Do you use a desktop computer or laptop with a large screen monitor as your daily driver? Either way, adding a second display will more than double the convenience and productivity.

Intel’s P15NF 15.6″ QLED Portable Monitor can boost your work and play performance. This plug and play, no configuration required portable panel is a perfect FreeSync HDR gaming or work monitor.

If you manage to play computer games on your smartphone, or travel a lot, the lightweight, P15NF lets you bring a big-screen powerhouse to life in a handy 0.17″ x 14″ x 9.1″ package that weighs only 1.41 lbs.

The display delivers a stunning FHD 100% DCI-P3 color gamut with 500-nit brightness and has an impressive assortment of connection ports: two USB-C, one mini-HDMI, one Type-C OTG , and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Intehill P15NF as a desktop display

The Intehill 15.6″ portable monitor has enough real estate and enough features to be a full-service desktop display. (image credit: Intihill)

An on-the-go (OTG) port isn’t always included on portable monitors, but having it increases convenience and productivity. The OTG adapter allows you to connect a full-sized USB flash drive or USB-A cable to your phone or tablet via a micro USB or USB-C charging port.

The monitor’s right edge sports a mini-HDMI port and two full-featured Type-C ports for turning this screen into a portable laptop and computer monitor.

It is also ideal for PS5/4, Xbox, Steam Deck and Switch. The monitor’s power ports include a USB-A to USB-C connector with a wall socket power plug, a USB-C to USB-C cable, and a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable.

unbeatable screen performance

The QLED panel with 10-bit color depth delivers an immersive visual experience. It offers better text clarity and vivid image colors in both portrait and landscape view.

The display offers a 178° viewing angle that doesn’t look washed out or faded at the edges of the screen. You can set the panel’s menus to intensify the flicker-free display and adjust for a low blue light mode that helps reduce eye strain when staring at the screen for long intervals.

Intihill 15.6-inch portable display connected to HP Chromebase

The Model P15NF’s 500-nit visual display (R) is connected to a Chromebase computer with a 250-nit, 21.5-inch display. Note that the portable monitor displays a ChromeOS bottom docking bar, which essentially gives full functionality without launching from the main display and dragging it to a second monitor.

business view standard

Another contributing factor to this solidly built portable panel is the difference that DCI-P3 (Digital Cinema Initiative – Protocol 3) over sRGB brings into the picture.

DCI-P3 is a new technical standard for a set of colors from the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), designed to standardize the colors used in the film industry .

sRGB is an older color display standard that was jointly created by HP and Microsoft in 1996 for use on monitors, printers, and the Internet.

While the older sRGB standard is still common in portable monitors, DCI-P3 brings a wider color gamut and its use in this device is a boon for gamers and graphic professionals. Especially if you use the monitor outside, or in brightly lit offices or graphic studios, the P15NF model with DCI-P3 is more visible.

Intihill Monitor Vinodes 10 Display Adjustment

The Integral Monitor (L) in Microsoft Windows 10 Display Adjustment requires only a minor configuration change. Note that each monitor is showing different content and bottom bar for full functionality.

Smart Cover, Dumb Results

The so-called Smart Cover included in the box is a typical weak point for a portable monitor. Most come with some sort of fold-around case to protect the panel while carrying and storing it. The Smart Cover also doubles as a tabletop stand.

Intel Smart Cover
Intel Smart Cover

Unless you love solving puzzles and folding origami creatures, Smart Cover on a monitor can be a pointless and frustrating experience. In this case, however, the textured surface of the cover is a non-slip surface that wraps neatly around the panel.

The heavy plastic vinyl material around a small magnet helps keep the cover attached to the back of the monitor. Its trifold design is more rigid and usable, thanks to a smaller hinge-like reinforcement that forms part of the center of the folding section.

Still, when I use this monitor for long work sessions, I stick to two double-sided pieces of mounting tape. One piece prevents the back flap from sliding off, and another piece prevents the bottom front edge of the panel from sliding forward.

A better solution is to attach a metal mechanism that pulls very much like a picture frame. I’ve only seen that method used on some portable panels.

extra matter

Connectivity is a plus with this monitor. It easily connects to phone, desktop and laptop computers. The only requirement is that the host device must have a Thunderbolt or HDMI port. This is rarely a problem with newer Mac, Windows, Linux, and ChromeOS computers. The panel is also compatible with SteamOS.

Intehill 15.6-inch Portable Panel Dragging Feature

The Intihill Portable Screen (L) displays various content easily by dragging a window from a Linux laptop. With Linux computers, duplicating desktop elements and launchers is not carried over to the second monitor.

The FHD monitor consumes minimal power, which is an added advantage for portable use. It requires 10 watts, but it comes with a 15W power adapter—a sufficient option if the host computer doesn’t power the portable monitor from the connector port.

Since the P15NF model uses less than 10 watts, the 20,000 mAh power bank can keep the monitor working for more than 10 hours when performing regular tasks.

This unit supports all Samsung phones with DeX. You can also extend the screen for the iPhone, but this requires a Lightning to HDMI adapter.

Keep in mind that not all Android phones send an output signal to the USB-C connector. This determines whether your phone works with this portable monitor.

Even my new Moto Stylus 5G (2022) smartphone is dumb in this regard. That result is not Intelehil’s fault.

where to buy

The P15NF 15.6″ QLED Portable Monitor is currently available at the Intelhill Store on Amazon. Its list price is $269.

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Apple on Wednesday refreshed its iPhone, Watch and AirPods product lines at an online event, as well as introduced a new Ultra watch for activity in challenging environments.

The Apple Watch Ultra is designed to operate in extreme cold and hot environments as well as under 130 feet of water. It’s housed in a rugged titanium case and its face is made of tough sapphire crystal.

The Ultra also has an “action” button that is programmable, an 85-decibel siren for emergencies, and its controls are designed for use with gloves. It has three microphones for voice call clarity, even in windy conditions.

Apple Watch Ultra Programmable Action Button

Apple Watch Ultra Programmable Action Button (Image Credit: Apple)

Cellular is built into the Ultra, which has a battery life of 36 hours on a single charge, though Apple promised that would be increased to 60 hours with new battery optimization software, available this fall.

In addition, the Ultra supports dual-frequency GPS, and can be turned into a scuba diving computer with the Dive Plus app.

The Ultra will sell for US$799 and will be available on September 23.

“I’m a scuba diver, and I’ve had several dive watches that were over $1,000,” said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a technology consulting firm in Campbell, Calif.

“Here’s getting you a dive watch and everything else, plus cellular for $799,” he told TechNewsWorld. “It’s a really good deal.”

