• In what may be the most bizarre marketing gimmick we’ve seen all week, movie theatre company Cineplex Entertainment is attempting to pop a bag of popcorn using lightning.

    Located in a field in Tilbury near Windsor, Ont., a 20-foot popcorn bag stands with a lightning rod extending from it, in an attempt to draw lightning and spark the popcorn kernels inside the bag.

    Canadians can vote whether they think the popcorn will actually pop by visiting Cineplex.com/Popcorn, and watch a 24/7 livestream of the action (or lack thereof). The stunt is part of Cineplex’s #WeatherorNot campaign, running this summer to remind potential movie-goers that the theatre is the perfect place to hide when the weather isn’t ideal.

    “Lightning is an extremely complex phenomenon that strikes 44 times per second across the planet,” said Mark Robinson, meteorologist at The Weather Network, in a press release. “The Cineplex Lightning Popcorn bag is located right in the heart of Canada’s lightning alley, a likely spot

    Read More »from Cineplex attempts to pop popcorn with lightning in marketing stunt
  • Sometimes we tell white lies to spare another person’s feelings and as it turns out, some of us may do the same for a robot.

    The findings come from a study by researchers at the University of Bristol and University of College London, who sought to discover ways to create an effective partnership between robots and humans, given the inevitable future where they’ll work side-by-side. 

    In particular, researchers were interested in creating a trusting environment, given that, despite being machines, they too aren’t perfect and will make mistakes.

    To simulate these conditions, the study asked 23 participants – 12 men and 11 women, between the ages of 22 and 72 with a range of experience with artificial intelligence – to work alongside a robot named BERT2 who was tasked with passing them eggs, salt and oil to make an omelette.

    BERT2 has a humanoid face with a digital interface, which has large eyes and a mouth, and is capable of multiple expressions.

    The BERT2 platform with neutral expression (left) and BERT C's facial expression on egg drop (right)The BERT2 platform with neutral expression (left) and BERT C's facial expression on egg drop (right)

    However, participants worked with three

    Read More »from People tell white lies to protect the feelings of robots: study
  • Language has become the latest battleground for regulators looking to monitor the slow creep of ride-sharing and driver-hire platforms like Uber.

    The San Francisco-based company is suing the City of London in the U.K. over new regulations from Transport for London (TfL), the city’s transport authority, including one requiring private-hire drivers coming from a non-English speaking majority country to pass a language test.

    “We support spoken English skills, but this exam is harder than the test for British citizenship,” wrote Alana Saltzman, Uber UK and Ireland spokesperson, in an emailed response to Yahoo Canada Finance. (Uber Canada did not respond to repeated requests).

    While the English proficiency has gained the lion’s share media coverage, the tech company cites three other grievances including the requirement for “hire and reward” insurance even when vehicles aren’t in use, the requirement to inform TfL of changes to their operating model “before they are made” and a rule that

    Read More »from Is language the new front for regulators in the battle against Uber?
  • Debt delinquency amongst millennials was up 12 per cent in the second quarter of this year. Youth unemployment hit 13.3 per cent in July with 28,400 jobs lost across Canada. The housing markets are out of control and millennials are still living in their parents’ basements. But if there’s any solace to be had in poverty-focused charity Oxfam’s new report on global youth, it’s that we’re all in this together. No really, millennials are feeling the squeeze worldwide.

    “There’s a huge swath of people all across the planet in that age bracket that are poor and poorer than the people in the same age of the generation before them,” says Kelly Bowden, manager of campaigns for Oxfam Canada. “(But) there is no one who is escaping the impact of the inequality gap – whether you’re teenagers, millennials or baby boomers, it’s affecting every one.”

    Millennials, she says, just happen to be having a harder time bouncing back from the economic downturn.

