Monthly Archives August 2014

Russian Yota Devices Relocating to Canada

yotaUp-and-coming Russian smartphone maker Yota Devices has decided to make the switch from its homeland to Canada. The company’s CEO told the Financial Post that it plans on moving its head office from Moscow to either Toronto or Waterloo, Ontario by the end of 2014.

Yota Devices is known for its YotaPhone, an Android device which has, in addition to a regular LCD screen, a touch-sensitive e-ink panel on its back. CEO Vlad Martynov was quoted as saying that the company aims to take advantage of Canada’s talent pool, which was left behind by BlackBerry in the “wake of its restructuring.” This includes 15 former BlackBerry employees already working for Yota.

The decision to move makes sense for the company, which has 70 percent of its workforce outside of Russia including three individuals in Toronto. Canada also offers lower costs, tax benefits and government support.

With the help of Toronto-based investment bank Jakob Securities, Yota plans on raising $100 million in capital within a year, which may put the company on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

*Source: Antara News

Apple’s iOS is the Safest OS Against Spyware

iPhone_5With security being an increased concern in the digital world as of late, it is important to know if your phone is vulnerable to attack. According to a test done by FinSpy, iPhone users can rest easy knowing they are the safest.

FinSpy, spyware commonly used by law enforcement to monitor mobile devices, conducted a test to see how easy it was to break into different phones based on their operating systems. As it turns out, FinSpy was successful with all versions of Android and BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows 6.1 and 6.5. The only OS they could not crack was the Apple iOS.

So iPhone users can rejoice in the knowledge that they are a little bit safer than everyone else. However, if your phone has been jailbroken, it is more vulnerable to spyware.

*Source: DNA

AT&T Launching GigaPower in Miami

AT&TResidential and small business customers in Miami can expect to soon benefit from symmetrical broadband speeds of 1-gigabit per second as AT&T prepares to roll out its GigaPower network.

Miami isn’t alone – the company has said it is also looking at other nearby areas including Hialeah, Hollywood, Homestead, Opa-Locka and Pompano Beach. The move comes on the heels of an upgrade in Austin, Texas, where AT&T is facing stiff competition from Google Fiber and Grande Communications.

Just how fast is the service? To put it in perspective, a user can download 25 songs in one second, an entire TV show in three seconds or an HD movie in about 35 seconds.

“For well over a century AT&T has been committed to bringing the latest, most advanced technology to our Miami customers and today’s announcement is the latest step in fulfilling that commitment,” said Joe York, president of AT&T Florida – external affairs, in a press release.

“Smart public policy decisions, such as adopting competitively neutral local ordinances and modernizing state regulatory statutes, play a key role in driving investment.

“Today’s announcement reflects the wisdom of the forward-looking leadership of Mayor Tomas Regalado and other state and local leaders who have worked diligently for many years to create a public policy climate that encourages investment in advanced technology in Miami and in Florida.”

Are Landline Users Less Likely to Smoke and Drink?

landlines smokingTwo of every five households in the U.S. have ditched their landlines for cellphones only and a new study has drawn interesting connections between wireless households and risky lifestyle choices.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), those living in cellphone-only households are more likely to smoke and drink heavily. They are also less likely to have received their flu shot.

“There’s something about these people’s personalities that may lead to health risk behaviors,” suggested the study’s lead author Stephen J. Blumberg.

However, it may be more complex than it appears on the surface. Economic means definitely come into play: over 56 percent of low income houses have made the switch to wireless, compared to 36 percent of high income families.

This study was conducted by phone and in-person interviews. Overall, 39 percent of America’s adults and 47 percent of children are in wireless households. Adults ages 35 and over make up the largest portion of these households. The study also found Hispanic adults are the most likely demographic to be living without a landline.

*Source: Washington Post

Parents Distract Teen Drivers

texting and drivingWe all know distracted driving is dangerous and that cellphone use behind the wheel causes thousands of accidents each year. While teens often get a bad rap for texting and talking instead of focusing on the road, a new study reveals that parents are often to blame for the behavior.

According to results presented at the American Psychological Association’s convention, over 50 percent of teenaged respondents reported speaking with their parents on the phone while driving. In many cases, kids say they are always expected to answer a call from a parent no matter the circumstances and parents will often call repeatedly until they answer the phone.

“It was just very surprising to see how directly parents are involved,” psychologist Noelle LaVoie was quoted as saying. “What we do know for sure is if parents would not call their teens while they’re (kids) driving, it would reduce teen distracted driving.”

It is something helicopter parents may want to consider when instructing their kids to answer their phones, no matter what.

