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Phone Phishing Scam: What it is and how to protect yourself

Posted by cchalkley on August 9, 2017

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These days it feels like we are constantly called by unwanted telemarketers trying to sell us something. Are those annoying calls from air-duct cleaning companies ringing a bell? Yes, these calls are irritating but even more serious than this are the calls from someone trying to get your personal information like your credit card number. Yikes!

This is exactly the scary situation that we’ve learned about recently. Some of our customers have reported that they have been called by 519-700-7000 and the caller has claimed they are from Execulink and asks for their credit card information.

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We want you to know that this is not Execulink calling or any other company associated with Execulink. This telemarketer is using a technique called Caller ID spoofing and has altered the display phone number in order to trick you into answering the call. Execulink cares about your security and would never call you and ask for your full credit card number.

How do you protect yourself against spoofed calls?

  • When in doubt about the company calling, we recommend that you hang up and call the company back directly.
  • Don’t give out personal information to a caller.
  • Register your telephone number on the National Do No Call List
  • Block or filter unwanted calls if you have the calling features to do so.
  • Report the call to the CRTC and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Trust your gut and if your gut is telling you that the call seems odd, then it likely is. Take the necessary precautions and protect yourself from these spam calls and don’t be their next victim.

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Christine Chalkley, Marketing Coordinator


I love things that make me laugh including sitcoms, sketch comedy and anything my kid does. When it comes to parenting I take Amy Poehler’s advice: “Always remember where you put your kid. Don’t let your kid drive until their feet can reach the pedals. Use the right size diapers... for yourself. And, when in doubt, make funny faces.”


Tips and Tricks: How to Boost Your Wi-Fi

Posted by tpoole on July 26, 2017

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Are you ever bothered by a slow or dropping signal in certain areas of your house? Especially right when you are in the middle of an intense scene in a movie or doing important work? If that doesn’t bother you, I admire your patience! For those of you who it does bother, here are a few quick tips to help boost that signal and get you better, faster wireless without breaking the bank.

An Antenna
Make sure that your router has an antenna, and if it does, fiddle with the antenna to find the best possible placement that maximizes your signal. If your router’s antenna is internal, you are able to purchase external ones which will help send a stronger signal. When adjusting your antenna, point it towards the spot in your house where your Wi-Fi is the weakest. It will help improve the signal in that area.

Placement
Placement is key! The more walls, doors, floors, etc. the signal has to travel through the weaker it will be. The closer to the middle of your home is one of the best places for your router. Routers also work better if they are out in the open and not very close to walls (if you are able) and if they are elevated. So your best bet to get the fastest and strongest signal you can is to have your router placed towards the center of your home, not too close to a wall, and sitting on a shelf or table (for example).

What to avoid while Streaming
If you happen to have an old router and are planning on streaming TV or a movie, make the popcorn first. That’s right, always make your popcorn or heat up your snack first. Why? It just so happens that microwaves in use can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal. Baby monitors and cordless phones will also have this effect. This is also has to do with the channels that your router and other electronics are picking up.

Channel
There might be others in your neighborhood, apartment building, etc. or even other electronics in your house (for example a baby monitor) that could have their router on the same signal as yours. Remember playing with walkie talkies when you were younger? Well the way a router works is really similar; the more people on a channel the more interference there is. To counteract this, switch the channel your router is on.

Range Extender
Routers usually have a certain distance that they will send a signal to reliably. Any farther and the signal will get weak and slow. To help enhance the distance your Wi-Fi signal reaches, you are able to purchase a wireless range extender. These pick up the Wi-Fi from your existing router and re-broadcast it.

Private
One of the biggest ways to increase your Wi-Fi signal and speed is to make sure your Wi-Fi is always private. This will prevent others from using your network and will protect you more when you are online. If you don’t have a password set on your Wi-Fi, set one now (the harder it is the better). This way other people near you can’t pick up and use your Wi-Fi.

Firmware
If you have an older router it might just be time to update it. There are always changes being made to software for routers to help make them faster and perform better. In some cases it’s as easy as pressing an upgrade button; others might require you to download software to perform the update. By simply updating the firmware on your router it might boost your signal and help increase your speed as well.

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We understand how frustrating it can be to have a lagging Wi-Fi signal. Hopefully these tips and tricks help to alleviate some of that frustration, and give you and your family the best possible Wi-Fi signal for your home.

