Archive for September 1, 2020

A Possible Fix For The Withings Health Mate App Crashing Issue On iOS

Posted in Commentary on September 1, 2020 by itnerd

Earlier today I posted a story on the Withings Health Mate app on iOS crashing upon startup. I have come across a fix that seems to work. The fix requires you to do two things:

  1. Install iOS 13.7 which was released today.
  2. Delete and reinstall the Withings Health Mate app.

When I did those two things, the app started to function normally. I’ll continue to monitor things, but so far it looks positive. Though there is a catch. If you are on a phone that isn’t compatible with iOS 13.7, you’re stuck. So Withings will still have to fix this on their end. And as I type this, the app has been non-functional for over 24 hours. So Withings really needs to get their act together.

ASUS Republic Of Gamers Announces Meta Buffs Product Lineup

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2020 by itnerd

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced an all-new lineup of gaming gear at the Meta Buffs online launch event. Aligning with the event theme, the new products are all meta buffs: status enhancements that are lighter, faster and more powerful for taking gaming experiences to a new level. 

The lineup features the new ROG Strix GeForce RTX™ 30 Series graphics cards, which unleash an amped-up thermal design and chart-topping performance with the NVIDIA® Ampere architecture. The new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs, the 2nd generation of RTX, feature new RT Cores, Tensor Cores and streaming multiprocessors, bringing stunning visuals, amazingly fast frame rates and AI acceleration to games and creative applications. Powered by the NVIDIA Ampere architecture, which delivers increases of up to 1.9 times performance-per-watt over the previous generation, the RTX 30 Series effortlessly powers graphics experiences at all resolutions, even up to 8K at the top end. The GeForce RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 represent the greatest GPU generational leap in the history of NVIDIA.

ROG also introduced the ROG Swift PG329Q, ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QN and ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QNR gaming monitors for ultrafast and ultrasmooth visuals; the ROG Strix XF 120 fan for low-noise cooling performance and versatility; ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000, the world’s first Wi-Fi 6E router; the ROG Strix Scope RX gaming keyboard, which debuts the responsive, reliable and durable ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switches; the ROG Keris Wireless mouse for compact and nimble control; the ROG Delta S headset for crystal-clear audio; and ROG Scabbard II, an extended gaming mouse pad with a protective nano-coating that repels water, oil and dust. 

By providing gamers with this lineup of meta buffs for optimal gameplay and potent status enhancements, ROG is delivering ultimate gaming experiences and the power to conquer the competition.

ROG Strix GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards

From top to bottom, ROG Strix GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards deliver the next wave of innovations in thermal design and accommodate the dynamic NVIDIA Ampere architecture. A new shroud with metal accents encompasses a trio of Axial-tech fans that have been tuned to fulfill specialized purposes. The center fan leverages a full-height barrier ring and 13 fan blades to provide boosted static pressure that drives air through the heatsink fins and onto the GPU heat spreader. The two outer fans feature 11 blades each and half-height barrier rings to allow for more lateral dispersion and to provide better airflow through the cooling array. Turbulence between fans is reduced due to a reversal of the center fan’s rotational direction. 

A larger heatsink that fills most of the card’s 2.9-slot footprint was designed to leverage the increased airflow. To get heat up off the die and into the heatsink array, MaxContact technology has been utilized to polish the surface of the heat spreader and improve smoothness at the microscopic level. The extra flatness allows for better contact with the die for enhanced thermal transfer. Not only has the cooling array been enhanced, but top-shelf capacitors, chokes and power stages effortlessly deliver hundreds of watts at a millisecond’s notice. ROG Strix GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards feature Super Alloy Power II components that have been soldered to the PCB using Auto-Extreme technology — an industry-exclusive automated manufacturing process — to ensure each card meets rigorous ROG specifications for quality and reliability.

Also included are FanConnect II headers that allow PWM fans to be tuned based on CPU and GPU temperatures, providing extra intake or exhaust for demanding 3D tasks and compute workloads. Builders looking for a quick and simple way to adjust the card’s default behavior can flick an onboard Dual BIOS switch to choose between “performance” and “quiet” profiles without software. Another ease-of-use feature is an onboard voltage sensing circuit that monitors PSU rail voltage. The circuit is fast enough to catch any transients that result in the rail voltage dropping too low. If that happens, a red LED will light up to indicate a power supply issue, making it easier to debug the source of crashes during gameplay. 

