In the news … June 14, 2018

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Salesforce deepens data sharing partnership with Google

Last Fall at Dreamforce, Salesforce announced a deepening friendship with Google . That began to take shape in January with integration between Salesforce CRM data and Google Analytics 360 and Google BigQuery. Today, the two cloud giants announced the next step as the companies will share data between Google Analytics 360 and the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

This particular data sharing partnership makes even more sense as the companies can share web analytics data with marketing personnel to deliver ever more customized experiences for users (or so the argument goes, right?).


Today, on World Day Against Child Labour, World Vision has released a new report on Canadian links to this global issue. The “Hidden Cost of Beauty” report uncovers the high risk of child labour in Canada’s multi-billion dollar cosmetics market and stresses the need for legislative action and other realistic solutions to address this Canadian issue.


Tariffs on Canadian paper squeezing news industry

It is not your imagination: your newspaper may well be smaller these days.

Publishers at newspapers nationwide, already buffeted by the transition to digital media, say reducing page counts is one adjustment they have made since tariffs on Canadian newsprint — the paper newspapers are printed on — increased cost by 32 percent this year.

In an industry where newsprint is typically the second-highest cost after payroll, publishers are scrambling to balance their books and meet their watchdog mission that many see as the cornerstone of democracy.


Shaw Rocket Fund kick-starts online kids’ safety program for Canadian digital content in partnership with kidSAFE Seal

The Shaw Rocket Fund is proud to announce a new kids’ digital safety program to help Canadian producers ensure a safe environment for kids when creating digital experiences: the Rocket Online Safety Program. The announcement was made at the Banff World Media Festival with President & CEO of the Shaw Rocket Fund, Agnes Augustin and kidSAFE Seal founder, Shai Samet.

Online safety and privacy for kids has been an increasing concern for the production industry. The Rocket Online Safety Program will ensure that all Canadian digital content receiving Rocket Fund investment be certified based on established online safety and/or privacy standards through the kidSAFE Seal Program, an independent safety certification service designed exclusively for children-friendly websites and technologies. Online game sites, educational services, virtual worlds, social networks, mobile apps, tablet devices, connected toys, and other similar online and interactive services will all be eligible for this program. The Rocket Online Safety Program will launch in September 2018.


In the news … June 13, 2018

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Disney’s ESPN Finally Embraces the Future

While it’s true The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE:DIS) ESPN is struggling, investors should take the media’s reporting on this subject with a grain of salt. Although The Wall Street Journal and other Fox-owned properties blame politics, ESPN’s problem is closer to home: sports.

Deadspin notes that since 2015, when cord-cutting began in earnest, nearly every cable network has lost subscribers. Political networks MSNBC and Fox News have fared better than most by losing “only” 6% and 7% of their subscribers, respectively, the latter matching ESPN, while sports-based networks NBATV, MLB, and Golf Channel have lost 18%, 14%, and 10%, respectively.


Torstar reaches exclusive deal with The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal’s award-winning business news and analysis is coming to Canada!

Effective Tuesday, June 12, Torstar daily newspapers and websites across the country will begin publishing a limited sample of articles from The Wall Street Journal, the world’s pre-eminent source of financial news and information.

Also starting Tuesday, June 12, the Toronto Star, Torstar’s flagship newspaper, will launch Star Business Journal, a major new initiative with both print and online editions featuring articles on business, the economy, technology and markets from The Wall Street Journal.


