Amazon Refuses To Sell Book About UK Child’s Fight With Cancer…. Internet Outraged

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 7, 2017 by itnerd

I’ve been following the Twitter feed of Alexander Goodwin who is a nine year old who is fighting Ewing Sarcoma, which is a rare type of bone cancer that affects children, in his right femur. Long story short, he’s winning the fight. Though that required him leaving his home in the UK and going to the US for treatment. Not a easy or cheap endeavor. Which is why his family have done everything possible from a fundraising perspective to give him every chance to live. That includes a new book that details his fight with cancer:

Here’s the thing. Amazon, as in the biggest retailer on the planet, won’t sell this book:

Now that’s caused his supporters to take up his cause. Take for example Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, who is also known as William Shatner:

Not to mention some people who aren’t known for saving the universe on a regular basis:

You have to agree that the optics of this situation look horrible for Amazon. I really fail to understand why they would take this stance and it would be in their best interests to really not only come out and explain this, but to actually sell the book. Having followed the young Mr. Goodwin’s Twitter feed, I can say that his story is one that needs to be told as others will find strength from it. Thus if you have been touched by cancer, buy this book and show Amazon what they’re missing out on. You can get the book here if you are in the UK, and here if you are in the US.  Or perhaps Janet Wheeler can help you to get a copy:

UPDATE: It appears that Amazon has changed course and decided to sell the book:

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VW Exec Gets Sent To The Clink For 7 Years Over #DieselGate

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 7, 2017 by itnerd

Oliver Schmidt who pretty much ran VW USA got sentenced to 7 years in prison for his role in the DieselGate scandal. Why so long of a sentence? Well, his lawyers tried to minimize his role in the scandal saying that he’s only been a real factor since 2015…. But the judge saw things differently:

Lawyers spent roughly 90 minutes giving different views about Schmidt’s culpability in the scandal in Detroit federal court on Wednesday.

But Judge Sean Cox sided with prosecutors, calling Schmidt a “key conspirator” who viewed the coverup as an opportunity to “shine” and “climb the corporate ladder.”

I guess his days of climbing the corporate ladder are over. Given the 7 year sentence, and criminal record, the only job he’s going to get once he’s out of prison is one that includes the words “would you like fries with that?”

Hopefully more people who were responsible for DieselGate end up inside a courtroom and face the punishment that they deserve. I say that because this is something that those who orchestrated and directed this scandal need to pay for.

Toronto Based InstaRyde Gains Funding From Two Toronto-Based Backers

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 6, 2017 by itnerd

Investors Mike Sapir and John Aquino have announced that they will be supplying major funding to Toronto-made rideshare company, InstaRyde.

InstaRyde is a Toronto-made, Toronto-based company with an ethos grounded in treating both its drivers and riders well while providing safe, affordable transportation in and around the GTA.

How is InstaRyde different from other rideshares:

  • Rider incentives. InstaRyde has a great incentives programme that ups the rewards the more you drive.
  • Riders pay less. Rides cost average about 20% less than other ridesharing services on average.
  • No surge pricing!
  • Made in Toronto, for Toronto. The InstaRyde team is from Toronto. They love our city, know it well, and have taken the time to listen to riders’ and drivers’ needs and concerns when creating InstaRyde. They celebrate inclusivity, diversity and changing the ridesharing experience for the better.
  • InstaRyde takes care of their driving team (and is hiring now)! Each new driver will benefit from bonuses, starting at $300 for completing 50 rides in 30 days, all the way up to $1000 in additional bonuses, in addition to $100 for each driver referral.
  • Due to the overwhelming demand for more drivers, InstaRyde has extended its promotional bonus program to another 1000 drivers.Terms and conditions do apply.
  • InstaRyde will offer drivers access to a fuel savings program, with details to follow.
  • More money goes to the drivers. InstaRyde takes a flat rate of 99c from the drivers’ share for every ride.

You can get the Instaryde app on iOS and Android today.

61 Per Cent Of Canadian Small Businesses Now Use Automation Tech: Intuit

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 6, 2017 by itnerd

Canadians are embracing the potential AI holds to improve their lives, and this is especially true among entrepreneurs. Intuit’s latest study in partnership with Emergent Research revealed that most Canadian small business owners are early adopters, with 61 per cent of small businesses currently using automation technology to run their businesses.

