Archive for October 13, 2021

A Coalition Of Nonprofits Team Up To Alter How Facebook Operates Instead Of Trying To #DeleteFacebook

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 13, 2021 by itnerd

A coalition of nonprofits today debuted to alter how Facebook operates. Axios has the details:

The campaign hopes to take the outrage expressed by legislators over the revelations of whistleblower Frances Haugen and translate it into action. The campaign is pushing for two goals: A Congressional investigation with subpoena power into harms caused by Facebook; and a strong federal data privacy law that makes it illegal for companies like Facebook and YouTube to collect the vast amounts of data they use to personalize recommendations. The more than 30 groups involved include Accountable Tech, Article 19, Center for Digital Democracy, Fairplay, Global Voices, Media Justice, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Presente, Public Knowledge, United We Dream, Ranking Digital Rights, SumOfUs, Win Without War, and the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center.

You have to assume that Mark Zuckerberg is freaking out right now as nothing that his company has done has stopped the criticism from mounting against Facebook. But even this effort in my opinion isn’t enough because Facebook is simply too toxic and broken to be fix. What we all need to do is #DeleteFacebook so that it shrivels up and dies.

Which Apple Watch Should You Buy? Deciding Between The Series 3, SE, or Series 7.

Posted in Tips with tags on October 13, 2021 by itnerd

This Friday marks the release of the Apple Watch Series 7. That has sparked a number of inquiries into my inbox as to which Apple Watch that one should get. Hopefully this article can help you in deciding which one you should get.

Let’s start at the top. Apple has three Apple Watches on offer: 

  • The Apple Watch Series 7
  • The Apple Watch SE
  • The Apple Watch Series 3

Buying the Apple Watch Series 3 is a complete waste of your money if you are in the market for an Apple Watch. Why you ask? Here’s the reasons why I would avoid it like it is radioactive:

  • It has an S3 processor which is a 32-bit processor. It’s also the last 32-bit processor that Apple supports. Which means it’s not long for this world. It is entirely likely that in the next year or two that Apple will drop support for it. After all, they dropped support for anything below the Series 3 in watchOS 7. 
  • Not only that, the Series 3 is not all that fast. Though I will admit that if you have never had an Apple Watch, you won’t know what you’re missing.
  • The Series 3 doesn’t support Apple’s Family Sharing feature. That’s the feature that allows you to activate and manage an Apple Watch without the person on the receiving end of that Apple Watch needing an iPhone. As long as the Apple Watch in question is a cellular model.
  • The Series 3 lacks ECG functionality and fall detection functionality that is found in the SE and Series 7, and the blood oxygen monitoring that is exclusive to the Series 7.

For those reasons, I’d avoid the Series 3. That leaves the SE and Series 7. Here’s what I think of those two options:

  • If you’re price sensitive and you don’t care about the always on display and you don’t care about blood oxygen monitoring, the SE is for you.
  • The SE is also a great choice to give a child or a parent or grandparent an Apple Watch as you can leverage the Family Sharing feature at a lower price point.
  • If however you want “the new hotness” of the most recent Apple Watch, or you want the option of getting a titanium or stainless steel case which the SE does not offer, or the 20% bigger screen versus the SE interests you, then the Apple Watch Series 7 is for you. Not to mention that the Series 7 is also noticeably faster than the SE.

You can’t really go wrong either way as both options will be supported for Apple for years to come. It’s just a matter of deciding what features you want and how much you’re willing to spend to get them.

Hopefully that helps you to decide what Apple Watch to get. But if you’re still having a hard time deciding, drop me a note or leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help you out.

ServiceNow And Mila Partner To Accelerate AI Innovation

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 13, 2021 by itnerd

Today, ServiceNow and Mila announced a new, world-class partnership in a joint effort to accelerate fundamental and applied research while powering the world’s most intelligent digital business platform.

