2007

 

Yippee Kye Ay!

After much blood, sweat, and tears (well, ok, not much blood), Spark is going on the air! It airs Wednesdays at 11:30 and Saturdays...

'Fess up and win

Photo: Tiered Classroom by cogdogblog For many of us, back-to-school season means remembering the good, the bad, and the ugly. For the very first...

Online Retail Sales No Longer All Wet

The Guardian is reporting that there's been a spike in online sales in the UK in July. There's been so much rain, consumers opted...

Long Distance Lovers!

Next up, we're doing a story about how you use technology to keep your long distance love strong. Do you set up your webcams...

Plagiarism 2.0: What Do You Think

Donna Bell is Academic Integrity Officer at Ryerson University in Toronto. She has some great stories about the ways students today are using technology to...

Ew, Gross!

Like many people, my keyboard is disgusting. Too much eating and computing at the same time! Not to mention that at my work computer,...

Adventures In Earwax

Would-be cheaters looking to get their hands on the latest in sneaky tech for students are going to have to keep looking. The Canadian...

Get on the Air! Looking for Techno-Hype Stories

Wandering down the toothbrush aisle the other day, I couldn't help noticing how many different types of toothbrushes are out there. And more than that,...

How do I subscribe to a Spark podcast?

Never miss another episode of Spark by subscribing to either of our totally free podcasts. All you need to listen is a computer with an...

Episode 1 - September 5 & 8, 2007

On the first episode of Spark: Donna Bell from Ryerson University's Academic Integrity office on the ways students use technology to cheat Mark Federman on...

Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow

Jack hammers, jet planes, traffic...sometimes the noise of urban living can be wayyy too much. Why, though, does dealing with noise pollution have to...

Where Tech Meets Art

One of the coolest adventures in modern sculpture I've come across lately is the work of Theo Jansen. He makes kinetic sculptures: enormous objects that...

Hello Saturday listeners

If you came here because you heard Spark on CBC Radio this afternoon, welcome! Show notes and links for the first episode of Spark are...

Why Can't Computers Be More Like Us?

Are you driven witless by distractions? Do you find yourself unable to concentrate because of a constant stream of emails, instant messages, Twitter updates,...

HiveMind: Electronics etiquette

A few days ago at a computer store in Toronto, I spotted a sign posted near the cashier. It read: As a courtesy to...

Episode 2 - September 12 & 15, 2007

On this episode of Spark: Nora wishes she was at NextFest Francesca Rosella sends us long-distance love with The Hug Shirt Kurt Bigenho explains NOSO,...

Sneak Peek at Episode Three: I, Robot

Telecommuting has long been a dream. Imagine being able to work at home, far away from the office, and the rest of your colleagues....

Pedro's Hacks!

Spark's good pal Pedro Mendes is on the program this week with his homemade digital camera hacks. These are add-ons you can create with...

Sneak Peek at Episode 4: The Bionic Man

A couple of weeks ago, Nora received a facebook message from Mike Partridge in Saint John, New Brunswick. Mike wanted to let us know...

Tell Us What You Think: Designed Deterioration

Why is it that some products are designed to weather well over time and others aren't? A great pair of jeans, a leather jacket,...

Techiquette: Where You Decide

OK, here's the situation. Your loved one seems to be spending a lot of time on the computer. One day, he or she goes off...

Episode 3 - September 19 & 22, 2007

On this episode of Spark: Nora encounters some technologically advanced toothbrushes Pirate Radio and Television's Terry O'Reilly de-mystifies marketing techno-hype Martin Hand explains how washing...

What? I Can't Hear You! I'm on the Subway!

New Yorkers are set to welcome another flavour of modern life to their subway system: cell phones! The New York Times reports that the...

Spot a 2D barcode, win a bag

2D barcodes (like the one pictured here) all all the rage in Japan. They appear almost everywhere -- magazines, advertisements, food products -- and...

Full Interview: Lane Becker, President of Satisfaction

Satisfaction is a crowdsourced customer service website. That means customers can answer questions about a company's products in the same way the company can. Lane...

