Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • Rob Ford, Doug Ford to host new show on YouTube

    First was their long-running radio show. Then there was their short-lived (one episode) reality show on Sun News. Now, the Ford brothers are taking their brand into their own hands with plans for a new web series.

    On Thursday, Councillor Doug Ford told a local radio station that the brothers were planning on launching a YouTube series that will reportedly be called ‘Ford Nation,’ the same title as their brief Sun News television show.

    The Fords say that they’ll be footing the bill for this YouTube series, expected to come out sometime “before Christmas.” It’s probably a good thing they’re paying for it to, because putting on a Ford show sounds like a costly endeavour.

    Sun News vice president Kory Teneycke told the National Post that the lone episode of ‘Ford Nation’ the station produced used “as many resources as we would usually use for 8 hours of daytime programming … the economics of that don’t work well over the long term.”

    More on Rob Ford:

    Will crack confession prevent Rob Ford from

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  • Must-See Videos of the Week: November 22

    In this week's video roundup, we hope you get you thinking about the happiness that the holiday season can bring, the wonders of nature, and why we love the pets in our lives. Here are the videos you can't miss this week:

    With Christmas just over a month away and the holiday season close at hand, festive videos have begun to cross our screens this week. This little guy asked Santa for a very unique gift last year — a red bar of soap — and unfortunately didn't get it when he opened his presents on Christmas Day (the one he received was decidedly pink). So Santa brought him just what he asked for the following week, along with an apology. Watch the video for the boy's priceless reaction.

    [ Last week's Must-See Videos: Rare ball lightning caught on video ]

    A group of teen boys with a passion for making YouTube videos decided to conduct a social experiment in Las Vegas: How would girls react when they tried to pick them up, with the aid of a 2013 Red Ferrari Italia 458. Warning: if the

    Read More »from Must-See Videos of the Week: November 22
  • (Screengrab from The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary' game)

    Just weeks before the one year anniversary of the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, a video game creator has released a game reenacting the tragedy.

    Unsurprisingly, the game has drawn anger and a lot of criticism for its subject matter, and many online, including the family of a teacher killed in the incident, are saying that the game is not the way to remember the shooting.

    In ‘The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary,’ the player takes on the role of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old shooter who walked into Sandy Hook Elementary and fatally shot 20 children and six adult staff members. The game opens with a scene asking the player to “shoot your mother,” as Lanza shot his own before heading to Sandy Hook Elementary, where the player navigates the school as Lanza, following on-screen instructions to shoot at students and staff members.

    At the end of the game, the player gets a total number of people killed alongside a list of the statistics reflecting the

    Read More »from ‘Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary’ game reenacts fatal shootings, stirs fury online

  •  Thanks to the growing use of ‘telemedicine,’ doctors are able to help patients in remote areas by virtually attending to them. Whether it’s because the patient is in an area without doctors, or because they need a specialist located inconveniently far away, technology is increasingly closing the distance between them.

    Dignity Health, a San Francisco-based healthcare provider with hospitals in several states, has begun to use ‘robot doctors’ in order to better serve patients when the correct specialist is not available. About five years ago, The Associated Press reports, these machines were being used to help diagnose stroke victims. Now, the company uses them in about 20 different California hospitals to better connect patients and specialists in neurology, cardiology, neonatology, pediatrics and mental health.

    “Hospitals are now using this kind of technology to leverage the specialists that they have even better and more efficiently,” Yulun Wang, CEO of InTouch Health, told AP (via one

    Read More »from ‘Robot doctors’ help patients get access to care anywhere
  • (Screengrab from the tedium of updating your status across all social media is just too much to handle, don’t worry : there’s an app for that.

    At this year’s Hack Princeton hackathon, a group developed “What would I say?”, an app for Facebook that can spit out statuses on your behalf so you don’t have to write them.

    In an effort to try and emulate what you’d say, based on what you’d posted in the past through probability algorithms. Here’s the explanation from the creators:

    “Technically speaking, it trains a Markov Bot based on mixture model of bigram and unigram probabilities derived from your past post history.”

    Markov Bots are programs written with artificial intelligence based on a Markov chain. In simple terms, it is a random process that works within a finite set of variables, creating the illusion of conversation when really it’s just picking from terms you use and short phrases it has been programmed with to seem as if it’s somewhat intelligently responding when you give it information. These

    Read More »from ‘What Would I Say?’ app generates Facebook statuses for you… sort of

  •  Batman is a favourite superhero for many little boys and girls, and that’s especially true for five-year-old Miles.

