Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • Last week we reported UFO sightings across Canada are hitting nearly record-high levels, with almost 1000 sightings in 2011. While none of those were linked to alien activity, it appears that Canadians in some of our country's major urban hubs have a better chance for a close encounter than others.

    A grand total of 986 UFO sightings were reported last year, lasting an average of eleven minutes each. As Nadine Bells reports, 11 per cent of them couldn't be explained, leaving some room for the imagination to run wild.

    Here's a closer look at the three cities in Canada that had the highest rates of UFOs reported:

    Toronto: 34

    Torontonians are often accused of thinking their city is the centre of Canada — perhaps the aliens agree. You could chalk up the high number of UFO sightings in Toronto to it being the most populous city in the country, but what's the fun in that?

    Locals even claim to have seen UFOs as recently as last week, when Southern Ontario was hit by a major lightning storm.

    Read More »from Which Canadian city should be preparing for an alien invasion?
  • REUTERS/Mario AnzuoniThe role of social media in this Olympics is unprecedented. Yet while it is offering lots of positive improvements to the coverage, there is one major drawback: All that Twitter usage is actually interfering with television broadcast coverage.

    Mashable reports that spectators using Twitter managed to block the times of racers, which are sent via tiny GPS transmitters on the bikes. The BBC blamed the Olympic Broadcasting Service for not getting the information out, but IOC Communications Director Mark Adams says it was all the mobile data being sent that stopped them from getting the necessary information and sending it to the broadcaster.

    "From my understanding, One network was oversubscribed, and OBS are trying to spread the load to other providers," said Adams to The Guardian. "We don't want to stop people engaging in this by social media but perhaps they might consider only sending urgent updates."

    [ More from The Right Click: London Eye's tweet-controlled light show to reflect the

    Read More »from Twitter blamed for disrupting BBC’s Olympic cycling coverage
  • If you thought we must be getting close to an official Apple announcement as the rumour mill ramps up, chances are, you're right: various tech blogs are reporting that Apple will be announcing its iPhone 5 and iPad Mini on September 12.

    According to an iMore blog post, the tentatively-named iPhone 5 will be unveiled in the early fall, and Apple fans can expect to get in line less than two weeks later for a reported September 21 launch. iMore also reports the long-rumoured iPad Mini, as well as a new iPod Nano, will be unveiled on the same day.

    [ Related: Apple's iPhone 5 connector to shrink ]

    This report backs up the repeated mention of a "fall event" by Apple during a call with analysts last week, Mashable reports.

    It also supports a report from App4Phone.fr,  a French website that pointed last week to a September 21 release date for the iPhone 5.

    While CNET mentions that this is still in the rumours stage, it's beginning to look like the rumours are indeed true as more and more

    Read More »from New iPhone 5, iPad Mini to be announced on Sept. 12: report
  • Google Fiber to bring high-speed Internet to Kansas City

    Google has officially announced it is bringing a high-speed fibre-optic network to Kansas City, Missouri, as a pilot of its Google Fiber project.

    Google Fiber is Google's first foray into the world of Internet providers. It will offer a fibre-optic broadband network service, providing 'gigabit' speeds, or 1000 mbps. The Associated Press reports that it would be about 100 times faster than a basic cable modem.

    Local news stations were on hand to catch all the details at Google's big announcement:

    Google announces details of Google Fiber service Google unveils its plans for its Google Fiber ultra high-speed Internet service, including a package of Internet-delivered television service. KMBC 9's Micheal Mahoney reports.

    In order to take full advantage of the incredibly fast speeds, users will need to get wired networks, NewScientist reports. Even top-end WiFi networks can only reach about 300 megabits, far from the full speed being offered by Google.

    That will only be a problem for people

    Read More »from Google Fiber to bring high-speed Internet to Kansas City
  • Need to follow the Olympics on the go? There are apps for that

    With the London 2012 Olympics kicking off in grand style today, we begin three weeks of gold-medal wins, shocking underdog stories and heartbreaking losses that we'll remember for years to come. And while not everyone is interested in the world's biggest sporting event (don't worry, I hear there's still other stuff on TV), those of us watching eagerly are looking for a way to get all the latest Olympic updates.

    There are plenty of apps out there that can help you follow along with the latest Olympic news when you're away from your television or computer. Whether you're using iOS, Android, BlackBerry or Windows 7, we've got you covered:

    London 2012: Official Results AppLondon 2012: Official Results App for the Olympic and Paralympic Games

    Here it is, the official app of this year's Olympic Games. This colourful and highly-graphic interface gives you access to live and calendar schedules, medal counts and detailed information on sports and athletes. You can

    Read More »from Five apps to help you get the most out of the London 2012 Olympic Games
  • THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-L.G. Patterson, FileLife without the Internet isn't something that many of us are acquainted with nowadays. Almost every aspect of our lives depend on online interaction in some way. One technology writer has decided to temporarily pull himself out of the World Wide Web, and hopes to find out what it looks like from the outside.

