Music Technology

Prime Music Comes To Canada

Prime Music is now available for free to Amazon Prime Members in Canada.

This music service, which is available on multiple devices through an app, features millions of songs and is advert free.

Amazon Prime Members will also notice that many addresses in Ottawa-Gatineau are now eligible for one day shipping.

Scalper Exposed in Paradise Papers

CBC’s Fifth Estate will be airing a report on Super Scalpers tonight at 9pm Eastern, one of which is listed on the Paradise Papers.

This Montreal based scalper managed to accumulate millions in sales via Stubhub, a site that sells event tickets throughout the world, by allegedly bypassing a four ticket per fan limit at a site that had sold tickets for Adele concerts through-out Europe last year.

Unfortunately, scalpers like these have been keeping tickets from the poorer fans for years by using ticket bot software that gives them unfair access to tickets and governments throughout the world, like that of the provincial government of Ontario are trying to control this unscrupulous behaviour through legislation. And now we know at least one of them is evading taxes…

Consult your local television listings for your local broadcast. And if you miss this program, you will likely be able to watch it via the Fifth Estate web site.

Time To Stock Up On Gift Cards

Several retailers are having gift card offers that you should probably take advantage of, especially if you want to take advantage of the upcoming Black Friday sales.

You now have two days to obtain 10% off Canadian Tire gift cards at participating Shopper Drug Mart stores. But here are some more offers for this weekend :

From November 3rd to November 9th (2017), Air Miles members can obtain 20 bonus miles on gift card purchases of $25 or 40 bonus miles on gift card purchases of $50 at participating Rexall/Pharma Plus stores, provided the gift cards purchased are for Indigo, Kobo and Mark’s.

From November 4th to November 10th (2017), participating Shoppers Drug Mart stores will give 8000 points to Optimum members who purchase two or more gift cards whose combined value is over $200 and these points, which is a $10 value, will be added to their accounts on or by November 17th, 2017.

Indigo and Amazon Canada will be holding their Black Friday sales on November 23rd, 2017. But note that Amazon Canada is also currently offering discounts via a pre-Black Friday sale.

Get Your Security Updates !

A new Wi-Fi exploit has been discovered and you should update all of your devices a.s.a.p.

That includes anything that uses wi-fi, from your desktop/laptop to tablet/cell phone. And yes, some devices will not be patched immediately so keep trying.

Microsoft has patched their software, from Windows 7 to 10, and Apple is currently working on getting their iOS patches up and running, having already released them for developers. But Android users may need to wait until November 6th, 2017 for an update.

In the case of Linux operating systems and routers, OpenBSD systems have already been patched and patches are available for Debian-based systems. But most of the router manufacturers are working on firmware updates so you’ll need to contact your Internet Provider or Router manufacturer for details on that.

The problem is the KRACK wi-fi vulnerability, which is an issue to anyone that accesses non-secured websites online and doesn’t use a Virtual Private Network to do so. But it should be noted that Android and Linux users are more vulnerable to the exploit than anyone else because most of the other desktop and laptop operating systems are more complex.

The good news is that if you rent a cable modem from your internet provider, it will be updated by your internet provider soon (if it isn’t already updated). And if you don’t use your tablet and phone to browse the net outside your home, you will likely not have an issue.

If you use public wi-fi services in hotels or at your local coffee shop/restaurant, then I would recommend keeping an eye on updates and getting a virtual private network set up on your device to encrypt your internet, including those unencrypted sites you browse on.

By the way, there’s no point in changing your wireless password but you should change your router’s admin password, especially if it’s been left at default. :-/

Streaming Taxes In Quebec

It appears that streaming services like Netflix might be subject to provincial sales taxes in Quebec soon.

Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao said this could be a possibility soon, depending on the details of the $500 million Canadian Content deal the federal government has worked out with Netflix.

Some download and streaming services are already subject to provincial or harmonized sales taxes, like iTunes, Apple Music and other services that are based in Quebec or in Canada.

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Anti-Scalping Legislation Introduced

New legislation was introduced to the Ontario Parliament yesterday to prohibit the use of ticket bots, software that enables the mass purchase of concert and event tickets.

Schedule 3 of Bill 166, a.k.a the Strengthening Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, will enact the Ticket Sales Act, which will replace the Ticket Speculation Act and essentially cause automated ticket purchasing software to become illegal for events in the province of Ontario.

Also included in the Ticket Sales Act are provisions capping the resale price of tickets at 50 percent above face value, regulations in regards to transparency (mandatory disclosures of the identity of the seller, number of tickets in the seller’s possession, and original ticket price) and regulations in regards to mandatory residency and/or incorporation in the province of Ontario for ticket sellers.

Click here to read the proposed legislation, in full.

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