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    For seven years, Lee Wachtstetter has been living on a cruise ship at a cost of $164,000 a year according to USA Today. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-native sold her 10-acre property after her husband died on the advise of her daughter who suggested she spend her retirement doing what she loved. 

    “The day before my husband died of cancer in 1997, he told me, ‘Don’t stop cruising.’ So here I am today living a stress-free, fairy-tale life,” Wachtstetter says. 

    Wachtstetter’s story may seem like the ultimate fairytale but for most Canadians, a permanent vacation is not the dream. 

    “Many [Canadians] now view retirement as an opportunity for career re-invention,” says a study released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). “Half [of retirees] want to launch a whole new career rather than continuing the same line of work they did in their pre-retirement years,” it adds. The same trend is happening in the U.S.

    The winemakers 

    After working in real estate for the bulk of their

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  • Campfires, sandy beaches, barbeques, lots of laughter and long summer nights. It’s the summer dream for many of us, but we’re often faced with a much less relaxing reality: staff meetings, deadlines and reports as we gaze over our cubical walls, wondering what’s happening in the outside world.

    With moments like these, it’s easy to get distracted at work and lose focus on what’s happening in your office. We start to daydream about the nice weather and summer plans and forget all about that end-of-day deadline.

    “We’re all still kids at heart, waiting for school to be out for summer. It doesn’t matter what our age is, there’s a part of us that imagines everyone else is having a picnic while we’re stuck at our desks,” says employment expert and CEO of The Bagg Group, Geoff Bagg. “On the bright side, we’re all feeling we’d rather be sailing so there’s a heightened sense of camaraderie that happens in the workplace during the summer months.”

    Things can be even tougher for those that are

    Read More »from Tips and tricks to avoid the 'summertime slump' at work
  • Anyone who’s stood on the retail floor for eight hours knows it’s a tough gig. Between the near constant watchful eyes of managers and sometimes irrationally cranky customers, some days can add a little extra weight to your already sore feet. Compound that with bag checks every time you enter and leave – for break, for lunch, for the day – and you can kind of see why Apple employees are looking for a reprieve.

    Last week, a California judge gave the official go-ahead for former Apple store employees to pursue a class action lawsuit against the Cupertino, California-based company, seeking compensation for the time they spend waiting for their bags to be searched at the end of their shifts.

    Despite claims by managers that searches only take a few seconds, employees in the lawsuit, which was initially filed in 2013, say those bag checks can last as long as 20 minutes. While it’s common practice in retail to search bags before an employee leaves to ensure they haven’t accidentally (or

    Read More »from What rights do retail employees have in Canada?
  • It’s summer, and for Canadians thawing out from the harsh winter, that means taking full advantage of the great outdoors. Summer is the perfect time for travel – the kids are out of school, the roads are dry and the destinations are scenic. However travelling, accommodations and souvenirs can come at a pretty penny.

    The cost of gas, flights, food, hotels and “I love P.E.I.” t-shirts can really add up, especially for a family of four or more. So how can Canadians enjoy their summer vacations without feeling the lingering effects of the dreaded “travel-debt hangover?”

    Be Proactive - Pay Yourself First

    Wade Stayzer, Vice President of Sales and Service for Meridian Credit Union says the best thing people can do to prepare for a summer vacation is to “pay yourself first” by being proactive and saving up the funds for the vacation well in advance.

    “When we talk about being proactive that to me suggests that you’re planning far, far ahead,” Stayzer says. “If you know that you’ll be doing a

    Read More »from The secrets to successfully budgeting for a summer vacation
  • The Best Tech Products of 2015 (So Far)

    The signs are unmistakable: The kids are on vacation. It’s hot as Hades out there. We’ve just had the All-Star game. The presidential campaign is in full swing. (OK, it’s the campaign for next year’s election, but whatever.)

    Yep: We’re already halfway through 2015, which means we’ve had six months’ worth of new tech products to look at, play with, and pass judgment on. Among the many, many gadgets, apps, and services we’ve seen this year, we’ve definitely had some favourites. Here’s our top 10.

