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Apple Unveils iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Posted by cfeehan on September 8, 2016

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As you have probably heard, Apple just unveiled their iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. There have been rumours surrounding the launch for months, so the unveiling has been a “moment of truth” of sorts, allowing people to compare what they’ve heard through word-of-mouth to the actual product specs. The good news, though, is that I don’t think many Apple enthusiasts will be disappointed by the launch, as many of the rumoured features ended up on the finished product. Stay tuned to find out which features made the cut!

Overall Design

Overall, the iPhone 7 does not look much different than the iPhone 6s. There were no radical changes in shape, size, or colour. However, a variation on the traditional black colouring was introduced. It’s called “Jet Black”, and it’s basically just an incredibly shiny, almost glassy black colour. It looks very modern, and it’s clear that people are excited about this option. Of course, there’s still the regular “black” model, as well as the standard gold, silver, and rose gold options.

Camera

The iPhone 7’s camera is one of the features that has been talked about for a while now. In particular, there were rumours of a dual back camera floating around the tech world. And good ol’ Apple didn’t disappoint – a dual back camera is exactly what they delivered. The phone has two 12-megapixel cameras on the back, which allows for both wide angle and telephoto capture. When working together, the two cameras can act almost like our eyes, gathering data and creating a depth map of the subject. This tells the camera to automatically apply a blur to the background, giving users the look of a shallow depth of field that’s usually only attainable with a more expensive camera.

The front-facing camera won’t be quite as innovative, which is understandable. But at least your selfies will be high-res, as the front camera comes complete with a 7-megapixel front camera, which surpasses the 5-megapixel camera on the iPhone 6s. The front-facing camera also it comes complete with a 1.8 aperture lens, 12-megapixel sensor, and quad-LED flash.  

iPhone_7_Plus_-_audio.jpgAudio

This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Apple has officially gotten rid of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, and it’s causing quite the stir. Users now have two options. The first option is to connect their EarPods via the Lightning port on the phone. These headphones are basically the same as the originals, but with a different style of input. They will be included with the phone, along with an adapter for those of us who are still living in the Stone Age (a.k.a. the people still using the standard 3.5mm headphone jack on our devices).

The second option for users is to purchase Apple “AirPods”, which are entirely wireless headphones. This is something new in the realm of smartphone audio, so it’s not only novel, but it also means no more tangled headphone cords! These AirPods will use sensors to detect when they’re in your ears, and stop playing any time they sense that they have been removed. They can last 5 hours before needing a charge, which honestly isn’t fantastic, but I’m sure they’re already working on it.

 

OTHER SPECS

Battery Life

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will have the best battery life of any previous iPhones, and this is great news. Users should expect to get about two hours of increased battery life from the iPhone 6s to the iPhone 7, and about an hour of increased battery life from the iPhone 6s Plus to the iPhone 7 Plus.

Home Button

The Home Button on the front of the iPhone will now rely on Apple’s taptic engine, just like the newer Mac trackpads. This means that the button won’t actually click down, but will instead just feel like it is moving. This small change is estimated to decrease mechanical issues and the need for repairs in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus because it’s one less moving part that can get stuck or broken.

Durability

The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be be water and dust resistant, which again, will hopefully keep necessary repair and replacement numbers down. Because the new models meet the IP67 protection standard, they can be briefly dropped into a pool, a lake, or even a toilet, and emerge unharmed. Incredible, right? I think this should be an industry standard, to be honest, because accidents happen, and they shouldn’t cost you $600+.

Speaking of dollars and cents, the iPhone 7 starts at $649, and the iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769. You can get your hands on one very soon, too – pre-orders start this Friday, and store availability starts on September 16. Apple’s AirPods, also known as the easiest-to-lose headphones ever created, are priced at $159, and will be released this October.

 

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Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor


Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.


Exciting FUZEnation Event Coming To Waterloo Region!

Posted by cirvine on September 8, 2016

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On September 27th, the “Silicon Valley of the North” aka the Waterloo Region, will host an exciting new event that brings music and technology together under one roof: FUZEnation. The four-day event at 41 Ardelt Place is being described as a “technology and music summit uniting the most innovative visionaries and influential leaders from multi-billion dollar technology and music industries”. As well as celebrating some iconic tech-trailblazers, FUZEnation will also showcase innovation and explore new trends.