A Company Built on a Bluff

It was sunny in Williamsburg on the last Wednesday in May, which also happened to be the second day of a new era at Vice Media. Visitors were still required to sign in on a tablet that featured an image of a woman’s red lips opened wide to reveal a tab of acid, but the TV screens in the lobby promoted a forthcoming seminar on “How to Be an Ally.” On the company’s sprawling roof-deck overlooking the East River, Nancy Dubuc, the former head of A&E who had started as Vice’s CEO the day before, sat in a lounge chair with Dominique Delport, a French advertising executive recently hired as the company’s chief revenue officer. They were chatting amiably about whatever it is two people brought in to change a troubled company’s fortunes talk about.


iPhone Exclusive: Apple’s Radical Design ‘Confirmed’

In May my exclusive story confirmed Apple AAPL -0.23%’s new iPhone line-up and one cancellation. Now, I can reveal the designs of the most exciting models and the radical move Apple will make…

Working in collaboration with popular accessories maker Ghostek, a partnership which previously saw me leak Samsung’s final Galaxy S9 design in December, I have obtained schematics for both the so-called ‘budget iPhone X’ and the super-sized iPhone X Plus. And while I expect the former to be the bestseller, it is the latter which will shake-up the smartphone world.

Let’s break them down.


How The NBA Built A Winning Digital Media Strategy

There’s a strange phenomenon in sports in which the larger the ball, the younger the audience. That’s one explanation why the NBA is killing it right now.

Ratings for this year’s fourth installment of the Cleveland Cavaliers-Golden State Warriors matchup were strongfor ABC. Ratings for the regular season were also the NBA’s highest in four years, which is a stark contrast to the past year’s slumping NFL ratings (excluding the Super Bowl).


In the news … June 12, 2018

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E3 2018 is scheduled wall to wall with new games (but no new consoles)

I’m not expecting to see any new Xboxes or PlayStations. But I’m counting on E3 to showcase enough new video games and gadgets arriving in the next year to keep avid gamers, including me, excited about what’s coming next.

Over 65,000 people are expected to attend the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles this week, a convention that plays host to the biggest announcements coming out of the $108 billion-a-year video game industry.


Microsoft and friends need to explain why always-connected PCs make sense

t’s been over a year since Microsoft, Qualcomm and Intel unveiled the Always Connected PC (ACPC) ecosystem at WinHEC 2016. At Computex 2017, we learned about Qualcomm’s undertaking to power PCs with its mobile processors and Intel pledged to support eSIM in all its upcoming radios. The first wave of devices trickling out haven’t gained much traction with the public, though. Despite some fairly obvious benefits, like a constant connection to gigabit LTE, long-lasting batteries and thin fanless designs. Plus, Sprint is offering free data this year with each Snapdragon-powered device.


Apple WWDC 2018 Recap: Macworld Podcast Ep. 608 <Video>

Apple had its big Worldwide Developers Conference keynote last Monday. What did you think about the announcements to iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS?



THERE’S REALLY NO nice way to put this: In his new film, Zone Out, Silicon Valley star Thomas Middleditch makes you want to do just that. It’s not simply that he talks about having sex with a jar of salsa, it’s also that he looks absolutely ghastly. His face appears to flicker in and out of the head that houses it; his mouth, normally in a wry downturn, droops and then disappears. His co-star, Elisabeth Gray, doesn’t fare much better: a mustache—someone else’s—finds a home above her lips.




In the news … June 11, 2018

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Let Gmail Finish Your Sentences

The new Gmail feature that lets the software write your mail messages for you sounds intriguing, if not unsettling. How does it work, and has the feature rolled out to regular users so I can see it for myself?

A. The Smart Compose feature of Google’s recent Gmail update does not exactly write your full message for you. The program uses machine learning techniques to evaluate what you are writing — and then suggests what to type next based on that analysis. Gmail’s text suggestions appear in slightly lighter gray type at the end of the sentence you are writing. If you choose to accept the computer-generated words, tap the Tab key to add the material and move on to the next sentence.


Majority of charities need to revisit their digital strategy

According to findings from the new research report “Engineers for change: Why finance teams must drive the digital agenda,” although the bulk of UK charities understand the role that digital must play in delivering better services and outcomes for charity beneficiaries, most still need to rethink and asses their current digital strategy.

The research also established how finance leaders have a critical role in helping charities advance the pace of digital transformation. Only a minority of finance professionals are currently (43%) involved in digital planning or delivery in their organisations.



