Guest Post: Bold and Beautiful in Berlin: Dell’s New Consumer PC Portfolio Unveiled at IFA 2019

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 21, 2019 by itnerd

By Ray Wah, Senior Vice President, Consumer and Small Business Product Group, Dell

We’re back in the thick of European conference season. From Gamescom in Cologne to IFA 2019 in Berlin, Dell Technologies has exciting news coming out of both shows!

IFA is the largest consumer tech show in Europe and we expect to see significant news from 4K and OLED TVs to wearables to smartphones. We’ll be showcasing our latest PCs, of course, as the move to thin and light continues across the industry. It’s not only about smaller form factors though – consumers want adaptive, always connected, high-performing, and flawlessly designed PCs and Dell continues to set the bar for the PC industry.

Ahead of IFA, we’re expanding our consumer portfolio with brand new form factors and the addition of new 10th Gen Intel® Core™ processors to our current XPS and Inspiron portfolio delivering performance gains needed for compute intensive, demanding multi-thread workloads, while still handling 4K content efficiently. And in doing so, giving our customers heavyweight performance in thin, light and portable designs — the best of both worlds.

We’ve taken our most beloved and awarded product, the XPS 13, or “the best laptop you can buy,” and made it even better. Available August 27th, we’ve added Intel 10th Gen Core™ U series processors — with i7 hexacore models available in October — in our existing beautiful form factor, helping the XPS 13 maintain its position as the most powerful 13-inch laptop in its class1. Whether you’re a binge watcher or the busy mobile pro on the go, we’ve created the XPS 13 to be one of a kind. With the new Killer™ AX1650 (2×2) built on Intel WiFi 6 Chipset, wireless connectivity is three times as fast as the previous generation. Along with Dell CinemaColor and Dolby Vision and an optional 4K Ultra HD InfinityEdge display, the XPS 13 will remain eye candy for those glued to their screen. Available with either Windows 10 or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the latter which serves as the foundation of the XPS 13 developer edition, now in its 9th generation2.

And in case you missed it, the XPS 13 2-in-1, a COMPUTEX d&i Award winner, is now available for purchase. This 2-in-1 is a symbol of our meticulous attention to detail where every decision was driven by customer benefits and a mission to achieve a flawless design. The 2-in-1 is the world’s first Project Athena-verified laptop available with Intel’s new 10th Gen Core™, 10-nanometer silicon processors.

With the latest 10th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, we’re also bringing premium materials and performance to our Inspiron line with the introduction of the new Inspiron 14 7000 ultralight laptops. Weighing sub-2.5 lbs. (sub-1.1kg)3, this impressively portable design was achieved through introducing a lightweight yet remarkably durable magnesium alloy chassis. And with the new lid-open sensor, Connected Modern Standby and fingerprint reader built into the power button, the system signs on securely and starts in a flash. Plus, the stylish laptop features all-around narrow borders with 100% sRGB color coverage, perfect for mobile multitasking.

Additionally, we’re upgrading many other Inspiron systems with new 10th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, offering performance gains for multi-threaded workloads, including:

  • Inspiron 13, 15, 17 7000 2-in-1, first announced at CES 2019 and a Computex Design Innovation Award winner, is now available with the addition of USB Type-C™ with Thunderbolt™ 3 support and in an optional silver chassis.
  • Inspiron 14, 15 5000 2-in-1 delivers mobility and expandability with the bonus of an Active Pen compatible touchscreen.
  • Inspiron 13 5000 offers a portable and thin form factor with optional mobile broadband4 for easy connectivity; and two sleek color options – Platinum Silver and Iced Lilac.
  • Inspiron 24 5000 & 27 7000 All-in-One (AIOs) desktops announced at Computex 2019 and are available Friday, August 23. These desktops fit in your living room or dorm room as a simple and attractive entertainment system or TV replacement.
  • Inspiron 14, 15 5000 (5493, 5494, 5593, 5594) includes a narrow border, FHD anti-glare wide-viewing display and Dell Cinema6, perfect for the content-hungry user.
  • Inspiron 14, 15, 17 3000 offers optional NVIDIA® GeForce® MX230 discrete graphics card. The 14 and 15 offer a stylish build for on-the-go tasks, while the 17 is made for the entire family to enjoy throughout the home.

