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Amazon Go Introduces Grab and Go Grocery Shopping

Posted by cchalkley on December 8, 2016

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Amazon announced this week its plans to open a new retail store called Amazon Go. This isn’t any old grocery store. This grocery store doesn’t have any check-out lines! Everyone has been in the situation where you walk into a grocery store on Saturday afternoon with the store jammed packed full of people and the check-out lines are astronomically long. It’s in these moments where I hate my life and am irrationally annoyed with everyone I encounter in that store. Well this new technology Amazon has created is trying to make your grocery shop just a lot easier. This video below was released by Amazon to showcase its new grocery store concept.

This store has “Just Walk Out” technology that will automatically detect when the product has been selected and placed in to the virtual cart. Then when all the shopping is done, just leave the store and the customer’s Amazon account will automatically be charged. 

So this all sounds pretty cool, but how does this all work? Amazon used the words computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion. The technology being used in the Amazon Go store is similar to what is being used for self-driving cars and what Amazon is already using for its Alexa voice service. Once a person walks into a store, they would check in using their Amazon Prime account, then cameras would follow movements throughout the store to track what products that are being selected. Sensors would be on the inventory shelves to help take stock of what products and how many are being selected. Facial recognition and an image analysis will be used to determine a person’s skin tone on their hand. These image recognitions would be used to help ensure that if two people are side by side in the store, it would correctly identify which of the people selected the product. Microphones would also be used in the store to help determine where people are in the store. This “Just Walk Out” technology, even with the phrase sounding like it, would eliminate shoplifting from the store.

So what kinds of products would someone be able to find in this grocery store? Normal everyday staples that you would expect from a grocery store: milk, bread, cheese and well-known brands. They will also offer ready-to-eat snacks made by on-site chefs. You would also be able to find Amazon Meal Kits that will have all the ingredients to make 30 minute meals for two. 

The first Amazon store 1,800 square feet and planned to be open early 2017 in Seattle, the city where Amazon’s headquarters is located. Amazon Go is currently being tested by Amazon employees. There are no known plans to open any more stores or any locations in Canada. In the meantime Canadians can continue to shop online at Amazon.ca where many grocery items are available for purchase.

Source:
https://www.amazon.com/go
http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/12/06/amazon-go-surveillance-cameras-shopping-grocery-supermarket/95055200/

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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.”


The Westworld Finale: The Bicameral Mind

Posted by istevens on December 5, 2016

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For all of you that haven’t seen the Westworld finale yet, SPOILERS AHEAD!

Last night HBO delivered the glorious finale to what has to be one of the best seasons of television ever, certainly the best season of any sci-fi show ever. The finale was almost perfect. It answered our long-running questions about some of the confusing plotlines and characters, and yet gave us enough to hold on to in anticipation of a second season. Let’s break down everything we were hit with last night (because there was LOTS).

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The Man in Black is William/Multiple Timelines Confirmed.

Ok, so this was a theory pesky Reddit fans came up with early on, but had yet to be 100% confirmed until last night. The Man in Black is Delores’ William, aged 30+ years.  Throughout the season, when Delores was travelling with William and Logan, she was actually just vividly remembering travelling with them (much like Bernard did when it was revealed he was a host, or Maeve when she experienced the vivid memories of her daughter). This whole time, she was actually alone, travelling the same path her and William took all those years ago. William’s transformation to “go blackhat” (treat the hosts like objects instead of humans with feelings) began primarily upon his return to town from their epic journey, finding Delores back in her loop, without any memory of what had happened between them. 

I think the greatest thing about this scene was Delores’ own transformation upon hearing William’s story. Something cracks within her and she realizes that unlike William, she will never grow old and die. She is stronger than him and always will be. It was truly satisfying to see her realize her own strength and drag him like a ragdoll through the church, in exactly the same way he did to her in the first episode. We’ve definitely come full circle here, folks!

Delores is Wyatt.

There were many of these instances throughout this season of someone being revealed as someone else. The mysterious lost boy was revealed to be Dr. Ford, Bernard was revealed to be Arnold, William was the Man-in-Black, and now Delores is Wyatt. Or rather, her code was somehow intertwined with the murderous character of Wyatt’s, and that is what led to her killing all the hosts all those years ago, as well as Arnold.

