Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • Clockwise from top left: Jawbone UP24, FitBit Flex, Polar Loop, Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit, Nike+ FuelBand SE.Clockwise from top left: Jawbone UP24, FitBit Flex, Polar Loop, Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit, Nike+ FuelBand SE.

    All Canadians can likely agree that it has been a particularly long, cold winter – one where you just want to sit inside and eat comfort food. But the warmer weather is finally here and it's time to get outside. For those who need a little more motivation aside from 'patio weather' (or need some help walking off those patio beers), you may be considering one of the many fitness bands that has entered the market over the last few years.

    When it comes to fitness wearables, you aren't at a loss for options. The hard part, in fact, is trying to decide which band is right for you. Each one tracks slightly differently, and it's hard to know which one is your ideal band when they all seem to do basically the same thing.

    That's where this series comes in. With the help of three other editors here at Yahoo Canada, I've put five of the biggest fitness bands on the market right now to the test: the Nike FuelBand+ SE, the FitBit Flex, the Jawbone UP24, the Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit and the Polar

    Read More »from Battle of the Bands: Finding the best fitness band for you
  • We’ve heard about Google’s self-driving cars for a couple of years now, and while those working on the project have been pretty quiet, Google has released its most detailed look yet at how these autonomous vehicles would work.

    Up until now, the cars had been doing lots of highway driving, but the navigation of cities proved more challenging. Today, Google announced that it has been fine-tuning how the car detects “hundreds of distant objects” to make it possible for the car to navigate safely in complex city streets.

    [ Related: California to decide by year’s end how to integrate driverless cars ]

    The Verge reports the software in the self-driving cars has been updated to detect stop signs held by crossing cards, turning signals made by cyclists, and can detect closed lanes, parked vehicles and plenty of other city hazards, as shown in this newly-released video:

    The cars have been driving through Google’s home base of Mountain View, California. Project Director Chris Urmson explains

    Read More »from Google’s self-driving cars get improved city driving capabilities
  • By now you've surely seen dozens of news reports about the Heartbleed bug. The viral threat has led to the shutdown of several Canadian government websites, the need to reset dozens of passwords, and even the paranoia that you may be one of the 900 Canadians whose SIN numbers has been stolen from the CRA website.

    But what is Heartbleed, exactly?

    Comic by XKCD.Sure, there are lengthy explanations out there on how it's a bug in OpenSSL encryption, allowing for malicious parties to snoop into supposedly secure data. But one of the best and simplest explanations has come from popular web comic XKCD, who has summed up in very basic terms how the bug works, and how it can be a bad thing for you:

    [ Related: The Top 10 Worst Kinds of Passwords ]

    So there you have it. Of course, it's a lot more complicated than that, but at least now you have a better idea of why you're going to be spending a day changing everyone one of your passwords.

    Need to know what’s hot in tech?
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    Read More »from Heartbleed web comic offers the most straightforward explanation of the bug
  • Remember those old infomercials for knife sets, extolling their many uses? "It slices, it dices, it makes julienne fries!" That may be the first thing you think of, too, when you see this new iPhone case.

    A KickStarter campaign is underway for one of the more curious smartphone cases I've come across, the myTask. The series includes three different versions: the myTask Urban, myTask Bike, and myTask Stash, and all three are a little strange, but very intriguing.

    The myTask series doubles as a protective case for the smartphone as well as storage for small items. This in itself isn't entirely revolutionary and new; an iPhone storage case called Eyn is already available. The major difference is Eyn opens to the side on a hinge while myTask Stash, the empty case you can fill with what you want, has a drawer that slides out.

    [ More Right Click: BlackBerry blocks sale of iPhone keyboard in U.S. ]

    What's most remarkable about the case is what they've managed to pack inside of it.

    The other

    Read More »from myTask iPhone case lets you carry scissors, wrench and screwdriver with your phone
  • The Typo keyboard, which will no longer be available for iPhone users.

    Sorry, iPhone users: Your dreams of having a real keyboard on your cell phone just got a little less plausible.

    Typo Products LLC will not be allowed to make a keyboard attachment that mimics they iconic BlackBerry keyboard, The Toronto Star reports, after a judge ruled it would infringe on two of BlackBerry Ltd.'s patents.

    [ Related: What do new BB phones, desktop BBM mean for the company? ]

    It's good news for Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry, who has run into countless problems in recent years as it continues to lose market share despite its efforts to reinvent itself. Die-hard BlackBerry users have long touted features like the physical keyboard and BBM as the reasons they're so dedicated to the brand. Had Typo been allowed to continue selling its keyboard, it could have made a serious dent in the loyal BlackBerry fan base.

