Archive for January 6, 2021

BREAKING: Twitter Locks Trump’s Account For At Least 12 Hours

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 6, 2021 by itnerd

Twitter has finally decided to take action against the Twitter account belonging to President Donald Trump because of the violence that happened today, and which was largely instigated by Trump. Twitter explained this move in a series of Tweets:

Here’s the problem with this. Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been a source of hate and despicable behavior for years. Everybody knows this. But it took the events of today for Twitter to finally do the right thing and shut this clown down. While that’s better than Facebook who has never done anything about Trump, and it is true that Twitter has flagged many of Trump’s Tweets for some time now, Twitter could have and should have done more. We might not be here watching the violence that is unfolding in Washington D.C. had Twitter done something earlier. To be clear, I am not blaming Twitter for what has and is happening today. But they could have done far more and far sooner. And the net result might have been that we might not be talking about this violence now.

UPDATE: Trump has apparently deleted the Tweets that prompted this action from Twitter.

UPDATE #2: YouTube and Facebook have taken down videos related to this incident. In a related note, Trump may get his Twitter account back at any time. God help the planet when that happens.

Guest Post: App Development Security Is The Most Wanted Cybersecurity Skill In 2021 Says Atlas VPN

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 6, 2021 by itnerd

The year 2020 revealed that businesses still struggle when it comes to cybersecurity. Not only are organizations dealing with cybersecurity workforce shortage, which is estimated to be at 3.12 million, but existing security specialists have to constantly reinvent their skills to keep up with the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, the fastest-growing cybersecurity skill in 2021 is Application Development Security. The demand for this competence is determined to rise by 164% in five years.

Last year, 29,635 job vacancies required knowledge in Application Development Security, meaning that we can expect 48,601 new openings for specialists with this expertise over the next five years. As the world is turning more mobile, the necessity for Application Development Security know-how is increasing as well.

The second most rapidly growing skill is Cloud Security. In 2020, the cybersecurity job market had 19,477 job openings for Cloud Security experts, while the need for such specialists is projected to grow by 115% in five years. 

Risk Management rounds out the top three quickest-growing cybersecurity competencies. Last year, there were 57,967 job vacancies for professionals skilled in Risk Management. According to the estimates, their demand will increase by 60% in five year’s time. 

Cloud Security skill pays the most

The numbers suggest that, in general, most rapidly growing cybersecurity competencies are the most profitable. 

Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, explains why specialist are rewarded differently for specific skills:

“It is no secret that certain skills pay more because they are more valuable to employers  due to the high demand and low supply of talent.”

The average salary premium for professionals knowledgeable in Application Development Security is $12,266. In the meantime, workers with Cloud Security know-how receive an average bonus of $15,025 — the most of all the top-growing cybersecurity skills. Moreover, those experienced with Risk Management can expect an average salary premium of $13,379.

To read the full report, head over to:

Dodge The Winter Blues With Some Good Old Fashion Adventure With Watch Dogs Legion

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 6, 2021 by itnerd

The days are still short, the weather might be dreary, and we need a reason to get outside – so let’s take our minds off the upcoming winter blues by immersing yourself into the exciting dystopian streets of London in Watch Dogs: Legion.

Options for adventure in the real world might be limited for the time being, Watch Dogs: Legion is chalk full of thrilling adventure for you to virtually embark on. Even better, online co-operative play will be available early this year for you to dive into the fun with your best friends by your side!

If your four walls at home are bringing you down and you fancy a walk in the park, consider the Watch Dogs: Legion Toronto Adventure and recruit your own resistance in real-life!

*Please note that it is safe for players to participate as long as they abide by social distancing guidelines and wear a mask. There is no requirement to enter a business or interact with others to play the Adventure.

Review: Jabra Elite 85t Wireless Earbuds

Posted in Commentary on January 6, 2021 by itnerd

Every company wants to kill the Apple AirPods Pro as they are perceived to be the market leader. But to be frank, I am not sure why as when I reviewed them, I wasn’t blown away by their performance. And the price wasn’t exactly cheap given the level of performance that I found. Which is why when I got my hands on the Jabra Elite 85t wireless earbuds this week, I was interested in seeing if they could do better than the AirPods Pro.

Here’s a look at what comes in the box:

You get the earbuds in their charging case, a USB-A to USB-C cable, and ear tips that are oval rather than round in the usual small, medium and large sizes. The medium ones are installed on the earbuds out of the box. Here’s the logic of having oval tips: They fit better and provide some ventilation which in turn makes them more comfortable to wear. It also means that they are a semi-open design rather than what the AirPods Pro are which is a completely closed design.

Here’s a closer look at the earbuds:

When you have them in your ears, they are low profile and don’t attract a lot of attention. I like that.

