The CN Tower is a giant Printer!

It turns out that the seemingly random lights flashing on the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada are actually images! Behind the elevators are some powerful lights that appear to be flashing randomly. The way they achieve this ‘randomness’ is by ‘printing’ images line by line, sort of like a huge inkjet printer.

YouTube user avi has used some fancy photography to recreate what those images look like. You might notice some thin black lines criss-crossing the image, that is the elevators blocking the lights as they go up and down. Have a look at the video below.

Images created from the CN Tower elevator lights.

Covid-19 got you wanting to work from home? Zoho Remotely – Free until July 1, 2020

With companies like Amazon, Google and Twitter telling employees to stay home, it is becoming obvious that the coronavirus (Covid-19) has gotten people nervous. As one who works from home, welcome! The coffee is hot and the pyjamas are fuzzy and warm. Uninspired watercooler talk with my cats aside, it can get a little lonely sometimes.

Zoho.com feels this pain and wants to make the transition a little easier for you. Until July 1st, 2020 they are offering their web and mobile collaboration suite Zoho Remotely free in response to the coronavirus panic.

Zoho Remotely has all the usual things you would expect from an online collaboration suite, like a word processor and spreadsheet program, but also includes useful things like a shared drive, project management and even a scrum board to keep projects moving. They also have a robust multi-person video chat system that allows you to attend meetings without hand sanitizer or a facemask. Their suite has a bunch of other features that you can check out here.

And, let’s stay safe out there folks – no touching your or other people’s faces, wash your hands often, and leave a little toilet paper for everyone else.


Recognizing that many companies are looking for ways to ensure business continuity in light of the Coronavirus, Zoho will offer Remotely, Zoho’s virtual collaboration and productivity suite, for free to any Canadian company that needs remote work tools. Remotely includes Cliq, Meeting, ShowTime, WorkDrive, Projects, and other apps, to create a comprehensive integrated team workspace.

Businesses interested in learning more can visit Remotely.

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Spotify Duo – Now available!

If buying a family plan for you and your partner is just too much commitment then Spotify has you covered. Starting today Spotify is offering a price point between their single user and family premium plans. Made for two, Premium Duo offers neat features like Duo Mix, offering a selection from each user’s playlist.

I think Spotify missed an opportunity to launch this on valentines day, music lasts much longer than flowers and this just may save some relationships!

Today, Spotify is expanding its pilot of its Premium Duo plan into Canada as well as in France and Japan. The expansion of Premium Duo follows a strong rollout in Denmark, Ireland, Poland and Latin America last year. 

Spotify Premium Duo was created for couples who reside at the same address – and it costs $12.99 per month and eliminates the difficulties of sharing an account or devices. In addition to each person keeping their own Premium account (and the personalized experience that comes with it), Premium Duo includes new perks such as Duo Mix – an exclusive, regularly updated playlist made just for the two subscribers – and an easy interface for managing your accounts, settings and home device setup. 

So who’s eligible and how do you sign up? Spotify Premium Duo is currently available in 23 pilot markets and is for couples who reside at the same home address. Visit spotify.com/ca/duo and follow the sign-up instructions. For users who haven’t tried Premium before, they’re eligible for the first month free of Spotify Premium Duo. Existing individual Premium subscribers can switch to Premium Duo by visiting their account page and changing their subscription. 

To find out more and sign up today, visit spotify.com/ca/duo. If you have questions, please let me know.

Ka-chow! You can now get directions from Lightning McQueen in Waze

Cars 3

Jackstorm Storm and Lightning McQueen are pictured in a still from Cars 3. Courtesy Disney-Pixar.

The popular GPS app Waze has added the voice of Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) as a navigation option. And it’s a lot of fun if you don’t mind hearing his frequent “Ka-chow!” catchphrase.

A tie-in to the release of Cars 3, you can also change your display vehicle icon to Lightning McQueen or new character Jackson Storm (if you prefer a more classy voice you can also select Storm – voiced by Armie Hammer – as a navigation option).

