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A Serious Note on Security from Google

Earlier this week Google started issuing their final notices about the need to upgrade to the Secure Socket Layer HTTPS protocol, telling webmasters if they don’t secure their websites by the end of September pages in their sites will be prefaced with a security warning in the Chrome browser. The Chrome browser, which is made by Google, is used by 44.47% of Canadian web users. Naturally, most webmasters and site owners want to avoid such a warning given the chilling effect it would have on web traffic. Wanting to avoid a problem and knowing what to do about it are two different things. This post is meant to explain the basics of HTTPS, what it means, why Google is forcing the update, and the steps a website owner can take to comply. If you already understand the process, stick around for t...

NAFTA Redux – Renegotiating Prosperity

For over a quarter century, a set of trade agreements with the United States and Mexico have underpinned the Canadian economy and become the primary focus of the economies of Ontario and of Toronto. The original Free Trade Agreement between the US and Canada was signed thirty years ago and expanded to include Mexico in the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. Before an agreement was in place, North American trade was subject to a patchwork of tariffs, quotas, and often arbitrary duties imposed on goods and services that crossed some of the longest borders in the world. Since the agreements were ratified, three of the world’s largest and most dynamic economies have virtually integrated with each other, forming the one of the largest and most prosperous trading blocs on Earth. Starting ...

A Big Business Centre – Many Spaces for Different Needs

What do a bunch of insurance actuaries, employment consultants, lawyers, employment recruiters, IT start-ups, non-profits, notary publics, immigration consultants, talent agents, modeling companies, photographers, web design firms, and even a couple international airlines have in common? It is something they share with several non-profits, charities, unions, and several professional standards bodies. Each of these businesses shares the same business address. These are some of the types of businesses found when conducting a Google search using “1 Yonge St. Suite 1801” as the keyword query. Established in 1980, Telsec Business Centres provides office space and professional services to hundreds of different businesses in hundreds of different sectors. Working with so many businesses ranging a...

Networked to Foster Success – Canada Business Network

The technology sector is growing at an unprecedented rate in several Canadian cities. From the emergence of new start-ups to the realization that a few of those start-ups will eventually employ hundreds or thousands of staff, it is a good time to be an entrepreneurial Canadian geek. Moreover, all three levels of government in Canada (federal, provincial, and municipal) are primed to help prime the pump with business advice, immigration assistance, and in some cases, even by helping find and provide financing. Previous articles have covered the grants and other financing schemes for new Canadians. Today, let’s take a quick look at business assistance primarily targeted to Canadian citizens. The types of assistance available are slightly different for naturalized Canadians featuring several ...

The Start-Up Visa Programs – Manufacturing Canada’s Gain

Shortly after the November 2016 election of US President Donald Trump a realization spread around the globe that things really were going to change. For nearly two and a half centuries the United States had been the land of opportunity for innovators, inventors, academics and entrepreneurs but suddenly everything was going to be different. That realization, as chilling as it was, didn’t stop those who wanted to be innovators or inventors or academics or entrepreneurs from trying to get to get into the States.  The number of visa applications for foreigners trying to make something of themselves and their ideas in the United States rose in 2016, even as the mood of the electorate swayed dangerously away from common sense and reason. It wasn’t until early March, a few short weeks after he wa...

Canada is Open to STEM Growth

In the coming years, Canadians are going to hear a lot about attaining STEM educations and fostering STEM businesses. STEM is an acronym standing for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; the fastest growing areas of entrepreneurialism in the world. Due to a number of factors, including the volatile political situation in the United States, Canada is poised on the precipice of the greatest advances in advanced technology development this country has ever seen. Canada has been known as a stable and reliable developer of advanced technologies for much of its 150 year existence. With excellent schools and few religious or ethical barriers to research, Canadians have invented or innovated on some of the greatest tools humans have ever developed. For a relatively small country of o...

Interest and Canadian Confidence

Monetary policy might seem a dull subject heading into a gloriously free Canada Day long weekend but given yesterday’s extraordinary statement by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, it is worth taking a few minutes to peer into a near future hinted at by the Governor and his deputies over the past few weeks. “It does look as though those cuts have done their job,” Mr. Poloz said reflecting on the dramatic interest rate cuts made after the oil crash in 2014. Those cuts were piled on top of previous cuts made after the global economic meltdown of 2008. As of this moment, Canada’s central bank’s benchmark loan rate is a staggeringly low 0.5% leaving very little room for Mr. Poloz to go lower without flirting with the negative rate interest policy he mused about just over a year ago. Are yo...

Five Very Short Stories about Very Big Data

Big Data and Small Business – Part 1 Big Data sounds like a mighty big buzzword for those who don’t understand what the buzzword means. Simply put, big data is all about our rapidly growing abilities to record, store, and compare increasingly vast amounts of information. Though the concept of big data is over fifty years old, the reality of being able to track and analyse the habits of individuals amongst extremely large groups of people with hyper-accuracy is closer to fifteen. For the last decade and a half we have been able to peer into each other’s lives in ways that have the power to significantly improve the tenor of human experience but have fundamentally changed our ideas and ideals around personal privacy. Globally popular tools such as Google and Facebook have spent a decade or m...

Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Your Business

On Halloween 2008, just over a month after global financial crisis began on September 29, a person, or group of persons published a research paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”, using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. The research paper demonstrated how a digital payment system without any form of central control could be mounted on an uncrackable publically distributed ledger system known as blockchain. Less than three months later, it was released as open source software and Nakamoto’s invention became a reality. Called a “cryptocurrency”, Bitcoin operates without administrators or a central repository of funds. It can be exchanged for goods and services or converted to other forms of money such as a national currency. It functions as real money in both legal and black...

The Numbers Game of Networking

Everyone’s world revolves on an axis of networks. In business, government, or academia, those networks scale much larger but in the end, most human endeavour centers around well established networks of trusted friends, colleagues, associates, and contacts. If you need a babysitter, chances are you call one the teenage child of a friend. When deciding on a restaurant to take our families to, we rely on the recommendations of friends and associates. When seeking essential service providers like a doctor, lawyer, or accountant, we tend to ask our contacts about their personal experiences. Beyond recommendation websites like Yelp or local search engines like Google, humans rely on the wisdom, experience, and assistance of others in many facets of our lives. Building one’s networks ...