Archive for February 16, 2021

Guest Post: Hisense is Canada’s Fastest Growing TV Brand

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 16, 2021 by itnerd

Among the top 15-selling television brands in Canada, none had faster growing sales in 2020 than Hisense.

According to The NPD Group’s Canadian Consumer Technology Retail Tracking Service, Hisense was the fastest growing TV brand in unit sales over the course of 2020.  

“It is exciting to see Canadian consumers looking to a brand that offers both quality and value,” says Meaghan Wilkinson, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing for Hisense Canada. “Hisense is one of the top TV brands in the world, but we are relatively new to the incredibly competitive Canadian market. As more Canadians see what a Hisense TV adds to their viewing experience, I think we will continue see steady growth.” 

Hisense offers a full range of TV options, to fit every budget, need or room size: 

  • Laser TV — The Hisense Laser TV is redefining the big screen. This next-generation projection TV boasts 4K HDR on screens up to 120 inches. And unlike a traditional projector that mounts on the ceiling or at the back of the room, this one sits right under the screen. It features everything needed for the ultimate home theatre experience — more than a billion colours brilliantly displayed in UHD and HDR, smooth motion with no lag and a great view no matter where in the room you are sitting. Equipped with androidTV, you can stream more than 500,000 shows, movies and popular apps to your massive screen. 
  • QLED — The Quantum Dot technology in Hisense QLED TVs produces pure red, green and blue lights for a picture that is brighter, crisper and sharper. It is the perfect television for watching a movie, following along with your favourite sport or playing video games. HDR 10+ runs a scene-by-scene adjustment to create an image that is far more realistic. Access all of your favourites with androidTV and built-in Google Chromecast. 
  • UHD TV — The 4K Ultra HD TVs from Hisense have a resolution four times greater than a regular HD TV, with refined clarity for the finest details. A wide colour gamut ensures a vibrant picture — the rich red of roses, grasslands in stunning greens, the brilliant dep blue of the ocean. Dolby Vision™ gives the UHD TV better brightness, colour and contrast. They also come equipped with androidTV and built-in Google Chromecast, providing access to thousands of your favourite TV and movie titles.
  • Full HD — The entry-level category for Hisense still packs a big punch. It HD TVs are smart and sophisticated. The Master Pro video engine elevates the picture quality for richer colours, vivid contrast and clear motion. They also come equipped with either Hisense’s proprietary VIDAA U (which was designed in Canada) or Roku operating systems to allow you to access all of your favourite content.

For more information, please visit hisense-canada.com

Parler Is Apparently Back Online….. Sort Of…..

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 16, 2021 by itnerd

Parler has apparently made a return from the dead as it is back online following several weeks of darkness after the social media site popular with supporters of former president Donald Trump was Thanos snapped offline:

In a statement announcing the relaunch, Parler also said it had appointed Mark Meckler as its interim Chief Executive, replacing John Matze who was fired by the board this month.

Parler went dark after being cut off by major service providers that accused the app of failing to police violent content related to the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by followers of then-U.S. President Donald Trump.

Despite the relaunch, the website was still not opening for many users and the app was not available for download on mobile stores run by Apple and Alphabet-owned Google, which had earlier banned the app.

While several users took to rival Twitter to complain they were unable to access the service, a few others said they could access their existing account.

This shouldn’t inspire confidence as it sounds like things are bumpy right now for Parler. And perhaps things will be bumpy for a while seeing as AWS scales a lot better than pretty much any host out there. Including this host that Parler is using:

Parler seems to be using CloudRoute as its new host and replaced Amazon with open-source software platform Ceph, according to anonymous computer programmer “Crash override” who goes with the Twitter handle @donk_enby.

The programmer, who became famous for cataloging almost all the posts of users across Parler from the day of the Capitol riot, tweeted on Monday that user accounts were still there in the new platform but posts, images and videos were wiped.

Parler and CloudRoute did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

This of course ignores the fact that their apps are still unavailable in the Google Play and Apple App Store, and accessing sites like Parler is easier done from a Android or iOS device. So while Parler is back from the dead, their issues may not be over.

 

OVHcloud Introduces Managed Bare Metal Essentials Offering Announced

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 16, 2021 by itnerd

With the increasing shift to remote-work and the boom in online services, companies have had to accelerate their transition to the cloud to stay competitive. The benefits of such a rapid transition – time savings, increased productivity, reduced operating costs, etc. – are clear, however, deploying such solutions still remains a major challenge for small and medium-sized businesses businesses. The key takeaway: the transition needs to be run on a flexible, scalable, easy-to-manage infrastructure that allows an organization’s technical skills to be focused on the company’s core expertise and not on IT administration.

To effectively and sustainably support small and medium-sized enterprises in their cloud projects, OVHcloud has developed the Managed Bare Metal Essentials offering.

