Archive for June 17, 2020

Zoom Backtracks And Will Offer End To End Encryption To ALL Users

Posted in Commentary on June 17, 2020 by itnerd

Recently, I wrote about the fact that Zoom was going to roll out end to end encryption, but only to people who pay Zoom. To nobody’s surprise that upset free users. But those users should be happy now as Zoom has apparently backtracked:

Today, Zoom released an updated E2EE design on GitHub. We are also pleased to share that we have identified a path forward that balances the legitimate right of all users to privacy and the safety of users on our platform. This will enable us to offer E2EE as an advanced add-on feature for all of our users around the globe – free and paid – while maintaining the ability to prevent and fight abuse on our platform. 

To make this possible, Free/Basic users seeking access to E2EE will participate in a one-time process that will prompt the user for additional pieces of information, such as verifying a phone number via a text message. Many leading companies perform similar steps on account creation to reduce the mass creation of abusive accounts. We are confident that by implementing risk-based authentication, in combination with our current mix of tools — including our Report a User function — we can continue to prevent and fight abuse.

Additional Information

  • We plan to begin early beta of the E2EE feature in July 2020. 
  • All Zoom users will continue to use AES 256 GCM transport encryption as the default encryption, one of the strongest encryption standards in use today.
  • E2EE will be an optional feature as it limits some meeting functionality, such as the ability to include traditional PSTN phone lines or SIP/H.323 hardware conference room systems. Hosts will toggle E2EE on or off on a per-meeting basis. 
  • Account administrators can enable and disable E2EE at the account and group level. 

I am guessing that the blowback from not rolling out end to end encryption was so epic that Zoom had to work double time to figure out a way to make that go away. Or it could be the fact that Zoom dropped themselves in it by shutting down the accounts of Hong Kong democracy activists recently and they need to get some sort of “win” to make users perceive them differently. Either way, this is positive news for Zoom users.

SOTI Unveils Enhanced Version Of SOTI Connect

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 17, 2020 by itnerd

Major barriers to ’Internet of Things‘ (IoT) ownership and efficient device management have now been removed thanks to the latest release of the enterprise-grade IoT management solution, SOTI Connect v1.2. The enhanced solution addresses prevalent industry challenges around managing industrial and mobile printers and limited access sensors, through a single point of control. 

The need to simplify enterprise-grade IoT is a challenge for organizations. According to recent research from SOTI, only 45% of direct purchasers or influencers of technology or mobility software in enterprises say their organization currently leverages IoT, despite 76% agreeing it would improve their company productivity. Currently, 31% of these purchasers and influencers who are deploying IoT devices, cite downtime as their biggest IoT-related challenge, while 33% identify a lack of real-time visibility into devices as their major concern.

SOTI Connect v1.2 offers support for a wide variety of industrial and mobile printers and IoT-enabled sensors, providing robust management capabilities, and automated monitoring and maintenance of an IoT-enabled device fleet. Select TSC Printronix Auto ID, SATO, Honeywell, Brother, Toshiba and Epson printers are supported with the newest release of SOTI Connect. New IoT-enabled devices can be quickly supported, configured and deployed, as SOTI Connect is built using a data-driven architecture, with SOTI continuously certifying new devices from various OEM’s.

Key use cases include: managing the multiple devices and sensors required to maintain an unbroken temperature controlled supply chain, end-to-end syncing of in-store IoT-enabled devices that improve the retail customer experience, and oversight of manufacturing machinery sensors. Globally, more than two-thirds (67.3%) of consumers perceive mobile technology as an effective strategy for delivering a faster shopping experience, demonstrating the need for retailers to implement IoT-enabled technology to meet consumer expectations. In the Transportation and Logistics (T&L) industry, where end-to-end oversight of operations is crucial, 50% of T&L organizations are currently supporting field services facilities with recently deployed mobile devices.

SOTI Connect also enables Managed Services Providers (MSPs) to avoid having to ship problematic devices to tech support for servicing, by providing the ability to access the device, identify any issues, pull device logs and perform automated remediation. All of this is done remotely, significantly reducing maintenance and monitoring costs of IoT solutions. Additionally, MSPs can minimize ‘swap stock’ instances due to decreased downtime and greater visibility into device health and performance, enabling IT to remediate any device issues even before they occur.

To learn more, visit: https://soti.net/connect.

Fun Apart Launches Video-Enabled NUO Card Game App Inspired By UNO!

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 17, 2020 by itnerd

Fun Apart, the video-enabled mobile card games app bringing generations together, today announced the launch of its UNO!™ inspired video chat card game NUO available on iOS and Android.

Fun Apart launched its first game NUO, a similar card game to UNO!™ but with more popular gameplay features such as +2 and +4 stacking which UNO!™ recently deemed illegal. Additionally, Fun Apart allows users to safely and securely invite family and friends by sharing a unique 8-digit private room game code through a variety of sharing capabilities including text, email and social media. The user-intuitive interface offers a safe, fun and easy way to connect with anyone during this unprecedented time of isolation. Fun Apart creates a greater connection between family, friends and the elderly who are unable to see each other by providing more face-to-face interaction through video chat while playing fun, nostalgic card games.

The card games app idea is the brainchild of a 12-year-old childwho created the Fun Apart during the COVID-19 stay-at-home mandate to keep in touch with friends and family. Enzo worked with his father to develop and create the video-enabled card games app after becoming frustrated with the lengthy Zoom conference setup time required by other mobile game apps.

Additional card games such as Go Fish and Spoons will be released in the upcoming weeks. 

To download Fun Apart, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. If you enjoy the app, please leave a positive review in the app store and share the app with family and friends. 

iPhone User Offers Up A Siri Shortcut That Records Interactions With Police If You Are Pulled Over

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 17, 2020 by itnerd

Seeing as police are under scrutiny these days because of their interactions with the public in general, and with the Black community specifically, it is not surprising to me that someone has created a Siri shortcut that records any interaction with police if you say the words “Hey Siri I am being pulled over.” Now this has been around since 2018 and was created by a guy named Robert Petersen. But recent events have brought it back into focus. Here’s the details:

Upon saying “Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over,” any music that may be playing is paused and the screen’s brightness is dimmed while the phone’s “do not disturb” capability is turned on. The phone then automatically sends a message to a contact the user sets up, letting that person know that the user is being stopped by police, along with providing the user’s location. The front camera is then turned on and the phone begins to record video of what is happening. 

“Once you stop the recording it sends a copy of the video to a contact you specify, puts volume and brightness back to where they were, turns off Do Not Disturb, and gives you the option to send to iCloud Drive or Dropbox,” according to a Reddit post by Petersen. 

Here’s where you can get the shortcut.

It requires the Shortcuts app to be installed on your iPhone, which you can get here. Now if you are on Team Android, this won’t work for you. But here’s an option for you:

While Petersen said he hopes the tool will be useful for some, the specific feature is not available for Android users. Apps with similar functions have been developed, including one called “Stop and Frisk Watch,” which is available for both Android and Apple devices and is designed to record incidents by “simply pushing a trigger on the phone’s frame,” according to the developer’s website.

Now I have downloaded this Siri Shortcut and installed it on my iPhone because to be frank, I am a Black male and I have been stopped by the police about 50 times in my life. And of those 50 or so times I’ve been stopped, I have only gotten two tickets in my life. Read into that what you will. And I am hardly unique in that respect as many Black males, and Black females for that matter that I know have similar stories. That is a sad commentary on the times that we live in. So is that fact that functionality like this is required by people just to exist in society.