The front side of the GPU has also been buffed up. An addressable RGB element can be customized with the Armoury Crate software utility and the graphics card’s reinforced metal frame adds a literal layer of durability. Flipping the card around reveals a metal backplate with a wide vent. The vent allows hot air to escape towards chassis exhaust fans instead of being recycled back into the GPU cooler. Beneath the GPU, a bracket provides consistent mounting pressure between die and heat spreader. Stainless steel is used for the I/O bracket to protect ports and provide a more secure mount. 

The sum of all the design enhancements found on ROG Strix GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards results in a massive leap forward in thermal design. Paired with the outstanding performance of NVIDIA Ampere architecture, gamers now have access to fresh experiences ranging from insane frame rates in competitive titles to smooth high-resolution gameplay in immersive AAA games.

ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QN and PG259QNR gaming monitors

ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QN and PG259QNR are the world’s fastest esports gaming monitors with refresh rates of up to 360 Hz. The astounding 360 Hz refresh rate offered by ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QN and PG259QNR delivers up to 50 percent more frames per second than 240 Hz gaming monitors, giving gamers an edge over the competition. The 24.5-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) display features Fast IPS panel technology. The liquid crystal elements in the display turn on and off up to four times faster than conventional IPS panels for a superfast 1 ms gray-to-gray (GTG) response time. The display is also HDR10 compatible for color and brightness that exceed that of ordinary monitors, treating gamers to ultrarealistic graphics. A built-in NVIDIA® G-SYNC®processor provides full variable refresh rate (VRR) range and variable overdrive for ultrasmooth gaming visuals with no tearing, stuttering or input lag.

Reflex Latency Analyzer is a revolutionary system latency measurement tool integrated in new ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QNR NVIDIA G-SYNC Esports displays. PC performance for competitive gaming is about responsiveness—how quickly the display updates after mouse clicks or movements. The Reflex Latency Analyzer detects clicks coming from the mouse and then measures the time it takes for the resulting pixels (i.e. a gun muzzle flash) to change on screen. This type of measurement has been virtually impossible for gamers to do before now, requiring over $7,000 in specialized high-speed cameras and equipment. Reflex Latency Analyzer provides a much more complete and accurate understanding of mouse, PC and display performance. Now with Reflex Latency Analyzer, gamers can start a match with confidence, knowing their system is operating exactly as it should be.

In addition to the Reflex Latency Analyzer, the ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QNR also comes with an ROG Desk Mount Kit that saves ample desk or table space. ROG Desk Mount Kit can be switched with the monitor stand in only three simple steps and has a C-clamp that opens up to 80 mm wide for compatibility with most desks. 

ROG Swift PG329Q gaming monitor

ROG Swift PG329Q is a 32-inch (2560 x 1440) 175 Hz gaming monitor that features Fast IPS panel technology and is the world’s first NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible gaming monitor with variable overdrive. The liquid crystal elements in the display turn on and off up to four times faster than conventional IPS panels for a superfast 1 ms gray-to-gray (GTG) response time. Quantum-dot technology with factory color pre-calibration, DisplayHDR™ 600 certification, DCI-P3 98% and sRGB 160% provide wide color space for stunning color fidelity. ASUS Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync (ELMB Sync) technology eliminates motion blur without sacrificing variable refresh rates, and customized variable overdrive on ROG Swift PG329Q takes smooth visuals to the next level by dynamically adjusting pixel response to accommodate an entire range of refresh rates for razor sharp images in the heat of battle.

ROG Strix XF 120 cooling fan

ROG Strix XF 120 is a versatile 120-mm 4-pin pulse-width modulation (PWM) cooling fan that has been tested and verified to deliver optimized acoustic profiles across a range of performance demands. It delivers 62.5 cubic feet per minute (CFM) airflow and 3.07 mm H2O static pressure, which provides the flexibility to use ROG Strix XF 120 for static pressure applications, including as a CPU cooler or radiator, or for chassis cooling. For further cooling power, its small fan hub allows greater space for airflow, and the aerodynamic fan blades and curvature of the frame struts help direct air throughput to minimize turbulence and maximize airflow. 

