Archive for the Commentary Category

R6 North American Qualifier: Mirage VS Spacestation Gaming!

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 23, 2020 by itnerd

It’s time to muster all the Canadian pride you can for this Saturday’s match-up between Mirage & Spacestation Gaming for a spot in the Rainbow Six Siege November 2020 Major.

It’s a classic match-up between Canada and our southern friends in the U.S. It’s bound to be an action-packed intense series of matches as each team will be battling for a spot in the November 2020 major.

Set your alarm clock for 1PM EDT/10AM PDT this Saturday to ensure you don’t miss a single piece of the carnage.  As always, you can tune into the action on Twitch.tv/RainbowSix

Accenture and ServiceNow Launch Dedicated Business Group To Help Organizations Transform Work

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 23, 2020 by itnerd

Accenture and ServiceNow have formed a new business group to help private and public sector clients accelerate their digital transformation and better address today’s dynamic operational challenges. The Accenture ServiceNow Business Group represents a significant multi-million dollar investment from both companies over the next five years.

In the COVID-19 era, organizations are under more pressure than ever to innovate faster, reduce costs, enhance productivity, and meet their customers’ needs. The Accenture ServiceNow Business Group will help organizations rapidly evolve organizational processes and unlock the full value of technology investments by adopting digital workflows that deliver modern, personalized customer and employee experiences. This includes empowering employees and customers with self-service and remote work programs that offer increased flexibility, mobility, and choice. By establishing a more modern workplace with platform-driven, technology-enabled workflows, organizations are better positioned to balance business needs, satisfy customer demands, drive employee engagement, deliver productivity expectations, and realize workplace cost optimization.

The Accenture ServiceNow Business Group will deliver industry- and domain-specific solutions and services to customers. Together, Accenture and ServiceNow will initially help accelerate digital transformation programs for customers in telecommunications, financial services, government, manufacturing, healthcare, and life sciences. Workflow innovation will focus on employee engagement, customer service and operations, artificial intelligence for IT operations, and security and risk. Additional industry solutions will be developed in the future.

Supported by approximately 8,500 Accenture people skilled in ServiceNow, the new group brings together dedicated professionals from both organizations with expertise in transformational workflow and platform development, marketing, sales, and business development across numerous priority industries. The business group will develop advanced industry and domain-focused solutions designed to deliver tangible, positive outcomes for clients at scale.

For example, Boehringer Ingelheim, a leading, research-driven pharmaceutical company with more than 51,000 employees and an Accenture and ServiceNow customer, uses ServiceNow’s technology and Accenture services to create a seamless, consumer-grade experience for global employees and customers.

Accenture and ServiceNow also collaborate to serve government entities. Earlier this year, Accenture Federal Services (AFS) announced a $96 million task order to help the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) modernize its enterprise service management and IT capabilities, using ServiceNow to power the digital transformations end-to-end. Using the Now Platform, AFS will work with the VA to automate its manual workflows and introduce applied intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities, allowing the VA workforce to focus on more complex tasks that serve veterans.

Accenture’s use of ServiceNow is a strategic enabler of customer-facing innovation at scale and, as a ServiceNow customer, the company uses ServiceNow workflows for employee engagement, invoice processing, asset management, artificial intelligence for IT operations, and its universal service desk. Accenture recently made the Now Mobile app available to its more than 500,000 people.

As a ServiceNow Global Elite Partner, Accenture is one of ServiceNow’s largest global go-to-market partners and winner of its Global Partner of the Year award in 2020. For more information on the Accenture ServiceNow Business Group, visit:

Now I’ve Caught Shimano’s E-Tube App Snooping My iPhone’s Clipboard….. Just Like The Tacx Utility Does

Posted in Commentary on October 22, 2020 by itnerd

You might remember that I recently caught the Tacx Utility snooping the clipboard on my iPhone. Now I have yet to hear from them on that front. But I have seem to have caught a second company doing the exact same thing. And ironically it’s another bike related brand. Japanese based Shimano is the world’s largest bike component manufacturer. They make bike components for all sorts of cyclists including the biggest pro teams in the world. I use their components on my road bike and that includes a power meter which helps me to train effectively. Now the power meter requires firmware updates from time to time which requires me to use the E-Tube app from Shimano to do that. And like the Tacx Utility, it seems to snoop my clipboard. Video below:

So, just like with Tacx, I Tweeted Shimano asking them…. Well… WTF?

