Archive for November 21, 2023

Black Friday Buy-One-Give-One Promotion from TELUS

Posted in Commentary on November 21, 2023 by itnerd

TELUS has some news today about a uniquely Canadian promotion that flips a traditional BOGO on its head with a Buy One Give One offer.

This Black Friday weekend, TELUS is asking Canadians to help make this holiday season, and the New Year ahead, a little brighter for those who need it most. Beginning this Friday, for every new customer who buys a phone (online, through calling-in, or at select stores), TELUS will give a free phone and mobility plan to a Canadian youth leaving foster care to help them stay connected. 

This Buy One, Give One offer, which runs from November 24-27th, operates through TELUS’ Mobility for Good program, which provides free or discounted phones and rate plans to youth aging out of foster care, government assisted refugees and Indigenous women at risk of violence. 

While Black Friday shopping is typically centred around grabbing the season’s biggest deals for holiday shopping, TELUS is instead inviting Canadians to purchase with purpose by giving the gift of connection to those in need. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one, by simply purchasing a device and joining TELUS, your gift has double the impact and helps make this holiday season a little lighter for Canada’s most vulnerable citizens.

Ooma Telo – A Quick But Overdue Follow Up

Posted in Products with tags on November 21, 2023 by itnerd

Back in January I wrote a review about the Ooma Telo VoIP phone system. At the time I promised that I would follow up. And that took longer than I expected because to be frank, nothing much has gone wrong except for one thing that I will cover in a moment. The call quality remains excellent and she’s has had no problems. In short it’s been rock solid and she’s had no complaints.

The only thing that has gone wrong was that the client forgot to update her credit card with Ooma and that broke her phone service for a few days. On top of that Ooma’s emails warning her of this went to her spam folder. But one phone call to Ooma’s support on a Saturday afternoon sorted all of that out. I will also note that the wait time was under a minute and the problem was resolved in under 30 minutes as resolving the issue required a power cycle of the Telo device which takes 15 to 20 minutes to do.

The bottom line is that the Ooma Telo is a reliable product that I would recommend without hesitation. Their support is great, and I honestly can’t find anything negative to say. If you are looking to use a VoIP phone system to give you an affordable home phone line, the Ooma Telo is worth your time to take a look at.

Mujjo’s Black Friday Sale Starts Tomorrow

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 21, 2023 by itnerd

Here are some highlights of the sale:

Check it out at

Black Mental Health Canada Urges Collective Action to Tackle The Concerning Mental Health Of Black Canadians

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 21, 2023 by itnerd

Black Mental Health Canada (BMHC), a community-based non-profit organization that addresses the mental health needs of Black Canadians, is calling for professionals, industry leaders, agencies and influencers to join a gala event on December 9 in Toronto to help raise awareness of the distinctive mental health needs of Black Canadians and five programs designed to close the gaps.

According to a survey of Black Canadians, 60 per cent said they would be more willing to use mental health services if the mental health professional were Black. BMHC’s objective is to provide easier access to culturally appropriate mental health assistance for individuals and families within the Black community, and to enhance their overall well being. Its mandate is to dismantle barriers which include the cost of mental health support, limited access to culturally sensitive care for Black individuals, a lack of comprehensive statistics and research to accurately depict the state of Black Canadians, and a pervasive mistrust of systems designed to support those in need. BMHC strives to establish a safe, inclusive environment where individuals from diverse Black backgrounds can seek and receive support for their mental health needs.

Mental Health Disparities in Black Canadian Communities
The Mental Health Commission of Canada highlighted alarming findings from the 2020 Statistics Canada Survey on mental health disparities during COVID-19. Among the key statistics:

  • 27.9% of Black visible-minority respondents reported fair/poor self-rated mental health, exceeding the rate among White respondents at 22.9%; 
  • 32% of Black visible-minority respondents experienced symptoms consistent with moderate/severe generalized anxiety disorder, compared to 24.2% of their White counterparts;
  • 37.5% of Black visible-minority respondents reported COVID-19-related financial insecurity, surpassing the rate among White respondents at 22.1%. 

