Archive for September 13, 2022

watchOS 9 Has An Bug Where Two Finger Tap To Speak The Time Sounds Robotic

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2022 by itnerd

So after installing watchOS 9 I decided to do a number of tests to uncover all the new and cool things that Apple’s latest version of watchOS has. During that I stumbled upon this with the two finger tap to speak function. If you’re not familiar with that, you can place two fingers on the display and the Apple Watch will speak the time to you. But it’s not supposed to sound like this:

The voice sounds in credibly robotic. It supposed to sound like the Siri voice or the Mickey Mouse voice if you have that watch face enabled. I asked my wife to try the same thing on her Apple Watch and she got the same result. For fun, I downloaded the Mickey Mouse watch face and that worked as expected.

I poked around for a bit and got to “Settings” –> “Siri” — “Siri Voice” and saw this:

It looks like that as part of watchOS 9, it redownloads the Siri voice that is in use. I don’t know why it was doing that, but that’s it was doing confirmed by clicking on “Siri Voice”:

The circle on the right indicates it was waiting to download. So I put my watch on WiFi and let it download. Then I tried this experiment again. That didn’t work. I then rebooted my Apple Watch. That didn’t fix it. What was weird was that the Siri voice was working just fine the entire time.

Thus I have to assume that this is a bug. But in the interest of science, I’d love to know if you try this feature on your Apple Watch with watchOS 9, do you get the same result? Also, if you managed to fix this, I’d like to know how you did it. Please drop a note in the comments below with your feedback.

UPDATE: I was directed to a Reddit thread that illustrates that I am not the only person who has this issue.

Oh Look… A Revenue Canada Email #Scam Is Making The Rounds… Let’s Dive In And See What It’s All About

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2022 by itnerd

I swear, there more scams these days than Elvis impersonators in Vegas. This time it’s Revenue Canada who is being used in a scam. And that scam starts with this email:

Now right off the top, this email caught the attention of Apple Mail that told me that it was from a mailing list. That’s a major red flag as emails from Interac would be directly addressed to you. So I new it was as scam without having to click on anything. But I did my usual due diligence and checked the email address of the person who sent this:

Interac sends transfers from notify@payments.interac.ca. So this further validates that this is a scam. But in the interest of seeing what the scammers were up to, I clicked the “Choose your financial institution” button. Which by the way you should never do after looking at the grammar and spotting the mix of French and English, and the word “october” which doesn’t have a capital. Seriously, scammers really need to use an app like Grammarly if they don’t want their scam emails deleted the second that they hit an inbox because the writing is so poor.

In any case, here’s what I got:

Ahhhh… The old banking credential phishing scam. That involves choosing your bank, typing in your credentials, and getting pwned. Then you bank account empties. And there’s lots of choice here including banks that I don’t normally see as part of this type of scam. Someone has been busy. But they really didn’t put a whole lot of time into this scam based on this:

This isn’t even close to how the actual CIBC web page looks. I’ve seen other scams where the scammer tried way harder than this to replicate the web page to fool the unsuspecting into typing in their card number and password which will allow them pwn you. Thus this will likely tip most people off that this is a scam. And the fact that I am putting this story out there will likely inform the rest to not fall for such a poorly executed scam by someone who clearly has no skills. But they did do something interesting:

The website acts like you’re going get a validation code on your phone. But you’re never going to receive it because you have just been pwned. Interesting.

So what’s the bottom line? I am guessing that because the Federal Government announced a number of new programs today including a GST credit, this scam was timed to take advantage of that. Thus if you get an email like this, delete it and move on with your life.

Twitter Shareholders Vote To Approve Musk Takeover Even As Musk Tries To Weasel His Way Out Of It

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2022 by itnerd

The Twitter takeover by Elon Musk is a train wreck next to a dumpster fire. The latest twist in this saga is that shareholders of Twitter have approved the takeover:

Twitter Inc. TWTR, 2.19% shareholders voted Tuesday to approve Tesla Inc. TSLA, -3.07% Chief Executive Elon Musk’s $44 billion bid to acquire the embattled company and take it private, pushing Twitter shares up nearly 2%. 

