• For Internet users that love to download movies, music and games, today's a tough day.

    isoHunt, a popular site used to find BitTorrent files to download, is shutting down. The company announced its decision on Thursday, following a lengthy legal battle with Hollywood studios from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

    "It’s sad to see my baby go. But I have fought the good fight," wrote Gary Fung, the company's Vancouver founder, on his own site, adding that he hasn't compromised any of the users’ privacy.

    Fung started the company in January of 2003 and went on to index several million torrents, getting up to 7.5 million unique visitors in its heyday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. His "baby" isn't the only file-sharing site to be dragged through the court circuit, The Pirate Bay and Megaupload have also taken hits in high-profile court cases. And unlucky individual users have also been targeted in the past.

    Furthermore, a 2012 U.K. study found that practically all files

    Read More »from Canadian torrent site isoHunt to shut down, debate still rages
  • The Nest smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is shown at the company's offices on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, in Palo Alto, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Nest, the startup founded by Apple iPod creator Tony Fadell, today unveiled its latest re-imagining of a home essential: the smoke detector.

    Nest first came to prominence in 2011 with their iPod-inspired Nest Thermostat that allowed users to remotely control their home heating and cooling with an app.

    The new device, called "Nest Protect," is the second product hatched from Nest Labs Inc., in an attempt to infuse homes with more of the high-tech wizardry that people take for granted in smartphones. Besides sensing smoke, Nest Protect is designed to detect unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.

    Nest Protect's price will probably turn off many consumers. It will go on sale next month for $129 USD in more than 5,000 stores in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom. Other less-sophisticated devices that detect both smoke and carbon monoxide typically sell for $50 to $80 apiece.

    Fadell, who ended an eight-year stint at Apple Inc. in 2009, is aiming for an audience that appreciates sleekly designed

    Read More »from Nest Protect smoke detector talks to your phone and out loud in warning
  • (Image from Google Play store)To those who have long tuned in to AM or FM radio, the idea of a music service that’s going free being a big deal may be pretty ridiculous. But for those who have turned to digital music services and become fans of ad-free music, today’s announcement is a very welcome one.

    Starting today, Rdio’s streaming music service is free to access on mobile devices in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. Traditionally a subscription-based service, Rdio gives its users access to 20-million-plus songs, chosen by algorithms that tailor the music to the listener’s tastes.

    In a blog post announcing the change, Rdio says that they’ll also be adding a ‘Station Sharing’ feature to allow users to post what they’re listening to on social media, and stations based on playlists and albums to add to Rdio’s already extensive channel selection.

    [ More Right Click: iPhone comparison video shows surprising winners amongst older phone models ]

    While it’s an exciting move for music listeners, especially for those who

    Read More »from Rdio becomes another free streaming music option for Canadians
  • Libraries are trying to keep up with the times by offering media in a whole new way: through streaming services online.Ten years ago, when you told someone you were going to visit your local library, it involved walking out your door. And if your library carried movies on DVD, it was probably a big deal.

    Now, libraries across North America are trying to keep up with the times by offering media in a whole new way: through streaming services online.

    Much like how customers access Netflix, you can use a computer or mobile device to browse the library’s collection, select the movie or TV show you’d like to watch, or music or audiobook you’d like to listen to, and you can start streaming the content for free. As with all library materials, you’ve got access to the material for a set period of time before you have to ‘return’ it (your access to the item expires).

    The service is provided by Hoopla Digital, an e-borrowing service that gives patrons with a library card to one of the participating library systems access to movies, TV shows, music, ebooks and audiobooks. Every time a patron borrows an item, the

    Read More »from Libraries taking a leap into the future with streaming movies and music
  • A text message is sent on a mobile phone, November 9, 2010 in Montreal.A measure announced by the Canadian government back in November has finally come into effect, preventing mobile wireless carriers from activating phones that have been reported as stolen.

    The Canadian Press reports that beginning on Sept. 30, if you report to your mobile carrier that your phone has been lost or stolen, the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number will be added to a database of ‘blacklisted’ numbers. Mobile devices on that list won’t be able to connect to the Canadian networks of service providers participating in the program.

    [ Related: Android users finally get feature long used by Apple users: tracking a lost phone ]

    The program will also include the data from U.S. carriers that are part of the IMEI database.

    If you want to check if your device has been reported as stolen or lost, you can check the new website protectyourdata.ca, which lets you search a pre-owned phone’s IMEI number.