“It will be a huge hit among extreme sports enthusiasts and scuba divers,” he said.

crash detection

Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology consulting firm in New York City, calls Ultra a “statement product.”

“This shows that the Apple Watch can be used in harsh environments by people engaged in extreme activities,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“It’s not something that mainstream people need, but you can see how some technology, like action buttons, could filter out future iterations of other models,” he said.

Apple also rolled out its Series 8 Apple Watch at its pre-taped event. The watch sports a new temperature sensor, which women can use to track ovulation. Ovulation is usually measured with a thermometer and a journal. The new watch makes that task a lot easier and more convenient by providing automatic retrospective ovulation estimates.

“The Apple Watch has turned into a digital-health wearable solution,” Mark N. Venna, president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, Calif., told TechNewsWorld.

The watch, as well as the new iPhones, also has a new crash detection feature. When an accident is detected, the watch will automatically connect to emergency services, provide the location of the accident, and notify emergency contacts on the watch.

To make up for the feature, Apple added two new motion sensors to the Series 8, an improved three-axis gyroscope, and a higher G-force accelerometer. The accelerometer can measure up to 256 Gs, allowing it to detect the extreme effects of an accident.

Apple Watch Crash Detection Feature

Crash Detection uses an advanced sensor-fusion algorithm and a new, more powerful accelerometer and gyroscope in the Apple Watch to detect and deliver car crash alerts. If the user does not respond after a 10 second countdown, the device will dial emergency services. (image credit: Apple)

This feature operates only when a user is in a moving vehicle and collects data only around the time of a potential accident.

“The Apple Watch is not only for health, but also for safety,” Bajrin said.

Series 8 watches have a battery life of 18 hours but with the new Low Power Mode feature the battery life can be extended up to 36 hours.

Series 8 will be available on 16 September. The GPS version costs $399 and the cellular version costs $499.

satellite sos

During its online event, Apple also introduced iPhone 14 Pro with 6.1-inch display and Pro Max with 6.7-inch display.

The Pro models, as well as the 14 and 14-Plus models, support a new emergency SOS service via satellite. Newer iPhone models have special antennas built into them so they can send text messages to high-flying satellites.

To aid in the connection, the software on the phone shows a user where to point their phone to connect to the satellite and stay connected for the satellite to go on.

The iPhone 14 line features emergency SOS via satellite

The iPhone 14 lineup offers Emergency SOS via satellite. This feature enables users to message with emergency services when cellular or Wi-Fi coverage is not available. (image credit: Apple)

Due to the narrow bandwidth involved in satellite communications, Apple created a custom, short-text compression algorithm to reduce the average size of a message by a factor of three.

Initially, satellite service will be limited to the United States and Canada, where it will be offered free of charge for two years.

“The satellite phone feature will have tremendous value for a lot of people,” Venna said.

“It would have been the perfect call for Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway,” he joked. “If he had the iPhone 14, though, it would have been a very short film.”

Bajrin announced that Apple is leading a new path in personal safety and security. “It’s going to be a big part of their DNA going forward,” he said.

“The satellite feature in the iPhone 14 Pro sets a new precedent in smartphones,” he added.

dslr challenger

Apple has also upgraded the cameras in the new Pro model. The main camera at the rear of the unit houses a 48-megapixel sensor with support for a fast f/1.78 lens, while the front camera houses a 12MP sensor with an f/1.9 lens. The main camera also supports the ProRaw format.

The Pro model also has a new chip, the A16. “With the A16, Apple has the most powerful smartphone camera on the market right now,” Bajrin said.

“The 48 megapixels and ProRaw capabilities bring the iPhone 14 Pro series very close to a true DSLR,” he said.

Vena notes that Apple is shooting beyond analogy with digital single-lens reflex cameras. “It’s clear that Apple doesn’t want the camera in its phone to be on par with a DSLR, but they want it to be better than a DSLR in many ways,” he observed.

He said the upgrade to the front camera on the new iPhone represents another change in Apple’s thinking about the cameras in its phones. “It used to be that the back camera was the most important camera,” he said. “They now view the front camera and the back camera with equal importance.”

Apple iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max 48MP Camera

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have the first 48MP camera on the iPhone. (image credit: Apple)

Apple has made great strides in video stabilization with the Pro and Max models. “You can literally take video with very little image movement,” Rubin said.

The frequently worn notch on the front of the Pro and Pro Max models has been changed to a dynamic notification center. “They’ve turned it into a profit rather than a loss,” Rubin said.

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus will be available in five colors: Midnight, Blue, Starlight, Purple and (Product) Red. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will be available in four colors: Space Black, Silver, Gold and Deep Purple.

The iPhone Pro 14 will sell for $999; Pro Max for $1,099. The iPhone 14 will sell for $799; 14-Plus for $899. All will be available on 16 September.

Better AirPods

Apple also introduced a new version of its AirPods Pro, which features a new H2 chip, longer battery life, and noise cancellation technology that’s up to two times more efficient than its predecessor at blocking out noise.

It’s also improved the earbuds’ “Transparency” mode by filtering out some of the disruptive noise that would normally be heard with noise-canceling. “I haven’t seen other earbuds do this,” Rubin observed. “It addresses one of the disadvantages of transparency mode. You let the whole world in, including harsh noises.”

The new AirPods Pro will go on sale on September 23 for $249.

apple airpods pro

AirPods Pro brings upgrades in transparency mode, spatial audio, and convenience features while canceling twice as much noise as its predecessor. A new low-distortion audio driver and custom amplifier deliver rich bass and crystal-clear sound. A new extra-small ear tip could provide a better fit to more users. (image credit: Apple)

“Most of these devices are just upgrades,” said Jim McGregor, founder and principal analyst at Tireus Research, a high-tech research and advisory firm in Phoenix.

“There’s only one new use model that is the Apple Watch Ultra,” he continued. “Some of the features they’re advertising on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus have been on Android phones for three or four generations.”

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult for Apple and everyone else to justify these annual upgrades,” he said. “However, I will give Apple credit. I am happy to see that they are offering these products in a reasonable price range, and they are not trying to offer a $2,000 smartphone.

A new phishing-as-a-service offering on the dark web poses a threat to online accounts protected by multi-factor authentication, according to a blog posted Monday by an endpoint security company.

Called EvilProxy, the service allows threat actors to launch phishing campaigns, with the ability to largely bypass MFAs without the need to hack upstream services, the Resecurity researchers noted in the blog. .

The service uses methods supported by APT and cyber espionage groups to compromise accounts protected by MFA. According to the researchers, such attacks have been discovered against Google and Microsoft customers whose accounts have MFA enabled via SMS text messages or application tokens.

