Archive for June 18, 2020

Microsoft Releases Out Of Band Patch To Fix Printing Issues With Windows 10

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 18, 2020 by itnerd

Microsoft has released an out of band patch that you should run and download to fix printing issues that they created when they released this latest round of Patch Tuesday updates. Strangely, it was announced via Twitter:

In my mind, out of band updates, meaning that they aren’t part of Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday update cycle aren’t optional. But in this case, if you don’t have problems printing to a directly attached printer, you shouldn’t install this. That brings me to what version of Windows 10 are covered by this update. Versions 1803, 1809, 1903 and 1909 are covered by this update. “Other affected versions of Windows will have updates released in the coming days,”¬†Microsoft added. Thus if you’re on Windows 10 version 2004, and you have a dead printer, you’ll have a little longer to wait.

At the end of the day, this situation can be summed up like this:

A Suggestion For Apple: Upgrade The Front Facing Cameras On Your MacBooks…. Like Right Now

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 18, 2020 by itnerd

I am the proud owner of a mid-2015 15″ MacBook Pro. Normally I replace my Macs every 2.5 years or so. But I’ve had this one for five years. Why have I held onto it for so long? We’ll there’s a few reasons. First there was the infamous Butterfly Keyboard. I saw numerous clients of mine have to deal with failures of those keyboards, sometimes multiple failures, and I wasn’t going to be them. And because of that I actively discouraged my clients from buying them for that reason as well. Now that Apple has abandoned the Butterfly Keyboard and returned to a more traditional design that is far more reliable, I should be free to replace my MacBook Pro. Right?

Well no.

The new reason as to why I am not upgrading is that Apple MacBooks come with 720p webcams that have horrible resolution and are pretty much useless in any lighting condition. And the fact that video calls are very much a standard thing these days because of the pandemic, it highlights the fact that Apple is stuck with tech from 2010 in their notebooks. Including ones that they released in the last couple of months. And what’s really sad about this situation is that the cameras in pretty much any iPhone has a front facing camera that crushes anything in a MacBook with ease. And they both come from the same company.

What’s up with that?

The fact that I spend a lot of my day on video calls has made me strongly consider getting a Windows 10 laptop to replace this MacBook Pro. The reason being that pretty much any Windows 10 laptop comes with a much better camera than anything that Apple offers in a MacBook. Which shows you how far behind Apple has fallen.

All of that leads me to this: Apple, if you’re reading this post, please update the cameras in your MacBooks. Like right now. 720p is beyond lame when it comes to cameras. I mean it was state of the art in 2010. But it’s 2020 and 2010 called to get its tech back. I know you just refreshed a bunch of notebooks recently. But in this era of work from home, this is something that cannot wait. So I hope that you’ll step up and improve the front facing cameras in all your notebooks ASAP.

Ontario Virtual School Shares New Insight on E-Learning

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 18, 2020 by itnerd

Ontario Virtual School worked with Leger to poll Canadians on their current attitudes around eLearning and COVID-19, which yielded some interesting results. Here are a few key stats that are Canadian specific:

  • Three quarters (74%) of Canadians are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the continuity of learning for Canadian students.¬†
  • Two-thirds (64%) of Canadian residents think that using e-learning to deliver education to Canadian students will continue to be used when things return to normal¬†
  • Three-in-ten (29%) of parents in Canada would consider paying for a private e-Learning specialist for their children
  • Nearly half (45%) Canadian parents say their children are enjoying learning from home, vs. 40% who disagree that their children are enjoying it

Please find the full report here. You can find eLearning data on slides 58-65.

Dell Technologies & VMware Carbon Black Extend PC Security While Easing IT Stress

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 18, 2020 by itnerd

Today, Dell Technologies and VMware Carbon Black have announced an integrated solution which gives IT and security teams access and visibility to the BIOS health of their PCs from wherever they are working. With IT teams settling into their new normal of servicing and securing fleets of devices from afar, creating an expanded attack surface, it’s critical for organizations to ensure their workers‚Äô PCs are secure at the BIOS level.

Dell Technologies has posted a blog on this topic which you can find here.

ServiceNow Survey Reveals Canadian Employees Need More Balance & Better Technology To Be Productive Working From Home During COVID-19

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 18, 2020 by itnerd

Many Canadians have settled into working from home during COVID-19, but employers have room for improvement to make working from home more productive for all employees. A new survey commissioned by ServiceNow reveals Canadian office workers want to‚Äďand anticipate they‚Äôll need to‚Äďcontinue working from home for the foreseeable future, and they expect their employers to address key challenges to make working from home work better.

Results from¬†ServiceNow‚Äôs¬†Work¬†From¬†Home Productivity¬†Study,¬†which polled 1,000 Canadian office workers, reveal¬†one in three¬†employees are feeling¬†less¬†productive in their current work from home environment. They¬†cite not having¬†the proper set up, tools and technology to¬†enable them to be more productive‚ÄĒeven¬†after working remotely for¬†more than¬†two months.¬†

Employees struggle with their physical and mental workspace

Before COVID-19, many Canadian office workers had dedicated spaces for working and living. With the onset of the ‚Äúnew normal,‚ÄĚ blending the two into one has been difficult for many employees, and even more so for those with little prior experience working from home.  

