World Password Day: Some Tips For Creating Stronger Passwords From Intel Security

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 5, 2016 by itnerd

At the end of the day, there are certain password best practices that everyone should follow. Use these rules today and immediately improve your security posture.

  • Make strong, complex passwords.For starters, long ones are always better than short ones. Make sure to include numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as symbols. The more complex it is, the harder it will be for cybercriminals to crack the code.
  • Regular maintenance is key.Even if you have great passwords, it’s still a good idea to regularly check in on your account security. If you hear of a data breach, take the time to make sure your information hasn’t been compromised. Change passwords regularly—and don’t just make a small edit to the existing one. Make sure every password you create is as unique as the last.
  • Use a password manager.We all know the password struggle too well. Look to a password management solution to generate secure, complex logins for your accounts and store them for you. You’ll never have to remember a password again.
  • Use Multi-Factor Authentication.Anytime you can require multiple login-steps to access a device, take advantage of it. This makes a huge difference in terms of your account security. A complex password plus text message confirmation? A PIN plus a fingerprint? These are great security features, and are even stronger when paired.
More information is available in a blog post from Gary Davis of Intel Security here:

Review: OtterBox Statement Case For The iPhone 6/6s

Posted in Products with tags on May 5, 2016 by itnerd

I like OtterBox cases because of the level of protection that they provide. However I am not a fan of the bulk that they sometimes add. That’s why when I tripped over the OtterBox Statement Case, I jumped at the chance to try one on my iPhone 6.

First off, this case is slim. It adds very little bulk to my iPhone. That allows me to put it into my pocket comfortably. It’s accented with leather as well which adds a bit of class to it. But the key feature is that this case lives up to the OtterBox heritage as is Drop+ certified. Which means that even if you’re a complete klutz when it comes to the handling of your phone, you’re covered. It has redundant buttons that work perfectly. The only exception is the switch to mute the phone. I’m cool with that as that’s hard to do properly. The back is transparent, so the world can see that you have an iPhone. Finally, the bottom exposes the headphone jack, Lightning port, and speaker. In short, it’s a pretty good case design. The only thing that is missing is screen protection as that would make this offering from OtterBox perfect.

The OtterBox Statement case goes for $44.95 CDN at the Apple Store. If you want a case that will protect your phone from drops without adding bulk, it’s worth a look.



Emerald Air: The First Plug & Play System That Monitors Your Home

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 5, 2016 by itnerd

May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and more than 332 million globally suffer from asthma and up to 90 percent of them are also allergic to some type of pollination according to the latest WHO report. In addition, 40,000 people daily miss school or work due to allergy issues. What is more alarming, current home detection methods can’t tell homeowners what is in the air around them. Now, there is a device that will do that.

Meet Emerald Air (, the first complete plug & play system that monitors your home with the Emerald sensor for various airborne threats and then neutralizes them with its Airadicate purifying technology. This powerful device allows you to see what’s invisible in the air to protect your family from being sick. Emerald detects all harmful substances that we may breathe such as pollutants, molds, allergens which are the sources of bacteria and viruses, that make you sick. Emerald is connected to a mobile app that also measures your homes temperature for your comfort. It includes fire detection, humidity to protect you from coughing or skin dryness and pressure to predict when you may feel a headache. And better yet, it is the first electronic human nose ever created.

Emerald provides you with all the data you need in real-time. You can also get a detailed view of any room’s overall pollution performance to get real-time data on why you may have slept poorly, or felt a headache coming one. It even tracks the last 24 hours. But you don’t need to have your mobile phone or app always with you. You can make a quick check of the air quality just by touching the device, to be sure that your home is clean. If the air quality is good you will see a green light but if it’s low you definitely see pure red. Emerald can be used at the office, hotel or any other building. Thanks to the technology, people will be up to 20 percent more productive and the amount of illnesses will drop to 30 percent. Developers that sell properties such as hotels will be informed about the need of cleaning for example, the air conditioning unit, and as a result it will leave hotel guests healthy and happy.

Airadicate is equipped with three independent filters (preliminary, HEPA and carbon ) that clean your air from allergens, carcinogens, and other pollutants and special UV LED disinfection technology that kills viruses and bacteria in your home.

The whole Emerald Air system is available for (price on Indiegogo for early birds etc.) and is connected to the mobile app (available for iOS and Android soon) that displays your home air conditions in real-time on your mobile device. They are all connected with low energy Bluetooth technology that sends data between the devices and triggers them when necessary.

