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11/15/2013

Find the perfect GIF to express yourself with Blippy

Here’s an app that will help you find the perfect image, when words won’t do. On Skype you can send emoticons. On Viber, you can send stickers. But on Facebook and email, you can send GIFs. And they’re awesome. Now, a new iPhone app will let you find them. Say hello to Blippy.

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11/14/2013

Secret treaty threatens Canadians' online rights

Online rights advocates are raging after the release of secret texts, detailing a worldwide treaty that would curtail peoples’ rights to post material online. The text, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, involves countries including the US, Canada, Australia, and many others. It has a section that could allow organisations to force ISPs to hand over their customers’ information, and to arbitrarily take down material or face legal penalties.

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11/11/2013

Man finds $98,000 in Craigslist desk

People often find incredible deals on Craigslist.

Many sellers just want to create space in their homes, so they're willing to offer items for dirt cheap.

One man, however, found the deal of a lifetime after he found copious amounts of cash in a desktop he got a great deal on from an online ad. 

A Connecticut Rabbi found nearly a hundred grand in a desk they bought for $200 on Craigslist.

The resident and his wife only realized what they discovered because the desk couldn't fit through the door, so some disassembly was required.

Once they had the file cabinets and drawers out, the couple discovered a plastic bag filled with cash. Lots of cash.

"In the bag, I could already see through the bag, it looks like a one hundred dollar bill,” Noah Muroff told WTNH TV.

It turns out that the desk's previous owner took her inheritance – in cash – and decided to hide it inside the desk. But incredibly, she forgot that $98,000 was just hiding out inside something she sold on Craigslist.

Fortunately, the rabbi and his wife decided to do the right thing and return the money

The couple called up the former owner to tell her what they discovered, which you can watch on YouTube in a news report video that's gone viral.

If you found something valuable in an item you bought used online, would you give it back? Does it depend what it is?

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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11/09/2013

Call of Duty: Ghosts does it again. But what about the veterans?

People must really like Call of Duty: Ghosts. Thieves cut through the wall of independently-owned game store The Game MD in Ontario to steal 150 copies of the game last weekend. That stopped the owner from holding the midnight sale event on Tuesday morning.

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11/01/2013

When will the patent trolling stop?

So, the patent wars have begun in earnest. The Rockstar Consortium, an organization backed by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony, is suing a collection of vendors for patent infringement. What do the targets all have in common? They are all Android device manufacturers.

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10/25/2013

Carrot Dating wants you to bribe your way into a date

Would you go on a date with someone if they bribed you? Carrot Dating is hoping you will – and it has built an online dating site to test it out.

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10/24/2013

Little Rooster offers more enjoyable female wake-up call

Ladies: do you ever sleep through the alarm clock? Or, perhaps even worse, get jarred out of bed by a horrid, loud beeping that leaves you out of sorts for the rest of the morning? Now, there is a product that combines technology and titillation to wake you up in a more relaxing way. Behold, the Little Rooster, an alarm clock that doubles as a vibrator.

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10/16/2013

Facebook opens public posts to teens

Facebook just became both more private and more public at the same time, for teenaged users. 

The social networking giant has changed the rules for teenagers between 13 and 17. Previously, they could only publish status updates visible by friends of friends, rather than by the general public. Now, Facebook is giving them the option to post publicly, meaning that complete strangers with no connection to them at all can read their stuff.

The company is also allowing users between 13 and 17 to turn on the 'Follow' option, so that their public posts can be seen in people's newsfeeds. This enables someone who is not friends with a teenager, but wants to keep track of what they are doing, to read about it in their own timeline. They will be able to find and track teens who post publicly.

Facebook is trying to be somewhat responsible for teen privacy, by changing the default sharing settings on teenaged accounts. Previously, any post made by a teen user would be automatically visible by their friends, and their friends' friends. Now, however, posts are automatically set to be visible only by friends. Teens can change that setting manually to make it public, but if they do that, they are warned twice before being allowed to go ahead.

“Teens are among the savviest people using social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard,” said Facebook.

That's a bit of a blanket statement, though, isn't it? Sure, there are plenty of teens out there who are sensible and safe. But there are lots of others who haven't got a clue.

In spite of all the warnings and privacy measures, this could create problems for teens at risk. Even without the option to post publicly, plenty have fallen into trouble. One teen was stalked by a man in his thirties on Facebook, while another was flashed by a man who tracked her down via status updates on the social network. And then there’s murderer Peter Chapman, who used Facebook to stalk his victims.

Sure, teens want to be heard. But sometimes, the wrong people hear them, and even when privacy settings were higher, they were still in danger. It's up to the parents to teach them how to use social networking properly, but of course, many parents don't have the first idea about social media, or don't care – and even those that do may be trying to teach kids who don't want to listen. There are lots of 13-year-olds who think that they know everything.

What do you think? Should Facebook be opening up public posts to people under 18?

Danny Bradbury, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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10/01/2013

Large parts of US government go offline

So what actually happens when a government shuts down? Well, it turns out that significant bits of it disappear from the Internet. 

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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