Archive for October 6, 2021

BREAKING: TELUS/Koodo Has A Wireless Outage In Winnipeg, Ontario & Quebec

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

TELUS at this hour has a significant outage as per this Tweet that appeared on my Twitter timeline:

I tested this with my iPhone as I am a TELUS customer and got a “No Service” notification. So this isn’t good. Checking Twitter illustrates that a whole lot of TELUS and Koodo (the flanker brand of TELUS) customers are very upset. I’ll update this post as I get more info, but from past experience, outages like this don’t get resolved quickly. Thus I suspect the rage from TELUS/Koodo customers will only increase over time.

UPDATE: This affects Public Mobile customers as well.

UPDATE #2: Further testing indicates that I can make phone calls using TELUS WiFi. So if you have that functionality enabled on your phone, and you’re on WiFi, you can still make and receive calls. This document can help you enable it if you don’t already have it enabled.

UPDATE #3: TELUS is now directing customers to the outage page for status updates. Also, some people have emailed me asking why this won’t be a quick fix. Though while I am free to be surprised, I know that mobile phone networks are built to be redundant. That’s why they don’t go down frequently and when they do, it’s an event that captures the attention of many. So whatever happened to TELUS today, it has to be catastrophic. And those sorts of events don’t get fixed quickly. Thus TELUS/Koodo/Public Mobile customers will need to pack their patience.

UPDATE #4: I am surprised. I just checked my phone and saw this:

It seems that the TELUS network is live again. I’m watching closely to see if it stays live.

UPDATE #5: I just received an official statement from TELUS:

TELUS is working to fully recover service after some customers experienced intermittent wireless service issues in parts of Ontario earlier this afternoon. We know how critical connectivity is for our customers, and we sincerely apologize for the service interruption. Further updates can be followed by visiting telus.com/outages.

I can also say that some people are able to get service back by restarting their device(s). The TELUS outage page has that advice. I would suggest trying that to see if you get your wireless service back.

UPDATE #6: Full service has been restored to all customers

Twitch Pwned… Source Code, Financial Details & Other Details Published

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

It seems that game streaming site Twitch has been pwned by hackers. The entire Twitch source code, user comment history, and detailed financial records has reportedly been posted online by an anonymous hacker. According to VGC, the files were leaked to 4chan by an anonymous hacker:

The user posted a 125GB torrent link to 4chan on Wednesday, stating that the leak was intended to “foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space” because “their community is a disgusting toxic cesspool”.

VGC can verify that the files mentioned on 4chan are publicly available to download as described by the anonymous hacker.

Twitch has confirmed that the hack is real. As a result you should change your password and enable two factor authentication to protect yourself. But given that the following was leaked:

  • The entirety of Twitch’s source code with comment history “going back to its early beginnings”
  • Creator payout reports from 2019
  • Mobile, desktop and console Twitch clients
  • Proprietary SDKs and internal AWS services used by Twitch
  • “Every other property that Twitch owns” including IGDB and CurseForge
  • An unreleased Steam competitor, codenamed Vapor, from Amazon Game Studios
  • Twitch internal ‘red teaming’ tools (designed to improve security by having staff pretend to be hackers)

This can be consider a very devastating hack that Twitch and it’s owners Amazon are going to have great difficulty recovering from.

UPDATE: Marcus Fowler, Director of Strategic Threat, Darktrace had this to say about this hack: 

“Based on the information available, Twitch’s attacker appears to be a hacktivist working to damage the company for failing to take action against hate. This breach is on the heels of the mid-September hack against a web-hosting company, Epik, known for serving right-wing websites – continuing the emerging trend of malicious actors operating in line with their perceived ethical codes or social responsibilities. Current speculation points to this breach coming through a third-party provider to Twitch, which reminds companies that they are only ever as secure as their supply chain. In this case, as with so many cyber-attacks, the ramifications are likely to be vast for Twitch – from both a reputational and financial standpoint.The leak of the creator payloads would have been relatively straightforward (though time-consuming) to compute manually even before the leak – but collating these in one place has provided an extensive target list of individuals and organizations with high net worth for scammers to sift through. In today’s threat environment, no industry or organization is safe and the range of bad actors are not only those thinking about monetary gain or geopolitical advantage. Targets include traditional manufacturing companies through highly digitized live-streaming platforms like Twitch. All organizations should take measures – such as deploying advanced AI – to prepare for the worst-case scenario.”