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Game of Thrones 7 Premieres This Sunday!

Posted by cirvine on July 13, 2017

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Game of Thrones Premieres This Sunday! Here’s Everything You Need to Know to Catch Up.

So for months now you’ve been telling yourself that you’re going to re-watch all the episodes of season 6 in preparation for season 7. Well, I’m sorry to say that like me, you’ve pretty much run out of time. Game of Thrones is back this Sunday. But don’t be sad… Game of Thrones is back! OMG GAME OF THRONES IS BACK!!!!

So let’s get you all caught up and ready for the action that is sure to be crammed into this entire season. Here are some important plot points from the last season to get you caught up.

EPISODE 1, “THE RED WOMAN”

  • We find out why Melisandre, the Red Woman, constantly wears that necklace. She is actually really old. We’re not trying to bodyshame anyone but wow. That’s really hard to look at.
  • Brienne and Pod save Sansa and Theon from Ramsay’s men.
  • In Dorne, Ellaria kills Prince Doran for being a weak leader, while in King’s Landing, one of her daughter’s (a “Sandsnake”) does the same to Doran’s son, Trystane.
  • Daenerys is swept up by a khalasar (the horse-guys that used to be led by Khal Drogo), and is placed in a temple to live her life out as a widowed khaleesi (wife of a khal).
  • Arya is a blind beggar on the streets of Braavos. Boourns.
  • Jon Snow is still dead.

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EPISODE 2, “HOME”

  • Jon Snow’s alive! Thanks, Melisandre. You sort of kind of redeemed yourself. Maybe.
  • Tyrion frees Daenarys’ dragons.
  • Ramsay kills his father, his step-mother Walda, and their newborn son to ensure that he is the only heir to the Bolton house. Oh, so I guess you’re still doing that whole evil incarnate thing eh?
  • Euron Greyjoy is looking to lead the Iron Islands so comes home and throws his bro Balon off a bridge.

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EPISODE 3, “OATHBREAKER”

  • Bran uses his time-travelling-in-the-mind abilities to witness Part 1 of his dad Ned’s arrival at the tower where a pregnant Lyanna Stark was being kept by Rhaegar Targaryen, who’d stolen her away from Robert Baratheon during Robert’s rebellion many moons ago.
  • Arya gets her sight back!
  • Jon oversees the deaths of those who killed him and quits the band. HIS WATCH IS OVER BROS. Mic drop.
  • The High Sparrow announces that Cersei must stand trial for her moral crimes.
  • Rickon and Osha are back! (YAY!) Back into the hands of Ramsay Bolton (NO!).

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EPISODE 4, “BOOK OF THE STRANGER”

  • Jon and Sansa reunite, and get news that Ramsay has Rickon.
  • Daenerys lights her captivity temple on fire and saunters out naked a la season 1, while Daario and Jorah arrive to “save” her.
  • The High Sparrow has Margaery and Loras Tyrell in prison.
  • Ramsay kills Osha.

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EPISODE 5, “THE DOOR”

  • It’s revealed that the white walkers were created by the Children of the Forest to protect themselves from humans. GOOD JOB GUYS GREAT MOVE NO PROBLEM.
  • While Bran is inside another vision, the Night King tracks him down IRL, and while Hodor is trying to “Hold the door!” in the present, Bran watches a young Hodor seizure, yelling “Hold the door” over and over until it eventually transforms into “Hodor” which is the only word he will say for the rest of his life. And that’s when we all cry uncontrollably.
  • Oh ya, and—cherry on top—Summer (Bran’s direwolf) dies too. 
  • Euron pushes Yara out of the way to rule the Iron Islands, but she and Theon sneak off while he’s sealing the deal and steal all the ships.
  • Daenerys learns of Jorah’s greyscale and tells him to go find a cure.
  • A second red priestess in Meereen tells Varys and Tyrion that Daenerys is the prophecied one that was promised. They tell her to spread the news.

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EPISODE 6, “BLOOD OF MY BLOOD”

  • Uncle Benjen aka Coldhands aka Half-Zombie Dude shows up to save Meera and Bran.
  • Sam brings Gilly and the baby to his home, where his dad is mean to them so Sam steals the family sword and gets out of there.
  • Arya doesn’t kill who she’s supposed to so Jaqen H’ghar sends the waif girl after her.
  • Margaery brings Tommen into the faith, making the High Sparrow pretty much King.
  • Jamie is stripped of his Kingsguard post and banished from the city.

