Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • The best and worst provinces for cell phone contracts

    While the CRTC is in the process of conducting hearings on the wireless code in Canada, some provinces have taken wireless regulation into their own hands.Cell phone contracts seem to be one of the biggest technological gripes Canadians have, no matter where in the country you are. With less aggressive competition than in the United States and the CRTC apparently slow to react to the changing nature of the market, we’re often saddled with expensive penalties for roaming, leaving contracts, or just about anything else wireless companies think they can make a buck on.

    But that seems to be changing, at least if recent laws being passed by provinces are any indication. While the CRTC is in the process of conducting hearings on the wireless code in Canada, some provinces have taken wireless regulation into their own hands.

    [ Related: New area codes appearing across Canada due to need created by mobile phones ]

    For Quebec residents, cell phone contract legislation is nothing new. The government tabled legislation back in 2009 to protect consumers, which came into effect June 2010. The idea behind Bill 60 was to protect users from long-term

    Read More »from The best and worst provinces for cell phone contracts
  • (Image of KT-X from Robot MarketPlace)Ever since I first watched The Jetsons and saw their beloved household robot Rosie, I've had dreams of getting my own personal robot assistant. While there are plenty of robot-like household items now available, ranging from the Roomba to GPS systems, nothing quite compares to the idea of having a humanoid robot as your own personal helper.

    If you too dream of a robotic companion but aren't looking to build your own, you can always order one pre-assembled from KumoTek Robotics.

    KumoTek makes a variety of humanoid robots, all with various degrees of motion and functionality. The KT-X can walk, run, somersault, and stand up from a face-up or face-down lying position. More advanced users can program the robot to pull itself up when it falls over, too. To control the robot, all you need is a standard wireless PS2 game controller, and you'll be able to make your robot move at its 17 joints (degrees of freedom) through its body. It runs an H8 CPU with a 60MHz HV processor and 512 kb ROM/64

    Read More »from Must-Have Monday: Dreams of having a robot butler can finally come to life (sort of)
  • Map of Canadian area codes from the CNAOver the next decade, many Canadians will be seeing new area codes in their parts of the country, and the high demand by mobile devices is largely the reason why.

    But it’s not just the activation of mobile devices that’s causing this need for more telephone numbers, it’s the ways we’re using them, too.

    Glenn Pilley, Director of the Canadian Numbering Administrator, explained to Yahoo! Canada News that while mobile phones do play a significant role in the number of phone numbers a person has, there’s a variety of apps and other mobile devices like tablets that are using those phone numbers, too.

    “Items like iPads, which use cell phone frequencies, are assigned telephone numbers,” Pilley explained. Many of tablets on today's market can operate on the 4G or LTE networks in Canada, the network as cellular devices. In order to operate on those networks, the device needs its own phone number.

    Pilley added that there are also apps on many mobile devices which can be used for text messaging

    Read More »from New area codes coming to Canada due to high demand by mobile devices
  • Meet the editorial cartoonists for Yahoo! Canada

    Two of Yahoo! Canada's editorial cartoonists, Wes Tyrell and Terry Mosher (also known as Aislin) discuss the importance of editorial cartoons, and the impact they can have on Canada's political landscape.

    Visit Yahoo! Canada News for a new cartoon every day. Check it out on our homepage, or go through all our comics in our gallery.

  • BlackBerry pushed an update dubbed “update 2.1.0.1526” which includes improved bridging with “legacy” BlackBerry devices, improved browser speed, boosted audio and a better experience when setting up Yahoo! and Gmail accounts.Last week, the first BlackBerry 10 phone, the BlackBerry Z10, hit store shelves in Canada, getting people across the country excited about the new operating system. If you’re a BlackBerry Playbook user however, you might have to wait a little bit longer before you can join in on the fun.

    BlackBerry pushed an update last night, dubbed “update 2.1.0.1526” (much less titillating than “BB10”) which includes improved bridging with “legacy” BlackBerry devices, improved browser speed, boosted audio and a better experience when setting up Yahoo! and Gmail accounts, Mobile Syrup reports. The BlackBerry App World has also been re-branded to be in line with the BB10 BlackBerry World App and the ability to make purchases in-app.

    [ On Y! Finance: BlackBerry Playbook update coming on heels of BB10 ]

    One of the biggest changes that comes with the legacy functionality improvement is the ability to interact with SMS messages on the BlackBerry Playbook.

