Archive for the Commentary Category

OVHcloud Start-up Program Opens Up To Scaleups For Its 2020 Edition

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 28, 2020 by itnerd

Launched in 2015, OVHcloud’s Start-up Program has already supported more than 1,800 young companies around the world, including 250 in North America, through an investment of more than €6 million in infrastructure credits and development support. To mark the start of the new fiscal year, OVHcloud is reaffirming its commitment to supporting young companies that put cloud infrastructure at the heart of their business model.

Dedicated support for start-ups and scaleups

In order to support start-ups and scaleups putting the cloud at the heart of their business model in their development, OVHcloud has designed a 12-month program adapted and proportionate to the needs of each. The program includes: 

  • A grant of up to $15,000 CAD to be used on OVHcloud products for start-ups and up to $150,000 CAD for scaleups.
  • Personalized support from 6 hours for start-ups and up to 20 hours for scaleups.
  • A dedicated community space to exploit the potential of the OVHcloud ecosystem.
  • Access to the Open Trusted Cloud program; from the 1st day for scaleups and at the end of the 12-month program for start-ups.
  • Exposure through joint communications with OVHcloud, booths at international trade shows, speaking opportunities during OVHcloud events, workshops and conferences dedicated to start-ups (online and offline) as well as joint use cases published on the OVHcloud website.
  • Start-ups with the fastest developments can of course upgrade to the level of support dedicated to scaleups during the program. 

A first springboard to success

Behind this program, the objective is obviously to see the start-up or scaleup develop according to the choices of its own teams. This is why the OVHcloud Start-up Program follows the same rules as the rest of the company and applies its conception of a SMART cloud (Simple to use, Multi-local, Accessible, Reversible and Transparent). OVHcloud’s open technology is made available to companies participating in the program to accelerate their business and growth with no strings attached.

OVHcloud does not take a share of the start-up’s capital, nor does it require the start-up to use its infrastructure at the end of the 12 months of the support program. OVHcloud acts first and foremost as a facilitator, putting start-ups in contact with what they need most (IP and financing experts, incubators, venture capital firms, etc.) and providing the infrastructure on which their business model is based. This non-binding model guarantees each start-up the reversibility, interoperability and control of its data.

At the end of the program, the organizations participating in the program will be able to continue using OVHcloud infrastructures or not, but also to integrate the Open Trusted Cloud, its trusted ecosystem of SaaS and PaaS services.

To find out more about the OVHcloud Start-up Program and join it: startup.ovhcloud.com/en/

Just Dance 2021 – Gets The Family Moving

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 28, 2020 by itnerd

Get ready to get your family up and moving this holiday season with Just Dance 2021! Just in time for the holiday celebrations whether gifting or grooving with your guests, Just Dance is accessible to any level of dancer through four classic modes. In the 2021 edition, players will enjoy dancing using the new improved world dance floor while listening to 40 new songs like “Señorita” by Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello and “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa. With bangers like these, you won’t want to do anything else during the time off.

Don’t miss out on the launch! Starting November 12, you can get Just Dance 2021; available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation®4, the Xbox One family of consoles and Stadia, Xbox Series X and PlayStation®5!

Dell Launches New XPS Laptops [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 28, 2020 by itnerd

Dell has new XPS laptops that are launching soon and will be the first Intel® EVO™ platform-based Dell systems powered by 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors. Specifically new XPS 13 and XPS 13 2-in-1 models which  were briefly featured onstage during Intel’s recent Tiger Lake launch event.

New features on XPS 13 2-in-1:

  • 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors and Xe graphics
  • Thunderbolt 4 
  • Memory update to 4267MHz LPDDR4x (From 3733MHz)
  • IR camera with Windows Hello capability
  • Updated design ID — machined aluminum in platinum silver with black carbon fiber or frost with arctic white woven glass fiber palm rest (previously available in platinum silver and arctic white)
  • Available in the U.S. and Canada starting Sept. 30 and across participating European and Asian countries throughout the next few weeks starting at US $1,249.

NOTE: At this time, the XPS 13 in frost machined aluminum with arctic white woven glass palm rest will NOT be available on Sept. 30 and will launch at a later date. 

New features on XPS 13:

  • 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors and Xe graphics
  • Thunderbolt 4 
  • Memory update to 4267MHz LPDDR4x (From 3733MHz)
  • Available in the U.S. and Canada starting Sept. 30 and across participating European and Asian countries throughout the next few weeks starting at US $999.

