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No iPhone Storage? No Problem!

By Jim Harris  |  Categories: Gadgets Mobility

PhotoFast CR-8800 iOS MicroSD Card Reader - this device is fantastic. It’s fast, easy to use and a great enhancement to your iPhone or iPad or iTouch.

More Canadians Seek Better Work-Life Balance

By Ben Mears  |  Categories: Trends

The busy life of a professional office worker seems to be taking its toll on Canadians, as more are turning to entrepreneurship and startup businesses with the hope of achieving a better work-life balance. Intuit Canada recently conducted a survey to find out why so many Canadians are becoming entrepreneurs.

Top Tech Trends CES Explained in 4 Graphs

By Jim Harris  |  Categories: Tech events Trends
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) began January 6 in Las Vegas – and in 2016 it was the platform for 20,000 product launches. The 2.4 million square feet of exhibit space is equal to about 50 football fields. The event is Mecca to 150,000 tech enthusiasts.

#BCTECH Summit sets a new course for tech in BC

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Tech events

The largest tech event ever held in BC was a great success this week. The BCTECH Summit, a two-day celebration of BC technology innovation, hosted more than 2,800 people from across BC and beyond.

Unfriending is Unprofessional and Unnecessary

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Social media
According to a recent Australian regulatory decision, unfriending a coworker on Facebook can add up to workplace bullying. There were other actions leading up to this, but unfriending was key (see CNETfor details). Just recently, and without provocation, I was similarly bullied!

Ransomware, Hacktivism May Be Up for 2016

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Security Trends
It’s that time of year, and security experts are making their forecasts for what to expect in 2016 and beyond; among them include more of the threats that had been on the rise this year such as ransomware and hacktivism.

Why Hosted Call Centres are SMB Game Changers

By Christopher Millar  |  Categories: SMB Trends

As businesses continue to embrace ecommerce and globalization, in many cases turning to the cloud to expand their capabilities and reach, hosted call centre solutions are becoming more common.

Dear Facebook Diary

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Social media
Earlier this year in March, Facebook launched the On This Day feature that shows a user his or her Facebook content from that same day from years past. Status updates, tagged photos, wall posts from friends, funny drawings, meme videos you commented on, etc. all from years gone by are presented in reverse chronological order for your nostalgic perusal.

Technology and the TPP: A Panel Discussion

By Michael Geist  |  Categories:
Last month, the University of Ottawa hosted a standing room only panel on technology and the TPP featuring Burcu Kilic, Carolina Rossini, Jeremy deBeer, Tamir Israel and myself. The panel was moderated by Loris Mirella, the lead IP negotiator on the TPP for the Canadian government.

FreshBooks to Release Credit Card Payment Hardware for Small Businesses

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Mobility Trends
Toronto-based small business accounting software company FreshBooks announced earlier this month it would be releasing hardware that will allow small businesses owners to securely accept credit card payments using their mobile phones.

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.

Kayak Fish Finder Duo Gets A Million Bucks On Dragon's Den

By Robert Campbell  |  Categories:
Oct 15 2015, Season Ten of CBC's Dragons' Den, Episode Two detailed some disruptive Canadian fishing technology. Dressed as sport fishermen in khaki vests, Michael Smith and Chester Yeum unveiled an amazing portable sonar fish finder that sketches marine life on smart phones, and then asked the Dragons for a million bucks to make it work even better.

Trends and Opportunities for Trade and Investment in China

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Business events
The Vancouver International Trade & Investment Summit - CHINA: Emerging Trends & Opportunities takes place in Vancouver, BC on December 7, 2015.

New Government May Mean a Brighter Tech Outlook: CATA

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Economic development Canada Technology start-ups
The appointment on November 4 of a Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a pivot to the future for the tech industry in Canada, said John Reid, CEO of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance).

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

BC Tech Summit Set to Reshape BC Business - January 18 – 19, 2016

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Tech events
BC Tech Summit will likely be the biggest and most enlightening tech conference British Columbia has ever experienced.