Phishing links produced by EvilProxy lead to cloned web pages that have been compromised by accounts associated with multiple services, including Apple iCloud, Facebook, GoDaddy, GitHub, Dropbox, Instagram, NPM, PyPI, RubyGems, Twitter, Yahoo, and Yandex. has been prepared to do.

Threat actors using EvilProxy to gain access to their repositories are targeting software developers and IT engineers with the ultimate goal of hacking “downstream” targets, the researchers wrote.

He explained that these tactics allow cybercriminals to capitalize on end users who believe they are downloading software packages from secure resources and do not expect them to be compromised.

faster, faster, better

“This incident poses a threat to software supply chains because it targets developers by giving the service’s cybercriminal customers the ability to launch campaigns against GitHub, PyPI and NPM,” said Avid Gershon, leader of the security research team at Checkmarks. Said, an application security company, in Tel Aviv, Israel.

“Just two weeks ago,” he told TechNewsWorld, “we saw the first phishing attack against PyPI contributors, and now we see the service take it a few steps further by making these attacks accessible to less tech operators and adding capability. To bypass the MFA.”

Checkmarx’s head of supply chain security Tzachi Zorenstein said the nature of supply chain attacks increases the reach and impact of cyber attacks.

“Abusing the open-source ecosystem represents an easy way for attackers to increase the effectiveness of their attacks,” he told TechNewsWorld. “We believe this is the beginning of a trend that will increase in the coming months.”

A phishing-as-a-service platform can also increase attacker effectiveness. “Since PhaS can operate at scale, it enables adversaries to be more efficient at stealing and defrauding identities,” said Resecurity CEO Jean Yu.

“Old-fashioned phishing campaigns require money and resources, which can be overwhelming for one person,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Fas is just faster, faster, better.”

“It’s something that’s very unique,” he said. “It’s very rare to produce a phishing service on this scale.”

well packed

Many illegal services, hacking and malicious intent are solution products, explained Alon Nachmani, field CISO at AppviewX, a certificate lifecycle management and network automation company in New York City.

“By using a PhaS solution malicious actors have less overhead and less to spring an attack,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“Quite honestly,” he continued, “I’m surprised it took so long to become a thing. There are so many marketplaces where you can buy ransomware software and link it to your wallet. Once deployed , you can collect the ransom. The only difference here is that it is completely hosted for the attacker.”

While phishing is often considered a low effort activity in the hacking world, it still requires some work, said Monia Deng, director of product marketing at Bolster, a provider of automated digital risk protection in Los Altos, Calif. You’ll need it to do things like stand up to a phishing site, create emails, automate managers, and nowadays, steal 2FA credentials on top of primary credentials, she explained.

“With Faas,” she continued, “everything is neatly packaged on a subscription basis for criminals who do not require any hacking or even social engineering experience. It Opens the ground for many more threat actors who want to exploit organizations for their own gain.”

bad actors, great software

Security researchers explained that payment for EvilProxy is conducted manually through an operator on Telegram. Once the subscription funds are received, they will be credited to the account in the customer portal hosted on TOR. The kit is available for $400 per month.

EvilProxy’s portal has many tutorials and interactive videos on using the service and configuration tips. “To be clear,” the researchers wrote, “the bad actors did a great job in terms of service usability, and configuration of new campaigns, traffic flow, and data collection.”

“This attack just shows the maturity of the bad actor community,” said George Gerchow, CSO and senior vice president of IT at Sumo Logic, an analytics company focused on security, operations and business information in Redwood City, Calif.

“They are packing these kits nicely with detailed documentation and videos to make it easier,” he told TechNewsWorld.

The service uses a “reverse proxy” principle, the researchers noted. It works like this: Bad actors lead victims to a phishing page, use a reverse proxy to get all the legitimate content the user expects to see, and sniff their traffic through the proxy.

“This attack highlights how low the barrier of entry is for unsophisticated actors,” said Heather Iannucci, a CTI analyst at Tanium, creator of an endpoint management and security platform in Kirkland, Wash.

“With EvilProxy, a proxy server sits between the legitimate platform’s server and the phishing page, which steals the victim’s session cookie,” she told TechNewsWorld. “This can then be used by the threat actor to login to a legitimate site as a user without an MFA.”

“Defending against EvilProxy is a challenge because it combines cheating a victim and MFA bypass,” Yu said. “The real compromise is invisible to the victim. Everything sounds good, but it’s not.”

still in effect

Nachmany warned that users should be concerned about the effectiveness of MFAs that use text messaging or application tokens. “Fas is designed to use them, and this is a trend that will grow in our market,” he said.

“The use of certificates as an additional factor is what I expect to see an increase in use soon,” he said.

While users should be careful when using an MFA, it is still an effective mitigation against phishing, said Patrick Harr, CEO of SlashNext, a network security company in Pleasanton, Calif.

“It increases the difficulty of leveraging compromised credentials to disband an organization, but it is not foolproof,” he said. “If a link leads the user to a counterfeit replica of a legitimate site—which is nearly impossible to identify as not legitimate—the user may be the victim of an adversary-in-the-middle attack, such as this one by EvilProxy.” is used to .”

According to a blog penned by four Forrester analysts, the trend for tech whistleblowers to quit their jobs while many of their colleagues engage in “quietly quitting” should be a wake-up call to industry leaders.

A scorching job market for security, risk and privacy professionals combined with hiring a value-based workforce is creating a singular opportunity for tech majors, according to Forrester Quartet, Sarah M. Watson, Jeff Pollard, Eli Mellon and Alla Valente.

“This unique combination of circumstances presents an opportunity for technology leaders to make digital ethics, security improvements, risk programs and trust initiatives key topics of conversation,” he wrote.

He explained that many tech firms, including Twitter, have put responsible and ethical technology principles into practice in the form of AI ethics boards, responsible innovation guidelines, and offices for the ethical and humane use of technology. But these self-regulatory half-hearted measures are being called a wash of morality.

“Many tech companies are values- and ethics-first,” senior analyst Mellon told TechNewsWorld. “However, when they don’t deliver on those promises – especially with customer data – customers take notice and lose trust in them.

Customers are not the only notice takers. “It detracts from the talent who wants to work at a particular firm if a person knows they may be fired or silenced for allegedly speaking about interpersonal ethics and values, Mellon said.

