Archive for July 29, 2020

Apple Faces A Multi-State “Batterygate” Investigation

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 29, 2020 by itnerd

If Apple thought that this settlement for their “Batterygate” issues would put it to bed, they were wrong. Arizona is leading a multi-U.S. state probe into whether Apple’s deliberate slowing of older iPhones violated deceptive trade practice laws:

Arizona is leading a multi-U.S. state probe into whether Apple Inc’s deliberate slowing of older iPhones violated deceptive trade practice laws, documents reviewed by Reuters on Wednesday showed. 

Last week, a separate document released by a tech watchdog group showed the Texas attorney general might sue Apple for such violations in connection with a multi-state probe, without specifying charges. 

In the ongoing probe since at least October 2018, investigators have asked Apple for data about “unexpected shutdowns” of iPhones and the company’s throttling, or slowing down, of the devices through power management software, documents Reuters obtained through a public records request showed.

The attorneys general offices in Arizona and Texas declined to comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Well, that’s a problem for Apple. It means that this issue will stay in the news longer. And it’s entirely possible that other states will jump on the bandwagon which is something else that Apple likely doesn’t want. IT should be interesting to see Apple respond to this latest “Batterygate” crisis.

TikTok’s Woes Mount As Japan Considers Banning It And Other Chinese Apps

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 29, 2020 by itnerd

A group of Japanese lawmakers is seeking to restrict the use of TikTok and other apps developed by Chinese firms, following in the footsteps of India, which has already blocked dozens of Chinese apps, and the U.S., which is floating the idea:

The decision was first reported by Japanese national broadcaster NHK. The lawyers shared the same concern as officials in the U.S. and India that their domestic user data could end up in the hands of Beijing, and planned to submit the proposal to the Japanese government as early as September. Japan was one of TikTok’s first overseas success cases despite being considered a tough nut for foreign internet firms to crack. The nascent localization team went all out to attract celebrity users and made its breakthrough with Kinoshita Yukina, a TV personality, after holding “six or seven rounds of discussions” with her studio. Kinoshita’s participation ushered in other stars, who brought with them flocks of fans to the platform. In the Japanese iOS store, TikTok has consistently ranked at the top among entertainment apps and is the fifth-most downloaded app across all categories in the country as of this writing, according to research firm App Annie.

Much as I thought, the avalanche of countries banning Chinese apps is growing. There is a serious mistrust of Chinese made apps because of the behavior of TikTok and other apps. I predict that you will see more of this as time goes on. Which means that I fully expect that tomorrow, and in the next week or two that you will see more announcements like this which is bad news for Chinese made apps.

Aptum Survey Shows Canadians Setting Pace As Global Businesses Embrace Cloud Services

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 29, 2020 by itnerd

While Canadian organizations have often been perceived as conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies, a new survey from Aptum, a global hybrid cloud and managed services provider, demonstrates exactly how essential cloud computing has become in the country. Seven out of 10 (69 per cent) Canadian organizations said the cloud is very important.
In a recent global survey of 400 senior IT professionals from organizations in industries including financial services, manufacturing, public sector, retail and telecom, more than half (51 per cent) of respondents from Canada strongly agreed that cloud computing is essential in enabling business continuity within their organizations (compared to 49 per cent globally). Canadians are slightly ahead of their global counterparts in how much they rely on cloud with 51 per cent of respondents saying they strongly agree cloud computing is essential to the financial security of their organizations (compared to only 40 per cent globally). 

This level of strategic importance placed on cloud has translated into organizational confidence in technology to help businesses maintain continuity throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic. For example:

  • 53 per cent have used cloud services to provide customers with critical services (48 per cent globally);
  • 77 per cent had used cloud to enable their remote workforces (76 per cent globally).  

Even though Canadian organizations seem to have fully embraced the cloud, they still find picking the right solutions and plotting a course through different technologies difficult with 72 per cent of respondents somewhat or strongly agreeing that complexity and abundant choices make choosing the right cloud strategy difficult (62 per cent globally). A majority of respondents in Canada (77 per cent) even wanted to accelerate cloud adoption but needed expertise or help to make it happen (69 per cent globally). 

Canadian businesses looking to adopt cloud services also face significant challenges in these areas: 

  • Getting full visibility into all cloud environments through a single portal (23 per cent in Canada versus 21 per cent globally)
  • Control and governance of access to cloud environments (25 per cent in Canada versus 18 per cent globally)
  • A clear mechanism to detect and respond to security threats across all cloud environments (24 per cent in Canada versus 21 per cent globally)

The global survey of 400 senior IT professionals in Canada, the U.K, and U.S. was conducted between May and June 2020. 

There is a blog post from Aptum which uses global numbers from the survey: https://aptum.com/blog/cloud-technologies-leading-businesses-through-covid-19-crisis/

Also of note, all of Aptum’s data centers in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and England are now open and allowing access to their customers with clear guidelines and procedures to remain COVID-19 secure.

Half Of Canadian Businesses Not Confident They Can Support Remote Work Long Term: OVHcloud Survey

Posted in Commentary on July 29, 2020 by itnerd

Half (48 per cent) of Canadian businesses said they were unprepared for the immediate technological changes necessitated by COVID-19, according to a recent survey by OVHcloud in conjunction with data service solutions company Maru/Blue, with 48 per cent concerned they will need to maintain long-term remote operations.  