    In fact, his dream was to one day fight crime like Batman. And that day is today.

    On November 15, San Francisco was transformed into Gotham City, all so one little boy could be its hero. Miles has been battling leukemia, and as part of his Make-A-Wish Foundation dream, 12,000 volunteers showed up in superhero capes and to help make the world of Batman come to life for Miles.

    According to NBC Bay Area, Miles’ day started when the Batphone rang at the Grand Hyatt hotel. Miles was transformed into Batkid, donning a Batsuit complete with muscles, a cowl and the all-important utility belt. He also brought along his trusty sidekick, Robin (who’s alter-ego is Miles’ little brother).

    In addition to the thousands of volunteers, Batkid’s heroic

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  • The newest gaming system from Sony is only days away from hitting store shelves in Canada and the U.S., and fans are getting hyped. On November 15, expect to see lineups out the door at your local electronics and gaming stores, with eager fans hoping to get their hands on what will be an exciting leap forward in the world of video games.

    I had the chance to test out a PlayStation 4 at a preview event this week in Toronto to play one of the launch titles, Knack, and get a feel for what Sony’s next console is like:


    On the outside, the PlayStation 4 looks like a streamlined (almost italicized) PS3. It appears slimmer, and has lost the curve of the PS3 in favour of sleek angles. The ports for controller plugs and the disc slot appear almost invisible in the new style of console, as the area for them is inset into the middle of the front panel.

    Inside, there have been plenty of changes, too, although if you want to know all the nitty-gritty, I recommend checking out this link. From my

    Read More »from PlayStation 4: A sneak-peek at Sony’s new gaming system launching this Friday
  • (Image from YouTube)While the rest of us are marveling at how smartphones are evolving, or dreaming of the day we’ll have Minority Report-style screens at our fingertips, another community is thinking of the future in an entirely different ways, looking for ways we can hack our bodies and change the way we use them with evolving technology.

    Tim Cannon, a biohacker in Essen, Germany, has implanted a Circadia 1.0 computer chip into his arm, one of very few people to have such a procedure done. In an interview with Vice’s Motherboard blog, Cannon shows off the cellphone-sized implant in his left forearm and explains how it was implanted under his skin by a body modification professional.

    Watch Cannon’s interview with Motherboard to learn more about the device (note: some strong language used):

    Because the device isn’t approved by medical authorities, Cannon had to turn to the body mod community for expertise in safely implanting the device. Steve Haworth, who Motherboard describes as one of the pioneers of body

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  • Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA has just concluded its first virtual flea market, which sought to help its customers sell their old furniture with a boost from IKEA’s marketing department.

    While the campaign was, at its core, a unique advertising opportunity for IKEA, it also shows how companies can work with customers using their various digital channels to help sell their goods.

    According to Mashable, a Norway-based advertising agency partnered with IKEA Norway to sell the used furniture of 50 customers. Agency SMFB promoted the products online through the IKEA Norway Facebook page, as well as in print, broadcast and billboard advertisements for the second-hand furniture. Each ad featured the name of the person selling it and their phone number, just like a traditional classified ad.

    The campaign was designed to promote the new IKEA catalogue under the premise that the people selling their furniture needed to make room for their new IKEA furniture. While the benefit for IKEA is

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  • A little boy who wandered on stage during an appearance by Pope Francis seems to be quite attached to the Pontiff.

    At a gathering at the Vatican last weekend to celebrate the Year of Faith, an unknown boy ran up on stage and gave Pope Francis a hug around the leg. Pope Francis patted him on the head, and carried on with his speech. It was clear the boy had no intention of leaving, however, and stayed on stage with the Pontiff for several minutes.

    Despite the encouragement of aides, he refused to return to the crowd.

    [ More Good News: British teen with acute stammer finds his voice ]

    He even briefly joined Pope Francis’s staff, helping to lead a little girl up to meet him. It looked like he may have even higher job aspirations, however, as he took a seat in the Pope’s special white chair for a brief stint.

    It doesn’t look like Pope Francis really minded having the boy on stage with him. He simply patted him on the head occasionally, and continued with the event.

    Read More »from Little boy steals the show, won’t leave Pope’s side at Vatican event


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