Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • Must-see videos of the week: Feb. 23-Mar. 1

    Sometimes, we can't help but give in to our animal companions. The first two of this week's must-see videos show just how expressive our pets can be, and why, even when they do something wrong, we still have to love them. Throw in some human creativity, and here are our five favourite videos from this week:

    Maybe it's just me, but with a face like this, I could never stay mad. Achilles here was caught trying to climb onto the kitchen table in an attempt to get some food, and he knew he was going to get a talking to from his owner, James Hignett. Chances are good that when he walked into the room to face his owner, Achilles's approach was enough to melt any anger away.

    [ Last week's must-see videos: Fly larva crawls out of woman's ear ]

    And now, for a much more unconventional pet, but evidently one just as emotive. Gevan the highland cow was rescued from slaughter in 2013, and now lives at an animal sanctuary in Scarborough, Scotland. She's got an undeniable love for a good hair

    Read More »from Must-see videos of the week: Feb. 23-Mar. 1
  • Toronto hospital live-tweets heart surgery

    (CBC Photo)Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital has become the first Canadian hospital to live-tweet a surgery this morning, CTV News reports, sharing the details about the procedure with an online audience in the name of education.

    Starting at 8 a.m. EST, the @Sunnybrook account (or follow along in our live feed here) began posting 140-character tweets about the surgery, and photographs and videos as it is performed.

    "What's happening will be explained very simply for a lay audience, with the goal of educating the public about heart disease and coronary artery bypass," hospital spokesperson Marie Sanderson told CTV.

    You can also follow the reaction on Twitter by searching for the hashtag #SBheart.

    The patient for the surgery is a man named Lou, who turns 57 today.

    A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

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  • Candy Crush Saga (Image from Google Play store)

    If you look in the Google Play store now and see the game CandySwipe, chances are you’d disregard it as a clone of the popular mobile and Facebook game Candy Crush Saga. And despite launching two years prior to Candy Crush, it’s looking like CandySwipe may soon be no more if an aggressive trademark move by Candy Crush’s maker goes through.

    Albert Ransom of Runsome Apps Inc. posted a heartfelt open letter to King Digital Entertainment, the game developer behind Candy Crush Saga, conceding defeat in the face of legal action the company has taken:

    Congratulations! You win! I created my game CandySwipe in memory of my late mother who passed away at an early age of 62 of leukemia. I released CandySwipe in 2010 five months after she passed and I made it because she always liked these sorts of games. In fact, if you beat the full version of the android game, you will still get the message saying "...the game was made in memory of my mother, Layla..." I created this game for warmhearted

    Read More »from Candy Crush ‘clone’ admits defeat, despite launching two years earlier
  • Who says there's no more truth in advertising?

    Electronics giant Sony has partnered with advertising firm DraftFCB in a curious new marketing campaign for the Sony W Series Walkman MP3 player. Gym rats in New Zealand can now purchase the Walkman from vending machines, where it is dispensed inside a bottle of water.

    Two things may come as a surprise here:

    1. Sony is still making Walkmans.

    2. When the company calls it "waterproof," they don't just mean sweatproof. They mean you can swim with this thing. Sony says it can be submerged up to 6.6 feet (2 metres) underwater, but shouldn't be used in salt water.

    [ Right Click: Artist maps out the Internet into continent, countries ]

    The MP3 player has been on the market since January when it was launched at CES, but this quirky promotional campaign began this week. Yahoo Tech says that the specs on the MP3 player aren't anything to write home about: the $99 Walkman is lightweight and cable-free, but only has space for 4GB of music and is

    Read More »from Sony proves Walkman is waterproof by selling it in bottles of water
  • (Image from NorthKoreaTech blog)

    Based on the photos we’ve of people staring at computers in North Korea, we know that the North Koreans have access to technology, albeit with heavily restricted access to the Internet. A recent post on the blog NorthKoreaTech now gives us an idea of what all those people are looking at.

    Red Star OS is the “home-grown” operating system used in the communist country built on the Linux OS, but it’s made to look like some of the more familiar operating system interfaces. The latest version, Red Star 3.0, has been overhauled to look distinctly like Apple’s Mac OS X.

    (Image from NorthKoreaTech blog)

    [ Related: Surfing the Intranet: North Korea's authoritarian alternative to the World Wide Web ]

    BBC News writes that these screenshots were obtained by American computer scientist Will Scott, who has spent time teaching computer courses at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. Scott told NorthKoreaTech that the latest version of the operating system was released earlier in 2013.

