By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Three of Canada’s new mobile phone carriers have jointly announced they’re withdrawing…
TORONTO – Three of Canada’s new mobile phone carriers have jointly announced they’re withdrawing from the industry’s lobby group, claiming it’s biased against their interests in favour of their big rivals.
Wind Mobile, Public Mobile and Mobilicity accused the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association of consistently taking positions that favour Canada’s three older, bigger carriers.
The trio of privately owned companies says the association promised to be a voice for all its members but has largely been an advocate for Rogers (TSX:RCI.B), Bell (TSX:BCE) and Telus (TSX:T).
“When we were first approached by the CWTA, we were promised clear and fair representation on issues of true industry alignment,” said Simon Lockie, Wind Mobile’s chief regulatory officer.
By Chris Sorensen - Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM - 0 Comments
How does this ‘almost theatrically overblown phone’ deliver on user experience?
With its five-inch screen, 13-megapixel camera and software that senses whether you’re looking at it, Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 is “an almost theatrically overblown phone, stuffed to the plastic casing with hardware and features,” according to PC Magazine.
It was not quite the revolutionary device many had hoped for, but it’s still making über-minimalist Apple Inc. uncharacteristically uncomfortable. In a Wall Street Journal interview, marketing chief Phil Schiller dismissed the S4 and other phones that run Google’s Android software as unworthy iPhone competitors, citing a subpar user experience.
He may well be right, but the comments came off looking petty and defensive, given that Apple’s stock has dropped by 35 per cent over the past six months, while Samsung’s has soared 11 per cent. Besides, it’s unlikely consumers will punish Samsung for offering them more for their money.
By Tamsin McMahon - Friday, February 1, 2013 at 1:13 PM - 0 Comments
RIMBlackBerry has launched its new smartphone, the BlackBerry 10, this week to largely positive reviews, the Internet is rife with lists promising consumers “Everything You Need to Know” about the new device.
Rather than add another review to the mix, we’ve put together our own top five list of “Top Five” lists about the new BlackBerry 10:
1. CNN offers its take on the five coolest features about the new BlackBerry 10.
2. Not one to get too caught up in the hype of the phone’s release, the Toronto Star offers five ways in which RIM screwed up in the past.
3. Android OS fan site Androidauthority.com found five things about the new BlackBerry 10 that should leave Android users quaking in their boots
4. Gizmodo offers five videos of stupid things people did to win a free BlackBerry 10 from fan site Crackberry.com (Hint: they involved bikinis, tattoos and paper cranes.)
5. Following on its hugely successful Nov. 27 post entitled “20 Things You Didn’t Know About Baby Carrots,” The Huffington Post honoured the BB10 launch with its top things you didn’t know about blackberries. (The fruit, not the company/phone.)
Apparently, blackberries are also known as thimbleberries and lawers. Also, if your blackberry plant turns orange, it’s dying of an incurable fungus and should go in the garbage. (No word on whether the same advice applies to BlackBerry 10.)
By Kate Lunau - Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 1:53 AM - 0 Comments
Fewer young people are learning to drive. The biggest reason for the move away from driving is the Internet
This summer, Sarah Mohammed is going on a road trip. She and three of her friends plan to drive from Montreal, where they live, to the Okanagan Valley. “We’re going to work on some orchards and vineyards in the Interior of B.C.,” says Mohammed, 23. The trip is to mark her recent graduation from the University of King’s College, in Halifax. “I just finished school and I want to do something different,” she says. But on the long drive west, Mohammed won’t be taking any shifts behind the wheel—she doesn’t have a driver’s licence. “Oh, I won’t actually be driving. I’m just being a leech,” she jokes.
Mohammed didn’t go out of her way to avoid learning how to drive. “It’s just something that kind of happened, because of the places I lived,” she says. As a high school student in Toronto, “I just didn’t bother.” At university in Halifax, “everything was very accessible by bike or bus, and it wasn’t really necessary.” Now, in Montreal, she walks, bikes or takes the subway. Mohammed worries that, once she gets to the rural B.C. Interior, she’ll be dependent on her friends for lifts. Of the four heading west, only two can drive. “I’ll pretty much be at their mercy,” she says.