To set your navigation voice to Lightning McQueen or Jackson Storm, open the Waze settings (the gear icon) and scroll to “Voice directions” and look for “English (US) – Lightning McQueen” or “English (US) – Jackson Storm”.

To change your vehicle icon, go to the Waze settings, scroll to “Advanced settings” and select “Display & map”. Select “Car on map” and select Lightning McQueen or Jackson Storm.

RELATED: Disney’s taking Lightning McQueen on a Canadian road trip

Unlike the recent addition of Mr. T’s voice to Waze, Lightning McQueen and Jackson Storm are available to Canadian Wazers.

Cars 3 opens in theatres on June 16. Check out the trailer below.

Will you switch your Waze voice to Lightning McQueen or Jackson Storm? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

You can now watch live TV on Roku players in Canada

VMedia Roku

For $17.95 a month, Canadians can stream 20 live HD channels via VMedia TV on a Roku device.

Canadian cable, Internet and home phone service provider VMedia Inc. is now offering a live TV streaming service for Roku devices in Canada.

VMedia TV is a “skinny” package that offers subscribers 20 live HD channels, including CTV, CBC, Citytv and Global, along with American networks like CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and PBS. Users can also watch shows they missed over the last week with VMedia’s cloud-based “look back” feature.

RELATED: What you need to know about 4K Ultra HD content on Netflix

“VMedia’s mission is to make the live TV experience enjoyable, affordable and accessible – we aim to keep live TV an important part of everyone’s entertainment universe,” Alexei Tchernobrivets, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of VMedia, said in a statement.

Canadians can try VMedia TV for seven days by registering directly through the Roku Store on a Roku player, such as the Roku 3, or on a Roku TV. The service costs $17.95 per month once the 7-day trial ends and customers can cancel anytime.

RELATED: You can now stream CraveTV on the XBOX One

“Adding VMedia TV to the Roku Channel Store is great news for our Canadian customers. It enables them to watch live TV, from Canadian and US TV channels they are accustomed to, in addition to the wealth of on-demand entertainment our platform offers,” Ziba Kaboli-Gerbrands, director content acquisition at Roku, said in a release.

For more information on VMedia TV on Roku devices, visit vmedia.ca.

Are you interested in a skinny live streaming TV service like VMedia TV? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

Around the House (Sept. 20, 2016)

Around the House is a weekly roundup of news items related to smart devices, tools, kitchen gadgets and anything else worth mentioning that affects how we live at home.

Philips Hue Motion Sensor coming to Canada in October

Philips is adding more ways to control its Hue line of connected bulbs and lighting devices with a new wireless motion sensor. Available in Canada this October for $39.95, the Hue Motion Sensor allows users to run certain scenes during set times. This means that if you want your Hue bulbs to only turn on in “Nightlight” mode when motion is detected between midnight and 6 a.m., you can set it up that way. I can see this being very useful when my son wakes up in the middle of the night.

Hue Motion Sensor

The Philips Hue Motion Sensor will be available in Canada for $39.95 this October.

CraveTV scoops up Rolling Stones doc at TIFF

Right before its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last week, Bell purchased the exclusive rights to The Rolling Stones road movie The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé! : A Trip Across Latin America for its video streaming service CraveTV. The film follows The Rolling Stones during their 2016 Latin American tour, which saw them stop in 10 cities, including Havana. CraveTV subscribers will be able to stream the film beginning Oct. 14. Check out the trailer for it below.

Lay’s taking Chalet Sauce chips mainstream

It seems that Canadians love Lay’s Swiss Chalet sauce flavoured chips so much that the company has to ramp up production to meet demands. The chips have been selling out since they arrived at select Swiss Chalet locations earlier this month and now Lay’s says that along with restocking restaurants, the chips will be available in limited quantities at grocery stores across the country beginning Nov. 1. Expect to see a lot of these out at holiday parties this year!