The dangers of integrity hiring

When firms say they are developing technology responsibly, it attracts talent who believe in those values, the blog authors noted. “Employees are making proactive decisions based on a common set of goals and need to feel more connected to the potential employer’s vision and purpose,” Liz Miller, Constellation Research’s vice president and principal analyst, told TechNewsWorld. ,

When you choose people with ideals and integrity, you get people with ideals and integrity, the blog authors argued — and when you treat those people in ways that are unfaithful, they just don’t conform. – They rebel.

“Today’s employees value their employer’s mission, vision and promise,” Miller observed. “If you break that value chain, you do it at your own risk.”

“They will leave, which is an operating loss and cost,” she continued, “but there is also a great possibility that their frustrations, their experiences and their frustrations will carry over to social and digital channels.”

“Not listening to employees is as dangerous as not listening to customers,” she said.

The authors of the blog have mentioned that the damage caused to an organization by a whistleblower is like a wound inflicted by oneself. The bloggers wrote, “These people, led well before those concerns made headlines, tried desperately to change things inside their companies, but were pressured to conform, completely ignored.” and was later sidelined.

Bottom Line Trump Ethics

Anyone who has been paying attention to corporate America or technology companies shouldn’t be surprised by the wash of ethics, declared John Bumbaneck, a leading threat hunter at Netenrich, a San Jose, California-based IT and digital security operations company.

“At its core, business ethics requires executives to maximize shareholder value by making money,” he told TechNewsWorld. “They will adopt as few ethics as possible to avoid impact on the bottom line.”

“Unless one improves the business ethics of leaders – either by regulation or by changes in legislation – business leaders will continue on their current path,” he said.

If they continue on that path, they are likely to continue to find whistleblowers on it – even in the face of industry-wide layoffs and recessionary pressures. The blog authors state that the SEC has awarded $1.3 million to 278 whistleblowers since 2012. These incentives bring resources and greater legal protection, so it is unlikely that accountability seekers for the harms of technology will hold back, the authors said.

He also noted that technical staff is funding the organization works and providing advice and advice to whistleblowers. The same resource that put Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen before Congress with a bipartisan moral-terror message also supported Twitter whistleblower Peter “Muj” Zatko, he wrote.

In some industries, layoffs can have an impact on employees who are willing to trade their jobs for their ethical beliefs, Mellon acknowledged, but not in cybersecurity. “Security talent is still in high demand – especially ethical and experienced talent,” she said. “Unless the talent gap in security is narrowed, there will still be a high demand for talent.”

go silent or not go quietly

Because few job markets compare security, risk, and privacy in terms of supply versus demand, the blog authors noted, that puts them in a unique position to lead change.

Furthermore, they point out that when internal advocacy fails, a clear and effective external playbook now exists. Admitting defeat, resigning with a vague “time to move on” and telling close friends how bad things were, is the old way of quitting, he maintained.

Lots of articles want to convince everyone that keeping quiet is the new normal, he continued. Whistleblowing is the opposite of leaving calm. Hiring value-based, empowered employees in areas with scorching demand and then not listening to them almost guarantees they won’t quit quietly.

However, Bumbleneck argues that most employees would rather leave quietly than face the consequences of whistleblowing. “Whistleblower protections are not really effective,” he insisted. “Employers may not retaliate directly but they may do so quietly over time.”

“Whistleblowers making press will often see job prospects drying up,” he said. Quietly quitting is a safe way for employees to exit the corporate environment that gives them ethics concerns without the professional implications of speaking up.

“The reality is,” he continued, “until you reach a certain point in your career, the risk of losing income and not being able to replace it will keep most people silent.”

“There are exceptions to those who leave and make statements in public, and this is reserved for professionals who are at the top of their careers who still have earnings potential,” he said. “Even most mid-career professionals can be silently blacklisted for this kind of behavior, which means most of them will keep going quietly.”

A Chinese cyber espionage group is using a fake news site to infect government and energy industry targets in Australia, Malaysia and Europe with malware, according to a blog posted online on Tuesday by Proofpoint and PwC Threat Intelligence .

The group is known by several names, including APT40, Leviathan, TA423 and Red Ladon. Four of its members were indicted by the US Department of Justice in 2021 for hacking several companies, universities and governments in the United States and around the world between 2011 and 2018.

APT40 members indicted by the United States Department of Justice in 2021

The United States Department of Justice indicted APT40 members in 2021 / Image Credit: FBI

The group is using its fake Australian news site to infect visitors with the Scanbox exploit framework. “Scanbox is a reconnaissance and exploitation framework deployed by an attacker to collect a variety of information, such as the target’s public-facing IP address, the type of web browser used, and its configuration,” Proofpoint Vice President for Threat Research and Detection Sherrod explained DeGripo.

“It serves as a setup for the information gathering steps that follow and potential follow-up exploits or compromises, where malware is deployed to gain persistence on the victim’s system and allow the attacker to carry out espionage activities.” can be done,” she told TechNewsWorld.

“It creates a perception of the victim’s network that the actors then study and determine the best path forward for further compromise,” she said.

“Watering hole” attacks that use Scanbox appeal to hackers because the point of compromise is not within the victim’s organization, added John Bumbleneck, a principle threat hunter at Netenrich, a San Jose, California-based IT and digital security operations company. .

“Therefore, it is difficult to detect that information is being stolen,” he told TechNewsWorld.

modular attack

According to the Proofpoint/PwC blog, the TA423 campaign primarily targeted local and federal Australian government agencies, Australian news media companies and global heavy industry manufacturers, which maintain a fleet of wind turbines in the South China Sea.

It noted that the phishing emails for the campaign were sent from Gmail and Outlook email addresses, which Proofpoint believes were created by attackers with “moderate trust.”

Subject lines in phishing emails included “sick leave,” “user research,” and “request collaboration.”

Threatened actors often pose as employees of the fictional media publication “Australian Morning News”, the blog explained, and provide a URL to their malicious domain, to view their website or share research material that the website is publishing. Ask for goals.

If someone clicks on the target URL, they will be redirected to a fake news site and without their knowledge, the Scanbox malware will be introduced. To give credibility to their fake website, opponents posted content from legitimate news sites such as the BBC and Sky News.

Scanbox can distribute its code in one of two ways: in a single block, which gives an attacker instant access to the full functionality of the malware, or as a plug-in, modular architecture. The TA423 crew chose the plug-in method.

According to PwC, the modular route can help avoid accidents and errors that would alert a target that their system is under attack. It is also a way for researchers to reduce the visibility of the attack.

phishing boom

As such campaigns show, phishing remains the tip of the spear used to break into many organizations and steal their data. “Phishing sites will see an unexpected increase in 2022,” said Monia Deng, director of product marketing at Bolster, a provider of automated digital risk protection in Los Altos, Calif.