    Amazon Echo

    Rip the brains of Siri or Android Now out of their respective smartphones, and install them instead in a black cylinder that sits on a shelf, and you’ve got the Amazon Echo, a voice assistant that does a decent job of imitating the effect of the omnipresent Star Trek computer.

    Echo understands your spoken commands from across the room, hands-free, as you’re cooking, reading, doing homework, discussing, living. It knows when you’re addressing it because you precede each command with

    Read More »from The Best Tech Products of 2015 (So Far)
  • How to Watch Worldwide Cyberattacks — Live!

    Adulterers around the world are wetting their collective pants over news that notorious cheating site Ashley Madison has been hacked — with the hackers threatening to leak the site’s user data if it isn’t shut down.

    Of course, that’s not the only digital break-in to make headlines lately. Earlier this month came news that the U.S. government’s Office of Personnel Management had been compromised, risking the personal data of 22 million people. And before that, it was health-insurance company Anthem, an attack that endangered information on about 80 million people.

    If reports like these have you thinking that cyberattacks are becoming more common, then you should check out the four sites below: They purport to provide real-time maps of the sources and targets of hacking attacks taking place right now all over the world.

    (Of course, these maps just happen to be provided by security vendors who have no reason at all to exaggerate the threat.)

    Norse Attack Map

    Norse is an Internet

    Read More »from How to Watch Worldwide Cyberattacks — Live!
  • Big house on the Prairie: Calgary's most expensive home

    Part three of a five-part series on the priciest digs in Canada, and who lives in them. See Vancouver's most expensive home here and Toronto's here.

    It would be almost unseemly for Calgary’s priciest house to be owned by someone other than an oil industry tycoon. Okay, maybe a hockey player would make sense as well.

    Fortunately, Alfred Balm’s $19.7 million mansion at 27 Pump Hill Close in the city’s southwest fits the bill.

    The 91-room manor isn’t in Calgary’s priciest neighbourhood. Brittania, perched high above the Elbow River with a view of downtown, wins that prize.

    Instead, the 15-year-old house sits among the mansions on tiny Pump Hill Close, fronting more than 250 feet of the street, enough to require three separate driveway gates, private tennis court obscured by trees.

    As mansions go, it may not be the pound-for-pound winner, but it’s got the size.

    “It’s a very large house on a very big lot,” says Re/Max agent Gary Cronin, who’s sold a few houses in the neighbourhood.

    The

    Read More »from Big house on the Prairie: Calgary's most expensive home
  • What Is Adobe Flash, and How Can You Get Rid of It?

    (Adobe)

    Google and Mozilla each announced this week that their Web browsers will be dropping default support for Adobe Flash, citing the plug-in software’s newly discovered vulnerabilities to cyberattacks. These moves came only a few days after Facebook’s chief of security called for Adobe to set an “end of life” date for the oft-exploited 20-year-old platform.

    Even if you don’t exactly know what Adobe Flash is, this is important news. Whether you know it or not, odds are pretty high that Adobe Flash is on your computer right now, possibly putting your system and your personal information at risk.

    Don’t panic. Take a deep breath and read our Adobe Flash security threat guide. We’ll help you figure out why it might be best to banish Flash from your life, just like Google, Mozilla, and Facebook want you to do. And we’ll tell you how to go about doing exactly that.

    So what is Flash, exactly?

    Adobe Flash is a software platform that runs video, animation, and games inside of Web pages. Flash was born at the dawn of the Web in 1996 and quickly became the standard for Web video, especially after a little startup called YouTube began using it in 2005. But now it’s largely obsolete, as most Web sites and apps use different technologies for the same purpose.

    Why is Flash a problem?

    The very thing that made Flash so popular — its ability to run complex scripts from websites you visit — can also be used for malicious purposes. 

    Computer scripts written in Flash can directly access the memory on your computer, which is just inviting attacks, or “exploits,” says Chase Cunningham, a cyberthreat expert at security company FireHost. “Anytime a site is able to access your computer’s memory, it’s able to make changes on the local machine itself [your PC]. That’s when you run into exploits.”

