Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • Windows 8 launches with a bang, but will users get it?

    It's finally official: The newest Windows operating system, Windows 8, is now available, and Microsoft is ready to crow about it.

    Microsoft kicked off the launch with a live webcast by CEO Steve Balmer in Seattle, Washington, eagerly extolling the virtues of the new operating system to a crowd of tech journalists.

    "Windows 8 will help you do everything, and it will make it fun to do nothing," Balmer told the crowd.

    And if it lives up to the promise, Microsoft may have found that perfect balance between being able to work hard and play hard.

    That is, if everyone can figure out how it works.

    [ Related: Microsoft builds momentum ahead of massive Windows 8 launch ]

    During today's launch, Balmer detailed some of the key software additions and improvements to the new operating system. There's the integrated Bing search built into Windows 8, along with the Bing Apps designed to consolidate the best News, Finance, Weather, Sports and other specialized content from around the web. There's an

    Read More »from Windows 8 launches with a bang, but will users get it?
  • The new Surface tablet computer by Microsoft. REUTERS/David McNew/FilesAfter a big push to get the word out, it's almost here: Microsoft's new Surface tablet, designed to showcase its new Windows RT operating system, a simplified version of the upcoming Windows 8.

    On Friday, everyone will finally have the chance to get their hands on Microsoft's first tablet offering: At least if you've pre-ordered one through Microsoft's online store, or plan on being in line at one of the four Canadian pop-up stores.

    [ Related: Microsoft pop-up stores coming to Canada ]

    As with all big tech launches, among the Microsoft fanfare are the voices of tech journalists who have actually had a chance to go hands-on with the device, and it seems like it's been met with some mixed reviews. We've got a round-up of what some of the biggest voices in tech are saying about the Surface, in case you're still on the fence about whether it's worth the $519 CDN (starting price, without the seemingly-integral keyboard cover).

    For starters, here's a rundown on what it looks like and all the

    Read More »from Microsoft Surface RT review roundup: What people are saying about the new Windows tablet
  • The 25 most popular (i.e. worst) passwords of 2012

    Sometimes, it seems like people never learn.

    The Canadian government is spending millions of dollars to beef up cybersecurity. Researchers are developing split passwords to help protect personal accounts from hacking attacks.

    And yet, for another year in a row, what's the most popular being used online?

    "Password."

    Password-management application provider SplashData has released its annual list of the 25 most popular passwords used by people online. The company collected the data from the millions of stolen logins that were posted online by hackers in 2012, TechSpot reports.

    [ More Right Click: Apple announces the new iPad Mini ]

    If your password appears on this list, strongly consider changing it ASAP:

    1. password (unchanged) 2. 123456 (unchanged) 3. 12345678 (unchanged) 4. abc123 (up 1) 5. qwerty (down 1)
    6. monkey (unchanged) 7. letmein (up 1) 8. dragon (up 2) 9. 111111 (up 3) 10. baseball (up 1)
    11. iloveyou (up 2) 12. trustno1 (down 3) 13. 1234567 (down 6) 14. sunshine (up 1) 15.
    Read More »from The 25 most popular (i.e. worst) passwords of 2012
  • She hasn't quite netted the record yet, but a Yorkshire Terrier in Poland is well on her way to being called the smallest living dog in the world.

    At a miniscule 3.25 ounces (about 92 grams), Meysi is so small, her owner Anna Pohl of Jarocin, Poland has to keep her in a cage when she's not around so the tiny dog doesn't get caught underfoot.

    As a comparison, Meysi weighs about 20 grams less than the iPhone 5.

    Pohl, who has had Meysi since birth, said she wasn't sure if she'd even survive when she came into the world at a mere 1.58 ounces.

    [ More Daily Buzz: Mourners flee in terror as Brazilian man turns up alive at his own wake ]

    "It's a miracle Meysi is even alive. When her mother Pusia started giving birth to her litter, I thought at first she had passed a piece of placenta and was about to throw it away when suddenly it started moving," said Pohl to local paper the Gazeta Jarocinska.

    See just how tiny this pooch is for yourself in this video:

    "The worst was the first six weeks,"

    Read More »from Polish pup Meysi vies for title of smallest living dog in the world
  • Apple unveils iPad Mini at October 23 announcement

    The new iPad mini is projected on a screen during an Apple event in San Jose.Two weeks ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the company had sold its 100 millionth iPad. Today, the tech giant is hoping to snap up even more of that market share with its highly-anticipated iPad Mini.

    The announcement came at the same time as the fourth-generation iPad, also announced today (probably much to the chagrin of those who bought the new iPad when it was unveiled just six months ago).

    The 7.2 mm iPad Mini weighs only 0.68 lbs, which makes it 53% lighter than the fourth generation iPad. The screen measures 7.9 inches, larger than many of the competing small-form tablets like the Nexus 7 (as Schiller enjoyed explaining at length in his presentation).

