Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • Chocolates at the Nestle Chocolate Centre of Excellence. REUTERS/Denis BalibouseIt's a plot that seems like a cross between James Bond and Willy Wonka. Nestlé has announced a new contest that will track winners through their chocolate bar wrappers.

    The premise of the contest is pretty straightforward: you buy a candy bar and if you're lucky enough to open one of the six wrappers with a GPS built in, opening the candy will activate a GPS chip, which sends out a signal. Nestlé's prize team then has 24 hours to track the winners down and award them £10,000 (almost $16,000 CAD), ITProPortal reports.

    You can confirm just how creepy this seems by watching the Nestlé ad:

    The whole thing feels just a little too "Big Brother is watching" for some people out there. Since the contest opened earlier this month, the reaction hasn't been entirely positive, especially since this is happening in the U.K., where closed-circuit televisions are already an everyday reality. The YouTube comments on the above ad have been disabled, which can tell you plenty.

    For the 'We Will Find You'

    Read More »from ‘We Will Find You’ promotion tracks down Nestle prize winners by GPS
  • Google Street View has allowed users to explore cities from street level, investigate inside famous landmarks, and venture to remote places they might not otherwise have access to. Now, users can get a rare look inside some of the world's oceans.

    A new partnership between Google and The Catlin Seaview Survey has resulted in panoramic photos of six coral reefs from Google Maps using Street View, Mashable reports.

    [ Related: Google Street View seeks to give people a rare look at Nunavut ]

    This video gives you a sample of what you'll be able to see for yourself:

    "We're adding the very first underwater panoramic images to Google Maps, the next step in our quest to provide people with the most comprehensive accurate and usable map of the world," Google announced on its blog. "Now, anyone can become the next virtual Jacques Cousteau and dive with sea turtles, fish and manta rays."

    Check out their full collection of panoramic images at maps.google.com/oceans.

    Google's partner, The Catlin

    Read More »from Google Street View goes underwater with panoramas of Great Barrier Reef
  • Shawn Davis and his five-year old son Emerson fly-fish for trout.An unfortunate wakeboarding accident led to a very surprising discovery for one fisherman out on an Idaho lake.

    When Nolan Calvin reeled in a trout on September 11 from Priest Lake, he made an unexpected discovery while cleaning the fish: a human finger.

    According to The Spokesman-Review, Calvin put the finger on ice and called the local sheriff's office. After detectives took a print from the finger, they determined it was one of project manager Haans Galassi's digits.

    When the sheriff called Galassi up, though, he didn't exactly sound shocked.

    "The sheriff called me and told me he had a strange story to tell me," Galassi told The Spokesman-Review. "He said that a fisherman was out on Priest Lake, and I pretty much knew exactly what he was going to say at that point.

    "I was like: Let me guess, they found my fingers in a fish."

    Despite his nonchalant demeanor about the discovery, Galassi isn't in the habit of leaving his body parts strewn about Idaho lakes. The fingers ended up in

    Read More »from Man finds wakeboarder’s missing finger inside trout caught in Idaho lake
  • A sixth-grader from California has earned herself $20,000 U.S. for her idea on how to stop texting and driving, The Globe and Mail reports.

    As part of the 'It Can Wait' hackathon hosted by AT&T, Victoria Walker proposed the Rode Dog app. She developed the project with the help of David Grau, creative director and designer at interactive agency WLDG in Santa Ana, California.

    The app lets users add friends and family to their "pack" in the app and if one of the pack members suspects someone of texting while driving, they can send a "bark" to the person's phone. The phone will then keep barking until the user acknowledges it and silences the yapping. Pack members can see when a family member is on the move while texting through GPS tracking.

    Walker says she came up with the idea for Rode Dog when she heard her three dogs barking, and thought how the noise would be a good way to stop people from doing just about anything.

    "This app allows me to protect my parents if they are driving and

    Read More »from 11-year-old gets $20,000 for app to stop texting and driving
  • If you're on Facebook, you might want to take a quick peek at your Timeline for some unwanted public messages: users are reporting that private messages from earlier than 2009 are showing up on their Timeline as 'Posted by Friends.'

    According to TechCrunch, some users began reporting direct messages that they'd sent and received from friends showing up on their Timeline and in friends' Timelines. This issue is being reported across North America and Europe.

    As of this writing, Facebook says there is no bug causing this to happen. TechCrunch received this email from a Facebook spokesperson in response to the issue:

    "A small number of users raised concerns after what they mistakenly believed to be private messages appeared on their Timeline. Our engineers investigated these reports and found that the messages were older wall posts that had always been visible on the users' profile pages. Facebook is satisfied that there has been no breach of user privacy."