*Source: USA Today

BBM Comes to Windows Phones

BBMBlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has proved to be a bit hit for BlackBerry, Android and iOS devices. And as of July 31, Windows smartphone users can now download the popular chat app.

BlackBerry recently announced its collaboration with Microsoft, which allows Windows 8 phones and higher to use BBM. BBM already has 85 million monthly users.

“We are intent on bringing the most popular application experiences to Windows Phone, and with BBM, we are pleased to bring many of its top features to the Windows Phone platform,” Bryan Biniak, Microsoft vice president and general manager of developer experience, was quoted as saying. “BBM on Windows Phone brings our customers the secure, easy-to-use messaging experience they demand, and we expect that new features will roll out in the months to come.”

Developed in 2005, BBM continues to be one of the largest private social messaging systems. The Windows phone app has been specifically designed to bring users the easiest use while still remaining true to BBM’s original form.

“As the popularity of BBM continues to grow, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand its availability to the Windows Phone community,” John Sims, BlackBerry president of global enterprise services, was quoted as saying. “The BBM app for Windows Phone shows our commitment to supporting cross-platform capabilities, and we are excited to be working with Microsoft to deliver a new level of collaboration to the Windows Phone platform.”

*Source: BlackBerry

New Phishing Scam Involves iTunes

iTunes phishingOdds are, most people who bank or shop have heard of the term phishing. It’s a cybercrime tactic where criminals attempt to trick unsuspecting users into giving away personal information – such as passwords or credit card numbers – using fake websites. Sometimes crooks will use the tactic to gain access to computer systems. Either way, it  ends badly for those who fall victim.

A new phishing scam involving iTunes has recently surfaced and anyone who uses the service is warned to keep an eye on their inbox. Scammers send an email that appears to be from iTunes confirming a user’s purchase. However, since the email is false, the user will know they did not make the purchase and will click the link shown in the email. This is when the phishers entice you to reveal your Apple ID and password, which they then use to make fraudulent purchases.

Sophos has provided a pretty clear description of the fraudulent emails, so if you suspect you’ve received one but aren’t sure, check it out.

Remember it is important to be safe on the Internet and always be weary of emails requesting your personal information. Castanet.net recommends following these steps to help identify phishing scams:

Hover your cursor over the link. Often, that reveals the actual link is to an unrelated site.

Look at the To: field. It might not have your actual email address in it. It might say Undisclosed Recipients. That’s a tip off. BUT – it really might have your real email address, so keep checking.

Look at the From: field. It might not have a legitimate address. BUT – again, addresses can be spoofed, so even if it looks right, keep checking.

Use your common sense. If you receive an email asking you to provide account information to a bank or store or credit card company where you do not have an account for heaven’s sake don’t click on anything. That is a phishing email.

Unlimited Data = Throttled Users

smartphoneMobile users who have held onto unlimited data plans tend to guard them with their lives. The treasured flow allows them to surf the web and stream video to their hearts’ content without hitting any caps. But that doesn’t mean the experience is always pleasant.

While Verizon is the latest to face criticism for its plans to throttle data, it appears none of the major providers are innocent.

AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have all been known to throttle unlimited data users as they gobble up bandwidth. Not all of them use the same methods, but results are the same – the heaviest users experience major slowdowns at some point. It’s something that the Federal Communications Commission isn’t pleased with, either.

Check out the ReadWrite article to learn a bit more about this practice.

Canadian SherWeb buys American Data Company

Quebec-based cloud services provider SherWeb has recently acquired North Carolina company OrcsWeb Inc. Orcs Web, which was founded in 1996, is a Windows-based managed hosting provider. It will serve as a wholly owned subsidiary to SherWeb.

OrcsWeb is SherWeb’s first purchase in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) segment. IaaS has been an area which the company has been focusing.

“SherWeb’s expansion into IaaS will enable us to offer customers and channel partners more value and choice from the cloud, without having to invest in or maintain complex infrastructure themselves,” said SherWeb’s co-founder and president, Matthew Cassar, in a statement. “OrcsWeb naturally complements our overall business strategy because their depth of expertise in managed Windows hosting is one of several areas of diversification that will be critical to cloud services providers in the near future.”

OrcsWebis also looking forward to the taking part in the “SherWeb family,” according to Brad Kingsley, founder of the company, in a statement.

“SherWeb has built an outstanding reputation in the cloud industry in the last 15 years, and the fact that we can now give our customers access to SherWeb’s comprehensive and award-winning portfolio of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud offerings all under one roof makes this acquisition a genuine win-win situation for everyone.”

*Source: Computer Dealer News