March 2009 Archives

Why is Skype not in Canada?

By Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca. Yesterday, after several back and forth emails with Chaim Haas, a public relations representative acting on behalf of Skype, I wrote a story on the Skype for iPhone application, and its non-appearance on Canada's iTunes stores.

Since then, a number of commenters on yesterday's story have wondered aloud what the reason is, beyond Haas's comment that it was because of patent-licence restrictions related to Skype, not Apple.

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Do we have enough power to all drive the Tesla Model S?

Tesla unveiled its Model S electric sedan amid much fanfare this week. According to the company, the car's 42 kWh battery boasts a range of 482 kilometres (300 miles) or about 11.5 km per kWh.

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Jesse Brown: Epic win for Newgrounds community

Newgrounds.com is a site for lovers of funny, lewd animation and fun, lewd flash games. Its user base skews heavily towards young dudes, and its online forums unsurprisingly feel a lot like your grade 10 friend Doug’s musky basement.

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Chrome survives hacker challenge

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca. Vancouver was host to the annual CanSecWest security conference last week, with the highlight of the competition the annual Pwn2Own contest, in which hackers try their hand at exploiting vulnerabilities in web browsers for computers and mobile phones.

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Smarter, greener technology begets high-tech risks

By Emily Chung, CBCNews.ca. Computers and computer networking can bring powerful new features to existing infrastructure and technologies. But sometimes it's easy to forget that making technologies "smarter" can also leave them vulnerable to new, high-tech risks and threats like viruses, hackers or cyber terrorists.

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Jesse Brown: Trial by Jury is broken.

Last month in a Swedish courtroom, a minor historical event took place in under 140 characters. “EPIC WINNING LOL” went the message, announcing that half of the copyright infraction charges against The Pirate Bay torrent tracker site had been dropped.

It wasn’t the first Twitter message to emit from a courtroom, but as far as I can tell, it was the first “tweet” to come from a defendant at his own trial- the Pirate Bay's Peter Sunde.

Now, The New York Times reports on other cases of mobile devices disrupting the courts.

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Scientists sound off

By Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca. Yesterday we asked a number of researchers in Canada for their reaction to the story about federal Science Minister Gary Goodyear's response to the question of whether he believes in evolution. Since then, Mr. Goodyear has responded to the controversy, but his answer still left room for interpretation as to his views.

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Did life's bias come from space? More evidence

by Emily Chung

Like a pairs of gloves, the building blocks of proteins come in left-handed and right-handed versions that are exact mirror images of one another.

Just as your left foot only fits properly into a left shoe, living things interact with and produce only the "left-handed" version of those building blocks, which are called amino acids.

But if you make amino acids from scratch in a lab using their chemical components, you usually get half of the right-handed version and half of the left handed version.

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Are Canadians against levies on ISPs?

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca. While a number of artist groups and broadcasters have called on the CRTC to impose a levy on internet service providers, a couple of new polls suggests Canadians aren't crazy about the idea.
On Thursday, Angus Reid Strategies published two online polls, both of which suggested Canadians aren't enamored with ISP levies.

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Jesse Brown: Who's afraid of "behaviour tracking"?

By Jesse Brown, CBC technology columnist:

Google has announced some new features for its AdSense network, and a predictable flood of horrified headlines have followed.

So what are we supposed to be afraid of?

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UK newspaper gets into the app business

by Emily Chung, CBCNews.ca. In the past decade, newspapers have struggled to find their place in the internet world – largely unsuccessfully. As companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google expanded their business online, newspapers shrank and many folded despite their attempts to get a foothold on the web.

Now, the Guardian newspaper in London is trying to borrow strategies along the lines of those used by internet stars such as iTunes, Facebook and Google Maps, which have found great popularity by encouraging the development of third-party "apps" such as games or map-based tools.

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Montreal's D-Box motion-synched chairs hit Hollywood

by Paul Jay, CBC News.ca. As former and current television stars David Caruso, Shelley Long or David Duchovny might no doubt tell you, the transition from the small screen to the big screen can be a challenge for an actor. But for technology and culture trends, the move often works in reverse, as home entertainment system innovations slowly make their way to the theatre chains only once the theatres establish that there might be a market for the latest doo-dad. Think 3D. Or digital cinema. Or video games.

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Why it’s a good thing NASA didn’t buy Canadian

by Emily Chung, CBCNews.ca. Sadly, a NASA satellite designed to track global carbon dioxide emissions ended up in the ocean instead of in orbit last week.

The $280 million US Orbiting Carbon Observatory landed in the waters near Antarctica after failing to separate properly from the moulded structure surrounding it. On board were instruments designed to identify gases emitted into the atmosphere and measure how much was being released.

In fact, Canadian engineers have designed a key component of such an instrument for an orbiting satellite. But fortunately, their instrument is safely in orbit around the Earth, on board the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Ibuki satellite, also known as GOSAT (Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite). That satellite launched successfully on Jan. 23.

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