Making Your Next Office Move Smarter

By Tommy Chiu  |  Categories: Cloud computing Wireless
5 tech tips to consider before your next office relocation. In a country flush with entrepreneurs—which nearly 13 per cent of working-age Canadians are—the need to relocate one’s business is almost as inevitable as taxes, and can be just as daunting.

Beacons Vital to Mobile Marketing Strategies: CMA/LoyaltyOne Survey

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Mobility Sales and marketing
Location, location, location. The long-time mantra of real estate agents everywhere may be the future mantra of marketers, according to the findings of a recent survey conducted by the Canadian Marketing Association and LoyaltyOne.

Keeping Business Running During Everything from Snowstorms to the Flu

By Tommy Chiu  |  Categories: Cloud computing Security

Ask many business owners whether they have a business continuity plan and they’ll proudly say, “Yep. We have off-site back-up in case of a disaster.” 

Canadian Wireless Trade Show in its Fifth Year

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Tech events
Canada's annual Premiere B2B wireless and mobile communications trade show takes place this month at the Toronto Congress Centre located minutes away from the Toronto International Airport in Toronto on October 28th and 29th, 2015. 

Why Universal, Affordable Internet Access Should be 2015 Election Campaign Issue

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Economic development Canada
The long election campaign of 2015 has featured a myriad of daily policy announcements as the three largest political parties vie for attention and votes. From targeted tax cuts to new spending promises, political leaders have focused on education, child care, defence, the environment and more. Yet thus far largely missing from the campaign has been the most fundamental digital issue – universal, affordable broadband Internet access.

Canadian Small Businesses Struggle with Online Exposure: GoDaddy

By Anonymous  |  Categories:
Building a brand is always a big challenge, but for Canadian small businesses it’s the biggest, according to a recent survey conducted by web host GoDaddy.

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.

Why Internet Privacy Should be a Key Election Issue

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law
Canada’s controversial anti-terrorism bill, Bill C-51, has emerged as a key talking point in the current election campaign. Pointing to its big implications for privacy and surveillance, the NDP sees political opportunity by emphasizing its opposition to the bill, while the Liberals have been forced to defend their decision to support it (but call for amendments if elected). The Conservatives unsurprisingly view the bill as evidence of their commitment to national security and have even floated the possibility of additional anti-terror measures.

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.

The Vancouver Economic Commission Launches First Ever Startup City

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Tech events
The Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) is launching Startup City, a week-long celebration of Vancouver's startup community. Startups of all stages will come together to learn how to build on the opportunities in Vancouver and make it the best startup ecosystem in the world.

The Hardest Thing About Social Media

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Social media
One might say that the hardest thing about social media is figuring out the privacy settings to make sure anything embarrsing isn't made public. But I don't buy that argument anymore - as social media sites have made it quite easy and given multiple ways to configure privacy settings.

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.

List of Location Based Services

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Mobility
I'll soon be starting a study on location-based services. I'll be studying the field rather broadly - any mobile application or mobile website that deliver geotargetted content.

Program Gives Start-ups a More Solid Start

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Technology start-ups

A new program being launched this week by Accelerate Okanagan promises to help give entrepreneurs in that region help at the earliest stages of their business.

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.

In the Zone: Study Finds That Using Headphones During Exercise Helps Athletes Stay Focused

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Gadgets
Whether it's for taking a brisk walk, going for a bike ride or for running a few laps on the track, many top and amateur athletes alike consider their headphones a real workout essential.

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.

Which Way is Up? How Locative Media May Enhance Sense of Place

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Mobility
Last September, I participated in a workshop at the Mobile HCI conference (read my blogpost). My short paper was selected as one of the best from the conference, so I was invited to submit a full length article for the Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction.

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.

Cloud’s Not New, Let’s Stop Being Skittish

By Tommy Chiu  |  Categories: Cloud computing
Cloud is more than a decade old. In Internet time, that’s a lifetime. But many businesses and individuals still see it as novel and are reluctant to adopt it, whether it is for security reasons, concerns about cost, loss of control, or voice quality issues in the case of VoIP.

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.


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