    The report cites a study last year by Dr. Paul

    Read More »from Adults in their late 20s, early 30s have it worse than the previous generation: study
  • Google's Android 7.0 Nougat is now available ... if you have the right device

    Google is finally rolling out the latest version of the world’s most popular mobile operating system: Android 7.0 Nougat. Available Monday as an update for Google’s Nexus devices, Android Nougat includes more than 250 improvements to the company’s OS.

    Nougat’s biggest features include updates to the Quick Settings menu, new emojis, multitasking, battery management improvements and the release of Google’s DayDream mobile virtual reality platform.

    The subtlest, but most welcome, change to Android N is its new Quick Settings menu. Rather than having to swipe down on the notifications shade twice to get access to your quick settings like Wi-Fi, GPS and the flashlight, you now only have to swipe down once. That seems like a small change, but it’s certainly welcome considering Android handset makers like Samsung, LG and HTC have been including the feature for some time now.

    the new android nougat quick settings menuAndroid Nougat’s new quick settings menu

    You’ll also now be able to reply directly to messages from the notifications

    Read More »from Google's Android 7.0 Nougat is now available ... if you have the right device
  • What it costs to spend a day at the CNE

    For those in the Greater Toronto Area, the unofficial end of summer begins when they start to hear that familiar ad refrain: “Let’s go to the Ex!”

    The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) 2016 began on Friday, opening its gates to shoppers, ride go-ers, game players, show watchers and every other kind of fun-seeking individual.

    ALSO READ: Weekend at the Calgary Stampede: what it will cost you

    If you’re in the area and want to check out Canada’s 138th National Exhibition, here’s how much you should be setting aside for a day of fun and excitement.

    Transportation 

    If you’re driving to the Ex, be prepared to park further and walk, or pay a premium for convenient parking. Parking in the lots on side costs $30 this year.

    The TTC streetcar or GO Transit are affordable alternatives to get to the CNE, and both drop you right at an entrance. Depending on how far you’re coming from, you could be paying $3 for a TTC fare, up to $21.75 for a one-way GO Train ride from Niagara Falls to Exhibition

    Read More »from What it costs to spend a day at the CNE
  • Henry Ford had some very forward-thinking ideas about cars and manufacturing. His company started building the Model T in 1908, and the assembly line used at the plant in Detroit, Michigan revolutionized the industry.

    The automaker claims the Model T “was the first low-priced, mass- produced car with standard interchangeable parts.”

    What Mr. Ford didn’t care much about was colour. He’s famous for the line “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” But wait — did these cars really only come in one shade?

    “It is indeed incorrect to say that all Ford Model T cars were black… but most of them were,” said Matt Anderson, curator of transportation at Ford in an email. “When the T was introduced in October 1908, the cars were available in red, green and grey depending on the body style.”  He added that all of the cars were painted dark green staring in 1909, and then dark blue starting in 1911, but that the dark colours could appear black in black and

    Read More »from Six car colour myths debunked
  • Does your mood swing up and down with the TSX? Does the price of oil keep you up at night? If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the business news scene in Canada, then this quiz on the week’s top business stories should be a breeze. Find out how savvy you are about Canadian and international financial news.

  • Condo forced to allow fourth internet provider under threat by CRTC

    Canada’s telecom regulator played hardball earlier this week when it told a Toronto condo development that it must grant access to fibre network start-up Beanfield Metroconnect to install services or it would order the other three telecoms in the building  – Bell Canada, Coextro and Rogers Communications – to stop providing services to residents.

    “The (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) ordered the condo building to provide access to the fourth internet service provider so that it could also provide service in the building, as required under the CRTC’s established policies,” explains Carol Anne O’Brien, a Toronto barrister and solicitor who has been involved in a number of CRTC regulation-related cases. “The policies are designed to support competition among ISPs and provide choice to residents of condo buildings.”

