Archive for February 11, 2020

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G Is Now Available For Pre-Order At TELUS

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 11, 2020 by itnerd

TELUS is excited to confirm that the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G, Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G devices are now available for pre-order at Telus.com/S20ultra. The latest Samsung devices will be available for purchase in-store and online at telus.com on March 6, 2020.

Customers can get the Samsung S20 Ultra 5G today with the TELUS Easy Payment device financing, starting at $0 upfront, with financing options over 24 months. Plus, when customers sign up for the Bring It Back program, they can expect to receive the Samsung S20 Ultra 5G at our absolute best cost, all on TELUS’ amazing network with award winning coverage, speed and reliability.

Moreover, TELUS customers who pre-order one of the new Samsung Galaxy S20 devices on a minimum two year term, will receive the Galaxy Buds+ as a gift with purchase, valued at $219.99.

Defense Launches Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 11, 2020 by itnerd

This morning Defense launched a case collection built to protect the new Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra;  Defense Shield.

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Defense Shield cases are tested to meet and exceed military drop test standards (MIL-STD-810G) of up to 10 feet (3M) onto concrete and feature a raised front lip (1mm) to help avoid the screen from being damaged or scratched.

Defense Shield ($29.99) for Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra

  • Machined aluminum exterior frame coupled with a soft rubber bumper for ultimate protection
  • Clear polycarbonate phone backing shows off the Galaxy’s sleek design and color
  • Anodized aluminum frame, available in Red, Black or Iridescent, and user-friendly one-piece construction compliments the premium quality of the Galaxy while making it even easier to put on/take off
  • Cases work with Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, or S20 Ultra

Samsung Announces Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 11, 2020 by itnerd

Samsung at their Unpacked event today has launched the Galaxy S20, the S20 Plus, and the S20 Ultra. All of these phones replace the S10 lineup from last year. Key features of the S20 and S20 plus include:

  • Snapdragon 865 processor
  • 12GB of RAM
  • 5G connectivity
  • Punch-hole selfie camera which is a 10MP sensor with 4K 60fps video recording
  • The S20 has a display measuring in at 6.2-inches and the S20+ at 6.7-inches. Both displays are WQHD+ SuperAMOLED panels with 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Android 10 pre-installed with Samsung’s One UI skin on top
  • 12MP primary camera which is paired with a 64MP telephoto lens that produces 3x optical zoom.
  • There’s also a 12MP ultra-wide camera.
  • 8K video recording.
  • ToF sensor
  • 128GB to 512GB storage
  • microSD card slot
  • 4,000 or 4,500 mAh batteries
  • IP68 water resistance
  • No headphone jack….. Which is ironic as they trolled Apple for removing it.

As for the S20 Ultra. You get everything that the two other phones have. But storage on the S20 Ultra goes up to 512GB, and still with that microSD card slot to upgrade things by another 1TB. And you get 16GB of RAM on-board. The display is a huge 6.9-inches. A 5,000 mAh battery. And a 40MP selfie camera too. The main rear camera is a 108MP sensor which is backed up by a 48MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, a 12MP ultrawide camera, a ToF sensor, and a 10x optical zoom camera sensor that can get an insane 100x digital zoom.

Now to price. Brace yourselves:

  • Galaxy S20 starts at $999 USD.
  • Galaxy S20+ starts at $1,199 USD.
  • S20 Ultra is an insane $1,399 USD.

Pre-orders start February 21st with shipments arriving in early March.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Announced At Unpacked Event

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 11, 2020 by itnerd

Samsung ran into some issues with the Galaxy Fold last year. But that isn’t stopping them from trying again with the Galaxy Z Flip which will start at $1380 USD and is meant to be a more budget friendly foldable phone.

Key features include:

  •  6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED foldable display
  • 1-inch AMOLED outer display
  • Snapdragon 855+ processor
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 128GB of storage
  • USB-C for charging
  • Two-piece 3,300 mAh battery
  • Wireless charging
  • Two 12MP sensors, one with an ultrawide lens.
  • Colors include black,  radiant purple, and a gold version in some regions.

The Z Flip is available on February 14th. Let’s see how well this works out for Samsung.