    Despite this statement,

    Read More »from Facebook users reporting private messages showing up in public Timelines
  • An Android smartphone. REUTERS/Truth LeemThis Sunday, the Android mobile operating system turns four. Even though it seems like the Apple vs. Android mobile wars have been going on forever, we had no idea what would be in store for us back in 2007.

    But Android's history actually started much earlier than that. Back in October 2003, a company called Android was started by Rich Miner, Andy Rubin, Nick Sears and Chris White. The four brought with them extensive experience from the world of technology, TechSpot says. There were rumours at the time that the company was working on its own smartphone operating system and in 2005, the truth came out when Google purchased the 22-month-old startup for an estimated $50 million.

    It took a couple more years for the first Android device to hit the marketplace, though. In 2008, Android launched its very first smartphone and the rest, as they say, is history.

    [ More Right Click: Up 15% of online reviews will be fake by 2014 ]

    Let's compare Android's humble first launch to its position at the

    Read More »from Happy birthday Android: what Google’s mobile OS has accomplished in four years
  • REUTERS/Vincent WestWhen shopping for a new gadget, many of us turn to online reviews to research our products of choice and see what others think about them. But a research firm says that by 2014, those will be increasingly unreliable, as they expect more than one-tenth of them to be fake by that year.

    According to TechCrunch, research firm Gartner says that 10 to 15 per cent of all online reviews, as well as fans and "likes" on social media, will be fake by 2014.

    Fake fans, followers and reviews are nothing new online, and there are plenty of them out there today. Just last month, Mitt Romney was accused of having thousands of fake followers on Twitter, and he was far from the only politician to have that accusation leveled at him.

    [ Related: Fake followers in the political arena of social media ]

    Gartner analyst and co-author of the fake followers study Ed Thompson says that today, about one to four per cent of social media interactions (including reviews, followers etc.) are fake. While most of us

    Read More »from 10 to 15 per cent of online reviews will be fake by 2014: researchers
  • What happens when you glue an iPhone 5 to the ground

    Apple's new iPhone 5 generated a lot of attention today, as the usual crowds lined up for hours ahead of the new smartphone's launch.

    Dutch website iPhone5.nl decided to have a little bit of fun with all the iPhone madness, and engineered a very simple prank: glue an iPhone 5 to the ground in a public square in Amsterdam, and film how people react. Unsurprisingly, the results are pretty entertaining:

    I can't help but feel a little bad for the break-dancer working so hard to entertain the crowds, only to have a glued-down iPhone distract from his act.

    To break the hearts of Apple fans even more, the website says this was the first iPhone 5 in the Netherlands. Ouch.

    For pictures of people who actually managed to get their hands on an iPhone 5, check out this gallery: First customers buy the iPhone 5

    Read More »from What happens when you glue an iPhone 5 to the ground
  • Apple has released an update to its iPhone and iPad operating system that replaces Google Maps with Apple's own application.Since Apple released its latest mobile operating system, iOS6 on September 19, there has been one thing users have been talking about more than anything else: Maps. And it isn't good.

    After announcing that Google Maps would be getting the boot in the latest iOS release, users can now use Apple's Maps app built into iOS 6. Unfortunately, users who have been putting Maps through its paces over the past day have not had very favourable things to say about it. At all.

    From poorly rendered satellite views to directing someone looking for a taxi to a taxidermist, the new Maps app has fallen far, far short of what Google Maps is capable of doing. Other users have found that Maps is missing cities, turned Ireland's Airfield Park into an 'airfield,' and has even inspired someone to make a Tumblr highlighting some of the many gaffes coming out of Maps.

    [ Related Photos: First customers buy iPhone 5 ]

    Gizmodo did a side-by-side comparison of iOS6 and iOS5, pitting Apple Maps against Google Maps,

    Read More »from Not happy with Apple’s new Maps in iOS6? Here are some alternatives
  • Poor, poor Zeddy.

    After being the smiling, fuzzy face of Zellers since 1986, teddy bear mascot "Zeddy" has been set free from his duties of taking pictures with small children at Zellers locations across Canada.

    In this video, launched on the Zellers Canada YouTube channel in early September, Zellers shows an unnamed 'Executive Managing Director' taking Zeddy on one final drive to be released into the wild:

    The video is part of the Zellers marketing campaign to not just spread the word that they're going out of business (soon to be replaced by Target locations in many parts of Canada), but that they're looking for a new home for Zeddy. The company's Facebook page is hosting a contest to give a charitable organization the chance to be Zeddy's new home and receive a $5000 donation.

    To prove Zeddy's desperation, Zellers has included a second video, proving that Zeddy's new occupation isn't going to be "wild bear:"

    While it isn't anything new for companies to try and promote themselves

    Read More »from Zellers sets mascot Zeddy free as they prepare for liquidation in new video

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