    But that's not going to happen now, at least in the U.S., after Judge William Orrick ruled BlackBerry had a "likelihood" of proving that the Typo keyboard

    Read More »from BlackBerry gets big win in keeping keyboard attachment away from rival phones
  • There's definitely more to these Transformers than meets the eye.

    Industrious (and perhaps slightly bored?) farmers in rural China have built their own versions of the iconic Transformer robots out of car parts.

    "It's a personal hobby," Wang Shizun, one of the farmers who built the robots, told AFP. "I watched the movies and learnt the models online, so I wanted to make my own."

    And did he ever. The tallest of these impressive robots some styled as the brightly-coloured Autobots like Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee, others in grey like the evil Decepticons is a whopping 12 metres high.

    Unfortunately, they're just statues for the time being, and don't actually fly or transform into vehicles, like the "real" Transformers.

    "We're thinking about making them transform," Wang said, "but it's hard to make them transform into cars at this stage."

    Wang and his partner oversaw the group of 11 farmers who participated in the construction of the giant robots. They'll apparently sell for about

    Read More »from Chinese farmers build their own incredible Transformers out of car parts

  • Despite what the above video shows you, you won't be whipping around in theatre seats in the midst of car chases anytime soon. But if you're going to L.A. this summer, you will be able to test out the experience for yourself in the safe confines of a movie theatre.

    South Korean company CJ Group is bringing its 4DX technology to its first American theatre this year, Regal Cinemas LA Live Stadium 14 in downtown Los Angeles, The Verge reports. The technology has been in theaters in other parts of the world for some time now, particularly in the company's native South Korea, and installed in theatres at a cost of roughly US$1.5 million-$2 million.

    [ More Tech News: T.O. companies' apps used by Turkey protesters under Twitter ban ]

    Buckle up, movie-goers.What is 4DX, you ask? The company touts it as the "most immersive cinema experience," which roughly translates into a multi-sensory theatre-going experience. Instead of just watching and hearing the movie, your seat will move, synchronized with the action on

    Read More »from 4DX theatre experience makes its North American debut this summer
  • After pulling his game because of all the angry Internet rage it generated, game developer Dong Nguyen is giving hope to Flappy Bird fans everywhere that his game may come back to the App Store.

    That’s right: The highly addictive, highly infuriating Flappy Bird may one day (eventually) make its return to angry iPhone users everywhere, if Nguyen’s tweet to a fan last night is true:

    If you’re unfamiliar with the wildly popular game, the premise is simple: Tap the screen to make a small bird flap his wings, and navigate him through a series of pipes set in front of him. While the controls are straightforward, the game is incredibly difficult, and a quick survey of Twitter and Facebook from several months ago shows how many people became engrossed in the addictive game.

    Nguyen pulled the game from the App Store in March after a very successful two months, allegedly making as much as $50,000 a day in downloads. But

    Read More »from The Return of Flappy Bird: Creator says popular mobile game will come back
  • It’s yet another reminder about how careful you need to be when signing into those web pages we use every day.

    A phishing scam, which is when you receive an invitation to click a fraudulent link that masquerades as a trusted website, targeted users of Google Docs and Google Drive last week, and has only just been resolved.

    U.S. computer security company Symantec posted on its official blog last week that a new phishing scam was out there, and it was a very convincing one, too. According to the blog, users would receive an email with the subject line “Documents,” and the body of the email requested they view an important Google Doc by clicking the link. The landing page for the fake site looked like this:

    When you compare it to the real login page for Google Docs, seen below, you can see why it’s a convincing scam:

    Nick Johnston of Symantec explained further in the blog post why this particular scam was so insidious:

    “The fake page is actually hosted on Google’s servers and is served

    Read More »from Gmail, Google Doc users threatened by hard-to-spot phishing scam
  • Must-see videos of the week: March 9-15

    This week, we saw videos that encourage you to play with your food, take up a new sport, groove when the music speaks to you, and always have that camera ready because you never know what wild thing you'll see out in this crazy world of ours. So grab your chopsticks, tune up that guitar and check out our must-see videos of the week.

    In the 'science is awesome!' category this week, we see the main course in a restaurant become animated with the help of a little chemical reaction. When the squid in this dish, known as Odori Don, has soy sauce poured on it, it reacts to the sodium chloride (salt). NPR explains that even though the head (and therefore brain) has been removed from the creature, the salt acts as a replacement for the electrical signals that would normally be sent from the brain, telling them to relax or contract. Still, looks pretty freaky!

    Twin sisters Shelby and Monica Church are the kind of people you can't help but be impressed by (and a little jealous of). The twin

    Read More »from Must-see videos of the week: March 9-15

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