Yonder App Update Brings New Adventures To Users

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 6, 2015 by itnerd

Yonder is the #1 mobile community for outdoor enthusiasts and their mission is to inspire and enable a love of the outdoors. Today Yonder will release their biggest iOS update to date. They’re introducing “Destinations” which is a new way to discover adventure at more than 20,000 of America’s most inspirational places. This update takes Yonder from just another social network to a wonderful resource for planning future adventures.

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This update harnesses the power of the Yonder community to connect users to the places that surround them like never before. Gone are the days of browsing boring curated guidebooks, or endlessly searching the web for information about what to do and where to go on your next trip. Yonder automatically aggregates hundreds of thousands of experiences from users around the world to help you discover destinations that truly inspire.

For users looking to plan their epic road trip, simply browse Yonder and add destinations and experiences to lists based on location. For those looking for a spontaneous adventure, inspiration is just a tap away.

The Yonder App is available for free on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Find out more at http://yonder.it

My Trip To India And Australia: Part 8 – SIM Cards, Status, And Sights

Posted in Tips with tags on March 6, 2015 by itnerd

By the time you read this, I’ll be en-route from Gurgaon India to Melbourne Australia via Dubai. But I’d like to tie up some loose ends before talking about what’s up next for me.

First, let me cover the issue of using my iPhone 5S in India. As always, I recommend that you get an unlocked phone so that you can use a local SIM card when you travel because if you pay what the “big three” telcos in Canada want you to pay for roaming fees, you’ll pay too much. Way, way too much. Granted, you’ll lose access to your Canadian number. But you will save lots of money. In my case, the company that I am working for this week provided me a nano-SIM from Airtel for my iPhone 5s. Apparently it is a pay as you go SIM pre-loaded with 500 INR on it. That’s about $10 Canadian and I haven’t had any issues making phone calls or getting my e-mail. If you want to grab a SIM card of your own when you come to India, and you’re landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, there is an Airtel shop in the airport that can hook you up.

Now over to the status part. I found out a day or two ago that I am classified at the hotel as a “VVIP” which stands for “Very Very Important Person” which explains why I get special treatment from being queue hopped to people tripping over themselves to do anything from carry my bags to clean my room multiple times a day. Plus, every employee in the hotel bows towards me when I approach them and refers to me by name. I have to admit that I am a guy who would rather just go in, do my job and leave. I’m not the sort that goes for this treatment so I am kind of taken aback that someone sees me as being this important to warrant this level of treatment. After all, I am not someone like Barack Obama. I’m just an IT Nerd from Canada.

Third, let me cover the sights. I did mention previously that I am being dissuaded from touring the city. But that hasn’t stopped me from snapping some random pictures of the city of Gurgaon from the car that takes me back and forth from the hotel as well as out of the windows of the office that I am working from and from the hotel: IMG_0886 IMG_0923 IMG_0911 IMG_0910 IMG_0925 IMG_0927 IMG_0928

This is the building that the company I was working for this week is located:

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There’s a few more pictures that I’d like to show you: IMG_0921_2 When I work in my hotel room, this is my setup. Behind and to the left of my MacBook Pro, you can see my Olixar Travel Adapter With 4 USB Ports plugged in and charing my Belkin Travel Power Pack 9000. Further to the left, you can see the black case that holds my Western Digital 1TB Elements External Hard Drive which I am using to back up my computer. I am finding that a backup only takes less than 10 minutes and is as simple as plugging in the drive and waiting for a prompt to appear which asks me if I want to back up my computer. IMG_0922 Several of you asked for a picture of the guard house and gate that is at the hotel. So here it is.

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Here’s a better shot of the pool. It seems the pigeons are making better use of it than the guests. The entire time I was here, I never saw a human use it.

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Here’s the workout room which aided my attempts to get back into shape. I am making incremental improvements in my cardio. Too bad my weight loss isn’t as going as fast as I would like. But any improvement is better than none at all.

Now, many readers have expressed concern that I am in a dangerous situation. I would say that I can understand your concern given what I have written so far. I do not feel that I am though at times I wonder if all the precautions that have been taken by the company I’m working for are required. This Wikipedia article combined with the fact that India has had previous brushes with terrorism suggests that they might be. It was certainly accurate when it comes to the frequent power outages as there were five on the day I left. But I will also say this. Everyone that I have interacted with at my hotel or the company I am working for this week has gone out of their way to make me feel welcome. Also, at no point did I feel that I was in any danger. I absolutely have no complaints about the way things have gone this week and the way I’ve been treated. The only thing that I regret is not seeing more of India other than what I’ve documented here. All that means is that I will have to return to do so.

Finally, I did get a case of “Delhi Belly.” Fortunately It passed in 24 hours. That’s a good thing.

The next part of this travelogue will detail my trip from Indira Gandhi Airport in New Delhi to Dubai, then from Dubai to Melbourne Australia. It’s a total of 16 hours in the air plus a layover of a few of hours in Dubai. So it will a long day on Friday. Watch for that update this weekend. Once I get my bearings back from flying for that long.

Canadian Arrested For Not Unlocking His Phone For Border Services

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 5, 2015 by itnerd

Canadian smartphone users need to keep an eye on this as it’s going to be important from the standpoint of your privacy. A resident of the province of Quebec returned from the Dominican Republic recently. Here’s what happened next:

The case of a Quebec man charged with obstructing border officials by refusing to give up his smartphone password has raised a new legal question in Canada, a law professor says.

