Did the Baggage Handlers Union take over routing rain across the country? Flood warnings abound from Jackson, Mississippi, up through Washington D.C., while the Northern Plains get hit with 70+ mph winds, rain, and hail. Couldn’t we get some of this moisture to the west, where dry conditions are causing enhanced wildfire concerns? But there’s no concern about how chill these newstips are.
Apple WWDC news. We got a look at things to come from Apple at its annual developer conference this week, and iPadOS 15 looks to be a major redesign, with a new Home Screen, revamped Safari browser experience, systemwide Quick Note app, faster multitasking, and many more updates.
On the phone side, iOS 15 revs up FaceTime, sports better Maps, Weather, and Wallet apps, adds SharePlay to consume audio and video concurrently with a remote partner, incorporates more AI, and, this is not a joke, provides tools to help users focus and avoid distractions.
Computer users get some love as well, with the preview of macOS Monterey, including many of the improvements mentioned above. Yes, FaceTime with the new SharePlay feature, Safari, Shortcuts to keep favorite apps close at hand, and more.
News from other big shots. VDI got the spotlight during the pandemic, and Windows Virtual Desktop is getting so many new features that Microsoft gave it a new name, Azure Virtual Desktop. Check out the long list of enhancements.
AWS Proton hit general availability this week. The application delivery service uses microservices to form the basis of modern container and serverless applications, and has no upfront commitments or fees. Customers pay only for the AWS services used to create, scale, and run their applications.
Cisco announced they will acquire Involvio, a New York-based software company and student experience platform. Products from Involvio will be rolled into the Webex Education Connector.
Cloud news. Cloud management player CloudBolt unveiled its Spring ‘21 release, with new and upgraded tools to help optimize public cloud costs, enhance compliance, and streamline hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
Salesforce announced a lucky seven innovations for its 12 industry clouds and sub-verticals, including industry-specific AI and compliance updates for services such as the Financial Services Cloud. Healthcare and sales modules got revved as well.
Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage platform won the AWS Outposts Ready designation as part of the AWS Service Ready Program. HyperStore delivers native Amazon S3 API compatibility.
Security news. Datto reintroduced its Virtual SIRIS (vSIRIS) data protection software, which provides MSPs the data protection tools to help SMBs combat ransomware and more.
The more you support remote workers, the more you rely on VPNs. Check out the new Malwarebytes Privacy for mobile devices, which claims to provide secure connections at up to four times the speed of traditional VPNs.
Did someone say ransomware? Phishing triggers a huge number of ransomware episodes, so take a look at the new Compliance Plus training module from KnowBe4.
Hello to the new Proofpoint Information Protection and Cloud Security Platform, combining data loss prevention, insider threat management, and more.
The new Claroty Edge addition to The Claroty Platform delivers 100% visibility into industrial networks, combined with enhancements to Continuous Threat Detection.
Pull the curtain for Infoblox 3.0, focused on a secure cloud-first network experience. Unites NIOS, the on-premises DDI solution, with BloxOne Threat Defense and BloxOne DDI.
Other product news. All the cool Zoom kids will demand the new Zoom Phone Appliance, a new category of hardware for the hybrid workforce. Mash a video screen and webcam into a nice VoIP phone and you get two new models from Poly (like the CCX 700, pictured) and one from Yealink, the first wave of Zoomable desk phones. Will it still be easy to answer emails while pretending to pay attention during a meeting?
Prefer a quality video conferencing experience for the entire room (no email sneakiness allowed)? Sennheiser and QSC combine Sennheiser’s TeamConnect Ceiling 2 microphones with the QSC Q-SYS Ecosystem to deliver digital presence and active talker technology.
Prefer a high-performance speakerphone? Check out the new Konftel 70, also available as part of two video kits with the Konftel Cam20 43K conference camera.
RemotePC now offers Attended Remote Access as a free add-on to its remote access service. Makes it easier for IT admins and MSPs to access a client computer remotely.
LogMeIn added three new tools to its Contact-Center-as-a-Service solution. Peruse the outbound dialer, pre-recorded voicemails, and SMS chat queues at your leisure.
Non-product vendor news. Congrats to Dan Smoot (pictured), who joined Riverbed three years ago and now moves up to become president and CEO.
Over at Cybrary, Kevin Hanes moves to the corner office as the new CEO.
N-able (formerly SolarWinds MSP) added three new nerds to its Head Nerds team. Tip your nerd beanie to Stefanie Hammond, Lewis Pope, and Jason Murphy.
Logicalis US needed a single red carpet but new business cards for Jessica Soqui, promoted to vice president of professional services, and Raphe Reeves coming in as the new vice president of managed services.
Big hand for the new Women Executives Channel Advisory Board (WECAB), launched to advance leadership diversity in the trillion dollar tech world.
Sherweb now offers LastPass from LogMeIn in its cloud marketplace.
Master agent TBI just added Zoom Video Communications to its portfolio.
Just launched, the new Nutanix Elevate Service Provider Program extends the benefits of the Elevate Partner Program to include service providers globally.
Turning the “enhance knob” up to 11, Commvault announced Managed Service Provider and Aggregator Partner Advantage Programs.
Automated enterprise player SnapLogic turbocharged its Partner Connect Program to help technology and consulting partners, and OEMs.
And while we’re talking brand new partner programs, don’t forget Telos CyberProtect. DLT Solutions, a Tech Data company, and Presidio Government Solutions are the charter members.
Time for a new cert on the wall? Of course! Check out the new CompTIA Cloud+ certification exam and comprehensive suite of associated learning products.
This week’s stats ticker:
“The IT-Security Team: 2021 and Beyond” survey, from Sophos, found that the rise in ransomware during the COVID-19 mess inspired better security skills in 82% of IT teams. 84% reported a heavier security workload during 2020, and despite all this, just over half reported increased team morale. Technology became key for dispersed organizations, leading to a non-security IT workload increase of 63%, while cybersecurity workloads increased for 69%. Sixty percent reported more targeted cyberattacks, causing professional development to become informal, on-the-job training under intense pressure, often while working remotely. Inhouse IT security staff will grow in 68% of respondents, while use of outsourced security teams will jump by 56% by 2023. A near unanimous choice? Using AI to help deal with the increasing number and complexity of threats is the goal for 92% of IT teams.
The “2021 Password Hygiene & Habits Report” by PC Matic surveyed nearly 2,500 Americans, and found that 30% aren’t sure when they last changed their passwords, or if they ever did. Nearly a fifth of employers never require employees to change their passwords, while 60% of users say they’ve never changed their home Wi-Fi setup, up from 50% in 2020. Less than 45% of employers don’t require employees to use a VPN, down slightly from 2020. In the “yeah, right” category, just over 50% of respondents admitted to checking personal email accounts at work. While virtually unchanged from 2020, that number should set off warning bells for how many employees are, um, remembering inaccurately.
More realistically, a South Korean developer, Paeng Min-wook, 28, developed a head-mounted robotic eyeball that he tagged “Third Eye” to monitor for obstacles and issue a beep before the phone zombie walks into objects like parked cars, road barriers, and other phone zombies. A gyro sensor turns on the Third Eye when the user’s head drops into smartphone mode.
Paeng doesn’t really believe this will become a product, but his goal is a warning. Sorry, Paeng, your Third Eye is clever, but smartphone zombies are not.