    In the press release issued by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications

    Read More »from ‘Blacklist’ for stolen smartphones in Canada now in effect
  • Since the launch of the iPhone 2G what seems like forever ago (but was actually in 2007), Apple’s famed smartphone has come a long way, technologically speaking. There’s been plenty of speed tests before to see just how far it has come, but this latest video from Everything Apple Pro on YouTube shows some surprising results, and is strangely mesmerizing.

    For those who aren’t fans of Apple products, the video’s narrator may come off a little over-exuberant when we see the results of the test. After turning the phones off, on and loading websites, the iPhone 5s is the clear overall winner, but when it comes to some tasks, it lags behind the older models.

    In the test, the iOS 7 devices all shut down simultaneously, several seconds after the devices running iOS 6. The startup test was probably the most surprising, with the iOS 7 devices all starting first, followed by the 2G, the oldest of the bunch. The 3G, 3GS and 4 brought up the rear.

    The new A7 chip installed in the latest iPhone, the

    Read More »from iPhone comparison video shows surprising winners amongst older phone models
  • Ever thought the key combination of Ctrl-Alt-Delete was a little awkward for every time you want to restart your computer? Well the former head of Microsoft, Bill Gates, says that it wasn’t meant to be like that, and blames IBM for it.

    In an interview at Harvard last week, Gates said that they needed a key combination to signal to the hardware to start the operating system, preventing other applications from faking a login prompt and stealing a password, The Verge explains.

    “We could have had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn’t wanna give us our single button,” said Gates. “It was a mistake.”

    To hear Gates answer the question, skip ahead to 16:40:

    ‘The guy’ Gates is referring to is David Bradley, an engineer who worked on the original IBM PC, and he’s previously laid the blame on Bill Gates. In an earlier interview, Bradley said “I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous.”

    [ Related: World’s thinnest keyboard unveiled by English company CSR ]

    You can see

    Read More »from Bill Gates calls the awkward Control-Alt-Delete command a mistake
  • (Reuters photo)Mark Leiser wasn’t tweeting about a bomb, nor was he suggesting any other violent act to commit aboard a plane. All Leiser did was tweet that a flight delay was going to prevent a soldier from getting where he needed to be, and that was enough for an airline to stop him from boarding the flight.

    The tech law columnist for The Drum and professor sent out this tweet about a 90 minute flight delay on September 24:

    Shortly after, Leiser sent a tweet explaining that a manager had informed him he wouldn’t be allowed to board the flight.

    “You’re a lawyer,” The Drum reports the manager said to Leiser. “You know you can’t tweet stuff like that and expect to get on an easyJet flight.”

    [ More Right Click: Horse_ebooks Twitter account isn’t spam, it’s performance art – sort of ]

    Leister says he was asked to step out of the

    Read More »from Tweet gets man barred from boarding easyJet flight
  • Many of the spambots on Twitter – accounts that spit out seemingly incoherent and/or robotic phrases, often when someone uses a particular word, phrase or hashtag – are good for a mild chuckle every now and then, but it’s rare that one catches on quite like @Horse_ebooks. Seemingly more profound than most spambots found on Twitter, @Horse_ebooks spawned a fandom, as people dedicated fan fiction, poetry and a senior yearbook quote to the strange missives that the account spewed.

    Some speculated that it was an attempt by an online bookstore to drum up interest, only to be left, neglected, to generate strange statements seemingly at random. Others thought it might have been a bot that was sharing excerpts from an upcoming book or movie. And there were a select few who thought that one of the spambots on Twitter had gained sentience and was trying to reach out – those people were largely ignored.

    Read More »from Horse_ebooks Twitter account isn’t spam, it’s performance art – sort of
  • In its next attempt to take down Apple’s popular iPad, Microsoft has unveiled its next generation of tablets. At a presentation this morning, Microsoft debuted the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2, both of which build on the features of their predecessors, and bring many of the features that users wanted right out of the gate.

    Microsoft seemed to take many of the complaints users had with and incorporated them into the latest models, including a new two-position kickstand that makes holding the tablet on your lap and typing much more comfortable. The detachable keyboard now also includes a backlight, for typing in low-light conditions.

    The overall appearance of the device has been tweaked slightly, with the Surface 2 being made thinner and lighter than its predecessor. It also comes in a new silver metal-coloured back, and new colours of keyboard have been shown for both devices, too. The screens on both tablets are the same size, but now support 1080p.

    [ More Right Click: Steve Ballmer’s

    Read More »from Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro announced by Microsoft

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