Mohammed isn’t alone. She’s one of a growing number of younger people who shrug their shoulders at the idea of getting a driver’s licence, leaving car companies fretting and older generations perplexed. Getting a licence used to be a rite of passage—one that brought younger people together, gave them access to jobs, opportunities and the glories of the open road. It meant adulthood, and freedom. “That moment when the keys got passed from dad or mom to you, and you could drive by yourself, was a liberation,” says Steve Penfold, who teaches a course on the history of the automobile at the University of Toronto. “It said, ‘I’m trustworthy enough to drive a car. I’m bordering on adulthood.’ ” People remember their first car “like they remember nothing else,” he says, and often they gave the car a name.
By macleans.ca - Monday, June 4, 2012 at 3:53 PM - 0 Comments
Global shipments of ‘phablets’ are predicted to increase tenfold this year over last
Remember when critics said the iPad was just an oversized iPhone?
Its wild success proved doubters wrong, and it now appears to have sparked a new trend: the swelling size of mobile devices.
“Phablets” are devices with screens that are larger than those on a mobile phone (normally 3.5 to four inches diagonally) but smaller than on a tablet (the iPad is 9.7 inches). While some might call phablets the Capri pants of technology, there is evidence the devices are more than a passing fad.
Despite a slow start in 2011, global shipments are predicted to increase tenfold this year over last, according to a recent report by research firm ABI, and sell at a rate of 208 million annually by 2015. Though the phablet’s dimensions are awkwardly sized for a phone, the screen makes web browsing and video watching more convenient.
Samsung, LG and Panasonic are all selling phablets. There is growing speculation the upcoming iPhone 5 will have a larger screen than the current model.
These bigger devices could have another side effect: the return of the stylus (the pens used to draw on screens). Last week Apple filed a patent for a new stylus, the iPen. If any company can resurrect a piece of technology that critics deem outdated and unwanted, it’s Apple.
By Alan Parker - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 3:58 PM - 0 Comments
The last bastion of freedom from the intrusive, ubiquitous, unrelenting tyranny of cell phone clamour is about to disappear
Virgin Atlantic has announced it will soon allow passengers to make in-flight phone calls on their personal mobile devices. The service will initially be available only on Virgin Atlantic’s A330 service between London and New York, but will be offered on at least 10 of its routes by the end of 2012. Other airlines won’t be far behind.
And that will be the end of the last refuge on earth — or 30,000 feet above it — from the tentacled control of telephones over our lives.
It used to be — in the good old days — that even the most hardened business traveller and tech junkie was forced to switch off his or her cell phone at the boarding gate and spend the next six or 10 or 16 hours cut off from that constantly pumping umbilical connection with the rest of the world.
Whether they would admit it or not, most of them found the enforced abstinence a blessed relief.
As for the rest of us without a telephone addiction, there has always been a special letting-go feeling of being cocooned in that metal tube hurtling through time and space with only the most tenuous connection to the earthly concerns of our daily lives.
Of course there were always the wailing babies and expansive seat mates, but that’s a different form of encroachment — almost a life-affirming intimacy — than the telephonic intrusiveness that now pervades coffee shops, elevators, restaurants and most public spaces, even theatre performances.
I do not want to be trapped on a seven-hour flight from Heathrow to Pearson with the person beside me droning endlessly into his cellphone about his chihuahua’s scabies and the person in front of me engaging in a loud, soul-destroying argument about technical specifications with a colleague on the other side of the world.
I want my seven-hour cocoon trajectory back. And that’s just for an Atlantic crossing. I simply can’t image how noisesomely awful a flight across the Pacific will be a year or two from now when everyone is allowed to chatter incessantly on their iPhones and BlackBerries all the way from Vancouver to Hong Kong.
If long-distance airline flights are now a form of moving purgatory, the addition of cell phone cacophony will make them a living hell.
By Alex Derry - Monday, October 3, 2011 at 10:00 AM - 1 Comment
Al Gore drops a hint about Apple’s anticipated new iPhone launch
Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, the self-described inventor of the Internet and global warming prophet, has once again displayed his oracular powers. While speaking last week at an economic conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, Gore, an Apple board member, made specific mention of “the new iPhones coming out next month.” His statement, which he said was intended to be a “plug,” sent tech watchers into a tizzy of speculation over whether Apple would be launching not one, but two models of the iPhone—a slightly upgraded iPhone 4S and the brand new (and hotly anticipated) iPhone 5—at a rumoured launch event on Oct. 4. Neither Gore nor Apple, which is notoriously secretive about new products, has clarified the remarks. But given his inside knowledge of the company’s plans, Gore seems to have confirmed that there will be at least one new iPhone hitting the shelves in October.