iCloud.com Now Uses Two Factor Authentication

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 16, 2014 by itnerd

Apple has apparently rolled out two factor authentication to iCloud.com today. When I log into iCloud.com, I get this prompt (click to enlarge):

twofactor

When I click Verify, I get this:


twofactor2
This allows me to choose the device that I want the verification code to. Once I click next (top right in grey), I’ll be displayed with a prompt that allows me to enter the code. Then I get access to my iCloud.com account. I also note that I continue to receive an email when their Apple ID is used to sign into iCloud via the web browser which is something that I noted previously. This move will make iCloud accounts a whole lot more secure than they were previously and it should reduce if not almost eliminate the ability for someone to hack your iCloud account via social engineering or by brute force. Just like a bunch of celebs found out the hard way. Thus this is a very good time to use a strong password as well as using two factor authentication on your iCloud account.

 

Globalive Now Owns 100% Of Wind Mobile

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 16, 2014 by itnerd

The future of Canadian upstart Wind Mobile got a boost today with the announcement that Globailve has completed a deal to buy the stake that VimpelCom was looking to dump giving Globalive 100% control:

This announcement is a positive development for WIND Mobile and Canadian consumers, including WIND Mobile’s 750,000 happy customers. “With stable, long-term ownership and secure financing, WIND Mobile is moving into an exciting new phase,” said Mr. Lacavera. “WIND Mobile is now poised to continue to bring True Mobile Freedom to Canadians for many years to come.”

“The federal government’s delivery on its promise to create the conditions for viable long-term wireless competition has not gone unnoticed by the investment community,” said Greg Boland, President and Chief Executive Officer of West Face Capital. “We and our partners are pleased to invest in this transaction and we are excited by the future of WIND Mobile.”

The deal is subject to approval by the feds, but I don’t see that as an issue as they want competition in the marketplace. We’ll see what Wind does next. My guess is to go big into the spectrum auction that is due to be held in 2015. They really need that spectrum to build out their network. This deal will help them on that front I suspect.

BlackBerry Announces BBM Channels Integration With Hootsuite

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 16, 2014 by itnerd

Today, BlackBerry announced that BBM Channels can be managed through Hootsuite which is a leading social media management tool. Now all Hootsuite users can engage with their Channel followers across multiple platforms directly from Hootsuite’s secure, web-based dashboard. The net result is that social media engagement is simplified, allowing social media practitioners, community managers and marketers, to share posts on BBM Channels to other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ in real-time with the click of a single button. As the community interacts with the content, the dashboard provides real-time analytics to the Channel owner that measure and report users’ activity. To leverage this, you’ll need to sign up for Hootsuite and you’ll need to grab the BBM Channels For Hootsuite app.

It should be interesting to see how this announcement drives BBM adoption going forward.

Ooma Office Gets Upgraded With New Features That Users Will Love

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 16, 2014 by itnerd

I reviewed Ooma Office a while back and I had this to say:

Ooma has a winner with Ooma Office. It’s easy to set up, it’s easy to manage, and the call quality is outstanding.

We’ll, it’s just got better in three ways:

  • Introducing SureFax: Ooma Office is now optimized to more reliably send and receive faxes over virtually any high-speed Internet connection. This is an important addition because analog faxing has been a painful experience over VoIP – the added layers of complexity coupled with the need for consistent high-speed Internet leads to a high failure rate. Now, they haven’t solved it, but it’s gotten a whole lot better.
  • There’s a new web-based portal that gives each user their own view into the Office system and lets them listen to voicemail, view call logs, set call forwarding and update other preferences. It also enables click-to-call so users can make and return calls with one-click on a phone number inside the portal. This allows you to the administrative burden on business owners.
  • Ooma Office now enables businesses to add or port a toll-free number to their account for the same $9.99 per number monthly fee as local numbers. Toll-free numbers come with 500 minutes of free calling per month. Businesses that anticipate greater toll-free traffic can purchase additional plans, by signing in to their Ooma Office Manager account at https://office.ooma.com/.

Now the best part about all of this is that if you own Ooma Office, these features are already live on your hardware. That’s great because you don’t have to worry about upgrading. It’s already taken care for you. Clearly Ooma Office continues to be the winner that I thought I was earlier this year.