BMHC Programs to Close Existing Gaps
Recognizing that contributors to psychological and emotional stress differ among communities, BMHC has strategically designed programs to address distinct needs and close existing gaps. The gala event on December 9 calls for immediate attention, volunteers, mentors and financial support for these initiatives: 

  1. LIFEMAP (Life Integration for Empowering Males After Probation/Parole) supports young offenders step-by-step after release. It helps youth set goals and provides coaching and support to help them navigate the challenges they face during reintegration;
  2. HEROES (Health Education and Resources for Overcoming Emotional and Mental Health Struggles) addresses the urgent necessity for emotional and mental health education in schools, especially in under-served communities;
  3. Yes to Assess provides assessments to children in need who lack the means to access traditional assessment channels; 
  4. BREATHE (Black Response and Empathy Alternative to Harmful Enforcement) operates as a dedicated helpline for community incidents involving mental health crises, eliminating the need to involve the police. Instead, trained Black mental health professionals promptly respond to de-escalate situations effectively; and,
  5. Self Care through Hair is a unique program that leverages barbers as the first line of support, identifying vulnerable individuals and initiating referrals for consultation and further assistance.

In 2023 alone, BMHC has conducted training sessions for over 1,000 healthcare professionals across Canada; developed customized training programs for public servants; provided free, life-changing public counseling groups for men and women throughout the country; disseminated educational and accurate information on mental health through social media; and established partnerships with agencies and organizations to support the Black community. 

BMHC also makes it easy for Canadians to find mental health practitioners that support Black families: 

Collective Efforts Needed to Make Progress
The theme of the December 9 event is Ubuntu, which reflects the essential approach required to genuinely challenge the status quo and disrupt conventional practices concerning mental health and its treatment. Ubuntu, which means “I am because we are,” underscores the understanding that no singular entity can shoulder the responsibility of addressing mental health alone. It requires a unified effort to dismantle existing bottlenecks.

The gala event will serve as a platform to share success stories and narratives that ended tragically due to systemic and community failures. Some of the featured speakers include: 

  • Author Lynn Cane, sharing the poignant story of her journey through the loss of her son to suicide;
  • Speaker and Advocate Stacey Buchanan, reflecting on her personal experiences with mental health;
  • Strategist and policy analyst Ngozi Iroanyah, providing insightful commentary on mental health issues affecting Black seniors;
  • Social Worker Duane Wiafe, sharing his experiences in corrections and emphasizing the impact of implementing culturally sensitive programming;
  • Filmmaker Moses Kigana, discussing his personal journey with mental health and the significance of promoting mental health;
  • Poet Roen Higgins, empowering individuals through art and spoken word;
  • Lawyer and Founder of The Sentencing Project Emily Lam, exploring the intersection of mental health and the law;
  • Executive director at Black Physicians’ Association of Ontario (BPAO) and former manager of Black Youth Success Chenai Kadungure, highlighting the importance of strategic programming for youth. 

In addition to attending the gala event, BMHC encourages every agency, professional, leader and influencer capable of contributing not only to do so financially but also to be part of the solution through offering their time, resources, mentorship, leadership and guidance. The gala aims to highlight the collective power of the community, emphasizing the belief that each individual’s contribution, regardless of size, plays a pivotal role.

This event will take place at the Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport (970 Dixon Road, Toronto) on December 9 at 6 p.m. While it is primarily an invitation-only event, some seating will be designated for the general public who would like to participate in the discussion. For more information, visit   

For more information on volunteering or working with BMHC, contact us at

Atlas VPN Releases A Native App For Apple TV

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 21, 2023 by itnerd

Atlas VPN, has just introduced a dedicated VPN app for Apple TV


The development follows Apple’s rollout of tvOS 17 this September, which introduced VPN support, making Atlas VPN one of the pioneering providers to release a native app for the smart TV platform.

With the dedicated app, users can easily install and set up Atlas VPN on their Apple TVs in a few simple steps, eliminating the need for the manual VPN router setup that is often necessary with many other VPN services.