    In an extensive side-by-side comparison with the Google Nexus 7, Phil Schiller explained how there was 49% more viewable area when navigating web pages, as well as a host of other reasons why the iPad Mini was superior. If you're a budget shopper, that might not make enough of a difference: while Apple was announcing the iPad

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  • Apple announces new 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina Display

    Apple Senior VP of Worldwide product marketing, Phil Schiller, announces the new 13-inch MacBook Pro. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)Ahead of the iPad Mini announcement, Apple's Phil Schiller took to the stage in San Jose, California to announce the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

    As Schiller mentioned in the announcement, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the best-selling Mac, meaning it was worth Apple's time to roll out a comparable model to the 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina Display unveiled earlier this year.

    Priced at $1699 USD for a base model, the 13-inch MacBook Pro offers more than just a high-resolution screen, although that is going to be a selling point for many people. It offers a 2560 x 1600 resolution, which Schiller joked is the second highest resolution of any laptop (the first, of course, being the 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina Display). Schiller went on to say that it has almost double the pixels of any HDTV at 4,096,000 pixels, although as the CNET team noted during their livestream coverage, that has been true for a long time, anyway.

    The new display also offers a 29% higher contrast ratio, 75%

    Read More »from Apple announces new 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina Display
  • A box from Amazon.com is pictured on July 23, 2008. (Reuters)Companies take digital rights management (DRM) very, very seriously in the wake of worldwide digital piracy, and it looks like Amazon is sticking to its guns when it comes to enforcing a no-tolerance policy.

    Norwegian media commentator Martin Bekkelund recently shared a story on his blog about his friend Linn, who had her Amazon account closed and her Kindle wiped remotely without warning. According to Bekkelund's blog post, Linn (no last name given) contacted Amazon after she discovered her account had been removed and her Kindle was empty, thinking it was a mistake. However when Amazon replied, they offered this as an explanation:

    Dear Linn [last name],

    My name is Michael Murphy and I represent Executive Customer Relations within Amazon.co.uk. One of our mandates is to address the most acute account and order problems, and in this capacity your account and orders have been brought to my attention.

    We have found your account is directly related to another which has been previously

    Read More »from Amazon shuts down woman’s Kindle account, DRM dictates it’s legal
  • It seems that the end of October is the hot time to be making big tech announcements this year. With just two months left until the holidays, it's clear that companies are vying for those gift-buying dollars with some product debuts. Since this upcoming week is going to be filled with one product announcement after another, here's a rundown of what you should be expecting to see:

    iPad Mini (and possibly a MacBook)

    Oct. 23

    When the invites telling people that Apple had "a little more to show you" were sent out earlier this week, it confirmed what we'd all been assuming was coming: the announcement of the iPad Mini. While there are plenty of things we don't yet know about the iPad Mini, the rumour mill has done plenty to try and fill in those gaps: from what we've heard, it will be a 7.85-inch tablet, will likely use Apple's new Lightning connection, and will hit stores shortly after the announcement — November 2, if Mac Rumors has it right.

    On October 23, join us here at Yahoo! Canada

    Read More »from Big week ahead in the world of tech announcements and launches
  • Photo from Lytro.comIt's been a year since the Lytro camera was introduced to the world, and it looks like Canadians will finally be able to join in the "picture revolution."

    Starting in early November, Canadians will be able to pick up their own Lytro light field camera, and can almost immediately take advantage of the 3D update coming to the technology.

    The company who makes the small, square camera says that their camera will change the way people take pictures, giving them the ability to focus the camera after they've already recorded the picture. You can see a demonstration in this YouTube video by the company:

    As The Canadian Press explains, the Lytro is a light field camera, which is how users can change the focus of a picture after it's already been taken; the way the photo is recorded using the Lytro, all the light in the space at that time is recorded.

    "The light field is defined as all of the light travelling in every direction at every point in space — and the key component there is

    Read More »from Lytro camera now in Canada, just in time for new 3D ability
  • A Twitter page is displayed on a laptop computer. REUTERS/Mario AnzuoniIn a first for the social media giant, Twitter has blocked a German group's account on the micro-blogging site, but the block is restricted to Germany.

    The blocking of the @hannoverticker account, which German police believe is promoting a neo-Nazi viewpoint and is therefore illegal in Germany, marks the first time that Twitter has used a policy announced back in January to block content at the request of specific countries.

    The Associated Press reports the account is used by Besseres Hannover (Better Hannover), a group that was banned by state government last month for promoting Nazi ideals. The Lower Saxony police force sent in a letter requesting that the account be removed, which, in an effort for transparency, Twitter has made public.

    [ Related: Is it ok for strangers to follow you on Twitter? ]

    "At the beginning of the year Twitter announced the so-called 'country withheld content' function, which enables us to remove illegal content in a particular country while leaving it

    Read More »from Twitter blocks neo-Nazi posts in Germany, setting precedent for targeted censorship

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