“Research has shown that this problem will increase tenfold in 2022 because this method is easy, effective and a perfect storm to deploy in the post-work digital age,” she told TechNewsWorld.

DeGripo said phishing campaigns continue to work as threat actors adapt. “They use current affairs and holistic social engineering techniques, at times hunting down target fear and a sense of urgency or importance,” she said.

A recent trend among threat actors, he continued, is attempting to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns by building trust with intended victims through extended interactions with individuals or through existing interactions between coworkers. .

Roger Grimes, a defense campaigner with KnowBe4, a security awareness training provider in Clearwater, Fla., stressed that social-engineering attacks are particularly resistant to technical security.

“Try as much as you can, there is no great technical defense so far that prevents all social engineering attacks,” he told TechNewsWorld. “This is especially difficult because social engineering attacks can come across email, phone, text messages and social media.

Even though social engineering is involved in 70% to 90% of all successful malicious cyber attacks, it is the rare organization that spends more than 5% of its resources to mitigate this, he continued.

“It’s the number one problem, and we treat it like a small part of the problem,” he said. “It’s the fundamental disconnect that allows attackers and malware to be so successful. Until we see this as the number one problem, it will continue to be the primary way attackers attack us. It’s just math.” “

two things to remember

While TA423 used email in its phishing campaign, Grimes notes that opponents are moving away from that approach.

“Attackers are using other methods, such as social media, SMS text messages, and voice calls to do their social engineering more often,” he explained. “This is because many organizations focus almost exclusively on email-based social engineering and the training and tools to combat social engineering on other types of media channels are not at the same level of sophistication in most organizations.”

“That’s why it’s important that every organization builds an individual and organizational culture of healthy skepticism,” he adds, “where everyone is taught how to recognize the signs of a social engineering attack, no matter how it comes.” , web, social media, SMS messages or phone calls – and it doesn’t matter who it appears to be sent by.”

He explained that most social engineering attacks have two things in common. First, they come unexpectedly. The user was not expecting this. Second, it is asking the user to do something that the sender – whatever he is pretending to be – has never asked the user to do it before.

“This may be a valid request,” he continued, “but all users should be taught that any message with those two traits is at very high risk of being a social engineering attack, and should be verified using a reliable method. as if calling that person directly on a known good phone number.”

“If more organizations taught two things to remember,” he said, “the online world would be a much safer place to calculate.”

When I installed panels on my San Jose house in the early 2000s, I was an early adopter of the current generation of solar technology, only to see a rapid decline in yield from those panels over the next 20 years.

At our latest home, we use current generation LG panels that promise to hold over 90% of their production capacity for the same amount of time. However, not only am I unable to get the Tesla batteries I ordered last year (I’ve been told I can get them by next summer), I know I’m wasting a ton of energy because of my energy consumption. Usage is unregulated.

A truly green home isn’t just solar. It has a managed energy system so you can optimize usage. But home energy management systems that work well with solar are extremely rare, and I’ve been disappointed with everything I’ve tested.

Lunar Energy, run by former Tesla executive Kunal Girotra, appears to be one of the first next-generation solar companies to focus more on electrical efficiency than generation.

Lunar Solar is an early version of an upcoming wave of companies that will rapidly branch from solar production to energy management, providing a strong ROI for their products.

This week let’s talk about how we manage electricity, and how appliances are made by moving to solar power. Then we’ll end with our product of the week: the new Dragonfly Folio from HP.

problem with solar

Solar energy is cheap. In fact, it’s free but, sadly, the technology we need to use is next to nothing. My previous installation, which was heavily subsidized by the California and US governments, still cost me about $30,000 – even after subsidies – and my current system is closer to $100,000.

The direct benefit is that my electricity bill has gone up from $700 a month to less than $50 during the summer. But winter is a different story. You see, solar energy is powered by the sun. In winter when the sun is low on the horizon, it doesn’t power the panels as much, but you still need the energy to heat the house.

Admittedly, most of my house is now heated with gas, but I would like to go completely electric. It still cut my energy bill by about two-thirds, but the solar only works during the day and when the sun comes out. So, if you don’t want to go dark at night or on cloudy days, you need some sort of alternative power source.

If you are connected to the grid without a battery, you will still lose power if the power goes out on a hot summer day (as happened to me the other day). Batteries are not only expensive, but you must also draw enough electricity to charge them and power your home during the day, increasing the need for more solar-sourced electricity.

Now if you live on-grid, you will not have to pay this every night, but only if you discharge the battery during an outage. If you go off-grid, that means you’ll need about 30% additional capacity.

But what if you also focus on improving efficiency?

Firms like Lunar Energy promise

This is where these next generation solar companies are focused: less on generating energy and more on increasing the efficiency of energy use. While Lunar Energy is working on more efficient whole-house batteries, initially their overall effort is focused more on efficiency than production.

If you can make your home more efficient, you don’t need as much solar or as many batteries. This efficiency focus works whether you are solar powered or powered from the electric grid. You can use an energy management system no matter where you source your power.

You can also potentially do things like power down your chargers when the battery they’re charging is at full capacity and only turn them back on when those batteries are below 50%. This will help the battery last longer and potentially reduce daily energy usage.

In the past, tests of the Energy Star rating system showed huge holes in their process. This manageability will also expose devices that are idle, forcing equipment manufacturers to improve their energy efficiency, and catching people who may still be gaming the system.

next generation solar devices

There are now companies like Sundanzer that have built appliances for off-grid homes over the years, but the features and capabilities of these appliances remind me of what my grandmother had in the 1960s. Manual defrost, no cold water or ice-making capabilities, limited capacity and, for the most part, nothing you’d call attractive. But they are incredibly efficient.

What I anticipate with the next generation of devices from companies focused on solar homes blends the efficiency of off-grid offerings with the capabilities and presence of the current generation of modern appliances – so we can have the features that An off-grid product we want close to efficiency.

wrapping up

Lunar Energy is one of the first generation of solar power companies to focus more on efficient use of energy than its own generation.

I expect that by the end of the decade we will see entirely new companies in the market with increasingly efficient appliances, more advanced home energy management systems, better whole-house battery solutions, and a more comprehensive approach to green energy generation and use. Will see you come

We are just at the beginning of this solar energy wave. Over the next 20 years, kitchen and home designs will change, appliances will change, and we will use AI to ensure efficient use of every watt of energy we generate. Overall, this effort should result in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas formation and a major step towards combating global climate change.

Technical Product of the Week

HP Dragonfly Folio G3

I get to review a lot of laptops over the course of a year, and the one that has consistently been my favorite is the HP Folio. This line has gone through several iterations. It started out as a consumer-focused device, went into business with the Elite Folio, which I’m used to writing this, for the launch of its successor: the HP Dragonfly Folio G3.