Emerald Air will be launched on Indiegogo tomorrow with a target goal of $30k. Find out more at

Millions Of Email Usernames And Passwords In The Wild

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 4, 2016 by itnerd

If you get your e-mail from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, or, you need to read this. According to Reuters, millions of hacked emails usernames and passwords have been discovered in Russia’s criminal underground. As in 272.3 million of them. That’s not a trivial number:

The latest discovery came after Hold Security researchers found a young Russian hacker bragging in an online forum that he had collected and was ready to give away a far larger number of stolen credentials that ended up totalling 1.17 billion records.

After eliminating duplicates, Holden said, the cache contained nearly 57 million accounts – a big chunk of the 64 million monthly active email users said it had at the end of last year. It also included tens of millions of credentials for the world’s three big email providers, Gmail, Microsoft and Yahoo, plus hundreds of thousands of accounts at German and Chinese email providers.

“This information is potent. It is floating around in the underground and this person has shown he’s willing to give the data away to people who are nice to him,” said Holden, the former chief security officer at U.S. brokerage R.W. Baird. “These credentials can be abused multiple times,” he said.

My advice. Assume that you are part of this and change your password. Better yet, if the mail service of your choice has the option of two factor authentication, use it. That way you can ensure that your e-mail stays secure.

#Fail: Windows 10 Updates Pwns Pro Gamer

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 4, 2016 by itnerd

After Windows 10’s update nagware interrupted a weather forecast last week, we now have the story of a pro gamer who when going in for the kill on video game broadcasting site Twitch when this happened:

After deciding to try and ruin advertise during the weather by attempting to automatically install midway through a forecast, Windows 10 is starting to wreak havoc with gamers. Ex-professional Counter Strike player turned full-time streamer Erik Flom was rudely interrupted mid-game and live on Twitch by Windows 10 automatically installing on his PC.

“What. What!? How did this happen! Fuck you Windows 10!” Flom screamed at the PC. “Oh my God! You had one job PC. We turned off everything. Update faster you fuck!”

Initial outrage flowed into jubilation as it appeared Windows 10 was nearing completion, only for Flom to have his hopes dashed by a second installation countdown.

Wow. This guy is intense. But you can understand his frustration. Why would an OS in this day and age simply choose to update itself while you’re using the PC? That’s just insane. Hopefully this is just an isolated incident. But even if it is, it really shows that Microsoft really has some work to do in terms of making Windows 10 far less annoying.

Nikon Canada Lecture Series And Student Gallery At CONTACT Photography Festival

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 4, 2016 by itnerd

Nikon Canada has returned as a camera partner for the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, and will be presenting its popular lecture series each Tuesday in May. World-class photographers Nick Didlick, Craig Minielly, Michelle Valberg and Kristian Bogner will be sharing their techniques, tricks and experiences.

“Reflections” Weekly Photo Contest: April 29- May 31, 2016

This year, Nikon Canada’s weekly photo contest will invite photographers to explore the theme of “Reflections” with a chance to win a Nikon D5500 D-SLR with 18-55mm VR II Lens weekly. Each week, a panel of judges will select a winning image that best represents the weekly assignment.  One grand prize winner will be selected from the weekly winners by public community voting on the Nikon Canada website (from June 6 to June 13, 2016). That winner will receive a CONTACT limited edition print of BAU grid by Takashi Suzuki(retail value $1,500). The winning photos will be featured on Nikon Canada’s dedicated site for CONTACT, Nikon Canada’s Twitter,Facebook and YouTube pages, and on the CONTACT website.

Here are the weekly assignments:

  • Week 1: Reflections in Time: Special moments that take your breath away. 
    Friday, April 29, 12:00 a.m. ET to Sunday, May 8, 11:59 p.m. ET
  • Week 2: Reflections on Places: Be it at home or afar, places that warm your heart. Monday, May 9, 12:00 a.m. ET to Sunday, May 15, 11:59 p.m. ET
  • Week 3: Reflections on People:Creatures (people or animals) who fill your life with joy. Monday, May 16, 12:00 a.m. ET to Sunday, May 22, 11:59 p.m. ET
  • Week 4: Reflections – An Open Assignment:Any thought, moment or memory that is meaningful to you. Monday, May 23, 12:00 a.m. ET to Tuesday, May 31, 11:59 p.m. ET

Click here to read the full contest rules and regulations and submit photos for the weekly assignments.