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The event has two components: a speaker series and an outdoor concert, so you can expect to learn a lot and have a lot of fun while doing it. The speakers alone are worth the trip; with huge names like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Wednesday and Thursday will feature the tech industry’s best and brightest in such exciting fields as Animation and Graphic Design, 3D Printing, Gaming, Data Storage, Biotech and a ton more. Execulink is excited to be providing Internet services for this event.

For post-secondary students and people already working in the tech industry, this will be a networking event like no other.  If, on the other hand, you don’t need any new connections and you’re up to date on all the newest tech-trends (ya right), you can always just stay for the concert. The inaugural event is closing with a performance by the one and only DJ Kygo. With tickets starting at a mere $39.50, there’s every reason to go.

For more general information on the event you can check out FUZEnation’s website, or their press release here.


 

Sources:

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Candice Irvine, Blogger, Marketing Specialist, Graphic Designer


I'm addicted to games of all kinds: boardgames, video games, card games, mind games... nah, just kidding about that last one. Or am I?


Instacart Launches Innovative Online Grocery Shopping App

Posted by cfeehan on September 1, 2016

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Don’t worry, humans of Earth, for soon you will never have to leave your homes for anything ever again.

Okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but with the roll-out of Instacart’s new app, at least buying groceries will require a little less interaction with the outside world.

Instacart personal grocery shopping is being implemented in San Francisco right off the bat (more specifically, Costco stores), where Instacart Shoppers will essentially go grocery shopping for you as soon as you’ve placed your online order. The order system isn’t your run-of-the-mill online shopping platform, either – there’s a real-time feed of every product the store has in stock, so that it’s easy to view which products are actually available to purchase, and which may be sold out.

Instacart Shoppers, also known as the people doing your in-store shopping, will see a ton of benefits from this app as well. It includes a feature called aisle mapping, which provides the shopper with the quickest and most logical route for navigating the store, based on each customer’s grocery list. For example, let’s say you want a box of cereal, eggs, and frozen meatballs. The aisle mapping feature would likely direct the Instacart Shopper to the cereal aisle first, then to the section of the grocery store where the eggs are located, and at the end, to the frozen food section. It would do this to ensure that the customer’s goods are not being compromised just to speed up the process – this means no melted ice cream, no spoiled meat, and no limp produce by the end of the shop. This feature also outlines exactly where each product is in the store, which saves the shopper a ton of time and frustration. Plus, this honestly sounds like a lot of fun for the shopper – it’s almost like a video game where they have to race against the clock to search for products, get orders filled, and get everything delivered on time! Thinking of your 8-hour Saturday shift as one giant video game might make the time go by a little faster.

To save even more time during the shopping process, Instacart Shoppers have been designated their own check-out lanes so that they don’t have to wait in long lines of customers before getting orders out. They basically just breeze through, making the service look very exclusive to regular shoppers. My guess is that this will likely create a lot of buzz among regular shoppers who would rather not wait in lines, and pave the way for possible future business.

Despite all of their advances, Instacart does not want to stop here, with personal shoppers grabbing items and lining up at a checkout (even if it is their own designated line). The company is currently working on software to allow personal shoppers to skip the checkout process altogether – they would just have to scan each item and pack it up. This would mean zero waiting time, and the length of the shop would depend only on how quickly the shoppers are able to find all of your requested products. But with the aisle mapping feature and precise, up-to-date inventory checking, that doesn’t sound too bad at all. The checkout bypass feature is set to roll out in the next 6 months, which is very exciting, and could revolutionize the online grocery game on a global scale.

Speaking of global – there’s only one downside to Instacart, and it’s that the app is not currently available in Canada. On the bright side, we have a few other options we can utilize in the meantime (in select stores):

If you live in the GTA, you can enjoy Grocery Gateway and get your food delivered right to your door. Super convenient. If, on the other hand, you live in a less populated area, you will probably have to utilize one of the following programs:

Zehrs’ Click and Collect Program  (or Loblaws)

Walmart’s Grocery PickUp

These programs allow you to choose your groceries online, have someone grab them all for you and then have them waiting at the store for easy pickup. It may not be quite as advanced as Instacart’s multifunctional app, but it could still save you a bundle of time. All we need now is a date for the Canadian release of the Instacart app, and we’ll be happy campers! 

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Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor


Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.


2016 MTV VMAs: Best and Worst

Posted by cirvine on August 29, 2016

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The 2016 MTV Video Music Awards (aka the Rihanna and Bey Show) were last night and they gifted us with many things, including a Britney comeback and an appearance by Ryan Lochte (sort of). But they also gifted us with a lot of baloney. Ya you heard me. I said baloney.

