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Cool Tech Toys for Black Friday Shopping

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Gadgets Trends
Tied to American Thanksgiving, Black Friday is the U.S. kick-off of the holiday shopping season. And while Canadians continue to begin our seasonal shopping in December—some of us as late as the third week, sorry Mom—the areas of electronics, gadgets, toys and hobbies are a different story, with Canadians loving our Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) sales.

What to Ask Before Buying Your Next Phone System

By Shaun Randall  |  Categories: Communications Trends
10 questions everyone should ask before their next phone system purchase

Choosing the Best Internet Service for Your Business

By Tommy Chiu  |  Categories: Trends
Few businesses can run today without an Internet connection, but deciding on the ideal service could be daunting.

6S by Any Other Name is Still Sweet

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Trends
Vancouver-based marketing firm urged Apple to leave

The Answer to SMB Network Performance

By Vin Rao  |  Categories: Cloud computing Trends

In China Mobiles Thrive While Postcards Wither

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Mobility Trends
In addition to Webslinger, I write the blog Deltiology Deity about postcards. I've loved collecting postcards since I was a kid. In my lifetime, I've noticed the flourishing and then the dramatic decline of the communication medium of postcards. I'm also an avid user and researcher of mobile devices and had the great opportunity to see the birth and flourishing of this medium.

BC Court Ruling Offers Strong Defence of Internet Keyword Advertising

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law Trends
The success of Internet giant Google has largely been based on something small: Internet advertising that use tiny keyword-based ads to generate billions of dollars in revenue. Given Google’s massive audience, advertisers have been willing to pay for search-based ads that deliver clicks back to their websites. Those ads appear as sponsored results alongside the organic, relevancy-based search results.

Canadian Banks Concern: Falling Behind in Mobile Technology

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Trends
A CenturyLink survey on the mobile banking and IT capabilities of Canada’s financial services industry, Banks: Customers Expect That You’re Always On and Available, Are You Ready?, reveals that nearly half (46 per cent) of Canadian banking executives surveyed do not think they have the IT infrastructure, systems and processes in place to meet present and future customer expectations for mobile payments.

Get Dedicated! 5 Reasons You Need Dedicated Internet

By Vin Rao  |  Categories: Trends
To have a dedicated Internet connection or not to… that is the question. The answer is actually pretty easy to determine.

VMware Desktop Virtualization Gets Windows 10 Treatment

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Cloud computing Trends

This week VMware released its desktop virtualization software for Windows, Linux and Macs that have been upgraded to support Windows 10 and given a performance boost.

BlackBerry Joins Forces with PayPal for Mobile Payments

By Amanda Baines  |  Categories: Mobility Trends

Taken from a recent press release on the official blog of BlackBerry, the mobile phone manufacturer announced that users can now connect their PayPal account to their BBM (BlackBerry Messenger).

3 Ways Phone Systems Aren’t What They Used to Be (…But Better)

By Matthew Leppanen  |  Categories: Trends
We’ve come a long way, there’s no question that our phones aren’t the same as they once were. Look around for a payphone—remember those?—and you’ll see a clear illustration that our relationship with phones has changed.

Presentation Software with New Features that Make Presenting More Engaging for Students and Teachers

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Trends
Check out the new features Prezi presentation software has added since the last school year, all of which make presenting easier and more engaging for students and teachers.

Netflix Taxes and Canadian Digital Issues in the Election Spotlight

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Trends
This week my regular technology law column (Toronto Star versionhomepage version) focused on the long election campaign and the prospect that digital issues might get some time in the spotlight. The column pointed to three broad themes – what comes after Bill C-51, the Trans Pacific Partnership, and a digital strategy 3.0. As part of the digital strategy discussion, I stated that questions abound, including “are new regulations over services such as Netflix on the horizon?”

First Autonomous Vehicle to Be Run on a Canadian Road by University Of Waterloo Students

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Trends
Today local startup Varden Labs will achieve a first in Canada when they run their autonomous (self-driving) shuttle on Ring Road at the University of Waterloo main campus.

Nova Scotian Not-for-profit and CATAAlliance Team to Promote Women in Tech

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Trends

Techsploration, a Nova Scotia-based not-for-profit organization that assists young women in exploring science, tech and trades careers, is partnering with the CATAAlliance to collaborate on content for a portal to promote the mentorship around women in technology.

Need Help with Telecom Acronyms and Jargon?