    A 2003 framework by the CRTC found that end users should have the right to choose the telecom service provider, regardless of their type of

    Read More »from Condo forced to allow fourth internet provider under threat by CRTC
  • This week’s offerings include a million-dollar view in Victoria, B.C., a modern townhome in Toronto, Ont. and a large family home in Halifax, N.S. Listings and photos courtesy of Zoocasa.

    image

    What a $1 million home looks like in Canada this week – August 18 edition

    Location: Victoria, B.C. List Price: $1,025,000

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    What a $1 million home looks like in Canada this week – August 18 edition

    You’ll lose where the sky ends and the sea begins when looking out at the breathtaking view.

    image

    What a $1 million home looks like in Canada this week – August 18 edition

    Floor-to-ceiling windows keep you feeling like you’re living outdoors (with all the comforts that walls afford).

    image

    What a $1 million home looks like in Canada this week – August 18 edition

    The airy modern feel carries on through the kitchen.

    image

    What a $1 million home looks like in Canada this week – August 18 edition

    The home features two bedrooms, and two bathrooms.

    image

    What a $1 million home looks like in Canada this week – August 18 edition

    Location: Toronto,

    Read More »from What a $1 million home looks like this week in Canada - August 18 edition
  • Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) announced Q2 financial results that were a bit better than expected.

    The retail behemoth reported earnings of $1.07, beating expectations for $1.02 per share. Revenue came in at $120.9 billion, which was better than the $120.1 billion expected.

    Comparable US store sales increased by 1.6% reflecting the eighth straight quarter of gains. Management noted that comparable store traffic grew for the seventh straight quarter.

    “We’re pleased with the positive momentum in our business,” CEO Doug McMillon said.

    Wal-Mart’s closely watched e-commerce sales grew by 11.8%, driven by a 13.0% jump in gross merchandise volume.

    “This was primarily due to growth in our marketplace offering in the U.S., the continued roll out of online grocery and growth of pick-up in stores and clubs,” McMillon said. “We continue to see proof that our customers enjoy a seamless shopping experience. The distinctions that we talk about today between stores, apps, pick-up, delivery and sites are

    Read More »from Wal-Mart earnings beat expectations, sales climb, guidance raised
  • They’ve been labelled the entitled generation. They’ve been called lazy and told they received too many participation medals, causing them to believe they deserve regular promotions regardless of performance.

    They’ve been told they’re needy, narcissistic and compulsive job hoppers -- when in reality switching gigs is a desire that has been expressed in youth across generations – making them the worst possible employees.

    However, a new study is attempting to flip some of these perceptions about millennial work ethic upside down.

    According to a new report published by Project: Time Off, an initiative created by the U.S. Travel Association, Wednesday millennial workers are the “most likely generation to forfeit time off,” even though they are granted the fewest vacation days.

    The research, which was conducted by market researcher GfK, randomly surveyed online 5,641 Americans who worked least 35 hours a week and received paid time off, between Jan. 20, 2016 and Feb. 16.

    It found that 43

    Read More »from Culture of millenial ‘work martyrs’ leads them to forfeit vacation time: study
  • At the opening ceremonies, one flag stood out amongst the sea of more than 200 countries and 11,000 athletes traipsing the Olympic conveyor belt leading into Rio’s Maracanã Stadium – a simple white flag marked with the five Olympic rings and carried by Rose Nathike Lokonyen.

    Lokonyen is a refugee who fled South Sudan in 2002, and is one of ten athletes making up the Olympic Refugee Team (six men and four women) who fled their homes and the unrest in their respective countries – the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Syria – yet were still able to compete with the world’s best.

    The fact that more than half of those are runners, four of which (including Lokonyen) come from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, nods to the egalitarian nature of the sport. In essence, all you need to do is move, and move fast.

    In Lokonyen’s case, the 23-year-old wasn’t even wearing shoes when she was discovered.

    The Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation held scouting trials in the camp in 2015,

    Read More »from The most and least expensive sports for aspiring Olympians
  • Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion sold for $100 million

    The Playboy Mansion has officially been sold for $100 million – but former owner Hugh Hefner, 90, can live there for the remainder of his life.

