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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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Execulink at the 2017 London Technology Showcase

Posted by jfreund on April 7, 2017

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Yesterday we were proud to attend the London Technology Showcase in London, Ontario. The event brought together over 25 IT vendors including D-Link, Barracuda, Cisco, Nutanix, Dell, Lenovo, Fortinet, Jolera and other big names of the tech world. The goal of the showcase was to educate clients on available technologies and discuss how the partner organizations can deploy technology within their businesses.

The event included 36 featured seminars that focused on IT-based solutions, such as WIFI and surveillance measures, security appliances, uninterrupted power solutions and more. We were excited to lead two informative seminars: “Building Redundancy and Reliability using Execulink’s Hybrid Bonded Internet”, and “Tools and Tricks for Managing a Secure WAN.”

AlexPresenting.jpgAlex Beilby, Senior Sales Engineer @ Execulink

We discussed how our unique Hybrid Bonded Internet solution could deliver a faster, stronger, more flexible internet solution to businesses by fusing the benefits of multiple Internet links and carriers into one. Our second seminar reviewed the importance of having network security, and the necessary tools that help you optimize your connections and keep your business’ data safe.

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended the event and our seminars in particular. We always enjoy having the chance to educate and inform our local businesses and partners about how our services might be able to help them make a safer, more connected business. Until next time, London!

For more information on our Hybrid Bonded solution, click here.

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Joel Freund, Manager of Corporate Sales & Services


As a hunter, fisherman, and Corporate Sales Manager, I perfect the skill of patience.


What Does a Phishing Email Look Like?

Posted by cchalkley on April 3, 2017

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You may have heard of something called phishing, but don’t confuse this with your dad’s cottage hobby; what you catch from phishing is not near as exciting. Phishing is a type of scam that criminals are using to steal money from you. They accomplish this by installing malicious software on your computer and by stealing your personal data.

So what does a phishing email look like? Here are some common things that you can spot in these fraudulent emails:

The “From” field might come from an email address you don’t normally communication with. The email can be from someone outside of your work organization and not related to your job responsibilities. The sender’s email can look like it’s from a suspicious domain. It could be an unexpected or unusual email with an embedded hyperlink or an attachment from someone you haven’t communicated with recently.

The “To” field might include a mix of seemingly random people from your organization or a list of unrelated addresses. You might have been cc’d on an email to one or more people and you don’t personally know any of the other people.

The “Subject” field could be a subject line that is irrelevant or does not match the message content. The email message is in reply to something you never requested or sent.

There could be an attachment that was not expected or makes no sense to the email message.  A big red flag is the hyperlink that is attached. To test the legitimacy of a link, hover over the hyperlink. If the address looks strange or is for a different website, that’s a bad sign.

The hyperlink or content may also be a misspelled version of a known website—for example, using facebonk.com instead of facebook.com.

If the hyperlink seems illogical, forward, or asks you to look at embarrassing or compromising pictures of someone you know, these are all red flags.

If the hyperlink is threatening in nature and asks you to click on a link or attachment to avoid a negative consequence, that’s also a red flag. However, it could sound very beneficial as well: “Click here to get a free TV”. Basically, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. .

The email could be full of grammatical or spelling errors.

These emails can look like they are from a legitimate company or website or they could look like they came from your CEO.  They might use logos, names of companies, names of departments or job titles that appear to be real. Check if the company name is spelled correctly. Also check if the email is coming from a name you personally know, whether the email address is actually their correct email.

Tweeter Email

Do Not:

  • Open any email attachments that end with: exe, .scr, .bat, .com, or other executable files you do not recognize.
  • Click an embedded link in a message without hovering your mouse over it first to check the URL.
  • Respond or reply. It’s better to just delete the email.
  • “Unsubscribe” – it’s better to delete the email then to deal with the security risk.