Now on to the key features. The top feature on the list is active noise cancelling. Unlike the AirPods Pro, you can adjust it with 5 different levels of noise cancelling to suit your needs. But to go along with active noise cancelling, the Elite 85t’s also has a Hear Through mode with 5 different levels which mixes the music with ambient noise. That way you are aware of your surroundings. Handy for jogging for example. Also handy for anybody who wants to work out with these is the fact that they are IPX4 water resistant. Which means while you can’t put these underwater, they will survive rain and sweat. One thing that I should point out is that Jabra backs their IPX4 rating by offering a 2 year warranty unlike Apple with the AirPods Pro.

One thing that I really like is that the Elite 85t’s buck the trend of having touch sensitive controls for mechanical buttons. I found that they work way more reliably than touch sensitive controls which makes it very easy to control things during workouts for example. And you can set things up to control as much or as little as you want using the the Jabra Sound+ app. This app also gives you a hearing test of sorts when you first set things up so that it can tune the earbuds to provide the best sound for you. What that involves is playing a variety of tones in each ear at different frequencies and volumes. I did this twice and I did notice slightly different playback quality, both of which was quite good. If that’s not for you, you can tune things manually to your liking.

Other random things that I noted include:

  • Remove one earbud and the music stops. Put it back in and the music starts up again.
  • You can listen to music using one earbud as long as it is the right one. That’s a bit weird as the AirPods Pro lets you do this with either.
  • It supports being paired to 8 devices and you can connect to 2 devices at the same time. Though I found that support to be strange. For example I had both my iPhone 12 Pro and my MacBook Pro paired to the Elite 85’s at the same time. But to play music on my iPhone 12 Pro, I had to disconnect my MacBook Pro from the earbuds to make that happen. I am hoping that this could be fixed via a software update.
  • It supports SBC and AAC audio codecs.
  • Using these earbuds to listen to video is great as there is very low to near zero latency.

One final thing that I should note is that the case which provides up to 31 total hours of battery life based on the following:

  • With active noise cancelling: 19.5 hours of battery in the case with 5.5 hours of battery life for the earbuds.
  • Without active noise cancelling: 24 hours of battery in the case with 7 hours of battery life for the earbuds.

Those numbers are marginally better than what the AirPods Pro offer.

It comes with a USB-C cable for charging purposes, but you can also use it with a Qi wireless charger to charge the case as well. Charging wirelessly takes 3.5 hours, but charging wired takes 3 hours. And if you need a quick boost, charging for 15 minutes will give you 60 minutes of playback. The case easy to pocket unless you have tight jeans, though I note that it is slightly slippery.

So let’s get to the key points. How does it sound and how do the earbuds feel in your ears. The sound quality is top shelf. I used the hearing test to set these up and didn’t touch any other settings. The net results was that the bass and treble were set to my liking and enhanced the music as opposed to distorting it. When compared to the AirPods Pro, I found the sound on the Elite 85T’s to be much better as it seemed more brighter and detailed to me. Active noise cancellation is no joke as it works extremely well as when I tested it while set at max. It pretty much eliminated any outside noise and it didn’t seem to affect the music quality at all. When I tested the Hear Through mode while set at max, my voice sounded slightly robotic, but everything else sounded more or less natural. And it didn’t really affect the music quality at all. At worst, all of this is on par with the AirPods Pro.

I tested these using a Zoom call, a regular phone call, and a Microsoft Teams call and my voice came through just fine according to those at the other end of those calls. But you can be the judge of that using this audio sample below:

Personally, I think it picks up and reproduces my voice very well and you won’t have an issue if you use these to speak to someone. One cool thing is that the earbuds configure themselves to pipe your voice into your ears so that speaking on a call doesn’t sound weird.

To test how comfortable they are, I used these on a couple of Zwift indoor cycling rides. I usually don’t use earbuds while riding indoors because 15 or 20 minutes into the ride they either become uncomfortable or the fall out which is distracting. That wasn’t the case with the Elite 85t’s. On one 44 minute ride at race pace, I enjoyed my music while suffering like a dog at the same time. I barely noticed them in my ears and there was no pressure in my ear canals. Plus they stayed in my ears despite sweat, full effort sprints, and full effort climbing that should have made other earbuds fall out. That was a win. Though the ride itself wasn’t a win.

I do have a feature request that I sent to Jabra via Twitter:

That way I don’t have to fish through my apps to find Sound+ to see what my battery status is. Jabra came back with this:

Hopefully they act on that as I think this would be a good feature.

So are the Jabra Elite 85t’s AirPods Pro killers? No as there’s a few oddities with them that while they aren’t deal breakers, stops these earbuds from being AirPod Pro killers. But I do think they are excellent AirPods Pro alternatives. Especially since they list for $229 USD. That’s about $20 USD cheaper than the AirPods Pro and you get more for your money. And you could save some more cash if you find it on special on Amazon. If you’re in the market for wireless earbuds, these absolutely deserve your time and attention.