But, Musk is trying to weasel his way out of the deal:

 Musk, however, is attempting to back out of the deal with claims that Twitter underreported fake accounts, prompting Twitter to sue the billionaire for breach of contract. The case is scheduled to go before the Delaware Court of Chancery in October.

And to add to the fun is this:

The former security chief at Twitter told Congress that the social media platform is plagued by weak cyber defenses that make it vulnerable to exploitation by “teenagers, thieves and spies” and put the privacy of its users at risk. Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, a respected cybersecurity expert, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to lay out his allegations Tuesday.

That might actually help Musk weasel his way out of the deal if Twitter doesn’t have a coherent response to these allegations. I guess we’ll find out in October when this goes to trial. Assuming that there are no other plot twists before then.

Waze Launches New In-Car Experience With Biz Jargon

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2022 by itnerd

Today Waze is launching its newest driving experience — Biz Jargon — to help you brush up on your office lingo in time for the return to work. Inspired by offices everywhere (the virtual and the physical!) this driving experience focuses on the relatable moments of work life and pokes fun at the people we become at work — acronym-slinging, jargon-parroting, catchphrase machines. For the first time, Waze is offering this experience in multiple English accents — British English and American English.

You can expect these features from the Biz Jargon driving experience:

  • Voice Options: Access Biz Jargon’s voice by visiting the “Waze voice” option within voice & sound settings for relatable laughs as you hear “Make a U-turn: Or what I call ‘circling back’” or “Sorry, I was on mute, are we waiting for anyone else?”
  • Moods (the icon other drivers see): You can select your business time Mood choosing  between Productive, Unproductive, All Business and Business Casual to fit your drive
  • Car Icon: Transform your car icon arrow to the Paper Airplane by accessing the “Car icon” option within map display settings

The Biz Jargon driving experience will run starting today.

Nuspire Launches Enhanced Partner Program 

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2022 by itnerd

Nuspire, a leading managed security services provider (MSSP), today announced the launch of the Nuspire Partner Program, aimed at empowering  channel and technology partners to sell a full suite of managed cybersecurity services. 

Nuspire’s lineup of solutions features managed detection and response (MDR), endpoint detection and response (EDR), managed gateway and vulnerability management services, consulting services, proactive response and prevention technology, and a 24/7/365 security operations center (SOC). The program is designed to meet partners where they are, whether they want to introduce cybersecurity services to their clients or expand their existing services portfolio.

The program is led by channel veterans Heather Bell, Vice President of Channel Sales, and Nancy Warehime, Director of Partner Programs. Prior to Nuspire, Bell oversaw channel sales for a number of cutting-edge cybersecurity companies, including Above Security. Warehime most recently managed strategic alliances and indirect channel program initiatives for Level 3, CenturyLink and Lumen. 

The Nuspire Partner Program will offer four types of partnerships:

  • Channel partners – partners that collaborate with Nuspire to offer their clients combined technologies and solutions
  • Referral partners – partners that refer their clients to Nuspire for security services and expertise
  • Technology partners – industry-leading cybersecurity technology companies with whom Nuspire strategically partners with to offer best-in-breed solutions
  • Service partners – partners with whom Nuspire collaborates to offer complementary services our clients may need 

Each partner will receive personalized partner onboarding and portal access, sales training and marketing tools, as well as ongoing dedicated pre- and post-sales support.

Nuspire will be at Channel Futures’ MSP Summit Sept. 13-16, booth #408, where attendees can learn more about the partner program directly from the partner team. You can also visit www.nuspire.com/about-us/partners for more information. 

EnGenius Technologies Announces Their Cloud Security Gateway

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2022 by itnerd

EnGenius Technologies positions its Cloud Security Gateway as one of the best price-performance solutions on the market at $599 MSRP. The Security Gateway will round out their license-free cloud solution and further propel them into disrupting the competition. 

EnGenius managed to do all this without cutting corners. The gateway has two WAN and two LAN ports with up to 2.5Gbps speeds—more than double the speed of most gateways. Its high-speed Ethernet connections and high inline 2.5Gbps architecture provide superior uplink and downlink transmissions without the bottlenecks. The gateway also offers load balancing, redundant WAN link, and even cellular failover. 

