October 21, 2021

Buying your groceries online could become the norm

Walmart Canada is foraying into a new retail sphere, the world of selling food online.

The discount store quietly added food options to its website, which include items such as canned soups, pancake mix and gluten-free cereals, according to the Globe and Mail. The store typically has free shipping, except in the territories, and it's testing same-day shipping in Toronto. They could even offer fresh and frozen product options in the future, a spokesperson told the newspaper.

Many stores have shifted their businesses towards creating a robust shopping website as consumers have taken to showrooming, which means they check out the item at a brick and mortar store and then research on the Internet, sometimes even while in the store, for the best price.

While Canadians aren't as likely to shop online as other nations with 22 per cent of Canadians having never bought anything online, which is a stark contrast compared to four per cent of residents in China never buying anything online, more and more retailers are realizing that they need to grow their brands on the Internet.

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June 20, 2021

Obesity on the menu for children

Fast food giants are wowing kids with their enticing marketing tactics including  talking dogs, kooky clowns, and colourful cartoon and crowned characters.

And don't forget, each kids' meal comes with the latest and greatest toy.

The list goes on. And so does the obesity.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), childhood obesity is not improving.

The organization points the finger at advertising as the main culprit specifically targeting children via television, social media and smart phones.

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March 05, 2022

Sharing isn't always a good thing

Remember when you were little how you were always taught that it's good to share?

Oh sure, it's always polite to share your toys or cookies.

But as we get older we are now finding out that it may not be such a good thing -- especially when it comes to sharing our personal and financial information on the Internet.

A recent study by Visa Canada revealed that many Canadians are in fact "oversharing" their financial information over their computers and cellphones which could put them at a greater risk for fraud.

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January 31, 2022

Durex launches condom delivery service in Dubai

The Middle East is a land of the most bizarre conveniences.

No, really: there, you can find stuff like a vending machine that spits out gold, or the Pizza Hut pie ringed with mini cheeseburgers.

Though what if you're on a date, say, and you've had your cheeseburger pizza and wooed her with a bit of gold?

You're back in your room and the moment's right but, ah, geez, your pockets are empty. What do you do?

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January 29, 2022

Bears continue to line up behind BlackBerry's release

Talk about a long wait. After numerous delays, Research In Motion is finally set to show the world its next-generation BlackBerry 10 operating system and its first new BlackBerry in almost two years.

A hit would inject new life into RIM, while a tepid response could sound the death knell for a Canadian icon that's been shunted aside by the likes of Apple and Samsung. 

Investors have been betting on the former, evidenced by the fact that the company's stock price has more than doubled since last fall, though it's still nearly 90% below its 2008 peak of $147.

Scotiabank's Gus Papageorgiou thinks it can go higher, providing about a third of current subscribers upgrade and the company can get 4 million new users overseas, especially in countries where the BlackBerry has remained popular.

Ovum analyst Jan Dawson doesn't see that happening, however.

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January 22, 2022

Employers may no longer be able to monitor workers' Facebook feed

Facebook began almost nine years ago, and what also began almost nine years ago were warnings of what the social network could do to your career.

Indeed, merely months after Facebook launched in 2004, we heard immediately to watch what we posted, and for whom to let see. The wrong thing put online, it was argued, would cost you your job.

In some ways, this happened (a police dispatcher was canned for posting a bad joke in 2010, for example) and in other ways it was all a bunch of smoke.

But as American lawmakers order employers to retract policies that limit what their workers can say online, it's fit to run back the argument that got us here: should your boss make decisions about your employment status based on what you post to Facebook or Twitter?

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January 11, 2022

Facebook tests charging $100 for messages to users you don't know

One of the reasons for the great Facebook IPO flop of 2012 was investors' fears that the social network couldn't monetize its user base.

What good is a billion members, the thinking went, if you can't get a buck from them? Ad revenue can only go so far.

So Facebook has done some experimenting, and late last year, under much of the media radar, the social network unveiled a modest way to pry money from its users: charging $1 to private message anyone that wasn't on your friend list.

At the time, nobody noticed a $1 fee for a service they'd rarely use, but what will people say if that charge is boosted up to $100 per message?

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December 06, 2021

How 'Gangnam Style' has earned PSY $8 million

Gangnam Style, of course, has become the viral hit of the year, having spread so fast across the web it’s made a little-known South Korean pop star a bona fide A-lister.

Psy-gangnam-style-1But lift the hood on Gangnam Style  and the peripherals are even more amazing.

We know about the views – nearing on 900 million now – but did you know PSY’s goofy clip has already become the most-watched video on all of YouTube?

How it’s done so is through a breakneck pace that’s somehow allowed it to eclipse even the Biebs, and it’s also made PSY a very rich man.

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November 16, 2021

New app rewards theatre goers for not texting during movie

Late in summer, an of-the-times news report came out of L.A., where one restaurant was trying to preserve the traditional dining experience, no matter the cost.

771223_movie_houseThe eatery, a place called Eva less than ten minutes outside Beverly Hills, unveiled a promotion whereby diners were rewarded for checking their cell phones at the door.

Should they comply, patrons would be given a five per cent discount on their bills. At its core, this was a discount for not being rude, tapping or yapping away on a cell phone during dinner.

Even at the time, just a few months ago, it seemed like many businesses ought to follow, offering any kind of incentive possible for the severing of such public, unabashed cell phone use. One business, now, has followed.

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September 06, 2021

Is texting while driving causing more accidents?

The vast majority of Americans consider themselves to be good drivers, even though 76 per cent of them eat or drink behind the wheel, 55 per cent speed, 53 per cent talk on a handheld phone, and 37 per cent drive when they're too tired, according to a recent survey

921217_crashed_carWhat's interesting is that most people quizzed are even more concerned about the behaviour of other drivers around them. Like texting while driving, for instance. 

Are Canadian drivers that much different? Probably not, according to recent research from

While dangerous driving practices such as speeding or entering an intersection on a yellow/red traffic light are commonplace amongst Ontario drivers, these aren't the bad habits that really seem to annoy other people. Again, texting leads the way.

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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...