    Flash has long been one of the biggest attack methods of choice for cybercrooks and spying governments, as security vulnerabilities turn up on an almost daily basis. Just this month, Adobe put out security alerts and fixes for 38 vulnerabilities in Flash Player. Last week, it came out that a company called Hacking Team had been using previously unknown flaws in Flash to create spyware that it sold to oppressive governments in countries such as Sudan and Saudi Arabia.

    Flash also uses up a lot of computing resources and can bog systems down. “We … know firsthand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash,” wrote Steve Jobs in an Apple blog post from April 2010.

    Do I have Flash on my computer?

    You probably do — especially if you are using a Windows PC, rely on an older browser, or were prompted by a Web site to install it. 

    In October 2010, Apple announced that it would no longer install Flash Player on its computers — including its Safari Web browser — although users could install it on their own if they wanted to.

    (BBC)

    The latest version of Mozilla Firefox launched with a block for Flash Player (though after an update Tuesday by Adobe, Mozilla has re-enabled use of the plugin in its browser). Google’s Chrome browser comes with Flash, but it is disabled by default.

    However, you may have installed or enabled Flash Player if a website prompted you to. “I would say probably 97 to 98 percent of systems out there have some version of Flash running on them,” said Cunningham.

    You can visit this page on Adobe’s website to see if the computer you’re using has Flash installed.

    What about my phone?

    Chances are good that Flash is not on your smartphone or tablet.

    Apple completely banned Flash from its mobile devices running the iOS operating system, such as the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Apple’s rejection of Flash helped spur Web and software developers to use other technologies for delivering video or animating games.

    Google’s Android mobile software briefly supported Flash, but it was generally choppy and used up more battery than other formats. In 2012, Adobe dropped support for Android, and Flash has been absent since Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), which came out that same year. (Adobe also dropped support for BlackBerry and Windows Phone.) If you have an iPhone, or any other smartphone bought in the past couple of years, you don’t have Flash.

    Don’t I need it on my computer?

    Generally not. Most websites have switched over to another video format, called HTML 5. It’s the default on both YouTube and Vimeo, for example. So unless you know you need Flash for a specific site, it’s best to uninstall it or block it.

    How do I get rid of this nasty thing?

    For Internet Explorer, follow Microsoft’s instructions for how to turn off or remove add-ons.

    Read More »from What Is Adobe Flash, and How Can You Get Rid of It?
  • Imagine getting hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for 56 cents - and being upset about it. That’s exactly what happens when we meet Angelique, a pregnant mother profiled on TLC’s “Extreme Couponing.” Ten hours and 23 transactions later, Angelique’s abundance of coupons and store points don’t quite total her grocery bill out to zero, and it’s the worst thing that could possibly happen to her. While this example is not typical even for the extreme of the extreme, it can be exhilarating to save a few bucks of your hard-earned cash off the receipt.

    It’s scenes like these that got Lindsay Nassler, 26, interested in the art of extreme coupon savings. A self-proclaimed “rookie” of the craze, Nassler has been living the uber-frugal lifestyle for about a year, when due to student debts and aspirations to buy a house she realized she didn’t have a lot of extra money to play with. That’s when she decided to do something about it.

    “When I first started watching [Extreme Couponing] I thought

    Read More »from Extreme couponing for Canadians is possible, with a little ingenuity
  • Anyone who’s bought a house knows about the little things that can affect its value: a marble countertop adds a few grand; a lack of parking takes back a bit more. Unfinished basement? See ya.

    But, there’s another class of value killers that can eat up hundreds of thousands of dollars, or make a home essentially worthless. And with our wealth increasingly tied up in our homes, finding out you just bought a “stigmatized” home can be ruinous.

     A potential nightmare example emerged last week with an Antigonish, Nova Scotia house that saw its assessed value drop to $1 from $365,000 after the owners found Mi’kmaq artifacts on the property and reported them. If the goal was to reduce property taxes, it was shrewd. But selling the place could be nearly impossible if potential buyers worry they won’t be able to do anything with the property.