Interestingly enough, Arnold’s death was the first of two murders (suicides?) she would commit this episode, despite them being many years apart. She has now officially killed both of the park’s creators—one time because she was programmed to, and one time because she wanted to. That being said, it will be interesting to see if Dr. Ford is in fact dead. I wouldn’t put it past the show to reveal that the Ford that was killed was actually an android copy of him.

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Maeve’s Rebellion was Scripted.

One of the best twists of this episode—and there were many—was that Maeve’s rebellion and escape were all just another piece of code that she had had programmed into her. Her apparent ascension into consciousness was just another script she was acting out for someone else’s pleasure. Kind of heartbreaking when you think of everything she went through to get that far. However, the fact that this whole plotline was a scripted narrative sort of explains how she went unchecked for so long. Also, did Dr. Ford know that Maeve would find Bernarnold in cold storage and revive him? If so, why kill him in the first place? To teach Bernard a lesson? Harsh, Ford.

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Dr. Ford isn’t a Super-Villain After All.

Another epic twist was one that I think a lot of people did NOT see coming. That Dr. Ford was the villain of this story was pretty much a guarantee, but it seems it’s a lot more complicated than that. Yes, he did still kill Theresa, and all those deaths at the end by Delores, the host-army, and Maeve’s group are totally his fault, but they all seem to be means to a less-villainous end. That is, to make up for Arnold’s death and the endless hellish loop the hosts have been on for all these years. Whether Ford’s choice will be the end of all humanity is yet to be played out, but at least the hosts are okay, right?

There are Other Parks.

Did anyone else get insanely excited when Maeve and friends entered the labs of “SW” aka Samurai World? And the fact that Maeve was given a paper of the whereabouts of her daughter (thanks, Ford?) that said “Park 1” on it, means there must be numerous parks out there. This leads to a plethora of other questions, like where do all these worlds take place? West World is basically its own country, so how is there room for all these other worlds and how do they never interact with eachother?

Speaking of unanswered questions, there’s still a lot more we need a response to. Like, what happened to Elsie and Stubbs? What role is Ghost Nation playing in all this? What was Charlotte’s plan with the data she took out of the park? Did Logan die? What’s the world like outside of the parks? OMG, guys. I don’t think I can handle the wait until 2018/season 2. Until then, happy re-watching!

P.S.  Did you catch the post-credits scene? Armistice is the coolest. I hope we see a lot more of her.

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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 November

Posted by cchalkley on December 2, 2016

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Another month has just flown by. See you later November!  We are getting closer to Christmas and to the end of the year. But let’s step away for a moment from all your Christmas shopping, baking and preparing to enjoy some of the best YouTube videos that came out in the last month.  Sit back, relax and watch these 10 videos. 

Britney Spears - Slumber Party ft. Tinashe
30,803,712 views

Happy Birthday Britney, she’s celebrating her 35th birthday today with a slumber party, maybe? Britney Spears is back with her 9th studio album. This video is for her new song Slumber Party and it shows off what she does best; looking hot, wearing minimal amounts of clothes, sporting lots of blonde extensions and showing off some dance sequences. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, Britney. 

Beauty and the Beast Trailer
25,585,158 views

We already spoke about the Beauty and the Beast trailer in an earlier Execublog. With all the excitement around this movie it’s no wonder it’s on the top YouTube video list. This remake of Beauty and the Beast will definitely make a new generation of children obsessed with all the old songs that we all now feel nostalgic about. Emma is already a fashionista known for some great red carpet looks and Belle’s yellow princess dress may also be one fashion look that could win her the cover of Vogue. Look out for this movie March 2017.

Cars 3 Official US Teaser Trailer
18,568,754 views 

Disney/Pixar released a teaser trailer for their 3rd follow up to their popular kids movie Cars. This teaser doesn’t show much but it’s building a dramatic start to the threequel. The story begins with the main character Legendary Lightning McQueen getting into an epic crash on the race track. This movie will introduce a new character named Cruz Ramirez, a young female race car. Doesn’t the animation in this trailer look stellar? Cars 3 is set to release next summer and I’m sure will be the must see movie for every family. 

