• A computer screen is pictured at TV5 Monde after the French television network was hacked.A computer screen is pictured at TV5 Monde after the French television network was hacked.

    It’s the modern nightmare: You try to log on to email one morning and find your password doesn’t work. It quickly becomes clear the account has been deleted.

    Meanwhile, your Twitter account begins spewing career-suicide vitriol, your bank account is being drained, and your computer is being remotely wiped, so say goodbye to the first five chapters of that Great Canadian Road novel you were working on. You’ve been hacked.

    And if you’re not being robbed blind, you still may have someone rooting through your online life.

    Last week, we learned that Canada is among several countries that tried to hack into mobile phones with the idea of making the world a safer place (though what that means is open to interpretation).

    With that in mind, here are five tips for keeping hackers (of all stripes) at bay:

    Be smart about passwords

    Having Google at our fingertips has trained us out of the habit of remembering anything, but that doesn’t excuse lazy password craft. It may be easier to remember your

    Read More »from Canada may have conspired to hack mobile phones, but you can protect yourself
  • Pollution billboard (Courtesy of Snapshot)Pollution billboard (Courtesy of Snapshot)

    Okay, this is either very cool or really creepy – and we want to know what you think.

    The South China Morning Post reported last week that an innovative DNA technology – which can deduce the shape and appearance of a person’s face from a DNA sample – is being used to shame litterbugs in Hong Kong.

     The giant city is being inundated with literally thousands of tons cigarette butts, used coffee cups, discarded newspapers and other forms of casually tossed away and unsightly waste.

     So here’s what can happen now:

     You toss some garbage onto a Hong Kong Street.  It gets picked up, and tested for DNA.  An American company – Parabon Nanolabs – uses the DNA to create an approximate picture of your face.  Then giant marketing agency Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong puts your face on a billboard at the site of your littering offence as part of a shaming campaign called “The Face of Litter.”

     

    A photo illustration of a man who littered. (Courtesy of Snapshot)A photo illustration of a man who littered. (Courtesy of Snapshot)

     But, to put it mildly, there are some ... inaccuracies. 

    No matter how good this face-deduction process is

    Read More »from Cool or creepy? China finds a way to shame people who pollute
  • Alberta Premier Rachel NotleyAlberta Premier Rachel Notley
    The Alberta NDP recently made history for becoming a government with the highest proportion of women in caucus, but the case in other provinces, and federally, is not nearly the same.

    A few years ago the most provinces were led by a female premier, but now only three remain: Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. On the federal scene so far, candidates for the next election are primarily male and gender representation in the House of Commons next fall could pale in comparison to what it is now.

    Amid the troubling numbers for those seeking gender parity at all levels of government, Carleton University’s Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership and Equal Voice, a national advocacy group, have produced a how-to guide for women wanting to enter the world of politics.

    “Running for office can be intimidating but we need many more women to consider jumping in,” said Clare Beckton, executive director of the Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership.

    Just looking at the

    Read More »from New how-to guide seeks to get more women running for office
  • When U.S. news gossip website Gawker wanted to raise $200,000 to buy a video of and release it to the world, donors stepped over each other to contribute, knowing they’d never see their money again and probably wouldn’t see the video. They still haven’t.

    And when Facebook post surfaced in 2012 showing U.S. school bus driver Karen Klein being bullied by kids to the point of tears, the outraged masses ponied up more than $700,000 to send her on a vacation. She took the trip and said she’d use the rest of the money to retire.

    This is crowdfunding, and stories like these are sure to grow in number as the Generation X and Yers who drive it build more disposable income.

    Originally the domain of artists and inventors looking to fund projects, crowdfunding has gone decidedly mainstream, totaling $16.2 billion in 2014, and is expected to top $34 billion this year.

    It’s easy to see why. Platforms like Indigogo and Kickstarter let you start a fundraising campaign with little more than an idea.

    Read More »from Crowdfunding has money to spare, but needs some rules
  • Because everyone and their grandmother has a smartphone these days, it's important to learn how to protect yourself from unsafe apps and, ultimately, the threat of being hacked.

    The topic got us buzzing when it was reported last week that spy agencies in Canada, United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand tried to find ways to extract data from servers used by Google and Samsung's mobile app stores using an easily hacked app.

    The compromised app, identified as UC Browser, is a very popular mobile browser in India, China and North America. Unsuspecting people who used the app could have had their phone number, SIM card number and details about the device leaked to servers in China.

