Archive for May 27, 2020

Zoho Takes On Slack With Remote Work Tools For Cliq

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 27, 2020 by itnerd

Zoho Corporation, a global technology company that offers the most comprehensive suite of business software applications in the industry, today announced Remote Work Tools on Cliq, an enhanced version of its chat software that allows employees to check-in to work, greet co-workers and interact as they would at the office, no matter where they’re working from. Available now, the enhanced platform brings the office into Cliq to ensure teams don’t miss out on the little things.

As businesses shifted to working remotely in the wake of the global pandemic, Cliq usage skyrocketed. The platform saw a 225% increase in message volume and a 1200% increase in calls made per day, with group calls growing 10x in the U.S., 25x in Europe and 15x in India. As remote work became widespread, teams faced the challenge of collaborating as they would in their physical office space. Cliq with Remote Work Tools addresses this by solving what traditional chat software can’t.

Key Remote Work Tools on Cliq features include:

Easy Check-in. With a simple click connected to human resource management systems, employees can check-in and check-out to work from Cliq as if swiping their ID when walking into or out of the office.

Availability transparency. Team members can easily update their work status (available for collaboration, engaged with work, having lunch or taking a short break), allowing co-workers to see who’s available and who’s busy as if walking the office floor.

Auto-timed status updates. Work status is synced based on activity across other Zoho Apps, letting co-workers easily see if teammates are in a remote session in Zoho Assist or attending a meeting in Zoho Meeting.

Live video feeds to see who’s available. A virtual equivalent to peeking at a co-worker’s desk to see if they’re free before heading over for a quick discussion, live feeds enable teams to see if it’s the right time to connect with a co-worker.

Instant group calls. Group calls are initiated with the touch of a button, allowing teams to collaborate when the situation calls for a quick face-to-face meeting.

Team work-hour reports. Integrating reporting allows teams to quickly view a summary of average user availability and check the team’s status and summary reports in their human resource management system.

Easy document management. Integration with Zoho Writer enables teams to preview, share or export documents from the document link.

Instant leave approvals. Managers can approve leave requests directly from chat to quickly update resource management.

Integrated extensions. Messages can be turned into project work items, such as adding a technical issue to Zoho Projects using an integrated extension.

With these and many other features, Cliq with Remote Work Tools brings the in-office experience home for improved team morale, collaboration and productivity. Teams can even build their own tools with widgets that integrate with users’ everyday apps to create a custom home view directly inside Cliq. For more information on Cliq and other Zoho apps, visit www.zoho.com.

AppDynamics Releases The Agents of Transformation Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 27, 2020 by itnerd

In light of COVID-19, businesses have turned to digital like never before with IT performance facing its toughest challenge to date. Today, AppDynamics, a Cisco company and the world’s largest and fastest growing APM vendor, released a special edition of its global research study, The Agents of Transformation Report, which reveals the pressures technology professionals are experiencing. 

The comprehensive study surveyed 1000 IT professionals across 10 countries. 

AppDynamics’ global survey of IT professionals found: 

  • 81 per cent of Canadian technologists state that COVID-19 has created the biggest technology pressure for their organization they have ever experienced.  
  • 64 per cent of Canadian technologists confirm that the pandemic has exposed weaknesses in their digital strategies, creating an urgent need to push through initiatives that were once part of multi-year digital transformation programs.  
  • 69 per cent of IT professionals in Canada say digital transformation projects in their organization have been implemented within weeks rather than the months or years it would have taken before the pandemic. 
  • 94 per cent of organizations changed their technology priorities during the pandemic. 

The report is very interesting and is worth your time to read today. Especially if you’re an IT professional.

Rainbow Six Canada Division Qualifiers Open Through The End Of The Week

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 27, 2020 by itnerd

Ubisoft’s new North American League launch for Rainbow Six Esports is just around the corner. This week is the last chance for Canadian teams to sign up for the competition of a lifetime. As a first of its kind for Canadian Esports, there’s no better opportunity to enter the frontline of competitive gaming in Canada!

Teams are able to register until May 29th. Open Qualifier matches will begin on May 30th, then the top 16 teams from the Open Qualifiers will earn their place in the Closed Qualifier on May 31.

The top four placing teams after the Closed Qualifiers will form the official NA League: Canada Division beginning in June 2020. For more information on how to register your team, dates and times of the qualifiers and game mode, please check out FaceIt.

BREAKING: Belkin Extends Wemo NetCam Kill Date To June 30

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 27, 2020 by itnerd

I guess that the public pressure was getting to Belkin as I have been tipped off that an email is hitting inboxes as I type this which states that the date that Belkin plans to EOL the Wemo NetCam and the back end services that they rely on has been moved to June 30th. This is reflected in an updated support document, and this text was in the email that I was sent:

We want to send out this reminder that on June 30, 2020, your Belkin Wemo NetCam will no longer work as the servers will be shutting down. Your camera will still function up to that day, but after that the service will end.  

We don’t want to leave our loyal customers out in the cold. Depending on when you purchased your NetCam you may be eligible for a refund or another offer. Please visit our website at  www.belkin.com/netcameol  for more information.

We’ve truly appreciated your support over the years and so, will continue to create best-in-class products that make your life better, easier, and, hopefully, more fulfilling. 

From all of us here at Wemo, thanks and stay safe! 