This week, researchers at the M.I.T. Media Lab, who’ve used artificial intelligence to do things like write horror stories and induce empathy, unveiled a new, skin-crawling exploration into the unsettling possibilities of A.I. Norman, a “psychopath A.I.,” is a “case study on the dangers of artificial intelligence gone wrong when biased data is used in machine-learning algorithms.” The M.I.T. team fed Norman data from a subreddit known for its graphic imagery of death, and then asked him to interpret Rorschach inkblots. The results were alarming: Where a standard A.I. saw a “close-up of a wedding cake on a table,” Norman saw a “man killed by speeding driver.” Where a standard A.I. saw “a group of birds sitting on top of a tree branch,” Norman saw “a man [that] is electrocuted and catches to death.”


In the news … June 9, 2018

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Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives win majority in Ontario

TORONTO — Doug Ford rode a populist wave to power in Ontario on Thursday, capturing a Progressive Conservative majority by harnessing voters’ economic anxiety and anger with a scandal-plagued Liberal government.

The Tory leader’s election promises, which invited comparisons to U.S. President Donald Trump, were in stark contrast to the other left-leaning major parties and included income tax cuts, scrapping the Liberals’ updated sex-ed curriculum and strongly opposing a carbon tax.


How to Become a Master of Disaster

If you like disaster stories, you’ll love Meltdown, by Chris Clearfield, a principal at risk consultancy System Logic, and András Tilcsik, an associate professor at the Rotman School of Management. The authors cover a gamut of catastrophe, from a ruined Thanksgiving dinner to the water crisis in Flint, Mich., and the multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant caused by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The worst part of all these examples: According to the authors, they were preventable.


Canada to hold key 5G spectrum auction in 2020, says Innovation Minister Bains

Canada’s government will auction key wireless spectrum for fifth-generation mobile networks in 2020, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said Wednesday.

“We believe this puts us in a relatively strong position relative to our international peers,” Bains said prior to his speech at the Canadian Telecom Summit in Toronto.

“We will still be ahead of Australia and Germany and will be (among) the top five countries when it comes to making spectrum available for 5G.”


Tech Brain Drain is Being Solved by International Talent—But We Have to Look Deeper

Despite all of the Canadian brain drain narratives floating around, it seems there is an influx of foreign talent coming to the country to replace leaving workers, especially in tech roles. The federal government recently released their Express Entry Year-end Report for 2017 which details and consolidates information about some of Canada’s key economic immigration programs. The results show that despite losing some homegrown talent to brain drain—which is essentially tech talent heading to the U.S. in search of higher-paying jobs—Canada is still adding more and more talent through immigration programs.


Jun 7, 2018

TSN and RDS are now available through digital subscription

Just in time for 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA™, it was announced today in advance of the #CTVUpfront that Canadians have a new way to get TSN and RDS with the introduction of TSN Direct and RDS Direct. Canadian sports fans now have a digital subscription option to access TSN, including the network’s five feeds featuring 60+ iconic championship events, on-demand content, and exclusive bonus streams of major sporting events. French-language content from RDS, RDS2, and RDS INFO, is also available through its own direct, monthly subscription.


What happens at a Speed Mentoring event for new Canadians?

It is 5.30 pm and the cavernous hall at a downtown hotel is filled with hundreds of smart professionals dressed in business attire. They are there to attend the 2018 Speed Mentoring Marathon hosted by ACCES Employment, billed as the largest such event in the GTA.

In attendance are over 400 mentees, all ACCES clients who’ve graduated from their intensive five-week program that prepares highly educated new immigrants to enter the Canadian workforce. There are around 80 mentors from large corporations like Accenture and RBC, many of these mentors happen to be former clients of ACCES who’ve gone on to work in senior positions at top companies as well as professionals like Accenture’s Prachi Bante who signed up to be a mentor to new immigrants.