Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • (Image from Motorola)The highly-anticipated Moto X is being rolled out across Canada this week, days ahead of the big AT&T U.S. launch. While we won’t necessarily have all the same options that are being offered exclusively through AT&T, like Moto Maker and Motorola Skip, there’s still lots to pique the interest of Android fans looking for a phone packed with Google-flavoured features.

    In an interview with Yahoo! Canada News, Odile Guinot, Vice President of Sales and General Manager for Mortorola Mobility Canada explained that the Moto X is the physical manifestation of the new relationship between Motorola and Google. It’s been about two years since Motorola was purchased by Google, and after reducing the size of Motorola’s workforce and blending teams from both companies, Guinot says that the result is this user-first phone.

    [ Related: Black-and-white issue: No colourful Moto X options coming to Canada ]

    “We took the approach of first understanding the consumer,” said Guinot. “We really wanted to design

    Read More »from Moto X is here in Canada: What you need to know about this feature-packed smartphone
  • Whether you’re a college student who’s going to be hauling your laptop from class-to-class, or a high school student who wants the flexibility of writing papers anywhere, a light and versatile laptop is key to student life. And let’s be honest, if you’re going to be hauling it to school with you for the next four years, you want the latest and greatest. If you’re in the market for a new computer this year, here are five laptops to check out before you hit the books (bonus: alongside the price and where you can get these laptops, we’ve included links to some of the deals available for students, too).


    Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

    You might be surprised by how big the 13-inch, 1080p screen on this laptop feels when you first see it. The whole ultrabook has been designed to have a similar footprint to Dell’s 11-inch models, making it extremely portable and functional. Weighing about 3 lbs, this laptop’s focus is on speed; Dell says the laptop can start up from cold in as little as 12 seconds, and

    Read More »from The latest in laptops for students heading back to school
  • (Image from Khalil Shreateh's blog)Sometimes, all we want is to be heard. That’s how Palestinian IT expert Khalil Shreateh felt when he stumbled across a security flaw on Facebook that allowed him to post on the walls of people outside his network (typically on Facebook, you can only post on the Timeline of your ‘Friends’). But after getting a less-than-satisfactory reply from Facebook, Shreateh decided to take more drastic measures.

    He demonstrated the security flaw with the Timeline of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

    According to the Toronto Sun, Shreateh found the bug, and reached out to Facebook to notify them of the security flaw. Facebook rewards its users for highlighting such flaws with a minimum $500 USD cash reward. But when Shreateh emailed them, a member of the Facebook security team said they only saw an error, not an actual bug.

    [ Related: Facebook makes users discouraged and unhappy, according to study ]

    So Shreateh decided to demonstrate, posting to Zuckerberg’s Timeline and explaining both the bug

    Read More »from Hacker exposes Facebook security flaw on Mark Zuckerberg’s wall
  • All ready for school? Don’t forget your peripherals!

    Earlier this week, we looked at the key gadgets you need to remember for your dorm room. Your computer, however, is so important when you’re away from home that it begs to have a whole list of accessories all for itself. And it’ll take you more than a mouse and a couple of cheap speakers to get you through the year. To be fully prepared for the school year ahead, you want to get these peripherals before you sit down to your first class:

    External Hard Drive

    (Image from Western Digital)If you want to watch all your favourite movies, have your massive collection of photos and all of your music, it’s probably time to get that external hard drive. With storage now in the terabytes, you’ll be able to store every file you ever use or download while at university, if you buy the right drive. Western Digital and Seagate are two of the most well-known hard drive companies, and both offer their products in a range of storage sizes and form factors. I’ve personally used a WD MyBook for years without a problem, and it works

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  • BoooTube, the website for the worst videos online

    If you’re sick of watching stellar videos on YouTube, your prayers have been answered: someone has collected together the worst-rated videos for your viewing pleasure.

    BoooTube has lovingly curated the most down-voted video clips from YouTube to feature on the website. It isn’t just low-rated videos, though. They’re looking for the clips that have captured the attention of thousands, downvoted many, many times, proving that these unwatchable videos were nevertheless watched, and judged to be sub-par.