The Elite Folio fixed my biggest complaint with the Folio was the contrasting colors. It came in brown and burgundy, and I’m sure the ’80s wanted their color back. But the previous generation, HP went black, used updated Qualcomm Snapdragon processors and graphics, and improved the pen dock and SIM slot. With all this, the Elite Folio becomes my favorite laptop of the year.

Well, I just recently got the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 and now my old Elite Folio is sadly out of date.

HP Dragonfly Folio G3 Notebook

HP Dragonfly Folio G3 / Image Credit: HP

HP found that IT buyers just didn’t want to risk a Qualcomm product. While that chip worked fine for me—and I really appreciated the massive battery life—other users complained about it getting worse. This is due to running an x86 emulator which pulled performance from the part that was performance-constrained.

In addition, Intel has reassured IT buyers that they need vPro, although most don’t currently use that capability (Microsoft is working to make Windows work with ARM that will eventually match performance with Snapdragon). should solve the problem).

So, the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 has improved the camera, added a privacy screen option, and while it has taken a battery life hit, it’s noticeably faster (the Snapdragon part of Qualcomm leads the industry in battery life).

In short, HP took my favorite laptop and made it better, so I’m in love again, and the HP Dragonfly Folio G 3 is my product of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

While we are accustomed to the new generation electronics just like the previous ones, the electronics segment is not protected from inflation. With recent announcements of semiconductor price hikes in 2023, consumers should move quickly to lock in lower prices this back-to-school and holiday season.

It started in June with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest semiconductor foundry, announcing a price hike in 2023 and now falling dominoes.

TSMC’s announcement was followed by a similar announcement by Intel, and DigiTimes reported that Marvell and Qualcomm informed their customers that they would increase chip prices. It now appears that most, if not all, semiconductor companies are following along with price hikes of their own.

Price hike passed on to consumers

As a key component to everything we use in our daily lives, from electric toothbrushes and toasters to smartphones and cars, an increase in semiconductor prices will force similar increases across the value chain and ultimately those increases will be passed on to consumers. will be passed on.

Even the service charges charged by communication, internet and entertainment companies are likely to increase as they pass on the rising prices of their new equipment.

These pricing announcements are not surprising.

The semiconductor industry is grappling with capacity and supply chain constraints during the surge in demand during COVID. Previously, foundries pushed for greater investment in future capacity by their semiconductor customers or faced the consequences of losing manufacturing priority and/or higher prices.

But, with continued limitations and rising raw material prices, foundries and integrated equipment manufacturers (IDMs) such as Intel, Microchip and Micron are all facing the same problem – rising costs.

no quick fix

As Tirias Research has previously indicated, there is no easy solution to solving semiconductor supply issues. Most of the new fab capacity will be built to support new manufacturing process nodes where higher costs can be recovered through higher profit margins.

This leaves constraints on older process nodes until demand subsides as new products are introduced on advanced process nodes and additional capacity becomes available for older nodes.

With automotive, industrial, medical, and even some consumer applications using the same chips for five years, 10 years, or even longer, older process nodes and existing manufacturing capacity are past the level of manufacturing demands. Will take years

Additionally, it takes at least two years to build and commission a new semiconductor fab, even at an existing construction site. While some foundries have committed to building new fabs, much of that commitment was based on aided funding from the US and EU governments, which has been very slow to come.

As of writing this, the US has funded the CHIPS and FABS Acts, but it is unclear how those funds will be allocated and when the funds will be available to semiconductor manufacturers.

more inflationary pressure

These issues are bad enough, but when combined with continued shutdowns in China, limited mining for raw materials, bottlenecks in shipping, and labor shortages, the semiconductor industry, like all other industries, will succumb to inflationary pressures.

The only real solution to this issue is a reset in demand, which translates to an overall correction, aka bearishness, of the market. While the economy is headed for a recession, it will take time, possibly a few years, for inflation to slow down and balance prices of everything from disposable income and raw materials to consumer goods.

As a result, when it comes to electronics, the best plan for consumers is to lock in prices for this back-to-school and holiday season as higher prices will be the norm in 2023.

The cloud gaming market appears to be poised for some significant growth, though it will be tough for new players to enter the scene.

In her newsletter published Tuesday, consumer technology guru Elizabeth Parks said the cloud gaming market is at an inflection point as heavyweights in the industry continue their involvement in it, and the popularity of gaming in consumer homes grows.

By 2021, 75% of leading US broadband households report playing video games for at least an hour a week, and 30% of those households admit to subscribing to or testing out a free or paid gaming service, according to Parks . Who is the President and CMO of Parks Associates in Edison, Texas.

“Cloud gaming services provide a new opportunity to serve the gaming market and capture the consumer segment without gaming consoles or PC gaming hardware,” she wrote.

“Continuing advances in technology, growing expectations for entertainment consumption to be cross-platform, and the potential for cloud gaming inclusion in ecosystem strategies make this an interesting market to look forward to,” she said.

some new entrants

However, Parks predicted that there would be few new entrants to the market. He said that setting up and operating a cloud gaming service is extremely costly and challenging.

He continued, the most important requirement is performance-competitive cloud infrastructure. It is expected that if there are new entrants, given the status of existing competitors, it will be a party that is willing to employ the cloud resources of one of the existing competitors, or that they already have sufficient cloud computing. is infrastructure.

One place a new player can get the infrastructure is what it needs, said Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology consulting firm in New York City. “Google’s decision to focus on white label offerings indicates that it thinks it has better prospects in partnership than going as a first-party service alone,” he told TechNewsWorld.

The window for newcomers isn’t closed, but it can be narrow, he said. “It’s still a bullish market,” he said. “In contrast to the relatively expensive subscription end, there are more opportunities at the low-cost, ad-driven end of the market.”

battling established brands

Mark N. Venna, president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, Calif., agreed that conditions are becoming tougher for newcomers to the market.

“For companies that do not have a history in the gaming space, it is difficult to be seen as credible, as many established players have strong brand reputations around gaming, especially from the standpoint of a legacy gaming title, ‘ he told TechNewsWorld.

“Both Microsoft and Sony really captured the market a few years ago by grabbing some of the more prestigious gaming studios with franchise titles under their belts, which shuts down potential new entrants,” he said.

“Netflix, for example, is clearly trying to foray into the cloud gaming space and is running into difficulty because they don’t have well-known titles in their gaming arsenal and, more importantly, they are being used by consumers for gaming. Not considered as destination,” he said.