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EPISODE 7, “THE BROKEN MAN”

  • The Hound is living in a religious commune that immediately gets slaughtered by thieves.
  • Margaery slips her grandma a note indicating she’s not as into the High Sparrow as she seems.
  • Sansa sends a note asking for help to the Vale, worried that House Stark doesn’t have the power it needs to win the battle over the Boltons.
  • Jaime and Bronn arrive at Riverrun, which is being taken over by the Freys.

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EPISODE 8, “NO ONE”

  • Arya kills the waif (YAY!) and then tells Jaqen that she’s going home (YAY!).
  • The Hound meets up with the Brotherhood Without Banners, and Beric Dondarrion tries to recruit him.
  • Tommen says no more trial by combat, essentially leaving his mother helpless in the trial.
  • Brienne runs into Jaime at Riverrun, where she’s trying to recruit the Tullys (Catelyn Stark’s original House) to Jon’s cause.
  • Catelyn’s brother Edmure surrenders the house to the Frey/Lannister armies, and Brynden “the Blackfish” Tully dies in the fight.
  • Daenerys returns to Meereen on a dragon to find the masters attacking the city.

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EPISODE 9, “BATTLE OF THE BASTARDS”

  • Daenerys and her dragons make short work of the masters’ forces.
  • She makes an alliance with Yara, giving her the Iron Islands in the future in exchange for her Iron navy.
  • Huge battle between Ramsay’s team and Jon’s team, with Rickon being the bait.
  • Littlefinger’s Vale team saves the day, and they all retake Winterfell (YAY!).
  • Sansa lets Ramsay’s dogs eat him to death (gross, but YAY!)

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EPISODE 10, “THE WINDS OF WINTER”

  • Cersei  and Maester Qyburn use wildfire to blow up the entire Sept of Baelor and everyone in it, including Margaery, her father, Loras Tyrell, the High Sparrow, and Lancel Lannister.
  • Tommen kills himself.
  • Arya kills Walder Frey and his two sons as payback for the Red Wedding.
  • Sam, Gilly and the baby arrive at the Citadel.
  • Melisandre is banished for causing Shireen’s death. Davos will kill her if he ever sees her again.
  • The Northern houses deem Jon “King in the North” and pledge to fight the WWs with him.
  • Daenerys breaks up with Daario and officially makes Tyrion the Hand of the Queen.
  • Bran’s vision confirms that L+R=J (Jon is Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen’s love child) and that while dying she gives baby Jon to Ned, making him promise to protect him. JON IS HALF TARGARYEN AND DAENERYS’ NEPHEW WHAAAAT.
  • Jaime returns to King’s Landing and is horrified. Cersei’s on the throne.
  • Daenerys, her dragons, and the Ironborn all sail back to Westeros.
  • WINTER IS HERE GUYS

 

So there you have it. Last season was a lot of death and sadness (I LOVE YOU HODOR!), but it also had a lot of huge wins for fans:  Jon Snow came back from the dead, Uncle Benjen came back halfway from the dead, the Hound is still alive, Ramsay died, Daenerys is finally going to conquer Westeros, Arya is finally getting a better plotline, and Cersei proved she is extremely badass.

I can’t wait to see what this next season has in store. My predictions? Jaime HAS to kill Cersei. His whole identity as “Kingslayer” came about from killing the Mad King because he threatened to do exactly what Cersei did, a wildfire massacre. Also, I’m really hoping for a white walker dragon. The whole series is called “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Don’t get much closer to that than a fire dragon battling an ice dragon. 

Whatever happens, Execulink TV customers can enjoy a special free offering of HBO on Sunday night so they can watch the premiere at 9pm! Winter is here folks, and it’s gonna be a heck of a season!

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Local Events for Canada Day 150

Posted by tpoole on June 28, 2017

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As Canada’s 150th birthday approaches it is interesting to see what is going on in South Western Ontario. There is so much happening in the area, so many different and interesting activities, that I have no idea what I am going to do for the day to celebrate!

