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A miscreant's guide to horizontal video

Photo: Dave Lawler/flickr

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Last week's industrial explosion in Tianjin, China was a horrific event that made news worldwide. The footage of the explosions was terrifying. It was also shot vertically.

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Nerds vs. normals: The two solitudes of tech

Photo: Marilin Gonzalo/flickr

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Avid fans of technology have a term for folks who aren't so rabid about code and gadgets -- they call them "normals." Normals see computers, smartphones or wearables as merely means to an end. They don't care about features, updates or even which operating system a device runs. They have no patience with bugs. They just want the damned things to work.

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The tale of the tape: Uber vs. the taxis

Photo: Dirk Heine/flickr

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Here's a riddle for you. Why is an Uber car like a Betamax tape? Answer: both are disruptive innovations. And both are being dealt with by incumbent industries in exactly the same way -- with mindless blunt force.

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Photo: Steven Storm/flickr
| July 28, 2015

Watch: How can Canadians restore their privacy rights?

OpenMedia.ca worked with 125,000 Canadians to shape a positive crowdsourced plan to repeal Bill C-51 and restore our privacy rights. Learn more at https://PrivacyPlan.ca

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Robots at the summer movies

Photo: Flickr/Jen and Tony Bot

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On a recent flight to Vancouver I had a chance to watch a few episodes of the TV show Humans, along with the movie Ex Machina. They both, in their own ways, deal with the time when robots approach, equal and then surpass humans. Their neural circuits become infected, as it were, with a virus that corrupts their logic and renders them aware of themselves, and their possible futures. You know that's going to end badly.

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Health care's complicated relationship with technology

Photo: Amber Case/flickr

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Here's a quick, amateur medical diagnosis: the health-care system is ailing when it comes to technology.

In the last six months, we've read news of remarkable medical breakthroughs: mind-controlled artificial limbs, injectable brain implants, nano-sized robots that can do colon biopsies, and more. So, from those stories it would be easy to assume that hospitals, doctors and researchers are literally on the bleeding edge of tech. And yet.

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Microsoft's pie in the cloudy sky

Photo: Michael Kappel/flickr

What are we supposed to make of Microsoft? Has it finally found its groove, or is it a desperate wannabe consumer brand? 

At the company's recent BUILD conference, the Redmond-based software giant showed off Windows 10 and a new browser. It attempted to woo iOS and Android developers and did a second demo of its HoloLens augmented reality headgear. And, its cloud-based Azure platform is a chart-buster. At first blush, it looked like it was firing on all cylinders. 

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Missed call: The influence of cell phone culture on accuracy in political polls

Photo: flickr/Moyan Brenn

Politics and prophecy have ancient mutual origins in military tradition. It is obvious why knowledge of the future confers strategic advantage.

Once a tradition of mysticism and ritual, prophecy now involves the application of algorithmic calculation to large data sets for the production of useful extrapolations. This is how finance capitalism evaluates companies, how Target uses sales data to know about a woman's pregnancy before she does, and how campaigning politicians know which doors to knock on or avoid.

In the era of big data, we should not be surprised that big money remains the dominant influence.

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