The stateful firewall with a maximum throughput up to 2.35Gbps integrates corporate security policies and real-time filtering of malicious internet traffic.

EnGenius simplifies the process for site-to-site and client VPN that can be activated in a few clicks—allowing secure, private connections for communication and remote work. 

Find out about this simple, secure, and efficient Cloud Security Gateway.

I Tried iOS 16’s Personalized Spatial Audio On My AirPods Pro…. Here’s What I Think Of It

Posted in Commentary on September 13, 2022 by itnerd

iOS 16 dropped a new feature upon AirPods owners called Personalized Spatial Audio. The idea with personalized audio is that if headphones or earbuds tune their sound to the shape of your ears, then they’ll remove some detail imperfections you get from reflections and other interference. In theory, that means more precise, realistic, and dynamic performance.

To produce this personalized tuning, Apple uses the iPhone’s front-facing TrueDepth camera to scan your ears. The process, which involves holding your iPhone about 10 to 20 centimetres from the side of your head, and the resulting data is then used to optimize spatial audio for your unique ear shape. I will say right up front that this is not as easy as it should be as I kind of struggled with getting this to work until I figured out how Apple wanted me to hold my phone and what prompts to press. But as long as you carefully read everything that Apple wants you to do and execute those instructions, you can get this done in a couple of minutes.

But the real question is, how does it sound? To test that, I used this video which allows you to test 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos on my iPhone 12 Pro.

The result is that I could perceive that audio was being placed in specific locations relative to where you see them in the video. It’s freakishly good. Thus I would say that it’s worth the effort to do this as you will notice the difference if you have the right source material. I say that because just listening to music bought from the iTunes Store and that I listen to frequently didn’t result in it sounding any better. So I am going assume that movies that have Dolby Atmos as well as any other media that leverages spatial audio would you be your best bet in terms of leveraging this feature.

Apple is planning on releasing an update to this “later this fall” that will bring this feature to Macs and iPads. I suspect that the update in question will be macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16. Thus I will revisit this when that update comes out. But for now, if you have AirPods and you’ve updated to iOS 16, this feature is totally worth trying.

Hackers Leverage Facebook’s Ads Manager to Send Credential Harvesting Links in Phishing Campaign: Avanan

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2022 by itnerd

Researchers at Avanan, a Check Point Company, have discovered threat actors using Facebook’s Ads manager to create a lead generation form where users can enter their email addresses and other information to obtain personal assets. As a result of this discover, Avanan has published its newest attack brief analyzing hackers using the legitimacy of Facebook to steal credentials and critical personal information using static expressway techniques to target end users. 

This campaign sends emails from what appears to be from Facebook’s (Meta’s) ad manager team claiming that an ad doesn’t comply with their policies. Thus the ad account is disabled, prompting users to create an appeal using the provided link to a lead generation form to rectify the issue.

You can read the brief here.

Atlas VPN Introduces Linux Support

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2022 by itnerd

Atlas VPN, has announced today that it has introduced support for Linux operating systems. 

Atlas VPN service for Linux comes with the state-of-the-art WireGuard® protocol, streaming-optimized servers, as well as advanced protection SafeSwap and MultiHop+ servers unique to the VPN provider. 

SafeSwap servers allow users to have many rotating IP addresses without having to switch between different VPN servers. Meanwhile, MultiHop+ servers tunnel user’s connection via multiple rotating VPN locations, protecting online traffic behind several layers of encryption to further enhance user privacy and anonymity online.

Currently, Atlas VPN for Linux is available for Ubuntu. However, the company plans to add support for other distributions, as well as more features such as Kill Switch, in the near future.

Linux is the latest addition to the Atlas VPN premium bundle, which also includes VPN apps for Android TV and Amazon Fire TV, as well as advanced privacy and security features, such as data breach tracking tool Data Breach Monitor, and third-party tracker blocking tool Tracker Blocker. Atlas VPN also offers Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS apps for both free and premium users.