Archive for November 29, 2021

TELUS Becomes The First Tech Company In Canada To Publicly Commit To An Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 29, 2021 by itnerd

Today, TELUS released its 2021 Reconciliation and Indigenous Connectivity Report, an evolution from the annual connectivity report that shares inspiring stories of the transformative benefits that connectivity brings to newly connected Indigenous communities. This year’s report also includes TELUS’ first-ever Indigenous reconciliation action plan. Guided by Indigenous voices and Indigenous-led frameworks of reconciliation, TELUS has proudly formalized our commitment to reconciliation, becoming the first technology company in Canada to develop and launch a public Indigenous reconciliation action plan. 

In 2021, TELUS connected 48 Indigenous lands to our advanced broadband networks and 382 Indigenous lands to the transformative power of 5G. In support of their continued efforts to connect Indigenous communities to the life-changing power of high speed internet and mobility solutions, TELUS developed its Indigenous reconciliation strategy and Indigenous reconciliation action plan through an inclusive, culturally relevant process. The plan was guided by Indigenous voices and frameworks of reconciliation, and leverages their core competencies with an emphasis on meeting the needs of the diverse Indigenous communities in the areas they serve. TELUS hosted two rounds of engagement over 18 sessions with Indigenous leaders, Elders, subject matter experts, and Indigenous team members from across their serving areas, and they are committed to having this manner of engagement as a cornerstone of TELUS’ actions moving forward. 

TELUS’ Indigenous reconciliation action plan identifies four pillars where they believe they can drive meaningful change and includes measurable targets and timelines for each. Their short-term action plan targets include:

  • Connectivity: Connecting an additional 20 communities to broadband by 2023
  • Enabling social outcomes: Launching the $1 million TELUS Indigenous Communities Fund, which provides grants of up to $50,000 to Indigenous-led organizations focused on mental health and well-being, language and cultural revitalization, access to education, and/or community building 
  • Cultural responsiveness & relationships: Working with Indigenous educators to develop and deliver e-learning material and ensuring learning opportunities and resources are available and accessible to TELUS team members
  • Economic reconciliation: Achieving Bronze Progressive Aboriginal Relations status by demonstrating sustained leadership in their commitment to working with Indigenous businesses and prosperity in Indigenous communities by 2024

In 2022, an Indigenous advisory council consisting of Indigenous leaders, subject matter experts, and Elders within their serving areas will be established to provide ongoing advice and guidance on the implementation of TELUS’ reconciliation actions. To ensure Indigenous ways of knowing are implemented throughout the organization, the advisory council will monitor the progress of TELUS’ Indigenous strategies and provide guidance for effective implementation of TELUS’ commitments and targets outlined in the annual Indigenous reconciliation and connectivity report and internal Indigenous reconciliation action plans. Every year, the Indigenous reconciliation action plan will be evaluated and refreshed in collaboration with the Indigenous advisory council.

To further their commitments, TELUS has embarked on the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’ Progressive Aboriginal Relations certification program, the premier corporate social responsibility program with an emphasis on Indigenous relations. 

In addition to the Indigenous reconciliation action plan, the report shares stories of connectivity from Indigenous communities and the projects and benefits that have been made possible by reliable connectivity. Stories vary from utilizing modern technology to maintaining culture through language classes, to supporting wetland rehabilitation to local, community based job creation and training opportunities. The report also highlights TELUS’ collaborations with communities and Indigenous organizations with an emphasis on supporting, developing, and expanding programs that look beyond connectivity to enable social outcomes for communities for longer-term prosperity and success.

By the numbers:

  • 240 Indigenous communities serviced by TELUS
  • 80,000+ people living in Indigenous communities with access to the TELUS PureFibre network 
  • 91 Indigenous communities and 151 Indigenous Lands connected to TELUS PureFibre/Coax
  • 382 Indigenous lands connected to 5G in 2021
  • 48 Indigenous lands expanded or connected to in 2021 to support social, economic, and education outcomes 

Quotes from community leaders featured in the report: 

To learn more about the commitment by TELUS to reconciliation and to read the 2021 Reconciliation and Indigenous Connectivity Report visit telus.com/reconciliation.

Panasonic Pwned…. Full Extent Of Data Breach Unknown

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 29, 2021 by itnerd

Happy Monday. Unless you’re with Panasonic.

I say that because Panasonic has disclosed a data breach after threat actors gained access to servers on its network. Panasonic Corporation confirmed that the network was illegally accessed by a third party on November 11, 2021. Panasonic reported the incident to the relevant authorities and has taken measures to prevent access to its network from external servers, including hiring a third party to investigate the attack and find if any of the data access during the intrusion includes customer personal information. In short, they don’t know the full extent of the data breach. That’s bad.