    Under the terms of the deal – signed provisionally by both sides and announced in June – Playboy will pay the famed mansion’s new owner $1m a year for upkeep.

    A view of the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, California, U.S. February 10, 2011.   REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File PhotoA view of the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, California, U.S. February 10, 2011. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File Photo

    The Holmby Hills estate – owned by Playboy Enterprises – was bought by businessman Daren Metropoulos, who lives next door to the property, and plans to reconnect the five-acre estate to his own home in the future. 

    The Playboy founder bought the 21,987-square-foot mansion for $1.05m in 1971, but put the estate on the market for $200m – double the final sale price, so Daren, whose father is billionaire C. Dean Metropoulos, scored a bargain. 

    Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion Sold For $100 MillionHugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion Sold For $100 Million

    The sprawling property comes complete with 29 rooms, including 12 bedrooms, and a cinema, tennis courts, waterfall, swimming pool and extensive wine cellar; it also houses the Playboy Magazine HQ in a separate wing.

    Upon final sale, Metropoulos said

    Read More »from Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion sold for $100 million
  • Ford wants your cabdriver to be a robot

    Ford wants to replace your Uber driver with a robot. The automaker announced Tuesday its plans to put its own high-volume, self-driving cars on the road in just five years.

    The company made its announcement during a live video stream, with CEO Mark Fields declaring that the company is “dedicated to putting on the road an autonomous vehicle that can improve safety and solve social and environmental challenges for millions of people — not just those who can afford luxury vehicles.”

    Ford’s plans call for the company’s autonomous vehicles to hit the road by 2021 and be used in conjunction with ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. As it stands, it would make sense for Ford to work with Uber, as the company is already testing Ford’s existing autonomous vehicles, while Lyft is working with GM.

    Read More: Self-Driving Cars Are Coming Soon to a Highway Near You 

    Ford specifically says its vehicles will be rated SAE level 4 on the Society for Automotive Engineers International autonomous

    Read More »from Ford wants your cabdriver to be a robot
  • Dan Carley’s tragic tumble from lottery winner to convicted cocaine trafficker caught the attention of Canadians across the country last week.  

    10 years ago, the now 35-year-old from St. Catharines, Ont., won $5 million at the tender of 24.

    And his life quickly spiraled out of control.

    He told The Toronto Star that he was soon “drinking every single day, partying every single day, doing coke.”

    Carley estimated that over the next nine years more the one-fifth of his winnings went towards feeding his habits for cocaine, oxycodone and heroine. 

    He was sentenced to serve two-and-a-half years for cocaine trafficking earlier this month.

    But Carley isn’t the only lottery winner with a tragic tale of riches to rags.

    About 70 per cent of people who unexpectedly receive an influx of cash will be broke within seven years, according to the National Endowment for Financial Education.

    Here’s a look at others who lucked out but lost it all.

    Michael Carroll

    The Brit won a US$15-million jackpot in

    Read More »from Ten lottery winners who lost it all
  • Canadian Olympians won’t just be wearing home their medals from Rio this year; the gold, silver and bronze medallion winners will be pocketing $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000 respectively – but not without a tax bill to match.

    “Monetary awards that are given to Canadian athletes as a result of an Olympic achievement are taxable under the Income Tax Act, regardless of whether the athlete is an amateur or a professional,” Jelica Zdero, a spokesperson for the Canada Revenue Agency explains to Yahoo Canada Finance.

    The CRA’s logic is that the cash award, offered by the COC’s Athlete Excellence Fund, is income. Simply put, prize money is taxable in Canada.

    “The obvious exception is lottery winnings, yes, you’re economically enriched but there’s a specific rule that says you’re not taxed on that,” says Kim Moody, director of Canadian Tax Advisory at Moodys Gartner Tax Law LLP and a self-professed “tax geek” who follows legal quirks like this closely. “There is no specific exception for prize

    Read More »from Canada's Olympic medallists in Rio will earn hefty tax bill
  • Review: Innovative ‘No Man’s Sky’ soars and bores

    “It’s complicated.”

