Archive for the Commentary Category

Infographic: Awesome Cyber Security Facts

Posted in Commentary on August 21, 2019 by itnerd

 

cyber-security-facts-stats.png

Source: EveryCloud

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Dell Introduces World’s Most Flexible Modular Zero-Footprint PC

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 20, 2019 by itnerd

Dell Technologies today announced the new OptiPlex 7070 Ultra, an innovative desktop that stores its small and powerful technology vertically inside a thin and light display stand. The industry’s most flexible, zero-footprint desktop design, the OptiPlex 7070 Ultra is beautiful, space-saving, and clutter-free; as well as fully modular so customers can configure and upgrade as needed throughout the product lifecycle. This means the PC and display of this zero-footprint desktop can be upgraded and serviced independently of one another.

Dell’s customer research shows companies like the ability to upgrade their systems. They also enjoy the aesthetics of the All-in-One. Because customers tend to upgrade their computers more frequently than their displays, the independent upgradability of the Ultra brings the best of the traditional desktop and the All-in-One together into a single, new, innovative platform.

Flexible, Upgradable, Innovative Design

The OptiPlex 7070 Ultra features configurable elements for ultimate flexibility and performance. Key features include:

  • Independent upgrade of the PC and display, so customers can swap out, upgrade or service any part at any time
  • A monitor stand that integrates the PC within and includes physical security options designed to protect against tampering
  • Flexible configurations ideal for multi-user, open-plan workspaces
  • Configurable to different use cases or work styles with compatible products like a height adjustable stand, fixed stand, VESA mount, Dell Single Monitor Arm | MSA20 for superior adjustability and Dell Dual Monitor Arm | MDA20 for added desk agility
  • Performance and scalability to match users’ needs, up to Intel® Core™ vPro™  i7 processors, 64GB of RAM, 1TB NVMe SSD and 2TB HDD

Additionally, a recent Dell study shows that using two monitors can boost worker productivity by up to 21%[8]. The Ultra can support up to three displays[9] – from 19 to 27 inches – for increased productivity. Power, data, video and audio are transmitted in one single cable when the Ultra is paired with Dell USB-C monitors.

 

New OptiPlex 7071 Tower Brings Immersive VR Consumption Capabilities to the Office

 

Dell also introduced the new OptiPlex 7071 Tower, ideal for businesses using VR content for activities such as training and sales environments. With premium performance, multiple expansion options and accessories tailored to the needs of today’s users, it’s the desktop that offers enhanced productivity options for everyday tasks. The most powerful OptiPlex yet, it can be configured with 9th Gen Intel®Core™ processors up to the new 95W, 8-core Core i9 processor with optional Intel vPro technology.

OptiPlex Optimized with Dell Technologies Unified Workspace

Earlier this year, Dell Technologies announced Unified Workspace, a visionary approach to end-user computing designed to give workers a frustration-free, ready-to-work experience while empowering IT with automated, open and intelligent management solutions. The new OptiPlex portfolio is optimized with Dell Technologies Unified Workspace so IT can easily deploy, secure, manage and support these devices, and users can be productive on day one.

The new Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra is an innovative desktop that stores its small and powerful technology vertically inside a thin and light display stand. The industry’s most flexible, zero-footprint desktop design, the OptiPlex 7070 Ultra is beautiful, space-saving, and clutter-free; as well as fully modular so customers can configure and upgrade as needed throughout the lifecycle of the product.

North America Availability:

  • The Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra will be available on September 24 with an average price of $749.
  • The Dell OptiPlex 7071 Tower will be available on September 24.

 

Apple’s Shoddy QA Strikes Again As They Accidentally Put Every iDevice On The Planet In Danger Of Pwnage

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 20, 2019 by itnerd

I’ve been saying for a couple of years now that Apple’s QA is an #EpicFail as we’ve seen example after example after example of high profile bugs with significant security impacts make it into the hands of the public. And this past weekend we saw the worst example of this take place.

It appears that when Apple released iOS 12.4, Apple somehow unpatched a fix that they made in iOS 12.3 that now makes it possible for one of the few, if not only times that I can remember to jailbreak the current version of iOS. While this does allow one to install any piece of software that they want and customize an iDevice any way they want, it also opens up a massive security nightmare. Apps, even ones that are on the App Store could contain malicious code that could allow an evil doer to do anything from steal data to take over the device remotely. The possibilities are endless on that front and it puts any iDevice on the planet in danger. What’s worse is that a hacker named @Pwn2Owned has released the jailbreak to the public. Making this quite literally a copy and paste exercise for anyone who wants to do bad things to iOS users. And in the process this ups the danger level substantially.

