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Briefly: Rogers 700MHz LTE rolls out, Toshiba UHS-II microSD cards

04/18, 5:48am

Rogers begins 700MHz LTE rollout in Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver

Rogers is expanding the available spectrum for its LTE service in Canada, by turning on its 700MHz network. Engadget reports that areas of Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver will see the benefits of 700MHz at first, with subscribers and AT&T customers roaming in the region able to see Rogers LTE in indoor areas where the signal was previously inaccessible. While it does not offer specific timing, Rogers plans to roll out the extra spectrum bands across the country.

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Heartbleed facilitates identity theft from Canada Revenue Agency

04/14, 2:58pm

900 taxpayers lose social insurance numbers to OpenSSL flaw

Canada's tax administration has reported that around 900 people have had personal data stolen, with the miscreants making off with the data using the Heartbleed bug. Taken by the hackers are social insurance numbers (similar to Social Security numbers in the US), and potentially other data. The breach is the first directly pointing at the Heartbleed bug as the main vector of attack.

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Briefly: Xperia Z2 exclusive to Bell in Canada, BBM updated

04/01, 7:31pm

Sony's latest waterproof smartphone to be available in May through Bell

Sony and Bell announced today the exclusive availability of Xperia Z2 waterproof smartphone in the Canadian market. The Xperia Z2 has a 5.2-inch screen, is 8.2mm (0.33-inch) thick, offers 4K video recording, and can utilize new Xperia camera apps. Sony's Xperia Z2 will be available in black, white and purple across Canada from Bell Mobility in May 2014.

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Briefly: BlackBerry sells Canadian real estate, LG's smart light bulb

03/23, 11:32pm

BlackBerry reaches agreement on selling majority of its Canadian real estate

BlackBerry announced last Friday that it has reached an agreement to sell the majority of its real estate in Canada, as part of its plan to balance finances. The company originally announced its plan to sell assets back in January, in partnership with commercial real estate service company CBRE. Several months ago, BlackBerry sold five of its buildings to the University of Waterloo for $36.44 million dollars -- much of the real estate that has been sold most recently is also located in Waterloo, Ontario, where BlackBerry's headquarters resides. BlackBerry plans to lease back a portion of the space being sold.

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Google Chromecast goes on sale in Canada, United Kingdom, Europe

03/19, 6:06am

First international expansion of Google Chromecast since US launch

Google is performing its first major international expansion of its Chromecast streaming HDMI dongle, making it available to purchase outside of the United States for the first time. Residents in a total of 11 more countries can now buy the device through Google Play and retailers, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and a number of other European countries.

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Apple withdraws contracts from Canadian campus outlets

03/18, 8:00pm

Secondary-school stores have until end of May to sell hardware

Only a day after analyst Charlie Wolf noted that Apple's North American education-segment sales had hit an all-time quarterly record, Apple has reportedly declined to re-authorize contracts permitting Apple Authorized Campus Stores across Canada, effectively ending the program -- allegedly due to declining on-campus sales. The current contracts are scheduled to end with the current school year, beginning in June.

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iPhone coming to Serbia, Lebanon, Québec's Vidéotron

03/14, 3:09pm

Device now reaching smaller niches worldwide

The iPhone will soon go on sale in two previously unreached countries, Serbia and Lebanon, according to several announcements. Serbia's Mobile Telephony -- also known as mt:s -- today revealed plans to carry the iPhone via Twitter, while rival Vip Mobile made an announcement through its website. The latter says it is only waiting on certification by RATEL, the agency that regulates electronics in Serbia.

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iPhone Reuse and Recycle program reaches Canada

03/10, 10:36am

Initiative making gradual international expansion

As anticipated, the iPhone Reuse and Recycling program has been introduced at Canadian Apple Stores. The option lets people trade in an old iPhone for a gift card, usually to put towards the purchase of a new phone. In Canada, Apple is promising "up to $275" for previous devices.

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Apple iPhone trade-in program coming soon to Canada, source says

02/24, 9:18am

Program still in limited reach internationally

Apple's iPhone Reuse and Recycling trade-in program will be launching in Canada in the next few weeks, a source says. The person explains that staff training is due to begin this week. As elsewhere, the backend of the program is expected to be handled by BrightStar.