Apple helping teach kids to code with Swift Playgrounds app

Learning to code is becoming more popular with kids and now Apple is helping with their new iPad app Swift Playgrounds. The free app allows users with no programming experience to get a better understanding of coding concepts and experiment with the Swift language, which is used by professional developers to create apps. Along with app templates, Swift Playgrounds also features lessons and challenges to keep users interested. Swift Playgrounds is available via the App Store.

Swift Playgrounds

Apple’s free Swift Playgrounds iPad app helps teach kids to code.

Amazon Echo coming to Germany and the UK (but not Canada)

Amazon announced last Wednesday its popular Echo device is coming to Germany and the UK this fall, giving us Canadians hope it will be available here at some point soon. Amazon also announced a new (cheaper) Echo Dot that gives users more control of the Echo throughout the entire home. It’s also not available in Canada.

Have something to add to Around the House weekly? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

Around the House (Sept. 12, 2016)

Around the House is a weekly roundup of news items related to smart devices, tools, kitchen gadgets and anything else worth mentioning from the last week that affects our home life.

Nest Cam Outdoor arrives

The highly anticipated Nest Cam Outdoor is now available to purchase for a cool $249.99 CDN. The weatherproof camera allows users to monitor the outside of their homes live 24/7 and also includes two-way audio. Users with a Nest Aware subscription can receive person alerts and have 10 or 30-day video history saved in the cloud depending on the package they subscribe to. Nest also added three new thermostat colour options this week. For those unhappy with only being able to purchase the standard stainless steel model, you can now get it in white, black and copper.

Nest Cam Outdoor

The Nest Cam Outdoor is now available in Canada for $249.

Apple shows off ‘Home’ app

During its iPhone 7 event last week, Apple briefly showed off its new ‘Home’ app in iOS 10, which will give users total control of HomeKit integrated smart devices in one location. Compatible devices include the likes of Philips Hue bulbs, the ecobee3 thermostat and Schlage Connect locks (among others). Besides the announcement that Mario is coming to the iPhone and iPad this holiday season (about time!), the ‘Home’ demo was the most exciting thing about the event.

Apple Home App

Apple’s ‘Home’ app.

PlayStation 4 Pro announced

The PlayStation 4 Pro is coming November 10. Along with a faster processor and a 1TB hard drive, it opens up 4K gaming. Unfortunately it does not not support 4K UltraHD Blu-ray titles like the XBOX One S does. This is somewhat odd since Sony Home Entertainment has been pumping out 4K UltraHD Blu-ray movies all year, including the Angry Birds movie (which, if you’re going to watch, it might as well be in 4K UltraHD).

PS4 Pro

The Sony PlayStation Pro 4.

Milwaukee Tool has a light for everyone

Four new lighting options are coming this fall from Milwaukee Tool. These include the M18 Rocket LED Tower Light/Charger, M12 ROVER LED Compact Flood Light, M18 LED Search Light and M18 RADIUS LED Compact Site Light w/ONE-KEY, which can be programmed via the ONE-KEY app and remotely controlled from up to 50-feet away. As a fan of the Milwaukee Tool brand I’m excited for all of these. All four options will be available in October.

Milwaukee M18 RADIUS LED Compact Site Light w/ONE-KEY

The Milwaukee M18 RADIUS LED Compact Site Light w/ONE-KEY.

Samsung Canada officially recalls Note 7

After some serious issues surrounding the Note 7 battery (like the potential of it to explode and cause a fire), Samsung Canada has issued a recall notice for the device. If you purchased one between August 19 and September 1, 2016, you are urged to power it down and register for a new one. There’s been approximately 21,953 of these sold in Canada (according to Health Canada) so if you know someone with one let them know about the recall.

Have something to add to Around the House weekly? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

Apple Pay now available to PC Financial MasterCard customers

PC Financial Apple Pay

PC Financial MasterCard customers can now use Apple Pay with their cards.