    So if you’ve exhausted all the quality videos online, head over to BoooTube and remember what awful videos have been uploaded too. The site features Staff Picks for worst videos, including classics like the ‘Controversial Baby Dynamics Yoga’ (and judging by some of the YouTube comments, BoooTube has renewed interest in this and many other poorly-rated videos):

    The rest of the site is filled with videos rated four or five thumbs down. As The Verge discovered while exploring the site,

    Read More »from BoooTube, the website for the worst videos online
  • As students get ready to head back to the classroom, many are also preparing to head off to the dorms – or possibly enter the dorms for the first time. And sure, you’ll have your computer and your smartphone, but there are plenty of other gadgets that every university and college student should seriously consider purchasing before heading off to school. Here are our suggestions for what you need to bring along when you’re going to be living in residence:

    Hot pot

    (Image from Hamilton Beach)

    While I never lived in residence myself, a quick survey of my former dorm-dwelling friends pinned this as the top must-have item for dormitory living. Most dorms ban hot plates, making this item a great replacement that won’t force you out into the shared kitchen every time you want to make Kraft Dinner. It can boil water like an electric kettle, but being able to cook food directly in the hot pot makes it incredibly useful and versatile. Pictured above is a 32 oz. model from Proctor Silex, with a non-stick interior so your KD

    Read More »from The dorm gadgets you don’t want to forget when heading back to school
  • A Thinkpad laptop and an iPad are shown in this combination image. (Reuters)

    For the average university or college student, having a personal computer is imperative. Between researching essays, typing up those essays, and taking a well-earned break from those essays, having a computer is critical.

    Since most students end up lugging their computer from class to class, having something that’s light and portable is important. But that’s leading to an interesting change, as some students are forgoing the average laptop in favour of taking a tablet to class instead. With the right tablet and a few choice peripherals, chances are good you won’t even miss having a full computer.

    [ Check out more Back-to-School tips in our Tech Guide ]

    We break down the pros and cons of each option, to help you choose what will make your school year go that much smoother.

    Laptop

    Pros: As the go-to accessory for many students heading off to college and university, you can get a great bargain on these devices by taking advantage of education discounts. Students can purchase discounted MacBook

    Read More »from Laptop vs. tablet: which is better to take with you to school?
  • A 3-year-old news report explaining the risks posed by data saved in photos online has found a sudden renewed popularity. In light of recent privacy issues highlighted by the Edward Snowden NSA leaks, the video, however fear-mongering it may be, still holds some basic truths about the files we share on the Internet.

    In 2010, before “smartphone privacy” barely registered as a popular search term, a Kansas City news station ran this segment on how smartphone photos could tell others your exact physical location at the time the image was taken:

    Despite its age, the video found a sudden surge in popularity today, garnering an additional one million views on YouTube over August 12 and 13. International Business Times attributes the sudden jump in popularity to the information released by Snowden, alleging that the National Security Agency (NSA) in the U.S. collected the phone records of millions of Americans. While the story is now about two months old, the ongoing saga of Snowden’s

    Read More »from Smartphone picture privacy video stirs up paranoia about online safety
  • New iPhone expected September 10: reports

    The rumours have started, and if they’re true, we’ll be seeing what the next generation of iPhone will look like from Apple in under a month.

    According to a source who spoke to All Things D, a special event will be held on September 10 to unveil the new iPhone. Apple has declined to confirm such an event, All Things D reports.

    As for exactly what we’re expecting, that’s still yet to be determined. We’ve heard reports that this will include the mid-range iPhone 5C, which has allegedly been shown in leaked photos to have a plastic exterior. At the very least, the direct successor to the iPhone 5 (expected to be called the iPhone 5S) should be shown.

    What we can expect if either iPhone is revealed is the new operating system for Apple’s mobile devices, iOS 7. The latest OS has done away with Apple’s previous skeuomorphic design, moving instead to a cleaner look with less “ornamentation,” to borrow a word from Jony Ive, Apple’s SVP of Industrial Design who oversaw the redesign of Apple

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  • (Image from Android official blog)
    The ‘Find My Phone’ feature has been a handy tool for many iPhone users, but until now, Android users didn’t have the same built-in functionality. Now, Android users can take advantage of the same security feature using the newly unveiled Android Device Manager.

    The feature was announced on the official Android blog on August 2, and is now available to users running Android 2.2 or higher. Right now, it’s only got some very basic features, but it should cover the key elements you need from this kind of software.

    If you’re trying to locate your Android device, visit the Android Device Manager web page and (if you aren’t already logged in) sign into your Google account. The website will display a list of all active devices associated with your account, and show you via Google Maps where it’s located. You can track all your Android devices via the drop-down menu.

    Once you’ve found the rough geographic area of your phone, you’re presented with two options: Ring, which will let you locate your

    Read More »from Android users finally get feature long used by Apple users: tracking a lost phone

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