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Keeping You Informed

 

Date Published: August 25, 2015

Where: CBC News Business

Title: Uber, Airbnb here to stay so get rules in place, Ontario Chamber of Commerce Says

 

 The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is urging the province and the federal government to get legislation in place to handle the sharing economy and head off conflict over services such as Uber and Airbnb.

In a report released Tuesday morning, the business lobby group called for "innovative thinking" to handle problems like gaps in insurance coverage and tax compliance.

       

Date Published: August, 2015

Where: CNN Money

Title: IPhone vs. Android: Which is better?

 

 Recently the kids misplaced my ipad in the house and I was thinking about a CNN article I read comparing the iPhone to the Android. They listed 15 tasks, none of which included the Find My iPhone app. I thought about systems selection criteria and thought this was a good example of why it's important to define all of your requirements and which are mandatory and deal breakers. Defining the wrong criteria or an incomplete list could result in a disastrous choice for your business.

       

Date Published: August 13, 2015

Where: CBC News

Title: Trouble finding fine wines? Blame the LCBO's new inventory system

 

 Hard-to-find wines may be harder to find recently, as the LCBO switches over its inventory system to a ordering system.
With the introduction of a new product ordering system comes delays for restaurants and wine agents that purchase these rare wines.     Looks to this editor like they could have used the help of Teeger Schiller Inc. We ensure that our clients only deploy new systems when they are fully tested and ready to perform accurately.

       

Date Published: July, 2015

Where: C|Net

Title: Top 5 reasons to upgrade to Windows 10

 

 C|NET provides us with another of their Top 5 videos, this one, the "Top 5 reasons to upgrade to Windows 10". In our opinion, the top 5 don't seem overly compelling to Windows 7 users, but might be tempting to the Windows 8 world as Microsoft has "listened" to what users didn't like in Windows 8, specifically, the user unfriendly Start Menu, which is now redesigned, and reason #2 to upgrade? Judge for yourself.

       

Date Published: July, 2015

Where: Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Title: Empowering Ontario: Constraining Costs and Staying Competitive in the Electricity Market

 

 Electricity prices are set to rise over the next two decades. A number of organizations and groups are championing solutions that they claim will address rising electricity prices. Some are grounded in evidence and principles. Others are wishful thinking. The stated goal of this report is to inject research and principal into the discourse, and to identify the initial steps that Ontario can feasibly take to constrain rising electricity costs.?

       

Date Published: June 8, 2015

Where: Strategy

Title: Canadian Tire goes big with digital

 

Canadian Tire is continuing to play digital offence with a new Edmonton “showcase” store, focused on providing immersive, interactive experiences for customers. The automotive department, includes a car simulator, allowing customers to have the opportunity to test drive tires in different weather conditions. Its seasonal department, has a backyard and patio builder tool, where you can use interactive screens to design a dream outdoor space. Is this what Bricks and Mortar stores need to survive?

       

Date Published: June 1, 2015

Where: LinkedIn Pulse

Title: Negative Experiences Put 16% of Potential Retail Spend at Risk

 

Dennis Armbruster, Editor at Large  COLLOQUY, published this article based on a 2014 Gartner survey and new research by the Verde Group. Together with LoayltyOne and Dr. Deborah Small at the Wharton School, Verde has quantified the financial risk associated with poor retail experiences. As the headline says, the typical retailer is putting 16% of their customers' potential spend at risk from negative experiences.This is a must read. 

       

Date Published: June 1, 2015

Where: MR, The Menswear Industry's Magazine

Title: George Zimmer Launches National Tailor Network Service

 

George Zimmer, the founder of Men's Wearhouse, announced his new business today. zTailors is an online service that connects men and women to a national network of tailors that will make home or office visits. Mr. Zimmer is quoted as saying "It's Uber for tailors". It's an interesting model in times when online shopping is eating into traditional brick and motor sales. But, is tailored men's clothing the right market niche?

       

Date Published: May 7, 2015

Where: CIO

Title: 12 easy ways to lose your ecommerce customers

 

CIO writer Jennifer Lonoff Schiff provides us with 12 mistakes that we should ensure that we aren't doing on our mobile apps. This article also links to Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool to let your site be evaluated for mobile friendliness. While many of these tips are obvious mistakes, some should be viewed as wake up calls to keep our web presence effective.