They’re also optimistic about what it means for the future, with 57 per cent reporting they feel positive about the impact automation will have on their business over the next five years, citing the potential to improve efficiency, productivity and innovation as the top reasons why it will benefit their businesses.

  • Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of SMB owners think automation technology will lead to an increase in employees at their firm and few (11 per cent) think it will lead to employment reductions.
  • About half report that over the next five years they expect automation technology will improve their job satisfaction, work/life balance and their ability to manage their business.

To help Canadian small business put an end to mundane tasks, like sending reminders for overdue invoices, so they can focus on growing their businesses, QuickBooks unveiled several innovations at the first-ever QuickBooks Connect Toronto this week that let entrepreneurs harness the power of AI and data-driven insights, including:

  • The brand-new QuickBooks Assistant: The brand-new QuickBooks Assistant offers a conversational chat experience and solves a common problem for the self-employed and small business owners – quickly and easily staying on top of their finances. The new chatbot combines data-driven insights and natural language processing to ease business operations by merely asking questions or stating requests, saving precious time and giving entrepreneurs the insights necessary to make informed financial decisions with confidence.
  • QuickBooks Projects feature now available to all Canadian QBO Plus users: QuickBooks Projects introduces QuickBooks Online Plus users to a new way to work and collaborate, all while seamlessly organizing all project components in one location, so they can run their business more efficiently and intuitively.
  • Access to direct bank feeds with new CIBC integration: Intuit and CIBC are joining forces to help businesses make more informed decisions quickly, combining CIBC’s powerful banking capabilities with critical insights from QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Online Accountant, enabling accountants and entrepreneurs to better manage their day-to-day accounting.

 

The 100 Best Restaurants In Canada, As Voted By OpenTable Diners

Posted in Commentary on December 6, 2017 by itnerd

From outstanding service to one-of-a-kind dining experiences, OpenTable today announced the 100 Best Restaurants in Canada for 2017. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 500,000 restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 2,000 restaurants across Canada.

Whether it’s the understated elegance of Bar Von Der Fels in Calgary or the authentic tastes of Damas in Montréal, this list illustrates some of the best restaurants in Canada’s elevated hospitality scene, as voted by OpenTable diners. Including establishments with multiple locations1, Ontario has the greatest number of restaurants included on the list with 55, followed by Alberta with 17, and British Columbia and Québec each with 14 restaurants. Newfoundland and Labrador is also represented on the list.

For the second year in a row, Italian restaurants proved to be the most popular among diners. French and Canadian cuisine placed second and third, respectively, while restaurants specializing in Japanese, Mediterranean and Contemporary American cuisines also ranked in the top 100.

The 100 Best Restaurants in Canada list is generated solely from more than 500,000 restaurant reviews collected between November 1, 2016, and October 31, 2017. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then sorted according to a score calculated from each restaurant’s average rating in the “overall” category.

Based on this methodology, the 100 Best Restaurants in Canada according to OpenTable diners are as follows (in alphabetical order):

