Posted by cirvine on September 9, 2015
CraveTV is an on-demand video streaming service that brings you thousands of hours of some of the best TV programming there is to offer. From HBO classics to the best sitcoms in history, CraveTV has something for everyone. With that in mind, I’ve put together some of my favourite shows on Crave.
Flight of the Conchords
Flight of the Conchords is primarily a New Zealand-based standup comedy duo starring Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie. In 2007, it became a TV show, following the two kiwis as they try to find success as a band in New York City. Each episode is a kind of mini-musical, as they weave their hilarious songs into the plotline. The show is pure fun and endlessly quotable, but it’s the songs that really set it apart from the crowd. One of my favourite comedic songs to date is this track, “I’m Not Crying”.
If you love historical drama than of course you must watch Rome. Upon watching it you quickly realize why the series could only have had a contract for 2 seasons—the budget on this show must have been extraordinary. From the gritty sprawl of Rome, to the ornate palaces, to the colossal ensemble of characters and extras, this show was unlike any other. It accurately depicts the reign and fall of Julius Caesar and his immediate compatriots and family, but also shows how those events affected the lower classes, which is where the two fictionalized Roman soldiers come in—Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo. With characters you hate, and love, or feel somewhere in between about, Rome is both an affecting story about humanity and an engrossing lesson on our history.
Right from the get-go Orphan Black gets my thumbs up, because 1) it’s Canadian and 2) it’s sci-fi, and I love both those things. The series opens with Sarah Manning, a con artist by trade, witnessing the suicide of a woman who appears to be her doppelgänger. Sarah takes on Beth’s identity and occupation as a detective after Beth’s death, and soon comes to realize that Beth is only the first of many clones she has yet to find. Why they were created in the first place and why they are now being targeted for extermination are the two main mysteries of the series. An interesting storyline coupled with some fantastic acting by Tatiana Maslany and great writing is why this show is one of my new favourites.
Parallel universes, dungeons and dragons, virtual reality, the paintball episodes, there’s so many geeky things to love about this show. In general the writing is just downright hilarious, but the real magic begins when you start to get to know all the characters and their little quirks. From Abed’s awkward genius to the Dean’s flamboyant costumes, it’s the group of lovable outcasts we all want to join.
Friday Night Lights
I have to admit that when I first heard my friends were watching Friday Night Lights, I made fun of them. On the surface, this show seems like your everyday, teeny-bopper drama, right? Wrong. It’s actually an intelligent show that goes way beyond some kids and their coach playing football. It shows the patriotic, religious, and sometimes unforgiving culture of the southern States, speaking to issues like racism, the value we put in our educational system, and economic hardships. And if all that stuff doesn’t sound like what you want, well, lucky for you the show is also jam-packed with beautiful young people.
When you start this show, it seems like your typical drama. It’s not until about halfway through the first episode that the story takes a strange twist and you realize it’s being retold from the beginning but from another person’s perspective. So little details are out of place, or rearranged, and it’s interesting to note what has changed in the story based on who is telling it. This manipulation of the story becomes even more important as you realize they are describing it to a detective who is trying to solve a murder that the two main characters were somehow involved in. It’s mystery, it’s drama, it’s romance, but most of all, it’s intriguing.
This is just a small list of some of my favourite shows, but there are plenty more to watch on CraveTV. The Sopranos, The Wire, Penny Dreadful, 30 Rock-- the list of award-winning shows goes on and on.
Wondering how to sign up? Check out this link here for all the info you need about CraveTV as well as our TV Everywhere service.
Posted by amustard on September 4, 2015
Google Map’s Streetview function is an obvious choice to get a first-hand look at the roadways and landscapes of your preferred destination. But when it comes to plotting out your specific journey (particularly a long one), Streetview can be labour intensive, requiring many clicks and a good memory.
Fortunately, an app developer has built a Google Maps Streetview Player – a program designed to create a video of your specified route using the particular Google Streetview images that are available. It’s as easy as typing in your starting point and the destination, and a video of your journey is created The video can also be sped up or slowed down, so whether you want to take a leisurely sight-see or a speedy cruise, Streetview Player can get you there at the pace you want.
You can now visualize your road trips in advance allowing you to plan pit stops, determine the best tourist locations and know where to find the best scenic views, before you even get into your car. How handy is that?
This program can be found on the web at http://www.brianfolts.com/driver/ and the app can be found on Google Play.
Andrew Mustard, Marketing Coordinator
Devoted Leafs fan through the good and the bad - mostly bad. Born and raised in Stratford, Ontario - with more swag than Bieber. Success isn’t a maybe - it’s a must.