For all your tastiest and nastiest VMA baloney, see below.

Best Performance: Beyonce, “Lemonade” Medley

Is it any surprise that the best performance of the night belongs to Queen Bey? Showcasing all the best songs of her recent album, Lemonade, including an explosive finale of Formation (did you catch the female symbol her dancers made at the end?), Beyonce continues to define what’s makes a performer a performer. I think my favourite part had to be when she literally hit the camera with a baseball bat, shattering the picture, and then drops the bat into view like a mic. Damn girl, you are literally killing it.

Worst Performance: The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey, “Closer”

I admit, when your fellow performers include Beyonce and Rihanna, it would be hard to make yours stand out. The thing is, I don’t think this performance would stand out even if those two weren’t there. This act was very bla. If you’re going to opt for a simple light show and a fog machine, you better make sure either your singing or your dance moves are on point. These guys barely moved around and the singing was sub-par. I’m sure they were nervous as they were the newcomers to the show, but come on guys, time to make your mark!

Best Dressed: Britney Spears

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Our girl Britney has come a long way since her Canadian tuxedo-dress with Justin Timberlake. Britney looked classic and mature in a Julien Macdonald black asymmetric dress. I’m not sure why I love it so much, but it might be that its simplicity is what makes it stand out. With all the feathers and lace and flamboyancy you see at these award shows, less is sometimes more.

Worst Dressed

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I’m not a fashion expert, but there seemed to be plenty outfits at VMAs that were just plain wrong. It’s pretty hard to pick out my favourite worst one, but I think I have to give it to Jeremy Scott (above). What was with the whole no-shirt-under-the-blazer look this year?

Best Speech: Drake 


If there’s more of a stand-up guy than our Canadian hero Drake than I don’t know of him. Donned in a classic black and white tuxedo and looking fresh to death, Drake presented Rihanna with the Vanguard Award in what has to be the sweetest way possible. “She’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old,” he said, gushing, “She’s one of my best friends in the world. All my adult life, I’ve looked up to her even though she’s younger than me.” And then everyone’s heart exploded into a million Drake-shaped pieces. Many people believed he was going to propose to her in that moment, but realizing that that would steal away Rihanna’s moment, he decided he better not. Drake’s a good guy. Be like Drake.

Worst Speech: Kanye


Does anyone else wish that MTV would stop giving Kanye a mic? I’m so over his nonsensical ramblings and rants. As if is ego-flames weren’t high enough, MTV had to fuel them by allowing him 4 minutes of airtime, of which he took 7. From throwing shade at Taylor (again), and using his own name in his list of idols, this is another classic Kanye bit. You know what? I’m not going to waste any more time on this guy. When it comes to Kanye, just say no!

Best Joke: Jimmy Fallon’s Ryan Lochte Impression

You may know Ryan Lochte as the American Olympian who ruined everything for everyone. Well Jimmy Fallon turned the tragedy into a comedy last night by impersonating the shamed athlete for his presentation of Video of the Year. I think my favourite jab was “(The videos are) so good, I couldn’t choose. I couldn’t choose, even if there was a gun to my head”. Too soon?

Worst Joke(s)

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Oh Key and Peele, what happened? I love them so much, but if I said they were great award-show hosts I would be lying. They had many jokes that sort of just fell flat. Don’t judge these books by their VMA covers. They are hilarious guys and everyone has their bad nights. We still love you K&P!

Well, that was some of the bests and worsts of the 2016 VMAs. Whether you love it, hate it, or love to hate it, the VMAs are at least something to talk about.  The only thing we can hope for next year is more Bey and less Ye.

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Candice Irvine, Blogger, Marketing Specialist, Graphic Designer


I'm addicted to games of all kinds: boardgames, video games, card games, mind games... nah, just kidding about that last one. Or am I?


The Top 10 Most Viewed YouTube Videos of August

Posted by cfeehan on August 25, 2016

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The Top 10 Most Viewed YouTube Videos of August

Good day, devoted comrades, and welcome to the August edition of the 10 Most Viewed YouTube Videos. This month’s lineup is one of the more diverse ones we’ve seen in the last little while – that means no James Corden for the first time in months! We have a few trailers, a music video, and even an animated short film, so make some popcorn and get ready for a fun-filled adventure through the Interwebs.