PC Financial MasterCard customers can now use their card with Apple Pay, the bank announced Tuesday.

“We know the PC Financial customer wants simplicity, convenience and, most importantly, security when making a payment, and we look forward to offering Apple Pay as a digital option that delivers on all of these values,” Barry Columb, President of PC Bank, said in a statement.

Apple Pay allows users to easily pay for items in select stores and from within supported apps with a connected debit or credit card. Because the card number is not stored in your device (or on an Apple server), your info is secure and private.

RELATED: New Walmart Canada app aims to help customers shop better

Major Canadian retailers, including Canadian Tire, Indigo, Tim Hortons and all Loblaw grocery and drug stores (which PC Financial is a division of) all accept Apple Pay. Apps from the likes of UBER and Starbucks also accept Apple Pay.

Apple Pay works in stores on the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. The iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro can all be used to make purchases using Apple Pay within supported apps.

CIBC, RBC, TD Bank, Scotiabank and BMO all offer Apple Pay support to their clients (as do some other Canadian banks). Tangerine also announced Apple Pay support Tuesday.

PC Financial has not indicated if they are going to extend Apple Pay to banking customers at this time, but did confirm PC Points will still be collected when using Apple Pay with a PC Financial MasterCard or PC Financial World Elite MasterCard.

For more info on Apple Pay and how to set it up on your device, visit apple.ca. To learn more about PC Financial services, visit pcfinancial.ca.

Are you excited that PC Financial MasterCard now supports Apple Pay? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

Philips launches Sonicare connected toothbrush

Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected

The Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected syncs with your iOS or Android device to give you a 3D view of your brushing habits.

Your dental hygiene is about to get smarter with the launch of the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected.

Made for adults, the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected syncs via Bluetooth to an iOS or Android device to give a user live feedback of their brushing habits.

“At Philips, we look for ways to innovate and provide smart solutions for healthy living,” Alexander Harris, Senior Marketing Director of Philips Oral Healthcare, said in a statement.

RELATED: Is the Belkin WeMo-enabled ‘smart’ Crock-Pot worth it?

When synced with the Philips Sonicare app (for iOS and Android), users will get a 3D “mouth map” that tracks missed spots and the amount of pressure and scrubbing a user is brushing with. The app will then tell a user if they need to keep brushing and give advice on brushing techniques.

BELOW: How to use your Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected with app

“Working closely with dental professionals, we developed Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected to offer people a view into their oral health routine that will ultimately help them achieve optimal cleaning results between dental visits,” Harris said.

Other features of the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected include a monitor that informs a user when it’s time to switch the brush head, a long-lasting rechargeable battery, three brushing modes and the option to share brushing data with a dental professional.

The Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected is currently available in the U.S. for $199USD. At the time of writing there is no release date set for Canada. For more information and to see the toothbrush in action, visit philips.com.

Does a connected toothbrush excite or scare you? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

New Walmart Canada app aims to help customers shop better

Walmart Canada app

Walmart Canada wants you to “save time, live better” with its new app. Photo credit: CNW Group/Walmart Canada.

Walmart Canada released a new app for Android and iOS devices this week that aims to help customers shop more efficiently.

The app gives customers the ability to browse flyers, scan barcodes, create a list of favourite items and get “Rollback” alerts. In Toronto and Ottawa customers can also use the app to book a time to pick-up online grocery orders.

RELATED: Walmart Canada focusing on quality and colour for 2016 spring collection

“We’re always looking for ways to enhance our customers’ shopping experience,” Rick Neuman, executive vice president of technology and e-commerce at Walmart Canada, said in a statement. “The Walmart app saves customers time and money and provides better access to products while at home or on the go.”

The app can be downloaded for iOS devices via the iTunes Store and for Android devices via the Google Play Store.

Have you used the new Walmart Canada app? Share your thoughts on it in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.