ROG Strix XF 120 features magnetic-levitation technology that reduces friction when the fan rotates for a quiet acoustic profile and 400,000-hour longevity, while the specially grooved blades and an anti-vibrating design further reduce noise. With an extensive operating range of 250 to 1800 RPM, the fan can be adjusted to as low as 250 RPM and even automatically turns off when set to 0% PWM duty cycle for an ultralow noise profile and super-efficient cooling. 

ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 gaming router

ASUS is an established leader in the networking market and was the first to launch a Wi-Fi 6 router. Now ASUS is delivering the wider bandwidth and increased 160 MHz channels of Wi-Fi 6E with ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000, the world’s first Wi-Fi 6E router. With a tri-band design and 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 supports speeds of up to 11,000 Mbps and features WAN aggregation for WAN speeds of up to 2 gigabits per second. With 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 and a 2.5 gigabit-per-second LAN port, both wired and wireless networks can achieve speeds of more than 1 gigabit per second, bringing true multi-gigabit performance to life. GT-AXE11000 is powered by a quad-core 1.8 GHz 64-bit CPU with 1 gigabyte of RAM, so it can handle heavy traffic in Wi-Fi 6E networks. The router also uses the latest 6 GHz power amplifier to improve both the signal coverage and quality. 

Wi-Fi 6E technology takes advantage of the newly available radio spectrum in the 6 GHz band, which has three-times more bandwidth than the 5 GHz band. It also adds seven extra 160 MHz channels to the current Wi-Fi 6 standard, provides lower latency, and will be dedicated to Wi-Fi 6E devices for maintaining high speeds that will not be affected by legacy devices.

ROG Strix Scope RX keyboard

ROG Strix Scope RX is the first mechanical RGB gaming keyboard to debut ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switches, which are the first in the world to feature a hollow-square stem design with embedded RGB LEDs for all-round per-key lighting. The unique design of each switch delivers a near-zero debounce delay to ensure instantaneous activation the moment a key is pressed. The hollow-square stem and X-stabilizer mechanism provide consistent wobble-free keystrokes, while the 100-million-keypress lifespan ensures extreme durability. 

ROG Strix Scope RX provides an alloy top cover and IP56 water and dust resistance to further ensure durability and longevity. It comes ready for the action of first-person shooter (FPS) games with an extended Ctrl key for ‘Crouch,’ and other commands. A USB 2.0 port can be used as a passthrough for device charging and external storage. The Stealth key hides all apps and mutes audio for instant privacy, and the quick-toggle switch quickly changes between functions and media inputs. The keyboard also features a backlit ROG logo and customizable lighting effects. The Armoury Crate software utility allows users to customize user profiles, map keys, record macros and even track hardware stats during gameplay.

ROG Keris Wireless mouse 

ROG Keris Wireless is an incredibly light and nimble gaming mouse at just 79 grams, providing increased grip comfort during extended gameplay. The mouse is the product of ROG’s close collaboration with a professional esports team to create the ultimate gaming mouse for pro gamers. After six months and numerous prototypes, ROG Keris Wireless offers gamers the perfect mouse shape. 

Featuring tri-mode connectivity, ROG Keris Wireless gives gamers a choice of using an ultrafast 2.4 GHz wireless, energy-efficient Bluetooth® LE, or wired USB when the battery needs to be topped up. The high-speed sensor has been specially tuned by ROG to have 16,000 dpi sensitivity, 400 ips and 40 g acceleration for premium precision and swiftness. ROG Keris Wireless also features the ROG-exclusive push-fit switch-socket design with the new ROG Micro Switch, which offers 70-million-click durability and a gold-plated electro junction for longevity. 

Equipped with the firm texture of L/R buttons made of PBT, ROG Keris Wireless offers exceptional durability. The rounded, 100 percent TPFE mouse feet provide a smooth glide across any mousepad. ROG Keris Wireless also includes swappable side buttons that come in different colors for more customization options and an extremely soft ROG cable to reduce friction for unimpeded gameplay. 

ROG Delta S headset

ROG Delta S gaming headset delivers impeccably clear, detailed audio to give serious gamers the edge to win. It features the industry-leading, hi-fi-grade ESS 9281 CODEC with QUAD DAC™ technology, and is the first gaming headset with Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) technology, which is an award-winning technology that delivers studio-quality audio files to reveal every detail of the original recording. Embedded MQA Renderer technology in ROG Delta S can connect to an MQA core signal and complete the final “unfold” of an MQA file for incredible audio quality. The ASUS AI noise-canceling microphone on ROG Delta S delivers crystal-clear in-game voice communication, and exclusive ASUS Essence drivers, an airtight chamber design and audio signal diversion technology work in unison for incredibly immersive audio. 

