Archive for September 17, 2020

Oracle Is In Touching Distance Of Owning TikTok…. Maybe

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

Oracle and a range of investors appear to be close to taking ownership of TikTok’s U.S. operations. Of course this assumes that the deal gets approval from President Donald Trump. And The Chinese don’t stop it. Here’s what Bloomberg had to say:

The Treasury Department, TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd. and Oracle Corp. have tentatively agreed to terms for Oracle’s bid for the U.S. operations of the social-media service, according to people familiar with the matter.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent Bytedance a revised terms sheet late Wednesday and the company and Oracle accepted it, the people said. They described the changes as addressing national security concerns about the transaction and asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

And:

Any deal needs to be approved by both Trump — who could still reject the transaction — and the Chinese government, where officials have accused the U.S. of “economic bullying.”

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is aware of the revised terms but hasn’t reviewed the latest details in depth and hasn’t weighed in on whether Trump should sign off on the deal, one person familiar with the matter said.

This should prove interesting. While this seems like we are near the end of this saga, we’re not. Trump might wake up one morning, see something on his Twitter feed that angers him, and nuke the deal. Or the Chinese may stop it. So watch this space as this story is sure to develop further.

BREAKING: Canada Revenue Agency Now Says 48500 Accounts Affected By Credential Stuffing Attack

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

Well, this is a wee bit alarming.

The Canada Revenue Agency or CRA for short now says a mind blowing 48500 accounts were affected by the credential stuffing attack that happened in August that forced the CRA website offline for a few days and affected a number of government departments in the process while security was improved. CTV News has the details:

In a major update to the impact of a series of credential stuffing attacks on government websites including the Canada Revenue Agency, the country’s top information officer now says that “suspicious activities” have been found on 48,500 CRA user accounts.

And:

While it was initially reported that 5,500 CRA account users had their personal information accessed, officials then updated that number, saying a total of 11,200 accounts across Government of Canada services were compromised in the attacks. These included cyberattacks directly targeting both CRA accounts as well as “GCKey” accounts, which can be used by 30 government departments and agencies to access other online portals such as veterans’ benefits and immigration applications.

Every Canadian should be running to the CRA website and doing the following right now:

  1. Log in and see if you can still do so. If you cannot, you may have a problem.
  2. If you can log in, check to see if you applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. If you haven’t but the CRA website says you have, you have a problem.
  3. Check to see if your address or banking information has changed. If it has you have a problem.

Now if any of the above falls under the “you have a problem” category, you should do what is recommended in this release from the CRA, which is to call 1-800-959-8281 (English) or 1-800-959-7383 (French) immediately.

If all is well with your CRA account, I would instantly change your password to something is at least 8 characters long, contains an uppercase letter, a number, and for bonus points a special character (!@#$%^&* for example). And I would enable email notifications on your account so that you can get notified of any changes. Especially ones that you didn’t make.

The bottom line is that the Government of Canada has now seriously dropped the ball here. To have about 4 times as many people affected by this hack is appalling. And they are beyond due to answer some serious questions about why this happened and why they should be trusted to protect the personal information of Canadians going forward.

OVHcloud named as a Contender in IDC MarketScape

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

The IDC MarketScape report assessed and selected OVHcloud among 8 companies operating on the public cloud market. The criteria for this study are based on a strict evaluation grid: the variety of services offered by the companies, as well as their size and global footprint. The IDC MarketScape methodology helps evaluate vendors and advise IT buyers to choose the right public cloud technologies.

One of OVHcloud‘s strengths highlighted in the study, lies in a complete portfolio of IaaS solutions that include dedicated servers and private cloud, in addition to its public cloud offering.

Positioned on a transparent, predictable and competitive model, this range of solutions helps develop a strong and recognized value proposition in the cloud market. OVHcloud’s public cloud offering stands out for its compliance with the values of data sovereignty as enacted by the European legal framework on data protection.The study finally notes that OVHcloud has invested in a rich ecosystem in order to offer qualified software and applications to its customers.