Videos Of Windows 9 In Action Leaked

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 15, 2014 by itnerd

Well, this is interesting. Some videos have been posted that apparently show Windows 9 in action. Here’s what Tech Crunch reported:

A number of clips are up for watching, detailing how Windows 9 will handle multiple desktops, the return of the Start Menu, and more. Presuming that you have missed at least one, I’ve included each in this post.

The videos are worth considering as they demonstrate what Microsoft views as a proper remediation — and fusion — of its tablet-facing efforts included in Windows 8, and support of desktop features that echo the popular Windows 7.

The clips in question are on Youtube and I’ve reposted them below:

So, does this make you forgive Microsoft for Windows 8? For me, it’s too early to tell. I will wait until the preview comes out later this month.

Lots Of News From Canon

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 15, 2014 by itnerd

Canon had a ton of news today. Let’s get right to it:

Today Canon Canada released the EOS 7D Mark II, which incorporates professional features and quality in an affordable DSLR camera.

Building on the success of the EOS 7D, this new EOS model features a range of “EOS firsts” including the Dual DIGIC 6 Image Processor, rapid burst shooting up to 10 frames per second (fps) and Canon’s first 65-Point All Cross Type autofocus (AF) system. The EOS 7D Mark II is also the second EOS DSLR camera (first was EOS 70D) to incorporate Canon’s innovative Dual Pixel CMOS AF system.

Fast Facts:

  • New AI Servo AF III autofocusing algorithm is similar to that of the EOS-1D X in that tracking parameters can be easily customized for specific shooting situations.
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode includes five HDR shooting functions, allowing users to save all source images in addition to composited HDR image.
  • Multiple Exposure (ME) mode provides four compositing methods and allows users to save individual source images.
  • Improved custom controls include a built-in intervalometer and bulb timer (both EOS DSLR firsts) enable capture of time-lapse images and long-exposure images.
  • Distortion Correction that operates with most EF and EF-S lenses, works to improve image quality even further while recording video and in-camera JPEGs.
  • New and improved Intelligent Viewfinder provides approximately 100 per cent field of view.
  • Built-in GPS Receiver provides digital compass and can record location information including longitude, latitude, elevation, camera direction and universal coordinated time (UTC) as EXIF data. This allows both images and movie files to be geotagged in real time.
  • Features dual card slots for SD/SDHC/SDXC and CF memory cards, including Ultra High Speed (UHS-1) SD cards.
  • Mini HDMI port can be used to record uncompressed Full HD video to external recorders.

The EOS 7D Mark II is scheduled to be available in November 2014 for an estimated retail price of $1,899.99 (body only) and $2,249.99 (body with 18-135 STM lens).

Also today Canon Canada announced three new Powershot models expanding upon its lineup of high-quality, compact digital cameras: the PowerShot G7 X, PowerShot SX60 HS and PowerShot N2.

PowerShot G7 X features:

  • Canon’s first compact camera with a one-inch sensor
  • DIGIC 6 Image Processor
  • 20.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor
  • Maximum aperture range of f/1.8 to f/2.8
  • Newly developed premium quality lens has a 4.2x optical zoom ratio (equivalent to 24-100mm)
  • Advanced Star Mode features four options to capture high quality images of starry night skies
  • Built-in ND filter expands options for creative expression with stills and video
  • Built-in WiFi
  • Continuous shooting speeds up to 6.5 frames per second (fps)
  • Full HD video up to 1080/60p
  • Available mid-October for an estimated retail price of $749.99

PowerShot SX60 HS features:

  • Latest addition to Canon’s SX high-power zoom lineup
  • 65x optical zoom (equivalent to 21-1365mm)
  • 16.1 megapixel CMOS image sensor
  • DIGIC 6 Image Processor
  • 1080/60p Full HD video capabilities
  • Built-in WiFi
  • Continuous shooting speeds up to 6.4 frames per second (fps)
  • When shooting at extreme telephoto focal lengths, Zoom Framing Assist function remembers user’s previous zoom position
  • Zoom Memory function allows for a quick return to the most recently used zoom position, even if the battery/memory card is replaced
  • Available in early October for an estimated retail price of $579.99

