Tech

Every year, Facebook publishes its annual list of the most talked about moments, events and trends around the world.

This years most talked about trends among Canadians represent some of the highs and lows that we’ve seen in 2016. Among the most talked about events in Canada this past year are The U.S. elections, the Fort McMurray wildfire and the Blue Jays, which made the top 3. Also on the list are, unsurprisingly, Pokemon Go, Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip, Davie Bowie and Brexit.

Canada’s most talked-about events in 2016:

  1. US Elections
  2. Fort McMurray wildfire
  3. Blue Jays
  4. Pokemon Go
  5. Gord Downie & The Tragically Hip
  6. David Bowie
  7. Rodrigo Duterte & Philippine Presidential Elections
  8. Toronto Raptors
  9. Brexit
  10. Olympics

How this compares to the world’s most talked about topics is another discussion. While the U.S. election still topped the list in first place, it’s not the only thing Canadians have in common with the rest of the world.

Other shared topics include Pokemon Go, Rodrigo Duterte & Philippine Presidential Elections, Olympics, Brexit and David Bowie.

The world’s most talked-about events in 2016:

  1. US Elections
  2. Brazilian Politics
  3. Pokemon Go
  4. Black Lives Matter
  5. Rodrigo Duterte & Philippine Presidential Elections
  6. Olympics
  7. Brexit
  8. Super Bowl
  9. David Bowie
  10. Muhammed Ali

In addition, Facebook also unveiled Facebook Live this past April, and included a top five list of the most watched Live videos in Canada along with this years roundup.

Top Canadian Facebook Live videos:

  1. Unstoppable Mother, Easiest way to teach your kids to tie their shoes demo
  2. Edgar Muenala, Pan flute and erhu performance
  3. Keena Chipasoose Half, South African firefighters arriving in Fort McMurray
  4. Nova Vision T.V., Arrival of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Toronto
  5. Justin Trudeau, Raising the Pride Flag on Parliament Hill for the first time in Canadian history

It’s here that Canadians seem to have very little in common with the rest of the world. Canada’s top five live videos don’t overlap with the results from the global majority at all.

Top global Facebook Live videos:

  1. Candace Payne, Chewbacca Mom
  2. Ted Yoder, Soundscapes
  3. BuzzFeed, Countdown to the next presidential election
  4. Atlanta Buzz, People are lining up to hug police officers in Dallas
  5. NBC News, Election results
  6. Under the Hood, Video of a truck completely carved out of wood
  7. Viral Thread, Population count from US to CA
  8. CNN, Election results on Empire State building
  9. Dena Blizzard, Pokemon Go for moms “Chardonnay Go”
  10. Super Deluxe, Election map

Facebook arrived at these results by measuring how frequently a topic was mentioned in Facebook posts made between January 1 and November 27th, 2016. The top 10 Live videos were determined by measuring total views.

– via MobileSyrup.com

Apple recently unveiled its “Designed by Apple In California” that book and promises to tell “the Story of design at Apple.”

Originally only available in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the UK and the United States, “Designed by Apple In California” is now available to Canadians. There are two sizes to select, small or large, with the book costing $279 and $399 CAD, respectively.

This is a 300-page tribute to Apple’s last 20 years of product design, which includes over 450 pictures and detailed descriptions of the iMac, MacBook, Apple Pencil, iPad, iPad, and the iPhone. The pictures were taken by American photographer Andrew Zuckerman and is dedicated to Steve Jobs.

(Photo via MobileSyrup.com)

Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, said, “This archive is intended to be a gentle gathering of many of the products the team has designed over the years. We hope it brings some understanding to how and why they exist, while serving as a resource for students of all design disciplines.”

– via MobileSyrup.com

President-elect Donald Trump made it clear in a recent interview with The New York Times that he’s going to put pressure on Apple to bring its manufacturing process to the U.S.

“I said, ‘Tim, you know one of the things that will be a real achievement for me is when I get Apple to build a big plant in the United States, or many big plants in the United States, where instead of going to China, and going to Vietnam, and going to the places that you go to, you’re making your product right here,’” said Trump.

This is not the first time Trump has put forward such ideas. In January at a speech at Liberty University, he said “We’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries,” and during the 2012 election he espoused the same idea to Fox News.