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Trends Unified Communications
A recent visitor to Backbone’s “Ask the Expert” wanted definitions of PBX, Hosted PBX, IVR, PABX, SIP – all acronyms and jargon in the telecommunications world.

5 Factors For Finding The Perfect Telephone Provider

By Matthew Leppanen  |  Categories: Trends

I’ve written recently about how crucial a business’s communications system is to its success. The right cloud-based telephone system and call centre can act as an enabler for improving customer experience.

Fixing Up the Office Communication Breakdowns

By Matthew Leppanen  |  Categories: Trends
Communications is an essential component of any well-oiled workplace. Is there anything worse than those more-than-just-awkward situations when business communications breaks down? Sadly, we often don’t know it’s happening until it’s too late.

Trend Micro Looks Deeper at the Deep Web

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Trends
CBS’s new TV show CSI: Cyber is busy scaring the bejeezus out of Internet-using grandparents everywhere, but how real a threat is the Deep Web—often called the “dark net” by that show’s fictional FBI agents—and just how deep does it go?

Backbone Launches ‘Ask the Expert’ Feature

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Business innovation Trends
Backbone has recently added a new website widget called Ask the Expert. This is a place for you to share queries with us on the topics of technology and innovation on different themes each month, such as hosted phone services, cloud computing, high speed Internet, security and outsourcing.

Is Voicemail Dead? Not If We Can Help It

By Matthew Leppanen  |  Categories: Trends
Business news outlets in the last few weeks were abuzz about the fact that megabank JPMorgan Chase & Co. was cutting voicemail service for most of its consumer bank employees in what was being dubbed as voicemail’s demise.

How to Satisfy Savvy, Connected Canadians

By Brad Fisher  |  Categories: Trends
Primus recently teamed up with Ryerson University’s start-up incubator DMZ on a comprehensive national online survey entitled Canadians & Their Connected Devices: How the Internet of Things is Changing our Lives.

Edsby Adds Office 365 Integration

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: eLearning Trends

Edsby,winner of Backbone’s 2013 Innovation Campaign, this week extended its software to integrate with Microsoft’s Office 365, making it easier for K-12 teachers, parents and students using Microsoft’s cloud-based solutions.

Personalization: How Much Is Too Much?

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Trends
Retailers have ever-more information at their fingertips to customize and personalize their customers’ experiences, and customers have come to expect it—and sometimes demand—this as the new norm.

Banking Study Highlights Importance of Digital Capabilities

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Trends
A new North American banking study conducted by Accenture has for the first time ranked online capabilities as the top criteria of Canadian bank customers, even more than branches and fees.

Learning Appreciation for Graphic Literature

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: eLearning Trends
Recently, I was invited to conduct a workshop for kids aged 8-12 on graphic novels and web comics at my local library. As you may be able to tell from the name of this blog, I am a fan of comics. When I was a kid I did not like reading and only read comic books and books in the Choose Your Own Adventure series (now I'm a PhD candidate so don't believe the criticism that reading comics makes you stupid.)

In Defence of Stock Photos

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Trends
Stock photography - that is a library of royalty-free photos - seems to be the subject of much mockery lately. Buzzfeed has numerous, hilarious pages involving the glorification of the cheesiness of stock photos.

Undergrad Students Predict Technology Trends

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Trends
I have been working as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate e-business class for the Communication, Culture, Information and Technology program at the University of Toronto's Mississauga campus, which gives me the chance to talk about some cool tech, trends, and their possible ramifications for business.

The World Ski & Snowboard Festival: There’s An App For That

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Mobility Trends
At Backbone, along with all tech, we love apps and if they can add value to an already fun experience, even better. Whether you can or can’t get away from your desk and want to see what the cool kids are doing in Whistler next week, check out this new app!

Tips for Corporate Websites and Intranets

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Trends
I'm lecturing to an undergraduate class this week on careers in the design and management of corporate websites and intranets. Having worked in the area for over eleven years, it's a subject I am quite familiar with.

Why Did the CRTC Mandate Pick-and-Pay? Because BDU’s Wouldn’t Do It On Their Own

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Trends
The CRTC released its TalkTV decision this afternoon and – as expected – it includes a mandatory basic service capped at $25 per month (which may include U.S. channels) and mandates a pick-and-pay alternative no later than December 2016.  Why did the CRTC conclude that it needed to regulate a pick-and-pay option?

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