    Paul Miller, Senior Editor at The Verge announced three months ago that as of May 1, he'd be going without the Internet for one year.

    While it may sound like a near-impossible feat, considering Miller's line of work, he says that his job actually makes it easier. Miller has the support of his colleagues and his superiors, and he's writing about his experiences for The Verge. As Miller explains in the video, he writes his posts and hands them off to a co-worker to put up on the website, so he doesn't actually have to go online at all. That doesn't mean his experiment is an easy one, though.

    "Who could ever have a real job at this point [without the Internet]?" said Miller in an

    Read More »from Technology writer challenges himself to give up Internet for one year
  • The iPod and iPhone have shrunk dramatically since both first debuted, but one thing has largely remained the same: the 30-pin connector port at the base of the devices. But now that port looks like it, too, will be getting smaller, and that could be a big problem for long-time Apple fans.

    As we reported in February, rumours have been abundant that Apple will be shrinking the 30 pin connector port down to a 19 pin version with the release of the new iPhone. Now, it seems that Reuters has confirmed this news with two sources, making it look pretty likely that we'll all have to buy new speakers, docks and car chargers.

    [ More from The Right Click: Celebrating 25 years of '.ca' ]

    The reason for the change, according to Reuters' sources, is to make room for the headphone port, which is moving from the top of the device to the bottom. Due to the increasingly slim nature of the iPhone, there was no way to fit the headphone port next to a 30-pin connector port. As The Verge points out,

    Read More »from Apple’s iPhone 5 connector to shrink, making it incompatible with many accessories
  • The two letters at the end of many Canadian website URLs may not seem like much to celebrate, but 25 years after they first became available, Canadian cyberspace could be a very different place without it.

    This year, Canadians can reflect upon 25 years of the .ca domain registry and the kind of impact it's had on the Canadian online media landscape. Back in 1987, UBC computer science student John Demco thought that researchers across Canada could benefit from a top-level domain across the web.

    "I saw the domain name system, and the .ca name in particular, as maybe part of the beginnings of a way to bring the disparate groups together," said Demco in an interview with The Canadian Press.

    [ More Right Click: Rolling Stones 404 page may be one of the best out there ]

    While the official anniversary of .ca was May 14, 2012, the creation of .ca wasn't a single-day event. While attending UBC, Demco exchanged a number of emails with Jon Postel, administrator of the Internet Assigned Numbers

    Read More »from 25 years of ‘.ca’: Celebrating Canada’s own domain registry
  • A computer screen inbox displaying unsolicited spam emails. (AFP Photo/Mike Clarke)If your inbox consists solely of emails from Nigerian princes asking for your bank account, or an office overseas telling you about your inheritance from a "long lost relative," your email may be a little more sparse this week.

    A computer security company based in California says that they've eliminated a piece of malware responsible 17 per cent of the world's spam.

    According to a CBC report, servers that were deploying the Grum botnet had been disabled after several days of trying to pinpoint their location. They nabbed servers in Panama and Russia, but others in Ukraine and the Netherlands had taken their place before they, too, were disabled.

    Shutting down the botnet took the efforts of researchers in the U.S., Britain and Russia. It had been active as far back as 2008, according to security researcher Atif Mushatq of FireEye security, the firm that spearheaded the effort to shut down the malware.

    "All the known command and control servers are dead, leaving their zombies orphaned,"

    Read More »from Goodbye, junk email! Malware responsible for large part of world’s spam taken out
  • Dark Knight shooting in Colorado: first-hand accounts

    News coverage across North America today has been dominated by the horrific shooting inside a movie theatre in a suburban Denver, Colorado, that has left 12 dead and another 59 injured. Some of the most gripping coverage has come from local news stations that were on the ground first in Aurora, speaking to those who witnesses the shooting and sharing their harrowing experience with the world. Here's a look at some of those local news accounts:

    A witness records the chaos outside the movie theatre as everyone is evacuated:

    Another person at the shooting also recorded the scene at the theatre as they were leaving the building:

    Two witnesses share their terror as they witness others around them leaving the theatre with major injuries:

    Other witnesses shared that they thought the person was part of the show, and that he was being "theatrical:"

    The role that social media played in the shooting, and getting the word out about the shooting:

    A woman describes learning

    Read More »from Dark Knight shooting in Colorado: first-hand accounts

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