Trump can’t force Apple to adhere to this, of course, but his pressure, along with plans for tax cuts and regulation removals, could enact some change. If it does, and the ‘Designed in California’ phone becomes the ‘Made in California’ phone, it’s likely prices for the already premium device will receive a hike as well — which could have a significant impact on the mobile industry at large.

A source from the Asia Nikkei Review stated that making iPhones in the U.S. would mean double the cost, while Jason Dedrick, professor in the school of information studies at Syracuse University offered German publication Deutsch Welle more specific estimations.

“If the iPhone were assembled in the US (with the parts brought in from outside the US), it would add $30-40 to the cost of manufacturing. Some of this is labor costs, and some of it would be the extra logistics costs involved. If the parts/components were made in the US, as well as final assembly, it would add at least $80-90 to the cost,” he said.

It should also be noted that Apple does in fact do some American manufacturing. Since 2013 it’s been assembling Mac Pros and making some parts in the U.S. — though that’s certainly a very small portion of its overall product range.

Apple has not yet publicly commented on the call or even confirmed whether it took place.

– The Verge and MobileSyrup

Wind Mobile has announced a rebranding, with the company now being named ‘Freedom Mobile.’

The Canadian telecom has also revealed that it will officially go live with its long-awaited LTE network in Toronto and Vancouver on November 27th.

LTE coverage will expand into the Greater Toronto Area and the Greater Vancouver area by spring 2017. Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton will be included in the new LTE coverage area by spring 2017, with the remaining 3G coverage regions, which includes southwestern Ontario and the Hamilton-Niagara corridor, as well as Barrie, Kingston and Peterborough, being added by fall 2017. In addition, LTE roaming will be available in the U.S. and Canada in early 2017.

Freedom Mobile says it is leveraging the AWS-3 spectrum it purchased during the 2015 wireless spectrum auction to launch its new LTE network. For months Freedom Mobile, now formerly known as Wind Mobile, has teased its customers via Twitter with the impending launch of its LTE network, as well as through the release of the LG V20.

“We are extremely proud and excited to be launching LTE and giving our customers a service everyone can be proud of, ” said Alek Krstajic, the CEO of Freedom Mobile in a statement. “We owe a debt of gratitude to our one million customers who have stood by us. We will continue on our journey to keep improving our offering and remain the most competitively priced wireless service.”

Wind’s Freedom mobile rebranding includes a new look and “tone of voice” that will be featured prominently at all of the telecom’s retail stores. Existing Wind Mobile customer accounts and rate plans will be transitioned to Freedom Mobile, including pre-authorized payments and other regular transactions, says the company.

Wireless launch plans for Freedom Mobile’s LTE network start at $45 and include unlimited calling to Canada and the U.S. and unlimited global messaging from within Freedom’s 3G and LTE coverage areas. The plan also includes 3GB of monthly data, with an additional 3GB of bonus data through to the end of January 2016, totaling at 6GB.

Freedom Mobile - Website

For full detailed on Freedom Mobile’s plan offerings, check out this link.

Coming off a solid Q4 2016, the Shaw-owned carrier amassed revenues of $1.3 billion CAD and jumped its subscriber base by 39,819 to 1,043,288.

– via MobileSyrup

Drake stars in an amazing new Apple Music ad featuring Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.” Watch it above.

This isn’t the first time these two have hooked up for an Apple ad. Earlier this year, Taylor Swift fell off a treadmill while rapping Future and Drizzy’s “Jumpman.”

The new commercial is also certain to continue fueling rumors that the two are messing around. A couple weeks ago, Drake posted a picture with T Swizzy, trolling the world, no doubt.

But reports say the two are working on new music, with some saying Taylor has actually recruited Drake to make her music more “edgy” and give it a hip-hop feel.

With this latest ad, it seems almost guaranteed that Drake and Taylor are about to drop a collab together.

– via XXL Magazine

The moon doesn’t get much bigger and brighter than this.

On Monday, Earthlings will be treated to a so-called supermoon – the closest full moon of the year.

Monday’s supermoon will be extra super – it will be the closest the moon comes to us in almost 69 years. And it won’t happen again for another 18 years.

NASA says closest approach will occur at 6:21 a.m. EST when the moon comes within 221,523 miles (356,508 kilometres). That’s from the centre of the Earth to the centre of the moon. Full moon will occur at 8:52 a.m. EST.