    But that’s going to do little to placate those who

    Read More »from BlackBerry Playbook update disappoints those waiting for BB10
  • The bill was characterized by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews as “either stand with us or with the child pornographers".Earlier this week, the federal Tories put to rest the ‘Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act,’ a bill which sought to fight child pornography by allowing police to intercept and track online communication.

    Largely characterized by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews standing in the House of Commons and saying “either stand with us or with the child pornographers,” the bill was initially characterized as the best means the government had of tracking those conducting illegal activity online.

    Unfortunately, the powers that the bill granted police were far-reaching, and its implementation would have meant that police could watch anyone’s Internet activity at any time across Canada.

    Privacy and civil rights groups fought back, and with the death of Bill C-30, it looks like they’ve won their battle.

    But the war is far from over.

    [ Related: TekSavvy to get more time to inform customers about legal action ]

    OpenMedia.ca, an online privacy group that has been active in the fight for

    Read More »from Bill C-30 killed by Conservatives but Internet privacy may still be at risk
  • Rumours are beginning to surface about Apple’s next big thing: a wearable digital device dubbed the iWatch.

    According to The Daily Mail, Chinese websites began reporting in December that Apple is working with chip-maker Intel on developing a “wrist-worn gadget.” The report went on to say that the device, thought to be going on sale sometime this year, would be Bluetooth enabled and have a 1.5-inch OLED display.

    For designers, though, the inevitable smart watch by Apple has been an object of speculation for years. The concept designs have widely varied, ranging in style, functionality and futuristic features but have all largely adhered to the same Apple esthetic, making any of them viable (some may be more plausible than others). Here’s a collection of some of those designs:

    The smart watch concept has already started to gain momentum with the Pebble, an e-paper watch that began as a Kickstarter project and became one of the highlights at this year’s CES. Many of the features expected

    Read More »from Apple’s iWatch still a rumour, but designers try their hand at bringing it to life
  • USB Typewriter
    As even BlackBerry moves away from its emphasis on physical keyboards, we’re all slowly learning to adapt to the cold, slick reality of touchscreens and virtual keyboards. If you’re one of those who yearns for the feeling of a real keyboard, or whose ears perk up at the clickity-clack sound of keys, all hope is not lost.

    One intrepid Etsy seller has created a way to use your iPad while typing on a typewriter. The USB Typewriter, sold by Etsy member Jack Zylkin, offers you somewhere to dock your iPad, essentially turning it into a screen while you type happily away on one of several styles of classic typewriter.

    [ Last week’s Must-Have: Never run out of batteries again with device-charging bags ]

    What makes these particularly cool is the fact that they are real, classic typewriters that have been converted to work with the iPad. If you don’t own an iPad but want one of these machines anyway, fear not: USB Typewriter works when plugged in as a keyboard to PCs and Macs as well. It

    Read More »from Must-Have Monday: Take your iPad on a vintage typing journey
  • With Valentine’s Day coming next week, it’s the perfect time to reflect on how much that special someone means to you — and how they could royally screw you over if you’ve shared all your passwords with them, and then break up.

    The results of McAfee Canada’s annual Love, Relationships and Technology survey don’t bode well for people who feel the need to show their love through electronic means. According to the survey, about 10 per cent of adults have had personal content leaked to others by their partner without permission. And considering the type of ‘personal’ content that is sent over Valentine’s Day, that can lead to some pretty embarrassing situations.

    [ Related: Sheriff posts billboard to wish constituents a happy Valentine’s Day ]

    When you start looking at the numbers of the survey, it’s easy to see how those personal files can end up getting out. Only four in ten users lock their mobile devices with a password, yet 60 per cent say they have personal or intimate photos, emails

    Read More »from Love can lead to leaked personal data, depressing pre-Valentine’s Day survey finds
  • Facebook isn’t going anywhere on February 29

    It seems kind of amazing that these posts are still going around, but once again, it looks like some people are being duped by a chain letter-style Facebook post telling them that the social network won't be available February 29-31, 2013.

    And it's kind of funny, because they're right.

    While the website won't be making any changes or shutting down for maintenance in the foreseeable future, it won't be accessible on those days -- because those days don't actually exist. February 29 only comes up in leap years (which this year is not), and February 30 and 31 aren't real calendar days.

    [ Related: Facebook privacy notice is a hoax, so don’t bother posting it ]

    Nevertheless, many people have likely seen this post appear on their Facebook wall, asking them to spread the word:

    "Share this message with at least 15 of your friends for the best chance of alerting everyone," reads a message circulating on Facebook, according to Mother Nature Network. "Many people will try to log in from February

    Read More »from Facebook isn’t going anywhere on February 29

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