       

Date Published: April 27, 2015

Where: Graphic Arts Magazine

Title: Our government-funding columnist Elliot Schiller predicts demise of OIDMTC

 

At the conclusion of 2014, Ontario announced that it intended to review the Ontario Digital Media Tax Credit. Makes sense, a program that was intended to boost and grow the interactive digital media sector had turned into a $100 Million funding giveaway. In Elliot Schiller's March 2015 column he correctly predicted that the program loopholes would be closed, and last week, they were. The program will now only be available to specific entertainment and educational products.

       

Date Published: April 21, 2015

Where: CPA Canada

Title: 2015 FEDERAL BUDGET EARNS B GRADE

 

By now, we've all heard the media, the Big 4 accounting firms, and the political parties. Before you think you understand the good, the bad and the ugly of the budget, perhaps you should see why the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada gives the federal budget a B grade as it addresses challenges of today and looks to better prepare Canadians for the future.

       

Date Published: March 15, 2015

Where: THe New York Times

Title: Is Your Babysitter an Employee? It matters to Tax Liability

 

This article in The New York Times, while concerning U.S. tax law, is also applicable to Canadian tax law. In a previous article, see November, 2011 What Type of Relationship Exists ,we provided you with a checklist to see if a person to whom you are paying money is an employee or a contractor. See the checklist, read the Times article, and, I think you will see that your nanny or repetitively contracted babysitter might be an employee.

       

Date Published: March 6, 2015

Where:TD Economics

Title: Data Release: Canada's productivity edges down in Q$ after two quarters of growth

 

Leslie Preston, Economist, produced this fact sheet after analysing Statistics Canada's labour productivity numbers. The document contains both a summary of the information as released and a key implications section stating that Canadian unit labour costs are down relative to the U.S. for the past two consecutive years, while, on the positive side, the manufacturing sector continues to remain competitive.  

       

Date Published: February 20, 2015

Where: Forbes

Title: Walmart: More Surprises Coming

 

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. intends to spend $1 billion to change how it pays and trains its hourly workers. Walter Loeb, the well respected retail industry consultant considers this to be "a genuine effort (to) clean up its act. This will certainly have an impact on the industry." You can read more about Mr. Loeb's insights about Wal-Mart, as well as, Macy's, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, in this article. 

       

Date Published: February 9, 2015

Where: Conference Board of Canada-Press Release

Title: Canada Economic Growth Slides With Decline in Oil Prices

 

The collapse in oil prices takes its toll on the Canadian economy, so predicts the Conference Board of Canada. Business investment will be the weakest part of the Canadian economy while the trade sector will be the bright spot in the Canadian economy because of a strong U.S. economy and a lower dollar. The drop in oil prices is predicted to cost producers more than $40 billion in lost revenue.

       

Date Published: January 20, 2015

Where: Business Insider

Title: Amazon Isn't Killing Big Box Retailers

 

L2 Inc., a research think tank recently looked at 64 big-box chains and uncovered some surprises in the industry. Despite Amazon's mammoth growth over the last decade, conventional retailers are now stealing e-commerce market share from the leader. While Amazon's retail sales grew by 20%, Home Depot grew by 54%, Costco increased by 48% and Wal-Mart and Macy's saw growth over 30%.

       

Date Published: January 6, 2015

Where: CNET CES 2015

Title: What mattered on Day 1 at CES 2015

 

It's the New Year and once again the Consumer Electronics Show is alive and well in Las Vegas. This year on the business front there is lots to see in new technology for 3D printing, health products (including a smart yoga mat), and wearables. On the consumer side, our automobiles of the future will drive themselves, park themselves and entertain us. Even our relationship with our pets will change. For the better? We shall see.

       

Date Published: December 1,  2014

Where: Washington Post

Title: Do not panic about the NRF Black Friday spending report

 

The National Retail Federation released some gloomy findings about the start of the holiday shopping season. Sales tumbled 11 percent during the long weekend, and a smaller share of consumers reported hitting the stores or shopping online. While this seems to suggest that retailers are not in for much Christmas cheer this year, previous year statistics say this short term snapshot is not very meaningful as a barometer for seasonal sales. Let's hope.