Send us your soaking cell phone story

Photo by jurvetson I swear, the British keep statistics on everything. Recent research says that 850,000 cell phones are dropped in toilets in the...

Episode 4 - September 26 & 29, 2007

On this episode of Spark: Mike Partridge explains his cochlear implant Kevin Englehart on the new wave of artificial limbs Ryan Knighton on computer screen...

Sneak Peek: Nora on the Warbike

The Warbike is an unbelievably cool art project that I had a chance to try out recently. Here's how artist David McCallum describes it in...

What is this "radio" you speak of?

Hugh McGuire recently sent Spark some link love, calling it "a new podcast (that also happens to be a CBC Radio* show)." He includes the...

What to do with your wet cell phone

This week on Spark, Nora tried putting a wet cell phone in dry rice to save it from a watery grave.  If you're not...

Sneak Peek at Episode Seven: William Gibson

Ever since novelist William Gibson broke out with the iconic cyberpunk novel, Neuromancer, he's been sketching eerily prescient, near-future worlds that seem both uncanny and...

Episode 5 - October 3 & 6, 2007

On this episode of Spark: Nora drops her cellphone in the sink, the toilet, and the pool Your stories of soaked electronics Liz suggests putting...

Pet Shop Boys use QR codes in latest video

On the October 6 & 8 episode of Spark, Nora interviewed Michael Keferl on QR codes. Synth-poppers the Pet Shop Boys have a new...

Full Interview: Maker Faire: What do you DIY?

Love to tinker? Do it yourself?The Maker Faire gets underway October 20 in Austin, Texas, and it's a two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates arts, crafts,...

Free the Net: Community WiFi

On the October 10/13 episode of Spark, Nora took a ride on David McCallum's Warbike, a bicycle modified to turn WiFi signals into musical-sounding noise....

Episode 6 - October 10 & 13, 2007

On this episode of Spark: Nora rides David McCallum's Warbike Boost your WiFi with aluminum foil and a glue stick Jesse Wente unwires his house...

Magnets to Change Traffic Lights

Have you ever been standing at a traffic light and noticed a series of dinner plate-sized circles or squares on the street in front...

Interview with Adrian Bowyer: 3D Printers

Let's say I want a coat hook, or a cat flap (a door flap for a cat.) In this day and age, I need to...

Full Interview: The Future of News?

Newspapers are in a slump and it doesn't look like things will brighten up anytime soon. Ad revenues are down and readers are moving online....

Marketing to Kids in Virtual Worlds

There's an interesting article at C-Net about marketing to youth in virtual online worlds. As you may know, virtual worlds such as Habbo Hotel,...

Episode 7 - October 17 & 20, 2007

On this episode of Spark: Matthew Seiler brews some do-it-yourself root beer Sherry Huss on Maker Faire and the DIY movement Jamais Cascio and William...

Maker Faire starts today

The Maker Faire gets underway today in Austin, Texas. But if you can't make it, don't worry. You can still check out Nora's full...

Full Interview: Richard Harper on "The Myth of the Paperless Office"

On the October 24th & 27th episode of Spark, we take a look at "vapourwave" -- great technologies we've been promised for decades, but just never...

Narrowcasting in Wal-Mart

Did you see Minority Report? There's a scene where Tom Cruise's character passes a video advertisement, and it tells him, "John Anderton, you could use...

Full Interview: Jeff Bilmes on the Vocal Joystick

There are certain everyday technologies that I take for granted. Like the computer mouse.For some people with motor impairments, a computer mouse can be impossible...

The Gift of Christmas Future

It's not even the end of October, but according to GenDigital's Holiday Shopping Preview, "slightly more than one in three (36%) respondents said they already...

Full Interview: Cory Kidd on the Weight Maintenance Social Robot

Ever wish you had your own personal Jenny Craig sitting on your kitchen counter to watch what you eat and motivate you to exercise?Autom is...

Oh La La! Fancy Tissue Boxes

Remember when tissue boxes used to feature lame designs of kittens and sea shells? Or my personal favorite: dandelions!? I'm allergic to dandelions, for...

