Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • Earlier this week, Quebec rolled out its new green fee for electronics. Consumers will pay $40 when they purchase a new television, smartphone, laptop or printer. The fee will help cover the cost of recycling that product at the end of its life.

    While this might be a change for Quebec, green fees are hardly anything new for many Canadians. Consumers in provinces across the country have been contributing to the end-of-life disposal of their electronics, but not all of us may know exactly how that money pays for the recycling process.

    What does the fee pay for?

    While each province may handle the specific recycling process a little differently, they generally have the same major steps: by paying the recycling fee at the beginning of your electronic device's life, you can drop it off for free at a designated recycling facility or pick-up point to have it disposed of in the most environmentally friendly way.

    The fee you pay covers the cost of collecting, transporting and disposing of the

    Read More »from Electronic waste recycling fees: what they’re for, and who pays for them
  • Microsoft's new Surface tablet will be coming to Canada on October 26, the day after Microsoft hosts its big reveal of its new Windows 8 operating system. If you want to get your hands on one, though, you'll have to be pretty strategically located.

    Four pop-up stores will be appearing in Canada for the launch to sell the Microsoft Surface: Eaton Centre, Toronto; Metropolis at Metrotown, Burnaby; Oakridge Centre, Vancouver and West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton. These stores will be open for the duration of the holiday shopping season.

    The four Canadian stores are part of Microsoft's larger strategy to promote their new tablet across North America. Altogether, there will be 32 pop-up continental locations to complement the 24 permanent stores in the United States.

    [ Related: Microsoft Surface doesn't interest Americans, but how do Canadians feel? ]

    The Microsoft Surface will only be sold through official Microsoft channels, such as their pop-up and permanent stores, for the rest of 2012.

    Read More »from Microsoft Surface coming to Canada, but you’ll have to be near a ‘pop-up’ store to get one
  • 3D printer company Stratasys has seized one of their machines from a U.S. man who is seeking to distribute plans for free on how private citizens can print their own guns.

    Cody Wilson, a second-year law student at the University of Texas at Austin, is director of a group that calls themselves Defense Distributed. The group was working on Wiki Weapon, a crowd-funded project that aimed to develop a 3D printed pistol, and eventually free schematics that anyone could use to create a weapon with their personal 3D printer.

    [ Related: 3D printers and how they could change space missions ]

    You can watch Wilson's impassioned explanation of the project in this video:

    Wilson and Defense Distributed raised $20,000 USD through Bitcoin earlier in September to fund their project. They leased the printer from Stratasys to begin printing a fully 3D printed pistol for the first time, Wired.co.uk reports. There have been similar projects with partially printed parts in the past, but the Wiki Weapon

    Read More »from 3D printed gun project halted when company seizes equipment
  • Last night, a New Jersey teen by the name of Kara Alongi sent both police and the Twitterverse scrambling after posting a worrisome tweet:

    People on social media quickly mobilized, retweeting her message with the hashtag "#helpfindkara," which soon became a trending topic on Twitter. Hundreds began following the 16-year-old on her Twitter account, @KaraAlongi. According to International Business Times, several search parties were launched to look for Alongi.

    But today, police have come out and said that they don't suspect foul play in her disappearance, although at time of writing, police are still looking for Alongi.

    "She is currently still missing, but we are confident she left voluntarily," local police chief Alan Scherb told Patch. "No abduction, no foul play. We are now investigating this as a missing runaway juvenile."

    There have also been reports that a cab driver had identified Alongi after dropping her off at a local train station.

    [ More from The Right Click: Blacksocks aims

    Read More »from Kara Alongi goes missing after suspicious tweet, but what’s the real story here?
  • 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

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