       

Date Published: November 21,  2014

Where: Ottawa Citizen

Title: Russian hackers hijack webcams worldwide - including at least four in Ottawa

 

The editors expected this story to have wider circulation, but it seems to have disappeared after one news cycle. So, we will keep you informed in case you missed it. Hackers have created a website to hijack the webcam feeds of more than 73,000 people, including hundreds from Canada and are sharing those video feeds with peeping Toms the world over. The fix is easy, change the factory password on your webcams admin login. It's that simple!

       

Date Published: November 11,  2014

Where: CP24.com

Title: Obama, Putin agree to study proposed China-backed free trade deal

 

Leaders of Asia-Pacific economies agreed Tuesday to begin work toward possible adoption of a Chinese-backed free-trade pact. The first step will be a two-year study of the initiative. It is likely that there will be some form of a deal after that. If you are a domestic North American manufacturer, you need to look closely at your processes and costs to ensure that you will be ready for this next generation of "Made in China" products.

       

Date Published: Fall,  2014

Where: McAfee Security Advice Center

Title: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Public Wi-Fi

 

We've checked our archives and it turns out that we've never posted an article about how to protect yourself when using a public Wi-Fi. Here's a quick read article with suggestions on how to help keep you safe when you're hanging out at your favourite establishment and partaking of their unsecure free network. A simple rule of thumb is, if you need to login to a site with a username and password, don't do it on an unsecured public network.

       

Date Published:                October 4,  2014

Where: Bloomberg News

Title: FedEx Drivers Win Kansas Top Court Ruling on Employment

 

This recent decision by the Kansas Supreme Court again reaffirms the policies of both the CRA and the IRS. In this ruling the Kansas court states that FedEx has established an 'employment relationship with its delivery drivers but dress that relationship in independent contractor clothing'. If you have contractors working for you, in November, 2011, on this page we published a check list to determine whether your contractor was really an employee. Perhaps you should reaffirm the tax relationship. Follow link below:

 

   

What Type of Relationship Exists

       

Date Published: September  16,  2014

Where: ZDNet.com

Title: Six reasons why you should not immediately upgraded to iOS 8

 

On Wednesday, September 18, 2014 Apple will begin to make available iOS 8 for the iPhone, iPad and Touch devices. While this article is simply reminding us of the risks of being a pioneer in the technology world (technology pioneers are the ones with the arrows in the back), there are some points worth reading. Specifically, the risk of slowing down older devices, and not all apps working.

       

Date Published: September  2,  2014

Where: Reuters Canada

Title: Canada manufacturing growth at nine-month high in August

 

The pace of growth in the Canadian manufacturing sector edged up in August to a nine-month high, helped by modest improvement in new orders and employment, data showed on Tuesday.
This represents the strongest level since November, and our neighbours in the U.S. showed their strongest growth pace in more than three years.

       

Date Published: August 13,  2014

Where: Profitguide.com (Profit Magazine)

Title: What Russian Sanctions Mean For Your Business

 

This article is specifically directed at the SME's and gives some valuable suggestions to enable you to avoid violating the newly imposed sanctions on trading with Russia. The article reminds you that your best defense against violating the sanctions is to ensure that you are transacting within the law prior to any transactions. It is a must read for exporters to Russia.

       

Date Published: August 12,  2014

Where: PC World

Title: Microsoft Patch Tuesday focuses on Internet Explorer

 

Microsoft has issued a patch for 26 security vulnerabilities found in its Internet Explorer browser, including one fixing a critical vulnerability that would allow a remote attacker to gain access to a computer from over the internet. The other critical vulnerability is found in MS OneNote. The vulnerability is the worst kind - a bug that would allow a malicious user to gain control of a machine. Please pass this on to your Systems Administrator.

       

Date Published: July 14,  2014

Where: Krebs on Security

Title: Beware Keyloggers at Hotel Business Centers

 

Krebs On Security has obtained a non-public advisory distributed to the hospitality industry by the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center warning they have recently arrested suspects who have compromised computers at several major hotel business centers. The article gives suggestions on how to clean up after yourself if you must use a hotel business center PC.

       

Date Published: June 19,  2014

Where: ZDNet.com

Title: Can't start a Fire without a spark: Why Amazon id dancing in the dark

 

Author Jason Perlow doesn't offer us another review of the new Amazon phone, but rather, suggests that this entry into the marketplace will not send 'must have' buyers straight to the store to replace their existing technology. Amazon didn't take the cheaper but same features approach to enticing buyers, but that doesn't mean, in this editors opinion, that in the long term, Amazon will not capture its fair share of the market. They've done it before.