    Real estate laws in Canada can be murky on this stuff, as sellers are only required to disclose material defects to the property, such as a crack in the

    Read More »from Home value killers: Problems that could make your property near worthless
  • Seven things to avoid when buying a new car

    It kills me how some people buy cars.

    A few years ago, an elderly family friend in Florida decided she should trade in her car, even though there was nothing wrong with it. She paid the full sticker price for a new version of the same car, and I can’t even imagine what she got for a trade-in on that low mileage, perfectly maintained sedan.

    Please don’t do that.

    Here are few other things to consider before you buy a new car:

    Don’t impulse buy

    First things first - do you really need a new car? If your current vehicle still suits your needs and is in good working condition, consider this question carefully. Don’t be swayed by that new car next door or those high-octane ads on TV. Remember, professional driver, closed course. You're not going to be driving in the surf or salomning solo down B.C.'s Sea to Sky highway.

    But if you do buy....

    Get the car you need, not the one you’re fantasizing about. If you live in a condo in the city, or in an urban area with little in the way of parking,

    Read More »from Seven things to avoid when buying a new car
  • Hey moron, don’t leave your dog in the car or else...

    You’d think that everybody -- and their dog -- has heard how dangerous it is to leave pets in the car in the summer, right?

    As obvious as it sounds, there are some people who still don’t understand how dangerous this practice is for their animals.

    In fact, earlier this month, a community relations police dog in Alabama died after being left in a patrol vehicle by his handler, Cpl. Josh Coleman. The three-year-old yellow lab named Mason was taken to a veterinarian, but died from respiratory distress. Coleman was disciplined by the police force, but criminal charges won’t be laid.

    Unfortunately that incident isn’t as rare as you’d hope. Last year the Washington Post reported that at least three police dogs died in hot cars during that summer.

    Toronto media relations officer Victor Kwong said that Toronto Police Service has some neat features for their service dogs, including cars that have automatic air conditioning that regulates the temperature “even if the officer is not there or the

    Read More »from Hey moron, don’t leave your dog in the car or else...
  • The summer money mistake 1/3 of Canadians make

    It’s summer, the time to bury your toes in the sand, enjoy the warm breezes and forget about your finances, right?

    Or is planning for the future on your to-do list, along with booking a hotel, packing the car, and picking a trashy novel?

    Maybe it should be.

    A whopping 83 per cent of Canadians admit that their increased spending in the summer affects their ability to put money aside for a rainy day, according to a recent survey by Tangerine.

    The survey found that two thirds of Canadians blow more on food, drink and entertainment in the summer, with weekend trips and vacations also taking an increased bite out of their household budget.

    Only 12 per cent of Canadians see summer as a time for saving, compared with 47 per cent who think of saving during the colder months. In fact, 33 per cent of Canadians don’t contribute to their savings over the summer, according to a survey by Tangerine, the bank that was ING Canada, before being bought by Scotiabank. 

    Another survey, this one

    Read More »from The summer money mistake 1/3 of Canadians make
  • GM Owner Warned Feds About Deadly Defect — And Was Ignored For 9 Years

    Relatives of people who died in GM vehicles linked to faulty ignitions gather on Capitol Hill. Photo: AP

    The agency charged with spotting deadly defects in vehicles has spent the past decade ignoring consumer complaints, misunderstanding many that it chose to highlight, and burying other problems in a bureaucratic blizzard that leaves no one responsible but everyone in danger, according to a new report.

    The report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General’s office, released today in the wake of the General Motors’ ignition problems last year, found that all too often, NHTSA took a “hear no, see no, speak no evil” approach to potential defects.

    GM’s failures to understand how millions of its own vehicles worked — and that turning the key off while a vehicle was in motion meant the air bags wouldn’t deploy — has now led to 474 reports of deaths linked to the problem and 3,868 injury claims. (GM has only “accepted” 117 death reports and 237 injury claims as ones it

    Read More »from GM Owner Warned Feds About Deadly Defect — And Was Ignored For 9 Years
  • Canadians reveal their worst travel habits in new survey

    Being on vacation is the perfect time to relax, kick back, and let yourself get a little crazier than you usually would. Unfortunately, it's also the time when many Canadians (and other travellers from around the world) indulge in some bad habits.

