Archive for April 7, 2021

Review: Scooch Wingmate Hidden Wallet Case

Posted in Products with tags on April 7, 2021 by itnerd

I recently got a pair cases from Scooch that I am looking at this week. I am starting with the Scooch Wingmate Hdden Wallet Case which after using it for a few days, I would say that it is almost a perfect case. Let’s start with a look at the case:

The case is made of a pretty thick rubberized material that provides a healthy amount of protection. The camera is recessed so that the lenses are less likely to get damaged in a drop. Speaking of drops, Scooch says that this case is designed to meet military drop standards.

The sides are textured to ensure that the phone doesn’t slip out of your hands. I also must admit that the case really feels good in the hand and doesn’t feel bulky. The buttons have a very positive click to them as well.

As you can see here, you get protection on three sides as the bottom is exposed. The sides are raised so that the screen never touches a table for example. You’ll also notice that the screen protector on my phone doesn’t interfere with the case which is a good thing. It’s also a very tight fitting case. That means it isn’t coming off your phone if you drop it. At this point, it is clear that this is your typical case. But there are a couple extra party tricks.

The bottom quarter of the case can be opened to allow you to slide up to cars into it. And anything inside of this compartment isn’t going anywhere as the flap that allows you to open this compartment up locks into place. That way you can leave your wallet at home and go out with your ID and credit card. My wife pointed out that this is a really stealthy setup as nobody would ever know that you have that stuff on your person.

The other party trick is that you can use a ID or credit card to act as a kickstand. It works in portrait and landscape mode so that you can use the phone with no hands.

I should point out one more thing.

The circle inside the case is a magnet for Scooch’s Wingmount car mount and Wingmount accessory pack. That makes this case very versatile. I should also note that the corners have some sort of padding to protect your iPhone from shocks.

So it’s time to talk about the one thing that keeps this case from being perfect. Wireless charging. I have four wireless chargers in this house. It didn’t work with this one, or this one, or this one. It did work with this one. But only for a while as this case tends to make the phone hot which in turn shuts the charger down which presumably is meant to protect the phone and prevent your house from catching on fire. This is not uncommon for thicker phone cases that are meant to provide better than average drop protection. So while I like wireless charging, I would be willing to go back to wired charging to use this case if this was my daily driver. Speaking of wireless things, Apple Pay worked just fine.

I would likely use this case when I want to leave my wallet at home. For example, if I want to go for a training ride on my bike, I would slap on this case and slide in my ID and cards and go. Then switch back to another case when I get home. The reason why this use case appeals to me is due to the fact that this case has drop protection. That’s kind of important if you have a habit of whipping out your phone while on a ride like I do.

This Scooch Wingmate Hidden Wallet Case goes for $39 USD. If you want a case that protects your phone and provides a fair amount of extra functionality that is extremely useful. This case is worth a good hard look. Except for my challenges with wireless charging, I really liked this case and I will be using it frequently going forward.

Ring Introduces Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 7, 2021 by itnerd

Ring today announced Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, its most advanced outdoor security camera equipped with 3D Motion Detection with radar and Bird’s Eye View. The all-new Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro is a re-imagined floodlight that builds upon the features of the popular Ring Floodlight Cam to monitor outdoor spaces with motion-activated LED lights and HD video, providing homeowners more insight into what’s happening around their property.

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

Now the most advanced outdoor camera in Ring’s lineup, the newly re-designed Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro is equipped with Ring’s new innovative features, 3D Motion Detection and Bird’s Eye View, a 110db siren and color night vision. Additionally, new Audio+ helps users hear what’s happening more distinctly, with crisp, clear sound thanks to an array microphone for enhanced audio and echo cancellation. Users can easily hardwire Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro to the outside of their home and connect to wifi for around-the-clock power. Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro enables customers to check in on their property anytime from anywhere from their mobile or Alexa-enabled device, and see and speak with visitors in real-time. 