PowerShot N2 features:

  • 8x optical zoom (equivalent to 28-224mm)
  • 16.1 megapixel CMOS image sensor
  • DIGIC 6 Image processor
  • Built-in WiFi
  • Self Portrait mode
  • New shutter ring functions with an all-round release, ideal for both left or right-hand photographers
  • Creative Shot mode from PowerShot N has been enhanced with added filters (i.e. Retro, Monochrome)
  • Advanced movie shooting feature in Creative Shot mode combines several movie clips automatically with special effects
  • Available at the end of November for an estimated retail price of $349.99.

Finally, Canon Canada announced three new lenses including two new EF series lenses – the EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM super telephoto lens and the EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom lens, as well as one EF-S series lens – the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM wide-angle pancake lens. Please see below for more details.

EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM – The Portable Super Telephoto Lens

  • Compact and lightweight at just 4.6 lbs (half the weight of the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens)
  • Features newly developed gapless dual-layered diffractive optical (DO) elements that help improve optical performance
  • Other optical improvements include the use of a large-diameter ground and polished aspherical element and a UD glass element that work together with the DO elements for thorough correction of spherical, chromatic and other optical aberrations
  • Optical Image Stabilization offers up to four shutter speed steps of correction
  • Three IS modes – standard, panning and during exposure only – help to provide stunning results in variety of situations
  • Full-time manual focus can be employed at any time, even in AF mode
  • Power Focus mode for smooth focus “pulls” ideal for filmmaking
  • Highly resistant to dust and water
  • Available in November for an estimated retail price of $8,099.99

EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM – Smooth Quiet Focus in a Versatile Lens

  • First EF-series zoom lens for full-frame sensor cameras to include a lead screw-type stepping motor (STM) that provides virtually silent AF while shooting video
  • Optical Image Stabilizer provides up to four shutter speed steps of correction
  • New seven group zoom optical formula enables a conveniently compact design while maintaining high-quality optical performance
  • Available in December for an estimated retail price of $709.99

EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM – The Slim, Compact Lens That Stacks Up to the Competition

  • Slimmest and lightest Canon EF-S lens ever produced
  • Designed for photographers and videographers looking to capture bright, clear images with soft blurred backgrounds at fixed focal length
  • Aspheric lens element and optimized lens arrangement and coating helps minimize ghosting and flare
  • Available in November for an estimated retail price of $169.99

It looks like Canon’s 75th year in business is going to be busy.

ViewSonic Introduces 24-inch 16:10 Ergonomic Desktop Display

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 15, 2014 by itnerd

Viewsonic introduced today the VG2438Sm 16:10 desktop monitor to its line of award-winning displays. The combination of premium SuperClear panel technology that provides wide viewing angles, as well as a 16:10 aspect ratio, ensures that the VG2438Sm 24-inch display offers an excellent screen experience for demanding computing usage from commercial to enterprise environments and more.

With 1920×1200 resolution, the ViewSonic VG2438Sm delivers additional vertical space and boosted pixels provides better resolution over standard Full HD monitors, making it ideal for productivity-based tasks from editing and designing to engineering applications. It also features a DisplayPort connection and built in USB hub for more adaptable and flexible connectivity. The VG2438Sm is integrated with ViewSonic’s distinctive ViewMode™ settings for enhanced on-screen content. The five different intuitive pre-sets, “Game,” “Movie,” “Web,” “Text” and “Mono” modes, allows the VG2438Sm to offer best-in-class calibration that enhances gamma curve and color temperature, in addition to an optimized combination of contrast and brightness. ViewMode provides accurate color rendering and excellent performance for different screen applications.

The fully ergonomic stand design creates a more comfortable working environment, allowing the VG2438Sm full adjustability of the display, including height adjustment, tilt, swivel and pivot which maximizes productivity and enhances a user’s comfort.

The VG2438Sm will be available for an MSRP of $429(USD) and starts shipping in October 2014. For more information about ViewSonic monitors, visit http://www.viewsonic.com/us/monitors.html.

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