Established players can also trade losses for market share. “Microsoft has focused on using its cloud service as a losing leader. Most companies can’t afford to do that,” David Cole, an analyst at DFC Intelligence, a market research firm in San Diego, told TechNewsWorld. told.

Entering the gaming market is usually a daunting proposition to begin with, and doing it on the cloud poses additional hurdles, maintained Michael Inoue, a principal analyst at ABI Research, a global technology intelligence company.

“A new cloud gaming service will have a competitive disadvantage in most cases when it comes to game libraries,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Publishers aren’t ready to put their games on every cloud gaming service.”

“In some cases,” he continued, “publishers may push their own platform, enter into pre-existing deals with other cloud gaming services, or simply not agree to the business model.”

cross-platform demand

Still, Inouye said the market is huge and there are opportunities available for new players, especially in mobile gaming.

“Mobile-based cloud gaming, at least for premium services, can be challenging in many cases due to competition with free-to-play,” he said, “but may find success in the Asia-Pacific region because there “K gamers have shown willingness to pay for mobile game-based content, although revenue per player is low.”

Parks also predicted that consumer desire for aggregation in the video streaming market would extend to cloud gaming. Cloud gaming service customers can respond to marketing campaigns focusing on the simplicity of a single point of subscription, purchase, billing and consumption — one that allows them to play across platforms, she wrote.

Along with increasing the appeal of the services to consumers, he said, this aggregation approach potentially generates more revenue for game developers by increasing their reach and making it convenient for consumers to subscribe to their content services.

“More consumers are seeking cross-platform gaming experiences so that they can experience and participate in gaming, regardless of the device they are using – console, smartphone, tablet, PC, or even… That Chrome laptop,” explained Vena.

“Gaming has now become a multi-platform phenomenon and gamers do not want to be affected by gaming on a single device or OS platform,” he continued. “This is a result of the multi-device world we live in now, which is only to grow in importance as 5G connectivity becomes more widespread.”

thrifty gamers

Inoue agreed that there is a growing demand for cross-platform titles as a whole, and gamers especially appreciate it when buying games cross-platform — meaning, if you buy a game for a console, you have There’s access to the PC version – but gamers can be frugal, too.

“At the end of the day consumers will always welcome the opportunity to play their games on more platforms, but it’s not like they have to pay for every copy or settle on all platforms to get that capability,” he said. .

“Gamers who are willing to upgrade their hardware will not accept poor PC or console performance just to gain access to content on all three platforms for the same price,” he concluded.

Sometimes the world of smart technology innovations collides with the planet of dumb customer service provisions. That confrontation usually doesn’t bode well for the customer.

In my case, that scenario is especially true. I bought Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet 5 from a leading national electronics store at an attractive price. In the end, it was a purchase I wish I could undo.

The Duet 5 is considered by many reliable reviews as the best overall ChromeOS tablet / detachable computer available this year. Its large screen and detachable full-size keyboard create a usable and fun tablet experience that isn’t available with pure Android devices.

To me, that honor does little more than reaching that point. In fact, if your primary need for a Chromebook is to run Linux apps, think again about not buying Lenovo’s Duet 5. You may find a unit like mine that works even if Linux doesn’t. That failure is not considered a valid claim under Lenovo’s warranty.

I have become very fond of Chromebooks. ChromeOS devices complement my home office cadre of Linux computers. They link to my Android phone and its apps. I can run the same productivity apps and access their data directly on the Chromebook.

What fueled my fascination with the Duet 5 is it’s logical follow-up to the very popular 10.1″ original Duet that I bought a few years back. The Duet line has a detachable keyboard and is a stand-alone ChromeOS tablet.

Putting need versus need aside, I debated the potential for greater productivity and convenience with a bigger screen at 400 nits, a bigger keyboard, and 8GB of RAM. I knew the manufacturer and the retail store as well as the product line. Or so I thought.

What could have gone wrong? Three things: a failed product, no support, and a warranty that didn’t work!

maybe a lot

The last thing I needed to buy was another Chromebook. Over the years, I’ve used four or five models from HP, Lenovo and Asus.

The Duet 5 seemed to check all the boxes. As it turned out, the check mark for reliable technical support and customer service went out of the box.

No, I could not return the computer. By the time I realized its faulty nature, the undo window was closed.

I think this incident would prompt me to buy expensive add-on store warranties for less expensive electronic components. Adding insult to injury, Lenovo tech support said the malfunction was “out of the scope of the manufacturer’s one-year warranty.”

A final correspondence from Lenovo’s tech support told me that if I sent the device to its repair facility, all technicians would do is reset the unit to its original OS state and remove Linux.

Heck, I’ve already done the same thing twice.

Lenovo buyer beware

This account is not intended for product reviews. Rather, it explains what happens when corporate arrogance destroys the customer experience.

I usually write about business technology issues and open-source development affecting the Linux OS. My reporting beat overlaps with e-commerce and customer relationship management (CRM) issues.

As a technical writer and product reviewer, I’m used to having manufacturers send me their own products in hopes of showing off their best wares. Marketing wonders often offer high-end configurations to capture the attention of consumers. They go out of their way to make sure the reviewer is completely satisfied.

It’s too bad that mindset isn’t always present when inferior consumers are on the receiving end. But I wasn’t using a lending unit, I’d send back anyway, satisfied or not. I have purchased this model and have no plans to review it. I just wanted to use it.

My personal experience further hardened my resolve not to buy Lenovo products. Not because of a bad product encounter. Lenovo lost my customer loyalty due to shoddy customer service and no dedication to solving my problem with a bad computer I made.

white detail

According to Lenovo’s ill-conceived logic, the warranty on Chromebooks doesn’t cover user modifications. Since I ran into a problem with activating the Linux partition, deleting the partition, and not reinstalling Linux apps when I bought it, I was guilty of modifying the device.

To clarify, all Chromebooks require the user to have a Linux partition on and install Linux apps. The same process goes for using Android apps on a Chromebook.

Chromebooks are built to run ChromeOS and optionally run in separate built-in containers of Android and Linux software. Google certifies the hardware to make sure the software works.

ChromeOS likewise enables users to access websites in a browser environment. An additional option lets users access those web destinations to run application services within a tabbed browser window or as Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) in their own separate window.

That’s what Chromebooks are designed to do on any manufacturer’s hardware. Turning on/off these built-in features should not be considered as “modifying” the device.

tech support helm

A few weeks after getting the Duet 5, I only experienced one intermittent screen flicker problem. This cleared up after a system update. do not worry. No worries.

that time i turned on linux partition and installed the same linux app i use on my other less endowed Chromebook. Those devices worked fine with the same apps.