New features on XPS 13 Developer Edition:

  • The new Linux-based XPS 13 Developer Edition is the first 11th Gen Intel® Core™ laptop to come pre-loaded with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
  • Thunderbolt 4 
  • Memory update to 4267MHz LPDDR4x (From 3733MHz)
  • New Ubuntu Desktop free download!
    • Based on input from our developer community, we have also added functionality to allow XPS 13 (Windows) users to switch their system from Windows OS to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with a free software download — even if they did not originally purchase the Developer Edition. Both operating systems can run on XPS 13 side-by-side, or Ubuntu OS can take over.  
  • Available in the U.S. and Canada starting Sept. 30 and across participating European countries throughout the next few weeks.
  • Starting price TBD.

XPS 2020 laptop family fully embraces new sustainable packaging

UPDATE: I have an update to the availability of all XPS systems with the Intel Tiger Lake refresh. That will now go on sale Dell.com on Thursday, Oct. 1. Thus to be clear:

Available in the U.S. and Canada on Oct. 1:

  • XPS 13, XPS 13 Developer Edition and XPS 13 2-in-1 will be available.
  • Available colours for XPS 13, XPS 13 Developer Edition, and XPS 13 2-in-1 will now include both platinum silver with black carbon fiber interior AND frost with arctic white woven glass interior.
  • Also, I can now confirm that the new XPS portfolio is indeed a part of Intel’s EVO program.

Roku Announces Roku Streambar In Canada And Apple AirPlay 2 & HomeKit Support For Some Roku 4K TVs

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 28, 2020 by itnerd

Roku today announced the Roku Streambar in Canada, a two-in-one entertainment upgrade that adds 4K HDR streaming and cinematic sound to any TV. The Roku Streambar is an affordable way for consumers to upgrade and de-clutter their entertainment setup at home.

Roku Streambar

Roku Streambar is the ultimate 2-in-1 entertainment upgrade with powerful streaming and premium sound for any TV with HDMI, including Roku TV™ models. Hear every detail as you stream in vibrant 4K HDR picture quality on compatible TVs. With its compact acoustic design and powerful signal processing, its center drivers deliver crisp, clean audio that makes dialogue easier to hear while its angled side drivers fill the room with sound. The Roku Streambar can also quiet loud commercials automatically. Control the Roku Streambar by speaking to Amazon Alexa and/or Google Assistant devices, plus, consumers can expect to stream videos, music and more with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit by the end of the year. Setup is simple with everything in the box, including a voice remote that controls your TV power, sound, and streaming.

Features include:

  • Brilliant 4K picture: Stream movies and TV in HD, 4K, and 4K HDR picture quality.
  • Big sound: Four 1.9” full range drivers fill the room with rich Dolby Audio.
  • Smarter than the average soundbar: Advanced audio engineering within the Roku OS helps Roku Streambar produce sound well beyond its size while increasing speech clarity and adding intricate depth to music.
  • Easily accessible sound settings: Simple volume modes make it easy to adjust sound. Automatically lower loud commercials, boost the volume of voices, and optimise the sound for night listening.
  • Spotify Connect: Spotify is available on the Roku platform and with Spotify Connect, easily launch a favourite playlist from a smartphone and listen through the Roku Streambar’s high performance speakers.
  • Bluetooth support: Easily stream music from mobile devices.

Later this year, Roku expects customers will enjoy Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit capabilities on select 4K Roku devices. With AirPlay 2, Roku customers can stream, control, and share their favorite content directly from their iPhone, iPad, or Mac to their supported Roku device and bring the experience to the big screen. HomeKit allows customers to easily and securely control their Roku device using the Home app and Siri on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, or HomePod.

BREAKING: Judge Stops Trump From Banning TikTok

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 27, 2020 by itnerd

Earlier today I commented on the fact that TikTok was set to be banned unless there was yet another plot twist in this story. Well, we have another plot twist. A judge just stopped President Trump from banning TikTok on US app stores:

A federal judge on Sunday temporarily blocked President Trump’s TikTok ban, granting a temporary reprieve to the wildly popular video-sharing app.

During a telephone court hearing on Sunday, lawyers for TikTok argued that Trump’s clampdown infringed on free speech and due process rights. 

John Hall, an attorney for TikTok, argued that the app, with some 100 million American users, is a “modern day version of the town square” and shutting it down is akin to silencing speech.