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Rogers preparing to offer early smartphone upgrades with Next program

02/21, 5:46am

Rogers Next will offer 12-month upgrades for $25 monthly fee

Rogers of Canada is following the lead of its American carrier counterparts, by offering customers an earlier upgrade via an extra subscription. Rogers Next, similar to T-Mobile Jump, AT&T Next, and Verizon Edge, will allow customers to trade in smartphones every 12 months for a new device, with no up-front charges on a large number of devices, no connection fees, nor early upgrade fees.

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Two-step Apple ID verification reaches several new countries

02/20, 12:25pm

Supporting regions still under a dozen

Apple has brought its two-step verification process to several more countries, the company's support pages show. Until today, only the US, UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand were supported. Now however the list also includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain.

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Android KitKat for HTC One reaches Canadian carriers, Sprint early

02/02, 11:06am

KitKat update for Android starts North American roll-out

Owners of the HTC One in Canada have started to receive the Android 4.2.2 update to their devices, despite it only entering carrier testing late last week. At the same time as Canada's rollout, the Android KitKat update for Sprint subscribers has been made available to download, though as a "customer initiated request" rather than a pushed update.

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North American Mac Pro shipping times slip into March

01/22, 3:26pm

Delays follow path of international storefronts

Apple's online stores in the US, Canada, and Mexico now listing "March" shipping times for the 2013 Mac Pro, shoppers note. Until recently, the stores were quoting February delivery dates. The new times are however consistent with changes at Apple's international storefronts.

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PayPal begins testing In-Context Checkout feature on websites

01/13, 2:52pm

Testing of hands-free Beacon system expands

Transaction service PayPal has started testing a new web feature called In-Context Checkout, reports say. Normally, web-based PayPal transactions have to be completed at paypal.com. With the in-context code in place, choosing PayPal checkout at a retailer's website will simply conjure a pop-up, where billing and shipping information can be entered. At the moment only a handful of retailers have the option, but PayPal is promising that more vendors will adopt it in the first half of 2014.

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Canada, UK get 'Boxing Day' specials on iTunes albums, songs

12/26, 8:00pm

US residents enjoy special holiday 'channels' on iTunes Radio instead

While US residents can brag on their ability to listen to special "holiday" channels on iTunes Radio, other countries have their own iTunes celebrations going on -- the Canadian iTunes Store, for example, has launched a "Boxing Day" sale on select albums and songs, while the UK store has a similar sale (but not, strangely, labeled as "Boxing Day" related). In both countries and a few others, "Boxing Day" kicks off a week of sales from all manner of retailers.

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AT&T teams with Rogers for LTE roaming in Canada

12/09, 11:56am

Carrier promotes global data packages

AT&T has announced that its customers can take advantage of LTE roaming while traveling in Canada. The service is one of the first to enable LTE connectivity for US travelers as they head across northern borders, through a roaming agreement with Canadian carrier Rogers Communications.

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Only select US, Canadian Apple Stores opening early on Black Friday

11/22, 2:53pm

Canadian stores typically opening later than in US

Only some Apple Stores in the US and Canada will be opening early on Black Friday, reports note. In the US a portion, generally ones inside malls, will be open at 6AM. Others will be open at their regular times, and/or between 7 and 9AM. Canadian outlets will be open no earlier than 7AM, but otherwise follow a similar pattern. Apple's retail website provides details for individual store hours.

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Lenovo buyout of BlackBerry claimed blocked by Canadian government

11/06, 7:04am

National security concerns over telecoms infrastructure nixed buyout plans

Lenovo could have bought ailing smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry, but was denied by the Canadian government. Alleged interference of inter-company discussions by Ottawa government officials made it clear to BlackBerry executives that a takeover by a Chinese company would not proceed, due to potential national security concerns.

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Briefly: Kindle Fire HDX in UK and Canada, Tesco offers 4G access

10/18, 7:14am

Amazon opens pre-orders for Kindle Fire HD, HDX in UK, Canada

Amazon has opened up pre-orders for its new Kindle Fire HDX and updated Kindle Fire HD in the United Kingdom and Canada. The lower-resolution Kindle Fire HD will be shipping in both countries from October 24th, starting from 119 and $149. While those in the UK will have to wait until November 19th to receive their HDX models in both 7-inch and 8.9-inch forms, starting from 199 and 329 respectively, Canada will have to wait until November 26th, with the tablets priced at $254 and $399.

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Canada to require unbundled 'a la carte' cable TV channels

10/14, 1:15pm

Industry minister calls for changes

The Canadian government is reportedly preparing to establish new regulations that will force cable TV companies to offer unbundled channels. Several cable services already offer "a la carte" pricing for individual channels, however comments from the country's industry minister, James Moore, suggests the government will mandate the service option as part of a broader consumer-protection strategy.