So how do you protect yourself from this? Well, you really can’t fully protect yourself? You could avoid downloading ANY application from any source including the App Store as any app could contain attack code. But that isn’t good enough. A threat actor could set up or compromise a webpage to detect an iOS device and download the attack code to it for example. And there would be no way for you to stop it. Thus you’re pretty much at the mercy of Apple to fix this quickly. It was hoped that since this went public on the weekend, and Apple already had the solution in hand, a fix would be out on Monday. But that didn’t happen which means that users remain unprotected.

The question is, how could a trillion dollar company let this happen? Apple isn’t saying anything, but it’s clear that the problems that I have highlighted are still present and either they are so systemic that Apple is having difficultly fixing them, or Apple for whatever reason won’t fix them. Either way that’s a huge problem for a company that is known for privacy and security. In fact, it makes Apple look like amateurs as these sorts of high profile security issues keep happening.

Apple really needs to wake up and smell the coffee. They have serious issues in their quality control processes. They need to fix those issues. And those fixes need to happen now. Perhaps using the methods that I describe here. Because as it stands, Apple is a joke because their marketing which touts how secure their products are, and the actual security of their products aren’t in sync. And that means that they forfeit the high ground on the security front.

Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses MasterChef Star’s Cyberattack Experience

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 20, 2019 by itnerd

In this digital era, when we sell and buy things online, no one can feel safe about their personal data anymore. Even celebrities are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Last year, a MasterChef finalist Dani Venn fell victim to cybercrime when $250,000 were stolen from her family.

“I thought that something like that would never happen to me,” says the reality TV star. She sold her family home in Melbourne and was planning to buy a new one via the electronic property transfer system Property Exchange Australia (PEXA). “So, for that short window between selling and buying, we were extremely vulnerable. And that’s the moment when the hackers struck and stole our home deposit of $250,000. We were left with no home and no money to buy a new one.”

The unknown hackers compromised the system via Venn’s conveyancer’s account and swiped all the money arranged for the new property. The cybercriminals used the “forgot password” function to intercept the email. They created a new user who changed the payment details of Venn’s transfer to relocate the funds to their bank account.

It took some effort for the stressful story to come to a happy ending, and Dani Venn recalls the incident as her family’s worst nightmare. The young family with two small children had all their life savings missing and no place to stay just because of a software security flaw. “We trusted the system, and we were left homeless,” regrets the famous chef.

After the story gained media attention, PEXA agreed to gift Dani her lost home deposit, so the family could proceed with purchasing their dream property. PEXA reportedly reviewed its security systems to take extra measures for protecting its customers against this type of fraud.

Started using cybersecurity tools

Today, Dani sees cybersecurity with new eyes. “I am more conscious and aware of online security and safety. I would never disclose sensitive information, like bank accounts, via email or online messaging platforms as I may have in the past.” The famous chef and entrepreneur says she takes the attitude that everything we do online is being watched. “That way, you are always thinking twice about sharing personal information.”

To feel safer on the internet, Dani Venn started using NordVPN – a virtual private network that provides her and her family with advanced security and complete privacy online. “Since the incident, I’ve changed the way I use the internet. I frequently change my passwords, and I’ve adopted all kinds of tools. For example, I use NordVPN, which encrypts my traffic, so no one could see what I browse, except me.”

The mother-of-two believes that people aren’t suspicious enough. “Vigilance is the best defense, after all. That’s why you shouldn’t ever click on questionable links or open emails from unknown sources. Take cybersecurity seriously. If you do not know a thing about the subject, and if you use no tools to protect yourself, you’re the target.”

Hackers pick opportunities, not victims

Dani Venn says the most important lesson she learned is not to give hackers opportunities. “Hackers do not pick their victims. They pick opportunities to create victims. For example, you’re browsing on a public Wi-Fi without NordVPN. The hacker is on the same Wi-Fi watching the traffic. If they spot that your traffic is not encrypted, they can spy on anything you’re doing. That’s how we were hacked. The system wasn’t secure, and the hackers exploited it.”

Dani Venn’s story reminds how easy it is to fall victim to cybercrime. Scamming attacks don’t just happen when you respond to dodgy emails. Hackers can find more sophisticated ways to trick you unexpectedly. To protect your sensitive information and improve your security online, the TV star advises using privacy software tools. Her personal recommendation goes to NordVPN.

Dell & Alienware Deliver The Ultimate PC Gaming Ecosystem At Gamescom

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 19, 2019 by itnerd

Dell and Alienware arrive at the 11th annual Gamescom trade fair with new tech to satisfy the needs of die-hard gamers and newbies alike – laptops, desktops, monitors, headsets, keyboards, mice – a complete gaming ecosystem shaped by tenacity and relentless innovation.