ROG Delta S weighs just 300 grams and has ergonomic D-shaped ROG Hybrid ear cushions for unmatched comfort during extended gaming sessions. Its USB-C® connector allows users to play on a PC and then jump to a gaming console or mobile device without having to change headsets. Customizable, circular RGB lighting can be used with other Aura Sync-enabled gear and unique soundwave lighting effects flash in tune with the user’s voice.

ROG Scabbard II mouse pad

ROG Scabbard II is an extended gaming mouse pad that offers ample space for a keyboard, mouse and other gaming gear, making it the ideal battle stage for gaming. It is made out of durable fabric with a military-grade nano-coating that repels water, oil and dust, giving gamers an optimal mouse gliding surface. Featuring anti-fray, narrow-stitched edges and a non-slip rubber base, ROG Scabbard II is a gamer’s best ally. 

AVAILABILITY 

  • The ROG Strix GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards will be available starting from September 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QN and PG259QNR monitors will be available starting from September 2020 and November 2020 respectively in North America. 
  • The ROG Swift PG329Q monitor will be available starting from October 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Strix XF 120 fan will be available starting from December 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 gaming router will be available starting from December 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Strix Scope RX keyboard will be available starting from October 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Keris Wireless mouse will be available starting from late Q4 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Delta S headset will be available starting from late Q4 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Scabbard II mouse pad will be available starting from Q4 2020 in North America. 

Independent Study Finds that Hybrid Cloud Enables Agility & Collaboration for Off-Cloud Workloads

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2020 by itnerd

OpenText™ today announced the findings from a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of OpenText. The study confirms that migrating content management to the cloud remains critical for digital transformation. However, it also shows that a hybrid approach of both cloud-based and on-premises solutions can provide many of the same benefits, including improved flexibility, sales and service cycles, collaboration, and customer satisfaction. 

The study, “Hybrid Cloud Enables Agile Content Management and Collaboration,” includes insights from 208 respondents with responsibility for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) decisions at enterprises in North America and Europe. The study explores the use of hybrid infrastructures—a combination of cloud and on-premises—for content storage, management and collaboration use cases. 

Key findings from the survey include: 

  • A modernized content management approach helps accelerate digital transformation objectives: Over three quarters (76%) of organizations cite improving content management as being significantly important to accelerating their digital business as demands for improved collaboration and customer experiences grow.
  • Cloud is critical to a modern content strategy: Cloud content services simplify access, content creation, and interaction with both customers and business partners. Organizations that are using cloud for content storage, management and collaboration cite considerably greater improvements than their on-premises peers in the areas of customer satisfaction (72% vs. 25%), security (70% vs. 16%), and usability (64% vs. 16%). 
  • Companies mired in migration paralysis are being left behind: Nearly two thirds (64%) of organizations with content exclusively on-premises believe they face a competitive disadvantage and half (51%) struggle to keep up with customer expectations for self-service.
  • A hybrid architecture provides a phased approach to content in the cloud: Hybrid cloud options allow organizations to move content and collaboration apps to the cloud at their own pace while still benefiting from the agility that comes with moving to the cloud. Like organizations taking a cloud-only approach, those that adopt a hybrid approach report improved flexibility (70%), faster sales and service cycles (73% and 58%), and better collaboration (67%) and customer satisfaction (80%).

The study also found that those looking to modernize their content management approach expect improvements in collaboration (52%), security (51%) and productivity (43%). OpenText is uniquely positioned to improve productivity and collaboration without compromising governance, security, and control through its integrated cloud-based information management solutions, which include content services and sharing, as well as data back up and endpoint protection. With flexible cloud-deployment options and managed service expertise, OpenText enables organizations to take advantage of the cloud in ways that best suit their needs.

Access the full study or read the blog to learn more.