And while I was at it, I asked Tacx for an update as I haven’t heard anything from them:

I’m starting to see a trend here where due to shedding coding or something more underhanded, apps snoop on the clipboard. That’s really unfortunate and whatever the cause, anyone who does this needs to be immediately called out for doing this. Given that iOS 14 makes it real easy to spot this behavior, app developers who do this should expect to have people like me knocking on their doors asking WTF?

Updates to come.

UPDATE: Tacx responded to me:

Shimano has yet to respond to my inquiry. Which says a lot about Shimano I think.

Hacker Claims To Have Pwned Donald Trump’s Twitter Account

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 22, 2020 by itnerd

A report from a Dutch newspaper has the story of a Hacker who claims to have pwned Donald Trump’s Twitter account. Apparently, the password was “maga2020!”:

The researcher, Victor Gevers, had access to Trump’s personal messages, could post tweets in his name and change his profile. Gevers took screenshots when he had access to Trump’s account. These screenshots were shared with de Volkskrant by the monthly opinion magazine Vrij Nederland. Dutch security experts find Gevers’ claim credible. The Dutchman alerted Trump and American government services to the security leak. After a few days, he was contacted by the American Secret Service in the Netherlands. This agency is also responsible for the security of the American President and took the report seriously, as evidenced by correspondence seen by de Volkskrant. Meanwhile Trump’s account has been made more secure. This is not the first time that Dutch hackers succeeded in taking over Donald Trump’s Twitter account. The first time was four years ago, just before the 2016 elections, when three hackers jointly managed to retrieve Trump’s password and access his account. That someone has now succeeded again, is remarkable. During the previous presidential elections Russian hackers attempted to influence the elections on a large scale. Subsequently, social media have taken various steps to prevent manipulation.

The dude who’s campaign slogan is MAGA, and is running for election in 2020… has a password of maga2020!

Like seriously? Worst password EVER.


Why isn’t someone in the Trump administration policing Trump’s internet usage? He clearly has the online sense of a nursing home resident. And he’s the most powerful man on Earth. At least for another fortnight one hopes.

Twitter for their part has said that they have no evidence to confirm the claim: 

And one would assume that Twitter would at a minimum have access to IP addresses of anyone who logged on. Having said that, they might not want to say that it did happen for their own reasons. Without more evidence, I’m reserving judgment if this is true, even if it would be really hilarious if true.

TELUS Launches Mental Health App For Canada’s Frontline Workers

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 22, 2020 by itnerd

In support of the well-being of Canada’s frontline workers, TELUS today announced the launch of Espri by TELUS Health, a mobile app that delivers mental health and wellness resources to support the rising mental health pressures faced by physicians, nurses, care workers, emergency medical services, firefighters, police, correctional officers, and their family members.

Frontline workers are exposed to incidents of trauma, violence, and grief, making them more likely to experience mental health issues:

  • In 2017, a study in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry found that 44.5 per cent of first responders, including paramedics, police officers, and firefighters, screened positive for symptoms consistent with mental disorder, four times higher than the general population (10 per cent).
  • Similarly, the Canadian Medical Association’s 2018 National Physician Health Survey reported that one in four physicians experience high levels of burnout, with others reporting signs of depression and addiction.

Frontline workers also face considerable barriers and stigma to accessing mental health resources.

Developed in conjunction with first responders and under the guidance of specially-trained clinicians who are occupationally-aware and understand the needs of frontline workers, Espri by TELUS Health provides timely access to features and tools for mental wellness as well as support for crisis and prevention including:

  • Learn: A resource hub that provides quick access to relevant, clinically-informed, and occupation-specific content from the organization, TELUS Health, and/or third party providers.
  • My Plan: A goal-setting tool that helps workers build positive habits by setting and completing mental health and wellness goals
  • Group video: A video call feature that enables organizations to host virtual one-on-one, peer and group therapeutic sessions and educational programming while allowing consent-based, anonymous participation, protecting users’ safety and identity
  • Get Support: A resource list that offers one-click navigation to an organization’s preferred support resources, such as crisis lines, employee and family assistance programs, critical incident stress programs and access to healthcare professionals including psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health experts.