Do:

  • Check the email “From” field to validate the sender is actually someone you know or from a correct email address.
  • Check for a “double-extended’ scam attachment. A text file named “safe.txt” is safe but a file called “safe.txt.exe” is not.
  • Report any suspicious emails to your IT department.
  • Report any suspicious emails to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Trust your gut if the email seems odd; question it. If it looks like it came from someone you know, speak to the person in a different form of communication, maybe face to face or by phone to confirm the legitimacy of the email. Speak to your IT department before you click on the link or attachment. When in doubt, just delete the email.

It’s awful when it happens, but with these tips and tricks, you can stay safe from the nasty phishers out there. It’s more important than ever to say vigilant about your online security and stay skeptical whenever confronted with suspicious emails. We hope these tips help keep you and your family safe online!

Reference: KnowBe4, Inc.

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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.”


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The modem and the router: Two pieces of Internet equipment in millions of homes in Canada and yet every day we get questions from people asking why they need them or what they even do! So, we wanted to shine a little light on both of these devices and explain in quick and simple terms what they’re all about.

THE MODEM

Think of the modem like a bridge. It bridges the gap between your home network and your ISP, sending, receiving and converting data so you can use the Internet. While not every type of Internet requires a modem in your home (eg. Fibre and Fixed Wireless), every Internet service has some type of similar device that converts the data coming from the transporting material (eg. Fibre lines, coaxial cable, wireless signal), and turns it into a format that your router can understand and push to your device(s).

THE ROUTER

What does a router do? Well, it routes! That is, it routes your Internet connection from one physical connection to multiple devices, so that they have access both to the Internet and eachother. So through a router you could have multiple computers and devices connected to the Internet. Many routers are wireless (contain wireless radios) that let you connect Wi-Fi devices wirelessly as well. Additionally, the router adds some protection to your devices in that they aren’t directly exposed to the Internet.

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THE MODEM/ROUTER

Depending on the service, you may have the option for a combination device that serves as both a modem AND a router.

We hope this quick info session has helped you get your head around this equipment a little better. For more information on the necessary hardware for your Internet connection, please visit the Hardware section of your service here.

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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?


Earth Hour's Here! Here’s What You Need to Know.

Posted by cirvine on March 24, 2017

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I don’t know about you, but I’m awful for remembering to turn my lights off for Earth Hour. So many years I’ve wanted to participate—to gather up all my candles, shut all my lights off and show my support for Mother Nature—but then inadvertently let it slip by.  So let’s be better this year. Let’s set a reminder on our phones right now: Earth Hour is this Saturday, March 25th, 2017 from 8:30PM-9:30PM. For this hour, turn off all the lights in your house and show your support for global action on climate change. 

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What is Earth Hour?

Earth Hour is actually a charitable organization based out of Singapore. They are an “open source movement” created by WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and other worldwide volunteer organizations. It started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and grew to the global phenomenon it is today.

Who Celebrates Earth Hour?

As many as 172 countries across the globe celebrate Earth Hour by turning off their lights for an hour. And it’s not just for residences of those countries to take part in; over 400 iconic landmarks including Sydney Opera House, London’s Big Ben, the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower all go dark for the hour too. It even reaches as far as the International Space Station—so to say it’s just a global event is really doing it enough justice!

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What’s the Impact?

If you’re wondering how exactly this event helps with climate change, take a look at the below video. It certainly opened my eyes to all the ways the WWF is healing the Earth one problem at a time.


Take Your Support Further!

Want to take your Earth Hour activism to the next level? Why not dedicate a few social media posts to the cause by donating your Facebook feed? Earth Hour will utilize your social media to share interesting facts about the event and spread the word. If you really want to show your support, you could also donate some money to WWF’s Earth Hour fund here.

Whether your hosting your own event, going to one (search nearby events here), or just staying home with the family, we hope you have a fantastic Earth Hour this weekend!

 

Source: www.earthhour.org
http://www.wikinomics.com/blog/index.php/2008/04/02/global-citizens-love-the-earth-for-an-hour/comment-page-1/
http://econews.com.au/146/earth-hour-ready-to-go-beyond-the-hour/

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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?