Designed with privacy and security in mind, Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro includes advanced features such as Customizable Motion Zones that trigger recordings, and Privacy Zones that exclude areas in the camera field of view from video recording. 

Expanding 3D Motion Detection Around the Home

Committed to providing customers with new features that make their cameras work better for them, Ring is expanding its 3D Motion Detection technology to Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro to give customers more control of the motion alerts they receive. 

With 3D Motion Detection technology, Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro allows homeowners to customize which areas of their property to monitor by selecting distance thresholds. The radar sensor determines when an object crosses the distance threshold by measuring its specific distance from the camera, and the camera then only activates once that threshold is crossed, sending homeowners a motion alert. 

Powered by 3D Motion Detection, Bird’s Eye View provides an aerial map view of the motion events in front of the floodlight camera and clearly shows the path visitors take when visiting the property. Also available on the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, this new feature creates a visual representation of the path traveled once a visitor crosses the selected threshold but before a motion alert is sent, so the homeowner has greater understanding of what’s happening when viewing individual videos from each device in the Ring app. 

Pricing and Availability

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro is $324.99 and is available for pre-order at Ring.com and Amazon.ca. Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro will begin shipping to customers on May 6, 2021.

Guest Post: Atlas VPN Says That Government Documents & Benefits Fraud Surged 45x In 2020

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 7, 2021 by itnerd

Recent findings by Atlas VPN reveal that government documents or benefits fraud jumped 45 times in 2020. Most states have experienced a dramatic surge in fraudulent unemployment benefits claims filed by organized crime rings using stolen identities. 

In short, fraudsters are utilizing phishing scams, past data breaches, and other methods to collect information from individuals across the nation and file for Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.

Edward Garb, Cybersecurity Researcher at Atlas VPN notes, that:

 “Not only did government documents or benefits fraud reach an all-time high, but it even became the most prominent scam strategy in 2020.”

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received 5,251 such complaints in 2019 Q4, while in 2020 Q4, the number reached a staggering 235,859 individual reports, representing a 4,391% increase.

Americans filed a total of 406,375 complaints regarding government documents or benefits fraud in 2020, which amounts to around 1,113 victims per day.  

Most people realize that they were a victim of identity theft when they get a notice from their employer or from their state unemployment benefits office regarding their supposed application for benefits. 

However, at that point, the funds have usually been transferred to the criminals’ account. Fraudsters then transfer the money through countless foreign accounts so that it would be nearly impossible to track down. 

Another note-worthy increase was in loan or lease fraud. This type of scam jumped from 32,295 complaints in 2019 Q4 to 59,900 in 2020 Q4, amounting to an 85% increase.

As a final note about the prevalence of identity theft in the US, the Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year.

To read the full article, head over to: https://atlasvpn.com/blog/government-documents-and-benefits-fraud-surged-45-times-in-2020

Facebook Tries To Spin Its Way Out Of Their Data Breach Crisis…. Which Should Make You Want To #DeleteFacebook

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 7, 2021 by itnerd

Facebook yesterday decided to respond to reports of a massive data breach that puts the data of over 500 million users at risk. Facebook product management director Mike Clark explained the situation in a blog post published to the company’s newsroom. Having read this blog post, this is a blatant attempt to spin and downplay the breach, likely to avoid people fleeing the platform and having authorities punish the company over it.

Here’s the highlights:

  • Clark acknowledges the Business Insider report regarding a massive leak of data. But at the same time he says that the information was scraped and not obtained through a hack.
  • Facebook is “confident” that it rectified the issue that allowed the hacker to get in and swipe this data.
  • There’s nothing else to see here. Move along.

I am sorry. But this blog post isn’t even close to being good enough in terms of explaining what happened here. Facebook truly needs to be punished for this. Especially seeing as Mark Zuckerberg’s personal data was part of this data breach. Which is a bit ironic. What needs to happen is that either the relevant authorities investigate the company and serve up some meaningful punishment, or via users finally saying enough is enough and dumping Facebook. We’re beyond the point of giving this company a pass and it’s time to finally #DeleteFacebook.