    (Image from NorthKoreaTech blog)

    The prior version of Red Star OS had a

    Read More »from North Korea's Red Star operating system looks suspiciously similar to Apple’s OS X
  • Artist maps out the Internet into countries, continents

    (Image from DeviantART)Back in 2010, popular web comic xkcd created a Map of the Internet, giving a rough idea of which countries and companies owned which IP addresses. The project has inspired a much more ambitious undertaking by amateur Slovakian graphic artist Jay Simons, who has created this incredibly detailed map of all the biggest players online today, in the style of an antique world map.

    As a history buff and owner of the website History Rundown, which analyses various historical events and debates the veracity of historical accounts, Simons blended his interests in graphic design and historical documentation in this project, dubbed Map of the Internet 1.0. While it isn't exactly ancient history, Simons' project is an interesting snapshot of the current "landscape" of the online world, showing major players and events in relation to the Internet including the Alexa Top 500 Global Sites, a timeline of the Internet's history and worldwide Internet penetration.

    Simons says that this map was drawn

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  • The researchers claim 70 per cent accuracy with their current tweet-scanning model. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

    Reading through someone’s Twitter feed can quickly tell you what they ate for lunch and what they thought of last night’s Master Chef, but one study thinks it can also tell you if they are depressed.

    Research is currently underway at Microsoft Research Redmond into how an automated system could be used to scan Twitter feeds for signs of depression.

    Eric Horvitz, co-director of the group, told TIMEthat he thinks the technology is possible, and they’re working to make it happen.

    “We wondered if we could actually build measures that might be able to detect if someone is severely depressed, just in publicly posted media. What are people telling the world in public spaces?” asks Horvitz. “You might imagine tools that could make people aware of a swing in mood, even before they can feel it themselves.”

    So far, Horvitz and his team have developed a model that can scan tweets and predict depression in Twitter users with a claimed 70 per cent accuracy. They’re still working on increasing the

    Read More »from Twitter feed can help predict depression, researchers find
  • Must-See Videos of the Week: Jan. 26-Feb. 1

    It’s been another week of snow and chilly weather here in Toronto, so I’m still in need of reminders about a) why snow is awesome and b) that it won’t be this cold forever. In Australia, for example, right now they’re enjoying some hot summer weather, and it’s a good reminder that in just a few months, we’ll all be complaining about how unpleasantly hot it is and looking forward to more snow. Here are this week’s must-see videos:

    As a part of this year’s Australia Day celebrations, which took place on Jan. 27, Steven Boag created this giant slip’n’slide on his parents’ farm. The result is an epic ride that would be every kid on summer vacation’s dream come true.

    If this little guy’s enthusiasm for snow doesn’t re-ignite your passion for winter, it’s time to move to warmer climates. This enthusiastic and wiggly puppy named Ari is a tad tentative when he first encounters snow, but is quickly bounding through it like a pro.

    Speaking of pros, you have to be incredibly talented to

    Read More »from Must-See Videos of the Week: Jan. 26-Feb. 1
  • (Screengrab of my results from Techland)If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how much time you’ve spent scrolling through your news feed, ‘liking’ friends’ status updates or jealously flipping through your old classmates’ vacation albums, wonder no longer: TIME has a way to find out the answer.

    TIME Magazine’s Techland blog has developed a nifty little calculator to help you figure out the total time you have spent on Facebook over the period you’ve belonged to the social network. The tool has been posted ahead of the ten year anniversary of, as it was first known. That’s right, Mark Zuckerberg’s conception of the site in a Harvard dorm room took place a decade ago.

    The tool works like this: You enter in the average number of minutes a day you spend on Facebook, then after authorizing the app to go through your Facebook account, runs through the timestamps of every post you’ve made to Facebook until it reaches the earliest one. It assumes that is your approximate join date, then calculates, if you spent

    Read More »from How much time have you wasted on Facebook? New tool has the answer
  • Man runs back into burning building to save Xbox

    Some people just don’t seem to have their priorities straight.

    A man in Olathe, Kan. may need to have a good, long think about what he values most in life after a recent fire at his house. He woke up early last Friday to discover his house engulfed in flames, ABC 15 reports, and ran outside to escape.

    Shortly after, however, he ran back inside to get his Xbox. The news story doesn’t specify whether it was an original Xbox, an Xbox 360, or an Xbox One. Upon returning to the burning building, he suffered smoke inhalation, fire officials say.

    An electrical junction box is being pointed to as the cause of the fire, and has caused approximately $80,000 in damages, the Olathe Edge reports.

    [ More Right Click: Pizza Hut’s Xbox 360 app brings $1 million in orders in four months ]

    “Fire and smoke damage was extensive throughout the one-story home,” a representative from the Olathe fire department said in a statement. “Firefighters remind everyone to check their home’s smoke alarms by pressing

    Read More »from Man runs back into burning building to save Xbox


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