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iPhone 5s shipping times change to 2-3 weeks at Apple online store

10/11, 4:16pm

US, Canada, China, Australia see new forecasts

Shipping times for the iPhone 5s have changed at Apple's online store, checks show. As recently as yesterday, the device was only listed as shipping in "October" for US buyers. Now orders are set to arrive in two to three weeks; the same forecast has been applied to the Canadian, Chinese, and Australian storefronts, and possibly others.

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Apple hosts recruiting event aimed at BlackBerry workers

10/10, 2:45pm

Sends private invites through LinkedIn

On September 26th, Apple hosted a recruitment event aimed explicitly at BlackBerry workers, says Canada's Financial Post. The event took place at the Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre in Cambridge, Ontario, a little over 14 miles from BlackBerry's Waterloo headquarters. To attract people the company is said to have sent out invitations to BlackBerry employees via LinkedIn.

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iTunes Radio beginning to reach Canada and UK listeners

10/10, 11:17am

Beats predictions from sources

iTunes Radio is already rolling out in Canada and the UK, according to anecdotal reports. Until this week, the service was only accessible in the US. The timing beats out predictions by Bloomberg sources, who suggested that Canada and the UK would only get Radio in early 2014. There is no word yet of Australia, New Zealand, or various Nordic countries getting access; the Bloomberg sources suggested those regions would be joining Canada and the UK in roughly the same timeframe.

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Canadian carrier Rogers suffers nationwide disruption [U]

10/09, 8:14pm

Subsidiary Fido also affected; website down as well

[Update: service restored after five hours] In an unusual national disruption, Canadian cell carrier Rogers -- the country's largest carrier by subscriber base -- has suffered a near-countrywide failure of wireless voice communications, though 3G and LTE data appears to be unaffected. Between Rogers Wireless and its subsidiaries Fido and Chatr, the company controls about 34 percent of Canada's cell phone market. Customers from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia say they have been without service for much of the evening, while some report partial service.

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Report: First expansion of iTunes Radio coming in early 2014

10/07, 11:04pm

English-speaking and Nordic countries in initial rollout plans

Apple is expected to make English-speaking and Nordic countries the first wave of its expansion of iTunes Radio into non-US countries, pulling ahead of main rival Pandora in terms of international reach, Bloomberg reports. Citing "people with knowledge of the situation," Apple expects to bring the new streaming-radio feature of iTunes to Canada, the UK, several Nordic countries, Australia and New Zealand in a timeframe said to be aimed for early 2014.

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Apple want ad suggests iTunes Radio on its way to Canada

10/04, 9:32pm

America's northern neighbor likely to be first outside country to gain the service

Apple has posted job notices seeking iTunes Radio programmers for Canada, a sign that the well-received free music-streaming service will be expanding into the US' closest ally as one of, if not the, first countries outside America to gain the service. The posting suggests that the launch of the service in Canada may occur as early as sometime later this month, presuming some strong candidates can be found.

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Briefly: Rogers drops BlackBerry Z30, Instagram confirms advertising

10/04, 7:14am

Rogers will not carry BlackBerry Z30 over limited store space

Canadian carrier Rogers is refusing to carry the BlackBerry Z30 in stores, citing that it can only "pick what we think are the biggest winners" to display on its limited shelf space. The Globe and Mail reports that it will still stock the Z10 and Q10 smartphones, suggesting it won't be going as far as T-Mobile, but a BlackBerry spokesperson revealed that competitors Bell and Telus will sell the Z30.

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Carriers in Canada create single unified stolen phone database

10/01, 10:56am

Canadian stolen IMEI register connects with international GSMA database

A number of carriers in Canada, along with the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), are working together on a new national blacklist of mobile phones and carrier-connected devices. The new service will prevent stolen phones listed on an international database from being used on Canadian carrier networks.

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BlackBerry Z30 hits FCC, Q10, Z10 on sale from BlackBerry itself

09/29, 8:16pm

BlackBerry smartphones in website sales supplied unlocked

BlackBerry is attempting to improve the sales of some of its smartphones by making them available directly. The manufacturer is selling the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 through its website, with the incoming BlackBerry Z30 also being seen at the FCC ahead of its expected release on networks in Canada in the near future.

