Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • It’s no secret that many of us are turning to email and electronic communication and abandoning the time-honoured craft of writing letters. If you wish to make all of your communications digital, though, and are trying to figure out how to convert those last few letter-writers to email, there’s a U.S. company that is prepared to do it for you.

    Outbox mail delivery service proposes to take your physical mail and convert it to digital for you. They pick up your mail three times a week, scan it, and then send it to you digitally, so you can read it all from your iOS device, or your Android device thanks to the app released for the platform last week. It lets you sort the mail into folders, so you can collect up bills in one place and letters from loved ones in another (or whichever sorting method you so choose).

    Outbox has now made its beta version of the service available to all San Francisco residents, not just its small initial testing area. The service has launched in Austin, Texas,

    Read More »from How your snail mail could end up in your email inbox and why it’s a bad idea
  • Must-see videos of the week – August 30

    Just when you thought the summer blockbusters were over, it seems like we’ve got all the makings of a big-budget (okay, maybe B-movie) alien invasion in this week’s video roundup. Freaky weather and strange creatures feature prominently in our first two videos. We’ve also got a scary scene on a racetrack, a new take on Shakespeare and a motorist's moves to put a smile on your face. Here are this week’s must-see videos:

    1. Ominous storm clouds roll over city

    In what looks like a scene out of a movie (you know, right before the aliens invade), this footage of clouds rolling over a city is a pretty freaky site. The exact location of this video is unknown, but if I saw something like that coming in, I’d sure as heck run for cover. According to Scott Sutherland, our Geekquinox blogger and local weather expert, it’s what those in the biz call a “gust front,” a particular cloud formation that forms ahead of thunderstorms due to warm, humid air surrounding the storm meeting the cooler air under

    Read More »from Must-see videos of the week – August 30
  • Anyone running iOS 6 on their iPhone may have to be extra cautious with their Twitter stream today, as a string of text has been found that can cause the mobile operating system to instantly crash.

    Tech Crunch reports that a bug is causing a particular string of Arabic characters to crash both iOS 6 as well as OS X 10.8, the most recent publicly-available operating system for Macs. It appears that the bug doesn’t happen in the upcoming iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 Mavericks, both to be released this fall.

    Here is a picture of the text, if you’re curious:

    This bug was discovered yesterday and posted to a Russian website, which claims that Apple has known about the problem for six months. While there is no proof that Apple has been negligent in fixing the situation, it’s at least encouraging to see that the new operating systems won’t be impacted by this bug.

    [ More Right Click: iOS 7 expected to hit September 10, leaked email shows ]

    As for how a single line of text can make your iPhone have a

    Read More »from The single line of text that can cause your iPhone to crash
  • 44% of users who were infected were using old versions of the Android OS , known as 'Gingerbread'.All phones, like all computers, are at risk of being infected with malicious software, if you’re not careful. But if you want a phone that is less likely to contract malware, newly published information from the Department of Homeland Security suggests you might want to think carefully about your Android device.

    According to the memo, 79% of malicious attacks on mobile phones in 2012 occurred on Google’s Android operating system. Nokia’s Symbian software had the second-most attacks, the BBC reports, while Apple’s iOS had only 0.7% of all attacks.

    But that information should be taken with a pretty big grain of salt. Before you stop yourself from buying a new Android device, consider this: 44% of users who were infected were using old versions of the operating system, specifically 2.3.3 to 2.3.7 (code named ‘Gingerbread’). This operating system is over two years old; Google has since released newer operating systems with safeguards against certain known malware.

    [ More Right Click: Sorry,

    Read More »from The mobile operating system most likely to get infected with malware

  • Nintendo 2DS handheld gaming systemIf you’ve been eyeing the Nintendo 3DS handheld gaming system, but aren’t interested in the higher price or its 3D functionality, Nintendo just announced a product for you… maybe.

    Today, Nintendo unveiled the Nintendo 2DS, a handheld gaming system that allows you to play all of the 3DS games on the market, but without the 3D viewing option. It will go on sale for $129.99 USD on October 12.

    All other functionality of the 3DS is kept in this new version; you’ll still be able to connect to the Internet via WiFi, play local multiplayer, and download games from the Nintendo eStore. It’s also backwards-compatible with Nintendo DS titles.

    [ Related: ‘Animal Crossing: New Leaf’ and the kind of people it teaches its players to be ]

    There is, um, one major difference. Unlike the Nintendo 3DS, or the previous generation’s Nintendo DS, there’s no clamshell design, allowing you to close the system and keep your screens protected. Like the Gameboys of yore, your screen will be exposed to the elements

    Read More »from Nintendo 2DS announced by Nintendo for entry-level gaming
  • iOS 7 expected to hit September 10, leaked email shows

    If you’re not in the market for a new iPhone and just want to get your hands on the new mobile operating system, your wait may soon be over.

    According to an email sent from a developer, iOS 7 will be available to the public on September 10, the same day as Apple’s anticipated iPhone event.

    [ Related: New iPhone expected September 10: reports ]

    The Verge reports an email was sent by Nuance, the company who’s responsible for Siri, to developers yesterday, encouraging them to test the speech components of their software ahead of the September 10 iOS 7 launch to the general public:

    (Image from

    Owen Williams, the developer who received the email, says that this is “about as real as it gets outside of Apple itself inviting the media to the event,” in light of Nuance’s relationship with Apple in the past.

    It also means that the release of the new iPhone (or iPhones if the rumours of a mid-range model are true) will probably come shortly after September 10, too. There has never been a day-of release of the

    Read More »from iOS 7 expected to hit September 10, leaked email shows
  • The lives of jealous girlfriends were just made more difficult as Google has taken down a Brazilian app for Android designed to help you keep track of a potentially wandering lover.

    The app, called ‘Rastreador de Namorados’ (translated from Portuguese to ‘Boyfriend Tracker’), was released about two months ago and according to its developer Matheus Grijo, had attracted about 50,000 users. But last week, Google pulled the app. A spokesperson told The Associated Press that Google doesn’t comment on why an app has been removed, but critics of tracking apps like these say that they’re a violation of privacy rights.

    But that doesn’t seem to have slowed down interest in the app in Brazil.

    “Brazilians are a jealous people, what can I say? Of course it’s going to be popular,” Marcia Almeida, a woman in Rio who attributes her divorce seven years ago to infidelity.

    [ More Right Click: Hacker exposes Facebook security flaw on Mark Zuckerberg’s wall ]

    To use the app, a user had to first install the

    Read More »from Sorry, stalkers: ‘Boyfriend Tracker’ app pulled from Google Play store
  • (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


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