Archive for January 22, 2018

Review: The North Face Apex eTip Glove

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 22, 2018 by itnerd

One of the gifts that I got over the holidays from my wife were these North Face Apex eTip gloves. Her logic was that I use my iPhone and Apple Watch a lot regardless of the season. Thus in winter it would help if I had a glove that allowed me to use both without removing my gloves in cold weather. Thus she got me these:


Now what sets these gloves apart is the fact that they are capacitive. In non-nerd speak, that means the gloves allow you to control your smartphone while wearing the gloves because it allows the electrical current that naturally runs through your body to pass through the gloves. That way you can use your smartphone while wearing them. On that point they work as advertised. I tested them during a skate at a local park this past weekend where I was able to interact with my iPhone and Apple Watch with minimal issues. Because they’re gloves, precision drops a bit which can be an issue on the Apple Watch due to the small screen size. But once you’re aware of that you adapt quickly. For best results, I’d recommend that you buy them in a store where you can test to make sure that fit snugly which allows you to maximize your ability to use them as designed.

The only thing close to a downside that I would point out is that these gloves are rated for cool weather. Around the freezing point or slightly below they’re fine. But if you get any colder than that, you might find that they are not the warmest gloves around. Thus is that’s something that matters to you, then you might want to look at the rest of The North Face line as they have eTip options for colder weather.

The Apex eTip Gloves from North Face are $55 CAD. If you want to be able to use your smartphone while wearing gloves in the winter, this is a good option for you to look at.


Why Toronto Making The Cut For Amazon HQ2 Isn’t A Good Thing

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 22, 2018 by itnerd

Last week, Amazon announced the 20 cities that made the cut in terms of where the company will build its second headquarters, otherwise known as HQ2. Toronto and the larger Greater Toronto Area made the cut. A lot of people are happy about that as Toronto was the only non-US city to make the cut.

I on the other hand think this is a really bad development. Why? There’s two big reasons:

  1. Amazon is looking for talent and will scoop up all the talent that exists here to power its own business. This will be at the expense of startups here in Toronto who will likely be in no position to compete due to the deep pockets that Amazon has. That means the next BlackBerry will never see the light of day because the talent needed to take it to the next level will work for Amazon and the results of that knowledge and hard work will generate lots of revenue for an American company. We should be saying no to having such a large company come in and scoop up that talent. Instead we should be doing everything possible to encourage that talent to drive revenue for Canadian companies. That way Canadians can be the innovators of the future.
  2. Toronto is not a US city. Which means that if Amazon were to pick Toronto, it would be subject to a angry Tweetstorm from a certain President Donald J. Trump who is well known for his “America First” mantra. So one wonders if Jeff Bezos and company are truly willing to take that fight on. Maybe they are? Who knows? But the flipside to that is that the Trump administration already has Canada in its crosshairs over NAFTA. Thus we should likely be circling the wagons rather than inviting trouble on yet another front.

For those reasons, I am not a supporter of HQ2. Let an American city score it. That way the politicians here in the Greater Toronto area can get back to doing things that will benefit the people who live here. Such as building better transit, improving infrastructure, and driving the innovation economy by helping to build great Canadian companies that the world, which is everyone outside the United States, will want to do business with. If that happens, it will be irrelevant what Amazon does. And it will be another made in Canada success story to go with ones like the 56k modem, the CanadarmSonarinsulin, and the Cardiac pacemaker just to name some great Canadian inventions.

The question is, will those politicians see that or are they too focused on the short term gain of Amazon setting up shop in Toronto to see the big picture?

OnePlus Pwned…. 40,000 Customers May Have Had Credit Card Numbers Swiped

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 22, 2018 by itnerd

There were rumors of this for several days last week, and now I can confirm that the OnePlus website has been pwned by hackers with the confirmation coming form OnePlus itself. The impact is that 40,000 customers may have had credit card info swiped from the site by hackers. To be more specific, anyone who made a purchase on the OnePlus website between November 2017 and 11 January 2018 may be at risk. However if you paid via PayPal, or paid with previously saved credit card details, you’re likely fine. If that’s you, OnePlus will serve up the usual  year of credit monitoring service for free. And you should check your bank statements for any suspect charges as that is how this came to light. Oh yeah, if you want a OnePlus phone right now, you better have a PayPal account as credit card payments are suspended for the time being..