Posted by cirvine on September 2, 2015
Every year, thousands of people lose money to scam artists calling over the phone, requesting your personal or credit card information in order to commit fraud, steal your identity, steal funds from your bank accounts, or open new ones. The act of phone scamming is often called “vishing”. Of course we hope vishing will never happen to us, but the best way to protect ourselves is to simply recognizing when it is! With that in mind we’ve come up with a few helpful hints to use as an aid in recognizing when you are being lured in by a vicious visher.
How to Spot a Visher
Here are a few red flags to help you spot telemarketing scams. If you hear a line that sounds like this, hang up, and call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- “You've been specially selected (for this offer).”
- “You'll get a free bonus if you buy our product.”
- “You've won one of five valuable prizes.”
- “You've won big money in a foreign lottery.”
- “This investment is low risk and provides a higher return than you can get anywhere else.”
- “You have to make up your mind right away.”
- “You trust me, right?”
- “You don't need to check our company with anyone.”
- “We'll just put the shipping and handling charges on your credit card.”
How They Hook You
Does it sound too good to be true? It probably is. Scammers use exaggerated and/or fake prizes, products or services as bait. They also use pressure to make you act before you think. Here are a few examples of “offers” you might get:
- Travel Packages. “Free” or “low cost” vacations can end up costing a bundle in hidden costs. Some of these vacations never take place, even after you’ve paid.
- Credit and loans. Advance fee loans, payday loans, credit card protection, and offers to lower your credit card interest rates are very popular schemes, especially during a down economy.
- Business and investment opportunities. Scammers rely on the fact that business and investing can be complicated and that most people don’t research the investment.
- Charitable causes. Urgent requests for recent disaster relief efforts are especially common on the phone.
- High-stakes foreign lotteries. You probably won’t even see a ticket.
- Extended car warranties. Vishers find out what kind of car you drive so they can urge you to buy overpriced or worthless plans.
- “Free” trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products — sometimes lots of products — which can cost you lots of money because they bill you every month until you cancel.
Why They're Calling You
Everyone’s a potential target when it comes to vishing. That being said, older people may be targeted more often because the caller assumes they may live alone, have a nest egg, or in their old age are mentally incapable of recognizing a stranger on the other line. If you notice your older loved ones responding to these types of calls, make sure you call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
They Happen Every Day
A recent example of a phone scam we’ve heard of is that someone will call you and leave a message on your voicemail, informing you to call them back immediately because someone in your family has died, is ill, or has been arrested (events that will tug at your heartstrings). But the phone number is actually from the Dominican Republic (809 area code), and if you call them back, you will be charged a minimum of $2425 per minute!
When in doubt, if you don’t recognize the phone number or area code, go online and Google it. Research it on Snopes.com and see if it is a telemarketing scam. You can never be too careful!
Phone Number Spoofing
Making the issue even more complicated is the idea of phone number “spoofing”. Spoofing is the practice in which someone uses technology to display a telephone number on your caller ID that is not their own. It may look like a local number, or a number you trust, which means you’re more likely to pick up the phone. If you receive a telemarketing call from a person or company you believe has spoofed the caller ID, you are advised to file a complaint with the CRTC.
To make a complaint online:
- Go to the National DNCL website.
To make a complaint by phone:
- Call toll-free 1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625).
- If you are calling from a TTY device, call 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889).
If you are complaining about fraudulent calls or a spoofing incident you can also report the calls to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
Posted by cirvine on August 26, 2015
Every day we are surrounded by an invisible network of signals bouncing around from data cables to cell towers to wifi routers to those tiny blips in space we call satellites. These signals are so very integral to our lives and to our society as a whole, yet we average citizens will never see them. Until now.
Dutch artist, Richard Vijgen, has created a new geeky artform that relies on the interplay of the viewer, an iPad app, and a specific location to make invisible radio waves suddenly visible. Entitled The Architecture of Radio, Vijgen’s app uses GPS to get the user’s location and finds the cell towers that are within reach from OpenCellID, (an online collection of the GPS positions of cell towers). It then calculates the position of overhead satellites through JPL’s Ephemeris program. It takes these signals as well as the wifi signal in the specific site (ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Berlin) and synthesizes all that data into a stylized interface that lets the user pan around the room and experience the everyday infosphere that is usually invisible to us.
Check out the video from Vijgen’s website to get a better idea:
It’s one thing to contemplate that there is a giant invisible network of data flying around you, it’s quite another to see it in action. Vijgen’s art piece is a perfect way to really make that idea sink in—that what we perceive as emptiness around us is actually the very fibre of our modern society, the binary adhesive that keeps us chatting, watching, downloading, and most importantly, blogging! :P
If you can’t get to the art exhibit in Germany, Vijgen hopes that he can make the app publicly available later this year!