This new offering includes:

  • A complete and ready-to-use infrastructure (Bare Metal dedicated servers, dedicated datastore storage space, network and virtualization licenses) hosted and managed in OVHcloud data centres
  • Supported automation and orchestration of the infrastructure 24/7
  • VMware virtualization technology, which allows the customer to size and manage virtual machines with ease

Managed Bare Metal Essentials is the best option for growing companies looking to access a scalable, dedicated cloud environment with guaranteed resources and high availability. The solution helps to control budget costs with clear price predictability. 

Jonathan Druker, Product Marketing Manager, OVHcloud has this comment: 

“This new offer is OVHcloud’s answer for companies in many sectors, from small to medium sized businesses, who need to access an affordable, secure, scalable cloud environment with dedicated resources. With Managed Bare Metal Essentials, we offer customers a service that joins the benefits of a trusted, ready-to-use private cloud, with no concessions on performance or availability.”

SAP Canada Appoints New Chief Operating Officer

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 16, 2021 by itnerd

SAP Canada has announced the appointment of Brian Moore as SAP Canada’s Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Brian will design and implement business strategies, set performance and growth targets, drive operational excellence that supports customer success, and promote SAP’s award-winning company culture.

Based in Calgary, Brian has served as North America’s COO for SAP’s Intelligent Spend Management Team, leading the transformation of the business in partnership with regional leaders across the continent. He has earned a reputation as being customer-focused, outcome-oriented, and as an advocate for promoting diversity and early talent across his teams.

Prior to his North American role, Brian led the Intelligent Spend Management business turnaround in Canada, with his team winning accolades internally for its success in 2018 and 2019, which he credits to the culture of the team. Recently celebrating a decade with SAP, Brian also previously served as Canada’s western leader. Prior to SAP, he led successful teams with SAS and Sun Microsystems.

Brian will take over from former Canadian COO Sam Masri, who has taken on a new role as the Global Head of the Industry and Value Advisory organization. Sam has joined a global league of industry-leading professionals who partner with SAP customers around the world to create business and societal value by leveraging SAP innovations.

SAP Canada has become one of Canada’s most revered employers. In 2021, the company was honored with a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award, recognizing SAP Canada as one of the best places to work in Canada.

Guest Post: Google Reports A Record Number Of Requests To Disclose User Information In 2020 H1: Atlas VPN

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 16, 2021 by itnerd

For civil, administrative, criminal, and national security purposes, a range of laws enables government agencies worldwide to request user information from Google. 

Recent findings by Atlas VPN reveal that these requests have been steadily growing in the past five years. In the first half of 2020, Google reported a record number of applications for the disclosure of user information. 

The number of requests grew by 17,847, comparing the first half of 2020 to the second half of 2019, representing a 21% increase. Moreover, the number of internet users affected by these requests jumped from 175,712 in 2019 H2 to 235,449 in 2020 H1, amounting to a 34% surge. 

Figures dating back to 2016 reveal that in less than five years, the number of requests for internaut information shot up 2.31 times. 

Google approves 76% of requests

Not only is the number of requests growing, but Google continues to approve a higher percentage of these requests continuously since the second half of 2016. 

In the “Requests for user information FAQs” Google states that they always try to negotiate with the agencies to provide as little information as possible. However, the truth is that users do not know how hard the tech giant fights to protect this sensitive data. 

The search engine monopoly approved 76% of requests for the disclosure of their user information in the first half of 2020. 

Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on the state of privacy in the year 2021:

“Worldwide, almost all governments are increasing their attempts to collect and access data by tracking private citizens, seeking permission to use corporate-collected data, or collecting foreign government information.

With the increase of internet usage due to the pandemic, the current state of users privacy is tremendously troubling.

To read the full article, head over to: https://atlasvpn.com/blog/google-reports-a-record-number-of-requests-to-disclose-user-information-in-2020-h1

EU Calls Out TikTok For Violating Consumer Laws

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 16, 2021 by itnerd

TikTok has been targeted by EU consumer protection groups for allegedly violating the bloc’s consumer laws and for failing to protect children from hidden advertising and inappropriate content:

European consumer group BEUC cited several issues in its complaint, among them its terms of service.

“They are unclear, ambiguous and favour TikTok to the detriment of its users. Its copyright terms are equally unfair as they give TikTok an irrevocable right to use, distribute and reproduce the videos published by users, without remuneration,” it said.

It said the company’s virtual item policy where users can purchase coins to use for virtual gifts for TikTok celebrities whose performance they like, contains unfair terms and misleading practices.

“TikTok fails to protect children and teenagers from hidden advertising and potentially harmful content on its platform,” BEUC said.

The company’s practices for the processing of users’ personal data are misleading, it said.

In addition to BEUC’s complaint, consumer organisations in 15 countries have alerted their authorities and urged them to act.

If TikTok thinks it had problems with America, the EU are far more aggressive and have a track record of scoring big wins against companies like Microsoft for example. Thus if I were them, they should really try to play nice with the EU or it will end badly for them.