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Briefly: Moto X reaches Sprint, Roku 3 launches in Canada

09/06, 2:59pm

Moto X goes on sale through Sprint, $100 credit for number transfers

Sprint has started selling Motorola's flagship smartphone, the Moto X, on its network. Priced at $200 alongside a two-year contract, the carrier will be offering customers switching their number to Sprint a $100 instant credit off the up-front cost of the device. Though it is not launching with Moto Maker customizations, Sprint states that it will be available to its customers "in the coming months."

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Verizon still considering international expansion; Canada ruled out

09/03, 11:57am

Lowell McAdam speaks following Vodafone announcement

Verizon Wireless has reportedly left open the possibility of international expansion, though the company is no longer considering a foray into the Canadian market, according to CEO Lowell McAdam's comments during a Tuesday conference call with analysts. The company's $130 billion commitment to buy Vodafone's 45-percent stake has raised questions regarding potential expansion and other investments.

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Briefly: Nokia Lumia 1020 in Canada, Asus teases Android tablet

08/31, 9:19pm

Nokia Lumia 1020 due on Telus, Rogers in Canada in the future

The Nokia Lumia 1020 will be heading to Canadian carriers in the near future. The phone producer's Twitter feed for Canada states that the camera, complete with its 41-megapixel rear camera, will be available to buy on both Rogers and Telus soon. Launch dates and prices for each carrier were not revealed, but should be a similar cost to that of the AT&T version, namely around $300 on a two-year contract.

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Canadian government to monitor BlackBerry, will not bail out company

08/23, 10:56am

No intention of helping Canadian phone manufacturer by government

Phone manufacturer BlackBerry will not receive government assistance as it attempts to rectify its financial situation, according to a Canadian government minister. Industry Minister James Moore advised that the government is hoping BlackBerry manages to turn itself around, but it will not intervene if the company is unable to do so.

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LG G2 will land on 6 Canadian carriers, wireless charging on Verizon

08/16, 6:17am

European customers to also have G2 wireless charging via accessory

More details concerning the launch and charging of the LG G2 have been revealed. Six carriers will be offering the smartphone in Canada, while wireless charging has been touted for the Verizon variant and also for European carriers, though the version crossing the Atlantic will not have the capability built into the device.

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Verizon temporarily backs away from Wind, Mobilicity acquisitions

08/15, 11:03am

Report claims Verizon to bid in Canadian spectrum auction instead

Verizon may be putting a hold on its attempts to purchase two Canadian carriers, in favor of acquiring spectrum directly, according to a report. The American carrier, believed to be offering at least $600 million to Wind Mobile and a similar figure for Mobilicity, is now considering bidding in a Canadian government wireless spectrum auction instead.

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Apple extends adapter takeback program to UK, other countries

08/12, 4:54pm

New countries to join August 16th

Apple is extending the number of eligible countries in its USB adapter takeback program. The program began in China August 9th, and is coming to the US on August 16th. Now also joining on the 16th will be Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the UK.

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Apple takes out print ads for 'Designed by Apple' campaign

06/25, 12:11pm

iPhone maker saturates different media

Apple is starting to run prints ads as part of its Designed by Apple in California marketing campaign. The company has taken out a two-page ad (below) in prominent Canadian newspaper the Toronto Star, using text echoing a TV ad that premiered earlier this month at WWDC 2013. Both spots are focused on corporate branding rather than selling any specific Apple product.

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Apple announces 2013 summer filmmaking camps at Apple Stores

06/20, 2:56pm

Apple Camp registrations open in US, Canada

Apple has announced the 2013 slate of its annual Apple Camps for kids, which are hosted at Apple Stores. The focus this year is on producing a short iMovie clip using self-shot footage, with a soundtrack produced in the iPad version of GarageBand. Each workshop will stretch over three days, ending with the videos being shown at a camp film festival.

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Briefly: Google voice search in Chrome, Amazon Cloud Drive in Canada

05/22, 1:54pm

Google adds voice search to home page in Chrome update

Google has updated Chrome to enable voice search, among other additions. Chrome version 27 enables conversational search through the Google homepage, providing a clickable microphone to start it off, and then switching to a larger Google Now-style mic logo. The update, spotted by Searchengineland, also provides a new API for Chrome Store developers, 14 security fixes, and a 5-percent speed boost to page loads.

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Apple extends two-step ID verification to Canada, other countries

05/10, 10:51am

Option will appear automatically in account details

Apple is extending its two-step verification option for Apple IDs to a wider range of countries, users say. When the feature first launched in late March, it was restricted to the US, UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. Now though people in Canada, Argentina, and Pakistan are reporting getting the feature, and other countries may be following suit.