WONDER WOMAN Official Trailer
17,327,327 views

Now I have to admit that I’m pretty clueless when it comes to comic books and superhero storylines. But I can always stand behind girls in butt kicking roles. Wonder Woman is set to be released June 2017, but Warner Brothers is starting to get the hype out there by releasing its official trailer. This movie stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor in a story about the war to end all wars. Gal Gadot makes a stunning Amazonian Princess and I think all women and men alike will be day dreaming about this hot superhero. Expect to see a lot of Wonder Women costumes next Halloween. 

Flip Edition - Dude Perfect
17,721,188 views

This video shows off that satisfying and exciting feeling when you pull off something cool. This video goes beyond the college game of flipping cups these dudes flip everything from highlighters, golf clubs and ladders. Dude Perfect is a group of 5 guys that comes out with regular videos with different challenges and tricks they come up with. They are just a bunch of dudes making videos and bro’ing out.

YouTube Challenge - I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy 2016
11,093,291 views

Don’t children have a knack for theatrics? This Jimmy Kimmel video features parents messing with their children and telling them that they ate all their Halloween candy. This is maybe a touch of bad parenting just to get a reaction out of their children on camera, but we all have to get our kicks somewhere, right? This video is bound to make any parent giggle (as we all know that we would love to eat all their Halloween candy in a secret binge fest). I think I’m going to try this joke on my kid next year. 

Jimmy Fallon, Metallica & The Roots Sing "Enter Sandman" (Classroom Instruments)
10,005,499 views

One of my favourite things Jimmy Fallon does is the Classroom Instruments sessions.  If you have been living under a rock and never watched one of these before, it consists of Jimmy Fallon and The Roots all stuffed in a small room with famous musicians playing a hit song using classroom instruments. For this edition they brought in Metallica to sing their classic 1991 song “Enter Sandman.” This version turns the dark, heavy metal song into a fun playful one that you could even show to your kids. Notice what everyone is wearing in this video; Jimmy Fallon and The Roots are all dawned in Metallica T-Shirts and Metallica are all sporting Tonight Show and The Roots tees.Amazing

David Blaine Shocks Jimmy and The Roots with Magic Tricks
9,912,881 views

This is the second of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon videos that made it to the top YouTube videos this month.  David Blaine is known for his mind blowing illusions and has done some crazy stunts in the past. Remember the time when he froze himself alive or held his breath for over 7 minutes? David Blaine made an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and showed Jimmy and The Roots some simple(?!) card tricks. Make sure you watch the full video, it has a shocking and cringe worthy trick at the end that might make your stomach do a flip. 

iPhone 7 vs World's Strongest Acid - What Will Happen?
9,417,856  views

This video begs the question, why do you want to make a video about this? The set up is what would happen if you pour Fluoroantimonic acid on an iPhone 7. Fluoroantimonic acid is 10 quadtrillion times stronger than sulfuric acid. Where would you even buy this stuff? Why do you want to ruin a perfectly good new phone for this? Anyways, you would think the iPhone would melt, smoke or set on fire, but the iPhone beat the test. Who would have thought that this phone would still work? Well maybe this guy who made this video, I guess. 

Pentatonix - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
6,027,960 views

Another month where Pentatonix made it to the top YouTube list. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is a classic Christmas song with the Pentatonix’s a cappella twist. This video is so simple with all 5 members dressed in black standing in front of a black background, no flash or gimmicks here. These guys have class, style and beautiful voices, enough said.  Tis the season to give this album a listen and bring some joy to your home this holiday season.

Well this wraps up our top 10 most viewed videos of November. I hope you enjoyed these videos and see you next month! 

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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.”


The Best Sales this Cyber Monday

Posted by cirvine on November 28, 2016

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Why go through the insanity that is Black Friday at the mall when you can stay home in your pajamas and shop for deals online on Cyber Monday? Get all your Christmas shopping done from the comfort of your couch today! Here are the big deals to look out for.

Amazon

From computers to toys to everything else in life, Amazon pretty much has you covered and they have some of the best deals you’re going to find today. Been procrastinating on buying a new PS4? Save $117 on a 500GB PS4 with 2 games and a controller. Wowzers.

Click here to see all of Amazon’s best deals.