UPDATE #2: June Werner, Cyber Range Engineer at Infosec Institute had this to say about this hack:

“This morning a 125 GB leak of Twitch’s data was made public. This leak includes the entirety of Twitch’s source code, the history of the source code, creator payout reports, proprietary development kits, an unreleased competitor to Steam, and internal security tools. This leak also describes itself as “part one”, meaning the leakers may have more data that they have not released and are planning to release at a future date. The release of Twitch’s source code may make it easier for malicious actors to find exploits on Twitch’s platform in the future. The details of what personal data the leakers may have had access to are not yet known, but in the meantime, the best action users of Twitch can take to protect themselves is to change their Twitch password, enable Two-Factor Authentication, and ensure that they are not using their old Twitch password for any other accounts.”

Far Cry 6 Launching On October 7th

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

With the launch of Far Cry 6 fast approaching, here’s some info on the most unpredictable and unhinged guerilla experience ever!  Far Cry 6 will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish with its adrenaline pumping action, its main protagonist Giancarlo Esposito as Anton Castillo, and of course, your adorable companions: Chorizo, Gupao and Chicharron.

As you fight your way to reclaim Yara from the dictator who plans to forge his paradise using any means necessary, be ready to take your guerilla tactics to a whole new level and be ready to get unhinged.

Far Cry 6 will release worldwide on October 7, 2021 on Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One, PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Stadia, Amazon Luna and for Windows PC. The Standard edition available for $79.99.

New Study Finds Salesforce Economy in Canada Will Create 71,700 Jobs and $36.8 Billion in New Business Revenues by 2026

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

Salesforce today announced a new study from IDC that finds Salesforce and its ecosystem of partners in Canada will create 71,700 new jobs and $36.8 billion in new business revenues by 2026. The study also finds that Salesforce is driving immense growth for its partner ecosystem in Canada, which will make $8.08 for every $1 Salesforce makes locally by 2026. 

Building digital HQs solves for urgent transformation needs

IDC forecasts that cloud-related technologies will account for 27% of digital transformation IT spending this year, growing to 37% in 2026, as businesses focus on establishing digital HQs to deliver customer and employee success from anywhere. Remote work, contactless customer engagement, and sustainability efforts are becoming more prevalent than ever, and IDC expects this trend will only continue. 

As more companies build out their digital HQs to support an increasingly remote workforce, Salesforce technologies have helped its customers adjust to uncertainty – enabling remote work and remote contact with customers, and making it possible to develop new products in weeks, not months.

IDC also conducted a survey of 525 enterprises across eight countries on cloud deployment and the benefits and challenges of cloud computing. Of the 74% of survey respondents who say their organizations have a formal digital transformation strategy, 97% rate cloud computing as important to that strategy. The survey also found that Salesforce solutions have enabled:

  • 47% of customer respondents to expand their workforce to more suburban and rural areas.
  • 38% of customer respondents to expand their workforce to new populations (for example, stay-at-home parents and people with disabilities).
  • 36% of customer respondents to support a more flexible work environment.

Salesforce technologies can also help companies plan for a more sustainable future. IDC forecasts that from 2021 to 2024, global migration from on-premise software to the cloud could reduce as much as 1 billion metric tons of CO2. Salesforce itself has set a goal of pursuing 100% renewable energy for its global operations by 2022, and currently delivers a carbon-neutral cloud to all its customers. And, according to IDC’s customer survey, 39% of Salesforce customers surveyed look to Salesforce as a source of support in reaching their own sustainability objectives.

Salesforce partner ecosystem drives worldwide acceleration of growth

IDC predicts that the use of Salesforce and its ecosystem’s cloud services will generate $308 billion in the customer base this year and more than double that in 2026, at $724 billion. Today, the ecosystem of Salesforce partners delivering cloud services to customers is five times as big as Salesforce itself, and will be more than six times as big in 2026. The study also found that 2026 ecosystem revenues are forecast to be 3.5 times those in 2020

Salesforce paves pathways to help unlock career opportunities in the Salesforce Economy

23% of new jobs created in the Salesforce customer base this year leverage significant digital skills — such as using automation tools, the Internet of Things ( IoT), and other complex applications. Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform, and its Trailblazer Community, which accelerates this learning through peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and support, empower anyone to learn digital skills for the growing Salesforce economy. 

How Salesforce is creating jobs to fuel the Salesforce Economy

Salesforce has a number of programs and initiatives to help create the jobs of the future—and to fill them with well-equipped candidates:

  • The Trailblazer Community is a global network of millions of people who help each other learn new skills and succeed with Salesforce. The Trailblazer Community offers an online platform to connect from anywhere, as well as more than 1,300 active regional and interest-based groups around the world. Members share their guidance and expertise and support each other as they build careers and companies with Salesforce. To date, 3 in 5 Trailblazers credit their participation in the Trailblazer Community with helping them get a new job or promotion.
  • Trailhead has empowered more than 3.5 million people globally to learn in-demand skills for the future of work. With Trailhead, learners can skill up for free from anywhere and earn globally-recognized credentials for careers in the Salesforce ecosystem. Trailhead provides guided career paths for Salesforce roles, and is introducing three new roles to create entry points into some of the fastest-growing fields today: Marketer, Sales, and Designer. 
  • The Salesforce Talent Alliance is an initiative that connects partners to job candidates trained on Salesforce via Trailhead and brings new talent into the fast-growing ecosystem. This year, two Talent Alliance partners are Salesforce’s Partner Innovation Awards recipients for demonstrating excellence in expanding the Salesforce economy by training and hiring new and diverse pipelines of talent:
    • Cognizant, in collaboration with Salesforce, the University of Montana and ATG, a Cognizant Company built a 12-week paid Salesforce training program called Aim Higher, which has developed more than 175 new Salesforce credentialed consultants in the past two years.
    • Bucher + Suter is a Salesforce independent software vendor (ISV) partner that champions and is a sponsor of Noser Young, which is a leading IT Trainer in Switzerland. Through the Noser Young partnership, Bucher + Suter takes on apprentices every year to help with their education in IT.

What is the Salesforce Economy?
IDC defines “The Salesforce Economy” as the footprint of Salesforce and its partner ecosystem on the economy at large. This includes the revenues and jobs directly generated in the Salesforce customer base from the use of Salesforce and its partners cloud services, as well as jobs created indirectly in the economy by local spending by direct employees and Salesforce and its partners themselves.

Salesforce’s multi-faceted partner ecosystem is a driving force behind the Salesforce Economy’s massive growth and includes:

  • The Salesforce partner ecosystem can help customers grow faster. Throughout a customer’s journey, partners fill technology whitespace and offer solutions across products, industries, and regions. The Salesforce partner ecosystem includes consulting partners, ISVs, and resellers that bring the power of apps and expertise to solve any customer challenges. 
  • Launched in 2006, Salesforce AppExchange is the world’s leading enterprise cloud marketplace, with over 6,700 partner listings and more than 9 million installs. 

Additional Resources

  • Download a full copy of the IDC White Paper, “The Salesforce Economic Impact”.
  • Explore data from the IDC White Paper in Tableau.
  • Hear more about the impact of the Salesforce Economy in this Newsroom Q&A.
  • Learn more about the 2021 Partner Innovation Awards here.
  • Learn more about Salesforce’s partner ecosystem here
  • Visit the Salesforce AppExchange: http://www.appexchange.com 
  • Read more about Salesforce’s Pathfinder Program and the top 3 lessons learned about training the tech workforce of the future here

IDC Methodology

The Salesforce Economic Impact Model is an extension to IDC’s IT Economic Impact Model. It estimates Salesforce’s current and future share of the benefits to the general economy generated by cloud computing, and it also estimates the size of the ecosystem supporting Salesforce using IDC’s market research on the ratio of spending on professional services to cloud subscriptions; the ratio of sales of hardware, software, and networking to spending on public and private cloud computing; and the ratio of spending on application development tools to applications developed.

Note that the ecosystem may include companies that are not formal business partners of Salesforce but that nevertheless sell products or services associated with the Salesforce implementations.

IDC White Paper, sponsored by Salesforce, “The Salesforce Economic Impact,” doc #US48214821, September 20, 2021

Survey On Streaming Shows Industry has Passed a “Tipping Point”: Roku

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

Content producers, advertisers, and marketers take note, TV streaming popularity continues to rise with 4 in 5 Canadians classifying themselves as TV streamers (versus 3 in 4 who pay for traditional TV), according to The Streaming Decade survey released today by Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU). The annual survey provides insights into consumer TV viewing behaviors and preferences, and how the pandemic accelerated the ongoing shift to TV streaming.

The Streaming Decade survey also revealed that content such as new movie releases (72 per cent), and sports (68 per cent) is a key reason Canadians would try a new streaming service. As well, the ease-of-use, cost-savings, and content quality of TV streaming was shown to have extremely broad, intergenerational appeal among Canadian consumers.

The report also highlights generational differences between TV streaming behaviour, with 98 percent of Gen Z’s; 96 per cent of Millennials; 86 per cent of Gen X’s, and 68 per cent of Boomers using more TV streaming services in the past year.

Additional key stats from the survey:

  • 40 per cent of streaming Boomers added more TV streaming services in the past year
  • 72 per cent of consumers say having access to a new movie release is a key reason they would try a new service
  • More than 8 in 10 Canadians agree that one of the biggest factors when deciding whether to try a new streaming service is if it offers free and paid subscription tiers
  • 42 per cent of TV streamers have ad-supported service
  • 1 in 3 sports viewing audiences watch sports via TV streaming

Full survey results can be found here, and please visit their blog for additional insights and commentary on the results.