Following its previous acquisition of Element AI in January 2021, ServiceNow is continuing to strengthen its commitment to help drive the new world of work forward. Through creating an AI Innovation Hub in Canada along with partnering with Mila and the broader Montreal community, ServiceNow is working to grow its presence within the Canadian market, striving to demonstrate its ongoing leadership in AI research, talent and innovation across a global scale.

Bridging the demands of the industry with support for academia, the collaboration between ServiceNow and Mila will create tremendous opportunity to use the ServiceNow platform to contextualize robust end-user requests, helping AI researchers and developers to solve Enterprise AI’s last mile problem.

Google Serving Up Security Keys To 10,000 High-Risk Users

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 13, 2021 by itnerd

From the “this is attention grabbing department” comes the news that Google is giving security keys to 10,000 high-risk users including politicians and human rights activists, following recent hacker attempts on Gmail:

The USB keys provide two-factor authentication – an additional layer of security beyond a password.

Google says it wants to encourage people to join its “advanced protection programme” for high-profile users.

It follows news that the firm sent thousands of warnings to Gmail users who were targeted by hackers.

The warnings were issued after Google detected in late September a campaign targeting about 14,000 Gmail users “across a wide variety of industries”, Shane Huntley, director of Google’s Threat Analysis Group said in a statement.

Mr Huntley said the campaign came from from APT28 – a Russia-linked hacking group – and was a phishing attempt, which is an email campaign designed to look legitimate to trick people into revealing their passwords.

This is a good move to provide some protection to these high value targets. But don’t take my word for it. Toby Lewis, Global Head of Threat Analysis, Darktrace had this to say: 

“As sophisticated attacks against high-value targets persist, it is encouraging to see Google prioritizing the security for its users. Multiple times a day our artificial intelligence is detecting attacks, via email and SaaS accounts, specifically targeting CEOs and CFOs of multinational companies – there is no sign of this trend abating.  

This is the first time that a company is offering to set up hardware-based two-factor authentication for users for free. Essentially, the USB is a dongle that users can keep on their person, that acts as a second form of authentication. The idea is that even if an attacker compromises the username and password to a Google Account, they could not access the account without the USB.

However, what we have learned over the last ten years is that determined hackers will always find a way inside critical systems. These measures make hackers’ lives more difficult but they do not debilitate them. While the USB method add a layer of security, there are ways to defeat it. For example, most accounts have a recovery option, in the event the USB is lost – which could prove to be an opening for hackers. Alternatively, an attacker might look for ways to steal the physical device, having already gained access to the credentials.

We must accept that high value targets will have their systems compromised and so companies like Google also need to look at how they stop emerging attacks from escalating into a crisis once hackers are already inside.”

I suspect you’re going to see more of this. Which means that more users will benefit from this initiative.

Motto Becomes 2nd Agency In Canada To Be Named An Official Partner Of WordPress

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 13, 2021 by itnerd

Motto, a web agency that specializes in developing custom sites, is proud to announce that it has become an official partner of WordPress VIP.  WordPress is the largest website-building software in the world. As one of only two partners of WordPress in Canada, the Montreal-based Motto is now positioned to better serve existing clients and expand its customer base.

WordPress currently powers more than 40% of all websites on the Internet. It is open source (free of software licensing) and is unique in terms of enterprise-level service and infrastructure.

Motto started over 20 years ago as a creative web agency building custom websites and web apps. In the past five years it has adapted WordPress software to become an expert in producing custom WordPress sites for clients that range from small and mid-size businesses (over $5 million) to large organizations. Motto also has an agency agreement with KINSTA, a web-hosting company with more than 20,000 customers.

ASUS Announces New Chromebook Flip CX3

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 13, 2021 by itnerd

ASUS today announced ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3, a laptop that empowers the way users work and play. This elegant 14-inch laptop offers an exquisite blend of powerful performance and versatility for doing more from anywhere, featuring up to an Intel® CoreTM processor, an ultra-quiet fanless design and WiFi 6 connectivity. Also, a garaged stylus, dual cameras and a 360° ErgoLift hinge spice up entertainment experiences and expand capabilities, while military-grade durability keeps ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 protected when on the go.