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus Announced At Unpacked Event

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 11, 2020 by itnerd

During today’s Galaxy Unpacked event Samsung announced the Galaxy Buds Plus true wireless earbuds. The key features are:

  • It lasts 11 hours on a charge which is nearly double the playtime of the original Galaxy Buds. It can be charged via USB-C or Qi wireless charging as well.
  • Samsung has partnered with AKG to give the buds a high quality sound signature.
  • The Galaxy Buds Plus feature adjustable levels of noise cancellation powered by three microphones.
  • Each bud also features a touchpad allowing quick access to media controls as well as invoking your phone’s voice assistant.
  • Color options include Black, White, and Cloud Blue.

They are available for pre-order now for $149 USD.

Dell Deals With A Security Issue With Their SupportAssist App For A Second Time

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 11, 2020 by itnerd

We just passed groundhog day this past weekend, but for Dell it might as well be groundhog day today. The company has admitted to a flaw in SupportAssist which a Windows-based troubleshooting program preinstalled on nearly every one of its newer devices running the OS that allows local hackers to load malicious files with admin privileges. The company has issued an advisory about the flaw and urges users to update to version 2.1.4 for business users, and home users should update to version 3.4.1 to get the fixes.

Now here’s why this is groundhog day for Dell. This has happened before. As in about seven months ago. Thus it has to raise questions about how secure this app truly is as this app is on millions of computers. My advice is that you might just want to uninstall it as there’s no reason to take a chance on getting pwned by hackers.

Element AI announces Orkestrator

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 11, 2020 by itnerd

Element AI, a global developer of artificial intelligence-powered (AI) services and software that helps enterprises ‘operationalize AI’, today announced Element AI Orkestrator, the latest addition to the company’s portfolio of AI-powered software solutions. Designed for AI practitioners and the IT teams that support them, Element AI Orkestrator is a workload scheduling tool built as a result of the company’s need to optimize its own computing resources. A software-as-a-service (SaaS) version is available now, with an on-premises version expected for Spring 2020.

Element AI Orkestrator helps customers future-proof their IT infrastructures through optimized utilization of GPU clusters, allowing AI practitioners to build quality models and remove most of the engineering heavy lifting required to efficiently use GPUs. By maximizing these specialized and in-demand resources, Orkestrator will play a pivotal role in supporting the structural backbone of organizations deploying AI solutions for increased overall productivity.

Using Kubernetes, Element AI Orkestrator provides AI researchers, applied research scientists, and developers with the computing infrastructure needed to efficiently build and maintain AI models. Providing enhanced transparency and control over job scheduling, Orkestrator allows AI practitioners to conduct higher-level jobs such as batch processing and hyperparameter searching.  IT administrators can simultaneously optimize cluster use, simplify node maintenance, and gain better visibility through dashboards

As organizations build and implement their own AI solutions that will need to be scaled over time—computing power and storage requirements will grow to accommodate heavier GPU-based workloads with increasingly complex resource distribution and management.

Watch a video demonstration (1min. 20sec.) of Element AI Orkestrator here:

To request a sales call or product demonstration for Element AI Orkestrator contact: elementai.com/contact

To learn more about Element AI and its AI-powered products, visit: https://www.elementai.com/

60% of Enterprise Ill-equipped to Detect and Respond to Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Degradation or Breach: Keyfactor

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 11, 2020 by itnerd

Keyfactor and Ponemon Institute today released the 2020 edition of “The Impact of Unsecured Digital Identities,” a benchmark report exploring enterprises’ ability to manage increasing numbers of cryptographic keys and digital certificates securing network connections.

Digital certificates and keys ensure authenticity across enterprise user, application and device identities. Cryptographic algorithms encrypt the data associated with those identities, providing secure communication and exploit protection. Two-thirds of respondents say their organization is adding additional layers of encryption to comply with industry regulations and IT policies; however, shorter certificate validity has doubled the management workload on short-staffed IT and security teams.

Additional key findings:

  • Connected IoT increasing risk: 60% say they’re adding additional layers of encryption technologies to secure IoT devices, but 46% admit low ability to maintain IoT device identities and cryptography over device lifetime.
  • A rise in security incidents: on average, organizations have experienced a Certificate Authority (CA) or rogue man-in-the-middle (MITM) and/or phishing attack five times in the last 24 months, with a 40% likelihood of a MITM or phishing attack over the next 24 months; 73% of respondents admitted that digital certificates have and continue to cause unplanned downtime and outages.
  • Staffing shortages: on average, 16% of the IT security budget is spent on PKI deployment annually, yet just 38% of respondents say their organization has enough IT security staff members dedicated to PKI deployment.
  • Cryptography related security incidents undermine trust: 76% of respondents say failure to secure keys and certificates undermines the trust their organization relies upon to operate.
  • Cryptography lacks a center of excellence: Despite the rising cost of PKI and growth of cryptography-related incidents, just 60% of companies have the ability to drive enterprise-wide best practices.

