Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security

Bell Mobility to unlock all devices

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment
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Bell is now offering to unlock all carrier locked devices, even second had devices for users that have never been Bell customers.

Prior to this policy, Bell Mobility only unlocked devices for current and former customers in good standing (you had to be the original buyer of the phone).

Telus and Rogers already have similar policies (unlocking all devices even second hand for non-customers).

Run a speed test from Google Search

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment
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There are dozens of sites and services that promise to test your internet speed. The most popular are:

Now you can also add Google to the list.

1 - Go to the Google Search Page (on a PC or Android device)

2 - Enter Speed Test

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3 - Choose the Run Speed Test option and ignore the search results

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4 - Wait until Google delivers your speed test results

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Android Smartphones - This tool also works on Android devices. Just search for Speed Test on the Google search bar on your launcher and it will perform the same test and return results with a similar look & feel.

Some public WIFI hotspots seem to block it while allowing other services to run. Not sure why.

Does it work in other languages?

 I tried the search on the Google Canada French site using both "Speed Test" and "test de vitesse" and I was not given the speed test web applet. Looks like this may be reserved for english language searches only for now.

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Conclusion

Nothing special or different here but this could be one more feature in your cap. I do like the fact that Google interprets the results and explains (in plain English) what kind of video streaming performance you should be able to expect from your connection. 

    Chronicle Security launches under the Alphabet family of companies

    GeneralEdward KiledjianComment
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    Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, has launched a new cybersecurity intelligence company called Chronicle.

    The company promises to bring Alphabet's advanced machine learning capabilities and large cloud computing footprint to cyber intelligence. The soft launch was confirmed via a blog post on Medium called "Graduation Day: Introducing Chronicle". A quote from the blog entry says:

    Organizations deploy dozens of security tools to protect themselves, and their security teams are highly skilled and extremely dedicated, but they can’t keep up with the growing number, sophistication and ambition of attacks.
    — Astro Teller

    Another Medium blog article is entitled "Give Good the Advantage".

    Based on all the blog entries, Chronicle Security will be some kind of large, in the cloud, data collection and analytics platform that will leverage machine learning to deliver 10X efficiency improvements to security teams. 

    Data collection and correlation tech aren't new in the security theater, we call this type of tech a security information and event management platform. Competitors in this space include LogRythm, Splunk, IBM QRadar, AleinVault, McAfee Enterprise Security Manager, SolarWinds Log & Event Manager and more. 

    The company says their main differentiators will be :

    • "should be able to help teams search and retrieve useful information and run analysis in minutes, rather than the hours or days it currently takes"
    • "Storage — in far greater amounts and for far lower cost than organizations currently can get it — should help them see patterns that emerge from multiple data sources and over years."

    Traditional SIEM technologies are very expensive so it looks like Chronicle Security will dramatically bring down the price, making attainable for small to medium size businesses. In addition to the cost, they promise to add machine learning to help find useful information faster and make that information more actionable. This is the piece currently missing in all SIEM products (regardless of what the marketing material says). If Chronicle can deliver Google grade machine learning that helps reduce the burden on security teams and makes the information analysis more automatic, then this could be a big break for security teams around the world.

    It is difficult to peg down the exact offering Chronicle will have very little information about the technology or platform is provided. They have promised to keep customer information separate from other Alphabet companies (namely Google) and will have their own privacy policy.

    Obviously, Alphabet believes the tech is good enough to turn an idea incubated in their moonshot factory into a real company. Now we wait and see if it is really as good as they are promising. 

    Private Internet Access leaves Korea due to security concerns

    GeneralEdward KiledjianComment
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    We learned that Private Internet Access (PIA) has shut down its Korea exit nodes due to concerns about the privacy of its users. It learned through a "close contact" that South Korea law enforcement intended to clone its local data. 

    Private Internet Access (PIA) didn't know why they would take these types of actions against it, but took immediate action as soon as it learned about this possibility. 

    On the 21st January 2018 at 6.15pm Pacific Time, Private Internet Access was alerted by close contacts in South Korea that law enforcement would be seeking to mirror our servers tomorrow, 24th of January 2018, at 10:00 A.M without due process. Upon learning this information, we decided to remove and wipe the South Korea region from our network immediately.
    — Private Internet Access blog

    Even if the South Korean authorities did clone the data,  Private Internet Access (PIA) does not log any traffic or session data. 

    In addition to removing its South Korea exit nodes, it also rotated its certificates as an additional security control. 

    This is a great example that proves that Private Internet Access is committed to the privacy of its users. Good going PIA. 
     

    Source: Private Internet Access

    The best way to share your location with friends or family

    GeneralEdward KiledjianComment
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    Let's say you are meeting friends at a large outdoor concert, how do you provide your location? A street address may get them to the entrance gate, then what? What3words has proposed a solution that solves the issue of finding exact locations on a map?

    What3words has divided the entire planet into 57 trillion 3mx3m grids and assigned each grid a unique three-word "address".  

    If I want to meet friends at the entrance of Union Station in Toronto, I can search for "Union Station" in Google maps, and it will take me to the building but not necessarily the front entrance:

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    Or I can give my friends the What3Words address for the main entrance 3mx3m square which is: tens.listed.surviving

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    The What3Words address takes them directly to the entrance where I want to meet them. No ambiguity and no confusion.

    In most western countries, we have mailing addresses but these aren't always easy to find. The most accurate mechanism has been latitude and longitude (which would look like this 43°38'43.3"N 79°22'51.9"W). Obviously, the three-word descriptor is easier to communicate and remember than the latitude/longitude. 

    The entire world is mapped using about 40,000 words (it is available in multiple languages including French, Spanish, Arabic and more). Obviously, great care has gone into choosing the words to ensure there is nothing offending and no double meanings.  They have assigned more common words to locations in major centers. 

    What3Words claims their tech is being used in over 170 countries by dozens of organizations from delivery companies (Aramex) to disaster relief coordination in the Philipines by the Red Cross. 

    The entire mapping can be downloaded for use offline and consumes about 10MB of space. They are partnering with companies to build this tech into third-party apps. 

    I really think this is a wonderfully unique approach to a problem everyone experiences and I hope more companies start using the What3Words technology. In the meantime, you can download their free Android and IOS app to get started. You can find the What3Words location address or navigate to any What3Words address (using your favorite Nav app installed on your IOS or Android phone (Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze).

     Android App showing the entrance of Union Station

    Android App showing the entrance of Union Station

     Once you enter a three-word address, you can click on the navigate app and it will send the exact GPS coordinates to the location to any GPS app installed on your device.

    Once you enter a three-word address, you can click on the navigate app and it will send the exact GPS coordinates to the location to any GPS app installed on your device.

     Once you enter a three-word adress, you can share the exact location using any messaging app installed on your smartphone (Google Messages, Facebook, Whatsapp, etc). 

    Once you enter a three-word adress, you can share the exact location using any messaging app installed on your smartphone (Google Messages, Facebook, Whatsapp, etc).