Powerful performance and connectivity

ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 is powered by up to the latest 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and features up to 16 GB of memory and 512 GB of storage, delivering performance and responsiveness for incredible productivity. Thanks to a fanless design, this laptop keeps work spaces ultra-quiet while delivering powerful performance.

For ultrafast WiFi 6 connections, ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 is tested and certified with ASUS WiFi Master for Chrome OS. Connections are further improved by exclusive ASUS technologies that enhance speed, stability and range.

Stunning style and visuals

With an eye-catching new color — AI Blue — ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 offers an elegant, stylish aesthetic. The precision-crafted chassis features a dual-tapered design, in which the body and lid converge to form a V-shaped edge that facilitates opening the device.

ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 also pleases the eye with its seamless visuals. The four-sided NanoEdge display maximizes screen area with an 80% screen-to-body ratio, making viewing experiences more immersive. The 14-inch Full HD IPS panel also offers wide, 178° viewing angles and exceptional color reproduction for incredibly vivid, true-to-life imagery.

Versatility and ergonomics for doing more

ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 offers a variety of features that expand user capabilities and maximize ergonomics. An included stylus1 quickly and automatically charges when garaged — only 15 seconds of charging provides up to 45 minutes of use — keeping it ready for use and providing a safe place to store it. The intuitive stylus is a quick, precise way to unleash creativity and productivity. For further creative pursuits, ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 has two cameras: one standard webcam and a special world-facing camera. The standard HD webcam has a shield that simply slides over it to ensure privacy, while the 5 MP world-facing camera is located beside the keyboard and allows users to easily capture photos and videos in tablet mode.

For excellent ergonomics, a precision-engineered 360° ErgoLift hinge smoothly adjusts the display at any angle and lifts and tilts the keyboard into the most comfortable typing position. The laptop has a full-sized keyboard with 1.4 mm key travel for greater typing comfort, and the backlighting on the keyboard lets users type effortlessly in dark environments.

Tough, flexible design for on-the-go use

With structural reinforcements to boost chassis strength, ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 is built to provide toughness for on-the-go lifestyles. It also meets next-level and industry-leading U.S. MIL-STD 810H durability standards, which are more rigorous and demanding than ever before. Additionally, the device undergoes stringent in-house testing — including panel-pressure, shock and drop tests — to ensure maximal toughness.

For flexibility when traveling or moving around, ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 offers up to 11 hours of battery life on a single charge. It also features two full-function, reversible USB-C® 3.2 Gen 1 ports for charging devices, streaming media or connecting with peripherals, and two USB Type-A ports for even more connectivity options. In addition, a microSD slot enables extra storage for maximum convenience and compatibility.

The best of Google

For work and play, ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 unlocks the very best of Google. Users can enjoy full access to Google Play, and Google Assistant is always ready to help. Chrome OS offers the full power of Google Workspace, including Google productivity apps such as Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Meet and more, allowing users to collaborate quickly and to seamlessly stay in sync with favorite apps. Also, a 12-month Google One trial subscription with 100 GB of cloud storage is available with purchase of an ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 laptop.

Automatic updates and built-in virus protection seamlessly keep ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 safe, secure and always up to date. The laptop is also built around the rock-solid security of a personal Google account, so all private documents, emails, photos and confidential data are kept safe at all times.


ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 will be available in Q4 in Canada at a suggested MSRP of $999 CAD. 

Infographic: CIO & CISO Priorities For IAM & Machine Identity Management

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 13, 2021 by itnerd

While CIOs drive innovation, CISOs ensure information assets and technologies are adequately protected while reducing risk. As the strategy around identity and access management (IAM) has changed and machine identity management becomes crucial, these two roles need to work together to build a comprehensive strategy.