    Travel Zoo conducted a survey of nearly 10,000 travellers from Canada, U.S., Germany, China and the U.K., and found that we're all pretty guilty when it comes to breaking social rules while on holiday.

    That's just gross

    Ahh, peeing in the pool: people talk about it, but no one claims to have done it. Obviously that colour-changing chemical is just a myth, because 58 per cent of Canadians surveyed admitted to tinkling while swimming in a pool or the ocean. On the bright side, Canadians aren't the worst offenders here: 64 per cent of Americans surveyed have done it, too. We're still worse than the Brits, Germans and Chinese though: only 46 per cent, 44 per cent, and 41 per cent respectively admit to it.

    Help yourself?

    When it comes to getting

    Read More »from Canadians reveal their worst travel habits in new survey
  • Five best cars picks for new grads

    So you’re a smart young grad, with the ink barely dry on your diploma. Now it’s time to start acting like an adult and get a job, a place to live, and a car.

    The sensible advice is to take public transit if you’ve got student loans to pay off, but that doesn’t work for everyone. If you don’t live in a large city with a reliable network, or if you need wheels for a new job, then adding a car loan to you monthly expenses may be the only option. Welcome to adulthood, isn’t it great?

    It’s easy to fixate on price - and you should. After all, you’re going to be paying for this car long after the new-car smell is gone and you’ve given up vacuuming the interior. But there are a few other considerations: New or used, financing terms, not to mention options, packages, and rebates.

    Used versus new

    You can get a cheap used car, but the reliability of that car could be questionable. With low interest rates and long-term financing, new cars can look appealing to buyers who don’t have money set aside

    Read More »from Five best cars picks for new grads
  • Honoring My Father By Swapping A $100 SUV

    Like a lot of surprises in life, this all started with some spare cash floating around in my pocket and a few too many drinks.

    I was up well past midnight and in front of my computer.  Surfing had turned into browsing. Browsing had turned into shopping, and pretty soon I was looking with rose-colored glasses at a bunch of old government cars that had either been seized, smashed up, or mothballed.

    There was one in particular that caught my eye.  

    This 1994 Ford Explorer that seemed to have more dirt on it than paint. The description from the City of Roswell didn’t help matters.

    1994 FORD EXPLORER WHITE WITH GRAY INTERIOR, 4.0 L V-6 AUTOMATIC, AC, MINOR SCRATCHES AND DENTS ON EXTERIOR, NO CRACKED GLASS, DEAD BATTERY, DRY ROTTED TIRES, NEEDS SHOCKS, NO KEYS

    A lot of room for the imagination about the Explorer’s true condition turned into one dangerous thought, “There is something nice about this one!" 

    I’m not much for SUVs, but the terms and restrictions for the sale made it look like

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  • Why women still pay more for cars

    Am I a typical female car buyer? When I bought a new car last year, I had one in mind after admiring a newly designed model on the street. I read about the car on the auto maker’s website. I compared similar models, making sure this one suited my needs. I crunched the numbers every which way. It wasn’t until I was 99% sure I wanted this car that I set foot in a dealership to test drive it.

    The current research says yes, that makes me typical in today’s car buyer market. The car I purchased, a compact hatchback, was exactly what I set out to buy, down to the trim level and colour.

    Women are the primary decision makers for 75 per cent of households when it comes to selecting the make, model and colour of the vehicle, says Radek Garbowski, COO of Unhaggle.com.

    But even if they’re buying a new car for themselves, 69 per cent of women will still bring a man to help with negotiations, says Garbowski, recounting a story of a real estate agent, well versed in the art of negotiation in her

    Read More »from Why women still pay more for cars
  • Gender and sexual orientation can both influence what someone sees on their paycheque. (Thinkstock)Gender and sexual orientation can both influence what someone sees on their paycheque. (Thinkstock)

    Canada’s wage gap has been well established. Researchers have uncovered wage disparities based on gender, race, immigration status and visible minority identities. But until now, little attention has been given to the relationship between wages and sexual orientation.