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Grand Bend and Area

There are many activities happening in the area this coming Canada Day. A few include Forest Kiwanis Canada Day 150 Celebration and Grand Bend Canada Day Celebrations.  At Forest’s celebration you will have the chance to watch a parade starting at 1:30 pm, see the unveiling of the new memorial carving, and enjoy a BBQ and live entertainment until the fireworks at dusk. The Grand Bend Canada Day Celebrations will have live music at the Rotary Community Stage and then fireworks starting at 10 pm.

KW and Area

This Canada Day there will be fireworks being held in multiple locations throughout the KW region. A few locations include Bingemans, Columbia Lake Fields, Riverside Park, Kitchener City Hall, Norm S. Hill Park, and Schmidt Park. Other activities include:

  • Canada Day in DTK: Kitchener City Hall will host free country music including the River Town Saints and James Barker Band as well as food vendors and fireworks off of City Hall.
  • Canada Day at the Waterloo Region Museum: Learn about how people lived and ate in 1914 and enjoy games such as croquet and horseshoes.
  • Joseph Schneider’s House: This July 1st also celebrates the 201st anniversary of the building of Joseph Schneider house. Celebrate with cake at 2 pm on Saturday and free admission for the weekend.
  • University of Waterloo Canada Day Celebration: The award winning children’s performers Bobs & Lolo will perform for the kids and then Tom Cochrane with Red Rider for the adults, followed by a firework display!
  • Cambridge Canada Day Celebrations: There will be live entertainment, a parade, Children Area and Carnival, and fireworks.
  • McDougall Cottage Canada Day Celebration: Here you can celebrate the Scottish-Canadian heritage with tours, treats, crafts, and music.
  • SteamFest 150: Take a ride on the 100 year old steam train, starting and ending in St. Jacobs. Enjoy jigger rides and steam cooked food as well!

This isn’t all--There are a ton of other activities happening in the area as well!

London and Area

In London there is a large variety of cultural and Canadian celebrations throughout the city and surrounding area. A few I personally found interesting include the Sesquifest, Dominion Day at Fanshawe Pioneer Village, and the Confederation Party.  Here is a summary of these events and a few more:

  • Fireworks: Some locations you can find fireworks include White Oaks Parks, Harris Park, Argyle Arena, Prince Andrew School Park (Lucan), Main Beach (Port Stanely), Pinafore Park (St. Thomas), Lake Whittaker Conservation Area.
  • Canada Day at Harris Park: This gathering includes a First Nations gathering, Canada birthday cake, exhibits honoring famous Canadians, and fireworks.
  • Sesquifest: If your Canada Day is already packed like mine, this is, luckily, a 5 day celebration in downtown London. Here you can experience a 360-degree projection drone, go ice skating, see iconic Canadian headliners and as always, enjoy food and beverages.
  • Dominion Day: Dress up in your Sunday best and party the old fashioned way. Enjoy cake, lemonade and other activities at the Pioneer Village that bring the past to life!
  • Confederation Party: Party like its 1867, 1917, and 1967! Enjoy carnival games and historically themed performances, tour the Eldon house, and enjoy live music.
  • South London Canada Day: At this celebration you are able to leave your hand print on a Canada 150 banner, have fun in a photo booth, enjoy food and end the night with a drone light show and fireworks.
  • Canada Day at Delaware Speedway: Go and watch the APC series, Ontario Legends Series, Open Wheel Modifieds, and fireworks!
  • Canada Day Train ride: This is a round trip scenic rail ride starting in Port Stanely.

Norfolk County

In Norfolk County things kick off in Delhi on Friday, June 30, at 7pm. At this time the Tobacco Kiln will receive its official heritage designation. Throughout the evening, you are able to enjoy a mix of folk and bluegrass music and a BBQ.

On Canada Day, there is a ton of things happening as well:

  • Port Dover Celebrations: Go and see a soap box derby, a parade of boats, a parade, live music, food, and of course, fireworks!
  • Canada Day Car Show: Start your morning right with a Pre-50s-themed classic car show being held at the Ramblin Road Brewery Farm.
  • Open House Farm Party: Visit Wholesome Pickins in Delhi for a day filled with food tasting, bouncy castles, face painting, and more.
  • Otterville Canada 150 Celebrations: This is a 3 day celebration that includes BBQ’s, farmers market, bubble soccer, baseball, a chicken wing ding, canoe races, a rubber ducky race, and of course, fireworks!
  • Port Rowan: In Port Rowan you can enjoy hot dogs and cake as well as a melody of live music. Then venture down to Backus Heritage Conservation and take a tour of the Backhouse Grist Mill for free!