    For the past week, that’s been my boilerplate response to friends asking if No Man’s Sky, the highly anticipated space exploration game from Sony and indie developer Hello Games, is worth playing.

    Because trying to sum up the biggest video game ever created in a simple “yes” or “no” just doesn’t feel right. Or doable, really.

    Part of the trouble is separating expectation from reality. Since its stunning debut at the VGX Awards in 2013, No Man’s Sky has been at or near the top of every PS4 gamer’s wish list. On-stage showings at Sony’s lavish E3 press conferences and breathless articles about the game’s insane scope only fueled the fires. This is, undoubtedly, the most hyped game of 2016.

    But despite numerous interviews, previews, and features written about No Man’s Sky, no one outside of Hello Games really had any idea what, exactly, you did in this video game. In a world where movie trailers routinely reveal showstopping scenes and the internet spoils every Game of

    Read More »from Review: Innovative ‘No Man’s Sky’ soars and bores
  • Apple's Tim Cook says paying a lot in taxes isn't patriotism

    Wall Street continues to go for the gold. All three major averages (^DJI^GSPC^IXIC) hit fresh record highs in early trading following gains in overseas markets. Meanwhile, oil prices (CL=F) are moving higher after Russia’s energy minister told a Saudi newspaper his country was consulting with Saudi Arabia and other producers to achieve market stability.

    Some M&A action in the real estate sector. Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA) shares on investors’ radars this morning. The real estate investment trust is buying Post Properties (PPS) for about $4 billion. The deal would bring together two major players in the rental apartment market.

    Xylem (XYL) is purchasing privately held firm Sensus for $1.7 billion in cash. Sensus makes metering technologies for the water, electric and gas industries. The deal is expected to add to Xylem’s earnings next year.

    Honeywell (HON) is also reportedly looking to make an acquisition. The industrial conglomerate is close to a deal to buy privately

    Read More »from Apple's Tim Cook says paying a lot in taxes isn't patriotism
  • [A financial advisor can be very helpful, but you shouldn't blindly trust the person handling your money.][A financial advisor can be very helpful, but you shouldn’t blindly trust the person handling your money.]

    Canadians are highly trusting of their financial advisors according to a new survey by Hennick Wealth Management. Of the 1,067 Canadians surveyed, a third reported using a financial advisor with only one in five disagreeing with statements like “my advisor can be trusted to act in my best interests” and “my advisor understands investments much better than I do.”

    But Adam Hennick, investment advisor at Hennick Wealth, says it may not be a good thing that 95 per cent of Canadians are confident in their advisors. To Hennick, it looks a bit like investor apathy.

    “As Canadians we’re too polite, we don’t ask questions like how have we done?” he says. “(Investors) are afraid because they don’t want to seem like they’re too lax in their finances.”

    According to the poll, when asked to pick the top three people most trusted to make financial decisions on their behalf, 61 per cent of

    Read More »from Are Canadians 'too polite' to question their financial advisors?
  • David And Victoria Beckham set to lose $6.7M on south of France mansion

    David and Victoria Beckham are reportedly set to lose £4 million (roughly C$6.7 million) on their Domaine Saint-Vincent mansion.

    Bidding adieu to France, the high-profile couple have put their 200-acre estate on the market for £2.4 million (~C$4 million), £1 million more than they paid in 2003, despite spending up to £5 million on renovations. Bargain!

    Copyright [KnightFrank]

    The 19th century home – located in close proximity to Bargemon, near the Cote d’Azur – is packed with rustic charm and features a lavishly decorated sitting room, six bedrooms and an infinity pool.

    Knight Frank, the agent in charge of marketing the property, describes the sprawling villa as an “exceptional estate” which offers the owner “wide open country views.”

