ITy Bytes 8 August is a short, curated collection of news you may like to know:
- Intel brings Project Athena to life,
- HealthEngine (medical booking app) facing multi-million-dollar fines for selling patient data,
- WhatsApp (a Facebook company) insecure – Check Point,
- Arlo Pro and Pro 2 now have Apple HomeKit compatibility,
- Ask OK Google or Alexa to find my ‘Tile’.
- Speaking of lost – BioTraka you dog,
- JBL Flip 5 – bigger sound, longer battery life,
ITy Bytes 8 August
Intel brings Project Athena to life
Intel’s Project Athena focusing on ‘mobile performance’ laptops has a ‘brand’ – and it is ‘Engineered for Mobile Performance’. Not as inspiring as the Greek Goddess Athena who represented wisdom, handicraft, and warfare.
The six key experience indicators for these laptops are
- Instant action: System wake-up in under a second
- Performance and responsiveness: Core i5 or i7 processors and Optane memory H10
- Intelligence: Adaptive intelligence with AI on PC
- Battery life: 16 or more hours of battery life
- Fast connectivity: Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3
- Form factor: Ultra slim and light designs
The first system with the new identifier can be found on the
new Dell XPS 2 in 1, with new laptops expected at the end of the year from Acer
(Swift 5), Asus, Dell, HP (EliteBook x360 1040 and x360 830), Lenovo (Yoga
You can read more about Athena, sorry ‘Engineered for Mobile Performance’ here.
HealthEngine (medical booking app) facing multi-million-dollar fines for secretly selling patient data
Australia’s largest GP booking app HealthEngine has been selling patient booking information to personal injury law firms and health insurance brokers since at least 2017. More than one million Australians use it each month.
HealthEngine provides a booking system for patients and an online health care directory that lists over 70,000 Australian health practices and practitioners. HealthEngine’s significant investors include Carsales.com.au, Telstra Ventures and Seven West Media. You can read about it here.
“Patients were misled into thinking their information would stay with HealthEngine but, instead, their information was sold off,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.
The information sold included names, phone numbers, date-of-birth, email addresses, GP/practitioner, appointment time, type of health care practice (e.g. GP, chiropractic or dentistry), and/or if the patient had private health insurance including the fund name.
The ACCC has not said how much money the company earned form the arrangement.
The ABC revealed last year that HealthEngine had also boasted to advertisers that it could target users based on their symptoms and medical conditions. Read the ACCC statement here.
If you wish to personal information deleted, send a request to the [email protected]
WhatsApp (a Facebook company) insecure – Check Point
If spreading fake news, becoming an attack vector for malware and providing a platform for scammers was not enough the Facebook company Whatsapp has been further found to have significant and dangerous security holes.
CheckPoint says WhatsApp is considered one of the more secure messaging platforms so how could something of this scale happen? Well for starters, don’t believe the publicity and second Facebook are famous for insecure programming and data leaks.
Check Point Researchers identified three possible methods of attack, all involving social engineering tactics to trick end-users. The threat actor may:
- Use the ‘quote’ feature in a group conversation to change the identity of the sender, even if that person is not a member of the group.
- Target an individual by piggybacking off a text of someone else’s reply.
- Send a private message to another group participant that is disguised as a public message for all, so when the targeted individual responds, it is visible to everyone in the conversation.
Check Point is chuffed at receiving the highest security effectiveness score in the 2019 NSS Labs Breach Prevention Systems (BPS) group test. Check Point’s Next Generation Threat Prevention Appliances and Advanced Endpoint Security achieved a “Recommended” rating.
- 98.4% overall security effectiveness
- 100% block rate
- 100% malware prevention, email and web
- 100% exploit resistance
- 0% false positives
Arlo Pro and Pro 2 now have Apple HomeKit compatibility
HomeKit allows users iOS, ipadOS, watchOS, macOS users to control smart home products via the Apple Home app. They can now receive motion notifications. iOS users can also use Siri to display HD (720p) live stream onto their iPhone or iPad. With HomeKit, users can also set up automation to control other HomeKit-enabled smart home devices. For example, users can set up an automation to trigger HomeKit-enabled lights to turn on at certain times when motion is detected.
Ask OK Google or Alexa to find my ‘Tile’
Tile is a little tag that you affix to items of value – car keys, smartphones, sports gear, even pets. It uses crowd-finding when it is outside its owner’s Bluetooth range.
Tile Mate or Pro now have Google Home and Amazon Alexa to use voice to locate the Tile. The Tile platform also enables its users to ask their voice-activated speaker to help locate their phone through the reverse ring feature or announce where your Tile item was last seen.
Tile Mate is Tile’s best seller. The 2019 update has a 50% increase in Bluetooth range (45 m) and loudness (compared to the original). It also has a replaceable battery, guaranteed to last 12 months.
Tile Pro is Tile’s most powerful Bluetooth tracker, with 2x range (90 m) and loudness compared to Tile Mate.
GadgetGuy reviewed the Tile Keysmart device here.
Speaking of lost – BioTraka you dog
Biotraka has a lost dog tracker that provides real-time location and activity insight into the secret life of Fido.
It uses GPS and supplements this with Wi-Fi positioning and mobile phone tower triangulation.
It is on special from the website for $199 (usually $299) and includes the first 12 months tracking subscription.
JBL Flip 5 – bigger sound, longer battery life
GagetGuy awarded 4.6-out-of-5 for the excellent Flip 4, and now JBL comes along and improves It – enter the Flip 5. We were amazed at the amount of bass it could produce from its passive radiations and that it is a sealed, IPX7 waterproof device.
The $149.95 Flip 5 is a 20W, mono 360° sound, Bluetooth 4.2 speaker capable of 80dB (loud) and has a frequency response from 65Hz to 20kHz.
It has a USB-C charge port and is compatible with and USB charger including the newer USB-PD 2.0 chargers. The 4800mAh battery life is about 12 hours – recharge is 2.5 hours. It can pair to another Flip5 for stereo or connect to hundreds of other Flip 5s via its PartyBoost app.
We like it because of the characteristic JBL sound signature, and you have 11 colours to select from.