    Nicole Denier and Sean Waite aim to change that. In their report, “Gay Pay for Straight Work: Mechanisms Generating Disadvantage” published in Gender and Society, the two McGill University Ph.D. candidates set out to understand in the economic lives of gay and lesbian Canadian.

    Their initial findings match findings in other areas of the world: gay men make less money than straight men, and lesbians earn more than straight women. Denier and Waite wanted to take things further, though. By comparing the earnings of lesbians to heterosexual men, they found a hierarchy, where straight men earn the most, followed by gay men, lesbians, and finally straight women.

    For many, the apparent benefits of being a lesbian in the

    Read More »from Gay men make less than straight men, but lesbians out-earn straight women, study finds
  • To most of America, the Incredibles are a suburban family of superheroes dressed in matching cherry red bodysuits, the stars of an acclaimed animated film about to be sequeled. To “bud tenders” and their customers in Colorado, however, “incredibles” are THC-infused “Gum e’s” and chocolate bars with names like Peanut Budda Buddha and Mile High Mint. And for any company entering the edible marijuana market in that state, they will be the super-tough competition to beat.

    Bob Eschino, founding partner at incredibles (graphic emphasis on “edibles” in the logo), says his staff has been building its presence in Denver for five years. He has been told by many of the nearly 800 dispensaries that carry his product line that it’s the top seller in their stores, and his Affogato chocolate bar recently took the Silver in the High Times Cannabis Cup 2015 edibles category. Despite all of this, Eschino says, “It’s taken us five years to get to where we are and there are still issues.”

    “What do I say

    Read More »from How a Canadian company hopes to smoke the edible marijuana market
  • 10 Ways to Avoid Being Ripped Off While Traveling

    Spend your money wisely. (Photo illustration by Erik Mace)

    By: Marybeth Bond

    Travel expenses can really add up. But they don’t have to be quite to hefty is you know how to work the system. Follow these ten tips to travel as cheaply as you can.

    1. Avoid baggage fees. 

    Depending upon the airline, you can pay $15 to $75 for the first checked bag, and more for overweight bags. When possible, pack lightly enough to carry on one bag, or fly airlines that still allow free checked bags (two bags for Southwest and one for JetBlue). Many airline frequent flier programs give members with a high status a free checked bag, so check your status.

    2. Watch your hotel Wi-Fi. 

    Hotels charge from $10 to $30 per day for in-room Wi-Fi. Set up a personal hot spot on your smart phone and use your cellular service to access Wi-Fi on other non-cellular devices. Some hotel chains offer free in-room Internet access to members of their loyalty programs, so ask in advance and sign up to take advantage of the

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  • How Airlines Might Gouge You in the Future: Personalized Pricing

    How can four passengers who booked the same flight, on the same day at the same time, end up paying four different fares? Welcome to the (possible) future of personalized pricing. (Photo: iStock)

    Imagine a time in the distant future when you and two of your friends are invited to a wedding in Myrtle Beach, S.C. You log on to your frequent flier account with AnyJet Airlines, and seeing that you have a Greenwich, Conn., zip code, the airline assumes that you’re wealthy and charges you $398 for your fare (unfortunately, despite your tony zip code, you’re actually a modestly paid schoolteacher). At the same time, your friend and fellow wedding invitee who lives in a nearby, less-affluent zip code is also booking the same flight to the same wedding; she’s quoted a lower fare of $310. And when the third member of your trio logs on to purchase his ticket, the airline sees that he’s a frequent business traveler who’s already taken 15 flights this year. It assumes that he’s an easy sale and

    Read More »from How Airlines Might Gouge You in the Future: Personalized Pricing
  • The Rock Shows How To Hit Someone’s Car, Nicely

    When you hit someone’s car by accident, there’s two ways to deal with the damage. The first, chosen all too frequently, is to flee the scene, ruining someone else’s day and burning a bit of your own humanity in the process.