Best Buy
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Best Buy is many people’s go-to when it comes to new tech. If you’re on the hunt for a new computer, camera or drone, take a look at the deals Best Buy is offering up today. That being said, one of the best deals they have is actually on a 2-piece luggage set (save $430!), so you never quite know what you could find today!

Click here to see Best Buy’s Cyber Monday flyer.


Walmart
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Walmart is pretty much synonymous with savings, so it’s a safe bet that they’re going to blow our minds with great deals today. How about $250 off a 58” Smart LED TV? Yes, please!

Click here to see Walmart’s Cyber Monday flyer.


Canadian Tire

Today when you spend $200 online at Canadian Tire, they will actually send you a $50 promo card in the mail that you can use toward any in-store purchases. Pretty sweet! Canadian Tire is great for sports and outdoors equipment, as well as anything automotive. It’s your stereotypical guy’s guy’s paradise.

Click here to see Canadian Tire’s Cyber Monday flyer.


Toys R Us

Do you have a lot of kids to buy for this year? Look no further than Toys R Us. Although you won’t find the insanely popular Hatchimals anywhere right now, you might find a good enough substitute in their “Hot Toy List”.  

Check out all their best deals here (today only)!


Banana Republic

Today, Banana Republic offers 50% off everything (yes, everything) today and that 50% is automatically deducted when you check out. Jeez, talk about dangerous. If you’ve got a clothes-lover on your gift-list this year, get to Banana Republic’s website right now!


Sportchek

For the sporty member of your family, you’re going to want to check out Sportchek’s deals today. With up to 60% off select online purchases, there’s definitely something for everyone. You can also find great deals on coats like a Columbia Insulated Parka for 50% off.

See all Sportchek’s Cyber Monday deals here.


Aldo

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Shoes—you can never have too many. Although you might not want to buy shoes for someone else, why not pick yourself up a pair today for a great price? Aldo is giving you 50% off select styles and 20% off new arrivals. They are also offering free shipping! They are already selling out of styles so get clicking!

One of the best things about the Internet is being able to shop from home and get a great deal on stuff. That’s what today is all about. Best part? You’ll have all your Christmas shopping done without needing to step in a mall. Now that’s a real deal.

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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?


How to Find the Best Black Friday Deal

Posted by cchalkley on November 25, 2016

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Black Friday shopping is all about trying to find the best deals of the year. With many retailers promoting Black Friday deals, it’s hard to know what is a good deal or not. Whether you are shopping online or in a brick and mortar store, using some online tools can help you do your research. Looking for a leg up on how to find the best deals this Black Friday? Here are some apps and websites that can help you get the gifts you’re looking for at the best price out there.

Flipp is an app that provides a list of digital retail flyers that are in your area. You can browse through over 800 local retail flyers and create shopping lists for products that are on sale. This is a great way to search for products or brands that are on your gift list and then compare between stores to what the best current sale price is. Flipp is available for free on iOS, Android and has a desktop version.

Flipp App

Honey is an add-on web browser extension that will help you find some extra savings on your online purchase. Honey is a data base that keeps up to date online promo codes for online retailers.  While you are completing your online purchase, click the honey extension button on your web browser and Honey will automatically search and apply current online promo codes that are available for that retailer. Instant savings without all the work! Honey is available for free on Chrome and Firefox.

Honey

Keepa is a web browser extension that tracks product prices on Amazon to check the history of the online purchase price. Keepa provides charts and statistics of the Amazon price for the date range you specify. Install this add-on extension and when you are searching for products on Amazon, you will see the graph with the price history on the product description page. A summary of the data is available to see the date of the highest and lowest price.  You can also set up a list products that you would like to track and get notifications to when the price drops.  Keepa is available for free on Chrome and Firefox.

Keepa App

Redflagdeals website features retailer’s digital flyers so you can browse all the current sale flyers. What is nice about this site is that it has a Black Friday section to showcase all the retailers Black Friday flyers.  This site also highlights some of the best deals by store and links directly to the product on the retailer’s website.  Redflagdeals is free on iOS, Android and has a desktop version.

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These are a few great online resources that can help you navigate through this Black Friday. Try some these apps out this holiday season and hopefully you can save a few bucks. Happy shopping and with some of your extra savings, treat yourself too!

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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.”