Telus Details Investment Plans for Calgary, Greater Montréal, and Ontario

by Istvan Fekete on April 27, 2015

Canada’s No. 2 carrier, Telus, is busy upgrading its infrastructure across the country. Recently, we’ve seen several announcements from Telus covering multiple geographical areas, such as Ontario, greater Montréal, and Calgary, following announcements of a network upgrade scheduled for British Columbia and Alberta.

Telus will invest $116 million across the Greater Montréal area this year to improve its wireless network as part of its plans to invest $1.6 billion in Québec through 2018.

Another $212 million goes to the Calgary area in 2015 to enhance wireless capacity and speed, connect homes and businesses directly to its fibre optic network, pilot Telus Health programs, and continue the construction of Telus Sky.
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Google Partners with Ray-Ban/Oakley for the Future of Glass

by Matt Klassen on April 27, 2015

Google Glass is not dead, far from it in fact, as reports indicate a more consumer friendly version of Google’s eyewear project is already in the works, and this time the company will make a concerted effort to overcome the barriers that hampered societal integration, adoption, and acceptance the first time around.

Taking a page from Apple, who plumbed the fashion industry when it hired its head of retail last year, Google has partnered with Italian eyewear maker Luxottica, the parent company of two of America’s most recognized names in eyewear, Ray-Ban and Oakley. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Luxottica CEO Massimo Vian said his company is working closely with Google on the new eyewear project, noting that it will be coming soon.

While the inglorious exit of Google Glass earlier this year had many speculating whether Google would be abandoning the project, two things were abundantly clear to me: First, Google Glass was the future of eyewear, a perfect embodiment of everything science fiction has told us our future will look like. Second, Google Glass was far too, well, technological for mass adoption, meaning that in order to take the project to the next level Google would have to embrace the fashion industry like Apple before it. Now we’ll get to see what the future of connected eyewear will really look like…and whether fashion can make technology ‘cool.’

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Google’s Lofty Plans for Delivering Internet Access to the Unconnected Billions

by Matt Klassen on April 24, 2015

Facebook may have its drones set to deliver the Internet to the unconnected billions on our planet, but Google has its own lofty plans for global Internet service. Dubbed Project Loon, Google X, the company’s research and development arm, is in the process of establishing a global Internet network on the backs of specialized high-altitude balloons, an audacious project that the company says is progressing nicely since it was first announced in 2013.

Earlier this week Astro Teller, the head of the Google X research lab, said that its floating global Internet connectivity solution would be mobile platform agnostic, meaning it will provide Internet connectivity via the balloons to both Android and iOS devices, the two most popular smartphone operating systems in the world.

The inclusion of rival Apple’s iOS in its Internet service is certainly no altruistic endeavour though, as like its other rival Facebook, Google’s ultimate goal here is obvious: Be the one to deliver the Internet to the unconnected billions and you will control the Internet for the unconnected billions. It’s a small price to pay to embrace your largest mobile competitor if global Internet domination is the real prize.

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The Time for IoT Security is Now (before it’s too late)

by Jeff Wiener on April 24, 2015

Here’s a scary thought: A next-gen cyber-terrorist hacks into an airplane from the ground, assumes control of the aircraft, and remotedly crashes it into the ground. While such a thing may sound like the plot of an action movie this was actually one of the possible scenarios detailed in a recent Government Accountability Office report on the security vulnerabilities in modern commercial aircraft.

While such a scenario remains highly unlikely, the problem is that it’s not impossible, and more to the point, such threats exist across the entire gamut of connected devices. So if such attacks are possible against an Internet-connected aircraft, how much more likely are such cyber-intrusions likely to happen on our more pedestrian connected devices in the growing world of the Internet of Things (IoT)?

According to security expert and CTO of Resilient Systems Bruce Schneier, while direct cyber-attacks against networks controlling aircraft or self-driving cars or other critical infrastructure are a real threat, they aren’t very likely. What is likely however—and significantly more disconcerting—are the attacks against less protected devices across the growing Internet of Things, devices that could act as gateways into what is quickly becoming an all-encompassing inter-connected network, where one hole in the dam, as it were, could quickly lead to an entire systematic collapse.

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Meet Project Fi, Google’s Mobile Carrier Experiment

by Istvan Fekete on April 23, 2015

After months of whispers about a potential launch, it’s finally official: Google announced its mobile carrier ambitions. It is called Project Fi, and the early-invite program started yesterday.

Currently, Project Fi is limited to the Nexus 6 and requires a special SIM card. The reasoning is simple: The project is just rolling out. You can’t sign up for the service – you need to get an early-access invite. This will allow Google to gather data and customer feedback to improve its service as it prepares for a national rollout.

There are a few features that make Project Fi unique: First, there is Google’s move to charge customers only for the data they use, compared to the flat monthly fee other carriers use. In some ways it does have a flat monthly fee: 1 GB of data will cost you $10. But that’s only theoretically, because if you use only half of it, you get charged only $5. That’s nice.
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Verizon Sticks with Contracts amidst Wireless Industry Shift

by Matt Klassen on April 23, 2015

As the wireless industry undergoes a radical paradigm shift away from restrictive and binding contracts towards most consumer friendly pay-as-you-go options, the nation’s largest carrier, Verizon, seems to be standing firm in its faith in the old post paid business model, and that faith is certainly getting tested.

Over the last year Verizon’s vulnerability to the aggressive marketing campaigns of the industry’s smaller competitors has begun to show; the first chinks in its once ironclad armour atop the wireless industry. The company’s new subscriber rate has begun to slow and over the last few quarters it has seen a steady increase in its churn rate–that is, the metric of subscriber turnover– as consumers seek out the greener pastures of T-Mobile, Sprint, or AT&T.

But where most other major competitors in the wireless market have finally seen the value in abolishing contracts in favour of monthly instalment plans Verizon’s faith in contracts through these tough times now seems to be well placed, as although Q1 results show that Big Red didn’t add as many new subscribers as analysts estimated, it was able to slow its consumer exodus, a metric that the company is optimistic will continue to improve as the year goes on.

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BlackBerry Acquires Israeli Data Security Firm WatchDox

by Istvan FeketeApril 22, 2015

BlackBerry yesterday announced that it has agreed to acquire WatchDox Ltd to further enhance its “unmatched”, best-in-class mobile security and give enterprise customers more control over their files even after data leaves the corporate network. Blackberry can do that by incorporating WatchDox’s technology to complement its Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) portfolio. The terms of the [...]

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The end of Silicon-based technology may be closer than you think

by Matt KlassenApril 22, 2015

Silicon is the lifeblood of the modern computing industry, responsible for everything in our increasingly connected existence from PCs to smartphones to more advanced self-driving cars and the like. In fact the Mecca of the technological world even bears its name,Silicon Valley, evidence that atomic element number 14 is vital to our continued technological progress. [...]

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Rogers Q1 2015: Revenue Up 5%, Profits Down to $255 Million

by Istvan FeketeApril 21, 2015

Yesterday, Rogers announced its unaudited, consolidated financial and operating results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2015. The numbers speak for themselves: While revenue is up 5%, driven by wireless, cable and media, net profit is down to $255 million for this period of the year compared to the same period a year ago when [...]

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Nokia Faces Difficult Smartphone Resurrection

by Matt KlassenApril 21, 2015

There are few companies who have been able to resurrect themselves out of the garbage pile of technological irrelevance, fewer so who have been able to do it without significant reinvention and refocus, but with the announcement of the pending acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent last week it seems that once glorious Finnish tech giant Nokia is [...]

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