Tillsonburg

In Tillsonburg you can never miss that Canada Day pancake breakfast and farmer’s market in the morning and the model ship regatta afterward. From there you can enjoy the Annandale NHS fun fair, the classic car show, the parade, the “Back to the 50’s” concert. Then to end the night, you guessed it, FIREWORKS!

Woodstock

Last but not least, we have Woodstock’s Canada Day Celebrations. Enjoy the crafters alley, exhibitions and demonstrations, the Lion’s Club beverage garden, and Canada Day CUPCAKES. Oh and end the night with a spectacular fireworks display!

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Phew, now that those are all listed out… I have to decide what to do with myself this Canada Day! There are so many amazing activities and events going on to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday that it will be difficult to choose what to do. Either way, I know I am going to enjoy some birthday cake, fireworks, and all of the Canadian pride and joy!

 

 

Sources:

http://www.lambtonshores.ca/en/Calendar/events/Details.aspx?Id=84be8cd1-347e-4b49-b40f-61b4094573e6
http://www.todocanada.ca/canada-day-fireworks-festivals/
https://www.norfolktourism.ca/events/
http://www.tillsonburg.ca/Modules/News/index.aspx?newsId=92e9cd20-3a90-4f82-913b-f5f15d3a4152
https://www.cityofwoodstock.ca/en/visiting-woodstock/canada-150---july.asp

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Tory Poole
, Blog Contributor

I’m not your average girl. When I’m not driving my pickup truck, I’m probably watching sports or driving a 4-wheeler through the bush. I’m not afraid of a little mud or a few bug bites, just give me fun in the sun and I’m good to go.


The Rise of eSports to Network Television

Posted by tpoole on June 23, 2017

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I guess the best place to start would be what is eSports? This term, although I have a gamer brother, was a fairly unknown term to me until recently. I knew my brother often watched gamers that live streamed themselves playing on platforms like YouTube and Twitch, but I was extremely unaware of how popular it has become to watch people compete in video games.

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So what is it exactly?

ESports are organized, multiplayer video games. Over the past few years, or decade, this concept has blown up, so much so that being a professional gamer is a viable option as a career. The interest in eSports has drastically changed, to a point where watching eSports is just as popular for millennials as watching traditional sports like hockey. With the growth and interest of watching different players or teams compete, you are starting to see arenas fill for these tournaments, and I don’t mean your small town arena. Just last summer, an LoL (league of Legends) tournament was held in Toronto… at the ACC. This tournament brought in just as many people as a Raptors game would. In other words, more than 15 000 diehard fans attend the tournament and even more watched the live stream.

So where did it all begin?

The earliest documented video game competition occurred in 1972 at Stanford, playing the game Spacewar.  From there you saw more and more video game competitions starting. Notably, in the 90’s you saw many Nintendo game- based competitions.

This idea of turning video games into a live multiplayer competition exploded in the 00’s. Now you see the phenomenon of eSports in sold out arenas. Instead of having local competitions, you see global tournaments that are broadcasted out to millions.  Being a professional gamer has become a viable, well-paying career that leads to sponsorships, ownerships of teams and winning prize money at tournaments. And who doesn’t want to do what they love and enjoy!!

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What’s next in the world of eSports?

 With game streaming sites like Twitch raking in close to 10 million daily active users, we knew it wouldn’t be long before network television wanted a piece of that pie. NBC just announced that they will be working with the FACEIT online gaming platform to host a 2v2 Rocket League tournament, with a winning prize of $100,000. For those of you that don’t know, Rocket League is a game that was developed by Psyonix, and is basically a soccer game played in cars! Although it might sound dumb, it’s extremely addictive and its ever-growing popularity proves that fact. NBC will be hosting regional tournaments in America and European regions and will end with the 2-day grand finals. You will be able to watch this tournament in late August on a variety of NBC Universal and Comcast networks and internet platforms. The tournament will also be presented across live streaming, video on demand, and linear platforms.

It’s interesting to think of where the world of eSports will go in the future, and how it could one day overtake traditional sports in popularity. A word of advice: if you don’t have what it takes to be the next Gretsky or Bautista, try picking up a controller instead!

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