Archive for Dell

#Fail: Dell BIOS Update Bricks Computers

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 18, 2017 by itnerd

It seems that Dell has some pissed of customers on its hands due to a BIOS update that is apparently bricking computers. Apart from a power light, nothing much happens. The main model affected by this is the Inspiron 20 3052, although a few users reported similar problems with Inspiron 3252s.

If you want to see how frustrated users are, the thread on the Dell Support Forum that has the outrage in progress is here. Let’s hope that Dell has a fix for this that they can roll out quickly to mitigate this disaster.

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Dell Engineering Director Appears To Trash AirWatch On Twitter… Say What?

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 12, 2016 by itnerd

Last month Dell and VMware became one in the same as they merged into a single company. As part of the deal, VMware’s AirWatch enterprise mobility management product was brought into the fold. But I have to guess that not all Dell employees are thrilled with the fact that they now have to fly the flag for AirWatch. Case in point is this fellow:

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This is Luke Woydziak and according to his LinkedIn profile, he just took on the role of Director of Engineering at Dell Technologies which has the following mission statement according to this

Dell Technologies is Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream, and VMware. We’re a collective force of innovative capabilities trusted all over the world to provide technology solutions and services that accelerate digital transformation.

Now you’ll note that VMware is part of that list. And as I mentioned above, VMware has AirWatch as part of its portfolio. Which would make it really strange to see this comment on Mr. Woydziak’s Twitter feed:

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Yes that’s a screen shot. I’ve done that just in case the tweet gets deleted. That sometimes happens when potentially embarrassing tweets are brought to light. Here’s the original tweet:

I don’t get it. Someone who works for an organization that provides technologies to businesses is appearing to disparage one of the technologies that helps to provide his pay packet. Keep in mind that this fellow has over 7000 followers on Twitter. Even if he didn’t, this is the age of apps like Radian6 which troll social media for this sort of thing. In short, he must have known that someone further up the food chain in Dell would see this tweet. Or worse, competitors might see this tweet and pounce on it. Never mind the possibility that someone like me who has several thousand people visiting this blog every day might see this and say “hmmmmmm” and quickly post a story on it. The only thing that I can conclude is that he isn’t happy about AirWatch being part of Dell for whatever reason, and he isn’t shy to say so in public. I also suspect that there are others within the Dell organization who feel this way, but haven’t made their feelings known by tweeting or by other means.

I for one will be keeping an eye on this story as it could get very interesting.

 

3000 Dell Employees May Get The Axe

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 12, 2016 by itnerd

As part of Dell’s efforts to buy EMC, which closed on September 7th by the way, as many as 3000 people may no longer work for Dell when it is all said and done according to a  Bloomberg report. The report claims that Dell will seek out $1.7bn in cost savings in the next eighteen months. However, it also claims that it will seek to beef up sales by several times that amount, minimizing the need to thin the herd. If they have to thin the herd, it will likely come from the US and in roles including supply chain, marketing and general and administrative functions.

It will be interesting to see what this new Dell/EMC combo does to make this deal work over next year or two. My guess is that they will be doing anything possible to prove that this merger was a good idea. Even if that means that this merger isn’t as good for others. Employees for example.

Dell Sells IT Services Unit….. At A Loss

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 28, 2016 by itnerd

Dell has announced it is selling its IT services unit to NTT Data of Japan for more than $3 billion. The question is why would it do that? The answer is to fund the purchase of EMC which I’ve written about here. Dell really needs cash and selling off parts of itself that it feels that it doesn’t need is a way to fund this $67 billion transaction. Though, I’d like to point out that they’re selling their IT services unit at a loss seeing as Dell purchased it for almost $4 Billion just a few short years ago. That makes this move seem like one of desperation more than anything else.

 

Dell Tech Support Scam Suggests That Dell Has Been Hacked

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 8, 2016 by itnerd

A new twist on the fake tech support scam calls which I have written about on two occasions is apparently out in the wild. This one seems to target owners of Dell computers and included very specific information to lull you into falling for the scam. I’ll let someone who got one of these calls tell you about it:

Scammers pretending to be from Dell computers phoned me in November — but these scammers knew things about me. They identified the model number for both my Dell computers, and knew every problem that I’d ever called Dell about. None of this information was ever posted online, so it’s not available anywhere except Dell’s own customer service records. (Even my e-mail account is secured with “two-step verification”…)

Now if you read the rest of this post, a Dell rep says they’ve been hacked. Though the author thinks that they’ve contractors for Dell who are running a scam. What’s more is that Dell’s own forums say that this has been going on for almost a year now. Regardless, the M-O is the same as other scams of this type. The scammers get you to give them remote access to your computer, and then they go to town on it stealing anything they can while charging you a pile of money in the process. Now the FTC has shut down an operation like this recently. But one has to wonder that’s truly the case.

This is downright scary and I am surprised that Dell isn’t warning owners of their computers about this scam. One has to wonder what other sorts of information that these scammers have access to. In the meantime, no software or hardware company will proactively phone you to repair your computer. Ever. Thus if you are a Dell owner and you get one of these calls, hang up.

Dell Pulls A Lenovo And Makes Their Computers Vulnerable To Attack [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 24, 2015 by itnerd

Clearly Dell was not paying attention the stupidity that Lenovo has been caught doing over and over again. I say that because Dell has fessed up to putting on a piece of software on their laptops that leaves them open to attack. What’s worse is that the software in question has been there since August 2015. Here’s what security researcher Brian Krebs had to say on this:

At issue is a root certificate installed on newer Dell computers that also includes the private cryptographic key for that certificate. Clever attackers can use this key from Dell to sign phony browser security certificates for any HTTPS-protected site.

Translation: A malicious hacker could exploit this flaw on open, public networks (think WiFi hotspots, coffee shops, airports) to impersonate any Web site to a Dell user, and to quietly intercept, read and modify all of a vulnerable Dell system’s Web traffic.

Lovely. That really makes on run out to buy a Dell laptop. To their credit, they are going to fix this. But one has to wonder why anyone at Dell thought that including the private and public keys of a certificate installed on laptops that they sell was ever a good idea.

UPDATE: The news has just broke that two more self signed certificates have been found on Dell laptops. It isn’t as bad as Dells self signed certificate, but it shows that Dell’s QA is clearly asleep at the switch.

Dell To Buy EMC For $67 Billion

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 12, 2015 by itnerd

A blockbuster deal has been announced in the tech world. Dell is going to buy EMC for a staggering $67 billion. Why would Dell do this? The Globe And Mail has an explanation:

The acquisition will help privately held Dell diversify away from a stagnant personal-computer market and give it greater scale in the faster-growing and more lucrative market for managing and storing data for enterprises.

“Dell wants to become the old IBM Corp, a one-stop shop for corporate clients. That model fell apart a couple of decades ago. Reviving it would be a stunning coup for Dell,” said Erik Gordon, clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Dell will get EMC’s enterprise storage as part of the deal which many companies who haven’t migrated to the “cloud” use. Plus it gets an interest in VMWare which is a company owned by EMC that makes virtualization software. You’ll excuse me if I seem skeptical if Dell can pull this off without finding some way to screw this up. After all Dell spent a pile of cash to go private and that was far from a painless process. But I guess time will tell if this is a win for Dell or wasted money.