The study was conducted by Ponemon Institute on behalf of Keyfactor and included responses from more than 600 IT and infosec executives and practitioners in the United States and Canada across 14 industries, including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and automotive.

 

Guest Post: NordVPN Celebrates Its 8th Birthday

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 11, 2020 by itnerd

NordVPN’s story began in 2012. Four childhood friends came together to build a product that could liberate the internet. All of the founders had their 9 to 5 jobs at other companies but were giving their best to create the technology they believed in.

The beginning of NordVPN was very modest: it was only available on Windows, users had to self-configure it, and it had one server in Germany. By the end of 2012, NordVPN had six servers. “We used to mark these servers on a map on our office wall. It later became our symbol and an inspiration — when creating our first apps, we duplicated this map for easy server selection,” says Ruby Gonzalez, Head of Communications at NordVPN.

In 2013, NordVPN celebrated its first significant milestone — 1000 users. “In those first years, we had three people working for customer support, four in marketing and product, and five developing apps and taking care of infrastructure. We had no CEO, CTO, CMO, or any other C level employee. Everyone was doing everything. If someone was skilled in writing code and also happened to know something about grammar — well, we could use copywriters. If someone could do front-end, then hey, they must obviously know something about web design. It was a small amazing team, and everyone did the best they could,” says Ruby Gonzalez, Head of Communications at NordVPN.

NordVPN launched its first native app for Windows in September 2013. However, as the growth was still slow, other apps didn’t arrive until much later. In fact, the next apps for iOS and macOS were launched in 2015 only. Then the Android app came out in 2016, and the apps for Android TV and Linux followed in 2018.

Even though NordVPN wasn’t available on all devices, by the end of 2014, the company celebrated its first 10,000 users. “We are convinced that the reason for this success was the 24/7 customer support, introduced in September 2014. NordVPN was the first among premium VPNs to launch such a service. Knowing the importance of our support team, we keep strengthening and improving it further. We call our customer support “Success Managers,” as we truly believe that customer satisfaction is the ultimate key to the success of NordVPN,” says Ruby Gonzalez, Head of Communications at NordVPN.

In 2015, the company finally realized that it could be a global brand. The biggest reason for that was the Australian data retention law, which required Australian internet service providers and telecommunications carriers to retain customer metadata. The private information, such as the device location or sender’s email address, had to be held for at least two years. This controversial law led to NordVPN’s popularity skyrocketing — in just a few days, the company doubled its customer base. It was clear that people took their privacy online very seriously.

Continuing to realize its global impact, the company started a social responsibility program, providing the first emergency VPN in Uganda. During the 2016 general elections, Ugandan authorities resorted to shutting down entire social media platforms twice. “As our main goal is to liberate the internet, the social responsibility program is a no brainer for our company,” says Ruby Gonzalez, Head of Communications at NordVPN.

2017 marks the beginning of an incredible bout of growth: both in users and staff, along with the expansion of features and services. “The enthusiasm that led to starting this company has not gone away. Things haven’t always gone smoothly, and we haven’t always achieved what we wanted. However, every time we made a mistake, we made sure we’ve learned something from it and tried to do even better next time. That’s our recipe for success,” says Ruby Gonzalez, Head of Communications at NordVPN.

In November 2018, NordVPN took an even further step towards improving its service and completed an industry-first audit of its no-logs policy. “The trust of our customers is vital, and we wanted to prove we keep no logs of our user activity. And that was not our only audit. In 2019, third-party penetration testers checked our apps, while a full infrastructure audit is planned for this year,” says Ruby Gonzalez, Head of Communications at NordVPN.

Last year was extremely exciting for NordVPN. In 2019, the company celebrated 12 million users. It also launched NordLynx — a new solution for a fast and secure VPN connection, built around the WireGuard® protocol. The company also launched three new products: NordPass — a new generation password manager, NordLocker — a powerful file encryption tool, and NordVPN Teams — a VPN solution for business.

“Our company has no plans to stop growing – our ambitions are very high. We are incredibly excited about the future, and we are committed to serving our users and offering the best product on the market. We will also focus on transparency and trust between our clients and us,” concludes Ruby Gonzalez, Head of Communications at NordVPN.