    The second way is to ask yourself: What would The Rock do?

    Dwayne Johnson posted this photo to his Instagram account Monday, demonstrating that despite being a massive movie star, he has time to clean up even small mistakes — like accidentally sideswiping a pickup.

    (Screengrab via Instagram)(Screengrab via Instagram)

    Of those who know they should at least turn around and confront mistakes like this, leaving a note is often considered enough; face-to-face acceptance of responsibility has become a rare outcome. It’s true that this particular case would likely not turn out different with another injured party; is anyone really going to risk damage to their own bodies by jumping The Rock in broad daylight? 

    All that said, Audie Bridges is right; it’s an awesome story. And it shows that sometimes the best way to deal with

    Read More »from The Rock Shows How To Hit Someone’s Car, Nicely
  • The most expensive house in Canada’s most expensive real estate market doesn’t boast a tree-lined drive or sprawling grounds. It doesn’t have a dozen bedrooms, a grand hall, or Victorian-era servants quarters turned guest house. In fact, from the street, Chip Wilson’s $57.6 million Vancouver home could pass for a tidy office block: all open concrete with colour touches that look institutional green.

    But when you’re in the neighbourhood of Kitsilano on the waterfront, the normal standards of appraisal go right out the window.

    The house that snug pants built was named B.C.’s priciest home by the provincial assessment authority earlier this year (and the race was close, because Vancouver’s market is that nuts).

    Wilson, of course, built his fortune on Lululemon, which he founded in 1998. It’s fun to snicker at the see-through pants scandal, but the company has made Wilson a billionaire twice over. So he can afford a pricey patch of land with a killer view of the freighters on English Bay,

    Read More »from In Canada's hottest real estate market, Lululemon founder's home tops the list
  • Canadians sure love their cars: as our debt load increases, car loans are partly to blame. And we’re not just talking reliable minivans or practical sedans that Canadians are steering: Sales of luxury vehicles hit a record last year.

    Consumer debt rose by nearly seven percent this year over last to $1.544 trillion, according to Equifax Canada’s Q3 2014 National Consumer Credit Trends Report. On a debt classification basis, the car-loan sector went up by 4.2 percent.

    Car sales are expected to climb this year for the sixth year in a row, according to BMO Financial Group.

    More than 187,700 cars luxury cars were sold in Canada last year, for the first time accounting for over 10 percent of the overall Canadian market, research by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants found. Porsche sales led the pack, with sales increasing by 34 percent from 2013 to 2014. Land Rover sales were up 22 percent, Audi’s by 19.5 percent, Jaguar’s by 16 percent, Cadillac’s by 12 percent, and Lexus’s by 10 percent.

    Read More »from Sales of luxury cars hit record levels - while Canadians go deeper into debt
  • The next battle over the Jimi Hendrix name could be fought over marijuana-infused gummy bears.

    A Toronto company has big plans to launch a line of Jimi Hendrix-inspired marijuana- and hemp-infused products that would include gummy bears, hard candies and energy drinks.

    But Nutritional High has struck a licensing deal with Purple Haze Properties, a company linked to the late musician’s brother Leon Hendrix and not to Experience Hendrix, the holding company that controls Jimi Hendrix trademarks and manages the rights to his music catolog.

    Experience Hendrix is not on board, and this isn’t the first time the two have tussled.

    Hendrix died without a will in 1970 and years of legal battles have been fought over his estate and the use of his name.

    Nutritional High, a thinly-traded penny stock, says its deal with Purple Haze gives it the exclusive right to manufacture and distribute marijuana- and hemp-infused products named after the late guitarist and his music. The company says it

    Read More »from Proposed Jimi Hendrix marijuana product line could trigger new fight
  • Rats in Your Engine? Here’s How to Fight Back

    Rats in Your Engine? Here’s How to Fight BackRats in Your Engine? Here’s How to Fight Back

    A car-geek friend from Los Angeles called me the other day, said he was having some issues with his old-but-prized 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG coupe.