     A case like this, where the countries knew about the vulnerabilities in UC Browser but didn't inform the public, raises questions about whether or not it should be their responsibility to do so. Instead of waiting around for something to happen, we've listed some ways you can better protect yourself

    Read More »from Smartphone safety: How to avoid being hacked through your apps
  • Team Canada's Christine Sinclair.Team Canada's Christine Sinclair.
    The Women’s World Cup will begin in Canada next week under a cloud cast by the indictments and arrests of officials from the sport’s international governing body and its affiliates.

    The U.S. State Department announced Wednesday it has indicted 14 officials from FIFA, associated organizations and sports marketing executives, alleging a sweeping bribery and kickback scheme linked to broadcast rights for the World Cup and other tournaments dating back more than two decades.

    Swiss authorities arrested seven of those people at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice and announced its own investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

    Canada Soccer, organizer of the Canada 2015 Women’s World Cup, says they are “extremely disappointed” by these developments but support all efforts to eliminate this type of behaviour in the sport.

    “As the host nation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, the Canadian Soccer Association is

    Read More »from Does FIFA corruption scandal mean Women’s World Cup woes for Canada?
  • It’s not about dress codes, but Caitlyn Cannon’s high school yearbook quote has made a splash thanks to a strong message that mixes humor, positivity, and affirmation.

    Cannon’s senior wrote in the Oak Hills High School read “I need feminism because I intend on marrying rich and I can’t do that if my wife and I are making .75 cent for every dollar a man makes.”

    Cannon’s yearbook picture was posted to Tumblr, where it took off this week. To date it’s reached almost 100,000 notes, which has taken Cannon by surprise, to say the least.

    Yahoo Canada talked to Cannon about her quote, and the thinking behind making the statement all her classmates will associate with her name from now on.

    Yahoo Canada: What made you think of putting this statement in your yearbook quote?

    Cannon: I wanted to say something more than a repeated

    Read More »from Brave yearbook quote cleverly makes fierce political statement
  • Minister for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre Minister for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre
    Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre announced a few amendments to the government’s Bill C-50 Thursday, but made no apologies — or changes — to parts of the bill that have raised concerns about restricting voter rights.

    C-50, the Citizen Voting Act, would change the Canada Elections Act and alter the way Canadians living abroad vote in federal elections.

    Among other things, the bill eliminates the International List of Electors and rolls that information into the general register of electors for all Canadians and requires electors outside of the country to apply to vote by special ballot after a writ is dropped, and not before.

    Poilievre appeared before the procedure and House affairs committee Thursday morning and defended a bill that critics have said is a solution looking for a problem — namely, attempting to prevent voter fraud overseas, where there’s little evidence of any real issues to warrant changing the Canada Elections Act.

    The opposition has also accused the

    Read More »from Poilievre pushing to have controversial changes in Citizen Election Act in place before next  election
  • With protests at two Ontario schools this week making the news, attention has turned once again to the topic of dress codes. As Andrea Stokes, the mother of a student who drew national attention for a dress code violation in 2014, said, it’s “getting to be that time of year again.”

    Most of the conversation around dress codes has focused on the unnecessary sexualization of teen girls, and the issue of whether dress codes promote rape culture. But as the protests have gotten louder, more administrators are speaking up to say no, dress codes aren’t just about distraction. While the rules vary from school to school, Yahoo Canada found five reasons why institutions say their dress codes are necessary.

    To uphold school principles
    Nicholson Catholic College is a public high school in Belleville, Ont. The school’s motto is “Enlightened by Knowledge. Enriched by Faith.” Originally founded as a private school in 1960, the school is part of the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School

    Read More »from Five reasons schools have dress codes
  • There’s been much controversy surrounding Eugene Melnyck’s public plea for a liver and his ensuing successful transplant. Some say the owner of the Ottawa Senators used his wealth and public profile to his advantage, jumping the queue ahead of other Canadians on a wait list. Regardless of diverging opinions on that subject, there’s no denying his case has raised awareness of life-saving live donations tremendously.

    “Canadians die every day waiting for an organ,” says Aubrey Goldstein, president of the Canadian Transplant Association and a liver transplant recipient himself. “Many people don’t realize how much impact they can have with a donation.”

    While people often associate organ donation with a dying person’s wishes, live donation is becoming more common, with people getting used to the idea of sharing a piece of themselves while they’re alive and well.

    The most urgently needed organs from living donors are kidneys and livers. More than 3,420 Canadians are waiting for a kidney and

    Read More »from The Melynck effect: NHL owner's plea raises awareness on organ donations

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