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Briefly: Amazon Kindle price cuts, Facebook BlackBerry app

04/25, 12:26pm

Amazon cuts Kindle, Paperwhite price by $10 in Canada

Amazon has dropped the price for some of its Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite e-readers in Canada. The standard Kindle has dropped from $89 to $79, while the Paperwhite version, with its lighter screen and built-in light, sells for $129 instead of $139. The 3G-enabled version of the Kindle Paperwhite remains at $199.

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BlackBerry to release Q10 in Canada May 1 for $199

04/23, 6:05pm

Rogers, Bell, Telus to stock Q10, selling on three-year contract

The BlackBerry Q10 will be going on sale in Canada on May 1. The BlackBerry OS 10 device with a QWERTY keyboard will reach its home country on the main three networks ahead of the US, somewhere that BlackBerry has yet to announce a release date for, with pre-orders starting up for a majority of carriers.

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Rogers expanding LTE coverage to 44 new Canadian markets

03/26, 1:17pm

Majority of markets to offer 150Mbps maximum speed

Rogers is expanding the reach of its LTE coverage in Canada to include an extra 44 markets over the next few months, increasing the proportion of the Canadian population covered by LTE to beyond the 60-percent hit last year. The expansion will also see 34 of the 44 new markets become capable of maximum theoretical network speeds of 150Mbps, using the carrier's 2600MHz spectrum band.

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iMac shipping times drop to 24 hours in US, Canada

03/05, 1:17pm

Includes previously hard-to-get 27-inch models

Shipping times for the iMac have been upgraded to "within 24 hours" at Apple's US and Canadian online stores. This includes 27-inch models, which have often been slower to arrive than their 21.5-inch counterparts. Late last week, delays for both models improved from weeks to between 1 and 3 business days.

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Thieves use bear spray during Vancouver Apple Store robbery

03/05, 12:05pm

Suspects make unusual attack during store hours

Three men used bear spray while robbing the Oakridge Centre Apple Store in Vancouver Monday night, the CBC reports. Unusually the crime occurred around 7PM, toward the end of store hours, instead of overnight as with most Apple Store robberies. About 40 shoppers are said to have been in the shop at the time; the thieves shot the bear spray into the air, ultimately forcing five people to be treated for exposure.

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Briefly: HTC One $100 offer, Samsung Galaxy S 4 trailer

03/04, 12:52pm

HTC offers $100 bonus for trade-up to a HTC One in Canada

HTC is offering potential customers a $100 incentive to buy the newly-launched HTC One in Canada. A page on the company's Canadian site allows users to preregister for the smartphone, and then after buying the HTC One, can send their old handset and proof of purchase for the new device to HTC. Successful participants will receive a prepaid Visa card loaded with either $100 or the trade-in value of the old phone, whichever is greater.

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Canadian Government: BlackBerry PIN-to-PIN messages insecure

02/27, 6:29pm

Nature of protocol could lead to misdirected messages

The Canadian government IT department has warned its workers that the BlackBerry PIN-to-PIN service is unsafe. According to a presentation by Public Safety Canada, messages sent with the service are "the most vulnerable method of communicating on a BlackBerry" making it "not suitable for exchanging sensitive messages." The newly-updated memo, first crafted in 2011, states that although PIN-to-PIN messages are encrypted, they key used is a global cryptographic key that is common to every BlackBerry device all over the world, and any BlackBerry device can potentially decrypt all PIN-to-PIN messages sent by any other BlackBerry device.

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iPad mini now 'in stock' in many countries

02/19, 3:01pm

UK store still stuck at 1-3 business days

The iPad mini is now officially "in stock" at Apple's online store in many countries. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US have all made the change. Some notable exceptions include places like the UK, Germany, and France, where the tablet is listed as shipping in one to three business days.

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Amazon Prime extended to Canada, minus Instant Video

01/08, 12:03pm

No plans to offer streaming video with Prime in Canada

Amazon has launched its lauded subscription-based Prime delivery service in Canada. The all-you-can-eat delivery service offers users free two-day delivery across the country, though it offers a more stripped-down version of the retailer's own offering in the United States and the United Kingdom.

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iOS, Android Facebook Messenger apps get voice messages

01/03, 5:18pm

VoIP calling beta test comes to Canada

Facebook has updated the iOS and Android versions of its Messenger app with support for voice messages. Holding down a button starts the recording process. Using a slide gesture cancels a message, while letting go sends it.

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