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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION


Posted: 03/31/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0


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Update: Smartphone switch

IN the past six months I've been switching up my smartphone quite a bit. I initially was using the iPhone 4. Then I got fed up and switched to the Samsung Galaxy S3. I had a honeymoon stage with that phone where I was completely in love. But then I decided I needed to downgrade to something more simple that allowed me to be more focused. I sold my S3 and picked up a BlackBerry Bold 9900.

This is the BlackBerry with a physical QWERTY keyboard. After using this phone for just over a month, I can say that I am quite pleased. The Galaxy S3 had so many features that I got distracted from answering emails quickly, or replying to my text messages -- I would just view Instagram and tell myself, "I'll answer those later."

With the BlackBerry, the most interesting thing that I can do is answer all of my incoming messages; and I do that incredibly fast now. When I want to check Instagram or goof around, I just pull out my iPad Mini and view all the stuff I couldn't on my BlackBerry. Since I've switched, my productivity has increased because I compartmentalize my tasks.

During the day all I do is work on my phone. In the morning or at night I check Instagram, Google+, and Facebook on my iPad when nothing else is going on.

When the BlackBerry Q10 is released, I might think of upgrading and continuing with this workflow. Who knows. I do have smartphone ADHD.

Marriage equality

YOU may notice that a lot of your friends' profile pictures on Twitter and Facebook have been changed to a red background with two translucent silver bars in the middle. There is a human rights campaign dealing with marriage equality, and users changed their profile picture on social networks to show their public support. The U.S. Supreme Court heard two marriage-equality cases this week and the outcome could be a major game changer.

Anastasia Khoo, director of marketing for the Human Rights Campaign, changed the company's logo from blue to red to support this cause. Companies such as Bud Light and Bonobo's updated their Twitter avatars; celebs like Beyonce also followed suit. When the campaign was in full swing, Facebook noted that 2.7 million more photos were changed on that day than Facebook usually experiences -- a 120 per cent increase.

Password denied

LAST Friday, a loophole in Apple's iTunes Account security was revealed. A web-based URL was found where a user could reset anyone's password with just an email address and birth date. Apple quickly shut down the page. Since this story was leaked, other stories have surfaced claiming Apple's security is incredibly low. The company basically has the most signed-up credit cards in the world on iTunes, and if a hacker can figure out how to beat Apple's system, there is a big problem. Apple has a system in place called "iForgot" that allows you to reset your password if you have forgotten it. "You'd think that if you were the security team at Apple, and you had limited resources to devote to any part of the system, what you'd really be focusing on is that iForgot system," cryptographer Matthew Green, a professor at Johns Hopkins University is quoted as saying on "You would have it audited both internally and also by at least one outside reviewer. And the fact that this very kind-of-stupid bug made it through whatever process Apple put in place makes it seem very unlikely that Apple did those things."

Amazon buys Goodreads

IS Amazon the next big social network? No, but it did purchase GoodReads, which is the largest book recommendation social networking site. I often buy books on Amazon; it's super easy and they ship to my house within four to five days. I love Amazon and a lot of other people do too. I'm assuming they purchased Goodreads so they could have a user-generated system that would allow users to get the book recommendation and buy it on Amazon instantaneously. But who knows what Amazon is going to do with it -- maybe they'll turn it into an awesome Amazon social network that revolves around books. Whatever the company does, it now has 30,000 book clubs, 16 million Goodreads users and more than 24 million book reviews to work with.

David Bell (@thedavidbell) is a young entrepreneur in Winnipeg. He specializes in emerging technology and online aspects of business, including web and social media consulting. Access his company online at He is an active member of the YouTube community (, with more than two million views and 5,000 subscribers. He was also a Dragons' Den contestant. Email:

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 31, 2013 ??65521

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