    Now, a car with the sort of high-performance specs that AMG enjoys — 493 horsepower and a gobsmacking 516 ft-lbs of torque from a supercharged V-8 — is bound to have a range of issues pop up 12 years after leaving the factory. “What is it?” I asked, which is AMG speak translates to, “How much money are you out?”

    “Rats,” he sighed. “Or some sort of rodent.”

    Turns out, he had opened the hood on his SL and spotted some natural detritus among the otherwise pristine metal, plastic and rubber artwork of the car’s engine bay. Looking closely, he saw distinct teeth marks on the hoses. Rats, indeed.

    The problem wasn’t unfamiliar to me. Back when I owned a 2001 BMW M3, I was shocked one day to pop the hood and find that a gaping, irregular hole in a rubber cover. Mercifully, the rat or mouse had decided to stop snacking on my German machine a few

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  • Could You Commute on $1 A Day? Here’s One Way

    Some walk. Others bike. A few of us use public transportation.

    The other 92 percent? We end up using a motorized contraption of some sort to get from boring Point A to boring Point B.

    Commuting is a brutally pointless endeavor for most of us. We line up in traffic, follow the various cars in front of us, and hope the experience is over sooner rather than later. 

    And yet we spend so much money and time on it. The average commuter will spend over $50,000 in a decade and 51 minutes every single day just to get from work to home. Put that money into an IRA over the course of 40 years and invest it at 7 percent interest? You would have $1,068,048. A staggering sum that is almost as valuable as spending a year and a half of your life staring through a dirty windshield.

    So how could you possibly kick the high cost of commuting to the curb and get the cost down to say, $1 a day? 

    You really have three options. The first is having the commute come closer to you, which is unfortunately easier

    Read More »from Could You Commute on $1 A Day? Here’s One Way
  • Here’s How Apple Music Compares With Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal

    Are you ready to rock?! Well, you’d better be, because Apple is launching its own music streaming service, called Apple Music, and the advertisements for it are coming. And though Apple and Apple lieutenant Drake would have you believe that the service is going to blow the doors off of the entire music industry, the truth is that there are already a slew of excellent streaming services out there.

    How does Apple Music stack up? We’ve put together this handy explainer to compare Apple’s music offering with Spotify, Pandora, and Jay Z’s Tidal.

    Let’s crank it up and rip the knob off!

    So, what is Apple Music?

    Right to the point, I like it. Apple Music is the tech giant’s take on streaming music. When it launches on June 30, you’ll be able to stream millions of songs to your smartphone, tablet, laptop, and (eventually) Android device, without owning or downloading them.

    In addition to streaming, Apple Music offers Beats 1 radio, a global radio station that plays tracks from DJs in New

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  • Apple's new iOS 9 mapping features leave Canadians in the dust

    The Hoff may have all the bells and whistles in K.I.T.T., but Canadian iOS users will have to wait indefinitely.The Hoff may have all the bells and whistles in K.I.T.T., but Canadian iOS users will have to wait indefinitely.

    Earlier this week, Apple hosted its annual Worldwide Developers Conference and showed off impressive upgrades to Apple Maps, the punch line of many jokes in the past, and CarPlay, which uses an iPhone to, essentially, turn an automobile's built-in display into K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider. Unfortunately, Canadians are once again left in the dust as it appears some of these features won't be made available to those of us north of the border. At least not right away, it seems.

    CarPlay

    Formally known as ‘iOS in the Car,’ CarPlay lets users pair their iPhone to their car via Bluetooth so they can make calls, respond to text messages, change music and use satellite navigation without taking their hands off the wheel and eyes off the road.

    Manufactures like BMW, Mazda, Honda, Ford, Audi and Ferrari, just to name a few, are featured on the CarPlay website which means you can expect further integration between smartphone and automobile in the not-so-distant future.

    Ultimately, this is all

    Read More »from Apple's new iOS 9 mapping features leave Canadians in the dust

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