Social criticism is too important to leave to the trolls

Trolling requires a person to suspend thought. To hate any thought that isn’t their own. To smash, destroy and bully

Social criticism is too important to leave to the trollsEverybody’s a critic, they say. But that’s not true. Some people are critics, in the true sense of the word, and contribute positively by determining the meaning and value of social and cultural artefacts. Critics shape culture, teach audiences and direct attention. Critics aren’t trolls. They create and elevate discussion and, by elevating discussion, enlighten…

Is Google stealing your garden furniture?

Violations of personal privacy occur on a much larger scale than anyone thought possible. But new EU rules address the problem

Is Google stealing your garden furniture?I first started to realize how dangerous social media was a few years ago. I was on the phone with a friend and I could feel his growing sense of outrage. “I can't believe it,” he said. “Google is reading my mail. They targeted me with ads that could only have come from specific words…

New book offers vision of a safer urban future

Cyber City Safe: Emergency Planning Beyond the Maginot Line explores cybersecurity, modern emergency planning and green city living

New book offers vision of a safer urban futureCyber City Safe: Emergency Planning Beyond the Maginot Line By Allan Bonner Brennen Schmidt Roy Damary and Natalia Pryadilina Reviewed by Anil Anand Retired police officer Cyber City Safe: Emergency Planning Beyond the Maginot Line presents a comprehensive vision of a safer urban future through big data, technology and greenery. The book has four authors and three…

Talking the talk, walking the walk of disruptive innovation

Canada's oil and gas sector needs to move forward in brave new ways, and that requires a new level of sharing and communication

Talking the talk, walking the walk of disruptive innovation(This is the fifth in an occasional series profiling organizations committed to more productive energy talk.)  Innovation talk may well be the one force capable of putting Canada's energy sector – particularly upstream oil and gas – back on its feet. But we have to get it right. That means creating – through talk –…

Is your home killing you?

Radon is an invisible, silent, odourless killer. But it can be easily detected with this device

Is your home killing you?It lurks in your home but you can’t see or smell it. And it may just be putting your life at risk. No, it’s not carbon monoxide – it’s radon gas. According to Health Canada, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Smokers are at even a higher risk. Radon is…

Zapping taxpayers won’t validate green energy

The massively subsidized European power grid is in no way proof that the underlying renewables technology is viable

Zapping taxpayers won’t validate green energyA few years back, I had a chat with a reporter who had recently moved to Calgary from Europe, where he covered energy issues. In a discussion about renewables, he gave the oft-heard opinion that Europe was, of course, “ahead” of Canada. His eyes widened with admiration for how Europeans were greening their power grid.…

Switchin’ to glide: manual control a must in self-driving cars

The cars of the future will remove the human component, driving more safely and efficiently – until something goes wrong

Switchin’ to glide: manual control a must in self-driving carsAuto technology has steadily taken more control from drivers and the cars of the future are almost here. So it's time to talk about how that future should be shaped and managed. And how humans must maintain ultimate control. One hundred years ago, we started cars with a hand crank. Fifty years ago, we manually…

Voice-activated assistants vulnerable to hackers

Voice-activated assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s Siri are prime targets for sabotage, big and small

Voice-activated assistants vulnerable to hackersBy Brennen Schmidt ALEUS Technology Group and Allan Bonner Troy Media columnist Whether listening to the radio in its digital or analogue form, fans will know the rush associated with contests. A station’s telephone lines can soon become jammed with requests from callers hoping to be “lucky caller number five.” While this may sound innocent,…

Bill C-59’s overreach allows security to trump freedom

Bill C-59, Canada’s new spy legislation, threatens the freedom of expression, the right to life, liberty and the security of the person

Bill C-59’s overreach allows security to trump freedomOne-time prime minister John Diefenbaker said, “We must vigilantly stand on guard within our own borders for human rights and fundamental freedoms which are our proud heritage. … We cannot take for granted the continuance and maintenance of those rights and freedoms.” But critics warn that Bill C-59, Canada’s new spy legislation, threatens the freedom…

How a venture capitalist knows your deal is weak

The venture capitalist is actually looking for a the reason not to invest in your company

How a venture capitalist knows your deal is weakIt is an industry accepted standard that venture capitalists will fund one of 100 deals. Some entrepreneurs will not be given more than a few minutes to pitch, others will get a longer meeting, while a lucky few will move into a process of successive interviews and discussions. But, in the end, only one deal…