Nikon Canada Ambassadors to Present at Weekly Lecture Series

Interested in learning how to take photos like the pros? The first four Tuesdays throughout the month of May, Nikon Canada will present lectures featuring world-class authorities who will share some of their techniques, tricks and experiences. The lectures will take place at St. Paul’s Bloor Street, Cody Hall (227 Bloor Street East, Toronto, ON, M4W 1C8). Register early as seating is limited!

Attendees at any session of the 2016 Nikon Lecture Series are invited to bring up to two Nikon D-SLR cameras to receive a complimentary sensor cleaning from Nikon Professional Services (NPS) Canada.

  • Nick Didlick: Inspiration in the Visual World
    Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2016
    Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

    A pioneer in digital photography and D-SLR video, Nick will share insights into staying inspired in our rapidly changing visual world.

    Nick has covered nine Olympics, seven Stanley Cup Finals, five Super Bowls and too many world events to count. He has travelled to more than 50 countries on assignments with Presidents, Prime Ministers and Royalty, and has covered everything from sports to politics to breaking news in harsh environments.

  • Craig Minielly: Exotic Travels, Personal Journeys
    Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2016
    Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

    With a spotlight on India, Craig will capture the beauty and personalities of exotic locales and share tips and techniques for creating dynamic imagery and beautiful lifelong memories.

    A pioneer in the digital revolution, Craig holds national accreditations in more than 20 specialty fields. He is an influential force in creating and developing workflow techniques and habits that are used by individuals, studios and corporations around the world.

  • Michelle Valberg: Creativity in Motion
    Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2016
    Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

    Michelle will explain how to capture creative and compelling photographs in the field. She will showcase her adventure and wildlife photography from around the world, and reveal illuminating behind-the-scenes actions.

    A tireless philanthropist, Michelle founded Project North in 2009, a not-for-profit organization committed to delivering education and sport-based opportunities to youth in Canada’s Arctic. Since its inception, the organization has delivered over $700,000 of new hockey equipment to 22 Inuit communities.

  • Kristian Bogner: A Photographic Journey to the Summit of Antarctica
    Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2016
    Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

    Kristian will share details of his most recent expedition – climbing and photographing his way to the summit of Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica, and one of the world’s Seven Summits. He will speak about shooting in extreme conditions and will tell the remarkable visual story of nine injured Canadian soldiers, and 17 Canadian business leaders who embarked on a three-week True Patriot Love Foundation Antarctica Expedition.

CONTACT + Nikon Canada’s Youth Project

Nikon Canada recognizes the importance of encouraging youth to express themselves through imagery and photography. In cooperation with the 2016 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, Nikon Canada launches its inaugural youth project: Community.

During April and May 2016, the Arts Committee at West Region 6 of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is hosting a digital photography contest for grade 1-8 students across its 23 schools. The contest focuses on the theme of “Community” where students are encouraged to submit their community-themed images for a chance to have their photographs on display and win a Nikon D-SLR camera. The culminating event for the contest will take place on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at Islington Junior Middle School’s Community Gallery in Toronto (44 Cordova Avenue, Toronto). Each school will select three final images for display at the Gallery. A panel of judges – consisting of representatives from TDSB and CONTACT – will select three winners out of 69 finalists to become the grand prize winners.

The Arts Committee also hosted a workshop on April 6, 2016 – with expertise and support from Nikon Canada – to help guide teachers on how to inspire students to use photography to tell a story about their communities. Nikon Canada has donated 20 COOLPIX S3700 cameras to the Arts Committee for students to use, and will also provide each of the three winning students with a D3300 D-SLR with 18-55mm VR lens kit.

The three winning photos will be on display at the 2016 CONTACT Photography Festival website and at

For more information, visit

For more information on the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, visit

Protecting Canadians’ Reputation Online: Response To The Privacy Commissioners’ Report On Online Reputation

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 4, 2016 by itnerd

In its January 2016 white paper Online Reputation: What are they saying about me?, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) invited a conversation on the reputational challenges that emerge as more social interactions take place online and content that would have historically been confined to offline archives has become easily searchable.

The OPC discussion paper looks at the issue of online reputation and personal privacy, and sets out the challenges faced by individuals whose online information has a negative impact on their reputation.  The OPC is seeking further stakeholder feedback, with the ultimate aim of putting forth a position on solutions.

While this is a substantive issue that will require inputs from a broad range of stakeholders, the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) is pleased to provide a technology industry perspective on how the government can better use existing tools and work with the technology industry and other stakeholders to help Canadians to protect their online reputation.

The ITAC Response Paper [Warning: PDF] is available now.


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