Our small business customers care about reliability, security and price and are often wearing many hats. Our new Vostro 14 and 15 5000 laptop allows customers to tackle more demanding tasks with the performance benefits of NVIDIA® GeForce® MX250 discrete graphics. Plus, the TPM 2.0 security chip and optional fingerprint reader keep data secure. We’ve also added our award-winning software, Dell Mobile Connect, so workers can connect their smartphones to their PC for increased efficiency. Overall, the laptop combines critical features into one affordable device small businesses can rely on to get work done.

We are also introducing our first-ever 5000 series performance desktop for Small Businesses giving content creators, game developers and engineers the power, graphics and storage they need to perform their job at their best. The desktop equips customers with 9th Gen Intel® Core™ R processors and discrete graphics options up to NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2070.

Finally, we are integrating 10th generation Intel Core processors within our current Vostro portfolio:

  • Vostro 13 5000, a compact, thin design fits into a carry-on; plus, it’s Skype for Business certified for on-the-go work calls.
  • Vostro 14, 15 3000 equipped with the hardware-based TPM 2.0 security chip and fingerprint reader integrated onto the power button for top security.

For more specs, details, pricing and availability across our announcements, please check out our official Dell.com IFA landing page HERE.

 

  1. Most powerful: Based on Principled Technologies Report commissioned by Dell, November 2018 using the Cinebench CPU (multi-core test) comparing the Dell XPS 13 against competitive products with similar 15W configurations when measuring for sustained performance under a heavy CPU workload and controlling for processor wattage.  Actual performance will vary based on usage, configuration, and manufacturing variability. See report here:  http://facts.pt/Vm8PAx

 

  1. The Dell XPS 13 laptop, developer edition began life as “Project Sputnik” a scrappy skunkworks project to pilot a developer-focused system. Thanks to the amazing feedback and support we received from the community it became an official product. Years later, we are on the ninth generation of the XPS 13 developer edition.

 

  1. Weights vary depending on configuration and manufacturing variability.

 

  1. Subject to service provider’s broadband subscription and coverage area; speeds may vary. Additional charges will apply. Contact your service provider for details.

 

  1. Color offerings are subject to regional availability.

 

  1. CinemaColor and CinemaStream (SmartByte) are not available on Windows 10 in S Mode.

 

 

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Luscious Pwned…. Almost 1.2 Million Users Affected

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 21, 2019 by itnerd

Adult website Luscious has apparently been pwned by hackers according to vpnMentor’s research team. And here’s what is floating in the wild as I type this:

The data breach gave our team access to 1.195 million user accounts on Luscious. All of these were compromised, revealing personal details of users with potentially devastating consequences. 

The private personal user details we viewed included:

  • Usernames
  • Personal email addresses
  • User activity logs (date joined, most recent log in)
  • Country of residence/location
  • Gender

Some users’ email addresses indicated their full names, increasing their vulnerability to exploitation and cybercrime.

Now the researchers admit that they think that 20% of the emails are fake. But for the other 80%, this isn’t good. The possibilities of pwnage are endless. Thus if you’ve used this site, you might want to be extra vigilant.

Review: 2019 Jeep Cherokee North – Part 3

Posted in Products with tags on August 21, 2019 by itnerd

The interior of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee North is has some upscale touches and will be somewhere where you’ll enjoy spending your driving time in. Let me walk you through it so that you can see what I mean:

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The drivers seat has some grippy cloth material that holds you in place, and is comfortable once you use the power adjustments to find a seating position that works for you as it took me a couple of days of tweaking things to give me a balance between headroom and legroom. I did wish it was longer to better support my thighs though. From the drivers seat, I found visibility all around the vehicle to be decent.

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The chrome colored door handle does a good job of contrasting the black plastic, soft touch material, and leather. You can also see the power windows and mirror controls. You have a decent sized storage bin underneath.

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Exterior and interior lighting controls can be seen here along with the foot well where you can see the dead pedal which is handy for comfort during long drives.

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There’s a clear and easy to read instrument cluster. In the middle is a TFT screen where you can customize it with all sorts of info that is useful to you.

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The steering wheel is leather wrapped and comfortable to hold. It also has all the controls for the Connect infotainment system which I will speak more of in part 4 of this review.

IMG_1083This is the 7″ UConnect infotainment screen which seems small to me as I have been in vehicles where the 8.4″ screen is present and in the process makes it the star of the interior. Below that are the HVAC controls. And you’ll see on the left that the Cherokee North requires a key instead of being push button start.