Digital identity security vendor Keyfactor and Pulse Research surveyed North American and EMEA CIOs and CISOs to understand their priorities around IAM. The report is available here. But here’s some highlights:

Telstra Deploys Infinera’s Coherent 800G Solution Across Dispersion-managed Subsea Cable

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 13, 2021 by itnerd

Infinera and Telstra announced today the deployment of Infinera’s coherent 800G solution across Telstra’s international network. The deployment follows a significant industry milestone that Telstra achieved with Infinera, leveraging Infinera’s ICE6 800G coherent technology on its GX Series Compact Modular Platform over a dispersion-managed subsea cable between Hong Kong and Singapore, a segment that spans 2,940 kilometers. With Infinera’s ICE6 solution, Telstra can realize a 45% increase in capacity over previous-generation technology and 20 times the original design capacity of the cable, underscoring the value of Infinera’s innovative solutions.

Bandwidth demand continues to rise at exponential rates, putting pressure on older subsea cables and potentially shortening their economic lifespan, even though they are designed for a 25-year operational life. At the same time, network operators like Telstra are challenged with scaling and delivering capacity in the APAC region, one of the fastest growing regions for submarine network capacity. By deploying Infinera’s ICE6 solution, network providers are equipped to get the most out of their dispersion-managed subsea cables with the unique features of highly granular baud rate configuration, industry-leading long-codeword probabilistic constellation shaping (LC-PCS), and Nyquist subcarriers, on which Infinera has a five-year implementation lead.

Telstra is a leading telecommunications and technology company with a proudly Australian heritage and a longstanding, growing international business. 

Today, we operate in over 20 countries outside of Australia, providing services to thousands of business, government, carrier and OTT customers. Telstra Enterprise is a division of Telstra that provides data and IP networks and network application services, such as managed networks, unified communications, cloud, industry solutions and integrated services. Telstra Purple, our new professional and managed services business in Australia, Asia and the UK, brings together people and innovative solutions to define and deliver a clear vision of our customers’ transformation journey, network foundation, and the protection they need to thrive.

Telstra’s global network includes more than 26 cable systems spanning over 400,000 kilometres, with access to multiple cable landing stations and more than 2,000 points of presence around the world. Our subsea cable network is the largest in Asia Pacific, with access to the most lit capacity not just in Asia, but also from the region to Australia, USA and Europe.

For more information, visit

Infosec Institute Hosts World’s First Certified CMMC Professional (CCP) Boot Camp

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 13, 2021 by itnerd

Infosec Institute, a market-leading cybersecurity education company, today announced it will host the world’s first Certified CMMC Professional (CCP) Boot Camp this week. A CMMC-AB Licensed Partner Publisher (LPP) and Licensed Training Provider (LTP), Infosec continues to lead the cybersecurity certification training market with over 16 years of success and thousands of certified cybersecurity professionals. CMMC-AB is an independent accreditation entity responsible for establishing, managing, controlling and administering the CMMC assessment, certification, training and accreditation processes for the Defense Supply Chain.

Held from October 11 to October 15, 2021, Infosec’s five-day CCP Boot Camp delivers a comprehensive overview of the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification requirements to prepare students for their upcoming CCP certification exam — the first step to becoming a Certified CMMC Assessor. J Kenneth (Ken) Magee, a CMMC-Provisional Instructor will instruct the inaugural CCP boot camp. Magee is a veteran Infosec boot camp instructor who holds over 25 professional certifications. 

Established by the U.S. Department of Defense, the CMMC Model assesses and enhances the cybersecurity posture of the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). It serves to validate the appropriate levels of cybersecurity practices and processes needed to support basic cyber hygiene and protect controlled unclassified information on the Department’s industry partners’ networks.

Following approval from CMMC-AB, Infosec will add an additional Certified Assessor Level 1 Boot Camp to its catalog of over 100 cybersecurity boot camps. Like the Certified Professional Boot Camp, the Certified Assessor Level 1 Boot Camp will provide several days of live, instructor-led training and CMMC-AB-certified course materials alongside on-demand access to 1,200+ cybersecurity training resources inside Infosec Skills

Learn more about Infosec’s CMMC curriculum and boot camp schedule.