Posted by cirvine on August 24, 2015
With all the shows there are to watch these days, it’s hard to keep track of them all! With that in mind we’ve come up with a list of ten new shows to look out for this fall.
The superhero niche has seen plenty of male men donning alter-egos and saving the world, both on TV and the big screen, but what about our heroines? When do they get to kick some butt already? Cue CBS’ Supergirl, played by Whiplash costar Melissa Benoist. Like her legendary cousin, Superman, she has fled Krypton and landed safely on Earth. Adopted at the age of 12 by the Danvers family, the show actually follows her years later as a young professional in National City, where although she has managed to fit in, she knows she doesn’t belong, and feels there is a higher purpose for her super-skills. The show looks both action-packed and adorable, one that will keep men and women of all ages coming back every week!
The Muppets back on TV. Need I say more? While it will be a strange show to see aired at primetime, it’s something everyone can watch: the nostalgic adults and the first-timer kids. The trailer in itself shows that our favourite puppets haven’t lost that witty charm that makes both kids and adults love them. As far as plotline goes, the show will follow the Muppets in the day-to-day duties during production of “Up Late with Miss Piggy”, a fictional late-night talk show starring (you guessed it) Miss Piggy! Hilarious, light, and full of puppets, it’s something the whole family can look forward to.
Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy has created what could be another smash TV hit, Scream Queens. A comedy-horror mashup, boasting the talents of Emma Roberts, Lea Michele and Jamie Lee Curtis, it’s not hard to see why this is getting people talking. The show follows a group of sorority sisters as a killing spree unfolds on their campus. Don’t expect another Scream though—Scream Queens looks to be as funny as it is scary.
This suspenseful drama lets us watch a gorgeous ensemble cast test their skills and strength at FBI’s Quantico base. Although all of them seem a perfect fit for the FBI, one is found to be suspect in executing a terrorist attack on New York City. The show seems in the vain of Homeland or Salt where we aren’t sure of some of the main characters’ intentions, and thus are left wondering episode after episode if we are rooting for good or evil. Either way, this looks like a good one to watch, even if just for the cast themselves.
A beautiful Jane Doe is dropped off in the middle of Times Square with no memory and no identity. Stranger yet, she’s covered head to toe in mysterious tattoos. The FBI soon discovers they are actually clues to crimes that have yet to be solved. I love shows that start off like this, with one huge mystery that leads to even more intriguing mysteries. So I’m hooked even without seeing the show.
A continuation of the 2011 movie starring Bradley Cooper, Limitless is a show about Brian Finch, who after taking a mystery pharmaceutical called NZT, becomes an instant genius able to use all his brainpower, rather than only 10% of it as the rest of us apparently do. It continues on from the plotline of the movie and involves the FBI, who coerces Finch to help them solve complex cases. With regular cameos by Bradley Cooper, it’s already getting lots of buzz. Safe to say if you like the idea behind the movie, you’ll probably like the show as well.
Although the last Heroes show ended not with a bang, but with a whimper, this Heroes reboot looks like the first season when we were all obsessed with our favourite good guys. Of course, it’s only starting its first season itself, so whether this is a smash hit or a dwindling dud like its predecessor is a question we’ll have to ask later. In the meantime, it looks like these new heroes are in for a wild ride, as they battle against villains who would steal their superpowers and corrupt them for evil. Keep an eye on this one and cross your fingers for your new (old) favourite superhero show!
Starring Colin Hanks (Orange County) and Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad), this looks like CBS’ response to Modern Family, and looks like it could definitely rival it in terms of humour. The show follows a family where everyone seems to be at different stages of their life: some are off to college, some are planning their own funerals, and some are trying to have babies. The trailer looks hilarious and the casting looks phenomenal. Looks like a hit to me!
If you’re like me, you can’t get enough of Rob Lowe. He was absolutely hilarious in Parks and Recreation, and I’m hoping he’s equally so in his new show, The Grinder. Starring alongside The Wonder Years’ Fred Savage, Rob Lowe is an actor who plays a lawyer (nicknamed “The Grinder”) in a hit TV show. But in the midst of a mid-life crisis, he decides to go back to his hometown, where he convinces himself he has enough “experience” to become a real-life lawyer alongside his brother and father. I’m liking the premise and loving how ridiculous it could get.
Everyone’s favourite singer, dancer, actor and dad, Neil Patrick Harris, has finally gotten his own variety show and it’s a self-proclaimed Best Time Ever. With everything this guy can do (did you know he has 5 Emmy Awards and a Tony?), that opinion would be hard to bet against. This live, one-hour show will feature appearances by A-list stars, along with stunts, skits and audience giveaways, just to name a few. It sounds like fun and I am definitely in.