Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • (Photo courtesy BuzzFeed)(Photo courtesy BuzzFeed)

    You know Songza and Grooveshark, Rdio and YouTube.

    Google Play Music, SoundCloud and iTunes.

    But do you recall, the most famous music streaming service of all?

    After years of waiting, Canadian music listeners have access to Spotify, one of the most popular music streaming services out there. For years, they've bemoaned having to settle for other streaming sites and other alternatives, or have needed to get creative when it came to gaining access to the site. Now, they have full access to both the free and premium services on the site.

    By signing up for Spotify, users have instant access to a massive catalogue of over 20 million songs. It can be searched by artist, album or song, and a deep playlist functionality similar to Songza is built into both the desktop and mobile apps. Users can also build their own playlists, which can then be shared with friends on social media.

    The full, ad-free Spotify Premium experience costs $9.99 a month, but users can also opt for a free account. Users

    Read More »from How (and why) to get Spotify, Canada's newest music streaming service
  • iPhone and Android users may be loyal to their brands, but there doesn't seem to be any technology fanbase quite as devout as the BlackBerry user. In the face of financial troubles, a short-term CEO and an ever-diminishing slice of the smartphone marketshare, BlackBerry fans remain true to their handset of choice.

    Today, their patience has paid off. At an event in Waterloo, Ontario today, BlackBerry (with the help of Wayne Gretzky) launched its latest smartphone, the BlackBerry Passport. The square-screened device, offering a wide screen and physical keyboard, which doubles as a touch pad, is the first new device since BlackBerry launched the Z30 last October.

    [ Yahoo Finance: BlackBerry Passport signals a deliberately different company ]

    We took a look at what reviewers around the 'net are saying about the new BlackBerry Passport, and here are some of the highlights and lowlights of the new device:

    The Wall Street Journal:

    [I]f this were a romantic comedy, the new BlackBerry
    Read More »from The reviews are in: BlackBerry Passport is odd, but a gift to the core BlackBerry fan
  • The last thing you want to have happen to your brand-new smartphone is have it bend out of shape. But unfortunately, that's exactly what a lot of iPhone 6 Plus owners are reporting as happening.

    The issue was brought to light on the Apple blog and forum site MacRumours, where users started highlighting their issues with bent smartphones on Tuesday. Shortly after, a blogger with Geek.com reported seeing the same issue, and even showed the damage that had been done with this GIF:

    The two users who posted to the MacRumours forums reported that the iPhone 6 Plus had been placed in a pocket, and then after several hours of sitting, the phone showed a visible bend near the volume buttons on the phone. User hanzoh reported that he placed the phone in his front pocket, drove four hours to a wedding, sat for dinner, did some dancing, then drove four hours back. When he took it out of his front pocket and placed it on the coffee table, the phone appeared to be slightly bent.

    Another user

    Read More »from Bendgate: Some Apple iPhone 6 Plus users report phones bending in their pockets
  • If there’s one thing you need to know about anacondas, it’s that they don’t like to be messed with.

    Unfortunately, not everyone heeds that advice.

    Just last week we posted a story about a math teacher in French Guyana who captured a 17-foot-long anaconda in his backyard after it had eaten his neighbour’s dog.

    And now comes a new video, this time of a group of Brazilians who come across one of these massive serpents on a riverbank. Instead of leaving the massive predator alone, these guys chase it down, much to the opposition of the female passenger on the tiny boat.

    Anacondas are not small snakes. They can grow up to 30 feet in length, weigh more than 500 pounds and measure more than 12 inches in diameter.

    The yellow anaconda in this video doesn’t appear to be 30 feet long, but it isn’t exactly a baby, either. And its distended stomach – it appears to have been found fairly soon after a substantial meal – only make the sight of the great beast even more frightening.

    Yellow anacondas

    Read More »from Brazilian boaters come across terrifying giant anaconda, start pulling its tail
  • Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik speaks during an interview with Reuters.Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik speaks during an interview with Reuters.

    If you want to take rational, patient people and turn them into just the opposite, there's a simple way to do it: Put them on an airplane.