NASA planetary geologist Noah Petro is urging everyone to step outside and soak in the view. At the time of closest approach, the moon will be setting and the sun rising, at least on the U.S. East Coast, so prime viewing will be Sunday and Monday nights there.

“Ultimately, people should be more geared toward just getting outside and enjoying it,” Petro said.

Supermoons can appear 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter in the night sky. But it takes a real expert to notice the difference.

Petro, deputy project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter circling the moon, said Thursday that even he won’t be able to see much difference in size and luminosity. What counts, he said, is getting people “talking, thinking and caring about the moon.”

Weather permitting, it’s a sky show the entire planet can enjoy.

“Everyone gets to see the moon,” Petro said. “It’s a great shared resource for all humanity.”

The last time the moon was so close – actually, 29 miles closer – was in January 1948. That’s the same year the Cleveland Indians last won the World Series, Petro noted, “a big year,” at least there.

In 2034, the moon will come even closer, within 221,485 miles. That, too, will be a supermoon.

– via The Associated Press

Twitter, seemingly unable to find a buyer and losing money, is cutting about 9 per cent of its employees worldwide.

It is also killing off Vine, a mobile video app where people share short video clips that play in a loop. While beloved by users and a pioneer in its own right, Vine, which launched in 2013, never took off with the masses and has lost its lustre as of late.

Twitter has failed to keep pace with rivals Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram and in recent months, rumours abounded that it would be acquired. In a conference call with analysts on Thursday, CEO Jack Dorsey quickly brushed aside what he called “recent market speculation.” He said the company is committed to growing long-term shareholder value, and that he doesn’t plan to comment “any further on this topic.”

Shares of Twitter, which have tumbled 27 per cent in the past month as possible suitors have wandered away, rose 34 cents, or 2 per cent, to $17.63 in afternoon trading on Thursday.

The San Francisco company said it expects to take $10 million to $20 million in charges as it lays off more than 300 of its 3,860 workers.

“We have a clear plan, and we’re making the necessary changes to ensure Twitter is positioned for long-term growth,” CEO Jack Dorsey said in a company release.

Since the end of 2014, Twitter has lured 15 million monthly users to expand its audience to 313 million people. In that same period, Facebook brought in 319 million users, expanding its reach 1.7 billion people.

Twitter’s service is used heavily by celebrities, journalists and politicians, giving it an outsized role in public discourse. But it has struggled to extend that appeal to a broader audience and has wrestled uncomfortably with bullying on its site and racist posts.

Twitter is placing a big bet on live video, and recently landed a high-profile deal to show National Football League games over 10 Thursdays. It wants to be the go-to place to share opinions in real time.

“But management appears unfocused and complacent, while the narrative has shifted to buyout rumours,” wrote Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.

Pachter believes that Twitter remains too complicated for most users despite numerous attempts to change that.

On Thursday, Twitter said that average monthly active users climbed 3 per cent to 317 million during its third quarter, while average daily active usage increased 7 per cent.

Twitter Inc. posted a loss of $102.9 million, or 15 cents per share. Adjusted profit of 13 cents per share on revenue of $616 million. Analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research expected earnings of 9 cents per share on revenue of $605.7 million.

Advertising revenue rose 6 per cent to $545 million, with mobile advertising making up 90 per cent of the total ad revenue.

Twitter said that it was not giving revenue forecasts for the fourth quarter or full year due to restructuring in its sales department.

– AP business writer Michelle Chapman contributed to this report from New York.

Snapchat’s recently acquired Bitmoji feature can now be used to design customized geofilters.

While customized geofilters have been available for a while, users can now design using their personal Bitmojis. Users need only to authenticate with their Bitmoji account when creating the geofilter. Furthermore, if both you and a friend have set up Bitmoji with their Snapchat accounts, you’ll apparently be able to see your “friendmoji,” (an emoji avatar that features both of you).

Bitmoji is already supported on snaps and chats. Bitmoji is a feature of the Canadian company Bitstrips, which was acquired by Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. just over four months ago.

This news comes just days after Snap confidentially filed for an IPO, as it’s been rumoured to be planning for months.

Bitmoji

– via MobileSyrup

American officials are worried that 50,000 Russian troops being massed near the Ukraine border and within Crimea, the pro-Russian peninsula recently annexed by President Vladimir Putin, aren’t there for just a training exercise

Despite Russian reassurances that Moscow’s troop buildup along Ukraine’s eastern frontier is for a military exercise, its growing scale is making U.S. officials nervous about its ultimate aim.

