Archive for May 2, 2018

Salesforce Ventures brings ‘Dreampitch: Toronto’ Competition to Beanfield Centre

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 2, 2018 by itnerd

On Thursday May 3, three Canadian startups will vie for a coveted $100K USD prize at the first ever ‘Dreampitch: Toronto’. The pitch competition, hosted by Salesforce with prizing funded by its capital venture arm Salesforce Ventures, celebrates innovative startups from across the country. Finalists hail from Toronto and the Kitchener-Waterloo corridor, recently celebrated as one of the top tech clusters worldwide by The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018.

 In celebration of the inaugural event, a notable group of Canadian tech personalities will sit on the judging panel including tech powerhouse Kirstine Stewart, President and CRO of TribalScale and Michael Litt, Co-Founder of Vidyard, one of Canada’s fastest growing tech firms, among others.

Where: Beanfield Centre, 105 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3

When: Thursday, May 3, 2018 4:00-5:00 PM – Dreampitch:Toronto takes place

 

Judges:

Candice Faktor, Founder, Faktory Ventures

Kirstine Stewart President and CRO, TribalScale

Kristina Shen, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners

Michael Litt Co-Founder and CEO, Vidyard

 

Startup Finalists:

Marko Savic, CEO, Funnel Cake

Andrew Sinclair, Co-Founder, Lane Four

Mike Orr, Co-Founder, Grapvine6

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A New Screensaver For Roku Users

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 2, 2018 by itnerd

Roku is rolling out a new beautiful and dynamic screensaver to Roku devices. Imagine a city as dense in population as New York and as bright as Tokyo. The new “City Stroll: Movie Magic” screensaver feels like you’re driving by a cityscape with dozens and dozens of popular movie and TV references. Take a cruise under the glowing lights and explore a city filled with movie magic.

CityScrollMovieMagic.jpg

If you’ve set a personalized screensaver, Roku will not override it and you can find “City Stroll: Movie Magic” in the Roku Channel Store. If you have a Roku Ultra, where the Aquatic Life screensaver is the default screensaver, you can find “City Stroll: Movie Magic” in the Roku Channel Store. If you miss the old screensaver, Big City Stroll, now called, City Stroll: Skyline, you can find it in the Roku Channel Store.

Bell Is Going For The Killshot Against Rogers By Rolling Out Fibre To The Premises As Fast As It Can

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 2, 2018 by itnerd

If you’re Rogers you have to scared right now. I say that because Bell is stepping up its rollout of their Fiber To The Premises offering. First there was Toronto. Then in late April, Oshawa which is just east of Toronto got some Fibre love from Bell. Today, Clarington which is east of Oshawa is apparently the next on the list to get Fiber To The Premise.

It’s clear that Bell is being hyper aggressive here, and frankly I don’t blame them. They have a superior offering versus what Rogers can serve up. So why not take that advantage and run with it as hard as they can? As long as they don’t screw up, and to be clear, that could happen with Bell given their multiple faux pas over the last few months, they could run up a massive lead against Rogers. This activity from Bell as of late says to me that when it comes to residential Internet access, Bell has Rogers in its sighs and is going for the killshot.

It Seems That Loblaws Issues With The PC Optimum Program Aren’t Going Away

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 2, 2018 by itnerd

I’ve written numerous times about the #EpicFail that is the PC Optimum rewards program which has been pwned repeatedly and led to levels of frustration that I rarely see in a customer base. Here’s recent, as in the last two days, examples of this:

Followed by:

That’s a customer service #fail if I have ever seen one. How about this example:

Another customer service #fail. That really illustrates that Loblaws isn’t on the ball when it comes to taking care of their customers. This one is really bad:

This guy Tweeted a lot over the last 24 hours. But here’s why he’s mad:

Let me put it this way, If I had the equivalent of $200 stolen, which is what the value of 200,000 points is, I’d be a wee bit ticked too.

What is clear here is that Loblaws who is the company that runs this rewards program can’t get their act together. They clearly can’t deal with the number of people who have been affected by whomever is stealing points from their customers. And it is highly likely that this problem is far worse than Loblaws cares to admit. None of this is good for Loblaws. And I suspect that we’re now reaching the point that these issues are beyond the ability for Loblaws to rescue its reputation from. Because right now it looks like Loblaws is really circling the drain.

BREAKING: Cambridge Analytica Is Shutting Down

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 2, 2018 by itnerd

A Twitter post by Dan Levy got my attention a few minutes ago.

After some digging, I found that multiple media outlets are reporting that Cambridge Analytica, the company at the center of the Facebook privacy scandal is shutting down. It seems to be all of the operations of the company and its parent company SCL Group are closing. But details are kind of scarce at the moment.

I’ll update this post as I get more information.

UPDATE: Gizmodo seems to have the most complete coverage that is constantly being updated.

Pentagon Bans Sales Of ZTE And Huawei Phones Over Spying Concerns

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 2, 2018 by itnerd

Well, this war between the Trump administration and Chinese telcom companies got ratcheted up a couple of notches today with news that the Pentagon has banned saless of ZTE and Huawei phones:

The ban is based on the potential security threat the Pentagon believes the phones from the China-based companies may pose. It’s the latest move in an ongoing crackdown on the two companies by the US government, which is suspicious that they could hack into their phones and use them to spy for the Chinese government.

“Huawei and ZTE devices may pose an unacceptable risk to Department’s personnel, information and mission,” said Pentagon spokesman Major Dave Eastburn. “In light of this information, it was not prudent for the Department’s exchanges to continue selling them to DoD personnel.”

US military personnel are still allowed to buy ZTE and Huawei phones for personal use from elsewhere, although the Pentagon is currently deciding whether to issue a wider advisory about the purchase of phones by the two brands, said Eastburn. He said security reasons prevented him from going into the technical aspects of the potential threats.

One has to wonder what’s next? There’s really not much else that the Trump administration can do to these companies. But I am sure they’ll find something.

Tinder’s Parent Company Disses Facebook Because Of Dating App Announcement

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 2, 2018 by itnerd

Well, it seems that the parent company of Tinder is threatened by the announcement that Facebook is getting into the dating app game. The fact that their stock dropped significantly when it was announced is likely salt in the would as well. But it seems that they’re so bothered by this that they’ve taken to dissing Facebook:

Joey Levin, chief executive at Match Group’s parent company IAC, extended a barbed invitation that referenced Zuckerberg’s recent trip to Washington D.C.: “Come on in,” Levin said. “The water’s warm. Their product could be great for US/Russia relationships.”

Ouch. That hurts. But to be fair, they also said this:

Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of Match Group, which own Plenty of Fish, Tinder, OkCupid, and Match.com, said in a statement that she was “surprised at the timing given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory.”

“We understand this category better than anyone,” the statement continued. “Facebook’s entry will only be invigorating to all of us.”

It will be interesting to see how they defend themselves against Facebook’s entry into this market. But I am not sure that dropping disses like a gangster rapper should be in the playbook.