  • One-quarter¬†of Canadian office workers who¬†previously¬†had¬†never worked from home¬†still do not feel¬†properly¬†set up to¬†do so¬†effectively¬†(26%), compared to¬†5% who had¬†worked from home before.¬†
  • One¬†in¬†three¬†office workers are less productive in their current work¬†from¬†home situation than they were in their¬†usual¬†workspace¬†(32%).¬†
    • Employer preparedness for the work from home transition plays a role here, as decreased productivity rises to¬†44%¬†among those who say their employer was unprepared.¬†¬†
  • 37%¬†say technology is a barrier to productivity.¬†Other¬†barriers to productivity include:¬†taking care of others¬†(29%);¬†mental state, including anxiety about the¬†current state of the world and isolation from living alone¬†(28%);¬†and lack of a dedicated space for work at home¬†(23%).¬†

Despite increased reliance on technology, issues persist when working from home 

Technology is critical to enabling work and connecting employees to their colleagues and organization. Despite that, many of the issues that employees working from home face today are directly related to tech: 

  • Months into working from home, tech issues are the top barrier to productivity¬†(37%)¬†and a whopping¬†83%¬†of Canadian office workers feel their employer is not meeting their needs very well when it comes to¬†supplying them with¬†state-of-the-art technology.¬†
  • Improved technology would help increase productivity for half of Canadian office workers¬†(51%), identifying¬†an¬†opportunity¬†for improvement even among those¬†who have not reported tech as a barrier to productivity.¬†¬†
    • 26%¬†would be more productive with increased access to tech software¬†that enables communication, collaboration, workflow management,¬†HR technology¬†and remote onboarding/training.¬†
  • Almost 9¬†in 10¬†Canadian office workers¬†(85%)¬†report relying on technology in both their work and personal life more now than they ever have before.¬†

Flexibility is key when working from home 

Canadians have new expectations about working from home today and in the future, and employers should be prepared to meet these needs. Even after physical distancing measures are lifted, 9 in 10 Canadian office workers say they want to work from home with an average preference of 14 business days a month ‚Äď about 67% of the time. 

  • Half of¬†employees¬†(50%)¬†are¬†utilizing¬†the¬†flexible work hours¬†their employer offers,¬†a¬†significant¬†32%¬†increase¬†from¬†pre-pandemic.¬†¬†
  • 68%¬†of¬†Canadian office workers say¬†work-life balance¬†is very important to¬†them during this time.¬†
  • Competing obligations are a challenge.¬†55%¬†of¬†working¬†parents¬†say¬†they have a lot of personal responsibilities that get in the way of productivity when working from home.¬†
  • Working from home¬†does¬†have¬†personal¬†benefits, including¬†saving time¬†commuting¬†(69%)¬†and¬†saving¬†money¬†(62%),¬†leading to more time for personal¬†hobbies and projects¬†(57%).¬†¬†

Additional survey findings can be found here

La French Tech Arrives In Toronto

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 18, 2020 by itnerd

La French Tech is a label created by France to federate, highlight and energize the French Tech ecosystem in France and abroad. During the last ten years, France’s tech scene has experienced a booming growth. French entrepreneurs and engineers are renowned for their creativity as well as their ability to create great businesses, some of which became unicorns in the last three or four years.

La French Tech Toronto was born out of the desire of the city’s French entrepreneurs to raise the profile of Northern Silicon Valley, in collaboration with the France’s General Consul in Toronto, Tudor Alexis.

Establishing a sustainable French Tech community in Canada will be a real asset for the ability of the French Tech actors present in the capital of Ontario to contribute to the local tech scene. Indeed, the province is one of the most dynamic technology markets in the world. The growth of the technology sector is very strong. There are more than 400,000 Tech workers, nearly 50 incubators/accelerators, the largest concentration of startups outside Silicon Valley (USA). The venture capital investment performance is massive with more than 2.3 billions in 2019 (+68% compared to 2018).

The creation of a community based on solidarity and mutual aid will therefore be a real added value for the entire ecosystem: recognition, help in carrying out projects, access to public and private funding.

To get started, French Tech Toronto relies on eleven French and Canadian founders and entrepreneurs: Romain le Merlus Board Founder and Co-Chair; Estelle Chen Co-Chair and Director of Technology and Innovation, BMO Commercial Banking; Antoine Abribat CEO of Commut; Ludovic André Managing Director at Crédit Mutuel Equity; Benjamin Cohen CEO of WebInterpret ; Sebastien Gendron Co-Founder and CEO of Transpod; Marc Lijour VP Capacity & Innovation of ICTC; Grégory Ogorek COO & President of eSight International; Damien Veran General Manager of Telaria Inc, Njara Zafimehy Founder & CEO of WhatRocks Foundation and Maxime Alexandre, Director of Operations of Mirillion and Founder of Recruit4good.

About Centreon

Centreon is a global provider of business-aware IT monitoring for always-on operations and performance excellence. The company‚Äôs AIOps-ready, business-aware IT monitoring platform is renowned for its unique ability to monitor today‚Äôs complex and converging infrastructures, from Cloud-to-Edge. Privately held, Centreon was founded in 2005 with roots in open source software. The company continues to steward a dynamic open source framework and a growing, vibrant global community of 200,000. Today, Centreon is trusted by organizations of all sizes across a wide range of public and private sectors. Its head offices are located in Paris and Toronto, with sales offices in Geneva, Luxembourg and Toulouse. For more information, visit centreon.com.