New Alienware Aurora with Legend Industrial Design
Earlier this year at CES, Alienware began rolling out a new design identity, Alienware’s Legend industrial design, which was seen as a bold departure from its current look and the sea of sameness in the industry. The new Alienware Aurora brings this Legend industrial design to a desktop for the first time. Born from the ethos of purposeful innovation, Alienware’s new Legend industrial design has been awarded for its ground up engineering that merges design innovations and high-performance torque

The new Alienware Aurora introduces a new chassis design for this mid-tower classic, with Legend industrial design bringing an even more compact form factor as it has with Alienware’s thin-and-light laptops. A proven powerhouse with Intel’s latest 9th Gen Core Processors and NVIDIA® GeForce® graphic cards, the improved airflow let’s gamers game to their best. And a tool-less upgrade option offers product longevity and scalable performance. U.S. availability August 20, starting at $969.99.

Introducing first G series Dell G5 desktop
For the new PC gamer, to gamers looking to game on a budget, the new Dell G5 Desktop extends the G Series brand into the realm of desktops. The Dell G5 Desktop is designed to offer game-ready power, graphics and features in a compact, upgradeable form. Up to i9 K-Series CPUs and VR-capable NVIDIA GeForce GTX® and RTX™ or AMD Radeon™ RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 graphic cards provide amazing performance, high-fidelity visuals and split-second responsiveness for superior 1440p gaming experience. It is easy to expand or upgrade with a tool-less entry and additional storage slots inside. Optimal cooling design along with four thermal mode options that can be set in the Alienware Command Center, provide the ability to adjust to your needs, whether gaming, working, studying or watching videos. The surprisingly compact design takes up minimal space, making it easier to game in a smaller space like a dorm room, bedroom, or den. A distinctive, gamer-inspired design with optional blue LED lighting and optional clear window side panel gives the G5 gaming desktop a dynamic look and feel. U.S. availability August 19, starting at $629.00.

Display Innovation
Dell and Alienware continue to push the boundaries in monitor design, innovation and functionality to heighten the visual gaming experience. Marking yet another milestone, Alienware rolls out the world’s first 55-inch OLED Gaming Monitorand introduces fast IPS (in-plane switching) technology with the new Legend industrial design to its gaming monitors line-up for the first time.

  • Alienware 55 OLED Gaming Monitor | AW5520QF brings the world a true gaming spectacle, a vision-filling screen with stunning image quality for which OLED is known. Featuring the Alienware’s new Legend industrial design, the Alienware 55 OLED Gaming Monitor offers a 120Hz variable refresh rate, response time of 0.5ms (gray-to-gray), and low input latency so images get to the screen much faster allowing a gamer’s reactions to be quicker, more accurate and ahead of the competition. Incredible color accuracy and depth with 98.5% DCI-P3 color coverage lets gamers experience the colors as it was designed. The sharp 4k UHD resolution allows for either sitting up close for intense gaming, or farther away with a gamepad, for a more casual experience. AMD Radeon FreeSync™ technology2 minimizes graphic distortions such as tearing, stuttering and artifacts for smooth and steady imagery. Customize the gaming experience with AlienFX lighting, gaming-centric on-screen display (OSD) and a remote control whether having the monitor placed on the gaming desk or mounted on the wall, thanks to the included VESA mount adapter. Built-in speakers are tuned with Waves MaxxAudio® for audio accuracy and clarity. U.S. availability September 30, starting at $3,999.99.
  • Alienware 34 Curved Gaming Monitor | AW3420DW pulls gamers right into the gaming action with an immersive 1900R curved, wide 21:9 WQHD-resolution monitor. Alienware’s first 34-inch WQHD 120Hz curved gaming monitor with fast IPS response time and IPS Nano Color technology3 that provides 98% DCI-P3 color coverage, along with a 120Hz (native) refresh rate and NVIDIA G-SYNC® display technology that offers smooth and realistic images. Both speed and high-quality imagery are made possible by the new IPS technology that allows for the fast response time while still delivering on the well-known benefits of IPS: high color accuracy and wide-angle viewing. The monitor also features AlienFX lighting with four customizable zones, gaming-centric on-screen-display and height-adjustable stand allowing elegant cable management. U.S. availability August 28, starting at $1,499.99.
  • Alienware 27 Gaming Monitor | AW2720HF is all about speed with the new fast IPS technology, a blazing 240Hz refresh rate and true 1ms response time (gray-to-gray) in Extreme mode with AMD Radeon FreeSync technology. Native FHD resolution provides for sharper images for games running at 1080p while IPS delivers wide-viewing angle and 99% sRGB coverage. The monitor comes with AlienFX lighting, adjustable stand and gaming-centric OSD.  U.S. availability September 17, starting at $599.99.
  • Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor | S3220DGF is a curved 1800R screen which enhances field-of-vision and provides a wrap-around perspective for a truly immersive gaming and movie experience. Gamers can experience up to 165Hz refresh rates4 for astonishingly fast gameplay and see up to 77% more on-screen game content with QHD resolution compared to FHD. They can also enjoy smooth, low-latency high dynamic range gaming with AMD Radeon FreeSyncTM 2 HDR technology5 and conquer with clarity as lifelike visuals and vivid colors comes standard with VESA DisplayHDRTM 400 and more than 90% DCI-P3 color coverage. U.S. availability August 28, starting at$599.99.