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A unique feature of the Jeep Cherokee North is this storage area for sunglasses on the dash. This supplements the one on the roof.

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There’s a cubby that’s just fits an iPhone XS and is a tight fit for an iPhone XR, both with cases. You can also see the wheel that allows you to tweak the 4×4 system to match the terrain that you are on. The shifter is leather wrapped.

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Here you can see the shifter along with the electronic parking brake, the two cupholders which pass the Starbucks venti test, and a space behind them for a pen.

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Besides the wheel to control the 4×4 system, there’s a USB port, and AUX jack, and a 12V DC port.

IMG_1087‘There’s also a USB port and a 12V DC outlet in this storage area which doubles as an armrest.

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There’s a lit glovebox that has a fair amount of space.

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On the front passenger side, there’s this netting to hold magazines or maps.

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The back seats can comfortably carry two adults easily as long as the driver or front passenger aren’t too tall. Three adults back here isn’t going to happen comfortably because of the hump in the middle.

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Besides the HVAC vents, you’ll see at the bottom a pair of USB ports for use by rear seat passengers.

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If you don’t need to carry three people, there are two cupholders that are for use by rear seat passengers.

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There is a ton of room in the back for anything that you need to carry. Plus there’s 60/40 folding seats to give you even more room. On top of that…..

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There is a storage area underneath the floor.

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You can see that our weekly groceries haul didn’t come close to maxing out the available space back here.

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And on the hatch there’s a handle that allows you to close the hatch without getting your hands dirty. That’s handy as this is a manual hatch.

The build quality of the Jeep Cherokee North was pretty good with no rattles or squeaks noted during my time with it. The only thing that I did note was that the handle above had a tendency to come apart slightly. That required you to pop it back into place. It did that twice under my watch. Other than that, I didn’t notice anything else.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about the technology that comes the the Jeep Cherokee North. Being the base model, the tech that does come with it is worth talking about so I would tune in for that.

 

Infographic: Awesome Cyber Security Facts

Posted in Commentary on August 21, 2019 by itnerd

 

cyber-security-facts-stats.png

Source: EveryCloud

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.

 

Review: 2019 Jeep Cherokee North – Part 2

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

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This is the 2.4L 4 cylinder “Tiger Shark” engine that powers the 2019 Jeep Cherokee North. It puts out 180 HP and 170 pound feet of torque and is mated to a 9 speed automatic transmission that shifts very smoothly. If for some reason that isn’t enough power for you, Jeep can hook you up with either a 3.2L “Pentastar” V6 that puts out 271 HP and 239 pound feet of torque, or a 2.0L turbo 4 cylinder that puts out 270 HP and 295 pound feet of torque. But the base engine off the line and on the highway seems to be plenty powerful enough for me as I had no issue passing vehicles on the highway or merging safely onto the highway. Nor did I feel that I was lacking for power in any situation.

All the power goes to all four wheels via Jeep’s “Active Drive I” 4×4 system which can be left in auto mode to do all the thinking for you in terms of what wheels need power, or you can put it into one of three other modes depending on the terrain:

  • Sand/Mud
  • Snow
  • Sport

While it did rain in the first couple of days that I had the Cherokee, I did not notice the 4×4 system being used with the exception of feeling the rear differential engage off the line on one occasion. I was not able to reproduce that so I consider that to be a one off. Based on that, one could conclude that anything that it does, it tries to do so transparently which is the way it should be.

Handling is very, very good. I consider the Mazda CX-5 to be the gold standard in the compact SUV class for handling, and the Jeep handles well enough that I would put it into the same conversation as the Mazda. Though I will admit that the Mazda is a notch or two above the Jeep. I say that because the ride is firm yet compliant with the only thing that might be objectionable is going over a speed bump at anything over 10 KM/h. I also like that I can easily feel what the Jeep is doing underneath me which inspires confidence. Steering is also pretty good as it provides the feedback that you need to feel what the Jeep is doing.

Tire noise is very well muted and while engine noise is present, it isn’t objectionable. But it is perhaps more noticeable to the drive as the engine has a stop start feature that’s present to save gas. Now this is defeatable, but only until the next time you start the car. Thus leaving it on might be the best option. Speaking of gas, I am currently getting 11.4 L/100 KM which isn’t great, but I expect that to improve over the week that I am doing this review.

Tomorrow I will be walking you through the interior of the Jeep Cherokee North. It’s an interesting interior that I will be spending a lot of time to dissect. Stay tuned!

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.