100 Best Restaurants in Canada for 2017

Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar – Whistler, British Columbia
Atelier – Ottawa, Ontario
Bar Von Der Fels – Calgary, Alberta
Bishop’s – Vancouver, British Columbia
Blue Water Cafe – Vancouver, British Columbia
Bonaparte – Montréal, Québec
Boralia – Toronto, Ontario
Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant – Calgary, Alberta
Bridgette Bar – Calgary, Alberta
The Bruce Hotel and Restaurant – Stratford, Ontario
Buca Yorkville – Toronto, Ontario
Byblos – Toronto, Ontario
Campagnolo – Toronto, Ontario
Canis Restaurant – Toronto, Ontario
Canoe Restaurant and Bar – Toronto, Ontario
Carben Restaurant – Ottawa, Ontario
The Carbon Bar – Toronto, Ontario
Carisma – Toronto, Ontario
Chabrol Cafe – Toronto, Ontario
Chez Sophie – Montréal, Québec
Chiado – Toronto, Ontario
Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill – Vancouver, British Columbia
Cucci Ristorante – Oakville, Ontario
Da Vinci Ristorante – Montréal, Québec
DaiLo – Toronto, Ontario
Damas – Montréal, Québec
Days on Front – Kingston, Ontario
Deane House – Calgary, Alberta
Earth to Table: Bread Bar – Guelph, Ontario
Eden – Rimrock Resort Hotel – Banff, Alberta
Ernest’s at NAIT – Edmonton, Alberta
Europea – Montréal, Québec
EVOO – Toronto, Ontario
Fishbone Bistro – Multiple Locations (Ontario)
Five Sails Restaurant – Vancouver, British Columbia
George Restaurant – Toronto, Ontario
Gotham Steakhouse and Bar – Vancouver, British Columbia
Grey Gardens – Toronto, Ontario
Gyu-Kaku – Toronto, Ontario
Harbour Sixty – Toronto, Ontario
Hawksworth Restaurant – Vancouver, British Columbia
Hoogan & Beaufort – Montréal, Québec
Hy’s Steak House – Toronto, Ontario
Ile Flottante – Montréal, Québec
Inn on the Twenty – Jordan, Ontario
Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse – Toronto, Ontario
Joso’s – Toronto, Ontario
Ki Modern Japanese + Bar – Toronto, Ontario
King Street Trio – Waterloo, Ontario
Kitchen76 at Two Sisters Vineyards – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
KOKO! Share Bar – Toronto, Ontario
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon – Montréal, Québec
La Banane – Toronto, Ontario
Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa – Cambridge, Ontario
LaurieRaphael – Québec City, Québec
LaVinia – Toronto, Ontario
Le Baccara – Casino du Lac Leamy – Gatineau, Québec
Le Club Chasse et Peche – Montréal, Québec
Le Filet – Montréal, Québec
Lee – Toronto, Ontario
Lupo Restaurant & Vinoteca – Vancouver, British Columbia
Maison Boulud – Montréal, Québec
Mamakas Taverna – Toronto, Ontario
The Marc – Edmonton, Alberta
Mettawas Station Mediterranean Restaurant – Kingsville, Ontario
Miku Restaurant – Multiple Locations (British Columbia and Ontario)
Momofuku Shōtō (Counter Seating – Chef’s Tasting) – Toronto, Ontario
Morton’s The Steakhouse – Toronto, Ontario
Nightingale – Vancouver, British Columbia
Niko’s Bistro – Calgary, Alberta
Nuit Social – Toronto, Ontario
ONE Restaurant – Toronto, Ontario
Opus Restaurant – Toronto, Ontario
Osteria Savio Volpe – Vancouver, British Columbia
Patria – Toronto, Ontario
Peoples Eatery – Toronto, Ontario
Pigeonhole – Calgary, Alberta
Q Haute Cuisine – Calgary, Alberta
Quails’ Gate Estate Winery – Old Vines Restaurant – Kelowna, British Columbia
Raymonds – St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
Restaurant Le Continental – Québec City, Québec
Rickshaw Bar – Toronto, Ontario
Sabor Restaurant – Edmonton, Alberta
Salt Wine Bar – Toronto, Ontario
Scaramouche Restaurant Pasta Bar & Grill – Toronto, Ontario
Shoushin – Toronto, Ontario
Sorrel Rosedale – Toronto, Ontario
Tavola – Vancouver, British Columbia
Ten Foot Henry – Calgary, Alberta
TOCA – Ritz Carlton – Toronto, Ontario
Trius Winery Restaurant – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Tzin Wine & Tapas – Edmonton, Alberta
Vero Bistro Moderne – Calgary, Alberta
Villa Firenze – Calgary, Alberta
Vineland Estates Winery Restaurant – Vineland, Ontario
vivo ristorante – Westend – Edmonton, Alberta
Woods Restaurant & Bar – Toronto, Ontario
WORKSHOP kitchen + culture – Calgary, Alberta
Yuwa Japanese Cuisine – Vancouver, British Columbia
Zucca Trattoria – Toronto, Ontario

The complete list may also be viewed at https://www.opentable.com/m/best-restaurants-in-canada-for-2017/.