TELUS aims to work closely with organizations to incorporate Espri by TELUS Health into their mental health strategies. Eligible frontline workers will be able to access the app through their employer or member organization.

Google Cloud Awarded Framework Agreement For Secure Cloud Services By Canadian Federal Government

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 22, 2020 by itnerd

Google Cloud announced today that it has secured a Framework Agreement for Secure Cloud from the Canadian federal government. This agreement now enables Google Cloud to directly sell innovative cloud platform and collaboration technologies to federal agencies, helping them digitally transform and better serve their communities and constituents.

To secure this framework, Google Cloud was assessed by the Canadian federal government against all relevant security, privacy, and usability standards. While Google Cloud already works with several Canadian federal government agencies, the new agreement will permit Google Cloud to better support a wide range of federal departments, agencies, and crown corporations.

Citizens have become accustomed to convenient, easy-to-use, digital services in their daily lives. Government organizations face increased pressure to deliver the same convenience as consumer experiences, often under financial constraints and using legacy systems. This new framework agreement with Google Cloud will enable governments to procure cloud services—and subsequently help close the gap between government and consumer services.

Soroc Technology Partners With IGM Financial Inc. To Deliver End-to-End IT Services

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 21, 2020 by itnerd

Soroc Technology today announced a partnership with IGM Financial Inc. (IGM), one of Canada’s leading diversified wealth and asset management companies.

As part of this relationship, Soroc is managing all of IGM’s day-to-day mobile, laptop, collaboration and IT support requirements for the company’s 10,000 employees and financial advisors.

Soroc has already begun delivering a full suite of IT services and offerings, including procuring hardware, software and other computing supplies and servicing employee and client technical support issues that arise. This has resulted in faster turnaround times at IGM for equipment repairs and more choice when it comes to hardware and software needs. 

Soroc’s services are playing a key role in IGM’s ambitious five-year digital transformation initiative, which it began implementing in 2018.

Soroc Technology is a full-service IT firm that works closely with its clients to achieve whatever is necessary to develop, set up, and maintain full IT services. Their goal is to help their clients realize their best through the most appropriate technology. For nearly 35 years, Soroc Technology has been delivering cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions to its clients. They have built trust and earned and sustained their position among the leading IT solution and service providers by expanding their knowledge and skill and continually growing their business to support their client’s needs. Their services span the entire inception to completion process, and they can support any stage of the IT infrastructure lifecycle. They handle planning, procurement, deployment, support services and environmental disposition. 

Keyfactor & Per Scholas Announce Partnership To Drive Skills Training & Diversity In Cybersecurity

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 21, 2020 by itnerd

Keyfactor, the leader in crypto-agility solutions, and Per Scholas, a national non-profit that drives positive and proven social change in communities across the country through technology training, today announced a partnership program providing traditionally underrepresented individuals with access to mentorship and skills training for high-growth careers in the cybersecurity industry.

Per Scholas partners with leading employers, developing student curriculum that aligns to specific roles in the technology industry, including IT and security. As a Per Scholas partner, Keyfactor provides mentorship, curriculum input and training to help close the cybersecurity skills gap while addressing use cases unique to the evolving IT and cybersecurity threat landscape.

Together, Keyfactor and Per Scholas have defined an employer diversity plan using a three-prong strategy to encourage innovative thinking, implement diverse hiring practices and build awareness of demographic and societal imbalances.

IT and cybersecurity leaders are invited to attend a fireside chat to learn more about the partnership and diversity plan by registering at: https://summit.keyfactor.com/talks/fireside-chat/.