The excerpt of the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service 2020 Vendor Assessment ( Doc #US46795720, September 2020) report can be viewed by clicking here.

iRobot Introduces the Roomba® i3+

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

iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), the leader in consumer robots, today expanded its Roomba® robot vacuum lineup with the launch of the new Roomba® i3+, a stylish new Roomba vacuum packed with advanced features. Starting at $599 USD, the Roomba i3+ offers intelligent navigation, self-emptying capability with Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal, and an expanded range of personalized cleaning features powered by the recently launched iRobot Genius Home Intelligence

Take vacuuming off your plate

Similar to the iRobot Roomba i7+ and Roomba s9+ robot vacuums, the Roomba i3+ comes equipped with the Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal. With Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal, the robot empties debris on its own, with no intervention from the user. Consumers don’t have to think about emptying the bin for months at a time or worrying the robot won’t finish the job due to a full bin. The Roomba i3+ automatically empties up to 60 days’ worth of dirt and debris into the Clean Base, which doubles as the robot’s charging station. The debris is then locked away in the Clean Base’s enclosed AllergenLock™ bag that uses four layers of allergen blocking material to trap 99 percent of pollen and mold.

The Roomba i3+ purposefully and logically cleans in neat rows to navigate multiple rooms within the home, across hard floors and carpet. If the robot’s battery runs low, the Roomba i3+ will automatically recharge and resume cleaning until the job is complete.

The Roomba i3+ is also equipped with a High-Efficiency Filter that captures 99 percent of pollen, mold, dust mites, and cat and dog allergens. The robot’s 3-Stage Cleaning System consists of Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes that work together to effectively clean, a specially designed Edge-Sweeping Brush to get into corners, and 10X the Power-Lifting Suction as compared to Roomba 600 Series. Using patented Dirt Detect™ technology, the Roomba i3+ knows where dirt builds up and focuses cleaning in those specific areas.

Adapts to your life, listens to your voice

The Roomba i3+ brings a thoughtful new design that fits well into consumers’ homes, with a durable, woven texture that minimizes fingerprints and collects less dust. The hidden-until-lit light ring helps the robot blend into the background, only lighting up to communicate robot behaviors or notifications when the robot is actively cleaning.

Users can also get more out of their Roomba i3+ with the newly redesigned iRobot Home App, powered by iRobot Genius™, which takes users beyond standard app control to give them a personalized cleaning experience. Available for iOS and Android devices, iRobot’s state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and home understanding capabilities enable the Roomba i3+ to learn how you like to clean. The Roomba i3+ will offer personalized suggestions via the iRobot Home App, such as recommended cleaning schedules based on past cleaning jobs and helpful cleaning suggestions during pet-shedding or allergy seasons.

Event-based automations can be set up directly within the iRobot Home App, an exclusive capability for iRobot customers that is powered by iRobot Genius™ and IFTTT Connect. Whether you’re heading off to work or going for a hike, the Roomba i3+ can begin cleaning when prompted by location-based services like Life360 or from smart home devices, like the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. When paired with Alexa enabled devices or the Google Assistant, users can control the Roomba i3+ with just the sound of their voice. The Roomba i3+ also supports Imprint Link™ Technology so that it can team up with the iRobot Braava jet® m6 mopping robot to deliver an extra level of clean.

Pricing and Availability

The Roomba i3+ robot vacuum is available immediately for purchase online in the U.S. ($599 USD) and Canada ($749 CAD) on www.irobot.com and www.irobot.ca, and in retailers later this September. The Roomba i3 robot vacuum can also be purchased without the Clean Base® starting at $399 USD and $499 CAD. The Roomba i3+ is expected to be available in other international markets beginning in Q1 2021.

Roomba i3+ robot vacuum photos, videos and information can be found at: https://media.irobot.com/media-kits.