Alain Philippon, 38, of Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que., refused to divulge his cellphone password to Canada Border Services Agency during a customs search Monday night at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

Philippon had arrived in Halifax on a flight from Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. The charge against him carries a maximum penalty of $25,000 and a year in prison.

Lovely. Here’s the key thing: Canada Border Services Agency may say that they have the right to search your electronic devices. But this has never been tested in court. Thus this could really backfire on the Canada Border Services agency. I would say that Canadians should keep an eye on this as I suspect that case law is about to be made.

The End May Be Near For Mobilicity

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 5, 2015 by itnerd

The ongoing saga of Mobilicity may actually be coming to an end. The Financial Post is reporting that moments before the AWS-3 spectrum auction, they lost the financing that would have allowed them to buy the spectrum that they need to be a player:

The Financial Post confirmed that Mobilicity, which has been operating under court-supervised creditor protection since September 2013, sought and received approval from an Ontario court for as much as $200 million in additional funds from one of its first lien creditors a couple of hours before Industry Canada’s deadline to submit sealed bids.

Despite receiving the court’s blessing however, it is believed that minutes before Tuesday’s noon deadline the emergency financing was not made available for a number of undisclosed reasons. As a result, Mobilicity may have been left without the ability to bid for the coveted cellular airwaves reserved specifically by Ottawa for small carriers operating in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

That pretty much means that without the ability to bid for new spectrum, there is no way they could possibly complete with anyone who wins spectrum from this auction, never mind Bell, Telus, or Rogers. Thus, I think that the end is near for them.

Winners of the AWS-3 auction will be announced on Friday. The death watch for Mobility however starts now.

 

Telus Announces Pre-Orders For The Samsung GALAXY S6 Starting Today

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 5, 2015 by itnerd

A quick note. Telus just sent me some news on the Samsung GALAXY S6. It will be available in-store on April 10th with pre-orders beginning today at Noon EST. Customers looking to be one of the first to get their hands on the Samsung GALAXY S6 can visit the Telus website to preorder.

 

 

AVG Previews Latest AVG Zen Platform

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 5, 2015 by itnerd

AVG announced today that they previewed the next version of the AVG Zen platform to mobile operators and original equipment manufacturers (OEM). With the consumer launch currently planned for later this year, AVG Zen delivers a new family-first approach to security, including support for industry partner apps and wearables on customers’ devices, all in one place.

The next version of AVG Zen delivers three core pillars:

  • A subscription security service for families that includes AVG AntiVirus and AVG Cleaner across their devices to give them confidence in their digital lifestyle. AVG AntiVirus for Android was the first mobile security product to enter the 100-500 million downloads category on the Google Play store.
  • A dedicated set of family products from Location Labs by AVG including phone controls and location services. Already offered by the top four US mobile operators, extending the availability of these products through AVG Zen makes it even easier for families to communicate and share location. Phone controls gives parents peace of mind when giving their children their first mobile device, allowing them to monitor and set limits.
  • A platform for mobile operators to deliver context-aware solutions for core services. This could be, for example, notifying a user if they are running low on storage or approaching their data limit.AVG Zen is open to partners looking to expand their offerings directly to AVG’s 197 million end users.

AVG Zen enables mobile operators to provide context-aware alerts, updates and information direct to the customer to give them control and transparency of their security across their family, data, and devices.

The latest version of the AVG Zen platform has a consumer release scheduled for later this year

Review: Highview iPad Hanger

Posted in Products with tags on March 5, 2015 by itnerd

Review By The IT Nerd And Jeff O’Meara

Something that crossed my desk before I left for India was a product from a company called Highview called the iPad Hanger. It provides the ability to hang your iPad on the back of a seat for comfortable viewing in an airplane, train or automobile. As a bonus, with each unit sold, one month of clean water is provided to Guatemalan school children. My initial examination found that it was well constructed and I believe that it is durable enough to last the life of your iPad.

The question is this: How well does it work? Seeing that I was about to hop on a plane to India and Australia, I handed it over to Jeff O’Meara to find out. On the plus side he had these comments about the iPad Hanger:

  • Does the job it is designed to do – Simple yet versatile design allows you to hang your iPad in multiple configurations virtually anywhere.
  • Light weight and rolls up for storage – a convenient feature especially for travelers

Now on the cons side he noted these points:

  • iPad must be removed from any protective case to be used with the Highview iPad Hanger. This is inconvenient since most people use a case.
  • Unlikely that small children could reach the iPad if it were hung on the car seat in front of them. Furthermore, it would be difficult to reach and manipulate the iPad from the front seat. (Counterpoint from The IT Nerd: I think this depends on the car that you have. In Toyota Matrix that my wife and I own, the Highview iPad Hanger would work fine because it is a compact car and there is less of the reach for a small child to make. Thus I think this is a “your mileage may vary” situation.)

Highview makes iPad Hanger models for the iPad 2,3 and 4, the iPad Air, and the iPad Mini. Each one sells for $19.99 US. And remember that each HighView gives one month of clean water to a classroom of Guatemalan children. So there’s a feel good factor that comes with purchasing this on top of the fact that the price is good. The Highview iPad Hanger solves the problem of the frequent air traveler who wants to use their iPad without holding it. There are perhaps other situations where the Highview would come in handy, when camping for example. It is worth considering if you need to make your iPad a hand free device.

 

 

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