    The ground floor boasts a state-of-the-art open plan kitchen and breakfast room, plush purple sitting room and a formal dining room, complete with draped curtains, a huge chandelier and an open fireplace.

    The first floor, which is accessed by two

    Read More »from David And Victoria Beckham set to lose $6.7M on south of France mansion
  • Dominick Gauthier is buzzing. Antoine Valois-Fortier, a Team Canada judo athlete and one of a handful of gold medal hopefuls sponsored by Gauthier’s athlete-focused charity B2ten, just clinched the win against France’s Loïc Pietri at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

    “(Pietri’s) one of his biggest nemesis (but Valois-Fortier) managed to have one of his best matches ever,” says Gauthier, a former Olympic coach. The judoka didn’t make it to the podium this Olympics but for Gauthier, Valois-Fortier’s preliminary win is just the sort of success story that the group of private donors who have contributed to B2ten are looking for.

    “They all have their different motivations to support B2ten but one common trait is that they all want to contribute to Canadian pride,” he says. “They see the athletes as being the greatest avenue for unifying the country and making everybody proud.”

    Since the organization launched in the lead-up to the 2010 Games in Vancouver, they’ve raised $33 million from

    Read More »from How Canada's Olympians find the money to fund their journey
  • Labour Day will be here before we know it, and while more than 50 per cent of Canadians are looking forward to getting back to a routine, more than one-third say expenses are their top stressor when it comes to back-to-school shopping.

    That’s according to a recent Ebates.ca poll, which also found that 45 per cent of Canadians spend between $100 and $200 per child, and nearly 25 per cent are spending more than that.

    Blame the steep costs on the modern era: electronics are at the top of most parents’ shopping lists. Today’s young learners are plugged in, and it’s costing their parents. Twenty-seven per cent of Canadians bought tablets for their kids, while 21 per cent had to cough up money for a computer.

    Good old-fashioned items like pens, pencils, erasers and notepads are still must-haves, but unlike decades past so are things like headphones, chargers and USB drives. As a result, back-to-school spending keeps going up and up.

    In the U.S., total back to school spending has increased

    Read More »from Worried about expensive back-to-school shopping? You're not alone
  • Whether you think you know all there is to know about the world of Canadian business or if you're just hoping you read enough news on Twitter this week, see how savvy you are with our finance news quiz of the week!

  • 100 million Volkswagen cars at risk of being stolen with wireless key hack

    Up to 100 million Volkswagen cars sold over the last two decades could be at risk from car thieves due to a simple wireless key hack.

    The massive security flaw was discovered two years ago by researchers from the University of Birmingham who found that hackers could break into cars by simply copying the radio frequency used in the remote control locking system.

    “Since they are executed solely via the wireless interface, with at least the range of the original remote control (i.e. a few tens of meters), and leave no physical trace, they pose a severe threat in practice,” the research claims.

    The findings were passed onto VW, but the research was previously blocked from being published by a British court.

    Other car makers, including Audi, Seat and Skoda, could potentially be affected by the bug, as their locking systems are made by the same firm that VW uses.

    Earlier this week, it emerged that around 50 per cent of connected cars are at risk from hackers.

    The claim was made by the same

    Read More »from 100 million Volkswagen cars at risk of being stolen with wireless key hack
  • Leslie Gardner, a Nanaimo, B.C.-based money coach, recalls a recent moment where she was sitting down with a married couple to talk finances and the wife was very quiet.

    “When I asked her how she viewed their finances, she said she feels like she doesn’t know what is going on and fears they’re in trouble,” says Gardner, who works with Money Coaches Canada. The husband was shocked by her answer. “He said he had no idea she felt this way, he just didn’t want to bother her with finances.”

    As it turned out, the couple was in great shape, they just hadn’t been communicating. “It changed their relationship for sure and they can see results towards their goals,” says Gardner.