The Atlas VPN Apple TV service comes with solid encryption and features advanced protection SafeSwap servers unique to the VPN provider. SafeSwap allows users to have many rotating IP addresses without having to switch between different VPN servers. 

Apart from robust security features, the service is also equipped with video-optimized servers and 10Gbps servers designed to provide lightning-fast speeds, even during peak usage. 

The Atlas VPN app for Apple TV is already available on the Apple TV App Store. To get the app, users can search for “Atlas VPN” and follow a quick setup process.

Apple TV is the newest addition to Atlas VPN’s list of supported platforms, joining Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux.

A New Canada Post #Scam Is Making The Rounds

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 21, 2023 by itnerd

A reader of this blog tipped me off to this Canada Post scam that seems to be making the rounds. It starts with a text message:

Now the threat actor is hoping that your critical thinking won’t kick in because we’re in that time of year where everybody is having stuff shipped to them. Thus you will be more likely to click on the URL in the message instead of clicking on “Report Junk”. Thus let’s dive in by clicking on the URL which for the record you should never, ever do:

Now this is a very good replication of the Canada Post website. Except for the fact that the URL is not But the threat actors are hoping that you won’t notice that. There’s also no tracking number listed. That’s a #fail as well as any sort of package that Canada Post or any courier handles would have a tracking number. Now if you click on “Reschedule Delivery”, here’s what you get (click to enlarge):

And here’s where it begins to become clear what the threat actors are up to. First they want to snag your personal info. And I know that because Canada Post would have no reason to ask you for your date of birth. When I entered fake info, I encountered logic that made you fill out certain items that reinforced the fact that the threat actors want your personal info. Likely to do some form of identity theft. But they’re not done yet.

The threat actors want your credit card info as well. Likely to use it to buy a ton of stuff on someone else’s dime. But also to reinforce any attempt to steal your identity. I say that because a lot of places want your birthdate and your credit card along with a home address to run a quick credit check on you. So this threat actor could in theory use this info to take out anything from a cell phone to a loan. That’s pretty crafty.

Now if you’re wondering how Canada Post would contact you, here’s a quick primer. Legitimate Canada Post email notifications will only come from the email addresses below and only if you’ve opted into receiving tracking notifications or communications from Canada Post:


They will never send you a text message. Thus if you get something that isn’t from one of the email addresses above, and you haven’t signed up for tracking notifications, it’s likely a scam. Legitimate Canada Post SMS tracking or mail notifications and marketing communications will only show the sender as 272727 or 55555, and you will only get them if you have signed up to receive those notifications. Thus if you haven’t opted into getting these texts, it’s a scam.

The holiday season is a prime time for scammers to operate. Thus you need to make sure that you check any email or text twice to make sure that you don’t fall victim to a scam.

Beware Of The Application Generation Says New Cisco AppDynamics Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 21, 2023 by itnerd

A new report from Cisco AppDynamics shows that, while the use of digital services and applications reached new heights during the pandemic, today, consumer demand for applications continues to increase. However, there has been a shift in consumer expectations, with users looking for ever more intuitive and personalized digital experiences. 

  • New Expectations59 per cent of Canadians claim their expectations for digital experiences are far higher now than they were two years ago – citing slow screen loading, applications crashing and poor connectivity among the most frustrating problems. 
  • Application Clutter70 per cent of users are keen to get rid of applications they don’t use enough or value anymore. 
  • No Second Chances54 per cent of consumers feel disrespected by brands whose applications don’t meet their expectations and 63 per cent say to be less forgiving of brands when problems occur.  
  • Digital Disruption (literally): An alarming 83 per cent report they have experienced performance issues when using applications over the past 12 months.   

The report also unveiled a new cohort of application user – “The Application Generation.” This group, aged 18-34, use 41 different applications and digital services each month (compared to 30 for those aged 35 and above) and are far more discerning about the quality of applications – 70 per cent claim to be more mindful about the applications they install on their devices. 

You can read the full report here.