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Pet Tech Gifts for Christmas

Posted by cchalkley on December 16, 2016

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Your stockings are probably already hanging up on the mantle for each of your family members and that includes those cute little furry pets of yours too. What are you going to give your fuzzy buddies this year for Christmas? Maybe a bone, some treats, a new squeak toy? Or maybe you want to splurge this year for your feline or canine friend? If that’s the case, here are some tech gift ideas for your four legged friends.

This little bow tie accessory is not only super cute it’s a dog activity tracker! WonderWoof Bowtie connects you to your dog at all times through a smartphone app. This device clips right on to your dog’s collar and it monitors your dog’s sleep, rest, activity and playing habits. The activity tracker recommends activity levels for your dog based on it's age, breed and size.  Other caretakers including family or friends can also be set up to monitor your dog’s activity remotely. There’s a notification system that includes reminders for feeding schedules, veterinarian and grooming appointments. You can also look for other dog lovers in your neighbourhood by using the map-enabled social feature, which maps out other dogs in your area that are also wearing the WonderWoof Bowtie. There are 6 different colours to choose from and you can also purchase more fashion bands to give your dog some extra style. Think this is cool and want to get one for your cat? WonderMeow will be released in 2017! You can purchase the Wonderwoof Bowtie Dog Activity Tracker at Best Buy for $49.97.

WonderWoof Bowtie

When you are away from home have you wanted to call and check in on your pet? Pet Chatz is a two way HD video chat camera that is used to interact with your dog or cat while you are away.  Calling in using your phone or computer will send a ring through the camera to get your pet’s attention. The motion detector will know when your pet is in front of the camera so you can start video chatting with your pet! Your pet can even call you using the PawCall button. When your pet presses the PawCall button a text will go to your phone to notify you that your pet is calling.  There’s a treat dispenser that will drop a treat at your command. Another unique feature to this camera is the scent diffuser. Each call will diffuse an essential oil scent to help engage your pet’s different senses. You can purchase Pet Chatz from their website for $379.99USD.

Pet Chatz

Cats have a knack for wanting to press all the buttons on your keyboard as soon as you log onto your computer. Cat Laptop Scratch Pad is your cat’s very own laptop. It’s designed to look like a real laptop but made out of cardboard and it includes a keyboard that’s a scratch pad.  The desktop background is a paper printout that you can customize on your own. The cutest part about this laptop is that the mouse is actually a toy mouse. You can purchase the Cat Laptop Scratch Pad on Amazon for $40.02.

Cat Scratch Laptop

Frolicat Bolt Laser is an interactive laser for cats. There is a manual and automatic setting that you can select to get your cat playing. There are random laser patterns that can be directed to point at the wall or at the floor to engage your cat. You can purchase Frolicat Bolt Laser from Amazon for $44.

Frolitcat

Have you wondered what it’s like to see the world from your pet’s point of view? PawsCam is a camera that your pet can wear on their collar that will record what they are doing. The camera will start recording once it detects there is interesting movement, so no worries that you’ll be recording your dog sleeping. Each video is 6 seconds and ready to post on your favourite social media site. You can always check in on your smartphone to see the highlights of the day. The videos are uploaded automatically to Cloud storage and added to your PawsCam timeline automatically. Check out this page for information on when this camera will be available to purchase.

PawsCam

CleverPet is a game console for dogs that will keep them engaged and entertained. It rewards pets for solving puzzles based on lights, touch pads and sound cues. It’s kind of like the game Simon, but for a dog. The lights will flash in a sequence and when your dog touches the pads in the correct sequence he will be rewarded with a treat. Once your dog learns the basics on how to play the games, you can increase the difficultly in order to keep challenging your dog.  You can purchase CleverPet from their website for $299 USD.

CleverPet

These are just some of the tech options out there that you can gift to the cats or dogs in your life. No matter the present you get for your little furry friend whether it’s a ball, treat or a tech gift, your dog or cat will happy that you care. Maybe they will be just as excited for the wrapping paper, bow or box that the present came with. But either way, set some time over this busy holiday season to give your pet a big snuggle. Merry Pawmas!

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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.”


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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Blogger-Christine-bio.jpg


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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Blogger-Christine-bio.jpg


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?