New Alienware Peripherals Complete Ecosystem
Every detail matters. Peripherals are the essential connection between the gamer and the game. They are central to winning the game and Alienware understands this. Guided by the gaming community and pro players, Alienware is rolling out a newly designed assortment of Legend industrial design peripherals, completing the Alienware battle station.

  • Alienware Low-Profile RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard | AW510K is a full-featured, maximum performance keyboard that incorporates the latest generation Cherry MX Low-Profile Red keys. Designed for gamer-centric personalization with fully programmable keys, dedicated audio controls and choice of 16.8 million AlienFX per-key RGB lighting for immersive gaming. U.S. availability August 20, starting at $159.99.
  • Alienware Mechanical Gaming Keyboard | AW310K provides all the fundamentals gamers need offering leading edge features like the latest generation Cherry MX Red keys in a floating key architecture with white backlit keys. With fully programmable keys for macros and key assignments and dedicated audio controls, it is an essential gaming keyboard built to last. U.S. availability August 20, starting at $99.99.
  • Alienware Wired/Wireless Gaming Mouse | AW610M provides gamers with the best wireless gaming experience with a leading battery life of up to 350 hours on a single charge6. In addition to a 1,000Hz polling rate in both wired or wireless mode for maximum performance, this mouse has our best-in-class Alienware 16,000 DPI sensor for ultimate accuracy. The custom adjustable scroll wheel, 7 fully-programmable buttons and 16.8 million AlienFX RGB lighting provide a fully personalizable gaming experience. U.S. availability August 20, starting at $99.99.
  • Alienware RGB Gaming Mouse | AW510M delivers true versatility with 10 fully-programmable buttons, optimized side button layout and a custom adjustable scroll wheel to suit all genres. Our best-in-class custom Alienware 16,000 DPI sensor offers outstanding accuracy6 while 16.8 million AlienFX RGB lighting lets gamers personalize their gaming experience. U.S. availability August 20, starting at $74.99.
  • Alienware Wireless Gaming Mouse | AW310M helps gamers take their game wherever they go with this full-sized mobile gaming mouse that comes with six fully programmable buttons and provides almost 300 hours of gaming on a single AA battery6. This mouse sports a custom Alienware 12,000 DPI sensor and signature Alienware design that caters to most hand sizes and usage styles. U.S. availability August 20, starting at $62.99.

Alienware Arena 10-Year Anniversary
When it launched in 2009, Alienware Arena served as a community website focused on tournaments for competition titles. As our community has grown to over 7 million members worldwide over the past decade, we’ve also branched out our content and features on the site– from a portal for live streamed content on Alienware TV to the Alienware Rewards Points Loyalty Program and myriad giveaways – evolving as its audience morphed into the broader gaming community.

Relaunching on August 19, Alienware Arena will sport a fresh new design that better channels the Alienware aesthetic, with side-scrolling items and an enhanced mobile experience. Along with daily login bonuses and weekly promotions, there will be great new ways to earn Alienware Reward Points, exclusive user customization options, and unique content from gaming publishers. Improved forums for quicker posting, new Friends management, one-stop news for “all things gaming” at Dell and, true to its original mission, new community tournaments will kick the site up a few notches.

Starting August 19 at 1030AM (CST), gamers who join or are a member of Alienware Arena can claim a code for a one month membership to Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta) in the Giveaways section of the website. With Xbox Game Pass for PC, play the highly anticipated “Gears 5” the same day it launches on September 10 or rediscover the Halo saga with “Halo: The Master Chief Collection.”  Xbox Game Pass for PC gives you immediate access to a highly curated library of over 100 high-quality games on Windows 10, with new games added all the time.