       

Date Published: June 10,  2014

Where: Myce.com

Title: Windows 8.1 Update 1 mandatory update deadline today

 

Today is the deadline for Windows 8.1 home users to update to Windows 8.1 Update 1 if they want to continue to receive security patches and other fixes. Initially the deadline was on May 13 but based on ‘user feedback’ the company decided to postpone to today, June 10. Likewise, business users should update to Update 1 before August 12 or they will no longer receive updates for their OS. This also affects Windows Server 2012 R2.

       

Date Published: May 12-15,  2014

Title: Microsoft Office for iPad notch 27M downloads in 46 days

Title: Encrypted file storage coming to Office 365 for business in July

Title: US TechEd 2014 shows Microsoft's resolute focus on enterprise and cloud

 

TechEd North America is Microsoft’s premier technology conference for IT Professionals and Enterprise Developers, providing the technical education, product evaluation, and community resources to plan, architect, deploy, manage and secure a connected enterprise. It's Microsoft's chance to tell the world what's new and to provide insight into where they see the future going. As you can see in the three articles that we're posting, it's obvious that Microsoft wants to make the cloud a much more secure place for business, and, it looks like the iPad might be on the verge of becoming a must have business product.

       

Date Published: April 17,  2014

Where: The Sydney Morning Herald

Title: It's time for a Heartbleed-inspired password audit

 

While this author is certain that all of our readers are fully aware of the Heartbleed security flaw, this article nevertheless will provide you with some insight about how even a non-affected sight might be hacker susceptible. There are also some good suggestions for how to come up with passwords, and an interesting list of what sights use Heartbleed.

       

Date Published: April 9,  2014

Where: Canadian Manufacturing e-Newsletter

Title: Windows XP: a guide to risks and options

 

This article begins by pointing out that the research firm Gartner estimates that as much as 25 percent of Windows PC's in the workplace are running XP. It then explains the risks associated with an unsupported operating system, and provides the reader with choices regarding continuing to utilize XP, or upgrading. It's important to be informed so that you can make an informed decision.

       

Date Published: March 18,  2014

Where: National Reasearch Council Website

Title: Business Innovation Access Program

 

This announcement comes only weeks after the Federal Government February 2014 budget. This program "provides $20 Million in funding to small to medium sized enterprises (SME) to help them access business services or technical assistance to bring bigger and better innovations to market faster". Funds can be used to help support product development or improvement as well as marketing analysis.

       

Date Published: March 8,  2014

Where: CBC News Technology & Science

Title: Courtney Love libel suit shows landmark 1964 case relevant in digital age

 

This is not our first article about social media and libel issues. However, this one contradicts what many of the pundits have predicted in the past. It concerns Courtney Love tweeting that her former lawyer had been bought off and, that lawyer suing her for libel. Why this concerns you is because you might find it even more difficult to protect your brand from libel based on the reasons this suit was lost.  Enjoy!

       

Date Published: February, 5, 2014

Where: The Buffalo News

Title: Global $5 million contest launched to start businesses in Buffalo

 

New York State has just announced a global business plan competition to attract entrepreneurs with the best ideas for starting a new business in the Buffalo Niagara region. Successful businesses can receive anywhere from $250,000 to $1 million as a start up incentive. It is anticipated that similar competitions will be held during each of the next four years.

       

Date Published: January, 21, 2014

Where: CompTIA

Title: CompTIA IT Industry Outlook 2014: Positives Outweigh Challenges

 

For 2014, CompTIA has made 12 predictions about what to expect this year in the IT industry. They divide their predictions into 3 categories, Macro Trends, Technology Trends, and IT Channel Trends. Why is this important to you, because we only need to remember a short 30 years ago when Walmart used technology to dramatically reduce their logistics costs, and redefine the discount store industry forever. 

       

Date Published: January 13, 2014

Where: CBC News

Title: FATCA facts: What Canadians need to know about new U.S. tax law

 

The U.S. government taxes its citizens regardless of where they reside. Canadian banks have agreed to provide the U.S. IRS with information about the banking habits of U.S. citizens in Canada, as well as Canadians who seem to spend significant time abroad (e.g. snowbirds). The cost to do this will be borne by every Canadian and if you are one of the two types of people listed above, you need to be aware of this law.

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