In fact, only a third of companies (32 per cent) feel ‘very confident’ in their ability to seamlessly scale cloud capabilities for the new realities of work. And while most organizations (90 per cent) would of course like to speed up their digital operations, only 32 per cent feel very confident they can. According to the survey, two thirds (66 per cent) of businesses surveyed believe that the impact of COVID-19 on their organization would have been less severe if they had had a more robust digital strategy in place to manage online operations.  

In addition to expressing regret when looking back, these companies also lack confidence about the future. Those in Ontario (73 per cent) were particularly likely to agree that a digital strategy would have minimized the immediate COVID-19 impact, while businesses based in Quebec were less likely to agree (53 per cent). Those in British Columbia were less likely to have the right infrastructure in place (32 per cent). 

When it comes to cloud operations, only one in three Canadian businesses (33 per cent) strongly believe their cloud service provider is prepared to help them shift workloads to the cloud. For companies with under 100 employees, 23 per cent do not think their IT team has the necessary experience to manage, or use, cloud services. Four in ten companies (40 per cent) also worry their organization lacks the proper IT infrastructure to manage hybrid cloud or multi-cloud operations and that they do not have the resources to speed up their digital strategy (38 per cent). 

When it comes to scaling up their cloud operations for the new digital world, organizations believe their greatest challenges are cyber security and privacy risks (44 per cent) and cost (37 per cent). Additionally, 58 per cent of businesses say they are concerned about security as they embrace more robust digital strategies.

Issues of data sovereignty are also top of mind for Canadians. As companies grow a dependence towards more digital services, a reliance on the proper laws and government structure for said data also exists. Despite this, only 32 per cent of respondents felt very confident that their cloud provider had the proper structures in place to respect and protect their organization’s data sovereignty.  

Responding to the new challenges faced by Canadian businesses, OVHcloud recently enhanced its Canadian portfolio of cloud solutions by adding web hosting offers to dedicated servers, Private Cloud and Public Cloud offerings. With a diverse set of tools, OVHcloud’s offerings are easy to use and scale for a wide variety of users, ranging from small companies to large multi-faceted organizations. OVHcloud helps support professional websites, blogs, online retailers, web agencies – any project that needs the support of the cloud to launch and scale, while ensuring a Cloud Act emancipated offering for Canadian businesses.  

Tech CEOs To Get Grilled By Congress Today…. Here’s How To Watch

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on July 29, 2020 by itnerd

Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook are set to be grilled by Congress today. Specifically the Judiciary Committee. The hearing is to find out if tech companies are using their dominant market positions to stifle competition which would be harmful to consumers. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as this is an election year which means that you might see some things might happen for no other reason than to increase the chances of re-election for some politician. If you’re interested in watching the “fun”, here’s a link to watch it live starting at noon ET:

Expect some feedback from yours truly once this is over.

Fresh Off Of Banning TikTok, India Looks To Ban Hundreds Of Chinese Made Apps

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 29, 2020 by itnerd

India recently banned TikTok as part of an ongoing spat with China where India cites security reasons for the ban. But news out of India indicates that this may not be the end as the Indian government is looking to ban hundreds of Chinese apps citing the same security reasons:

India has drawn up a list of 275 Chinese apps that it will examine for any violation of national security and user privacy, signaling heightened scrutiny and the possibility of more Chinese internet companies being banned in the country, according to people aware of the developments. This follows the high-profile ban of 59 Chinese apps last month, including short video app TikTok, amid simmering geopolitical tensions between the two Asian giants. 

The list, reviewed by ET, includes gaming app PubG, Zili by phonemaker Xiaomi, AliExpress by ecommerce giant Alibaba as well as apps like Resso and ULike from TikTok-owner ByteDance. “The government may ban all, some or none from the list,” said one person cited above. A spokesperson for the union home ministry did not respond to queries from ET on the developments. However, official sources said reviews aimed at identifying more Chinese apps and their funding is underway. “Some of these apps have been red-flagged due to security reasons while others have been listed for violation of data sharing and privacy concerns,” an official explained. This is in addition to examining the alleged flow of data from these apps to China that poses a threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, according to officials who pointed to what they termed as China’s data-sharing norm that requires companies of Chinese-origin to share data with the home country, irrespective of where they operate.

This is going to be interesting to watch because other countries such as the US and the UK are looking to do something similar. So depending on how bad the blow back is from the government of China, that will likely govern if this spreads. As for the privacy issues that these apps may or may not pose, the makers of these apps could make this go away by providing definitive proof that their apps pose no threat. To date they haven’t done that. But the need to if they don’t want to be banned from the biggest markets on the planet.

South African Social Development Department Improves Service Delivery with OpenText

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 29, 2020 by itnerd

 OpenText™ today announced the Department of Social Development of South Africa has deployed OpenText™ Documentum™ xCP, a case management framework to digitize its social assistance appeals process. The solution enables the department to provide a more effective, efficient, and accessible social assistance appeals service for its citizens and reduce legal expenditures.

OpenText™ Documentum™ xCP helps ensure compliance and enables department staff to promptly inform stakeholders of required action, escalate long-running appeals and generate audit reports for reference.

The department worked with local OpenText partner Faranani DocTec to implement the solution. The cost savings achieved by using OpenText™ Documentum™ xCP have been reallocated for the improvement of the Department of Social Development’s business services, including administration of appeals. These bottom-line benefits have also been put towards increasing awareness among potential applicants and beneficiaries of social assistance.

OpenText™ Documentum™ xCP features a low-code development environment for rapid design and deployment of robust case management solutions, bringing new efficiency and agility to complex information-centric processes, from loan applications to benefit approvals, across a range of industries. 

For more information on OpenText Documentum xCP, click here.