    But not all Canadians have reached this point of openness with their partners. According to a recent survey by CIBC only 35 per cent of Canadians who plan to marry or live common law say they’ve sat down and had a proper talk about money despite the fact that 99 per cent of those polled consider it important to develop a

    Read More »from Two-thirds of couples don't talk about finances before getting hitched
  • Ten years ago, Dan Carley was on top of the world.

    At just 24 years old, he had a fiancee, his own business and $5 million in the bank after winning the lottery.

    Flash forward to today: the 35-year-old from St. Catharines, Ont., has been placed in a detention centre, before he heads to a federal penitentiary to serve a sentence of two-and-a-half years for cocaine trafficking, which he was given last week.

    “The lottery win began a spiral that took him into some pretty heavy-duty drug addiction, and he was thinking not very clearly for a long period of time,” his longtime lawyer, Brenda Sandulak  who did not represent him in the cocaine trafficking case as her husband Ron Charlebois handled the duties  told The Toronto Star. 

    “The fast lifestyle turned into a disaster, quite frankly.”

    Carley’s story begins on Feb. 21, 2006, when he bought a dozen $10 Ontario Big Game scratch tickets at a convenience store and won big time, collecting the biggest instant cash prize in provincial history

    Read More »from Ontario man who won $5M lottery 10 years ago convicted of dealing cocaine
  • Video conferencing is an art that tech companies have yet to perfect. Every system seems to have its issues, from pixelated videos, dropped calls or difficult set-ups.

    But it looks as though Google is hoping to move past longstanding methods involving laptops and webcams that often offer a blurry angle of your coworker’s double chin for technology that can get up close and personal.

    The tech giant was awarded a new patent on Tuesday for a small screen-carrying drone that could project videos as its hovers around the office.

    “(It allows) the remote user to feel as if they are present, at the same location as that of the second user,” said the patent. 

    Google said that the device could be controlled by a smartphone docked in the drone or another device that is paired with it remotely.

    Blueprints show a quadcopter drone with a smartphone sitting between the propellers, while a screen appears to hang off the front.

    This sketch shows a Google patent for a teleconferencing drone. This sketch shows a Google patent for a teleconferencing drone. 

    A second sketch appears to show a projection camera located on the

    Read More »from Google is looking into drones that get up close and personal with office workers
  • Like a teenager blowing all of his or her first paycheque, humanity has officially depleted all of its renewable natural resources for the year – just 221 days in. 

    According to the independent think tank Global Footprint Network, human civilization surpassed its natural capital on Monday and has since been overfishing, over foresting and dumping more carbon emissions into the atmosphere than can be absorbed. 

    And the rate at which humanity is reaching “Earth Overshoot Day” has steadily increased as the world’s population has continued to expand and consumption has increased. 

    For context, 16 years ago, humanity depleted its renewable resources in September.

    A press release put out by Mathis Wackernagel, co-founder and CEO of GFN and Balakrishna Pisupati, head of the biodiversity, land and governance programme with the United Nations Environment Programme, said if humans continue to use the Earth’s resources at this rate it could have “disastrous consequences” in terms of climate

    Read More »from Humanity has officially depleted its renewable resources for the year
  • With the cost of living going up and up, the last thing people want to think about is the cost of dying. But funerals and arrangements can suck up a large chunk of cash.

    While prices vary tremendously across the country, a cremation could cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. A burial, meanwhile, typically runs much higher, anywhere from about $5,000 to $15,000, according to Canadian Funerals Online.

    “A lot of people don’t know the costs involved,” says Kat Downey, a funeral pre-planner and licensed funeral director at Ontario’s Legacy Matters.

    Then there’s the fact that many funeral homes tend to upsell at a time when those who are grieving are at their most vulnerable, stressed and exhausted.

    There are ways to cut back on death-related expenses, however, without cheapening the memory of a loved one.

    Consider “direct cremation”

    This option is far cheaper than a burial service. The body is removed from the home, hospital, or residential facility then stored in the funeral home’s

    Read More »from How to organize a cost-effective funeral – without seeming cheap

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