President Barack Obama on Friday urged Russia to stop “intimidating” Ukraine and to pull its troops back to “de-escalate the situation.” He told CBS that the troop buildup may “be an effort to intimidate Ukraine, or it may be that [Russia has] additional plans.”

Pentagon officials say they believe there could be close to 50,000 Russian troops bordering the former Soviet republic and inside Crimea, recently seized and annexed by Moscow. That estimate is double earlier assessments, and means Russian President Vladimir Putin could order a lighting strike into Ukrainian territory with the forces already in place. The higher troop count was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

“We continue to see the Russian military reinforce units on their side of the border with Ukraine to the south and to the east of Ukraine,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said Thursday. “They continue to reinforce and it continues to be unclear exactly what the intent there is.”

Revolution in Ukraine 2014. Kiev Protesters Killed as Ukraine Crisis Escalates
Revolution in Ukraine 2014. Kiev Protesters Killed as Ukraine Crisis Escalates

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf played down the notion that there are as many as 100,000 Russian troops now bordering Ukraine, as Olexander Motsyk, the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S., said Thursday on Capitol Hill. “I hadn’t actually seen the hundred-thousand number,”

Harf said. “There are huge numbers of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border. … We are concerned about Russia taking further escalatory steps with whatever number of tens of thousands of troops they have there, and have called on them not to do so.”

Washington got those assurances that the Russian troop buildup was only an exercise from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu a week ago. But no one in the U.S. government knows if Putin agrees — or if the Russian leader has changed his mind as the West has debated what level of economic and political sanctions might be imposed if Moscow takes an additional chunk of Ukraine beyond Crimea. “They made it clear that their intent was to do exercises and not to cross the border,” Kirby said. “Our expectation is they’re going to live up to that word.”

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf

There is no plan to involve the U.S. military in what is happening in Ukraine, even if Russia takes more territory. Ukraine borders Russia, and Ukraine does not belong to NATO, where an attack on one member is deemed to be an attack on all.

“Should the Russians continue to move aggressively in that region and in the Ukraine, what does that mean—and NATO would have to respond, for example—what would that mean for the United States Army?” Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, asked the Army’s top officer Thursday.

How many of the 67,000 U.S. troops in Europe might be involved? “I simply don’t know,” Odierno said. “And I would just remind people that, actually, some of the soldiers that are assigned to Europe actually right now are in Afghanistan.”

“My responsibility is to make sure that the U.S. Army is prepared to respond as part of a joint force, as part of NATO,” General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, responded. “So what I’m focused on is improving our readiness in combat, combat service support and combat aviation capabilities to make sure we’re ready to respond whether it’s from a humanitarian assistance aspect or any other aspect.”

From Moscow to Siberia to Bulgaria, Russian war monuments have faced a rough year.

As a result of all this, two important things happened. First, Ukraine became a country in a meaningful way. In the 23 years since it became independent from the USSR, Ukraine could not decide whether it was going to become a law-abiding, European nation of shopkeepers like its Western neighbor (and some-time ruler), Poland – or take its place alongside Belarus and Kazakhstan in a revived Russian Empire of kleptocratic dictatorships.

Lawmakers suggested that the world is abandoning Ukraine. “It appears to me Ukraine was left defenseless over the last two decades,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio.

Vladimir Putin settled that question once and for all. Without the Russian-speaking population of Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk, there will never again be a pro-Moscow government in Kiev. At the end of October strongly pro-European parties swept to power in the Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. At the same time the European Union and Nato found – for the time being at least – the mettle to agree on sanctions in Russia and economic and logistical support for Ukraine.

The war for the East continues. The economy teeters. The ultra-nationalists may not have done well in recent elections but they are armed and organized into self-governing “patriotic battalions” fighting independently of the government’s command. A recipe for disaster of Yugoslav proportions, perhaps. And yet most Ukrainians remain surprisingly hopeful. “We found out who we are. And who are aren’t,” says Ruslana Khazipova, a young singer with the band Dakh Daughters. “We are free. And we aren’t Russia’s bitch any more.”