Judge Carl Nichols of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, responded by halting the ban, which was set to kick in at midnight Sunday.

Trump is likely to lose his mind on Twitter over this latest plot twist as he’s already having a bad day with his tax returns being found by The New York Times which shows him bleeding cash for years like a gunshot victim in Compton Ca. and avoid taxes like he avoided COVID-19. His response on Twitter along with how the US Government response is to this will be interesting to watch.

Judge Shoots Down TikTok Creators Request To Stop Trump’s Ban

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 27, 2020 by itnerd

The Verge is reporting that a last minute attempt by three TikTok creators to stop President Trumps attempts to ban it as been rejected:

A judge in Pennsylvania has rejected a request from three TikTok content creators to temporarily block a ban on the app set to go into effect Sunday night, which would bar new downloads from Google and Apple’s app stores in the US. 

Douglas Marland, Cosette Rinab, and Alec Chambers said they “earn a livelihood from the content they post on TikTok,” saying the platform’s “For You” page is unique among social media platforms, because its algorithm allows “little-known creators to show their content to a large audience,” according to the court filing. 

Judge Wendy Beetlestone said that the ban would pose “undoubtedly an inconvenience,” but said in denying the request that the three had failed to prove they would suffer “immediate, irreparable harm” if new downloads are barred, since the app would remain operational for current subscribers —at least for the time being—if the ban takes effect. “They will still be able to create, publish, and share content for their millions of current followers,” the judge wrote in her opinion.

So it looks like at this point TikTok will be banned from being American app stores tonight. Barring some other plot twist that I don’t see coming. Which is entirely possible.

New Report: Insight Into Vulnerability Preparedness Across Financial Sector

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 25, 2020 by itnerd

New pressures presented by the hastened digital transformation due to this year’s global pandemic have put banks, credit unions and other financial institutions of all sizes in the position of assessing and implementing new cloud technologies faster than they would prefer. Additionally, the speed with which they have had to stand up remote workers and deliver services to remote customers has introduced new areas of risk. Malicious actors have discovered this and pounced. The frequency of cyberattacks on financial institutions is relentless with alerts and warnings being issued constantly. According to recent reports, cybersecurity attacks targeting banks have surged 238% due in large part to COVID-19.

Digital Defense, Inc., provider of vulnerability and threat management solutions, recently ran peer comparison reports on its bank, credit union, and financial services clients to gain greater insight into industry-specific threats and threat and vulnerability preparedness across the financial sector.

The chart below provides the 12-month average Security GPAs** for internal and external scanning and compares 2020 scores with the same period in 2019. For additional context, the Security GPAs for banks, credit unions, and financial services firms were averaged to calculate an overall financial industry GPA for internal and external vulnerability scanning.

Report findings:

  • Over the past 12 months, all financial verticals performed above the platform average Security GPA for both their internal (2.72 B-) and external (3.37 B+) vulnerability scanning and remediation efforts.
  • The bank and credit union Security GPAs for external scanning indicate that these two groups have made headway improving their external security posture by prioritizing high-impact vulnerabilities that put their organizations most at risk. 
  • On the other hand, the financial services vertical’s 2020 internal GPA (2.81 B-) is noticeably lower than 2019 (3.05 B+). Many variables can impact a decreased Security GPA, especially as we account for the extensive network changes in the financial industry over the past several months. Situations that could be contributing factors to the lower 2020 internal GPA for financial services include:
    • A large deployment of hardware, software, or operating systems triggered several high-level vulnerabilities that are not being addressed because organizations are going through a technology refresh.
    • New vulnerabilities discovered that are targeting applications specific to the financial services vertical.
    • Financial services customers may have a sizeable deployment of applications or operating systems that have recently reached end-of-life (EOL), triggering additional vulnerabilities.
  • Most notable in this industry comparison is that most of Digital Defense’s financial clients’ year-over-year scores exceed platform averages, remain consistent and improve during a time of significant technology changes across the industry. The data indicates that financial organizations are prioritizing vulnerabilities that have the most impact on their security posture and are putting security first by acting on incidents identified through their vulnerability management program.

More info can be found here.

Rainbow Six Siege Canada Division: Mirage VS LiViD

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 25, 2020 by itnerd

TGIF! Time for some much needed relaxation, cold drinks, and of course moreRainbow Six Siege Canada Division Stage 2 action!