Yan Michalevsky, CTO and Cofounder, Anjuna Security had this comment on this data breach:

 “It’s crucial to encrypt data at rest to prevent exactly those kinds of incidents. Solutions such as full-disk encryption might not be enough when attackers have gained access to the systems, but luckily there are alternatives that enable protecting data at the level of the application such that the files themselves are always encrypted.”

Hopefully Panasonic does a follow up to advise on the full extent of the data breach so that those affected can protect themselves accordingly.

UPDATE: I have additional commentary from Eddy Bobritsky, CEO, Minerva Labs:

“This attack, much like ransomware attacks, are becoming all too common. An attacker uses evasive malware techniques to gain a foothold in the company to either steal proprietary data or encrypt or even destroy important information. Although their investigation hasn’t been completed yet, Panasonic seem to be lucky here as they were able to detect the breach relatively quickly. According to the IBM “Cost of Data Breach 2021” report, on average it took 287 days to identify and contain a data breach. This increase in sophistication of evasive techniques is simply making it much more difficult for regular EDR antivirus solutions to cope.”

BREAKING: TELUS And Koodo Have An Outage In Montreal [UPDATE: Alberta Fixed… Montreal Fixed]

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 29, 2021 by itnerd

It has come to light that TELUS and Koodo customers in Montreal may be having issues due to an outage. Both brands took to Twitter to alert their customers. I have the Tweet from TELUS below:

Cable cuts aren’t exactly trivial to fix. But here’s hoping that TELUS and Koodo customers in Montreal get back online soon as we all rely on our mobile phones these days.

Stay tuned for updates as they come.

UPDATE: There’s apparently another outage in progress based on what I see on the TELUS Outage Site. This one is in Alberta:

Hopefully this too gets resolved quickly.

UPDATE #2: The outage in Alberta has been resolved. But as of 9:55PM the one in Montreal has not been resolved. Because this is a cable cut, I expect that outage in Montreal to go on for quite a while yet.

UPDATE #3: The TELUS Outage Site says that the Montreal outage is resolved.

Review: JBL Go 2

Posted in Products with tags on November 29, 2021 by itnerd

Regardless of how good your laptop or phone speakers are, there are times where you need a speaker that gives you more sound that those can provide. Or you need a more robust speaker for going to the beach with. JBL has you covered on that front with their Go 2 speaker:

Here’s what you get in the box:

Besides the speaker, you get a USB-A to micro USB cable. Which in the age of USB-C is a #Fail. And the usual documentation that nobody will read. The speaker itself has these controls and connections:

There is a very thick rubber flap that covers these ports:

You get a micro USB connector and a 3.5mm input.

You get controls on the other side of the speaker including power and volume. The speaker is pretty compact and is easy to carry. It takes up little room in a backpack, laptop bag or purse.

The Go 2 supports Bluetooth 4.1 and have a battery life of 5 hours and takes 2.5 hours to charge. The speaker is IPX7 waterproof which means taking it to the pool or the beach is not an issue as it means it can be fully submersed in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

The question is, how does it sound? To find out, I paired it to my 16″ MacBook Pro and played one of my audio torture test playlists that I use when I evaluate car audio systems. Paring it is dead easy as I was able to turn the speaker on and have it pop up in the Bluetooth menu of my MacBook Pro. Once paired, there’s a white light that goes from flashing to solid as well as some sounds that you hear when it is powered up and it is paired. Once I did that, I had to hurriedly turn down the volume as the Go 2 is loud. It also has a surprising amount of bass, though you’re not going to shake windows with this speaker. Even at full volume. Beyond that, the sound is pretty good and I suspect that you will have no complaints. And just in the interest of pushing the envelope a bit, I played a couple of videos and found zero issues in terms of having the audio synced with the video. It also performs reasonably well as a speakerphone as there’s a built-in microphone. But I am not sure that I would use this in a noisy environment as background sound was picked up and was audible on my test calls.

My verdict is that the JBL Go 2 is a speaker that will provide you with decent sound at a decent price. Which is $35 USD as I type this. Though mine is black, there are a number of colours available. One thing that I should point out is the Go 3 is now available from JBL so you might want to either look at that, or look for the best deal on the Go 2 that you can find. Regardless, the Go 2 is worth a listen to if you are in the market for a portable Bluetooth speaker that is waterproof.