American officials are worried that 50,000 Russian troops being massed near the Ukraine border and within Crimea, the pro-Russian peninsula recently annexed by President Vladimir Putin, aren’t there for just a training exercise

Despite Russian reassurances that Moscow’s troop buildup along Ukraine’s eastern frontier is for a military exercise, its growing scale is making U.S. officials nervous about its ultimate aim.

President Barack Obama on Friday urged Russia to stop “intimidating” Ukraine and to pull its troops back to “de-escalate the situation.” He told CBS that the troop buildup may “be an effort to intimidate Ukraine, or it may be that [Russia has] additional plans.”

Pentagon officials say they believe there could be close to 50,000 Russian troops bordering the former Soviet republic and inside Crimea, recently seized and annexed by Moscow. That estimate is double earlier assessments, and means Russian President Vladimir Putin could order a lighting strike into Ukrainian territory with the forces already in place. The higher troop count was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

“We continue to see the Russian military reinforce units on their side of the border with Ukraine to the south and to the east of Ukraine,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said Thursday. “They continue to reinforce and it continues to be unclear exactly what the intent there is.”

Revolution in Ukraine 2014. Kiev Protesters Killed as Ukraine Crisis Escalates
Revolution in Ukraine 2014. Kiev Protesters Killed as Ukraine Crisis Escalates

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf played down the notion that there are as many as 100,000 Russian troops now bordering Ukraine, as Olexander Motsyk, the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S., said Thursday on Capitol Hill. “I hadn’t actually seen the hundred-thousand number,”

Harf said. “There are huge numbers of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border. … We are concerned about Russia taking further escalatory steps with whatever number of tens of thousands of troops they have there, and have called on them not to do so.”

Washington got those assurances that the Russian troop buildup was only an exercise from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu a week ago. But no one in the U.S. government knows if Putin agrees — or if the Russian leader has changed his mind as the West has debated what level of economic and political sanctions might be imposed if Moscow takes an additional chunk of Ukraine beyond Crimea. “They made it clear that their intent was to do exercises and not to cross the border,” Kirby said. “Our expectation is they’re going to live up to that word.”

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf

There is no plan to involve the U.S. military in what is happening in Ukraine, even if Russia takes more territory. Ukraine borders Russia, and Ukraine does not belong to NATO, where an attack on one member is deemed to be an attack on all.

“Should the Russians continue to move aggressively in that region and in the Ukraine, what does that mean—and NATO would have to respond, for example—what would that mean for the United States Army?” Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, asked the Army’s top officer Thursday.

How many of the 67,000 U.S. troops in Europe might be involved? “I simply don’t know,” Odierno said. “And I would just remind people that, actually, some of the soldiers that are assigned to Europe actually right now are in Afghanistan.”

“My responsibility is to make sure that the U.S. Army is prepared to respond as part of a joint force, as part of NATO,” General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, responded. “So what I’m focused on is improving our readiness in combat, combat service support and combat aviation capabilities to make sure we’re ready to respond whether it’s from a humanitarian assistance aspect or any other aspect.”

From Moscow to Siberia to Bulgaria, Russian war monuments have faced a rough year.

As a result of all this, two important things happened. First, Ukraine became a country in a meaningful way. In the 23 years since it became independent from the USSR, Ukraine could not decide whether it was going to become a law-abiding, European nation of shopkeepers like its Western neighbor (and some-time ruler), Poland – or take its place alongside Belarus and Kazakhstan in a revived Russian Empire of kleptocratic dictatorships.

Lawmakers suggested that the world is abandoning Ukraine. “It appears to me Ukraine was left defenseless over the last two decades,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio.

Vladimir Putin settled that question once and for all. Without the Russian-speaking population of Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk, there will never again be a pro-Moscow government in Kiev. At the end of October strongly pro-European parties swept to power in the Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. At the same time the European Union and Nato found – for the time being at least – the mettle to agree on sanctions in Russia and economic and logistical support for Ukraine.

The war for the East continues. The economy teeters. The ultra-nationalists may not have done well in recent elections but they are armed and organized into self-governing “patriotic battalions” fighting independently of the government’s command. A recipe for disaster of Yugoslav proportions, perhaps. And yet most Ukrainians remain surprisingly hopeful. “We found out who we are. And who are aren’t,” says Ruslana Khazipova, a young singer with the band Dakh Daughters. “We are free. And we aren’t Russia’s bitch any more.”

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