Today’s match will be between @MirageSportE vs @LiViDGG. It’s bound to be an action packed and intense match-up. As always, you can tune into the matches every Friday at 6PM EDT/3PM PDT onhttp://Twitch.tv/Rainbow6.

Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses Why Restricted Content On YouTube Is The Most Desired Among Canadians

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 25, 2020 by itnerd

The things people search for on engines like Google or Bing can tell a lot about how they live. New research by NordVPN reveals that video content on YouTube is the most desirable to unlock.

In total, 63,64% of Canadian internet users searching for how to unblock certain online services want to access content on YouTube. 

The rest of “unblock” searches from Canada are related to locked social media accounts due to forgotten login credentials or attempts to access Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat in public places like schools, where the service is often restricted.

However, Canadians are half as concerned with unblocking Facebook than Americans — only 9.09% compared to 20.41% in the US.

“Globally, 82.7% of users are trying to access YouTube the most, but Google is also in high demand (5.7%). This proves that a substantial part of the world cannot enjoy unrestricted internet browsing. Not Canada, however, as the country is considered to have free internet. But content on YouTube still makes them feel at a disadvantage,” said Daniel Markusson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN.

Why do people look for how to unblock YouTube much more than other services?

Youtube is the second most popular website as of August 2020, with one billion hours of content watched daily. “Not surprisingly, some video content is not available in certain countries due to copyright or censorship. This makes people look for workarounds,” says Daniel Markusson.

First on the list is the US, accounting for 7.7% of all “unblock YouTube” searches.  The country is followed by India (6,5%) and Indonesia (5,3%).  Canada hits the top-10, with 0.62% of all searches worldwide.

Countries can be broken down into two groups: those that have little censorship over content on the internet and those where censorship prevails. 

Therefore, the reasons behind attempts to access blocked content on YouTube might be notably different. “One of the reasons behind “unblock YouTube” search volumes in Canada, the US, UK, Australia, and others are the result of students trying to bypass rules at school, where bandwidth is often blocked for YouTube. On the other hand, internet users from India and Indonesia are either trying to bypass censorship or overcome geo-restrictions imposed by content creators,” said Daniel Markuson.

Examples of censorship include Denmark blocking YouTube following a dispute over royalty fees and Germany blocking the service for 7 years on copyright grounds. Regimes are blocking the service to suppress the opposition. For instance, YouTube was censored in Venezuela during the presidential elections crisis back in 2019.

Methodology: NordVPN researchers used Google’s search term analysis tools to search terms including the keyword “unblock”.  Apart from global trends, search volumes were also checked by country. The analysis was based on search volumes over a period of 30 days.

Time frame: 15 June-15 July, 2020.

Additionally, researchers looked at the Freedom on the Net report 2019 by Freedom House to list the countries considered to be the most censored. 

LinkedIn launches Stories In Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 24, 2020 by itnerd

Today, LinkedIn launched the LinkedIn Stories feature in Canada, along with a suite of updates to its platform. Stories provides members with a less intimidating way to share everyday professional moments with their LinkedIn communities, such as offering perspectives from their work day or an event, giving insights on timely breaking news, walking through a product demo or teaching others a skill.

With Stories, Canadians can engage with their network using a full-screen ephemeral format (live for 24 hours). And since Stories won’t be permanently attached to profiles, it provides members with the freedom to share their professional side with an extra personal touch, and message their network in more timely and relevant moments.

Other exciting LinkedIn updates include:

  • New site design. The heart of LinkedIn is its community. There are incredible examples of this every day on the platform: people and organizations coming together to help, support, and inspire one another. LinkedIn wants its site and member experience to reflect this. The new design is personable, inclusive, approachable, and warm. It’s been simplified while still providing the structure necessary to be easy to navigate and understand.
  • Messaging updates. Conversations are the centerpiece for members to stay informed and find opportunities, and LinkedIn has seen an increase in 25% of messages sent since last year. To help professionals continue to find and engage in conversations they care about, LinkedIn is adding to its messaging experience from giving members the ability to edit or delete a message to managing their messages in bulk to initiating a video call right from their messages, LinkedIn wants to make it as easy as possible.
  • Search updates. LinkedIn is taking steps to better-organize search results into a more intuitive, streamlined, and relevant experience. For instance, people, jobs, events, courses, posts, groups, and more will now appear together in a clear and more understandable format, making it easier for members to find what they need faster and browse through results. For example, if they search for java, they’ll see people they may know with that skill, jobs requiring that skill, relevant LinkedIn Learning courses and related groups to join.