40,294,016 views

I went into this video expecting your standard phone advertisement, but I was blown away. The Samsung Galaxy Note7 has some incredible features, including some that I’ve never seen in a phone before, like an iris scanner in place of password protection. That is some serious super-spy technology, and now it’s available to anyone! It’s also water-resistant, which is a huge plus for the accident-prone among us. Check out the video for some of its other specs – you just might be tempted to switch to Team Samsung. 

37,169,579 views

Two top videos in two months, Katy? Someone’s making a comeback! Although both videos are for the same song, July’s release was specifically for the Olympics and showed footage of the athletes, while this is the official video featuring Katy Perry herself. It’s pretty intense, but it mostly just makes me want to try to to fly with a giant parachute tied to my back. Also, I just realized that I may be the reason the disclaimer “do not try this at home” was invented. If you feel like being inspired by Katy Perry’s uplifting lyrics (no pun intended), the desert, and a huge pink parachute, this video is for you.

19,227,743 views

You may be thinking “wasn’t the trailer for Rogue One released a few months ago?”, and my answer is that you are partly correct. A teaser trailer for the movie was released in April, but this is the first full-length trailer of the year. The original teaser now has over 41 million views, and this one is already at around half that many, so it’s safe to say that this is another highly-anticipated installment in the Star Wars series. It’s important to note that Rogue One is set before A New Hope so that you don’t show up to the theatre expecting it to be a follow-up to The Force Awakens, as this mix-up could make for some very disappointed Kylo Ren fans. See you there!

9,190,595 views

I hadn’t heard anything about this movie until now, but I’m definitely intrigued. It centers around an alien race arriving on earth, which is not a new concept, but the interesting part is that it seems to focus almost exclusively on translating and understanding their language. This could add a really cool dimension to the film, and draw in interest from a larger or atypical audience. Arrival stars Amy Adams, and will be released this November.

8,452,895 views

Well, that was the best thing ever. This video is definitely my favourite on the list this month – it’s got a great plotline, fantastic animation, robots, and all the feels. It’s not easy to create an entertaining storyline in 7 minutes, but Overwatch gets the job done. I don’t want to give too much away, but please watch this video; you’ll be glad you did!

7,506,438 views

For the last couple of months, the Internet has been flooded with the Pokémon Go trend (I use the word trend lightly because SOME OF US are still very dedicated to the game).

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What some people don’t know, however, is the popularity of other Pokémon video games. The main series is designed for handheld devices, like the Nintendo 3DS, and require none of the real-world interaction that Pokémon Go does. The two newest games, Pokémon Sun and Moon, will be released in November, and there’s a ton of hype around them. If Pokémon is your thing, tune into this video for updates!

6,423,400 views

The question in the title of this video may seem to have a simple answer. But these are the depths of YouTube we’re talking about, where reality and even physics seem to have no bounds, so anything is possible. It’s incredible, but this guy actually manages to cut wood with a piece of paper. You’ll need to watch it to grasp the full magnificence – it looks like the game Rock, Paper, Scissors just got a whole lot more complicated.

6,287,031 views

The Internet is back at it again, asking questions you didn’t know you needed the answers to. This time, it’s a question of whether or not a 100-foot drop will destroy an iPhone encased in homemade “flubber”. This “genre” of video is suspenseful, I guess, but does it make anyone else sad? I mean, who has an extra brand new iPhone sitting around ready to be (possibly) destroyed? It’s like watching a video of someone burning a pile of money – sure, maybe you haven’t seen it done before, but that doesn’t make it any less upsetting. Next time you’re going to throw an expensive device off of a building, sir, please consider sending it to me instead.

5,490,299 views

The title of this video caused me to get anxious every time either performer would do anything remotely dangerous, because I was constantly expecting the worst to happen. But, of course, you have to wait until the end to see the action, because that’s how they get you to stick around. In my opinion, they cut the video off way too soon; it looks like it COULD be a scary incident, but we only see a second of it, so I guess we’ll never really know. Either way, it’s an entertaining watch, so I wouldn’t skip past it.

4,680,742 views

Jared Leto, in a knitted leopard sweater, with a surprise present wrapped in a little red bow: what more could you ask for? He insists that his gift to Jimmy Fallon is from the Joker, the character he played in the recent Suicide Squad movie, but it’s too tame to be from such a terrible villain. Give it a watch to find out what’s in the box.

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Note: if you’re scared by what you see, you can always watch Jared and Jimmy snuggling with puppies afterward to make you feel better. You’re welcome!

This concludes the August edition of our Top 10 YouTube Videos of the Month series. We hope you enjoyed your time with us, and we’ll see you again next month!

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Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor


Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.