You’ll note that they aren’t saying that this has been extended. Let me show you the original email that was sent by Belkin:

And here’s today’s email from Belkin:

I am guessing that Belkin was hoping that nobody would notice.

I am not sure that this will stifle the anger from NetCam that has surrounded this announcement since it appeared a few weeks ago for the following reasons:

  • Belkin decided to kill perfectly working cameras that their customers rely upon during a pandemic.
  • This announcement has sent users of these cameras scrambling for alternate camera systems. Which in the middle of a pandemic is a challenge.

Thus I will continue to watch this story, and the reaction to it. Because I am pretty sure that this is far from over.

Apple Has Finally Posted Security Information Related To Their Recent Updates…. Here’s My $0.02 Worth…

Posted in Commentary on May 27, 2020 by itnerd

Readers of this blog will know that I’ve been very critical of Apple and how they have handled some recent security issues. And if you’re thinking that I’m going to back away from being critical of Apple due to the fact that they released the security information related to the recent updates that they’ve released in the last week, well… Stay tuned.

Let’s start with that mail exploit that Germany said was critical and needed to be fixed, according to this it’s fixed:

It is also fixed in iOS 12.4.7. Which is good for users of that OS. Now there is that Messages bug, well it has been fixed based on this which fits the description of the issue:

However this doesn’t appear in the release notes for iOS 12.4.7. Which is curious. I will have to do some digging on that front.

My only thought as to why Apple had not released all the security information is that they haven’t released updates for earlier versions of macOS as well as macOS 10.15.5. Some of the issues if you read through the security info clearly traverse multiple Apple OSes because they are based on the same code base. So Apple may have wanted to keep what they fixed under wraps until users were able to install all the updates.

You can go through the rest of the security info as it is a very interesting read as Apple has really killed a lot of security issues. Which is good as iOS security is kind of bad at the moment. Though they need to kill one more thing that enables jailbreaking. Expect that to appear at any time as Apple has tended to take a dim view of anything related to jaibreaking. Which is another way of saying that Apple wants to maintain control.

So, did I thrash Apple? No not really. But as far as I am concerned, they don’t get a pass on this. I think Apple could have done a much better job of communicating this information in a more timely manner. That would allow people, especially enterprise customers make informed decisions about whether to install these updates. Which to be clear that they should because of what is fixed. But it’s a whole lot easier to make that call if you have all the information at hand. Which in this case Apple didn’t do in a timely manner. And that is a #Fail.

Zoom Provides A List Of Best Practices For Teachers Using Online Classrooms

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 27, 2020 by itnerd

With the closure of Canadian schools over the last 10 weeks and with many not scheduled to reopen this school year, video communication technology has become an essential tool for many educators as they look to maintain the feeling of in-person classes and lessons. To help teachers, students and parents get the most out of their virtual classrooms, Zoomhas put together a number of resources and best practices designed to facilitate a smooth and secure transition to online learning.

Best practices for securing online classrooms

With security as a paramount concern for educators, parents and students alike, it’s important that teachers know exactly how to control the virtual meeting environment. Zoom has developed an online resource guide to help facilitate secure online learning sessions. Some of the top tips include:

  • Lock your virtual classroom: Teachers can lock a Zoom session that’s already started so no one else can join. Give students time to join and then lock the meeting (kind of like closing the classroom after the bell!).
  • Use the Waiting Room: The Waiting Room feature is one of the best ways to protect your Zoom virtual classroom and keep out those who aren’t supposed to be there. There are two options to choose from when this is in use: either all participants will be sent to the virtual waiting area, where the teacher can admit them individually or all at once; or the host can opt to have known students skip the Waiting Room and join, but have anyone not signed in/part of your school sent to the virtual waiting area. (As of March 31, the Waiting Room feature is automatically turned on by default.)
  • Control screen sharing: Zoom has recently updated its settings for educational users to allow only the host (typically the teacher) to share his or her screen by default. If students need to share their screens, teachers can still give that privilege to students on a case-by-case basis.
  • Lock down the chat: Much like a hawk-eyed teacher might stop a note being passed in class, teachers can restrict the chat function of Zoom so students cannot privately message others during class time.
  • Other important security functions such as removing participants and securely scheduling a class are also available to teachers using Zoom to facilitate online learning. Please see all the tips on Zoom’s official blog.

Frequently asked questions – answered!
From hosting a webinar or a meeting, to properly setting up a virtual classroom for students, there are many questions teachers are looking to have answered — even if they have already started using Zoom for online teaching. Zoom has compiled a list of its top 10 virtual classroom most frequently asked questions for educational users to help teachers make the best of their online classrooms. Some of the top tips include:

  • How do I share my screen? Screen sharing lets teachers present slides, videos and other content to students.
  • Should I use a Zoom meeting or Zoom webinar? Webinars allow teachers to better present information in a one-to-many setting, similar to a lecture style, whereas meetings allow for more two-way flow of conversation. Which ever type of Zoom session teachers choose, they should consult the best practices for securing their online classroom.
  • How do I take classroom attendance? Zoom can mimic a classroom attendance sheet by allowing teachers to review the registration report to see which students registered and attended a given class.

Be sure to review all the questions including how to see all your students on video, and how to host a meeting using a mobile device on the official Zoom blog and on this resource page for educators. Zoom regularly posts updates about product features and resources for users to its official blog.