Full, unedited interview with Jamais Cascio

Jamais Cascio is a "futurist, writer, blogger, thinker" and if you listen to the past two episodes of Spark, you've heard his thoughts on the...

Episode 8 - October 24 & 27, 2007

On this episode of Spark, why yesterday's next big things are making a comeback: A vintage clip from Preparation of Foods: Stone Age to Space...

Full interview with Jay Baydala on ChristmasFuture

Last week, I blogged about Nora's interview with Jay Baydala on ChristmasFuture, a charity that wants to redirect holiday spending toward the eradication of extreme...

Tom Howell spins vinyl right round, baby, right round

Over at Wired's Listening Post, Eliot Van Buskirk writes about the renaissance of vinyl records: Pressing plants are ramping up production, but where is the...

Full Interview: Marketing to Kids and Tweens in Virtual Worlds

For our October 31st and November 3rd show, I interviewed Anastasia Goodstein, author of the Ypulse blog, and the new book Totally Wired: What Teens...

Soulja Boy: Marketing in the Viral Age

Every few years there's one of them: the chicken dance, the hustle, the macarena...those ear worm songs and accompanying dances that are so unbelievably...

The Chip Card

When I was a kid I used to practice my signature, so that when I got my first credit card, I would be ready...

Techiquette: Stealing your neighbour's WiFi

My neighbour is using my WiFi. I know because she told me. But I'm sure other people are using it too, and they are...

Tracking Your Kids: Safety or Spying?

You probably remember that when you were a teenager and first got your driver's license, you had to have a long heart-to-heart with your parents...

Episode 9 - October 31 & November 3, 2007

On this episode of Spark, are advertisements becoming smarter than we are? Nick Prigioniero explains marketing through narrowcasting Anastasia Goodstein on marketing to kids in...

Episode 10 - November 7 & 10, 2007

On this episode of Spark: Lorraine Gauthier gives John Van Dusen's wartime house a green makeover as part of the Now House project John Moralee...

Nerd Alert: Do you fit the Geek Stereotype?

Do you own a slide rule? What is up with the Geek Stereotype? It used to be you were a geek if you had...

The Death of TV?

Right now we're working on an episode called I Want What I Want When I Want It: The On-Demand Show. We (the Spark team...

Why can't I get to the post office?

Tom Howell, our techiquette expert, and I were chatting yesterday about the one errand we hate to run: going to the post office! Why...

Full, unedited interview with Roger Ball about SizeChina

SizeChina is a project led by Canadian designer Roger Ball. Roger is traveling across China, scanning people and building a digital database of Asian...

More Stories of Email "Sender Regret"

There is a wonderfully horrific story on this week's show about a woman who wrote a very nasty email to her co-worker and mistakenly...

Full interview: Matthew Cashmore on The Death of TV

Matthew Cashmore is a producer with BBC's new media division: Future Media & Technology. At this year's Edinburgh TV Un-Festival, Matthew chaired a panel discussion...

Full Interview: Peter Rukavina explains living with a WiFi-enabled rabbit

Right now we're working on an episode of Spark called "I Want What I Want When I Want It." It's all about the on-demand world...

Step by step instructions on how to secure your WiFi

On this week's show we looked at unsecured wireless internet connections. Robert Beggs from Digital Defence stopped by our studio to tell us why it's...

Episode 11 - November 14 & 17, 2007

On this episode of Spark: Elizabeth Bowie admits her WiFi isn't secure Rob Burbach explains the latest trends in credit card fraud Tracey Black explains...

Full Interview: Anand Giridharadas

Corporations in the US and Europe began outsourcing 'back office' work to India in the 1980s, and in recent years, the outsourcing of jobs to...

What Do You Email Yourself About?

I used to leave myself voicemail messages if I had to remember something, but now I find I email myself a lot with little...

Fave Old Technologies

I have a soft spot for the good old cassette recorder. I loved making "mix tapes" for special occasions. I love the retro look...

