Business technology

October 01, 2021

One quarter of Yelp reviews are fake

If you regularly visit to help you decide whether you should eat at a restaurant, you might want to do more research before visiting. The customer review website says that a quarter of its online reviews could be fake, according to the BBC.

The company commented after a Harvard business school study stated that 20 per cent of online reviews on Yelp were fake. The company has an automatic filter for fake reviews, but that doesn't mean it catches all of them.

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September 30, 2021

Homeless survive using bitcoins

Bitcoins are becoming an acceptable form of digital currency around the world, so much so that the homeless are turning towards it to survive.

A homeless man in Florida is paid in bitcoins to drive traffic to videos. While Jesse Angle relies on food stamps, the extra money makes sure he has enough for meals every day, according to Wired magazine. It sounds surprising, but Angle has access to a laptop (other homeless friends he knows have access to smartphones), free Wi-fi and it helps that the digital currency keeps him safer from being robbed.

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September 24, 2021

Is this finally the beginning of the end for BlackBerry?

After announcing that it would lay off close to half of its workforce and getting killed by last week’s whopper of an earnings warning, struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry may soon be acquired by a consortium led by its biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial.

The going-in price? $9 a share -- way way below BlackBerry's price in the years before the iPhone ate its lunch

The company's shares closed below that number, however, suggesting that investors don't see much upside just yet despite trading volume that was close to triple the daily average.

Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa, who has a longstanding reputation as a value investor, plans to take a page out of Dell's book by taking the company private and refocussing it on the business market.

But that's not going to be easy.

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August 16, 2021

Where the in-crowd is networking

Forget meet and greet.

Now it's connect and tweet.

According to a new study, LinkedIn and Twitter are emerging as the top social channels for many business leaders.

The 2013 Social CEO Report found that 5.6 per cent of Fortune 500 CEOs are now on Twitter compared to just 3.6 per cent last year, and 27.9 per cent are connecting on LinkedIn, up from 25.9 per cent in 2012.

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July 12, 2021

Canadian job growth continues at healthy pace

If you're still looking for a job, there may be hope yet.

According to Statistics Canada, employers across the country have added more than 250,000 jobs over the past 12 months and that trend is expected to continue.

Economic uncertainty is running rampant across the globe, but that doesn't seem to be the case here at home.

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April 26, 2021

Canadians getting the job done by telecommuting

Most employees dread having to take their work home with them.

But that was then and this is now.

Telecommuting provides employees with the freedom to get out of the office and take their work home with them, on the road or even conduct business from a restaurant or a coffee shop.

Currently, 23 per cent of Canadian companies offer telecommuting to their employees, with large businesses more likely to offer it than smaller ones.

But do mobile employees actually get the job done?

Well, according to a new poll by BMO Bank of Montreal, 65 per cent of business owners feel that they do.

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April 16, 2021

Text, talk and deposit with your smartphone

You can order pizza, shop and do your banking right from the convenience of your home computer.

But what about depositing cheques into your bank account with your mobile device?

Well, select credit unions across Canada are launching a new mobile app that lets you do just that.

All you have to do, they say, is tap, snap and send.

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December 14, 2021

Two days after launch, start-up sells for $176M

Ever since Facebook, and the Ben Mezrich tome and David Fincher film that came from it, the tale of getting rich quick has gone mainstream.

Never before has there been such a time when all you need is a good idea and the stones to pull it off.

Just take a look at Instagram. Famously, the photo app had 13 employees and only 15 months under its belt back in April. Then, it sold for $1 billion.

But perhaps now we have a new poster child for speedy start-up riches: just two days after launching, a new company has sold for $176 million.

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February 27, 2022

Fears of someone stealing your identity overblown: report

Something many of us don't consider until it happens to us and we're playing catch up is identity theft. And it does happen, as evidenced by this busy guy from Winnipeg.

But such fears are being hyped by marketers to scare consumers into buying costly services that they really don't need, reports Consumers Union.

"More of these pitches are coming from banks, which account for more than half of the $3.5 billion a year spent on ID-theft protection subscriptions."

"In a sense, consumers who buy this protection from their banks are helping to foot the bill for services that financial institutions are obligated to provide by federal law to shield their customers from losses stemming from credit-card and bank-account fraud, says the Consumer Reports Money Adviser.

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May 20, 2021

The continually changing face of retail

With daily deals delivered via Twitter feeds and mobile-friendly sale sites, retailing is expanding in directions it would have been difficult to predict even five years ago, says consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch.

While consumers have always looked out for special offers and discounts, new technologies and services mean that 2011 will see even more new ways to help rid yourself of those pesky dollars. 

Among several trends that are quickly changing the way consumers shop, Woroch offers a few highlights ....

1. Daily Deals
With the explosion of limited-time daily deals via group-buying and flash-sale sites like Gilt Group and, other retailers will soon be piling in. Target and Overstock, for instance, already offer Deal-of-the-Day sales with more to come, Woroch predicts.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...