Dell & Alienware Gamescom Activations
Dell and Alienware will debut its new gaming portfolio ranging from desktops to monitors and peripherals at Gamescom 2019 in Hall 2, C-059 and Hall 7, B-030.

Additional Resources:

 

Cogeco Peer 1 Changes Name to Aptum Technologies

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 19, 2019 by itnerd

Cogeco Peer 1, a managed hosting and cloud services provider, today announced it has changed its name to Aptum Technologies. The move follows the April 2019, acquisition of Cogeco Peer 1 by Digital Colony, a global investment firm dedicated to strategic opportunities in digital infrastructure. Aptum means ‘adaptability’ and reflects their heritage and vision for the future.

Headquartered in Toronto, Aptum will operate with two focused business units — Data Centre and Fibre.  The Data Centre business will concentrate on enabling multi-cloud services for enterprises. The Fibre business will be Canada’s first independent, neutral-host provider of small cell and 5G infrastructure, and enterprise and wholesale fibre connectivity with an extensive metro fibre network across greater Toronto and Montreal.

With a 20-year heritage helping customers maximize technologies to store, manage, move and secure their critical data, Aptum is one of a select group of companies able to offer true hybrid infrastructure solutions with secure data centre, cloud, connectivity and managed services across North and Central America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Aptum is led by an experienced executive team that includes:

  • Susan Bowen, Chief Executive Officer
  • Shenif Visram, Chief Finance Officer
  • Sanjay Sachdev, President and Head of Fibre
  • Leighton Plumley, Chief Revenue Officer (Data Centre Business Unit)
  • Cindy Jordan-Ford, EVP Global Strategic Accounts & Alliances
  • Jeremy Pease, Chief Operating Officer
  • Scott Davis, Interim Chief Infrastructure Officer
  • Paul Dyck, Vice President, Human Resources

Concurrent with the rebranding, Aptum has launched two new offerings that expand and enhance its customers’ hybrid cloud options:

  • Managed Amazon Web Services (AWS) – reinforcing Aptum’s commitment to multi-cloud this new suite of AWS services complements Aptum’s existing Managed Azure and Managed Private Cloud offerings. Managed AWS services include consultation; architecture/design; solution build and configuration; migration; project management; ongoing service management and optimization; and 24/7 expert support. Managed AWS is available in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.
  • New Cloud Connect Availability – expansion of Cloud Connect, which offers a direct, dedicated and secure connection to cloud services. Cloud Connect is now available for AWS Direct Connect, Google Cloud Platform, ServiceNow, Salesforce, SAP and Oracle in addition to Microsoft ExpressRoute. The Cloud Connect expansion is available in all regions.

Resources:

 

Dell Technologies & AT&T Collaborate On Open Source Edge Computing & 5G Software Infrastructure

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 17, 2019 by itnerd

Dell Technologies and AT&T are jointly exploring the development of key open infrastructure technology areas for the next-generation network edge that will be required by service providers to support new use cases and service opportunities in a cloud-oriented 5G world.

Realizing the full potential of 5G innovation

5G is not simply an evolution from 4G. 5G requires massive transformation. It demands new, distributed architectures that use software-defined, disaggregated and open infrastructure to automate the delivery and management of mobile services and new analytics-driven telemetry to ensure consistent service levels.

The goal of edge computing is to move compute closer to the end user and applications, creating a low-latency environment for a new class of cloud-native applications. Combining edge computing and 5G extends cloud and “IT-centric” requirements beyond traditional fixed-function hardware to deliver more dynamic, agile edge compute, storage and networking solutions on an unprecedented scale. To capitalize on the new business opportunities that edge computing and 5G will create, communication service providers need open, validated, industry-standard architectures, combined with software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), cloud-native applications, and Multi-access edge computing (MEC).

Combining their respective expertise, Dell Technologies and AT&T will collaborate in the open source community to:

  • Align on an overall vision of network disaggregation and accelerate the deployment of open infrastructure and AT&T Network Cloud utilizing Airship – a collection of loosely coupled, but interoperable, open source tools that declaratively automate cloud provisioning and life-cycle management utilizing containers as the unit of software delivery
  • Catalyze the broader Airship community to accelerate Airship toward a 2.0 release, delivering streamlined aggregator of best-of-breed open technologies for declaratively deploying and managing Kubernetes environments and cloud software
  • Jointly develop and enhance additional open source efforts including Metal3-io and OpenStack Ironic, and integrate the Kubernetes Cluster API
  • Deliver open source automation capabilities across the stack – from bare metal to network to storage – on Dell Technologies infrastructure