But Lenovo Duet 5 froze after loading Linux apps and running for few minutes. Messy installations happen. So I did what is standard troubleshooting. I have reset ChromeOS to its original state. Then I set up the Linux partition and resized it beyond the Google-recommended minimum size.

not a solution to the problem. So I wiped the Linux partition again. This time around, I installed a single Linux app at a time, looking for the culprit that stunned others. Every Linux app froze in isolation.

Lenovo technical support declined to examine or test the hardware. Agents suggest finding an affiliated tech center to pursue a solution.

stuck with no option

I would have happily done so. But the nearest such Lenovo repair center was about 150 miles across state lines.

I contacted the Google Chromebook support community for an alternative solution. A support person there had me run the “df command” in a Linux terminal to determine the physical health of the partition.

A readout of that diagnostic confirmed that the device contained a valid and working Linux container. This partially settled the question about the hardware. However, it did not identify what other hardware issues could be involved.

The Google support forum tech then suggested that I find one or more dude packages by following the procedure outlined above. But, of course, I have already done this many times.

poor lesson learned

If you’re planning on buying a Chromebook just to get easy access to selected Linux apps, seriously consider my experience. Maybe look elsewhere instead of Duet 5. Several Chromebook alternatives exist.

Who knows? Maybe the Linux apps on your Duet 5 work just fine for you. As I said, I haven’t had this situation on any other Chromebook product I’ve used.

No doubt my experience was a gross anomaly. The worrying part of all this is that I will never know the reason for it.

But if you buy the Duet 5 from a retail outlet directly from the manufacturer, be sure to confirm how that store honors the warranty. Now you know how Lenovo honors its warranty.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

Having trouble understanding the person at the end of the support line you’ve called to get some customer service? A Silicon Valley company wants to make problems like this a thing of the past.

The company, Sunus, makes software that uses artificial intelligence to remove accents in the speech of non-native, or even native, English speakers and output a more standard version of the language. “The program performs phonetic-based speech synthesis in real time,” Sharath Keshav Narayan, one of the firm’s founders, told TechNewsWorld.

Furthermore, the voice characteristics remain the same even after the accent is removed. The sound output by the software sounds the same as the voice input, only the pronunciation has been removed, for example, the gender of the speaker is preserved.

“What we’re doing is allowing agents to keep their identity, keep their tone, it doesn’t need to change,” said Sunus CEO Maxim Serebryakov.

“The call center market is huge. It’s 4% of India’s GDP, 14% of the Philippine GDP,” he told TechNewsWorld. “We’re not talking about a few thousand people whose Along with their cultural identity they are being discriminated against on a daily basis. We are talking about hundreds of millions of people who behave differently because of their voices.”

“The concept is sound. If they can make it work, that’s a great deal,” said Jack E. Gould, founder and principal analyst at J.Gold Associates, an IT consulting firm in Northborough, Mass.

“It can make companies more efficient and more effective and more responsive to consumers,” he told TechNewsWorld.

talking local

Gould explained that local people understand the local dialects better and engage better with them. “Even talking to someone with a heavy Southern accent gives me pause sometimes,” said the Massachusetts resident. “If you can be too much like me it affects the effectiveness of the call center.”

“Many call center employees are located overseas and customers may have trouble understanding what they are saying in terms of strong accents,” said John Harmon, a senior analyst at CoreSight Research, specializing in retail and technology. told TechNewsWorld, a global advisory and research firm.

“But the same could be true for the regional American accent,” he said.

However, Taylor Goucher, COO of Connext Global Solutions, an outsourcing company in Honolulu, cited discounts as a source of customer frustration.

“It is well known that companies outsource call center support to different countries and rural parts of the United States,” he told TechNewsWorld. “The bigger issue is the positioning of employees and the right selection for the training and processes to make them successful.”

customer perception

Harmon notes that consumers may have a negative reaction when they encounter a support person with a foreign accent at the other end of a support line. “A caller may feel that a company is not taking customer support seriously because it is looking for a cheaper solution by outsourcing service to a foreign call center,” he said.

“In addition,” he said, “some customers may feel that someone overseas may be less able to help them.”

Goucher cited a study conducted by Zendesk in 2011 that showed customer satisfaction dropped from 79% to 58% when a call center was relocated outside the United States. “Everyone I know is likely to have a bad customer experience at some point in their life with an agent they didn’t understand,” he observed.

He said the biggest problem with poor customer experience is the lack of support systems, training and management oversight in the call center.

“Too often we see companies take call centers offshore just to answer the phone.” They said. “In customer service, answering the phone isn’t the most important part, it’s what comes next.”

“Agents, Accent or No Accent, will be able to deliver a winning customer experience if they are the right person for the role, have the right training, and have the right tools to solve customer problems,” he said. “It’s easy to say the pronunciation is the problem.”

prejudice against accents

When a customer support person doesn’t have the tools to solve a problem, it can be a huge disappointment for the customer, Gold said. “If I call someone, I want my problem solved, and I don’t want to go through 88 steps to get there,” he said. “It’s frustrating for me because I spent a lot of money with your company.”

“Anything that can be done to get over that hump faster has many benefits,” he continued. “From a consumer standpoint, I have the advantage of not annoying. Plus, if I can move faster, it means the service person can spend less time with me and handle more calls. And If I can understand the problem better, I won’t have to call about it again.”

Even if a customer support person has the equipment they need to provide the highest level of service, accents can affect the caller’s response to the person on the other end of the phone line.

“A customer may be bothered by decoding a foreign accent,” Harmon said. “There’s also a stereotype that some American accents seem illiterate, and a customer may feel like the service provider is getting cheap support.”

“In some cases, I think the biggest pre-existing bias is that if the agent has an accent, they won’t be able to solve my problem,” Goucher said.

options for voice

Serebryakov noted that one of the goals of Sunus is to provide people with options for their voice. “When we post photos on Instagram, we can use filters to represent ourselves however we want,” he explained. “But you don’t have a uniform medium for voice. Our mission at Sunus is to provide that kind of choice.”

Although Sunus initially targeted call centers for its technology, there are other areas that have potential for it.

“One of the biggest uses we see for the technology is in enterprise communications,” Narayan said. “We got a call from Samsung that they have 70,000 engineers in Korea who interact with engineers in the US, and they don’t talk in team meetings because they’re afraid of how they’ll be interpreted. That’s the next use case That’s what we want to solve.”

He said the technology also has potential in gaming, healthcare, telemedicine and education.

Sunus announced a $32 million Series A on June 22, marking the largest Series A round in history for the speech technology company.