Paging All Two Finger Typists!

My Dad, who was a journalist, and later worked in PR, typed all the time at work. He was always a two-finger, "hunt and...

Episode 12 - November 21 & 24, 2007

Note: The broadcast version of Spark is pre-empted on Wednesday, November 21, but you can listen to the whole show online right here. Just click...

Help! We're Short One Item! Win a Prize!

Sometimes, you just get caught with your pants down! We're working on an upcoming show loosely based on the theme "What is it worth?" but...

We love the Tip Calculator!

I was out with some friends last weekend, and the server brought us one bill. We did our best to figure out who owed what...

Episode 13 - November 28 & December 1, 2007

On this episode of Spark: Spark listeners are geeks. Well, some of them anyway. Craig Desson joins the Dork Army, a group of Canadian professional...

Manitoba Mainframe Funeral

On November 21, 2007, the University of Manitoba said goodbye to its beloved mainframe by holding a New Orleans Style Jazz Funeral, complete with a...

Techiquette: Upgrading your gadgets...and your energy consumption

We love reading your comments here at the blog, and we especially love it when you post story ideas for the show! So congrats...

Favourite Board Games

When I was a kid, I loved the board game "Mouse Trap". Oh sure, there were games that were more challenging, or maybe even...

Anne's Diary: What Do You Think?

On the show, we mentioned the new social networking website, Anne's Diary, which includes a number of features to make sure that the only users...

Tracking Teens: Interview with Barbara Coloroso

A couple of weeks ago, Nora wrote about Teensurance, a service that lets you monitor teen drivers. Teensurance will send you an email when your...

Episode 14 - December 5 & 8, 2007

On this episode of Spark: What the heck is my kid doing? Technology that parents just don't understand High school students Rose and Brad from...

Denis McGrath on Fan Fiction in the Internet Age

Denis McGrath is a Canadian television writer and blogger. Nora interviewed him today about his thoughts on internet fan fiction.Denis will be on the December...

Full Unedited Interview: Rick Prelinger archives the world

Last week, we interviewed archivist and film maker, Rick Prelinger, for an upcoming episode of Spark. Rick's interview will air on our January 2 &...

What Are Your Technological New Year's Resolutions?

I make (though rarely keep) New Year's Resolutions every December. This year, my resolution is to re-activate my personal blog, which has been mostly...

Episode 15 - December 12 & 15, 2007

On this episode of Spark: What's it worth?? George Norman Lippert writes James Potter and the Hall of Elders' Crossing, Harry Potter fan fiction Harry...

Your gadgets and energy consumption...continued

People from the Spark community offered some very helpful tips for how to assess how much energy you're using in the home, and what to...

Circuit-bending tips, tricks and safety advice

Circuit-bending is the art of short-circuiting battery operated, low voltage, electronics to create experimental audio. Sound artists and musicians typically use electronic toys or...

Update on Cory Kidd and his weight loss social robot

On the October 24/27 episode of Spark, Nora interviewed Cory Kidd, an MIT researcher who's developed a robotic weight loss coach -- sort of like...

Episode 16 - December 19 & 22, 2007

On this episode of Spark: Frank Branham explains why so many board games come with DVDs Tom Lucier has a love/hate relationship with USB gadgets...

Digital Evidence in Divorce

Maybe you've heard one of these stories. A spouse finds out that a 'better half' is being unfaithful by snooping through email inboxes, or tracking...

Marketing Tech to Women

Say, have you noticed that pink consumer electronics are getting more and more common? There are baby pink cell phones and PDAs, presumably to market...

Episode 17 - December 26 & 29, 2007

Note: As part of Spark's holiday programming, segments from this episode have aired previously. Think of it as a remix. On this episode of Spark:...

Full Interview: The Audio Spotlight

Imagine this scenario. You're sitting in the living room watching TV. In a chair nearby, someone is listening to music, and in the hall, someone...

Gadget Watch: tell us about your USB gadgets

The USB connector on your computer is a handy dandy little item, good for plugging in your peripherals, loading data into the computer from a...
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