OVHcloud Announces Hosted Private Cloud Premier

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2020 by itnerd

OVHcloud today announced the launch of its new Premier hosted private cloud product line.  The release of Premier follows the company being named a “strong performer” by Forrester in the “Hosted Private Cloud North America 2020 Wave” report issued last month. The unification of its private cloud solutions and the isolation of the Group’s offering from the Cloud Act, was well receivedThe pricing criteria achieved the highest score possible, confirming OVHcloud’s commitment to offering trusted cloud solutions with a predictable, totally transparent price (available online, without any hidden costs).

OVHcloud’s expertise, combined with a strong partner ecosystem

With 10 years of expertise in hosted private cloud solutions, OVHcloud offers robust, scalable, and highly automated infrastructure that meets professional requirements for operating critical environments and performing intensive workloads. The Group also offers a wide range of certifications, addressing the needs of the financial sector in order to comply with the PCI Security Council standards (PCIDSS) or the healthcare sector.

This new generation of Hosted Private Cloud is the result of a close collaboration with OVHcloud’s technology partners, since it integrates multiple divisions of hardware and software: offering a choice of new components – including the latest generation of Intel CPUs – where network and storage are completely redesigned. All these innovations, verified in R&D for several months, are now exclusively integrated into production. In addition, OVHcloud’s customers can benefit from the integration, managed services support and consultation of an ecosystem of 800 certified OVHcloud Partner Program partners to support them implement these innovative solutions.

More performance for mission-critical and resource-intensive applications


Accessible to all OVHcloud customers around the world, Hosted Private Cloud Premier offerscompanies a wide range of solutions with unique advantages:

A broader range of 7 standard hosts, complemented by 3 new hyperconverged hostreferences that rely on VMware vSAN technology and range from 48GB to 768GB ofRAM, for better performance and reduced latency, ideal for critical applications;

  • NFS datastores up to 6TB, providing storage capacity at an unmatched price-performance ratio that allows professionals to store data in the data centers of theirchoice (7 locations worldwide[1]) with confidence;
  • Private and public network access with more capacity – up to 25 Gbps to improve application performance;
  • A full range of VMware software: vCenter, vSphere version 6.7 (Enterprise Plus license),vSAN, and NSX. Hosted Private Cloud Premier also integrates VMware’s vRealizeOperations brick at no additional cost to facilitate access to infrastructure monitoring andcapacity planning. The Hosted Private Cloud offering is based on the foundation ofVMware standards and guarantees total technological reversibility;
  • Simple, competitive and predictable pricing for customers to control their budget.

Hosted Private Cloud Premier will be complemented by the introduction of another line, HostedPrivate Cloud Essentials, offering simple, secure, efficient and accessible virtualization solutions that are especially suited to “digital natives”, startups, and SMBs.

Withings Health Mate For iOS Crashing For Many Users…. And This Isn’t The First Time This Has Happened [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2020 by itnerd

Withings is a popular choice for people who want high tech gear to help manage their health. They make smart scales, smart watches, smart thermometers and the like and are sold in places like the Apple Store. All of this gear tied their cloud services. And at present it appears that they have an issue with their cloud services in relation to those who are on iOS. Reports started to filter in that the iOS app would crash upon starting. Since I have one of their smart scales, I was able to screen record this issue so you can see what I am talking about:

What’s interesting is that the first time you run it, it crashes. But when you check to see what’s running, Health Mate is still running. When you access it, it crashes again. I am able to replicate this on multiple devices and my wife was able to replicate this as well. The reason why I know that this is a back end issue with Withings cloud services is that if you put your phone into airplane mode, it will not crash. That implies that the app itself isn’t the issue.

Checking the Withings forums, you can find that this has happened before. This thread was started about two years ago and a recent post indicates you should be running version 5.0 to avoid this. Well, I am running 5.0.2 and so is my wife and I still have the issue. Three other threads have been spun up reporting this issue as well. It isn’t clear if Withings is working on this, but there’s clearly an issue that Withings has had before that they clearly can’t wrap their arms around as this shouldn’t be happening.

The only work around that I can see is to log into their web portal and see your info there. But you can’t configure your Withings gear from there, and some Withings gear requires you to use the app to use the gear in question. So clearly Withings needs to put their big boy pants on and address this issue quickly. Because this is the sort of thing that leaves a bad taste in users mouths and make them look for other products from other companies who might deliver more reliable service.

UPDATE: Withings is apparently aware of this:

UPDATE #2: I might have found a POSSIBLE fix for this. Details here.