Infographic: OVH Barometer On The Smart Society

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 6, 2017 by itnerd

Infographic_OVH Barometer_Digital Economy_Ontario.jpg

Source: OVH

Review: ASUS ROG Rapture AC5300 Gaming Router

Posted in Products with tags on December 6, 2017 by itnerd

I will say right up front that if you want the best performing router possible, the router that you are about to read about is the one to get. And that router is the ASUS ROG Rapture AC5300. I’ll get the elephant in the room out of the way and address the looks:

IMG_1050 (1)

Now it looks like the RT-5300 that I tested last year with an ROG logo added onto it. Thus that means that like the RT-5300 it takes up a lot of real estate and looks like something out of a Transformers movie. Which means it will be polarizing to potential buyers. But besides that and one other piece of criticism that I will share later, this review will be overwhelmingly positive. Starting with this:

IMG_1057

The front panel is pretty low key and doesn’t attract that much attention. Which given the overall looks of the router is kind of surprising.

IMG_1058

There are three buttons on the side that turn off the front panel LEDs, allows you to use WPS to pair devices to the router, or a button that kills WiFi entirely which would be handy for parents who want to get their kids to bed. But here’s one of the reasons why this router is extremely cool:

IMG_1051

There are EIGHT gigabit Ethernet ports on this thing (compared to the four that come with the RT-5300). The first two you can set up to have priority over all other ports, or you can bond them together to get 2 gigabits of throughput. Only a handful of routers have this many ports and your next LAN party will benefit from that. The two USB ports that you see are USB 3.0 which again is a rarity. You can use them for storage like USB hard drives or even for an 4G Internet dongle.

Another reason why this router is cool is what is under the hood:

  • 1.8GHz Quad-Core Processor

  • One 2.4GHz 1000 Mbps band

  • Two 5GHz 2167 Mbps band

  • 256 MB Flash

  • 1024 MB RAM

  • MIMO support

All of this conspires to make this one fast router. How fast? I have gigabit Internet access at home and it’s predecessor which was the Linksys WRT32X only managed to get a top speed of 798 Mbps over 802.11ac WiFi when I was five feet from the router. Now that’s nothing to sneeze at. But the ROG Rapture AC5300 beat that with a average speed 841 Mbps which is the fastest 802.11ac score that I have ever seen. Plus, it’s range is impressive. I was able to get a decent quality signal in areas of my condo where most routers struggle to get to. On top of that, throwing every device at this router from my Roku to my security cameras to all the computers didn’t slow things down all that much, if at all. YouTube, Netflix, whatever I threw at it worked without stuttering or buffering.

But things don’t stop there. Unlike the aforementioned WRT32X which to some degree relies on you having networking hardware from Killer to get the best performance, the ROG Rapture does this without that reliance in three ways:

  • Game Boost: This is a a quality of service (QoS) system for prioritising gaming traffic.
  • Game Radar: This provides server locations and ping status for a number of different game servers, allowing you to see which is the best to connect to so that you can get the best performance.
  • WTFast: This is a worldwide game network service that aims to optimize your connection to game servers. Usually you install their software on your PC. But because the router has this feature, everything on your network can leverage this.

On top of all that you get the protection of Game IPS which is powered by Trend Micro. It can stop external attacks from reaching into your network. That way you don’t get pwned by hackers while pwning your competition. And from my testing, I didn’t notice any slowdown in terms of playing any online game while using it.

Gripes? The only gripe that I have is the user interface. While the router is insanely easy to configure via one of the best wizards that I’ve seen in a router lately, once it’s configured, all the options that the user interface presents to you can be daunting. Though all those same options allow you to tweak this router to death. The only people who are going to love this user interface are nerds like me, control enthusiasts, and gamers. Joe Average user however will be heavily intimidated by this user interface. But then, this isn’t the router that Joe Average will be buying. Although they should be for reasons that I will get to in a moment.

Now all of this doesn’t come cheap. The ASUS ROG Rapture AC5300 is $500 CDN which makes it expensive. But, here’s why you want to spend $500 for one:

  1. It’s fast for everyone.
  2. It’s highly secure.
  3. You can plug lots of devices into it.
  4. It’s highly configurable.

Quite simply, this has now the best performing router that money can buy. Some would argue that this router is complete overkill for most people. I would disagree. Given the four points above, I would say that it is the best value out there when it comes to routers that are designed for performance. If you have a house that has lots of devices with a thirst for data, this is the router that has to be at the top of your list.