Guest Post: BDI Has The Details Covered In Terms Of Your Home Theater Upgrade

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 21, 2020 by itnerd

These days entertainment options are severely limited. Most movie theaters, sports arenas and other entertainment venues are closed or tickets expensive and hard to come by. Add in Hollywood’s halt on new theater releases, film and television production and a home theater set up/upgrade becomes a vital element to an enjoyable winter. There’s no better way to upgrade your entertainment space than with BDI’s highly functional, beautiful entertainment furniture, which is available at retailers and e-tailers across the country. In case you are planning a story in which one or some of these pieces may be useful, here are some excellent tips and options from BDI (www.bdiusa.com).

First, take inventory. No matter where one’s sports and movie-viewing area will be, the media console is vital—it will store and hide the components and their wires.  A media console should offer features designed to extend the life of the components inside, while looking good doing it. Determine the space needed to store the system by taking stock of your electronics, including speakers, cable box, streaming devices, Blu-Ray, etc.

Next, set the stage for entertainment. It’s worth the investment upfront to select a media cabinet—like the Corridor 8179(available in a mew Natural Walnut in Nov. 2020)—that has a timeless design and offers great functionality that can be at home in your spaces for many years. Even with streaming technology, modern-day entertainment setups still come with a lot of cables, so an integrated cord management system will keep everything bundled and neat. Additional features to look out for include:

BDI’s media cabinets feature ventilation panels, both inside the cabinet and on the backside, will prolong the life of your equipment by letting air easily pass through, keeping components cool.

Remote AccessibilityBDI’s Elements 8779 media cabinet doors are specially designed to allow sound and remote signals to flow through help hide components inside while giving you full access to everything within.

Adjustable shelves provide adaptability. The space can be modified to suit the user’s needs. 

For some, an audio tower is crucial. The Corridor 8172 (available in natural walnut November 2020) offers beautifully designed customizable storage for audiophiles—perfect for keeping AV components, media and vinyl record organized.

BDI cabinets factor in ease of use, as seen on this Corridor. Hidden wheels and feet levelers ensure the cabinet can maintain even footing on uneven surfaces.

Additional furniture to complete the look:

center coffee table, like the Terrace 1150from BDI, is a great place to display keepsakes, hide away remote controls, or stage your latest meal around the TV. Side tables also play double duty for storage or providing surfaces for drinks and your own homemade movie theater popcorn.

Brand new for Fall 2020, the Tanami Bar (matching media console available) is one of three offered by BDI. No family room on a weekend night is complete without it! Behind the fluid design of its sculpted doors is ample storage for everything a fully stocked bar needs.

With a little planning and the right high-quality furniture, the entertainment experience is one that may give cinemas temporary competition… yet can bring lifelong enjoyment!

A Sneak Peek Of Black Friday Deals From Dell Technologies

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 20, 2020 by itnerd

With this year’s holiday season fast approaching, Dell Technologies’ focus is simple: provide technology at a great value for the entire family! Whether for work, play or learning, Dell Technologies will start Black Friday deals earlier than ever and offer new ways to shop directly on Dell.ca for the lowest prices of the year spanning seven weeks

Starting now, catch a sneak peek of Black Friday deals available for consumers. Please find below more information on Dell’s top picks and stay tuned for more upcoming offers.

Alienware M15 R3 i7 6C|16|1TBSSD|RTX2060|FHD 144Hz No GYSNC|240W            

  • Original – $2,899.99       
  • Savings – $600

Dell G5 15 Gaming i5|8|256|1660Ti| 240w|FHD 120Hz (250n)|AX201|BLACK   

  • Original $1,538.99
  • Savings – $339

XPS 13 9300 i7|8|256 M.2 SSD|UMA UHD|NOODD|Wifi6 AX1650||FHD NT|silver

  • Original – $1,799.99
  • Savings – $200

Inspiron 14 5000 2-in-1 i5|8|256 SSD|UMA|NOODD|Wifi 6|FHD T|METAL            

  • Original – $1,088.99       
  • Savings – $209

Dell UltraSharp 25 USB-C Monitor – U2520D

  • Original – $639.99
  • Savings – $210

Please note all the above prices are in CAD.