APRIL 1, 2019 VOLUME 5 ISSUE 1 (past issues)
New Conductor Plugin Store Unveiled
A brand-new plugin store in the Conductor opens the door for strategic developer partnerships with Tempered. Several partners have already developed plugins available in this initial launch. For example, a new LinkedIn plugin sends HIPnet invite codes out to business contacts. An IFTT plugin allows Conductor-based monitors and alerts to trigger various Internet-connected services. Social networking plugins for services such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram bring social networking to the Conductor UI.
“I like to get a private notification posted to my Facebook feed when my secure tunnel goes down,” explains one beta tester, “and I can share events and network stats with other coworkers without leaving the Conductor UI.” Another tester remarked, “it’s convenient when our plant engineers need a change in network policy due to moving equipment, they can just tweet me the request.” Previously, antiquated phone calls or emails were used to register such requests.
Another much-anticipated plugin is Foresee survey prompts in
Conductor, which pop up at the worst possible time and
can provide valuable usage and opinion
information to organizations, to seamlessly raise awareness
of issues before they escalate.
Santa Statue Repurposed as Telepresence Bot
Remote workers had a new option to help them through both the Viadoom and Snowpocalypse events in Seattle: use of a new telepresence bot. The omnipresent office Santa statue has been outfitted with wheels, pan-and-tilt camera, and a large screen for viewing the faces of remote workers.
“Even though I couldn’t get out of my frozen driveway it felt like I was right there in the PDR meeting,” wrote one of the developers surveyed on their Santa Telepresence experience. “The audio and video quality were actually not too bad.”
Of course, the TeleSanta is secured using a Linux HIPserver that joins it with the Kibbles, Alpo, Milkbone, Milkbone2, Chip, and other test networks.
SmartOrb: World’s First Smart Fitness Ball
A side project of one of Tempered’s hardware engineers is a new SmartOrb smart fitness ball. The ball is intended to replace your office chair, and features Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity. While not strictly related to secure microsegmentation, the SmartOrb does function as a security device -- with the ability to unlock your computer using your unique gluteal signature. The SmartOrb tracks your weight, integrating with popular fitness apps, and furthermore your movement -- with customizable reminders to stand up and take a break to remain active during the day. A limited number of SmartOrbs prototypes are available to Tempered employees for testing, before limited production runs begin for sales.
Emoji, Giphy Tags Now in Conductor
The tagging feature in Conductor just got a lot more graphical, since tags can now include Giphy images and emoji characters. Emoji characters are added when creating a tag, via a new emoji drop-down selector next to the text input field. The Giphy plugin, available via the new plugin store, integrates with the search site for adding short looping videos, which are scaled down to fit the tags UI.
Push-To-Talk Option Added to HIPswitch
The HIPnet freemium demo has long had a push-to-talk option in the iOS and Android HIPapps. This feature has moved out of demo-ware into an actual hardware option available for the HIPswitch-250 and HIPswitch-150 platforms. The HIPswitches are often placed in the factory floor, but controlled by network admins on the Conductor in the office or data center. The new HIPswitch PTT feature establishes a secure comms link between those workers connecting equipment and the administrators configuring policy for that equipment.
“Yeah we could use that to talk to the help desk, and to
coordinate shifts down in the plant,” commented Rick
Robinson, a Tempered customer from the energy sector, ”When
something goes wrong it’s nice to not have another piece of
equipment just for voice. I mean cell phones don’t really
work down here.”
Study Quantifies Money Lost Due to Meeting Setup Time
Tempered Networks helped lead a groundbreaking study on
how much money small and large businesses in the U.S. lose
each year due to conference room setup time. As a general
rule, the first 10 minutes of any given presentation are
lost due to WiFi connection issues, displays not detecting
correctly or toggling video inputs, dongle searching, and
dialing in audio teleconference lines or setting up
screen-sharing software like GoToMeeting or WebEx. “So
everyone in the room is usually sitting in limbo, waiting;
some audience members trying to offer suggestions of how to
get the right video input,” reported Brad Davila, a study
co-author, “and you multiply out all those minutes times
all those people, figuring in the cost of each employee,
and you get the dollars lost for each meeting.”
HIPapps Add HIPchat and HIPpay Features
The latest update to Tempered Networks’ iOS and Android HIPapps brings two new services sure to be popular with users.
HIPchat offers secure private online chat and instant messaging, with the ability to form topic groups. Unlike similar competing services which are cloud-based, HIPchat involves direct communication over secure tunnels, controlled by device policy. Files and pictures can even be shared in the chat rooms. Mobile users can additionally chat with online Conductor users.
And similar to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Facebook Messenger Payments, HIPapp mobile users can use HIPpay within HIPchat to quickly send or request money from other users. The mobile payment and digital wallet service does use HIP technology to secure payment information sent to Tempered’s HIPpay payment processing servers. HIPpay can further be used at contactless point-of-sale terminals. HIPpay also integrates with HIPcoin as a method of payment.
“I really like the convenience of paying with my HIPapp
for Starbucks, then using that same app to secure my
communication over the public WiFi there,” reported one
pilot user testing HIPpay.
Surge in Canadian Developers as Seattle Gains NHL Team
Tempered hired it’s sixth Canadian developer this week
as many Canadian software developers flood the region,
following Seattle’s announcement of hosting the NHL’s
newest hockey team.
Git vs Slack
The number of Slack channels are proliferating faster
than the number of Git repos at Tempered Networks,
according to a new IT study. One of the reasons for this
phenomenon is reportedly that the entire company uses Slack
and has the ability to create channels, whereas Git repos
are typically used only by Product Development for new
software projects. The number of Slack channels have been
growing at a rate of 17 per month, while Git repositories
hosted on Bitbucket have a rate of 10 per month.
Pull Request Awards Announced
As a follow-up to Developer Personas, this year Tempered project managers identified common trends in pull requests. Developers were awarded based on their pull request behavior in the following categories:
Ultrasonic Dog Alert Option Available for HIPswitches
Tempered announced a small but powerful hardware option for HIPswitches having USB ports: HIPsonic Alerts. HIPsonic hardware emits an ultrasonic tone that alerts nearby guard dogs, who inevitably erupt into a barking frenzy. Developed under the code name The Furlinator, after the canine-enthusiast employee who pioneered the idea, HIPsonic Alerts have been demonstrated with triggers such as Snort intrusion detection, HA failover events, or critical device ping failures.
“Crooks aren’t jumping the barbed-wire fence that often
anymore,” said plant manager and TNW customer Rory
Otterman, “so this gives our pack of guard dogs something
else to do. There’s nothing else on the market that can
bridge the cyber and the physical like this.”
Debate over C++17 Versus C++20 Gets Ugly
Developers have been debating whether to adopt the C++17 or C++20 language standard for their C++ codebase, in a series of meetings that started to get ugly -- with no resolution in sight. Designated initializers, concepts, and three-way comparisons are all features touted by the C++20 camp; meanwhile the C++17 proponents say that the nested namespaces, fold expressions, “if constexpr”, std::any, and Bessel functions are some of the new language features that will be enough to carry Tempered into the next year of development.
A Slack channel has been created so interested parties
can debate the decision, without bothering the rest of
Product Development, who appear uninterested in picking
a side. Key features slated for the next firmware
release depend on resolution of this debate.