherent look to it.

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The area where the cup holders are is extremely versatile as you can retract the cup holders for additional space, and they can be covered for privacy reasons.

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It passed my Starbucks Venti test with ease. Plus, you can see the main USB port to the left.

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Below the armrest is a storage area that has a 12V outlet and another USB port.

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Below the center console is a storage area with a 12V outlet and a USB port. For those keeping score at home, that’s three USB ports so far.

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On the roof are the controls for the sunroof, the lights, the buttons for BluLink, as well as a flip down mirror that allow you to see what the kids are up to in the second and third rows.

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There’s a decently sized glove box that’s lit.

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You get a standard sized sunroof that’s powered operated, but has a manual sunshade.

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The middle row can hold three adults. But the middle occupant has to deal with the hump for the driveshaft. But the two groups of adults that I had in this vehicle didn’t really complain about that too much.

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If you don’t need to seat three people, you can use the middle seat for cup holders.

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There are second row HVAC controls as well as a 12V outlet. Plus you have the seat warmers for the outward second row passengers. Parents will be happy to know that these controls can be locked out to keep your kids from fiddling around with them.

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On each of the front seats are USB ports that are accessible by the second row passengers. That’s five USB ports and counting.

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There are manual sunshades on the rear doors.

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The third row actually fit adults. Two of them to be precise and they were comfortable. I can see three children fitting back here though.

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On each side of the third row you have cup holders, the switch to power adjust the recline of the third row seats, you have a USB port. That’s a total of 7 USB ports for the vehicle.

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Depending on how the seats are folded, you can have a bit of cargo space with all seats up, or you can have a lot of cargo space with the second and third rows down.

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And folding down the second and third row seats is easy thanks to these buttons. The second row only flips down, but the third row are both power down and up. Note the 12V outlet as well.

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There’s under floor storage in the back which is handy for storing the privacy cover.

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There’s both a button and a handle to allow you to close the rear hatch.

The interior very quiet for the most part. The only exception to that is an intermittent buzzing sound that my wife and I could only trace to the area of the passenger side b-pillar. We could never fully identify the exact location of the sound. Also of note, the buzz was not present (or we didn’t hear it as we weren’t paying attention) when we had passengers in the vehicle. I haven’t had to say that in a car review in years and I have to assume that it was just a potential issue with my tester. Other than that, this interior is well executed and will impress anyone who steps into it.

Tomorrow, I will look at the tech in the Palisade, and some of it is really cool. Tune in to see what the cool tech is and what I think of it.