    A group of passengers on board a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight were stuck waiting for two hours on the tarmac. When it became clear that the delay was because of a politician, leader of the Pakistan People's Party Rehman Malik, the passengers were not impressed.

    When Malik, a former interior minister, finally sauntered down the hallway to board the plane, an angry mob prevented him from entering. The whole incident was caught via the phone camera of one of the passengers:



    According to witnesses and The New York Times, passengers shouted at Malik from the front of the plane and eventually Malik turned around and left.

    In an interview about the incident, Malik said he was not responsible for the dramatic scene, and blamed his opponents.

    "I felt the drama was created by some passengers who were PTI folks," Malik said, referring to the

    Read More »from Passengers angrily block politician from boarding plane after two-hour delay
  • With less than a week until Scotland's independence vote, residents are giving the subject a good hard think.

    And it looks as if one of Scotland's most famous residents needed to take a little vacation to mull it over, if a new photo is to be believed.

    Famed mythical creature of Loch Ness, known fondly as 'Nessie,' was "spotted" by a photographer more than 150 miles from its usual watery home, all the way in the Lake District in England, if the pictures taken by an English woman are to be believed.

    The Mirror reports that photographer Ellie Williams had set up her camera on a tripod in Windermere by a lake, hoping to get photos throughout the day of the changing fall colours.

    What she says she saw when reviewing the photos, however, was this shot of Nessie.

    The Huffington Post points out a couple of red flags on the veracity of this image:

    1. It came out just after Scottish banks promised they would leave if Scotland became an independent country.

    2. The photo was first shared by

    Read More »from Monster on the move: Photo shows 'Nessie' hundreds of miles from Loch Ness
  • Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger poses with his official portrait.Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger poses with his official portrait.

    In many respects, the new official portrait of former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is quite lovely. It's a very photo-realistic painting done by Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein, and will look splendid hanging in California's Capitol building.

    Except for that smudge ...

    A keen eye will notice that on portrait-Arnie's left lapel, there's an out-of-place smudge which just doesn't seem to reflect the detail of the rest of the painting. Turns out, that's where Maria Shriver's face used to be.

    When Schwarzenegger sat for the painting back in 2003, he was married to Shriver, quite happily by all outward appearances, and he wore a small pin with her face on it.

    "It was actually a cute gesture when he had it done," said Clay Russell, a former Schwarzenegger aide, to the Los Angeles Times.

    Unfortunately, the marriage between Shriver and Schwarzenegger dissolved in 2011, shortly after the end of his time as governor of California, in light of the news that he had fathered a

    Read More »from Maria Shriver removed from Arnold Schwarzenegger official gubernatorial portrait
  • Albertans share pics of late summer snowfall

    A jogger runs through the snow at Nose Hill Park during an early year snow fall in Calgary (Reuters)A jogger runs through the snow at Nose Hill Park during an early year snow fall in Calgary (Reuters)

    Ahh, those last lingering days of summer: There's nothing like one last trip to the beach, a visit to the farmer's market for those final strawberries of the season, or having a snowball fight with the first flakes that hit the ground.

    Wait, what?

    While most of the country won't see the white stuff for a little while yet, some Alberta residents saw snow on September 8, to the absolute joy of some, and the chagrin of many others. And like all good Canadians, many were quick to pop their heads outside and snap a photo, then post it to social media.

    Read More »from Albertans share pics of late summer snowfall
  • How to prevent your own iCloud naked photo fiasco

    Everyone has heard by now that somewhere in the dark recesses of the Internet (or at least 4chan), there is a trove of naked celebrity photos procured by a hacker from Apple's iCloud server. People are still theorizing as to how exactly it was done, but Apple has mobilized and says it fixed the problem exploited by the hacker that allowed access to iCloud, and the FBI is now investigating. But that probably doesn't make Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, or any of the other celebrities involved feel any better.

    In light of the news, tech journalist Marc Saltzman tweeted out some straightforward advice for keeping yourself safe:

    We break down how to implement each of his suggestions:

    Two-step authentication

    This method is being employed by several major companies, including Google and Microsoft, to

    Read More »from How to prevent your own iCloud naked photo fiasco
  • 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)(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

    Read More »from All ready for school? Don’t forget your peripherals!

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